05/01/08 — Adame stumps for Democratic nod for 3rd District seat in U.S. House

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Adame stumps for Democratic nod for 3rd District seat in U.S. House

By Steve Herring
Published in News on May 1, 2008 1:57 PM

A Democratic candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat held by Republican Walter B. Jones told the Wayne County Democratic Party Executive Committee Monday night no matter who is chosen in the primary the party needs to come together to unseat the Republican candidate in the fall.

Marshall Adame will face Craig Webber of Morehead City in the May 6 primary. Jones is being challenged by Joe McLaughlin of Jacksonville.

Adame rapped Republicans for their handling of the Iraq War, deficit spending, trampling civil liberties and favoring big business and the rich over the average citizen. He chided those in power for being "out of touch" with the people they are supposed to be representing.

He said that every meeting he has been to while campaigning has been opened with prayer and the pledge of allegiance.

"The Republican Party has convinced the American people that Democrats don't even believe in God and we let them," he said. "You can't be walked on unless you are lying down. I can tell you, the Democrats are not lying down anymore."

Adame, who is from Jacksonville, is a retired Marine who served in Vietnam. He worked in the Kuwait recovery in 1992 following the first Gulf War. He went to Iraq in 2003 where he was the U.S. Coalition airport director for Basrah International Airport. In 2005, he received a U.S. State Dept. diplomatic appointment and was a U.S. advisor to the Iraqi minister of interior.

It was while serving as a diplomat that he received word that one of his two sons -- both of whom were soldiers serving in Iraq -- had been wounded. As a senior diplomat at the embassy, a helicopter was dispatched to take him to his son. He said that he was on the aircraft that he decided he had not done everything he needed to. In addition, what needed to be done could not be accomplished in Iraq, he said. Adame decided to return home to Jacksonville and run for Congress.

"The war is bleeding the economy," Adame said. "More than one trillion dollars have been spent -- not one penny of which was budgeted. Every penny spent in Iraq was borrowed. We borrowed it from the Chinese people who don't wish us very well. We have borrowed from the Saudis and we are practically the slaves of Saudi Arabia."

He said the current administration has plunged the nation into debt wiping out a $270 billion surplus.

"The Middle East is controlling a lot of what we do in America today and this administration has made it so," he said. "We had a balanced budget when he (President Bush) took office. It went quickly and not just after 911, it started immediately. They went on a spending spree and put us $10 trillion in debt. Our kids cannot get education money any more. We cannot get money to build new elementary schools or highways or bridges, but we have plenty of money to build prisons and give to the Iraq War effort. I don't understand it."

And, he added, there is work to do at home, too.

"We have lost so many jobs and this is poorest district in North Carolina," he said. "Seventeen percent of the people in the state live in poverty and 75 percent of those people live in the Third District."

"For 15 years, we have had a Republican congressman who has not done one thing to improve the economy or to address poverty or education in this state," he said. "And yet we are the seventh highest in the state in dropouts. One in every three students, especially minority males, drop out of high school. Those who get out are scratching to get money to go to college. Congress made sure a big part of the money appropriated for tuition went to the banking industry."

He also blasted a 2005 bankruptcy law, saying that for practical purposes most people, unless they are wealthy, could not file. He said the law is not fair to the middle class or the poor.

"I will work to repeal it and the Patriot Act," he said.

Adame called the Patriot Act a "document that steals from us."

"Civil rights and liberties are not at the top of the Bush agenda," he said. "He has convinced a lot of Americans that they should trade liberty for safety. Liberty is hard won. You have to fight for it. We stopped fighting and thought our leaders were doing it for us. They won't."

Adame said that people in Washington have a sense of entitlement. They do not know what it is like to struggle to make ends meet, he said. He said that as a young married Marine with children that he and his wife had experienced those struggles.

"They are not entitled to be there," he said. "We sent them there. You cannot be a good leader unless you have been a good servant. Being a good servant is highest calling, but in Washington that is gone. They have lost touch."