Your morning jolt: Amid talk of a GOP tide, 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.


More fallout from the Barnes-Deal tax fight: This morning, AJC Politifact takes on the question of whether Republican nominee for governor Nathan Deal showed all when he disclosed the cover sheets of 28 years of tax returns.

And Tom Baxter of Southern Political Report focuses on this arithmetic coincidence:

In previous years, the Deals had reported only modest capital gains, a steady income that appears to have come from his partnership in Gainesville Salvage Disposal, and losses every year – reaching a high of $82,040 in 2002 – on their farm.

But in 2006 all this was reversed. They reported $225,381 in capital gains, more than 10 times any previous filing, followed by $62,102 in capital gains in 2007. For the first time, they reported a net loss from their Schedule E (partnerships) of $233,240 (followed by losses of $53,520 in 2007 and $1 in 2008). And for the first and only time in 29 years of filings, they reported a profit from their farm, of $6,424.

Go figure that. Could the farm somehow be related to the other changes in Deal’s finances taking place at the same time? What about the very convenient pairing of $287,760 in capital gains in 2006 and 2007, with $286,760 in unprecedented losses from the partnership over the same period?

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19 comments Add your comment

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

September 8th, 2010
9:37 am

Deal’s attempt to lobby state government on behalf of his state-sanctioned salvage monopoly proves his lack of fitness for holy elected office. Whether Barnes has been put up by his fellow-traveling monied false-elite to be the beneficiary of the People’s discovery of Deal’s corruption, a write-in campaign for a Georgian of integrity for governor notwithstanding, is immaterial. Barnes, unfortunately, is clearly the lesser evil.


September 8th, 2010
9:50 am

Republicans will vote for Satan if he runs as a Republican. They always explain away corruption and vices as He/She is only human.
The devil made me do it.


September 8th, 2010
9:56 am

If I were in that district, I couldn’t vote for Austin simply cause he represents another “No” vote on everything, but I think Marshall is way off on this complaint.

green green

September 8th, 2010
10:09 am

Alas, Scott gets dinged for a little humanity. If he doesn’t go on and start obeying Regan’s 11th commandment, he ain’t gonna last long. Too bad. He’s got a temper (and an ego I’ve heard) but he thinks for himself.

See evil, hear evil, speak the truth

September 8th, 2010
10:38 am

I’ll wait until the run-off to have to vote for the “lesser of two evils.” I’ll be votting John Monds on Nov 2nd.

Jenny Lee

September 8th, 2010
11:02 am

met mr. real steal NO Deal yesterday. can’t tell if he or king roy will be better. at least we know where king roy’s loyalties lie.

[...] the airwaves in GA-8, choosing to go negative against Austin Scott, his Republican challenger, by attacking him over immigration: While I’m no fan of the GOP position on immigration and the rhetoric surrounding it, Scott [...]

[...] 30-second ad, which will begin airing on the airwaves this week, ominously warns that “times are hard, and illegal [...]

Poor Marshall

September 8th, 2010
1:03 pm

Marshall is in trouble.

If there’s one place to hit Austin Scott, it’s on his quotes supporting then-Speaker Glenn Richardson. Some of us like the fact that a politician dares to talk about and think about morals in this day and age. The (R) next to Austin’s name should carry him.

Brenda Ballard

September 8th, 2010
1:05 pm

Mr. Marshall is in for a rude wake up call. Mr. Marshall will not be re-elected!

John Jones

September 8th, 2010
1:33 pm

The 11th Commandment should be , keep your pants up fellow Republicans. Then other Republicans would have nothing to talk about.

Paddy O

September 8th, 2010
1:56 pm

humanity of stupidity? You don’t want illegals here, then you make it very uncomfortable for them to live a regular life here. Why? Because they are supposed to be living that regular life in Mexico or another South American country. I still insist that all hospitals providing indigent care be mandated to obtain an ID from the person – if it is from foreign country, then the cost of that medical care should be billed to that individuals genuine home country. Also, make it a felony punishable by 2 years in prison and a $25,000 fine to knowingly hire an person who can not prove they are citizens of this country, or are permitted to work here.

Paddy O

September 8th, 2010
1:58 pm

HOnestly, we need an “ellis island” in El Paso & other border states – to allow for LEGAL immigration – but, these people would need to forsake their previous country and assimilate – learn english, get a legal SSN.

Frank Haimer

September 8th, 2010
3:58 pm

We don’t need an “Ellis Island” in El Paso, San Antonio or anywhere else. Just shoot the illegals and stack the bodies up at the border. Soon enough, they will get the message.

Paddy O

September 8th, 2010
6:47 pm

Frank – how long you been worshiping Satan, buddy?


September 9th, 2010
9:26 am

Hey, Paddy O, what country did your ancestors come from when they came here? If you don’t know, maybe it’s because they came here illegally.

Andrew Pike

September 9th, 2010
10:10 am

That really is a stupid ad. Way to waste your money, Jim.

How about you run an ad telling us how many times YOU voted for Nancy Pelosi? Infact, how about you make an ad for BOTH times you voted for the witch!


September 9th, 2010
11:25 am

Satan – Satan – Satan
The devil made me do it.

Ryan Shakur

September 10th, 2010
12:42 pm

I wonder what documents the “settlers” produced to the natives here when they emigrated to this part of the “New World” now known as the United States. Oh yea, they didn’t…So Angry As Hell and Frank Haimer, guess that makes us all ILLEGAL…therefore: kick rocks.

@ PADDY O: you’re on target.