Hayes should’ve bucked party line

By: - August 23, 2005 5:04 am

Richmond County Daily Journal


I was very disappointed to see that Congressman Robin Hayes voted against his own convictions.

Hayes said he was strongly opposed to CAFTA and would vote against it on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. But House speaker Dennis Hastert told Hayes that if he would vote for CAFTA, he could have "whatever his district needed."

"Whatever his district needs" means dollars, your dollars and my dollars would be distributed throughout our congressional district prior to the next election. These funds are short-term help only and will not replace the jobs we have lost nor stop the loss of jobs due to Hayes’ last-minute change of votes, changing his vote not once but twice in the last four years.

North Carolina has 12 congressmen and two U.S. senators.

Ten of our congressmen voted against CAFTA and two voted for it. Hayes, and Congressman Sue Myrick voted for it. Our two senators, Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr, followed the party lines and voted for it as expected.

Hayes had said he would vote against it but last-minute promises made him the deciding factor.

Furthermore, I heard Republican Congressman Walter Jones (from Farmville) on cable news say three of the would-be CAFTA member countries wrote every member of the U.S. Congress asking them to vote against it.

There comes a time when an elected official needs to vote the best interest of his/her constituents and not just follow party lines, regardless of which party you belong to.

Shame on you, Robin Hayes.

Richard Condor

Richmond County

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Chris Fitzsimon

Chris Fitzsimon, Founder and Executive Director of N.C. Policy Watch, writes the Fitzsimon File, delivers a radio commentary broadcast on WRAL-FM and hosts "News and Views," a weekly radio news magazine that airs on multiple stations across North Carolina. [email protected] 919-861-2066