John Barrow: Profiles in ______________ (Update)

John Barrow is a Congressman from Georgia’s 12th District. He has been in Congress since 2004 when he won election in 2004 when he ran for Congress in the 10th District that includes my old stomping grounds of Athens, GA. After that election, the Republicans in Georgia took a tip from Tom DeLay in Texas and engaged in some rogue mid-decade reconfiguration of Congressional Districts. The new 10th District was designed for Barrow to lose the seat in 2006 and so he moved to Savannah and ran in the newly drawn 12th District. He had a close race in 2006 and held onto the seat by a narrow 864 votes. In 2008—riding Barack Obama’s coattails—he easily won re-election with 66% of the vote.

Tonight, John Barrow faces a choice. He is an old friend and I worry that a cowardice born of ambition is about to lead him to vote NO on HCR.

He needs to hear from some folks about this vote—and soon.

I’ve known John Barrow for years, decades really. Back in the day (as the kids say), John and I both lived in Athens, Georgia. I published an alternative newspaper there and John was a lawyer and a member of the Athens City Council. In 1989-1990 I worked to support unifying the local Governments of Clarke County, Georgia and the City of Athens into one new Unified government: Athens-Clarke County. It was a hard fought campaign, but we won the Unification Vote and then a progressive slate of candidates won control of the new local government. John was one of those progressives and he represented the Fourth District of the A/C Government for many years. Over many elections and legislative battles, I supported him and wrote many an editorial upon his behalf.

I left Georgia in the late-nineties, but I would stop in and visit John when I came back to Athens from time to time. When I heard that he was running for Congress in 2004, I gave him my support and did what I could do to help him win. When he had his close race in 2006, I did what I could to support him as well. I was happy to see him win.

I’ve been playing phone tag with John for the last few months on HCR. I’ve heard him on my voice mail and I’ve spoken with members of his team. I have to say that as of tonight, I am not encouraged by what they’ve been saying. More troubling are the reports I’m hearing from other contacts in Georgia that John Barrow is leaning to a “NO” vote on HCR. To some longtime friends he has been ‘apologizing’ as he talks about his upcoming vote. These are not good signs.

While some whip counts have Barrow listed as undecided, others list him as a firm “NO”. My effort to find out where he stands is—so far—disappointing. It looks like Barrow may be a NO vote and the worst part of all of it is that his reason is just cowardice born of ambition. It would pathetic if the stakes were not so high.

John has been a back-bencher in Congress. It is hard to see anyplace where he has made his mark in his almost six years in the place. In some ways this makes sense given the difficult District that he is in, but it is not that difficult for a Democrat—the GA-12 went for President Obama by 54.09% of the vote in 2008 and that margin carried Barrow back to Congress. If Barrow’s goal was just re-election he could vote YES on HCR and most likely do just fine come November, but I’m hearing that he has his eyes on a bigger prize. It seems that his ambition for higher office is the force that is driving him towards a NO vote.

The talk in Georgia is that John wants to run for the Senate in 2014 and that he thinks a NO vote on HCR will be smart positioning for that race. He seems to be making the bet that a NO vote on HCR will be forgotten by then. Hell, he seems to be making a bet that Democrats will forget his betrayal by the fall and support him with DCCC money, fundraisers, grass roots support and ground troops for his re-election. He seems to feel that even if he votes to kills HCR that Democrats will still rally to support him in November and that they will support him again in 2012 and then get behind him when he runs for the Senate in 2014.

John Barrow needs a little dose of reality.

He needs to hear that voting NO on HCR will only place him on a fast track to the END of his ambitions. He needs to hear that a NO vote is a betrayal that will not be forgotten. He needs to hear that a NO vote will lose him support in every election from here on out. He needs to know that Democrats will not support him for anything if he votes NO. HIs fear of a NO vote needs to become greater than his fear of a YES vote when it comes to his ambitions. I wish my old friend was a fellow who put doing the right thing first, but he is not. Fine. If ambition is his motivation, he needs to know that a NO will be his end of his political career.

