Going After Barrow

The National Republican Congressional Committee has some mobile billboards floating around Georgia’s 12th district.

Via Twitter:

So the IRS scandal makes an appearance here in Georgia. Will it be effective? It makes sense to me to use it while folks, at least some of them, are paying attention to the story.



  1. “It makes sense … to use it …”

    But does it make sense to misuse it? There’s no proof that left-wing ideology motivated the IRS to target any group. So concluding that it did, and then tying that somehow to healthcare, and then a further stretch tying both to John Barrow, and asking people to call Barrow to say … what, exactly?

    I’m tired of bomb-throwers. How about solutions?

    • Doug Grammer says:

      The IRS threw bombs. It is wrong for us to discuss it? You don’t think the RIGHT-WING ideology motivated the IRS to target any group do you?

      Sen. Merkley ring a bell? Sen. Schumer? Sen. Franken? Sen. Udall? Sen. Whitehouse? Sen. Baucus? Sen. Bennet? Sen. Shaheen?

      Or how about a Sen. Obama?

      • I don’t see this billboard as part of a discussion. It’s created for Soundbite Nation, where all thoughts about policy and politics can be reduced to a tweet or a meme. I’m hoping for something a little more insightful and constructive.

        And no, I’m not convinced that RIGHT-WING ideology motivated IRS actions. I believe more right-wing groups were being formed after Citizens United than left-wing ones, which might explain why more right-wing groups were being asked questions about their political involvement. They also are more likely to claim victimhood these days, which suggests to me they are more likely to squawk about perceived mistreatment.

        • Salmo says:

          Given the misinformation Barrow’s campaign put out in the last few days of his first campaign against Max Burns (the “Max Tax” ads), I’d say this is a relatively honest discussion. Someone really needs to bring his crapping all over the fair tax back up now that he’s decided to play up his conservative credentials.

        • taylor says:

          I haven’t seen numbers about the number of applications by ideology, but I have watched TV news and listened to the radio in the last couple of years. Long before this IRS scandal, I assumed that the groups that were targeted were political organizations.

          Wouldn’t we generally criticize a government agency if it ignored what appeared to be political activity occurring in plain sight by organizations who were claiming to be, primarily, engaged in something else? At least, if that activity were being conducted by the other side.

      • Al Gray says:

        Stone has no chance. Allen and I have always been close, but I do not believe that Rick has the right message or alliances to beat John Barrow. This “could” change and I would love to see it change, but I will believe it when I see it.

        Bob Young would clean Barrow’s clock and make Lawton’s Dream of a Barrow-free 12th real.

        As for the sign, look who originated the tweet….. I don’t think he arouses fear in Barrow.

        • ricstewart says:

          One of the big problems in CD-12 is the lack of a “farm league” of quality, charismatic GOP candidates in state and local office. Until the district was redrawn for the 2012 election cycle, there wasn’t much of an expectation that a Republican could beat Barrow, so there wasn’t much of an effort to recruit good candidates to run for mayor, county commissioner, and state legislature (at least from what I could tell).
          To Lawton’s credit, he seems to be doing much more to develop quality candidates further down the ballot. I wish previous GOP leaders in GA-12 had the same foresight.

          • Al Gray says:

            Yes, Lawton is a good one. I feel remorse when he gets shackled to a GOPer who is weak or basically indefensible against Barrow., but it is what it is.

            Beg and plead to get Bob Young to run. That is the key to GOP victory.

            There are forces in play in the 12th that I don’t think are widely understood, even after Barrow keeps trouncing the GOP.

              • Al Gray says:

                It doesn’t matter. Deke is a positive-sounding, upbeat guy. We hoped for better leadership, but he has been almost totally MIA on that front. Some of his positions and alliances eliminate him from GOP competition at present time. (tied himself to Bloomberg and the anti-gun crowd.)

                All of those being said, Deke still has HUGE potential, but it is just that – potential.

                I wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet, but spouting pleasantries in the face of the blunt realities that plague Augusta, while self-promoting on the back of the people, isn’t a path to be admired or emulated. Augusta is a diamond in the rough and so is its mayor. It is past time that both seized that opportunity. Over in this part of the state both need to shine for the region to succeed. 40 years wandering in the wilderness ought to be long enough.

            • Lawton Sack says:

              Bob said no. He considered running, but he was only interested if it was an open seat if Barrow ran for the Senate. Sen. Tommie Williams and Wright McLeod have said no. Rep. Delvis Dutton is committed to the GA House and Sen. Jesse Stone to the GA Senate. Sen. Jack Hill is a strong stalwart in the GA Senate.

              In GA-12, Republicans hold 13 of 16 GA House seats and 5 of 6 GA Senate seats. We have a lot of Democrat Sheriffs, though, and our Commissioners trend towards an older age bracket. An exception is Blake Tillery, 29, who is the Toombs County Commission Chair. Another is Jon Martin from Laurens County who is in his early 40’s and was elected as a Republican in a former Democratic hotbed.

              GA-12 was lost 53-47 in 2012, with Obama at the top of the ticket and a contested Sheriff’s race in Richmond County that drove voters to the polls. The law of averages would show that a smaller turnout would be expected in Richmond County in 2014. The wildcard, though, is what I perceive to be a growing acceptance of Rep. Barrow by GA-12 citizens. People tend to echo what they hear in his ads.

