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Barton visits B&G Club

Congressman Joe Barton gave the children at the Ennis Boys and Girls Club a lesson in politics Wednesday evening.
Warming up the crowd, Barton asked the kids to raise their hands when their age group was called. He got a laugh when he rose his hand for the “over 10” group.
“I’m 59,” he said. “That’s old, old.”
After he got their attention, Barton began to talk about the upcoming Boys and Girls Club election. The candidates, Camerion Perry and Ciara Manuel introduced themselves. The election will take place Tuesday, the same as the national election. He asked the children about the campaign, and then gave advice for aspiring politicians.
“Here’s the key to electoral success,” Barton said. “People usually vote for the person they like the best. Both of the candidates here need to be really nice to everyone.”
After talking about the Boys and Girls Club election, Barton moved on to the national election.
“Next Tuesday, when you all are voting here, we are going to have a big election for the next president,” he said.
He asked the children if they knew who the candidates were. They answered Obama and McCain. He told them that each candidate represents a political party, and that each party shares the same outlook on issues that affect the country.
He told the kids about the important issues of this election. The issues are the economy, the war in Iraq and energy prices. He said when their parents and grandparents vote Tuesday, they would probably vote for the candidate whose positions on the issues are similar to their own. He then discussed the issues of the Boys and Girls Club election with the children.
He told the kids he is a congressman and Barton asked them if they knew what a congressman does. After a few wrong answers, one child said that congressmen pass laws.
“You have the president who is the boss, and he is like the manager,” he said. “Then you have the congress, who pass the laws the president enforces.”
A congressman passes laws he or she believe will help people, he said.
After telling the kids about what a congressman does, he pulled out two cards and asked them which one they thought was more important. Both cards had his name on them.
The first card was an American Express platinum credit card. The second card was an official congressional voting card. Barton said he puts the card in the voting machine when he votes on laws.
Some kids said the credit card was more important, others said the voting card. Barton said the voting card was more important because there are only 435 of them and each card represents about 650,000 people. Each card also has the voting power to spend about $2.5 trillion, he said. In order to get a voting card, you must be elected, he said.
After his talk, the students had some questions of their own. One child asked for whom Barton was voting. Barton explained the difference between the candidates, and said he was voting for McCain.
“I run as a republican, and McCain is the republican candidate,” he said. “So I’m going to vote for McCain. I could give you a lot of reasons, but for this group, I’ll say it’s because we both represent the Republican Party.”
The next question was whether it was OK to vote for one’s self. Barton responded if you don’t vote for yourself, why should anyone else?
Another child asked about the main difference between the Democrat and Republican parties. Barton said the main difference is that democrats are more willing to have the government intervene and the republicans support individual opportunity without government intervention.
The next question was if Barton supported the war in Iraq.
“I do support the war,” he said. “I want to defeat the terrorists. I know a lot of people have been killed, but we are winning the war.”
Another question was if Osama bin Laden had been captured.
“I think we’ve killed him, but that hasn’t been publicly stated,” Barton said. “I think we bombed a cave he was hiding in. I don’t know for sure, but that’s my hunch.”
Perhaps the most important message Barton wanted to deliver was that people should learn about the issues and candidates before making a decision about who to vote for.
“This is a free country, and people can vote for whomever they want to,” Barton said. “They can also choose not to vote, but we hope they will.”

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Posted by on Oct 31 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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