I keep hoping that I will hear that John Barrow will be a vote FOR HCR, but I feel a need to let an old friend know that there will be a price for his calculated cowardice if he votes NO on HCR. This vote will be John Barrow’s test. He has a choice between a Profiles in Courage moment or a base capitulation to the fearmongers of the Right. I want him to do the right thing.

This is a message that I have left for John and one that I will tell him if he returns my calls. It is a message that I hope you will share with him as well.

I know John. He is a decent fellow, but he is driven by his ambitions. That’s fine as far as that sort of motivation goes, lots of politicians are driven by ambition. Many have done excellent things because of that motivation. But many, many more have let their ambition trump their integrity. And from time to time a vote comes along that shines a light on every backbencher trying to just skate by to the next election and forces them to decide between courage and cowardice.

That light is now firmly focused on John Barrow. On Sunday he will cast a vote that will either be a Profile in Courage or a Capitulation to Chicken-shit Fear.

If you are in the 12th District of Georgia, give Barrow a call:

Washington, DC / p: (202) 225-2823 / f: (202) 225-3377

Augusta, GA / p: (706)722-4494 / f: (706) 722-4496

Milledgeville, GA / p:(478) 452-4611 / f: (478) 451-0717

Sandersville, GA / p: (478) 553-1923 / f: (478) 553-9215

Savannah, GA / p: (912) 354-7282 / f: (912) 354-7782

Vidalia, GA / p: (912) 537-9301 / f: (912) 537-9266

If you are in Georgia outside of the 12th District, give John a call as well and let him know that his dreams of running for the Senate in 2014 are dead if he votes NO on HCR.

And if you are in the rest of the Nation, call and ask him to put the needs of our Nation above his ambition.

You might also call the DCCC at (202)863-1500 to let them know that you will not be able to send them any money unless they can guarantee that none of your money will go to any weasel who votes NO on HCR.

If Barrow votes NO, I would rather see the 12th District in Republican hands than see John re-elected. Such a cowardly act can not be rewarded.

Fortunately, if Barrow votes NO there is an alternative. He has an opponent in the Democratic Primary, Regina Thomas. She ran against him in 2008 and took 24% of the vote. I suspect that if John Barrow decides to votes with the Republicans to kill HCR she will do much, much better this year.

I will keep trying to get up with my old Athens-Clarke County Commissioner and see if he can explain to me where he stands on HCR. In my conversations with his aides, they just repeated Frank Luntz talking points and then wedged on about the importance of supporting John in November to “hang on to” a Democratic Majority in the House so we could make progress on passing a Democratic agenda in the future. Well, Health Care Reform has been a core item on the Democratic agenda since way before John or me were born. We have a chance to fulfill that goal within the next few days. John has a chance to be part of that if only he can find where he left his backbone.

Perhaps some calls will help him locate it.

I hope my old friend will do the right thing and vote YES. We shall see in a few days what he does. And then we will know what needs to happen next.

Cheers

dengre

Update: According to Jon Ward at the Daily Call:

John Barrow of Georgia has made a decision, he told me, but refused to say what it is

We’ll know soon.

In the meantime, keep making those calls. Do not let up.

Thanks

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45 replies
  1. 1
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    Yea, my congresscritter also rode in on Obama’s coat tails and the winger implosion from Bush rule. Harry Teague, he is in a red district and the first dem congressman there in several decades. He has a tough decision also, and looks like he is going the running scared route today voting against the deem and pass resolution. I’ve been calling every day, but today I read the riot act to staffer that dems won’t show up to vote for him in November if he caves to the teabaggers. It surprised me that it shook up a little the staffer who then started stammering that he could change his mind. Not from just my call, but I got the impression he hadn’t had many dems talk so starkly about not supporting him on election day.

