Questioning donation

Published 2:33 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

I am a business owner here in Georgia and have a sister and brother-in-law that are farmers.

I wanted to voice my extreme displeasure in Southwest Georgia Farm Credit’s recent donation to Sanford Bishop’s PAC via the recent golf tournament and accompanying photo opportunity of Bishop receiving the check. Regardless of the logic and reasoning that Farm Credit may want to put forward as justification for this contribution, the end result is that Farm Credit is endorsing someone that has abandoned the entire Second District, including farmers, through what I’ve termed as a “de facto” endorsement. This was extremely poor taste and a slap in the face to our farmers.

I have always thought a lot of Farm Credit, but it’s completely insane that Farm Credit would have to buy access to our U.S. representative. This was the reasoning for the contribution to Bishop’s PAC presented to me by Farm Credit’s staff. I am ashamed of Farm Credit for flying this photo op and donation in the face of our farmers.

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The people of the Second District have formed a grassroorts network filled with hundreds and hundreds of local people via facebook, e-mail lists, etc., including farmers, and they are very upset with Farm Credit’s decision. The very least that it could do to resolve this situation would be to make a matching contribution to Bishop’s opponent, but if I have been informed correctly, it has chosen not to do so. By making its decision, Farm Credit has chosen to become partisan and support a candidate regardless of his treatment of our farmers and in spite of his arrogance and self-imposed entitlement to his political office.

Realize that there is no such thing as indecision in this matter. You either choose to do the right thing or you choose to do nothing, which is the wrong thing.

There are two different dynamics in play here. One involves paying for political access to a congressman and the resulting ramifications of that choice, and the other involves the fact that Farm Credit is only in business because it has customers. When you do something that tremendously upsets a significant portion of your customer base, common sense would dictate that you listen to your customer base rather than ignore them. The people of the Second District have been ignored for far too long, and I can assure you that we are in the process of standing up and taking action about it.

Let me close by asking you one question: How bad, unethical and/or illegal would the activities and actions of an incumbent congressman have to be in order for Farm Credit to not support that congressman?

Keith D. Sellars
Concerned Georgia Citizen