Is Jim Marshall The Hold Out?

There is a move in Congress to rename the VA Hospital in Augusta after Charlie Norwood. Rumor has it that all members of the Georgia Delegation, Republican and Democrat, have embraced the plan, except Jim Marshall, who is determined to kill the measure.

There are current 80 House sponsors for the legislation, but if you check the House version of the bill, H. R. 1808, you will not find Jim Marshall’s name on it. Every other member of the Georgia delegation, regardless of party, is a sponsor. Despite Charlie Norwood being a decorated veteran, doctor, and congresman, Marshall reportedly does not think Norwood a sufficiently worthy to have something named after him.

[UPDATE:] Good Lord! Rural Dem, in the comments, seems to think I’m doing an intentional hit job on Marshall in light of the Goddard announcement being so recent. Actually no. As Toddrob accurately points out,

The House Government Reform Committee has a policy that a naming bill will not be approved unless and until all Members from the state where the building is located have signed on as sponsors of the bill. Marshall must be a cosponsor.

Marshall has declined to sponsor. This is news.

44 comments

  1. RuralDem says:

    That’s a really strong accusation. Kind of strange that it’s brought up right immediately after the article about Goddard is posted.

    It’s always been said by the Republicans that Marshall has no power, so, if that’s the case, how is he single-handedly killing this?

    It’s gotta be one way or the other 🙂

  2. Toddrob says:

    Becuase to name a federal building in a state you need the “sign off” of the congressional delegation. Equal power for all Members of Congress on this type of issue. Marshall has no more or no less “power” than the others on this issue.

  3. Toddrob says:

    RuralDem: True, who knows if he wants to do it or not. I guess Erick is drawing the conclusion that since the entire delegation has signed on and they cannot move forward unnless Marshall copsonsors the legislation he is against it. I don’t see any down side of honoring a Member that has passed R or D.

  4. Holly says:

    RuralDem,

    I don’t think he has to be a co-sponsor, but each member of the state delegation has to agree to the change. If the bill is stalled and all the other members of the Georgia House delegation seem to be co-sponsors, one has to figure that Jim Marshall is the one blocking it.

  5. Toddrob says:

    Holly- The House Government Reform Committee has a policy that a naming bill will not be approved unless and until all Members from the state where the building is located have signed on as sponsors of the bill. Marshall must be a cosponsor.

  6. RuralDem says:

    Erick,

    I really was not trying to get under your skin, but apparently you took it that way. I just wanted to know where you were coming from, as this is a strong accusation.

    You provided no knowledge about it other than a rumor with no names or sources. Toddrob had to come in and save this post for you. Thanks Toddrob for clarifying things.

  7. Observer says:

    Charlie Norwood was a decorated veteran. He was one of the first dentists assigned to an airborne division. He served in a MASH unit in Vietnam and helped put back together the faces of soldiers who had them blown off. In essence, he was the first line of health care for our military men in Vietnam who would no longer be soldiers, but now veterans. For his efforts, he received the Bronze Star and Combat Medic Badge. In Congress, he changed the law to allow our retired military to retain access to Tricare. I can’t think of anyone in the Augusta area more deserving of the naming of this building than Charlie Norwood.

    What is Marshall thinking.

  8. leantothemiddle says:

    Perhaps this is what he is thinking.

    Norwood was obviously the friend of many conservatives, but he was not an advocate for disabled veterans or the VA

    Also, I think it a little obnoxious for the the political friends of politicians to name buildings for politicians.

    Norwood’s ratings on Veterans Issue

    2006 In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Norwood a grade of C.

    2006 Norwood supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 66 percent in 2006.

    2005 Norwood supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2005.

    2004 Norwood supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

    2004 On the votes that the The Retired Enlisted Association considered to be the most important in 2004, Norwood voted their preferred position 0 percent of the time.

    2003 On the votes that the Disabled American Veterans – House considered to be the most important in 2003, Norwood voted their preferred position 0 percent of the time.

    2003 Norwood supported the interests of the American Veterans 50 percent in 2003.

    2001 On the votes that the Disabled American Veterans considered to be the most important in 2001, Norwood voted their preferred position

  9. leantothemiddle says:

    This is Norwoods ratings on Veteran’s issues

    In light of his tepid support for disabled veterans do you think they should have to seek treatment in a hospital named for him.

