33 comments

  1. Donkey Kong says:

    Fleming also lacks incumbency. This seems to be a combination of opportunism and an angry establishment. I’ve always like Barry Fleming, and will continue to like him, but I am very disappointed that he’s challenging a Republican in the primary. I’d like to know exactly what it is about Broun that makes him deserve a challenge. So far I think he’s done a great job.

  2. eburke says:

    I agree with DK. I think Barry is a great legislator but he can serve his district and the people of Georgia better from his position in the General Assembly. I also do not have any problems with Congressman Broun. I think an angry establishment has talked Barry Fleming into settling thier score for them and to wipe some of the egg off of thier faces.

  3. drjay says:

    i do not think it is the least bit uncommon for the winner of a special election to face a primary challenge in the 1st regular election–and broun does not ahev a”right” to that seat–that is what elections are for–if voters are happy enough w/ the good doctor he will be rewarded at election time–i think the seat is safely enough gop that it is not going to hurt the nominee either way–remember this whole thing unfolded b/c dems were shut out of the runoff in the special to begin w/–had marlow been able to squeak past broun the dynamic of the runoff would have been sufficiently different that whitehead would be in congress today…

  4. Doug Deal says:

    DK,

    Every incumbent should be challenged in a primary, if you ask me. The house seats are arranged so that 95 percent of the incumbent seats are safe for the party controlling it. The only way a sitting house member can realistically lose his job is through primary challenge.

    Turnover is a good thing. Congressmen

  5. Donovan Head says:

    I think this is a good thing, even when Barry Fleming was considering running in that jungle primary prior to his endorsement of Whitehead, I felt that he could be an effective leader in Washington.

    I have not met Broun, but his insistance on taking the most ultra conservative positions possible will hinder his ability to deliver for the 10th district, his divisive tone will not get him far in Washington, that was Cynthia McKinney’s problem…granted she had an attitude that destroyed her political career.

  6. Holly says:

    Um, let me think. . .

    Well, there was the BRAC COP Act, which according to every military LA on the Hill I’ve talked to could, in fact, hurt Georgia’s bases, particularly Fort Gordon. Then there were his comments to the Gainesville Times about defunding the I-3 study, something that the residents in Richmond, Columbia, Lincoln, Elbert, and Hart Counties all want. He managed that madness during a recess. Thank goodness that people here are starting to realize what they did by sitting home in July.

    It’s fine to want to help the part of the district you’re from, but you certainly don’t do it at the expense of the rest of us.

  7. Federalist says:

    I know it is not easy to get a one-on-one meeting with a congressman, or candidate for that matter. I had a meeting with Paul Broun about 2 weeks before the Special Election, and another about 2 days before the run-off. If a person has had the same opportunity to meet Paul Broun, and still thinks that he is the man for the job,…you are probably not intelligent enough to vote. Paul Broun is a joke. It is not hard to be a back bencher,…all you do is show up to for votes and vote with the party. The 10th deserves a good congressman though, not Paul Broun. Saxon does not have a chance, he wasted his life in the military and does not have the fundraising base to succeed. Fleming has a good base to raise funds from, even if he is just a state rep. I do not like Fleming, but I would rather take the lesser of two morons.

  8. Donkey Kong says:

    “he wasted his life in the military”
    ???

    I’m just saying that Broun won, and to give him a chance. The voters spoke, and they chose Paul Broun. I know, I know, it was one weird election, the demographics were all over the place (who would have thought Dems would vote for the MORE conservative guy in the race?). It’s the spirit of it all. The man has hardly had a chance to move in and already we are talking about taking him out. Since when is it bad to be more conservative than the other guy? Plus, the comparison to McKinney holds absolutely no ground. It’s the spirit of a ticked off establishment rushing to get one of their own guys back in the seat. And I’m saying this as a guy who supported Whitehead–give the man a chance.

    I like Fleming, I just wish he’d hold off an election to give Broun a chance to see how he does.

    Doug, I agree. But Broun is not a crusty old Congressman who has been in office for years. He just unpacked his boxes. Give him a chance to show what he’s made of.

  9. Holly says:

    DK,

    As I pointed out, Congressman Broun has already proven he’s not good for us. Ft. Gordon, I-3. . . I am thankful every day that Joe Wilson, Gresham Barrett, and yes, even John Barrow are watching out for SRS. That’s the only large thing here Congressman Broun hasn’t messed with in merely his first month in office. How much time do you want us to allot to this experiment of “watch me screw over the entire eastern side of the district?”

    Perhaps if he’d hired anyone from Georgia to be in a leadership position on his DC staff, they would be able to better direct him. But he didn’t do that, so Congressman Broun can only rely on his knowledge of the state.

  10. Donkey Kong says:

    Holly,

    I’m not too familiar with the BRAC COP Act, but isn’t it supposed to reduce costs associated with base closings? From the (very) little that I know about it, it doesn’t sound too bad.