    The truth is though, I really doubt he can win no matter how he votes on HCR. Too many crazy wingers in the SE part of the state who are full of piss and vinegar toward Obama.

    But I will bug his staff relentlessly until the final vote, can’t hurt and who knows in the end.

  2. 2
    MP says:

    I live close to the district, so I called today and was told he was still reading the bill and once he was done, he would decide how to vote. I said it he voted for, I’d offer my time and my money to help him get re-elected, and if he voted against, my time and money would go to his primary opponent.

  3. 3
    SIA says:

    Hey Dennis, was that The Athens Observer paper? (Used to have a paper route for AO by god!)

    Can’t vote for Barrow, but I WILL contribute to his opponent if he votes no.

  4. 4
    Brian J says:

    Um, perhaps I missed something, but it likely that the president already had a nice little chat with some of these guys about the availability of funds for their races in the fall? If not, why not? It’s not always appropriate to use a stick, but when you are this close to the finish line, and someone is dependent on the party you lead for a majority of support, it seems like the natural thing to do. Ethically gray? Maybe, but…

  5. 5
    Dennis G. says:

    @SIA:

    No, it was Flagpole. It came on the local scene a bit after the Observer and outlasted it.

    Cheers

  6. 6
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    ambition? this guy aspires to be the next…. what? Blanche Lincoln? Zell Miller?

  7. 7
    ed says:

    Nice post.

    You know, it occurs to me that this vote is shaping up to be akin to the vote for Authorization to Fuck Up Iraq in 2002. A lot of jackass Democrats voted for the Authorization (I seem to recall it cost a couple the Presidency–as it ought to have). Policy wise, this is a pretty simple yes. OK, it’s a shitty bill, but it is better than what we got and there’s room to move and it’s a start and all that. But politically, in all but the reddest of districts held by a Dem, voting nay may look like the way to go short term, but I predict that in just a few months, pretty much any Dem who votes against HCR is gonna look like a chump–just as any Dem who voted for allowing the Iraq Invasion (yes, some gave moving speeches, and it was President Cheney who really invaded…) does now. But it will happen a lot sooner. This is a huge WIN politically for Dems, with very few exceptions. I don’t know why they can’t see this. And I don’t know why Obama et al aren’t making this clear.

  8. 8
    williamc says:

    I kept hearing the name John Barrow (D-GA) and even though I can rattle off most congresspersons and their districts from around the country just off the top of my head, I’m shocked that until now I hadn’t put two and two together on this.

    I lived in Athens from 1997 until 2003 attending the University of Georgia. It was a peaceful time because Athens was so liberal back then, as a progressive, you didn’t really have to follow politics that closely, you just had to choose your candidate, do a couple hours of volunteering a week, and binge drink. Barrow was one of the most progressive of the Athens-Clarke County Commissioners up until that year that I left town and he had started to run for Congress, I had no idea that this Blue Dog was the one and same John Barrow.

    Wow, Congress really does destroy men’s souls.

    Good on you Dennis G. I STILL read the Flagpole every week here in Atlanta, and it feels good knowing that I’ve been wasting my free time here at BJ knowing that they have someone from the Flagpole family writing here,

  9. 9
    Dennis G. says:

    @ed:

    Spot on.

  10. 10
    Dennis G. says:

    @williamc:

    Yep, back in the day I was a crack-pot with a newspaper. Now I’m a crackpot who John let’s post on his blog.

    I’m glad that Flagpole keeps on rolling along. Pete and the gang there have done a great job.

    Cheers

  11. 11
    williamc says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Jim you wouldn’t believe the knuckledraggers we have running for stuff down here. Check out John Oxendine running for Guv. He’s a fruitcake piece of work, and none of the rest have a lick of sense about them.

