Paul Broun: A Better Candidate Due To Your Coaching – Updated

March 17, 2014 22:00 pm

by Charlie · 24 comments

Well, we didn’t coach him.  But WSB’s Justin Gray reports, your tax dollars did:

And now let’s talk about why this matters.

Every where I go, Broun’s supporters tell me about his “principles”, and their evidence about this is always about how he votes no on everything. EVERYTHING. They never seem to be willing to engage in a conversation that these no votes never actually cost him anything. In fact, they’re his business model.

Now we have yet another piece of evidence that Congressman Broun is using your tax dollars to get elected. In the report above, he’s been paying a campaign consultant using tax dollars – not campaign dollars.

This, unfortunately, is part of a pattern. Broun has also been the Georgia delegation’s franker in chief.  There’s a lot of discussion that when Broun ran for re-election the first time, he spent so much money franking his district that other Congressmen with room left on their budgets had to “adopt” Broun’s staffers because there was no money left to pay them.

So the next time, when you want to tell me about your candidate’s principles, I’m going to ask you to demonstrate how these principles cost him something.  Because from my viewpoint, there’s an awful lot of our tax dollars going to keep the industry of “Just vote ‘No’ Broun” in business, and it doesn’t cost him a thing.

Updated: We have received the following response from Congressman Broun’s office:

“In compliance with all House rules, Brett O’Donnell has been a contract member of Congressman Broun’s official communications team since early 2012. He provides training, as he does with several other Members of Congress with public speaking, on-camera interviews, and media appearances so that Dr. Broun can best communicate his legislative priorities, issues, and message with his constituents. As stated by the House Administration Committee, O’Donnell’s communications training is in compliance with all House rules.”

Holden Caulfield March 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

“..so he can best communicate his legislative priorities…”

I didn’t realize that Broun was so inept that he needs a coach in order say that he voted “No” on everything.

Does it surprise everyone that the man who says no to everything for his district as well on any decent legislation also says “Yes” to everything for himself since it costs him nothing?

I guess he has to say no to all spending legislation, otherwise he’d have to cut back on his own taxpayer funded expenses.

blakeage80 March 17, 2014 at 10:23 pm

This is a pathetically weak ‘hit piece’ on an honorable Congressman. A representative must be allowed some funds to disseminate information about his activities to his constituents. Using various means to inform the people of his district about meetings where they will be able to let their voices be heard, even if it costs money, is perfectly legitimate. I understand during a campaign season that the line between a campaign activity and regular business can be blurred when an incumbent shows up anywhere shaking hands and kissing babies and talking about his views, but that shouldn’t preclude him from doing so. There are extensive rules on campaign spending to prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for campaigning. The news reporter (with a grimace) admits those aren’t being violated. As to the question of ‘how his principles cost him, just read the Flagpole and Athens Banner Herald archives on Paul Broun and you’ll find his principles have cost him a lot of grief in a place he calls home.

TheEiger March 17, 2014 at 10:33 pm

So exactly when did you drink the Paul Broun Kool-aid? There is nothing genuine about the man and you wouldn’t be saying this if this story was about Kingston or some other Congressman.

The best thing about this “hit piece” is it brings the sock puppets and roaches out of their hiding places to defend their fake conservatives.

South Fulton Guy March 17, 2014 at 11:14 pm

Amen brother Eiger!

Patrick Mayer March 18, 2014 at 10:24 am

Drink the kool-aid? Blake started sniffing the concentrate straight from the bag.

Dude, dilute it with water. It tastes much better and doesn’t kill as many brain cells.

Blake March 18, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Hey, there’s more than one “Blake” on here. USE NAMES WITH CARE ;-)

AthensRepublican March 18, 2014 at 12:10 am

Blakeage- $33,000 of taxpayer money to learn to communicate? I don’t feel any more “informed” from Congressman Broun that I did from my previous representatives. He should do the right thing and return that money to the taxpayers. I won’t hold my breath though.

Will Durant March 17, 2014 at 11:39 pm

“…he provides training with public speaking, on-camera interviews, and media appearances so that Dr. Broun can best communicate…” how he can slam doors while running from a camera and mic.

Dave Bearse March 18, 2014 at 12:59 am

From the WSB clip:

….we couldn’t find him [Broun] so we went to a House Science Subcommitte meeting that he serves on, but he was a no show.

Now that’s a double entrendre.

Noway March 18, 2014 at 7:06 am

I think that communications coach came from “the pits of hailllllll!”

Scott65 March 18, 2014 at 9:23 am

I wondered how long it would take for you guys to start smearing Broun. He is so close to being the republican pick that you are finally seeing it. You also are keenly aware that if chosen he will lose. He is not fit to serve where he is no less the Senate and we all know that. If nominated, that seat will turn a lovely shade of lavender (Nunn is no liberal…despite the shills saying otherwise).
I think I’ve been saying it for a year and a half. Broun/Gingry…seat goes to Nunn.

