Sunday, November 2, 2008
Short Interview w/ Chris Huttman
DB: First of all, thank you for agreeing to this email interview.
Rep Jill Chambers is doing her best to use your website titled Chris Is Hardcore against you. I think she is banking on the thought that most people won't research your site to see it is a political blog. She first initiated what I am calling Operation Hardcore via a mailer and now a commercial. What are your thoughts on these attacks?
CH: Chris is Hardcore might be a silly name, but the site that Jill repeatedly references in her fliers and television ad was a political site that appeared numerous times in the AJC, Slate, DailyKos and many other local and national political newspapers and blogs. Chambers is running the same old scare tactics she has used before when she hoped that no one would do their own research to determine whether prior opponents were alcoholics or convicted felons (they weren't). I know that a lot of voters are sick of the overly negative manner in which she runs her campaigns, and that a lot of other people have done their own research this year. It is worked in the past though, yet I remain hopeful that the clock has run out on this type of politics in DeKalb County.
DB: Rep Chambers has the same dog and pony trick each election year. She always jumps on how long someone has lived in District 81 and portrays it that her opposition has moved to District 81 for the sole of reason of wanting political power. This year was no different in regards to the Chambers's dog and pony trick. How do you respond to such accusations?
CH: I've lived either within or about 2 miles away from what is now District 81 for 27 of my 28 years being alive. I went to elementary school with many voters that now reside in the district and graduated from Chamblee High School in 1998 in the district. In 2003, I lived in what was then District 53 (Chambers was the incumbent) before the lines were changed by the court. At that point my house was across the street from the new District 81. In 2005, when I chose to purchase my first home I bought a condo in the Chamblee mid-city district, again being located in District 81. Yet I didn't run against Chambers in 2006 which makes her attack look silly. Most voters that I talk to are excited that younger people such as myself who grew up in the area choose to make it their home later in life. Jill knows her attack is untrue, yet again is counting on the voters not being smart enough to do their own research beyond her mail pieces. I've chosen to run my campaign in a different way which respects the intelligence of our voters by focusing on issues and Chambers's legislative record and what I would do differently, not the rental and ownership history of the other candidate over the past 10 years.
DB: People have the impression that it is a battle of Democrats vs. Republicans under the dome. While that is true to an extent, I gathered during the short time I worked with Rep Chambers, that the battle is more between Metro-Atlanta Reps and Non Metro-Atlanta Reps. Are you going to cross the the party aisle as well as the geographic aisle, and how do you plan to do it?
CH: Yes. One of the contentions that I make in my campaign is that people like Jill Chambers sing a moderate story in the district but for the most part go along with the much more conservative leadership on 9 out of 10 issues when they are in the Capitol. I feel like if I am able to win, that would send a message to the other moderate Republicans in the legislature from metro Atlanta that it is time to actually stand up for the moderate part of that equation and stand down to the party when they are wrong. If elected, I plan on working across party lines to build coalitions so that the work of the General Assembly can focus on the problems this state has regardless of region, but I also believe that metro Atlanta's problems are neglected much more than the rest of the state and so a neutral approach would actually benefit places like District 81.
DB: The rumor mill says in '09 a bill will introduced to deny gay couples the right to adopt in Georgia. What are your thoughts on such a bill? If such a bill is introduced, can the LGBT community count on you to vote against it?
CH: I'd be 100% against the bill and would also work to build coalitions across party lines to fight it. The bill is un-necessary and another example of the majority Republicans defaulting to divisive social issues to distract the voters in the state from their failure at managing state government.
DB: And because I am curious, who are your political role models?
CH: I am a big fan of former Gov. Roy Barnes, who I believe was a little before his time for our state. Growing up I admired the way that Bill Clinton put aside partisanship and ideology in how he governed and took more of a reasoned approach that looked at issues using facts and the counsel of experts to make governing decisions. I'm hopeful that a President Obama would act in the same way so that one day almost any Democrat can say he's a political role model for them as well.
DB:A few months ago, I emailed Rep Chambers with an invite to a blog-project. I never received a response from her, so I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview, and I hope if you're elected, you'll still stay connected with the citizens of District 81.
CH: Thanks, if elected I plan on doing a lot of communication with constituents and blogger/journalists through the internet.