Shows, Cooksey: It’s time to move beyond election

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2000

The emergence of a clear winner in the long and controversial presidential election means America should be ready to move forward in a non-partisan way, said U.S. Rep. Ronnie Shows, D-Miss.

&uot;With a new Congress and a new president come new opportunities that we must not dwindle away,&uot; Shows said from his office in Washington, D.C.

&uot;I’m a team player, and I represent all of our district,&uot; he said. &uot;I’m ready to get busy and do something about all the issues I discussed during the election.&uot;

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U.S. Rep. John Cooksey, R- Monroe, believes George W. Bush will &uot;reach out&uot;&160;to Democrats and independents and unify the nation.

&uot;Governor Bush recognized that the country was divided before the race began, and the main theme of his campaign was bring the country together,&uot;&160;Cooksey said.

&uot;So he is sensitive to the needs of our country, particularly the needs of the weakest members of our society, those who need better health care, better education and more retirement security,&uot; he added. &uot;I&160;think he is the type of man we need as president at this time.&uot;

Shows said he expects to focus on bills to assist military retirees, to improve health-care options and, perhaps most important, to pay down the national debt and give all Americans a moderate tax cut.

Convinced that Democrats and Republicans can work together, Shows said that &uot;allegiance to our nation comes before allegiance to a party.&uot;

As a member of the caucus calling themselves &uot;blue-dog&uot; Democrats, Shows said he hopes all moderate members of Congress can work together. &uot;In both parties, the two extremes have had too much power, the liberal left and the conservative right,&uot; he said.

Blue-dog Democrats vote according to issues, he said, as opposed to &uot;yellow-dog&uot; Democrats who toe the party line regardless of the issue.

In a closely divided House and Senate, the conservative to moderate Democrats have an opportunity to make a difference, he said.

&uot;We have a clean slate. With guys like us in the middle, we can get some work done,&uot; Shows said. &uot;I think we’re put here for a purpose, and I intend to work just as hard for my Republican constituents as for the Democrats in the 4th District.&uot;

The leader of the Congressional blue-dog Democrats is Texas Rep. Charles Stenholm of Abilene, who has been mentioned frequently as a possible Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush Administration.

&uot;You could not have a better man for that job,&uot; Shows said. &uot;Republicans and Democrats alike know you couldn’t do better than Charlie Stenholm.&uot;

Stenholm visited Mississippi last summer, Shows said. &uot;I took him to a tree farm in Lincoln County, the first tree farm he had seen.&uot;

Shows keeps a close eye on farming issues, he said, because of the heavily agricultural economy in southwest Mississippi.

&uot;We’re the cream pitcher of Mississippi,&uot; he said. &uot;We produce more milk than any other part of the state. &uot;Our agricultural crops in southwest Mississippi are valued at half a billion dollars.&uot;

Shows said he has good wishes for the president-elect and hopes Bush will be successful.

&uot;I join with millions of Americans in congratulating (him) and wishing him success.

&uot;I am convinced that this new chapter soon to start in our history must be one of unprecedented bipartisanship.&uot;

Shows, a native of Jones County, is a former state senator and state transportation commissioner. He was elected to his second term in Congress this year.