Just looked up hypocrisy in the dictionary and was greeted by Sanford Bishop’s photo

September 16, 2010 12:10 pm

by Pete Randall · 37 comments

Earlier this week, man of the people Sanford Bishop (D-Scholarships for Friends, Family) gave his definition of ‘politics’ to the Kiwanis Club of Dougherty County:

“Politics is all about who gets what, when and how[.]”

How…inspiring. Too bad in his definition he didn’t include anything about protecting freedom and liberty and ensuring that government is kept as minimalist as possible so that Americans can live their life without fear of a burdensome, intrusive government. Oh, well. But then he said this about his opponent, Mike Keown:

“My opponent has been the mayor of a town of 550 people, been on a county school board and has served two terms in the state Legislature. He does not have the tools or the background to do this job. His record doesn’t compare to person who has a strong record of delivering to the district.”

Right, that must be why Bishop was co-chair of Obama For Georgia in 2008…because of all of the experience Obama had under his belt to be elected POTUS.

Anyway, evidently Bishop feels that being Mayor of Coolidge really isn’t a real job. And helping manage a school district responsible for education of the young…posh, that isn’t as important as being a Congressman in Washington, you simpletons! Bishop has much more important things to do…like hand out more scholarships to his friends and employees. Yes, there are seven more under the microscope:

• Jonathan Alston – a former employee of Bishop’s office who has presumably never lived in or attended college in Bishop’s district – in clear violation of scholarship rules
• Tiffany N. Tisdale – the niece of Bishop’s Field Rep Elaine Gillespie
• Robin Foster – the niece of Bishop’s $8,000 donor, Calvin Smyre
• Bonica T. Smith – the daughter of one of Bishop’s wife’s employees
• Lemeka S. Jacobs – the daughter of one of Bishop’s wife’s employees
• Aubrey Smith – the nephew of one of Bishop’s wife’s employees
• Kelli J. Blair – the daughter of one of Bishop’s wife’s employees

It’s a sheer coincidence the most worthy of these scholarships just happened to have a connection to him, I’m sure.

Sanford Bishop: it’s all about the Benjamins, baby!
Mike Keown: it’s all about responsibility.

polisavvy September 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

That was a great post — hysterically funny, too!! Loved your part about Keown lacking experience and Obama having so much (hahaha). I think that Bishop stands a really good chance of losing this thing and I hope he does.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Grrr. Why couldn’t this have come out when Dylan Glenn was running for this seat….

Doug Grammer September 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I like Dylan Glenn.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Dylan and Herman Cain are two guys who really, in my opinion, would have helped this state, as well as the Republican party here and nationally.

Georgia Republicans: we never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

Doug Grammer September 17, 2010 at 3:38 pm

The Ninth District GOP and the Sixth District GOP are doing an event with Herman Cain next Saturday.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Oh, I know Herman is still active and helps out, but he would be so much more effective with “Senator” before his name…

polisavvy September 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I could support him, that’s for sure!

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Of course, since we’re Georgia Republicans, we can’t vote for women (unless they’re running for state school superintendent, it’s more “Get thee to a kitchen woman and fetch me a sammich”), or black people.

Ken in Eastman September 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Agreed! Dylan Glenn was a great candidate.

In the meantime, Mike Keown will make a good US congressman. He is definitely in the hunt and could pull this out.

RuralDem September 16, 2010 at 12:34 pm

As usual, it’s always important to look at the links posted, especially when it’s a Pete Randall post.

“Bishop, in the fight of his political life against Republican Mike Keown, stressed his record of delivering services and money to the district while playing up his committee assignments in Washington.

The nine-term congressman currently sits on the House Appropriations Committee and the Agriculture, Defense and Military subcommittees — all vitally important to Southwest Georgia.

““You have to remember that these our your tax dollars I am bringing back to the area,” Bishop said. “I will never apologize for doing my job for the people of the district. It is crucial to have an elected official in place that can make things happen.

“And I am using every tool that I am empowered with for the people of the 2nd District.”

Bishop then pointed out that his experience is the major difference between he and Keown — without ever mentioning the challenger’s name.