    What’s really sad is that my hometown of Warner Robins, GA, a suburb of Erik Erikson’s Macon, GA (a town that I always thought was a shithole has proven it by electing the dumbest man on the internet to City Council there) has a huge Air Force Base in it, and I refused to go home during most of 2008, even when we were canvassing and campaigning for the then-Senator because everyone down there not of color or under 30 were raging Republican asshats. The one time I went down to Macon, right after the then-Senator won Iowa, to do some canvassing for the campaign, I must have heard the old school, “Hell, I ain’t votin’ fo’ that Nigra terrist lover!” more times in one day that anyone ever has outside of a McCain/Palin rally. It was vile, but fun, because I knew then what I know now: we’re going to win.

    I’m going to wait until Sunday night to gloat and do a happy-dance in the face of my evil glibertarian pal though, just to make sure this all goes according to plan. These are Democrats we’re talking about.

  12. 12

    Like anything else, Congress doesn’t destroy someone’s soul, that stuff was already there. There surely are temptations and payoffs regarding various behaviors but that is true in life anywhere.

    It is quite true that it takes a certain personality to run for office. You believe and try to get people to believe that you are uniquely qualified to represent a sizable section of the population … that certainly takes a bit of ego. Ambition tends to be a brother of ego.

  13. 13
    rob! says:

    Nice piece. I’m worried my Rep, John Adler, is thinking along these same lines.

  14. 14

    @williamc:

    Jim you wouldn’t believe the knuckledraggers we have running for stuff down here

    You’re talking about GA, I live in OR and I’ve got Greg Walden (R-Asshat).

  15. 15
    john boy says:

    I live in Barrow’s district and called today. My conversation went like this:
    Me: Hi, I was calling to find out about Rep. Barrow’s thoughts on HCR?
    Girl on phone: He’s still reading the bill.
    Me: I think he should vote for it.
    Girl: Ok.
    Me: I’ll be supporting his primary opponent if he does not.
    Girl: Ok.
    Me: Ok.

    Pretty disappointing. Maybe they’re just getting bombarded, but I was sort of expecting to be treated like an actual person.

  16. 16
    kdaug says:

    There is no other vote. No other thing this congress does will be remembered. No budget reconcilliation, no judicial nomination, no earmark or changing a post office name.

    But this – this will be remembered by everyone.

    And I will personally donate to the primary challenger – or for that matter, the general challenger – of any Democrat in any race in any state that falls down on this.

    No second chances. This is it.

  17. 17
    John says:

    Worth noting that Barrow is at least better than Artur Davis, who is apparently a definite no despite representing an overwhelmingly Democratic district in Alabama. Does anybody besides Davis really think a Black guy is going to be elected governor of Alabama? At least Barrow has an arguable case that his district is borderline competitive. Davis is just purely screwing over his constituents for a pipe dream of statewide office. As far as I know, polls show that Davis would be competitive in a statewide race, but I’ll believe it when I see it; the idea that a black guy is going to win the gubernatorial election in Alabama in what promises to be a Republican year seems outlandish.

  18. 18
    Yutsano says:

    @John: Does he not get that not only is this an uphill battle, but will become a complete impossibility without the support of the Democratic base even in Alabama? Going against Obama’s signature issues when you have higher aspirations like this strikes me as the height of folly. But what do I know? I’m just a worm.

  19. 19
    mcc says:

    @john boy: To be fair, maybe he is just reading the bill.

    They did only post it this morning.

  20. 20

    BJ dropped dead and I wondered … now what ?

    Back to find “Your base are belong to Tunch” for sub-heading.

  21. 21
    Yutsano says:

    @Chuck Butcher: So that’s not just me? I was thinking for awhile I r doing it wrong or something.

  22. 22

    @Yutsano:
    yeah, and I was looking askance at a very new lap top…

  23. 23
    Maude says:

    @mcc: I like you. You are fair and accurate. A rarity.

