Monday, December 31, 2007

Campaign Update: 2007 a Fantastic Year

2007 was a fantastic year and a great start to my campaign. Three months ago I launched my candidacy for Congress in Georgia’s First District. My campaign has earned tremendous public support, political backing and media interest in its initial stages. I have traveled to and gained support in all 25 counties of the First District. Powerful groups such as the Democratic Party of Georgia, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Leadership Council and Labor Organizations are supporting my campaign. More than 50 media outlets have reported my story, ranging from county newspapers to regional television stations to national blogs. Roll Call, the top newspaper on Capitol Hill, is calling me one of the “most credible” Congressional challengers of 2008. My military and teaching background, common-sense values and People First governing philosophy are resonating. During my travels throughout South Georgia, citizens tell me they want fresh ideas and a new face representing them in Washington. They say my 23-year Army career has prepared me to defend us from terrorism and to lead America toward winning the peace in Iraq. They like my ideas to cut taxes, stop illegal immigration, reform the Veterans Administration and create the South Georgia Alternative Energy Initiative, making our region a national leader for the research and production of agri-fuel, solar and other alternative energies. The fight has just begun, however. I ask for your continued support and encouragement in 2008. Join me in bringing a winning strategy to U.S. foreign policy. Join me in bringing substantial economic growth to South Georgia. Together, we can make our community a better place to live, work and enjoy life.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Plumbers and Pipefitters 177 Give Endorsement

The United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 177 has given me their official endorsement in the First Congressional District election. The organization, known as a community leader, represents plumbers and pipefitters in the Brunswick area. It is the first official endorsement for a candidate by an organization in the 2008 election. E.D. Gornto, Business Manager for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 177, said in a statement: "From military and veteran issues to environmental and working family issues, Bill Gillespie shows the new leadership we desperately need in South Georgia.” I am honored to have the support of the plumbers and pipefitters. Each day these hard-working people bring much prosperity to South Georgia that benefits us all. I pledge to stand up for them and all working families as your Congressman.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why I am Running for Congress

This is a special time for all Americans. The holiday season brings most people to a great place of reflection, thanksgiving and community. I want to make sure that we remember the 160,000 deployed soldiers and their families during the holiday season. There service is much appreciated and is necessary to keep our hopes, dreams and constitutional democracy alive and well. I would also like to take the time to let the good people in the area know why I am running for Congress in the 1st Congressional District of Georgia. I have the requisite skills and background to be an exceptional Congressional representative. We are at a critical crossroads in American and world history; we need leadership, not extreme partisanship and demagoguery. I am a proven values-based leader, problem-solver and communicator. I am an idealist, not an ideologue. I am a patriot, informed citizen and a Christian. I am very proud of all three, especially when they work in concert with each other. I believe in service above self. I put people first. I like common sense, reason, fiscal responsibility, moderation and hard-fought compromise. Government cannot solve all our problems. Government must be accountable, trustworthy, transparent and make timely decisions. I am a strong supporter of the Bill of Rights, especially the 4th Amendment, which protects our privacy and individual liberties. I dislike wasteful taxes, so at worst they should be fair, simple, transparent and put to good use. I believe a politician can represent 100% of the people, and that government can be in synergy with capital investors, business and workers. All good things flow from business. However, capitalism must stay in balance with democracy and be fair to working America. Currently it is not. I served 23 years in the Army. I thoroughly enjoyed my time as an Army Officer. I had great jobs, advanced educational opportunity, traveled the world, and worked with awesome soldiers and leaders -- all while serving my country. I served as a Professor at West Point, an Army level Inspector General, and was Chief of Staff of the 3rd Infantry Division Rear Command Post. I deployed the Rear Command Post to war in Iraq. During the 2003 invasion, I served as the Senior Logistician for Material and Distribution Management, supporting well over 30,000 warfighters. We gave the soldiers the right stuff, at the right time and at the right place! This is one of my proudest life accomplishments! Unfortunately, things are not always as they appear. I was very disappointed in the strategic planning and execution of the invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. Hindsight speaks volumes. I retired prematurely due to the mess, and I want to share my concerns and the foibles. We did not have the personnel, equipment, ammo and resources for success. I saw first-hand the ramifications of poor and manipulated intelligence. I served proudly on the DMZ in Korea and the East Germany border during the Cold War, and through Desert Storm, but this current conflict has tarnished American integrity, freedom, justice and American prestige worldwide. My loved profession has been misused. Rubber-stamping politicians who did not do their “due diligence” should be retired. Those that approved and executed the invasion and occupation have failed. They must not be involved in winning the peace. I am ready to bring the military home within the next two years. It is time to let the Iraqis take responsibility. In conclusion, I will champion a smart values based platform that advances our values and improves our Georgia, which includes economic growth and job sector expansion by making South Georgia the national leader in clean technology and renewable energy. We must be prepared for the global economy and put America first. Our children must no longer be economic migrants, forced to leave our communities to find employment. I will advance education to meet the needs of the 21st century; as well as improve the healthcare industry, and reform and improve the Veterans Administration. Military heroes have earned the right to simple and assessable healthcare. I will make a priority solving the huge problem of illegal immigration into South Georgia and America. Lastly, I want to preserve, conserve and sustain our beautiful coast, rural farmland and resources. I was brought up believing the Earth was God's footstool, and that we need to be good stewards for his creation. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and prosperous new year! I wish you all great joy in your reflections, thanksgiving and family time. I would like to lead you to prosperity in the global economy, and to safety in an unstable world. I ask you to vote your values and self-interests in 2008. People First!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Go VSU, Lowndes and Ware Football Teams

