Wednesday, October 15, 2008

SC ETV Holds Third Congressional District Debate: Barrett (R) vs. Dyer (D)

Watch the debate here Recorded Oct 15, 2008

Gina Smith from, "The State" entitled her story, "Barrett defends his vote on bailout"

The slumping economy grabbed the spotlight during Wednesday’s face-off between U.S. Rep. J. Gresham Barrett,

a Westminster Republican, and Democratic challenger Jane Dyer of Easley.

The two took part in a live debate sponsored by ETV and The State newspaper as part of their bids to represent Upstate

South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District.

Barrett defended his vote for the Wall Street bailout, saying it’s not a move toward socialism but a necessary move to

unlock the credit market. While Barrett voted against the initial bill, he voted in favor of a second, revised bill that

raised FDIC limits.

“People think this is a Wall Street plan. I wish it was,” Barrett said, noting the bill will help students get college

loans, businesses get credits and drivers secure car loans.

“Wall Street and Main Street are the same street,” Barrett said.

Dyer blasted Barrett as part of the Republican status quo but stopped short of saying whether she would have voted for the

financial rescue package.

“The bottom line to me is how did we get there? How did the taxpayers get to a $700 billion bailout,” said Dyer, a

commercial pilot for FedEx and Air Force veteran.

Both candidates expressed concern over the loss of textile jobs that has hurt the district, a mainly rural area that spans

the northwestern part of the Palmetto State. Much of its current economy revolves around manufacturing in Anderson and

Greenwood counties.

Dyer said new jobs could be created around alternate energy sources. “We’ve got smart people in this district, and we could

put people back to work,” Dyer said.

Barrett gave details about his plan to bring energy independence to South Carolina by, in part, building the state’s

nuclear energy capacity.

“Energy is something that South Carolina can not (only) lead the South, but lead the nation,” he said.

The two represented polar opposites on nationalizing health care.

“Do you want the same government to handle your health care who handled Katrina?” Barrett asked, referring to Hurricane

Katrina that hit New Orleans in 2005. Dyer fired back, “Sir, you are that government.”

  On Wednesday, Oct. 15, ETV and The State Newspaper bring LIVE statewide coverage of the Third Congressional District debate. The hour-long discussion between Republican incumbent J. Gresham Barrett and Democratic challenger Jane Dyer, will air statewide at 8 p.m. from ETV Upstate in Spartanburg.

Moderated by ETV's "The Big Picture" host Mark Quinn, both programs will be broadcast on all 11 ETV stations, eight ETV Radio stations and be streamed over the Internet at
In addition to the live broadcasts, ETV will provide a number of ways for electronic and print media to access and record the debates, including:

About Congressman Gresham Barrett

Congressman Gresham Barrett was sworn in as a member of the 108th Congress on January 4, 2003. As elected, he maintains his conservative base advocating military efforts, safe and secure U.S. borders, less tax burdens, energy independence, strong families and individual freedoms. Following the Congressional elections on November 7, 2006, Barrett was reinstated to his Congressional House seat and was sworn into the 110th Congress January 2007.

Upon graduating from The Citadel in 1983, Barrett achieved the rank of Captain and served in the U.S. Army Field Artillery until 1987. He understands first-hand the sacrifices made by military personnel and their families. During his first term in Congress, Barrett traveled to Iraq where he met with high ranking military officials on the ground - as well as soldiers from South Carolina who were serving in Kuwait, Baghdad and Mosul (view Iraq photo gallery). As U.S. military efforts move forward and promote change in the Middle East, Barrett believes that it is vital that the American people remain steadfast in their resolve to win the war. His continued belief is that we must fight the terrorists in the streets of Kabul and Baghdad or face them in the streets of Washington, D.C., Atlanta, G.A., or Columbia, S.C.

As a former small business owner, Barrett believes the current tax system is too burdensome and brings disadvantages to the business community, hurts job creation and causes undue stress to individual taxpayers. Immediately upon swearing into his second term in 2004, Barrett introduced legislation to create a bipartisan commission to develop a simple and fair tax reform proposal. He also introduced legislation to curb the growth in government spending making it difficult for Congress to increase spending in the future by re-imposing Pay-As-You-Go requirements. He recently voted in favor of legislation, signed by the President, which would extend certain tax relief provisions through 2007. Understanding that federal regulations stifle growth and enterprise, Barrett is committed to finding ways to reduce federal regulations, making them less costly and complicated for small business. Barrett believes by giving Americans more money in their wallet, our economy will continue to create more jobs and will increase citizens’ spending and purchasing power.

Barrett has taken the lead among the South Carolina delegation to bring a next generation nuclear reactor to the state of South Carolina to be a catalyst for an energy park on Savannah River Site. This progressive step would allow the public and private sectors to work together on future missions to support the national energy policy. Policies over the past several decades have prevented our nation from developing an energy policy that promotes exploration and self reliance; thus, our dependency on foreign sources of oil has continued to increase. Since elected to Congress, Barrett staunchly ensures that energy policies are being pursued which promote clean, alternative energy sources like hydrogen and nuclear power.