    Second, the cost of I-3 would be enormous. I’m only guessing, but the fact that they would have to go through the GA, TN, and NC mountains, my guess is probably accurate. Broun said he wants to address more pressing transportation issues (God knows we have them) such as the 316-ATL interchange, making it limited access. I’m not from Augusta, but it seems to me that more people travel between Athens and ATL than do Augusta and Knoxville. I don’t think Broun is disregarding Augusta citizens; he’s just cutting spending. Isn’t that what we want in our Congressman?

    Any cut in government spending will affect somebody. As long as Broun remains consistent, kudos for him for having the guts to do it even in his own district (which is more than we can say for 90+% of Repubs). We need Repubs to lead the way on this. It’s nothing short of hypocrisy to say we want to cut spending but we support it when it’s our own district. I don’t know enough about I-3 to say with certainty that its pork, but I do think that we are facing bigger transportation crises than a lack of a direct connect b/w Savannah and Knoxville.

    Intended with love.

  11. Doug Deal says:

    DK,

    Perhaps you are right in that he did just win the special election. Of course the conditions of a special election are different than that of a general election, in that the special election runoff was like a general election primary with democrats allowed to vote for the less popular republican. So a challenge may be in order to be sure the stronger Republican is in office.

  12. joe says:

    Holly,

    Last month when I emailed Johnny Isakson about the BRAC COP, he responded: “S.1902 is currently pending before the Senate Armed Services Committee.” I haven’t seen it move from there yet. Am I missing something?

    Donkey, BRAC COP requires that BRAC’d instalations be re-looked when the new predicted costs will exceed 125% of original predicted costs. It was introduced by the 2 NJ Senators in an effort to save Ft Monmouth. It may also affect Ft Gillem and Ft McPherson.

  13. In the loop says:

    There is a House version as well, also sponsored by New Jersey reps.

    Broun’s stated goal in supporting BRAC COP is to get some of the functions of the closing bases to move to Fort Gordon, not to let it be closed.

  14. joe says:

    In the loop,

    Thanks, on first reading, H.R. 3254 appears to be identical to the Senate version. The effect of either version is that IF a post/base exceeds the original estimate, the entire BRAC process would happen again. I am not sure that the result will be to move functions to Ft Gordon. It is more likely that large expensive to close bases would just stay as they are now.

    While I don’t really understand Dr. Broun’s reasoning, I do agree that BRAC COP is a good bill. It may save hundreds of millions of my tax dollars, and that is a good thing.

  15. ConservativeCaucus says:

    Donovan,

    I hardly think it is fair to equate him to McKinney. He might not be of your political stripe, but he does not have the history nor the histrionics of the former Congresswoman from the 4th.

  16. In the loop says:

    I think the confusion is that they would not go through BRAC all over again. The bill only calls for the Pentagon and Congress to reconsider closing the costliest bases or move their functions somewhere else that’s less expensive. Fort Gordon could not be closed even if BRAC COP passes, which it won’t.

  17. Lee Benedict says:

    Just a thought, but perhaps Barry is making a “trial run” for the 10th? Meaning, see how he does, get known in the District…for when Broun leaves Office.
    He is well-liked in the Assembly and in the CSRA which leads me to ponder why he will give it up, especially since we really don’t know what will happen with Ben Harbin. This area needs a veteran legislator in the Assembly, and, Barry’s seat is pretty safe. Am I missing something???

  18. In the loop says:

    For each individual base where the cost of closure or realignment is more than $400 million and 25 percent over the original estimate, SecDef will make a recommendation. For those bases, Congress could decide to send the functions to a different base than they originally decided. For example, the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens is supposed to move to Naval Station Newport, where housing costs are very high. Congress can’t keep the school in Athens, but could decide to move it to, say, Norfolk, Va. if it’s cheaper.

    The bill is bipartisan and I don’t think it will pass because BRAC did not affect bases in most legislators’ districts, and they will probably not want to mess around with it.

    Look at Broun – he is getting slammed in Augusta for wanting to “reopen BRAC.” Politically, why deal with that?

  19. joe says:

    From H.R. 3254 :

    `(1) MAJOR BASE CLOSURE OR REALIGNMENT- The term `major base closure and realignment’ means any base closure or realignment that requires $150,000,000 or more in military construction costs and an overall, one-time implementation cost of $300,000,000 or more.

    and:

    …the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the President a recommendation regarding whether to continue implementation of such closure or realignment.

    I still don’t think that Ft Gordon is likely to grow because of BRAC COP.

    I do have to agree that most legislators will not want to mess with it. I brought something similar up to my congressman six months ago at a townhall meeting, and he was not interested at all.

  20. steelfist says:

    The AJC is reporting that Fleming postponed his announcement today since it was 9/11. How unprepared is he and his team if they didn’t look at the calendar to see what day it was before alerting the public that he was going to announce on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Amateur hour.