  24. 24
    Texas Dem says:

    Check out the article in the NYT this morning about the pending House vote. It makes it sound like the Dems already have the votes and they’re simply trying to decide which vulnerable Dems can be given a pass, and which ones have to vote the party line. By itself such an article would not mean much, just spin from party leadership. But consider: (1) the “deem and pass” vote in the House yesterday (talk about something that’s easy to demagogue; I can’t imagine voting in favor of “deem and pass” and yet not voting for the health care bill); (2) the increasingly optimistic statements coming from House leaders; and (3) President Obama’s decision to cancel his trip to Asia (the only good reason for doing that is if the WH thinks it has the votes and wants to have the President around next week for the reconciliation battle in the Senate). The usual caveats apply, of course (these are Democrats, after all), but it looks like we’re going to reach the magic number. Call it optimistic pessimism.

  25. 25
    Jinx says:

    Dennis-

    I graduated from Georgia in ’91 and hung around a few years before moving to NYC for a spell.

    The Flagpole was a great mag under your care, a must read. I dated a guy in Roosevelt and palled around with the fellas in Hayride. I have no idea if either band rings any bells for you there sure were a bunch, really too many to mention.

    I don’t remember John Barrow but I did vote for Gwen O’Looney for mayor of merged Athens-Clarke Co. My b/f and I waited in line to vote with Jared of 40Watt & Flagpole fame. Later that evening from the doorway to the Georgia Theatre we saw Gwen stumbling drunkenly and jubilantly down Lumpkin in celebration of her victory.

    Just before I headed to NYC I sold an old Mac to some nice guy at the Flagpole office on Broad, it could have been you. Small world. I really had a great few years in Athens.

    I’ve lost touch with all my old friends down there but if I can find a means of contacting anyone I’ll do it.

    -Jinx

  26. 26
    tesslibrarian says:

    John Barrow was my county commissioner in Athens from the time we bought our house in 1998 until he ran for Congress. I supported him, donated to his campaign, and then he was moved to Savannah by the Georgia lege. I hadn’t been pleased with how he turned out in office, but it was refreshing to have a congressman who might, maybe, listen to what I, as a constituent, wanted or needed. Once the lines were redrawn, it’s been a lot like not having a congressman at all.

    Barrow still regularly fundraises here, which is logical, since he has so many close friends and family here. The regular local establishment Dem-supporting crowd are always the ones who host the fundraiser, usually in someone’s home in Cobbham.

    I haven’t been to one or donated since Barrow voted to renew the Patriot Act in 2006; back then, I let his office know that they’d receive no more money from me, no more campaign support from me, if he voted for the renewal. I similarly received an “ok” message, entirely bushed off, so this isn’t so much being overwhelmed as just moving the conversation along so they can get off the phone. Disappointing indeed.

    Barrow hasn’t a snowball’s chance in hell to become Senator in 2014; he might become the Dem nominee, if only because our bench is so shallow here. As horrible as Chambliss’s treatment of Cleland was, he had to go big to go after someone with Cleland’s life story and voting record. For Barrow, just being from Athens is enough for the local troglodytes to tar him as some sort of effeminite, educated elitist out of touch with the rest of Georgia. That’s really all it will take. It’s not like Georgia Republicans have mellowed over the past several years–now everyone wants to be Eugene Talmadge.

    I will try to contact him today (before I go to work; I can’t call from the library), but I already know I’m going to get the brush off. John is a truly nice guy–he has stood with me on the front steps of my first house on a lovely fall evening and discussed rental property issues (we live near campus), and asked for my vote even when he knew he had it. Maybe he’s an example of what Washington does to some to people.

  27. 27
    tesslibrarian says:

    Oh, and Flagpole is still the only decent political coverage available in Athens. We’re making an effort to preserve them at the library. It’s like having an alternative history to read from 2001-now.

  28. 28
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I’m in Atlanta, so clear out of Barrow’s district, but I’ll call and tell his office that if he votes No on HCR I will actively work and donate $ to defeat him in any future campaigns.

    John: such disappointing news about Artur Davis. I was hoping for much better from him.

