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Edwards seeks 6th term in Congress race against Farley

Oct. 27, 2000

Republican Ramsey Farley is trying to be the first person to take away Representative Chet Edwards' seat in the U.S. Congress, but it won't be easy.

Edwards has represented the 11th Congressional District of Texas since 1991, despite the district's historically pro-Republican voting tendency.

'Despite its GOP leanings, it has continued to send Democrats to the House, albeit more conservative Democrats than in years past. Rep. Edwards remains popular here and continues to win with high percentages.

'With no major contender filing to take on Edwards in 1998, the incumbent got a free ride,' according to, an on-line magazine covering Washington politics.

Edwards has represented Central Texans in government, for prior to being elected in to the House in 1990, he was a state senator for eight years. Edwards' contributions to the Waco area have been fighting for the Lake Waco hike and bike trail and bringing defense contracts from Raytheon E-System, which provide local jobs.

Farley, a retired oil man from Temple, now serves on the Temple Independent School District Board of Trustees and is chairman of the City of Temple Charter Review Committee. He also served as the Bell County co-chairman for Gov. Bush's successful re-election campaign.

Farley was Texaco USA Division vice president and was director of technology for Texaco before his early retirement in 1995.

Here's a quick rundown of the candidates' stances

on some key issues:

*Abortion: Farley supports banning partial birth abortion. Edwards voted 'no' on HR 1218 banning partial birth abortions; however, in a recent Waco Tribune-Herald article, Edwards said, 'The truth is I strongly oppose late-term abortions. But I believe when the mother's health is at risk, that is a decision that should be made by a woman and her doctor, and not by politicians in Washington, D.C.'

*School choice: Edwards voted 'no' on HR 2746 which would make available vouchers for private and parochial schools. Farley supports local control of education. In the Tribune-Herald article, Farley said, 'We need some limited federal oversight in education, but I think the money should be block-granted back to the states and the local school boards.'

*Gun control:

The candidates will have a chance to discuss their respective platforms at a debate hosted by the Veterans Advisory Council to be held next week. The candidates will square off at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the VFW Hall in Killeen at 9191, 3307 Zephyr Road.

WASHINGTON -- Giving poverty-stricken students money to pay for most of the costs of their education and denying money to middle-class students, for whom it is technically possible (on paper) to fund their own expenses, imposes an unjust socializing effect on middle America.

The way the current system works is to give money to those who definitely cannot afford to pay for their own education. For those who technically can afford it, there is little to no money. The way they establish the distinction is basically by establishing an inventory of everything a given student's family owns in the way of money or goods, adding it all together and seeing if there is any way for them to afford payment.

The problem here is that most families have much more 'stuff' than they have actual money in the bank. The university sees that a family owns a house and two cars, plus much other stuff to fill the house and not much money in the bank because most of the income goes to mortgage payments and food and taxes and bills and whatever else.

This family, according to the university, can afford to pay for the college education of its child or children because the house and cars together are worth enough to take care of the expenses. Indeed, taking account of everything I own and the income of my whole family, I can afford to pay for my own education. So can most of us. But is this even remotely fair? By the end of our college years, every one of us who comes here, regardless of our families' economic classes, will leave with the same status. Everyone will be poor.

We have to re-evaluate what we want to achieve in our financial aid programs. There are better ways to use socialist principles to achieve funds for a university that make more sense than what we have now. Maybe we all ought to pay the same amount from what we have. We might set a percentage of money from the total financial worth of every student's family that they ought to pay for their education. A poor family pays little, a rich family pays much, but percentage- wise, it's all relative.

We must decide either that we ought to have to pay out-of-pocket for the college educations of our own families' children, or that education is a service that ought to be funded by the state. The latter leads to socializing education entirely, the former provides us no pragmatic outlet for funding education entirely on our own, and any happy medium will lead us to where we are now with a de facto socialist effect plaguing what is a program with genuinely good intentions.

What are we going to do about it? You tell me.

(This article originally appeared in Georgetown University's The Hoya. )