              • Al Gray says:

                You have summed it up very capably. GOP showed weakness in rural areas and the current candidates might fare even worse. Barrow will simply incinerate any Augusta insider on the GOP side. Look for defections all over if that happens. The insularity of the place cannot stand the sunlight.

                Gold Dome Cowboys deserve little love, but there is another Stone left unturned.

                Too many of the “Republicans” you rely upon are, were and always will be Democrats.

  2. David C says:

    I don’t see the point of these billboards when they go around downtown advertising for things where a lot of people can see them. Why bother trotting them out in a large, low density rural district where nobody will see them? Someone should let the NRCC borrow a brain that can help them figure out ways to use their money where it will do any good.

      • Al Gray says:

        Barrow very effectively emphasized the Georgia General Assembly’s war on the middle class. Who has the greater baggage? So far it has not been Barrow. Barrow has enough firepower to completely devastate Rick Allen and John Stone, unless they can reinvent themselves.

        The GOP “can” win this seat and send Barrow to a long-overdue retirement, but at this juncture and with these candidates that is a very long shot, indeed.

  3. northside101 says:

    Interesting the truck is being sighted in Augusta/Richmond County, which is as reliably Democratic these days as Fayette County on Atlanta’s southside is Republican. (Last time Richmond County voted GOP for president? Well, it was so long ago, you’d have to go back to when there was still a Soviet Union, a Berlin Wall, a President—and not ex-President–Reagan, no Internet, and no Philips Arena—all the way back to 1988, when the first President Bush was elected.) Obviously Barrow will win Richmond County next year no matter his opponent, and his GOP opponent will carry the Columbia County portion of CD 12. Question is what the rest of the district (mostly rural) will do—places like Dublin, Statesboro and Vidalia—where Barrow won or held his own last time. In getting 54 percent last time, Barrow got nearly the same percentage as Romney (55 percent) in CD 12 last November, so clearly there was a good amount of ticket-splitting in the district (and doubtless some Republicans who backed Romney and then skipped the congressional race).

    Of course next year is a midterm cycle (2014), non-presidential year in which total turnout (compared to 2012) may drop by a third, and can Barrow get a lot of those Democrats—and some ticket-splitters—back to the polls next year? Under the current lines, CD 12 voted Republican in every statewide partisan contest in 2010–61 percent for Senator Isakson, 56 percent for Governor Deal and Lieutenant Governor Cagle, and 60 percent for Secretary of State Kemp. And CD 12 is the only congressional district in Georgia (and probably as well in the 5-state Deep South region from Louisiana to South Carolina) that voted opposite in presidential/congressional races (in this case, probably the only congressional district in the Deep South to vote GOP for president and then Democratic for the US House). The other 13 Georgia congressional districts voted the same for president/Congress, with the other 9 Romney districts electing GOP congressmen and the 4 Obama districts electing Democratic congressmen.

    • Ellynn says:

      I know 8 people who work in downtown Augusta, and 6 of them do not live in Richmond County. The surrounding areas of Columbia and Burke County pull in a lot of professionals to the area who live outside Richmond for better schools and lower taxes. Plus the medical school has a lot of non Augusta traffic.

      What is more interesting is the number of local dems that are “thinking” of running for the seat in Augusta. If an Augusta dem wins the party seat, the NRCC will win hands down unless the GOP primary winner pulls to the far far far far far right.

      • ricstewart says:

        I haven’t heard anything about other Dems considering the race. Care to name names?
        From my observations, Barrow is unpopular among the Democratic faithful in the district (some county chairs, district officials). I think many of them would like to have someone besides Barrow, but there’s no one in GA-12 with the money or name recognition to stand a fighting chance in the primary, much less the general.
        The closest thing to a viable Democratic alternative would be DuBose Porter, and I’m almost certain he’s not interested.

        • Ellynn says:

          Note the use of the word “thinking”. I’m hearing second and third hand info, so I’m not in a position to name names, nor do I have a dog in this fight (just know a lot of elected types in GA-12). At this point it’s all grumble and sour grapes from some who are not getting his ear on subjects they think he should be doing. You are correct about him not being popular in parts of his district by fellow democrats and that no one has the money to win both a primary and the general, but that has not stopped the wishing.

  4. Romegaguy says:

    Dang carpet baggers and outside agitators coming down here to tell us Georgians how to think

  5. famodeo says:

    It is also kind of relevant that Barrow didn’t vote for the ACA. He just voted against repealing it…

    To quote: The Affordable Care Act is a mess, but there are steps we can take to improve the law for folks in the 12th District without harming businesses and limiting coverage,” said Congressman Barrow. “Today’s vote is the same, unproductive ‘all or nothing’ approach that’s not going anywhere, just to score cheap political points. I’ll continue to fight for bipartisan proposals that repeal the burdensome provisions without threatening positive aspects of the law.”

  6. Baker says:

    I understand using the billboard and more or less agree with the message, however, it’s further representative of the permanent campaign status we now have in America and that is a disservice.

    I know we can’t do what Britain does and flat out ban campaigning during certain periods, but good gracious, does this really serve anyone other than consultants and billboard makers?

    • Doug Grammer says:

      It serves the voters. It helps define who one of their choices will be next November.

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