    Naming buildings for politicians is a little obnoxious anyway.

    2006 In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Norwood a grade of C.

    2006 Norwood supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 66 percent in 2006.

    2005 Norwood supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2005.

    2004 Norwood supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 0 percent in 2004.

    2004 On the votes that the The Retired Enlisted Association considered to be the most important in 2004, Norwood voted their preferred position 0 percent of the time.

    2003 On the votes that the Disabled American Veterans – House considered to be the most important in 2003, Norwood voted their preferred position 0 percent of the time.

    2003 Norwood supported the interests of the American Veterans 50 percent in 2003.

    2

  10. MindyMay says:

    ill bet hes thinkin that charlie was a much better person than he is and he will never get a building named after him so hes bein a sore loser!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Erick says:

    Sorry Rural Dem. I was reading fast and should have written more clearly than I did the first time.

    I knew that stipulation and had not included it. My bad.

  12. Federalist says:

    Wow, is that an expert analysis Mindy? I do not see any reason why the VA hospital shouldn’t be named after Norwood,…but I would throw the names of a couple of those kids that died in Iraq into the hat. There have been over a hundred from GA that have died, and we need to honor them some how,…considering the next congressman in the 10th district does not think that their sacrifice is a big deal.

  13. Bill Hagan says:

    Erick: Rural Dem may have a point on this one. This was in the newspapers over a month ago and prior to that I had heard about this problem with Marshall from Rep. Norwood’s former staff and Rep. Kingston. I don’t remember any mention of this news on Peach Pundit at the time and I would find it hard to believe that you were not aware of it if I was.

    It would seem that this piece is now only being mentioned because Rick plans to make an attempt at the Republican nomination in the 8th Congressional District. A potential contest which I have no doubt is not even up on Marshall radar at this time and if it is then it is likely a challenge that he welcomes as former commanding Generals are rarely very popular with the civilian workers at a base such as Robins. When you couple this lack of popularity outside of the Houston County GOP (of which I am a member) and with that fact that Rick is a complete unknown outside of Houston County then Marshall should be secure in his seat unless a big name challenger steps forth to challenge him. However this could change if Marshall makes a major misstep (personal or legislative) and Rick secures the nomination as the General is an excellent public speaker, a war hero, and his wife Judy is a wonderful political organizer.

    So despite the possibility of this becoming a campaign issue it is unlikely that Marshall will end up co-sponsoring this bill. The primary reason for this is of course not what Marshall has said publicly on the issue but the fact that he didn’t like Norwood. Even Marshall’s friends will admit privately that he is a very petty man who knows how to hold a grudge. Marshall will never forgive Norwood for actively campaigning against him in support of former Congressman Mac Collins. Campaign activities that Norwood continued to carry out even after his cancer returned. Therefore the potential of this upcoming challenge is unlikely to force his hand at co-sponsoring the Norwood Bill.

    However in Marshall’s defense he has stated that despite not co-sponsoring the legislation he would not oppose it. Of course being the only member of the Georgia Congressional Delegation not to be a co-sponsor is nothing more then spitting on Norwood’s grave, coupled with his spokesman’s comments that Norwood was not a war hero and VA Hospitals should only be named after war heroes. (As a veterinarian Norwood could have avoided combat duty but instead volunteered to serve on the front lines and won the Bronze Star. So if Jim Marshall considers himself a hero, I believe he should think the same of his fellow Vietnam Veteran Charlie Norwood. I my opinion anyone who volunteered to serve in combat in Vietnam is a hero and this includes both Marshall and Norwood.)

    The real fear on this issue is not how Marshall votes when this bill comes to the floor, he will vote in favor of naming the hospital after Norwood. The question is if Marshall will use his influence with the Democratic Party to prevent the bill from ever reaching the floor or if it does will Marshall work behind the scenes to see that it is defeated despite his planned yes vote.

    Sadly this will only become a real issue if Marshall runs for the Senate as his actions would alienate a large number of people in Norwood’s old district. In reality Marshall’s behavior is just shameless but I would expect nothing less from a man of his caliber.