The 1st Congressional District sure can play great football! Valdosta State defeated California (Pa.) 28-24 to advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship game Saturday in Florence, Alabama. The Blazers face Northwest Missouri State in the championship game. Congratulations as well to Lowndes High School and Ware County High School, who are playing for state championships this weekend. Lowndes hosts North Gwinnett in the 5A Championship, and Ware hosts Northside Warner Robins for the 4A title. Of note, Camden County High School and Clinch County High School both advanced to the state semifinals this year. Good luck to all! Bring back three championships to South Georgia. I'm a big football fan, and even played the sport in my youngers days. I'm wearing the #19 jersey in this picture taken when I played in the Army.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Federal Debt Expanding $1.4 Billion Daily

The Associated Press is reporting the federal debt now stands at $9.13 trillion, and is expanding by $1.4 billion a day and nearly $1 million a minute. Wow. Click here to read the news article. That's almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States. Simply put: our government is overspending and our country's economic growth is too slow. The result is not only a budget in the red but one that throws money down the drain. In order to fulfill the government's out-of-control spending appetite, we are barrowing money, and each year we must pay the interest on these debts. Last year the interest payments on the federal debt totaled a whopping $430 billion, ranking it the fourth-highest component of national spending behind Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid and defense. The U.S. government actually pays in interest four times more than it spends on education. Our leaders in Washington have failed us. Republicans, including District 1 Congressman and Appropriations Committee member Jack Kingston, who for most of the decade completely controlled the goverment, have recklessly shunned fiscal responsibility. The federal debt has grown by almost 100 percent, up from $5.7 trillion, since President Bush took office in January 2001. When elected to Congress, I will work hard for a balanced budget that spends only what America can afford. I will also focus on growing our economy, which in itself reduces the federal debt. I will pass legislation that makes America the global leader in alternative energy research, development and production, and makes South Georgia the center of this effort.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Featured Event: Lowndes Co. Democrats Dinner

It was very nice to meet more fantastic folks down in the Valdosta area tonight at the Lowndes County Democratic Party Dinner & Monthly Meeting. Click here to view a few pictures from the event. Each time I visit Lowndes County I become more impressed with how seriously people take politics and the interests of their community. I am not surprised though. Institutions such as Valdosta State University, Moody Air Force Base and many others have created a vibrant, intelligent and diverse community. I look forward to visiting Lowndes County often in the next year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

South Georgia's Alternative Energy Economy

It's imperative that America reduce its dependence on foreign oil and other energies. The fact that we are so dependent on foreign sources is a supreme failure by our government. Alternative energies must be developed and made in America to cure this problem. One of my first legislative proposals as Congressman will be the 'South Georgia Alternative Energy Initiative' - which will make our region the national leader for alternative energy research, production and commercialization. South Georgia is an ideal place for producing agri-fuel, wind, solar, biomass and other alternative energies. Click here to see our community's alternative energy resources. America must and ultimately will move forward with developing alternative energies, and some place will benefit from this. I want that place to be South Georgia.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes to all this Thanksgiving holiday. I am looking forward to spending time with my family, and I hope everyone is able to do the same. As citizens of the United States, we certainly have much to be thankful for. When elected to Congress, I will fight to protect our nation and our freedoms, and pledge to always put people first in my decision-making. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Networking in Washington D.C.