“My opponent has been the mayor of a town of 550 people, been on a county school board and has served two terms in the state Legislature,” said Bishop, who was a 16-year state legislator when he unseated incumbent Charles Hatcher in 1992. “He does not have the tools or the background to do this job. His record doesn’t compare to person who has a strong record of delivering to the district.”

jeff September 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Did Bishop have the tools or the background to do the job when he was elected in 1992? Bishop only wants to talk about all the money he brings back to the district. What has it done besides drive our national debt sky high? So we should re-elect him just because he sits on the appropriations committee? I personally think the appropriations committee is one of the reasons our country is in the shape it is in now.

polisavvy September 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

jeff, you are spot on. I think you raise very valid questions. I also agree with you about the appropriations committee — it certainly hasn’t helped this country none now has it?

RuralDem September 16, 2010 at 1:20 pm

jeff,

Good point. I wanted to paste that though so everyone that did not bother to click the link could see the context in which the statement was made. After all, Pete can turn a politician saying “the weather is sunny” into a politician supporting global warming.

As far as appropriations, there’s a dilemma there. CD-02 is heavily reliant on federal funding, whether it’s farmers, city/county governments, or school systems. In a national sense, sure, we can blame the committee itself for some of our economic woes. However, replacing Bishop with Keown will not change how the committee operates. Instead, the money Bishop would have secured for GA-02 will simply go to another committee member’s district. It’d take a complete replacement of committee members, or a large enough shake up to cause any significant change.

Basically, replacing Bishop with Keown does nothing but harm GA-02 when it comes to securing federal funding. Like it or not, you can go on Bishop’s website and see where he’s secured, or attempted to secure funding for law enforcement to buy new equipment, municipal and county governments replacing faulty water/sewage lines, etc.

I guess it can be argued that those funds can be obtained via a different route, whether through higher taxation locally, cutting spending in budgets, or maybe private donations.

Keown, if he wins, will be put in a difficult position. Does he stay true to his ideology and belief that earmarks are bad, or does he come to the realiziation that denying requests for new bullet-proof vests, gear for fire fighters, or replacing an asbestos ridden water tower, will look quite bad for him to the citizens in GA-02.

Harry September 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Let’s talk about uses of appropriation other than public safety, which is probably less than 1% of the total. How about protecting the peanut industry….is that really necessary?

RuralDem September 16, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Ask the farmers in GA-02 how important the peanut industry is to them.

That’s the thing about this race, especially if appropriations is mentioned. You’ve gotta understand the economic engines in the area.

Is there waste? Sure.

However, what you consider waste in your district might be a gold mine somewhere else.

Harry September 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

I’m just saying, subsidies for protecting peanuts is killing us. We take tax money from other industries and taxpayers to subsidize peanuts and then we wonder why this economy isn’t working anymore.

polisavvy September 16, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Harry, the peanut industry is a huge economic source to Georgia. It needs protecting. Plus, what would we all do without PB&J’s? I’d be lost.

David Staples September 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Can the peanut industry really not survive without federal assistance though?

polisavvy September 16, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Not sure; however, I do remember in the past when extremely dry conditions hit (particularly back in the 70’s), if federal assistance had not been available to the farmers many would have lost everything. We seem so quick to help everyone (even those not willing to help themselves) but assume that farmers don’t ever need any help. To me that’s a wrong assumption. Just my opinion, though.

CobbGOPer September 17, 2010 at 2:59 pm

Seriously, is there any doubt that his district is one of the poorest in the state if not the poorest? What good has it done to bring back all that money?

DoubleDawg3 September 16, 2010 at 1:38 pm

How much clout is Sanford Bishop going to have in the 112th Congress, if the GOP takes over the House? I’d argue not very much, since the GOP will see redistricting upcoming and the potential to tweak his district “just enough” to get a Republican in there in 2012 – so they’re not going to want to work with him to help him accomplish anything for his district.

So, I’d toss the whole appropriations argument out the window from this date moving forward.

RuralDem September 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

That’s assuming the GOP takes the House, which, while highly possible, we still don’t know it’ll happen. I’d actually argue that Bishop would be more effective or at least as effective in the minority party with 18 years in Congress and on appropriations, agriculture and defense/military as Keown would be as a freshman in the majority party without being on those three committees. Keown would probably get on one of those three, but there’s no way he gets on two or all three.

