Tuesday, May 24, 2011

(GA-2) Sanford Bishop: Past, Present & Future

Sanford Bishop has never been short of smarts. After graduating from Morehouse College in 1968 and from Emory University Law School in 1971, he served in the U.S. Army, completed basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia, entered Advanced Reserve Officers Training, and received an Honorable Discharge in 1971. He resided in Columbus, Georgia, from 1972 to 1996, where he was the primary partner in the law firm of Bishop and Buckner, P.C. He is an Eagle Scout, a 33rd Degree Mason, a Shriner, and a life time member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Bishop has surprised and disappointed me and many of my rural Democratic friends who lean More conservative than your typical democrat, with his votes supporting the flawed health-care reform, cap-and-trade legislation and President Obama’s stimulus bills. But we shouldn’t have been surprised. He has never pledged complete allegiance to either the Republican or Democratic Party. Besides he is a Bluedog Democrat & that suits me just fine.

Fellow Yellow Dog Democrats are also conflicted about the endorsements Bishop has received. He was endorsed by the NRA, the US Chamber of Commerce, groups that traditionally supports republicans.

Last election saw Bishop hanging on by a thread for his seat over Mike Keown, a State Rep out of Thomas County. Allegations from Bishop improperly steering three scholarships to family members between 2003 and 2005 to the Jr. Marshall Program Scandal where his step daughter and son-in-law were being paid out of a Sanford Bishop earmark. It was later found that the Jr. Marshall Earmarked Funds were directly deposited into his wife's Vivian Creighton Bishop’s bank account.

Bishop was labeled a liberal for those votes for healthcare, cap & trade, the bailouts & TARP despite his long middle of the road record of supporting Gun rights, (A+” grade from NRA), hawkish positions on defense matters, outlawing same-sex marriage & support of prayer in our schools, & support of tax cuts. Last year was the perfect year for the GOP to defeat Bishop.

I suspect some of those longtime Bishop supporters who voted against Bishop voted against him out of protest of the way things were being handled by the President & the Pelosi led House of Representatives, as well as Bishop's toe dipping into the liberal waters that almost cost him last time. Im eager to see how many of them will come back into Bishop's column. I suspect Bishop will retire as congressman rather that be defeated. Lasr year results will no doubt encourage republicans to pour money into the second, but I believe that was a one time thing. With rumors of Bibb County moving in the second district, it will make republicans chances of defeating of Bishop damn near impossible.

Bishop has served the second district going on now for 20 years. (elected 1992). The only way I see him leaving that seat other than retirement is getting appointed to a federal position in a Obama Administration (Ag Secretary, Secretary of State, Energy) if Obama gets re-elected in 2012.

Blue Dogs like Bishop are good for the Democratic Party and the country. They’re a constant, necessary reminder to Democrats that if they want to be a majority party, they have to earn it, not just preach to the choir. We’d be a lot better off as a country if we had more people like the Blue Dogs on both sides of the aisle, who are independent-minded, willing to work across party lines, and more interested in getting things done than in partisan gain.”

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