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Davis looks to unseat McKinney

By Jeff Emanuel

June 23, 2006

The name Cynthia McKinney is almost guaranteed to elicit a reaction of some sort from Americans across the political spectrum. Last seen attempting to justify her striking of a Capitol Hill police officer by decrying his “racism” and “inappropriate touching,” the maverick Representative from Georgia’s predominantly Democrat 4th Congressional District has rarely been out of the news during her term in office—though she has rarely been in it for good reasons. Change for the better could be on the horizon, though, as—for the first time in a decade—McKinney appears to have a serious challenger from across the aisle.

Catherine Davis, a relative newcomer to Georgia politics, has rejoined the race for the 4th District seat (she ran in 2004 and lost, but in a far less anti-McKinney climate), citing McKinney's "dismal legislative record and her outrageous behavior,” which she calls “an embarrassment to the hard-working folks” in the district. A single parent, Davis currently serves as Sprint-Nextel’s Human Resources Manager for the South. She was educated at Tufts (graduated Magna Cum Laude in three years with a double major), and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Bridgeport.

A black Republican, Davis is conservative on nearly every issue. She is a fiscal conservative who supports the partial privatization of Social Security, as well as the scrapping of the current tax code and the IRS in favor of the Fair Tax. On immigration, she is a proponent of securing the borders first; on health care, she favors personal health savings accounts.

Education may be one of Davis’s strongest issues. A firm believer that “studying hard and getting a good education [is the] key to achieving a better, more prosperous life,” she is a strong supporter of charter and home schools, and favors vouchers and tax credits to assist in school choice. Perhaps most importantly, Davis is a stable, sensible professional who does not have a track record of her mouth or her actions getting her in hot water—making her an almost perfect anti-McKinney.

Cynthia McKinney, as usual, is almost as far left—and as nonsensical—as possible on a host of issues. She claims that “Republican priorities do not include education for our children,” saying that “federal tax cuts for the wealthy and funding for the war come at the expense of education and our children.” She decries “wasteful government spending,” but says that the “most notable” examples of this are “resources improperly devoted to the war in Iraq and corrupt and fraudulent military contractors.” A self-described proponent of “energy efficiency [and] sustainable power sources,” McKinney brags that she has “consistently voted” against drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

She is vocally anti-Bush and anti-defense; her outrageous statements regarding September 11 (“What did this administration know and when did it know it, about the events of September 11? Who else knew, and why did they not warn the innocent people of New York who were needlessly murdered?”) and the Iraq war (“Thousands of Iraqis, especially children, have been killed by our sanctions and our bombs...[but] destroying Iraq isn't enough for them”) are well-documented. Her anti-American rhetoric, which could be mistaken for that of Hugo Chavez himself, includes gems like this one: “Democracy in Venezuela, India, Spain, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay has produced proud people willing to stand up to US imperialism, coup attempts, and destabilization of their countries. And the good news is that this resistance will spread.” She has followed up with such mind-boggling assertions as “George Bush came to power by stopping democracy at home—denying the opportunity to vote to blacks and Latinos in Florida,” and, “in countries like Haiti where democracy was thriving, [the American government] arrested President Aristide at gunpoint and forced him out of his own country.” To quote loosely from the fairytale film The Princess Bride, when the Dread Pirate Roberts was engaged in a Battle of Wits with the Sicilian, Vizzini: truly, she has a dizzying intellect.

Almost two-thirds of the Economics portion of McKinney’s website is dedicated to decrying “Pentagon fraud, waste, and abuse” and the “shameful contracting practices of the Bush Administration,” which is especially grave in its “treatment of…minority business owners.” She is a staunch supporter of Title IX, the 1972 law which imposed sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal funding, requiring them to cut programs for males if there was a higher percentage of male participation than the percentage of males in the student body.

McKinney has an eyebrow-raising record of sponsored legislation, from the Tupac Shakur and Martin Luther King, Jr. records release Acts, to a resolution “reaffirm[ing] the continued importance and applicability of the Posse Comitatus Act,” to a resolution “opposing any agreement between” the US and Nigeria to “deploy United States Armed Forces to Nigeria.” Worthy causes all, to be sure, and issues which are on the front burner of concern for all Americans.

The most intriguing part of McKinney’s campaign outreach platform—and one which has received prominent positioning on her website—has to be her self-described status as “a strong advocate, mentor and supporter of the Hip-Hop community.” She credits her “unique popularity among the members of the Hip-Hop generation” for her becoming a “trusted voice on behalf of producers, retailers and consumers of Hip-Hop entertainment.” She cites the “potential of the Hip-Hop community” to “evolve into one of the strongest movements on behalf of social justice and community development.” As her website claims, “Congresswoman McKinney is responsible for special outreach to the Hip Hop community and supports their efforts to run for office and become policymakers for today and tomorrow.” It would appear that rappers such as Kanye West (of “George Bush doesn't care about black people” fame), Fifty Cent (who filmed a DVD to “take viewers inside his X-rated hip-hop lifestyle”), and others currently have a friend in Congress, and a supporter should they ever decide to run for office.

Cynthia McKinney has proved beatable in the past, losing the 2002 4th District primary to fellow Democrat Denise Majette (her father attributed the loss to the fact that "Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-E-W-S.") Whether she is beatable by a Republican—even a black one—remains to be seen.

"While in the past simply being a Democrat was enough to get you elected," says Davis, "I believe the voters of the 4th are shifting and they're looking for leadership. I also believe that they are tired of the talking loud and saying nothing—antics that the current congresswoman has engaged in." It will be interesting to see if Catherine Davis is correct, and Georgia’s predominantly Democrat 4th District is ripe for Republican picking—or if McKinney’s constituents are resigned to sending her back to Washington for a seventh term.

Jeff Emanuel, a Special Operations military veteran, studies Classics at the University of Georgia. He is also a contributing editor for conservative web log, and is a columnist for the Athens, GA Banner-Herald newspaper.

Copyright © 2006

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