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Opinion: No trans fats in this food fight

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There’s a political fight underway in North Carolina and it has to do with french, no, wait, make that freedom fries.

Cubbies Restaurant in Beaufort was the originator of the Freedom Fries idea as a snub to France back when they were less than enthusiastic about the war on terror. Republican Rep. Walter Jones, a Cubbies regular and favorite, picked up on the idea and had it instituted in the cafeteria up north in Congress, where it garnered much red-white-and-blue television coverage. So far, so good.

Jones’ district, North Carolina’s 3rd, is a strongly pro-military area containing four armed forces bases, including Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point.

Flash forward to this year. Jones has become disaffected with the Iraq war, so much so that he was one of two Republicans to side with Democrats this year in seeking a troop withdrawal timetable. And then he voted with Democrats to override President Bush’s veto of the war funding bill. Them’s fightin’ votes in those parts.

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Now, Jones faces a primary opponent next year, Onslow County Commissioner Joe McLaughlin, a retired Army Ranger.

Possibly worse, Cubbies restaurant owner, Neal Rowland, is disowning Congressman Jones and removing every single photo of the representative from the diner’s walls. ‘It’s never been about politics,’ says the 30-year-old Rowland. ‘It’s about supporting the troops.’

--Andrew Malcolm


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