Oxendine, Georgia Fire Safety and Insurance Commissioner, is running as a Republican for in the 2010 election for Governor of Georgia. Current Gov. Sonny Perdue cannot run for re-election due to term limits.
Oxendine spoke to the members of the Polk County Republican Party, elected officials, students and other guests at an 8:30 a.m. reception at the Cedartown Public Library. Oxendine spoke on a variety of goals for the state should he be elected governor, including a propose school voucher system and new investments in the state’s highway transportation system.
School vouchers would allow tax money to follow each student, including those whose parents chose to enroll them in private schools and church schools.
“Competition is one of the greatest gifts God has given us,” Oxendine said. “We should use it.”
Oxendine said the public schools would benefit from robust competition from private schools. It would force the public schools to do some of the things administrators have been reluctant to do without that competition, he said.
For example, Oxendine said the public schools are too “top heavy” with administrative personnel. He argued that school systems need to adequately support and fund their teachers, because teaching students is the whole purpose of the education system. Fund the teachers, and if cuts have to be made, cut at the top, he said.
“You can get by without a superintendent,” Oxendine said. “You can’t get by without the teachers.”
Oxendine also spoke about expanding the Highway 27 corridor for use as a major transportation route for industry. His proposal would create a kind of super bypass of Atlanta. It would connect back to I-75 in South Georgia near Newnan.
He also is for downsizing state government. Oxendine claims that his department has gone to a near “paperless office” environment, which allowed him to cut staff without cutting services.
“My office today has 31 percent fewer state employees than we had 15 years ago,” Oxendine said.
The state’s current budget crunch is a result of reduced revenue, Oxendine agreed. But the state also has “a spending problem” and that needs to be addressed by a strong leader committed to rooting out inefficiency, he said.
“I have often said we need a governor who is prepared not to be re-elected,” Oxendine said, responding to audience questions about his platform. “I want to be re-elected. But I’m prepared not to be.”
Running on a platform of “Strong, Conservative, Values,” Oxendine distributed brochures listing the 12 points of his Contract with Georgia. They include:
Make state government smaller and more accountable by implementing zero-base budgeting;
Create a modern, 21st-century tax code (an abolish the state income tax);
Implement a comprehensive, statewide transportation system;
Actively assert that the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution belongs to the American people and not Washington politicians (powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states by the constitution of the United States are reserved to the states or the people);
Break ground on new water reservoirs;
Allow tax dollars to follow each child in the form of an education voucher … (supporting) the rights of parents to decide how to best educate their children;
Create an educational model which eliminates process micromanagement at the state level (maintain local control but ensure accountability);
Aggressively support legislation which protects and preserves human life from conception to death;
Fight for less government restrictions on where law abiding and permitted citizens can carry a firearm;
Protect taxpayers by defending the integrity of Georgia’s borders through upholding and enforcing immigration laws;
Implement focused domestic and international economic development that targets our efforts on the recruitment of industries for which “Georgia is a talent and resource fit;”
Work with the governors of other states to strongly encourage Congress to adopt The Fair Tax.