  14. Bill Hagan says:

    Quote: [UPDATE:] Good Lord! Rural Dem, in the comments, seems to think I’m doing an intentional hit job on Marshall in light of the Goddard announcement being so recent. Actually no. As Toddrob accurately points out,

    The House Government Reform Committee has a policy that a naming bill will not be approved unless and until all Members from the state where the building is located have signed on as sponsors of the bill. Marshall must be a cosponsor.

    Marshall has declined to sponsor. This is news.

    Erick: This policy could be changed if Rep. Marshall made such a request.

  15. drjay says:

    The medal is awarded to a member of the military who, while serving in or with the military of the United States after 6 December 1941, distinguished him or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States; while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

    Awards may be made for acts of heroism, performed under circumstances described above, which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star. Awards may also be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The required achievement or service while of lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction.

    To be eligible for the Bronze Star Medal, a military member must be receiving hostile fire/imminent danger pay during the event for which the medal is to be awarded.

    description of the bronze star medal–like the one dr. norwood won in vietnam

  16. First of all, as has been mentioned this is an old story.

    Second my understanding is that the “bronze star medal with valor” is a very rare award, but not what Norwood earned. The “bronze star medal” according to many military message boards is a pretty standard metal for captains and officers to earn. So far in Iraq in 3 years something like 50,000 have been awarded.

    Now, I don’t mean to take away anything from Charlie Norwood’s service to our country, but literally thousands of bronze star recipients live in Georgia (and thousands more from here have died).

    So why should Norwood get this thing named after him and not one of them? The answer is not because he has a bronze star, it’s because he was a member of Congress. Members of Congress can get so many other things named after them – bridges, post offices, federal buildings etc. Marshall’s position is lets save the military installations for guys who distinguished themselves in the military — not at the ballot box.

    Bill Hagan made some good points about the meaninglessness of this whole stunt. You guys have to break out of your inside baseball political mentality sometime. Nobody cares about a Congressman and nobody’s going to vote against someone because some building didn’t get named after another Congressman.

  17. Federalist says:

    There are a number of reasons why the VA hospital should be named after Norwood. Most important though is that he was a verteran, I honestly would have a problem with the dedication of a VA hospital in recognition of a person who never served…like President Bush or Clinton

  18. Yeah but Federalist, Marshall’s position is not name it after Bill Clinton instead of Norwood. It’s funny that you mention “a person who never served”. You’re almost correct. Just add “in Congress” to the end of that and you’ve got Marshall’s position.

    If Charlie Norwood never represented the 10th district no one would have ever tried to name this after him. It has nothing to do with his military service and everything to do with his Congressional service. And Marshall thinks that’s wrong.

  19. drjay says:

    well its not a military installation–its a VA installation and he certainly distinguished himself as a champion of veterans. and is that a consistent marshall stance–about naming things–or is it a newfound religion for him?

    if norwood were still alive and marshall still held a grudge and wanted to oppose him politically–well hey thats just politics–but this is is something else entirely…

  20. Federalist says:

    You are right, I will add to that…if Norwood had not recently passed he would not be considered, if he died 3 years ago and this VA hospital is being opened now…the dedication would be for someone else. There are politics being played here, I do not think that anyone can refute that claim. His bickering is disrespectful though. Who else does he want this hospital named after? If he wants it names after himself, he is just a self righteous prick,…but if he thinks that there is another worthy candidate he should speak up.

  21. Holly says:

    Federalist makes a good point. Right now, it’s not named after anyone.

    Secondly, Chris, your statement of “Nobody cares about a Congressman and nobody’s going to vote against someone because some building didn’t get named after another Congressman” is wrong. There are certainly people who care, though obviously not you. But, just because you don’t care doesn’t mean other people don’t. You underestimate Charlie’s popularity in the parts of the 8th that he used to represent when they belonged to the 10th.

    Finally, I believe Charlie was awarded two bronze stars.

  22. Observer says:

    Marshall might want to remember that Norwood represented 6 of the counties in his district as recently as 2002.

  23. And you guys might want to remember that 50% of the population can’t name their current Congressman much less one they had 6 years ago.

    But go ahead and prove me wrong here. Make Marshall the first member of Congress ever to lose his seat because he wouldn’t sign off on naming a building that isn’t even in his district after a former member of Congress.