  21. Holly says:

    There’s no confusion, Blake. None of the missions from Fort Manmoth would come here. Not one. Every Military LA I’ve spoken with tells me that it’s a good thing this bill will go nowhere, because reassessment is an unknown, and it could, in fact, cause them to relook at other bases. But let’s be honest about the real motive here: the Navy School. It’s slated to close, after all, and this is a last ditch effort to try to save it. It’s not going to happen, so it makes no sense for Broun to be out there supporting a bill that no one really knows the ramifications of. Sorry, but the Congressman is looking out for Athens, not the entire district.

    And I don’t think a single person in this district minds the idea of GA-316 being a limited access road, but you don’t take a project away from one area to give it to another. That’s what he’s suggesting – again at the benefit of Athens. The eastern side of this district has been looking forward to I-3 for years. It allows traffic from the Port of Savannah to travel up through the eastern part of Georgia – alleviating traffic from Atlanta since the current route is I-16 to I-75N. Not only that, but you folks in Athens would benefit from another good route to Knoxville and the Oakridge National Lab. It would boost your favorability with the Bio-and-Agro Defense Facility. The I-3 study is viable, and it’s meant to benefit more than just one small portion. That’s what studies are for, though. Defunding it is going to tick a lot of people off.

  22. joe says:

    Holly,

    I can not see BRAC COP saving the Naval Warfare school. It is restricted to large overcost installations. I can see how the representatives from NJ could get what they want, and save Ft Monmouth. Beyond that, I have contacted my representative (David Scott) in an effort to save Ft McPherson. I work there, and do not want to move. Personal motives aside, I belive that there were some mistakes made in the 2005 BRAC, and that BRAC COP has a chance of preventing un-needed expenditures. Since the expenditures are in the $100M range, I see this as important.

  23. johnny says:

    Dr. Broun responded today to an OP-ED piece which appeared in the Columbia County News Times. He says that he is not wanting to defund the I3 project. He just wants to make sure that tax dollars are spent in the best way possible. I’ve heard him say personally that he would like to see I3 run from Savannah to Augusta and then northeast to Greenville. For those of you who think he is only concerned with Athens, I3 wouldn’t come near Athens. Holly, Dr. Broun’s ideas for I3 would benefit the southeastern part of the district the most; the part you say he doesn’t care about. He said he likes this plan better because it wouldn’t bear the expense of carving miles and miles of road through the mountains of GA, NC and TN. This sounds smart to me.

    And I don’t know how many times he has to say that BRAC COP will not reopen BRAC and will not threaten Fort Gordon. I heard him say it at a Grovetown meeting just last week and he was very forthcoming about what BRAC COP would do and what it wouldn’t do. It won’t touch Fort Gordon for better or worse. The best BRAC COP could do is save the tax payer millions of dollars and the worst it could do is nothing.

    Also Holly, the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens is going to close no matter what. The question is how much will it cost to move it to Rhode Island, which is the current plan (at a cost of $44M) or to Norfolk, which will cost much less to the taxpayer. It’s not about saving an Athens installation. That ship has sailed.

    Debate is great, but let’s at least get the facts straight. I agree with DK. This guy has been in office not even 2 months, and no one is giving him a chance.

  24. Holly says:

    I understand that the Naval School is going to close, Johnny. I said so in my comments. Also, I worked for Max Burns during the BRAC process, and Athens was in his district. I’m well aware that it’s at the bottom of the list priority-wise.

    Had you read my comments carefully, you’d have noticed that I’m talking with people who were involved in the original BRAC process on the Hill and are still there, and they have laid out very plainly that this is a bad bill. If it won’t help any Georgia bases (and it won’t), why in the world would Dr. Broun sign onto it?

    Secondly, while I appreciate your willingness to give the Congressman a chance, you might want to do your own fact-checking. Here is the link to the Gainesville Times article:

    http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/stories/20070811/localnews/189938.shtml

    Here is the direct quote on defunding the study:

    “I do know that I’m not in favor of building I-3,” Broun said. “We need to save taxpayers’ money and spend it on something that’s viable, and this project is not viable.”

    Broun said he would like to see the money transferred to another Georgia project.

    “We need a study on how to make Ga. 316 a limited-access highway between Athens and I-85,” he said.

    So, here is a case of Dr. Broun telling the northern counties one thing, and now he’s telling the southern counties something else. I’m not sure which of my earlier facts you thought were wrong, but there’s where I’m getting my information.

  25. joe says:

    johnny,

    Also Holly, the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens is going to close no matter what. The question is how much will it cost to move it to Rhode Island, which is the current plan (at a cost of $44M) or to Norfolk, which will cost much less to the taxpayer. It

  26. In the loop says:

    Yep. It never made sense to move the Navy school to Rhode Island. The BRAC commission should have kn0wn how expensive it would be. You’re right, though, it falls below the threshold.

    And, of course, what most people are thinking but no one will say out loud is that the UGA-MCG med school will be better for Athens than the Navy school – an open campus and way more jobs. So even if they are paying lip service, no one is seriously trying to keep the Navy school open anymore.

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