The Other Side of Barrow

I am writing this as a resident of GA-12 that got involved in the political process to help make a difference in my own community. I have seen firsthand the failure of John Barrow for our District.  I see the struggle of GA-12 citizens everyday to deal with stagnant wages and higher costs of living.  I live near Jenkins County and I see the impact of their high unemployment rate.  I talk with people that are disgusted with Washington (both parties) and how out of touch they are with our problems.

I could do like the NRCC and take up talking points that most GA-12 are not talking about.  I could post his mailer that he sent to Democratic leaning neighborhoods that stated that he is working hand in hand with Obama, while sending out another mailing to Republican leaning neighborhoods that claimed the opposite.  I could also post a link to the Augusta Chronicle’s website where the editorial staff stated that Barrow “has revealed himself to be perhaps the most shameless, duplicitous, self-serving politician of his era.”

But I won’t.  I will let the facts speak for themselves.

Fact #1 – 16 of the 19 counties in GA-12, as of June, 2014, have a higher unemployment rate than the GA average of 7.4%

Jenkins County – 14.6%
Treutlen – 11.6%
Jeff Davis – 11.3%
Coffee – 11.0%
Emanuel – 10.7%
Wheeler – 10.2%
Montgomery – 10.1%
Burke – 10%
Laurens – 9.8%
Richmond – 9.7%
Appling – 9.6%
Tattnall – 9.3%
Candler 9.3%
Screven – 9.3%
Bulloch County – 9.2%
Toombs – 9.1%

Evans 7.2%
Effingham – 6.4%
Columbia – 6.1%

Fact # 2 – Barrow points out his voting record with a few Republicans, but he does not list his Democratic voting tendencies

Barrow has 67% voting similarity with the Democratic Party
Barrow has 60% voting similarity with Nancy Pelosi, Minority Leader

GA Democratic Congressmen
Bishop – 71% voting similarity with Barrow
Johnson – 63% voting similarity with Barrow
Lewis – 55% voting similarity with Barrow

Fact # 3 – His bills have an overwhelming tendency to die in committee

The No Budget, No Pay bill he touts is still in committee.  His bills usually go nowhere, except into his advertising.  Just scroll through and see all his “introduced” bills that have gone nowhere. In my personal opinion, leaders actually get real things done.


Fact # 4 – In 2012, Barrow won 9 of 19 counties, but many of the counties were only by a small margin.

To me, that is not an overwhelming vote of confidence in John Barrow from GA-12 voters.  The Republicans that I know to have crossed over to vote for Barrow did so because they did not want Lee Anderson as their congressman.  It had nothing to do with Barrow.


Bulloch – Won by Vote Margin of 1,089 – 23,447 total votes cast
Burke – 2,820 – 9,550
Coffee – 325 – 13,323
Evans – 12 – 3,448
Jenkins – 440 – 3,300
Richmond – 33,651 – 76,781
Screven – 1,267 – 5,939
Treutlen – 309 – 2,595
Wheeler – 42 – 1,990

Fact #5 – It is difficult to figure out Barrow’s stances on issues

On Barrow’s campaign website, he lists only four issues and only provides a total of 7 sentences to cover all four of the issues:


  1. Fighting for veterans
  2. Fiscal responsibility
  3. 2nd Amendment protection
  4. Energy independence.
He has been my congressman since 2005 and I honestly have no idea what he really stands for.


  1. Ralph says:

    I don’t blame individual Congressmen for high unemployment figures since that is largely beyond their scope to change.

    No doubt that Barrow uses his timed independence from the Democratic Party as a shield, and like most candidates – runs a duplicitous campaign for differing audiences. He does seem to take it to the extreme, though. Here is the Augusta newpaper editorial link:

    • Lawton Sack says:

      When Congressman Barrow touts everything he is “doing” for the District, including taxpayer paid mailers stating that, then I think it is most definitely fair game. You can’t take credit for the positives and not take blame on the negatives.

  2. David C says:

    I’m so outraged John Barrow hasn’t solved the problems of Georgia’s rural economic malaise entirely by himself. Indeed, I suspect he caused such matters, completely independent of the various state and local officials that could have assisted in the crisis. Governor Deal and Senator Isakson were sitting there, telling the people of Georgia’s 12th District they were ready to bring new jobs into the area, factories and farms and high tech corridors, and John Barrow stood on the border, yelling “Stop!”

    As to the other points:

    Those aren’t particularly high numbers. 60% with the nominal leader of his party? Wow, they’re practically in lockstep.

    You mean bills aren’t getting passed in Congress? This Congress could barely agree to name a post office. Color me shocked that they aren’t passing something that would take away their paychecks for not passing a budget.

    Last I checked, Georgia doesn’t have the county unit system anymore. Last I checked 139,000 was greater than 119,000 by quite a great deal.

