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.