Chambliss, Martin Face Buckley Litmus Test

Friday, 14 Nov 2008 04:39 PM

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Georgia Libertarian senatorial candidate Allen Buckley wants to quiz runoff contenders Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin on fiscal policy before endorsing either man in the closely watched contest set for Dec. 2.

Buckley, who finished third in the Nov. 4 election with 3.2 percent of the vote, is being courted by the Chambliss and Martin camps, which ended with 49.8 percent and 46.8 percent, respectively.

Georgia law requires the runoff because no candidate captured 50 percent of the vote.

Buckley submitted a 10-item “commitment list” to Chambliss and Martin on Friday. The Libertarian said he would endorse whoever signs his statement.

“If both sign it, I’ll be taking another look at the whole situation.” Buckley told Newsmax. “If neither of them is willing to sign it, I probably won’t endorse either of them.

“With one exception relating to ballot access, all of the items in the commitment list were covered by my campaign,” Buckley said. “All of the items are reasonable. I’ve given both of them until the end of the day on Tuesday [Nov. 18] to answer.”

He won’t tell either side whether the other has signed until after the deadline.

Observers say capturing the 3.2 percent of the voters who backed Buckley could decide the neck-and-neck race, which is being watched nationally for its implications on party balance in the Senate. Chambliss, the GOP incumbent, is among three Republicans in still-undecided races.

He, along with Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska and Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota, are all that remain between the Democrats and a 60-seat, filibuster-proof, super-majority in the Senate.

Buckley told Newsmax he believes he could play deciding role in the race by “coming out and endorsing and campaigning for one guy over the other.”

He added, however, that a major reason he resorted to the commitment list was to get the candidates’ views before the voters. “If a candidate isn’t willing to commit to what I’ve presented here, I think the voters should really be asking themselves why should they vote for that guy,” Buckley said.

Buckley’s list asks candidates to commit to the following:

1. Beginning in October of 2010, not to vote for any unbalanced budget

2. Analyze military spending with an eye toward cutting costs and improving efficiency

3. Work with other members of Congress to re-analyze the role of the Federal Reserve.

4. Consider alternate ways to deal with drug use, including legalization, education, state regulation, etc.

5. Take immediate legislative action to help solve Social Security’s financial woes.

6. Not to vote for any legislation that provides for or permits pork or earmarks.

7. Analyze Buckley’s healthcare and Medicare proposals and the healthcare proposals of the American Medical Association.

8. Never to vote for any legislation that allows spying on American citizens without a warrant issued by a federal judge.

9. Work to reduce federal spending by at least 15 percent.

10. Preserve ballot access laws in Georgia for viable third-party candidates.

Buckley said he’s had preliminary discussion with both the Chambliss and Martin camps about the commitment list, but neither has pledged to sign on.

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