Noway March 18, 2014 at 9:40 am

Start smearing him? Heck, Scott, most Repubs with a brain have been smearing him since he entered the race….

Nathan March 18, 2014 at 9:44 am

Wouldn’t joining a local Toastmasters club accomplish a similar objective if he’s trying to improve his communication skills? Just a thought.

Noway March 18, 2014 at 10:05 am

However, this might really have been for bettering the good doctor’s media performance and not debate prep. It sure would have been more simple to pay this vendor with campaign money to avoid the “appearance” is misuse of funds. Tactical mistake there, Doc.

Rick Day March 18, 2014 at 10:18 am

ARGH CHARLIE AUTOPLAY!

I open live journal and the video starts, while frantically scrolling down to the offending post.

Of course, the speakers were set at 11, as ususal…

Lea Thrace March 18, 2014 at 11:44 am

I had the same issue. WSB videos always autoplay where ever they are embedded. HATE IT!

Doug Deal March 18, 2014 at 10:25 am

I have no particular love for Broun and probably think he will guarantee a Nunn victory, but this is a bit pathetic for Charlie as well as WSBTV. What proof do they have that this money hasn’t been spent on helping his office and perhaps staff better communicate with constituents? Is it out of the ordinary for an organization to pay for training? Is $33,000 an obscene amount? Over what time period? How many people? I’m not saying he isn’t misspending the money, but there is a lot of speculation, a whole lot of mean-spiritedness and very little substance presented in this.

I wonder how much time WSBTV has spent on the billions wasted on ridiculous waste in pretty much every bill passed by Congress.

TheEiger March 18, 2014 at 10:45 am

Oh, how quickly we forget. This isn’t an isolated occurrence.

“The Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, though, quoted several anonymous sources as saying Broun is about to run out of money to staff and operate his offices in Washington, Athens, Augusta and Toccoa. He spent half of his $1.38 million budget on letters, telephone messages and other communications, Roll Call reported.”

“Broun used his franking privileges to send out letters and flyers to 607,000 district residents prior to April 16 at a cost of $110,000, more than any other congressman, according to another Washington newspaper, The Politico. Congressmen are barred from mailing such legislative updates 90 days before an election.”
http://onlineathens.com/stories/072408/news_2008072400134.shtml

Even if you are correct in that he hasn’t done anything wrong, why wouldn’t he answer the simple questions of what the money was spent on? Also, why wasn’t he in his committee hearing. What are we paying him $174,000 a year for if he cannot even show up at committee hearing. He has missed 70% of hearings since he has been in office. As I said in an earlier post, he is a fraud and should be called out on it. He is no conservative.

Doug Deal March 18, 2014 at 11:39 am

Then complain about his franking privilege excesses, this story is about something entirely different.

I also did not say he didn’t do anything wrong, I said this hit-piece and Charlie’s post do nothing to demonstrate he did anything wrong with paying this consultant. Who knows if he did anything wrong, this reporter and Charlie just want to imply it and not produce real evidence. A single line in a an expense report tells one very little and the rest is all speculation. It is irresponsible.

Finally, his reaction to that ambush in the hallways is hardly as egregious as the reporter tries to make it. Broun is not the most charismatic quick thinkers as politicians go. His office should definitely release training materials and explain their relationship, but this type of gotcha politics demonstrates the bankruptcy of our news and pundit classes than it does a failing in Broun.

How much time did they even give Broun to reply to their requests? They will sit on a story about someone they like for months, but they rush to get something like this out like it is the most important news story ever.

seenbetrdayz March 19, 2014 at 11:50 am

Well put.

Broun made a few gaffs and now he’s supposed to be the world’s most embarrassing U.S. Representative. No, he didn’t mistakenly spend $780 billion on Wall Street in 2008, like our current senators. No, he didn’t mistakenly vote to renew the PATRIOT act the last time it was up for vote, unlike the vast majority of team-R!epublicans Charlie admires for their . . . um, mediocrity I think it was. Or was it moderation?

Broun may be crazy as a loon at times, but he’s also the only one who seems to be voting right when it matters most. A degree of perspective is in order.

Three Jack March 18, 2014 at 10:56 am

Based on Broun’s public rhetoric, he should ask for our money back!

For the defenders of Broun, it is bad enough that he is a hypocrite ‘straight from the pits of hell’, don’t join him.

griftdrift March 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

Franking is sooooooooooo 80s

Lea Thrace March 18, 2014 at 11:46 am

Thanks for introducing me to franking. I spent about an hour learning about the process (and associated abuses). I’m not sure yet if that was an hour well spent though…

The Last Democrat in Georgia March 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm

So I guess this means that Charlie will not be campaigning on behalf of Paul Broun this year.

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