This past weekend I traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss my campaign with several powerful national political groups. The feedback and support was tremendous. I introduced myself to key leaders representing groups such as military veterans, teachers and conservationists. Their response to my background, values and goals for South Georgia and America were phenomenal. In addition, I discussed policy proposals with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and President Bruce Reed. The DLC is particularly excited about my legislative ideas to create jobs via the research and production of alternative energies. Lastly, I met with the staff at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), who are being helpful to my campaign. The DCCC likes my work-experience, honesty and energy. They believe I can win the First Congressional District seat with proper financial and volunteer support from the community. I believe this too, and I will be working each day to earn the support of South Georgians.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Thank You To Our Brave Veterans

Freedom is not free. A price has been paid by countless Americans and their families to secure our country, Constitution and liberties -- as well as save Europe, defeat Communism and protect the globe from terrorist threats. Today I encourage everyone to thank America's veterans for their courageous service. Without these fine men and women, our world would certainly be a different place. I am a proud veteran. When elected to Congress, I pledge to stand up strong for the veterans of South Georgia and our nation. I will work to ensure all veterans get the benefits they were promised when they enlisted. I will also work to improve veterans benefits by legislating better access to healthcare, increased educational opportunites and more family-focused programs. On this Veterans Day, I say thank you to my military friends, family members and all the others who have served or are serving now.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Featured Event: Savannah Labor Meeting

Tonight I was thrilled to speak to members of the Savannah Regional Central Labor Council. One of the top reasons I want to be a Congressman is so I can fight for working families, who are not getting a fair deal. Too many jobs are being sent overseas. Taxes are high. Illegal immigrants are decreasing wages. Corporate America has too much power. The middle-class, the backbone of our country, is shrinking. Click here for job loss statistics in Georgia. Even though I grew up in a union family, I do not think these statements are biased. This is simply reality in 2007 America. As a Congressman, I will make it a priority to fight for every piece of legislation that benefits working families, especially bills to lower taxes, stop illegal immigration and encourage companies to keep jobs in the country. I also support the Employee Free Choice Act. Thank you Savannah CLC for the opportunity to speak to your members and I look forward to seeing you again.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Watch My 30-Minute TV Camden Interview

People living in Camden County have the chance this week to watch a 30-minute interview discussing my background and campaign. The interview, conducted by TV Camden, is part of the station's popular public affairs program Friendly Fire. There are plenty of opportunities to catch the interview, too. The show airs each day this week, October 29-November 3. Check your local listing for exact times.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Featured Event: Glynn Co. Lowcountry Boil

A nice crowd turned out tonight for the Glynn County Democratic Party Lowcountry Boil. I enjoyed meeting so many informed citizens. I share your concerns about Glynn County. It's Superfund Sites must be cleaned up as soon as possible. Research shows that these sites, which are uncontrolled or abandoned places where hazardous waste is located, are affecting local ecosystems. They are health hazards which have been ignored by government officials. Click here for information on Superfund Sites. Second, the Port of Brunswick should be getting more funding to ensure its continued growth and safety. The port serves as the economic engine of the community, and should receive the funding required to sustain future growth and safety. Lastly, conservation must take place to protect Glynn County from overdevelopment. The county's location and landscape are very attractive to a variety of development interests. Conservation and the encouragement of 'sustainable development' are key to preserving the community. As Congressman, I will lead efforts to achieve these important goals for Glynn County, as well as many other initiatives.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Featured Event: Wiregrass Democrats Rally

Nearly 100 people attended today's Wiregrass Democrats Rally in Tifton, Georgia. Click here to watch a video of the event. You can also click here for pictures. I had a wonderful time talking with voters, and I was honored to be the featured speaker along with Congressman Jim Marshall. Thank you to John Tibbetts and Danita Knowles for organizing a superb event. Both of these great people are former State Representative candidates who really know their South Georgia politics.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Campaign Kickoff BBQ Huge Success

Welcome to my new blog! For the past 60 days I have been exploring a candidacy for Georgia's First Congressional District. During this time I traveled to all 25 counties of the district meeting with citizens and discussing their issues. My values, military and educational background and vision for South Georgia and America really connected with people. I am excited to say that due to strong support, not only from Democrats but from Republicans and Independents, I am now an OFFICIAL Candidate for the First Congressional District! I made my official announcement on Sunday during a Campaign Kickoff BBQ at my home on Tybee Island. You can watch a video of the party and my speech, or view pictures of the event. I also held a Press Conference on Monday in Valdosta announcing my decision. Media outlets across Georgia reported the story. Some of the highlights include an article in the Valdosta Daily-Times, a television feature on WCTV CBS and a radio interview on WLYU 100.9 FM. I look forward to corresponding with voters here on this blog. Please post your comments on the issues, this election and the political scene. I will be making posts and checking for comments regularly. Let's make this blog a smart, fun and open forum for ideas!