You assume the GOP takes over, which is possible. Let’s assume the opposite holds true and the Democrats keep the House. If you’re in GA-02, would it serve your interests better to have a 9 term incumbent, in the majority party, sitting on appropriations, agriculture, and defense or a freshman in the minority party probably sitting only on agriculture?

From what I understand about the committee, it’s much less partisan and much more give and take, so it’s a bit far fetched to say the GOP will purposely deny him funding.

jeff September 16, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I am going to tell you right now the people of the 2nd district could care less if Keown is able to get on any of those committees mentioned. They simply want a representative that will represent THEM in Washington. Would you please look up Bishop’s earmarks this year and let me know the percentage of them that were really necessary? I think that a very low percentage of them are necessary. People aren’t against necessary earmarks. It is the unnecessary spending of money that people are fed up with. Did you know that Sanford Bishop earmarked money for Botox research in Washington DC this year? How is that necessary. It wasn’t even in the 2nd district. How is that productive to the 2nd District? Many of his earmarked funds are sent outside of the district. Probably to satisfy the many PAC’s in California and DC that contribute huge amounts of cash to his campaign account.

While I am talking about earmarks and campaign accounts, Bishop last year earmarked 200,000 for the Junior Marshall program in Columbus, GA run by his good friend, and fellow Progessive Men’s Club of Columbus member, Muscogee County Marshal Greg Countryman. Countryman then turned around and hired Bishop’s stepdaughter (same one who received scholarships) and son-in-law to work for the program. The only problem is they both held full time jobs in Atlanta and never showed up for work in Columbus. They were paid for work in Columbus totaling around $15,000. Some of the money was even direct deposited into Bishop’s wife’s checking account. When an internal audit searching for “ghost employees” caught these payments and the GBI started investigating, Bishop claimed he didn’t know they were working there and ordered them to be terminated. Countryman (a close family friend of the Bishops) even claimed he didn’t know they were related to Bishop. The GBI didn’t find any “state” laws were broken and stated that Bishop wasn’t even part of the investigation. The whole story disappeared and went away within a week. Just days after the GBI ended the investigation, the Bishop campaign fund paid the Greenburg Traurig Law Firm $25,000. This was the first of many payments. In fact since March of 2009 the Bishop campaign fund has paid this same firm $146,000. Bishop on his personal financial disclosure filed with the Clerk of the House claims a $250,001 t0 $500,000 debt to this very same law firm. He has spent at least $500,000 in legal fees due to this case. I wonder why it disappeared so fast? Why didn’t federal authorities investigate because federal funds were used. The GBI simply stated that no “state” laws were broken and ended the investigation quickly. Many questions are still unanswered.

The scholarship situation is just one of many issues for Bishop. The people of this district could care less what committee he sits on. They want new representation. They want a voice.

seenbetrdayz, Ph.D. September 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm

On your recommendation a while back, I looked into Mike Keown. What you say very much seems to be the case when it comes to Mike. If he doesn’t have any ambitions about getting any positions on committees, that could actually be a positive thing. We’ve seen time and time again the wedge that gets driven between our elected officials and their constituency whenever they get put on committees.

Once you get on a committee, you’re beholden to the will of D.C. politicians if you want to stay on that committee. If the power is too tempting, you’ll ultimately end up casting the constituency into the trash bin when it comes to important votes—when establishment party pressure trumps ‘we the people’ pressure, as is the case too often these days.

RuralDem September 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm

“I am going to tell you right now the people of the 2nd district could care less if Keown is able to get on any of those committees mentioned.”

Then there’s a problem here. Either you do not live in the district, or you do live here but you have no clue what is going on in the smaller rural counties.

Also, you can question the earmarks all you want, and I can see where some could be looked at as unneeded.

However, if you believe in this as strongly as you indicate, then I suggest calling your local police chief, sheriff’s office, mayor, etc., and tell them we do not need Bishop to get funding for equipment for law enforcement or funding to repair water/sewage lines.

After you do that, please report back and let us know what they say.

While you’re at it, mention it to some of your neighbors as well.