Personal responsibility, individual freedoms and strong families are top priorities for Barrett. He believes firmly in "pro-life," and that any attempt to harm or endanger the life of an innocent child is wrong. At the start of his Congressional career in Washington, D.C., he co-sponsored legislation that the President signed into law to end ‘partial-birth abortion.’ He is a dedicated defender of our civil liberties granted by the Constitution, and is concerned by any potential infringement of our rights as well as the current trend by judges to legislate from the bench. He continues to work to promote a culture of life and to ensure that traditional family values, like marriage between a man and woman, are upheld in our laws.

Currently, Barrett serves on the Budget Committee, the House Committee on Financial Services, the House Committee on International Relations and Ethics Committee. Prior to being elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2002, he managed his family-owned business, ‘Barrett’s Furniture,’ in Westminster, S.C. He then served three consecutive terms in the South Carolina State House of Representatives and served on the Education and Public Works Committee, Labor Commerce and Industry Committee and Rules Committee. He also served on the School Choice Ad Hoc Committee and as Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Urban Growth. In addition, during the 2000 Presidential election Barrett served on the ‘Bush for President’ South Carolina State Steering Committee.

Being active in the community has always been important to Barrett. Previously, he has served as President of the Westminster Rotary Club, Chairman of the Oconee County Boy Scouts, President of the Westminster Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Oconee County Red Cross, member of the Oconee Kids Do Count Board and coach of the Barrett's Furniture Pony League baseball team. Born to the late Charles G. and the late Del M. Barrett, he is a native and current resident of Westminster, South Carolina. Barrett is married to his high school sweetheart Natalie, and they are the proud parents of three wonderful children. He knows he would not be where he is today without the love and support of his family- for Barrett, family always comes first.

About Jane Dyer

Jane Dyer has truly been everywhere. “Even though I’ve traveled all over the world and all across America, I can’t imagine living anywhere but here in South Carolina.” In fact, it’s Jane’s love for the Palmetto State and her vision for its future that helped her make her decision to run for the US Congress. “We need serious change, and everywhere I go South Carolinians remind me that they expect change now.”


Jane was born to middle class parents as one of the youngest of 8 children. Jane’s parents taught her South Carolinian values like respect, integrity, and loyalty. Her parents also taught her that public service is a responsibility, and that all people have something to give back to the community.


Jane graduated from Easley High School in Pickens County, SC, and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from our own Clemson University. Jane’s leadership potential was spotted early as she received an Air Force ROTC scholarship and was selected as Clemson’s Group Commander. She was quickly singled out to receive the honor of serving her country as an Air Force pilot.


Jane embarked on a distinguished career as an Air Force pilot, leading thousands who needed her guidance. While she devoted herself to the leadership of others in service to our country, Jane met John Dyer, himself a retired Air Force pilot. The two were married on July 13, 1985. Jane and John share the joy of caring for a total of four children, each having been raised with hearts for service.

When Jane completed her Air Force service, she and John and their (new born baby) moved back to Anderson County. ( Both of their )younger children attended public school in Anderson County and both earned the distinction of Eagle Scout. After flying for TWA for a year, Jane was hired by FedEx, where she has been flying for nearly 20 years.

Jane’s unique story doesn’t end there. Throughout her career as a pilot, and while she was raising a family, Jane made the time to serve as a leader in her community. Jane served her church as a leader in ministry for children, youth, and young adults, and finally serving as a deacon. Jane has coached youth basketball and soccer, and supports charities and community service projects like Habitat for Humanity and Miracle Hill Ministries. Jane and John are also proud to sponsor a child from Honduras named Angel through Compassion International.

When asked what motivates her constant commitment to service, Jane says “I am committed to giving back to the community that has given so much to me and my family.”


Throughout her career and community service, Jane has been dedicated to positive change, from the Air Force to Anderson County. Jane will bring the same positive change to Congress, where it is needed most. “I am committed to changing Washington, and not letting Washington change me.” Jane says “I know the challenges in Washington, but my integrity is not for sale.” It’s that South Carolina integrity that has helped Jane chart her course all her life. This journey is no different.

About South Carolina's 3rd congressional district

The 3rd Congressional District of South Carolina is a congressional district in western South Carolina bordering both Georgia and North Carolina. It includes all of Abbeville, Anderson, Edgefield, Greenwood, Laurens, McCormick, Oconee, Pickens and Saluda counties and approximately half of Aiken county. The district is mostly rural, but much of the economy revolves around the manufacturing centers of Anderson and Greenwood.

Politically, the district is not as Republican as the neighboring 4th. However, most residents share the social conservative predilections of their counterparts in the 4th, which has kept the district in Republican hands since the gigantic Republican landslide of 1994. J. Gresham Barrett, elected in 2002, currently represents the district. Jane Dyer is the democratic challenger in the 2008 election.

About ETV

ETV is South Carolina's statewide network with 11 television stations, eight radio stations and a closed-circuit educational telecommunications system in more than 2000 schools, colleges, businesses, and government agencies.

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