    If you click on the four issues in question, they take you to pages that explain in more detail. For that matter, he has a House website with even more issue topics, including Agriculture, Education, Energy, Health Care, Outdoor Heritage and the Environment, and Veterans. You might also check out Project VoteSmart, or countless other “What are the positions of my Congressman?” websites out there. If you have no idea what he really stands for, that’s your fault for not knowing how to use Google.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      When Congressman Barrow touts everything he is “doing” for the District, including taxpayer paid mailers stating that, then I think it is most definitely fair game to use the unemployment numbers. He can’t take credit for the positives and not take blame on the negatives. He is OUR representative. He lists the jobs he brought via the power plant. He lists the jobs that the port will bring in.

      I simply listed out his voting record with Democrats, as it was missing.

      I fully realize that we are not under the county unit system. My point was that the major difference in the election was Richmond County and that most of the other counties were not so enthusiastically behind him.

      I am fully aware of how to use Google and his website. I did miss that the headings were actually links to a little more detail, though. I also know that when the rubber meets the road, that he does not typically take strong stances. He was uncommitted on the Affordable Healthcare Act until close to the end.

      If you go through each issue on his campaign site and his House site, you will see that they are lacking in specifics. I am not sure the Energy part of his House site has been updated since 2009. Sometimes people speak a lot but say little.

  3. benevolus says:

    Is that statistic saying that John Lewis votes with the Democratic Party only 55% of the time?
    What does that even mean?

  4. crisp31419 says:

    So the unemployment rate in those counties is John Barrow’s fault, but it’s not the fault the Republicans who control the city, county and state government? How does that make sense? Every one of those cities and counties are run by Republicans, and we all know that if job creation could be controlled by government (isn’t that so very, very contrary to Republican beliefs, anyway?) local and state officials would have the largest share of the influence.

  5. crisp31419 says:

    And on vote percentages, you’re argument falls apart. John Barrow and John Boehner vote together 52% of the time. Barrow and Jack Kingston vote together 46% of the time. No one ever said John Barrow IS a Republican or that he votes against his party EVERY time. But what just about everyone (who doesn’t work for the Rick Allen campaign) agrees on is that Barrow is down the middle, a moderate, like most everyone else in the country. He chooses his votes wisely and reflects the views of people back home. I’d rather have someone who has a backbone who stands up to interests on either side of the aisle over another zombie in Georgia’s Republican echo chamber.

    • Lawton Sack says:

      I made no argument either way on his voting. I just simply posted the percentages in response to Stefan’s posting of Barrow’s voting similarities with some Republicans.

      • Stefan says:

        Right, but my point is that he votes with Democrats at some times and Republicans others. The NRCC ads declare that he votes “with Obama” every time, and that’s simply not the case. My post was about him being bipartisan, not that he was a Republican. I absolutely disagree that my post was somehow incomplete because it didn’t include the John Lewis vote comparison. Conversely, it only underscores his bipartisan voting record, seeing as he votes with Paul Ryan more often than he votes with John Lewis.

  6. Robby says:

    This comment isn’t necessarily directed at Mr. Sack but rather towards Peach Pundit itself. I just spent some time perusing Mr. Sack’s other contributions to this website, including his autobiographical introduction to the readers of Peach Pundit. So that makes wonder if this article was truly written by a resident of GA-12 or the current Chair of the Bulloch County GOP. This article isn’t presented as an op-ed, but its use of misleading statistics (as other commenters have pointed out) and logically weak arguments doesn’t impart the relevance or reliability I hope to see on this site.

    For example, Fact #4 is meaningless. The margin of victory is not a “small margin.” Touting absolute numbers in this instance is misleading because it follows that the margin will be small if the turnout is small. Barrow won five of those nine counties by more than 10% of the vote. Presenting that as a small margin of victory is simply not true. In fact, this should be completely irrelevant since the margin of victory points to many other factors before anything that has to do with Barrow.

    As to “Fact” #3:

    Fact #1 and #2 has been discussed by other commenters.

    Fact #5 is like #3: it’s just lazy reporting and even lazier editing by Peach Pundit.

  7. craigh14 says:

    This is by far the most ridiculous post I’ve seen, and I’m shocked PP let this kind of garbage on here. I’m not a fan of Barrow’s, but these problems aren’t all his doing. what about the President, the Governor, our Senators. I have a hard time looking at the PP for news when theyll let the district GOP chair write this garbage.

  8. Bull Moose says:

    Given that the current President of the United States is a Democrat, I’d submit that it makes more sense to at least have a rational elected official with access to the President as opposed to having our entire delegation being seen as a bunch of whiners complaining about the President.

    Also, John Barrow is a very good Representative and reflects the desires of his constituents.

    I’m sorry that the very partisan voices that are heard here don’t like that, but it is what it is.

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