    As far as campaign strategies go “Voting to make Nancy Pelosi Speaker” looks like an award winning doctoral thesis at Harvard compared to this Norwood whining.

    Never thought I’d be agreeing with Bill Hagan about this stuff, but even a stopped clock is correct two times a day.

  24. Holly says:

    Chris,

    I by no means think this is going to be an “award winning doctoral thesis at Harvard.” I don’t even think I suggested that alone would ruin Marshall.

    But I do argue that people care. Some will vote against him because of this. Therefore, your assumption that “no one cares” was, in fact, careless and wrong.

    Now, there are other things that the potential candidate will have going for him that Marshall doesn’t. There are things that Marshall will have going for him that his opponent doesn’t.

    But don’t be surprised when this is used during the campaign.

  25. rugby_fan says:

    Holly, can you think of one scenario where a person would chose to now vote against Marshall because of this?

    Honesty, why would people not in Norwood’s district care about this?

  26. Oh and I bet Charlie Norwood’s family have been voting straight ticket Democratic up to now. Holly, of course people care, I don’t literally mean “no one cares.” I mean it in the sense that its impact is even less than statistically insignificant.

    You seem to work for Whitehead, how much of the 10th in your poll said Norwood’s wishes would be a deciding factor in their votes this time?

  27. joe says:

    If a commercial says “Marshall blocked a bill that would have honored Vietnam vet Charlie Norwood.”, then you better believe that veterans who are undecided will be leaning away from Marshall.

    I am retired Army, and I know lots of Georgia veterans.

  28. Holly says:

    Chris, if you don’t mean it, don’t say it. That was my point. I guess I was unclear.

    On the second, it mattered enough for the campaign to use it as a major theme.

  29. Doug Deal says:

    rugby,

    They would care because Marshall is acting as the sole barrier to stop the naming.

    He is poking a stick in the eye of a dead man, which is the epitome of classlessness. It demonstrates very clearly the character of the man, and people on both sides generally agree that partisanship and grudges against the dead are gong too far.

    Plus he won by a scant handful of votes last time anyway.

  30. Doug Deal says:

    Holly,

    I agree with Chris, who was using hyperbole, which it is a legitimate literary device. If we had to be 100 percent technically accurate in our descriptions of everything with no use of exageration, life certainly would be the most boring thing imaginable.

    Clearly, no one can dispute that, and everyone agrees.

  31. leantothemiddle says:

    Norwood was not a champion of veterans. He was not out and out hostile to their interests, but he was not a champion. Therefore they should not name a VA hospital after him. And there are far more Georgia war heroes to name the hospital for it the hospital must be given a name. And as this war rages on, there will be more heroes in the future. The only reason to name this hospital for him is that he was a congressman. I did not know Norwood, but from what I have read about him I suspect he would not have sought the honor either. Hagan’s comments about Jim Marshall’s friends speaking privately to him is ridiculous. Hagan is a partisan hit man, who worked for Mac Collins, who is trying to make a name for himself. He does not know any of Marshall’s friends and if he ran into one one of them they would not talk privately to him. He is a man with issues. No friend of Jim Marshall’s would get within ten feet of him.

  32. atlantaman says:

    People are saying the only reason Norwood is being considered for the honor is because he was a member of congress – well no sh&*t!

    Sam Nunn has a Federal building named after him in Atlanta and he’s not even dead yet.

    Norwood was a decorated Vietnam Vet, fought for veterans in the House and died while serving our country in Congress. It seems entirely appropriate to name the hospital after him – what’s the problem?

    I’ll agree that not many folks in Marshall’s district will pay attention to this, but Marshall is going to be in another extremely tight race with Goddard. If I were Marshall I wouldn’t want to unecessarily piss one person off in my district – especially since Norwood used to represent part of it.

    I also don’t think the issue is inside baseball. I think it can be delivered quite well in 15 seconds. “Jim Marshall dishonored Charlie Norwood, a beloved Georgia Congressman and decorated Vietnam Vet – who died while serving our country, by single-handidly blocking the naming of a hospital after him.”

    I think Marshall will cave on this one, there is no upside other then spite.

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