  29. 29

    […] Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » John Barrow: Profiles in […]

  30. 30
    Douglas says:

    You might also call the DCCC at (202)863-1500 to let them know that you will not be able to send them any money unless they can guarantee that none of your money will go to any weasel who votes NO on HCR.

    I’m all for punishing these *censored*, but I’m also almost certain they won’t guarantuee that. Unless they make an extra fund which will only be used to fund dems who voted yes… (though the real effect of that would probably be neglible… they’d just fund the NOs with the normal fund, and use less of that one for YESes).

  31. 31
    Shygetz says:

    Finally…someone is Georgia who I might be able to influence my call. Shame that, as a recent Athens transplant, I missed him during his days here. Sounds like I might have missed the Very Best of John Barrow.

  32. 32
    clay says:

    I lived in Athens from ’99 to ’05. It’s neat to see so many Juicers live/d in the same area.

    I actually helped campaign for Barrow in ’04. (Just some phone calls, nothing more.) We really thought he’d be a solid progressive, but he’s been pretty disappointing as a congressman.

    Let me second (third/whatever) that Flagpole was great. Both for politics and music.

  33. 33
    Dennis G. says:

    @mcc:

    Actually, the Bill was posted yesterday. And I’m sure that John could have read most of it during the last few weeks and that if he had any real concerns he could have made them known. After all, he traveled with President Obama to his District about ten days ago.

    John’s “I’m reading it” dodge is for the gullible. He will vote YES or NO based on which choice seems to give his ambitions a clearer path.

    We need to make him and the other fence sitters fear a NO vote far more than they fear a YES vote. It is how one motivates cowards.

    Cheers

  34. 34
    Dennis G. says:

    @tesslibrarian:

    If it would help your preservation effort, I have a complete set of Flagpoles from the first issue in 1987 through when I left in 1997. It would be fun to get them scanned and made searchable. It would be a great resource for folks who wanted to follow the history of the Athens music scene (and Athens in general).

    I do not think that Washington changed John, I think it is his ambition that has led him away from the values he used to fight for. I think he can still get back to them, but if he votes NO on HCR I will have to write him off as less than useless.

    Cheers and have a pint at the Globe for me.

  35. 35
    Atticus Finch says:

    I gave the maximum legal cash contribution to John for his first campaign both in the primary and in the general. Since then his only excuse to me for his anti-gay votes was that he needed to vote that way to get re-elected in his conservative district. Now this schmuck will vote against providing health care to millions to assure his own re-election. He’s an ugly (in both senses) little man who’ll do anything — probably including running over his own grandmother with a lawnmower if needed — to satisfy his vain ambitions. I’m giving money this time to his primary opponent.

  36. 36
    pattonbt says:

    @ed:

    I think this comment by ed is probably the best summary of the mid to long term view. I’m really amazed that any Dem rep cant see the forest for the trees. This will be seen as landmark legislation in about two weeks time. The narrative will change. Now it wont change forever, but it will be a primary and electoral benchmark like the Iraq war vote for the foreseeable future.

    In the Dem primary for POTUS, I was for Obama and against Hillary, my reason was her Iraq war vote (amongst a couple of other things, but Iraq mainly – but of course I would have voted for Hillary in the general election and enthusiastically so).

    But what Dem is going to want to go on the record having voted against one of the most landmark Dem legislative successes ever. Unwise to say the least.

    Sure, we all want more out of the bill, but the direction it sets and what it actually fixes is more than worth some of the suckage.

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    I hear you. No money for mofos who can’t stand up for basic Democratic Party principles.

  38. 38
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    Holy shit! I know you, Dennis! We met briefly, though I’m sure you don’t remember.

    You did a great job with the ‘Pole back in the day. It’s still the best Athens has in terms of reading pleasure, but it’s not the same.

