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YOU DECIDE 2006 — Eric Dickerson

Dear FOX Fans,

My name is Eric Dickerson and I'm running for Congress because I think a congressional district is a terrible thing to waste. My campaign is about change and vision. I offer the people of Indianapolis — Democrats, Republicans and Independent voters alike — a new path forward; a path based on positive leadership, vigor, fresh ideas, and consensus building that will improve the lives of all our citizens.

My opponent, Julia Carson, has represented Indiana's 7th District for 10 years. I have tremendous respect for her. She has been a courageous leader who has served her community with distinction. However, it's time for a new brand of leadership to produce the kind of results we need to build a vibrant, prosperous, safe, community. Spreading the love simply isn't enough.

I'm talking about sensible, effective efforts to curb crime that target underlying causes instead of simply arresting offenders and sentencing them to longer terms in jail. Job programs that reward hard work and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit that has made this nation great. Immigration and homeland security measures that allow those who work within the system entry, but target for expulsion those who want to do us harm. Finally, I advocate a policy in Iraq that promotes and supports a democratic society in every way, but which gets our soldiers out of harm's way as quickly as possible.

Let me tell you a little about my background, because I have truly lived the American dream. I grew up in Detroit and graduated from Northwestern High School. As a boy, I developed a love of flying. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from Western Michigan University, I entered U.S. Marine Corps officer candidate school and earned my wings as an attack helicopter pilot. When my active duty service ended in 1979, I moved to Indianapolis, where I worked for General Motors Corporation's Allison Engine Division as an engineer and pilot. I rose through the corporate ranks and eventually became director of public relations. I retired in 1999 and opened my own car dealership, Eric Dickerson Buick, and pursued other business interests.

Through that background as a poor inner city kid, Marine Corps officer, corporate executive and small business owner, I've learned that most people want a hand up, not a handout.

In Congress, I'll promote sound economic policies to keep existing companies strong, and introduce legislation to make it easer for entrepreneurs to secure small business loans.

I propose building a monorail to replace our IndyGo bus system, which is on the verge of collapse. We need an effective public transportation system that will move people from their homes to jobs. As a member of Congress, I will work to secure funding for this transportation system.

I know that most crime, whether it's homicides, burglaries, armed robberies, and aggravated assaults — all of which are on the rise in Indianapolis — is related to the sale and use of illegal drugs. I propose more drug treatment programs and job opportunities to break the cycle of crime and violence. People who are drug-free and working don't need to steal, maim, and murder.

I view illegal immigration as a serious national problem which affects health care, housing, insurance, jobs, and crime for every American. We must know who is entering our country. Yet, I will also work hard in Congress to streamline the immigration process wherever possible to allow people in who've played by the rules, but still make sure that potential enemies are screened and barred from entry.

I opposed the war in Iraq, but we shouldn't cut and run. I have argued since announcing my candidacy in January that we have an obligation to assist the Iraqi people in ecuring a safe, democratic society. Political and military leaders should accelerate training programs for Iraqi soldiers, including training them at bases outside Iraq. And for every Iraqi soldier trained, equipped and deployed, one American soldier should come home.

Throughout this campaign, I have pursued an independent path. I have received no money from national or state Republican Party organizations. The only special interest group I am beholden to is the constituents of the 7th District. Vote for me and let's all embrace the possibilities for a better community.

Eric Dickerson