Democrat Jim Marshall slaps Austin Scott on immigration

Earlier this month, political watchers in Washington began putting U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Macon, on their lists of congressional Democrats endangered by a Republican high tide in November.

And every morning reveals more signs of the partisan gulf. For instance, today from NPR:

For the first time since 1930, Republican votes for statewide offices are outnumbering Democratic votes, according to an analysis from American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate.

And Republicans, eager to campaign against Democrats who control the House, Senate and White House, are casting primary ballots at the highest rate since 1970.

So it’s no coincidence that Marshall has cut loose on Republican rival Austin Scott, with a 30-second TV spot that slaps the former state lawmaker for expressing “moral” qualms about a 2006 bill aimed at illegal immigrants:

The script:

Marshall: “I’m Jim Marshall, and I approved this message.”

Male voiceover: “Times are hard. And illegal immigrants are putting more of a burden on taxpayers by using public services like hospitals and schools.

“But Austin Scott voted against penalizing illegal immigrants who try to send money out of the country. Austin Scott said he had ‘a moral problem’ making illegal immigrants pay.

“Mr. Scott, what about the moral problem of illegal immigrants breaking the law?”

The legislation in question was HB 1238, a bill that dubbed itself the “Illegal Immigrant Fee Act.”

Introduced by state Rep. Tom Rice, R-Norcross, the measure would have levied a 5 percent tax on cash wired out of the country by any individual who could not prove U.S. citizenship or legal residency.

The bill passed on a 106-60 vote by the House on Feb. 14, 2006. Scott, from Tifton, was one of the few Republican members to vote against it.

The AJC archives has this:

In a speech, Scott said that comprehensive immigration reform is needed, because of the impact illegal immigrants have on crime and public schools.

But Scott said he believes that Rice’s bill would “tax people who are doing the best they can to provide for their families. I’ve got a moral problem with that.”

The measure was gutted in the Republican-controlled Senate, and it has never resurfaced.

When contacted by phone on Tuesday, Scott didn’t want to talk much about the moral concerns he expressed two years ago.

“My reason [for the no vote] was that it exempted bank and credit unions that did wire transfers. I had a problem with making Western Union the enforcer of immigration policy,” Scott said.

One month later, Scott noted, the GOP-run Legislature passed a comprehensive bill aimed at illegal immigration – which he voted for – that was called the toughest in the country. That is, until Arizona passed its measure earlier this year.

“[Marshall] knows he’s in trouble or he wouldn’t be running negative ads 60 days before the election,” Scott said.

But the Marshall campaign says there’s nothing to be read into the fact that this first punch was thrown by the incumbent – that the National Republican Congressional Committee has come after the Macon Democrat so often, one campaign simply blurs into another.

12 comments Add your comment


September 8th, 2010
12:38 pm

Marshall doesn’t care how many illegals invade the USA, we just wants his job and benefits for two more years. Plus one more chance to vote for Pelosi for Speaker.

The Ghost of Gene Talmadge

September 8th, 2010
12:45 pm

You can blah, blah, blah all you want….but there ain’t no denying one fact….a vote for Jim Marshall is a vote for Pelosi as Speaker and one less member of Congress who won’t take marching orders from the Unionized Obama crowd. Marshall for Congress = Pelosi for Speaker.

The Ghost of Gene Talmadge

September 8th, 2010
12:46 pm

A vote for that supreme ego-maniac John Barrow = another vote for Pelosi for Speaker.


September 8th, 2010
2:32 pm

A vote for Marshall is a vote for Pelosi and Obama!

southern white boy

September 8th, 2010
11:58 pm

marshall is an independent thinker, which is more than can be said for the republicans of south georgia. and i will take nancy pelosi over a phony-tanned slick lobbyist boy from ohio who hasnt had an original thought in decades.

Jayne M. Barker

September 9th, 2010
12:32 pm

Austin Scott is coming on strong in the Middle Georgia area. Marshall
will be hard to beat…Be sure and vote on 2 Nov….


September 10th, 2010
1:15 am

Every Democrat HAS to vote for Pelosi like every Republican HAS to vote for Boehner. Doing otherwise would just be thumbing his finger in Pelosi’s eye. Not smart. I believe Jim supported Stenny Hoyer’s campaign for Speaker before he bowed out.


September 13th, 2010
11:20 pm

Marshal voted 88% of the time with Pelosi. Nuff said… Throw him into Obama’s unemployment lines.


September 14th, 2010
4:13 pm

Marshall is the most experienced candidate.

James Carroll

September 14th, 2010
6:36 pm

Jim Marshall is the only Democrat I voted for last time. He’s one of the last of a rare breed, the moderate democrat. I’m tired of extremists from both sides. The loony left and the wacky right. It’s a shame both parties are so extreme that I have to choose between fascists and communists. Enough already, can we get back to just using common sense?

Jeff Trauth

September 16th, 2010
9:55 am

Fact of the matter is that Jim Marshall, while more conservative that most of his democrat counterparts, is still too liberal. He voted for the TARP! Thankfully he voted against Obamacare, but that was getting rammed down our throats anyway. What you need to ask your self is who is the most Conservative? In this case it would be Scott. I don’t like his views on Social Security, but on the issues he is conservative. Unfortunately for Marshall, a vote for him is a vote to keep Pelosi as the Speaker.


September 16th, 2010
7:55 pm

marshal voted against obomacare because his party had enough votes without him. If they needed his vote they would have it.