  39. 39
    williamc says:

    Well, who’d have thunk that there were so many of us BJers in/from Athens? Looks like there should be a meetup during AthFest this summer. I’m sure we could get some rad pet pics during a wild Athens weekend…

  40. 40
    tesslibrarian says:

    @Dennis G If we had the capacity or equipment or money to have them scanned, I’d love it, but the cash just isn’t there for the project. As it is, the library is using almost entirely part-time MLIS librarians to keep from having to pay benefits, and therefore keep costs down; I’m lucky my husband has a telecommute job with an Atlanta IT firm, because I couldn’t afford to work there (and have independent local history projects) otherwise.

    The Heritage Room (old newspapers, microfilm, other Athens memorabilia) has a whopping $2,500/year budget for materials. Doesn’t get us far in terms of collection, much less digitization.

    We have a couple of Flagpoles from the 80s, but don’t have a steady, full collection until I think around 1996 or so? I’d have to look to be sure. These are the physical newspapers–the ones from ~2000 to 2007 were a donation last year from someone who included a couple hundred dollars for archival boxes to store them. Flagpole does send a copy specifically to us for archiving now, but it just gets put in the box with others from the year.

    You have no idea how much it makes my heart ache to turn you down on this–Flagpole is Athens, and already so much has been lost. If I win the lottery, I’ll definitely take you up on it.

  41. 41
    ed says:

    @pattonbt

    Thanks for the love.

    A wildly unfortunate exception to this line of thinking is the Bobbi Flekman Principle. As we move forward in the Corporations Are So-Totally People, Let the Money Fly Era, you could expect some to vote against HCR so as to secure (not at all inconsequential) funding from the Pharma and Insurance industries (not that wasn’t already a ginormous factor). And money gets votes no matter what the facts on the ground are. So there’s that, which is why it’s even more important to make this happen now.

    As I spend my morning making calls, this is now a key talking point I’m using: HCR is akin to the Iraq War Authorization Vote; how would you like to be remembered in a few weeks’ time? Other talking points still stand.

    Sadly, a Public Option would be more popular two weeks after the vote, which speaks volumes about the power of the Medical Industrial Complex. What a shame. Ah well, we do what we gots to do.

    Onward!

  42. 42
    MadRuth says:

    I just called Barrow’s Washington office (no waiting) and talked to a nice staffer named Emily. Apparently his line is that he has had a lot of communications from constituents demanding that he “READ THE BILL!!!”, so he is withholding comment until he has had time to do so. BTW I attended one of his town halls in early June, before the teabaggers got warmed up good. I was pretty much the only non Fox junkie in the crowd, and I could tell then he was not on our side and probably wouldn’t be. He was really proud of his role in gumming up Waxman’s committee so that there couldn’t be a vote before the August recess. He also gets lots of money from the Insurance Industry.

  43. 43
    ghost of xmas past says:

    I live in John Lewis’ safe district, so have given $ and made calls on Barrow’s behalf to try and support Dems in Ga. I am really disappointed in Barrow’s record and if he votes against HCR I plan to help his primary opponent. I had an email exchange with him at the time of his November NO vote and he indicated “Kucinich is not the only one opposing this from the left.” !!! He also indicated a hope to vote FOR an improved bill after conference with Senate. I asked how he could expect negotiations with the Senate to move the bill to the left since the Senate bill seemed further to the right, and the series of follow up emails reflected total incoherence and contradiction on his part. I couldn’t figure out where he stood, and he couldn’t seem to either. I have to agree he is a coward and trying to cover his ass for whatever his future ambitions are. Hopefully that leads him to vote yes.

    I also have spent much time in Athens and was and continue to be a Flagpole fan.

  44. 44
    tigrismus says:

    @Dennis G.: The Georgia Newspaper Project at the UGA main library has microfilmed issues of Flagpole from Oct ’87 to the present. You can contact them to see if they’re missing any.

  45. 45
    smiley says:

    Barrow’s a no: Not surprised.

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