10/26/06 — Voters say war, taxes, price of oil key issues

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Voters say war, taxes, price of oil key issues

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 26, 2006 2:36 PM

Bronnie Quinn is worried about how the government is spending money.

Ed Faircloth doesn't like the way the war in Iraq is being handled.

Glenn Odom says there's got to be a better way than paying $2 and change for a gallon of gas and then getting only 20 miles to the gallon.

From the war in Iraq to illegal immigration and the price of oil, voters say they hope to make some changes at the polls Nov. 7.

More than 1,400 people have gone to the Wayne County Library and cast their ballots. This is only the second week of early voting. There's another week to go.

The polls are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 3 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 4.

Quinn has voted. He's a Democrat.

"It worries me we're spending money hand over foot, and Congress is approving it. I don't think the economy is getting down to the lower people. How many people are digging ditches and making money off stocks? How many people are working at Carolina Tractor and buying stocks?"

He said he is worried about the war. And it bothers him the U.S. is not sending anybody to talk to government officials in places like Iran, North Korea, Venezuela.

"When you have problems with people you have to talk to them. We should be talking to them. You have to have a dialogue with people," he said.

Although the president is the boss, Ed Faircloth said he feels Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "is running the show."

The person who pays for the leadership's errors in judgment in Iraq is the common man, he said.

He compared the situation to a septic tank.

"Everything flows like a septic tank, from the top to the bottom," he said.

Faircloth said he is going to vote. He always votes.

He said although he is a registered Democrat, he votes the way he wants to.

"I bet less than half the voters vote the straight Democrat or Republican ticket," he said. "I don't vote a straight ticket. I figure God gave me a brain, and I don't let a party tell me how to vote."

He said he doesn't like his television channels being taken away and replaced with Spanish-language programs -- a manifestation of his belief that something needs to be done about illegal immigration.

"If they want to come to America let (the Hispanic people) learn to speak English," he said.

Sheriff's Major Glenn Odom is Republican, but he said he's going to vote for as many Democrats as Republicans.

"I believe in voting for the man," he said.

Odom is most concerned about immigration and illegal aliens, gas prices and the war in Iraq.

"I think we should consider the people in the United States, not people who never paid taxes or contributed to the Social Security system. I don't think we need to have an open door policy. We can't provide for everybody in the world, and we're trying to do that. We need to look after our people. We need to wake up and face reality."

He said the U.S. needs to decrease its dependency on foreign oil, explore other avenues and start drilling.

"If we can put a man on the moon in a vehicle circling the atmosphere we ought to be able to make automobiles that can get more than 20 miles from a gallon of gas."

He said he feels the U.S. military should use enough force in Iraq to take care of the situation and then come home. The Iraqis are living a lifestyle that was bred into them to throw stones in the streets.

"We're not going to correct it by playing semi-peacemaker," he said.

The Rev. Harold T. Anderson of New Hope Church of God said if the U.S. had fought an old-fashioned war, "we'd have wiped them out by now."

Anderson said he considers it a privilege and honor to be able to enter a voting booth. He said he splits the ticket.

"I vote for the person I feel has the most forthrightness, honesty and integrity," he said. "It's not important to me whether they're male or female, Democrat or Republican."

As for immigration, he said he feels as long as it's legal, everybody has a right to come to America and Wayne County. But they should enter legally, he said.

He supports the president's sending troops to Iraq.

"I favor some sort of reduction, but no overnight pull-out."

Iraq is not another Vietnam like some have claimed, said Republican Party Chairman Ed Wharton. He wants the U.S. to take a stand and stick to it.

"I was there (in Vietnam). It's terrible. We have men and women fighting for our freedom, and we're out here attacking each other. If the administration is wrong, go out and get people elected who have a solution. The solution is not to pull out and run home," he said.

He said Americans need to go back to what this country was founded on -- the principles of God.

He said he believes corruption in state government has people so discouraged that some don't even bother voting. He said he knows some people who aren't even registered to vote. They tell him "there's so much dishonesty they don't even want to be a part of it. And that's both parties."

The answer is to elect honest people, he said. And for that to happen, he said "the media needs to investigate the candidates' backgrounds before doing endorsements."

Democratic Party Chairman Gaspar Gonzalez said the issues have been discussed, and now it's time for the voters to express themselves at the polls.

"There's been a lot of apathy," he said. "If they want changes, they need to go out and vote and make a decision. All the candidates are wonderful people. I have no animosity toward any candidates on either side."

Democrats and Republicans have the same feelings, he said. They're all Christians. But some of their positions are misunderstood.

Abortion, he said, is one of those stands.

"I'm not pro-abortion, but I feel people have a right to decide," he said. "This nation was created on choices. We all believe in freedom and justice for all."

Getting out and making a choice in the voting booth is the most important task, no matter which side you are on, Gonzalez said.