If Keown truly believes in the limited government he pushes for, then he won’t be requesting funding for botox, but he also won’t be helping our law enforcement and the citizens of GA-02 either.

jeff September 18, 2010 at 8:13 am

Ok, here are Sanford Bishop’s 2010 earmarks.

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/earmarks.php?cid=N00002674

52.6 million dollars in earmarks. Only 30 or so reps out of 400+ in congress distributed more pork than Sanford Bishop. The majority of this pork wasn’t even for the 2nd district. You keep touting his earmarks for law enforcement. Only 75K of the 52.6 million went to law enforcement. That is 00.14%.

If you think that all of Sanford Bishop’s earmarks have helped our district over the years then there is a problem. The 2nd CD is still one of the poorest districts in the whole nation. If you think that handing out millions in earmarks is the answer to our nation’s and district’s problems then there is a problem. Most see it as the problem rather than the answer.

RuralDem September 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm

“You keep touting his earmarks for law enforcement. Only 75K of the 52.6 million went to law enforcement. That is 00.14%. ”

I sure do tout that. You know why? It’s 75k more than the district would have if Mike Keown is elected. Notice that I have not touted a monetary number, I’ve simply mentioned some of the types of earmarks he’s worked to get for our district.

I’m not sure how the earmarks (law enforcement and water/sewage repairs) I mentioned have anything to do with our district being poor, but hey, if you want to twist, that’s all on you.

Are there pointless earmarks? Sure there are.

However, there are some that are very important as well.

If you think replacing Bishop with Keown will solve our nation’s and district’s problem, then I’m simply puzzled. The only thing that will accomplish is earmarks going to another district.

To achieve what you want would require a complete replacement of the committee, and that’s not going to happen.

RuralDem September 18, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Oh, and Jeff, I found it very interesting that you would not even link to the Congressman’s own website where he openly discloses his requests. I guess looking only at 2010 fit your narrative.

The open secrets site also clearly states “sponsored or CO-SPONSORED”, so there’s a reason items go outside of the district. Do you think it’s bad for him to help UGA and GA Tech? Notice that some of the earmarks, mainly the defense related earmarks that likely benefit Fort Benning also are listed under D.C.

For 2011 it looks to be about 300k for law enforcement equipment. That does not include any other programs nor the 7.1 million requested for a new jail in Randolph County.

Here’s his requests for 2010 and 2011:

http://bishop.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=110&Itemid=47

It’s fine if you oppose these earmarks, but at least be fair about it.

jeff September 18, 2010 at 9:53 pm

I think most people will question why our money has to go to Washington then sent back to us. Let people keep that money and they will probably invest it in their communities. That would benefit the communities much better than these random earmarks.

If we must have earmarks, I stated earlier that necessary earmarks are fine. Problem is that the majority of earmarks are completely unnecessary in nature and a complete waste of taxpayer money. Problem is that the majority of earmarks don’t ever make it back to the citizens. They go to some special interest that made large donations to a campaign or they go to certain groups in an effort to buy votes. This is the case with Sanford Bishop.

Are there very important earmarks? Sure there are.

However, the majority of them are pointless!

View from Brookhaven September 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I’d say his definition of “politics” is pretty much spot from what I’ve seen.

You can spare me the idealist stuff…

Doug Grammer September 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm

But if Congresssman Bishop isn’t re-elected, what will happen to higher education in the Bishop household?

Romegaguy September 16, 2010 at 6:46 pm

And if Deal is no longer in office how will he get sweet no bid contracts and even sweeter loans that he will never pay back

Doug Grammer September 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm

And if Romegaguy goes back to school, will he start using punctuation when he posts?

Romegaguy September 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Didnt realize you last name was Grammar.

rugby September 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

My first day back to PP and I get a Pete Post. Fantastic!

BTW Pete I’m guessing you weren’t a political science major.

sonofliberty September 17, 2010 at 2:34 pm

……..perhaps……the Georgia peanut industry could survive…….without federal subsidies……if a few simple measures were implemented…….like…..SELLING GEORGIA PEANUTS at BRAVES GAMES…….instead of TEXAS PEANUTS……

polisavvy September 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

Really? Well, that’s certainly an interesting tidbit. I had no idea. Thanks for the info.

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