On a Georgia congressman’s intra-party boat-rocking

Politico has a piece worth reading this morning about Georgia’s Tom Graves as a reflection both of the new, tea party-infused, independent streak of many freshman GOP members of the House and of the problems Speaker John Boehner has had in keeping his caucus in line.

The story comes on the heels of the AJC Political Insider’s reports that Bob Barr is considering a primary race against Graves. But, given Barr’s switch to the Libertarian Party (he would run against Graves as a Republican) and his outspokenness against a number of GOP actions, I doubt he would make for a more compliant representative of Georgia’s soon-to-be 14th Congressional District.

The whole piece about Graves is worth reading, both for the local interest and the broader intrigue about whether Boehner can hold things together. But, agree or disagree with Graves, this statement of his toward the end of the Politico story sounds like what a lot of people say they want from their representatives in Washington:

Graves describes his voting decisions this way: “I make decisions as if I’m not coming back. I’m casting votes in the purest form I can with no assumptions of gaming out the political future, and I think as more members make more decisions like that, we will drive towards better policies.”

Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis, a member of the Appropriations Committee, declined to discuss Graves’s standing inside the panel, but she did note that House GOP freshmen, and their conservative upper-class allies, are having a huge impact on the culture of the institution, including the committee.

“The culture around here is changing,” Lummis said. “And with change comes angst.”

After a decade of overspending, chances are good that any “cultural change” on the House Appropriations Committee will be for the better.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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45 comments Add your comment

Joe The Plumber too.

October 18th, 2011
8:05 am

bob barr’s time has come and gone, he doesn’t even qualify for running a decent blog now. Could not bring myself to vote for him the last time he ran and see no point in the future that I would change my mind.

Fast and Furious Spending

October 18th, 2011
8:15 am

I make decisions as if I’m not coming back. I’m casting votes in the purest form I can with no assumptions of gaming out the political future, and I think as more members make more decisions like that, we will drive towards better policies.

BEAUTIFUL!! A representative government with part-time legislators temporarily obligated to truly serve and do the best they can without the intrigue surrounding Washington that would rival a kingly court.

Simple, elegantly said and almost certainly what our founding fathers had in mind when they established this country as they did.

Fast and Furious Spending

October 18th, 2011
8:15 am

Kyle,

VERY good eye this morning!

Kristen

October 18th, 2011
8:29 am

Washington must be changed from within. Good on, Mr. Graves. His constituents need to support his steadfast principles. There is right and there is wrong. Stand up for what is right. Graves is right–NO MORE SPENDING!

Harvsen M.

October 18th, 2011
8:35 am

People like Congressman Graves are the closest we’ll ever come to third-party representation. The Washington establishment is out of control with our money. I’ll pitch my tent next to his, any day.

carlosgvv

October 18th, 2011
8:41 am

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I read you describing Tom Graves as having an “independent streak”. Tom Graves, like all Republican Congressmen, is bought and paid for by his corporate sponsors and has no “independence” whatsoever. He does what he is told in order to get funding for his and other’s election and re-election campaigns. Of course, all the good gullible Republican voters who read this piece will believe every word you say.

Preston

October 18th, 2011
8:45 am

We’ll never see this kind of resistance coming from the dim side of the aisle. Graves represents the bright light of freedom in an otherwise dark and foreboding hall.

HDB

October 18th, 2011
8:52 am

This part of Kyle’s statememt really struck me:

“Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis, a member of the Appropriations Committee, declined to discuss Graves’s standing inside the panel, but she did note that House GOP freshmen, and their CONSERVATIVE, UPPER-CLASS allies, are having a huge impact on the culture of the institution, including the committee.”

A lack of voice in Congress means a lack of vision as to what is best for ALL people…not just the well-off! It’s no wonder that conservative orthodoxy only suits the well-off….not the desperate!! Government needs to address the needs of ALL the people, not just the monied….and it needs to be EFFECTIVE, not just expensive!!

Aquagirl

October 18th, 2011
9:03 am

Teanuts will idolize a guy who stuck them with his bad loan, plus cleanup of his abandoned property. These are the people P.T. Barnum referred to, no wonder the Tea Party is claiming such large membership if there’s one born every minute.

Junior Samples

October 18th, 2011
9:27 am

Let’s take a look at his voting record, shall we?

Tom likes dogs, free trade, death penalty, use of deadly force, concealed weapons in autos, federal funds to sponsor NASCAR(huh?), old light bulbs, deep water drilling, rate increases to build nuclear plants, and pollution.

He dosen’t like dogfights, campaign finance disclosure, DADT, abortion, food safety, endangered species, NPR, armed forces in Pakistan(prior to bin Laden’s assassination), immigrants, whistleblowers, energy efficiency, physical fitness, regional transportation, and the unemployed.

Walks, talks, and votes like a Republican who wants to be re-elected.

Barry O.

October 18th, 2011
9:30 am

TELEPROMPTER !!

WHERE YOU AT ?

sam

October 18th, 2011
9:36 am

i wonder if “senator graves” will be using that same line 20 years from now?

Rafe Hollister

October 18th, 2011
9:36 am

Bob Barr needs to keep his warm seat on the bench, his time is up.

Uncle Billy

October 18th, 2011
9:51 am

Does anyone know if Graves has made arrangements to pay back the $2.2 million he and Chip Rogers borrowed?

Don't Tread

October 18th, 2011
9:52 am

If Congressmen/women voted based on the merits of the bill involved instead of how their “party leadership” told them to vote, we’d be in a much better situation today than we are now. Most times, we’re stuck with choosing the lesser of two evils at election time.

Kyle Wingfield

October 18th, 2011
9:52 am

HDB: I’m pretty sure “upper-class,” in this context, means “not freshmen.”

MarkV

October 18th, 2011
9:54 am

In a representative democracy, there is always a possibility of strain or even conflict between the views of the electorate and the decisions made by those elected to represent. An elected representative should take the views of the electorate into consideration, but at the same time apply his or her knowledge and judgment in making decisions. Graves’ statement is too one-sided, with a tone of self-righteousness and even arrogance.

Jefferson

October 18th, 2011
9:57 am

Graves is a thief. Ask Bartow Co Bank, he robbed them in plain sight.

MiltonMan

October 18th, 2011
9:57 am

libs like carlos & aqua are this board represent in the purest form why libs are losing power within GA. Do you two even know who the lib opposition to Graves was???

Libs in this state have nothing to offer other than a repeat loser – Rat Barnes who pissed off the most dedicated lib voting bloc – the teachers. Vernon Jones, Jim Martin, Hank “Guam is tipping over” Johnson, Cynthia Mckinney, John Lewis, etc., etc.

MiltonMan

October 18th, 2011
9:59 am

Let’s take a look at his voting record, shall we?

Tom likes dogs, free trade, death penalty, use of deadly force, concealed weapons in autos, federal funds to sponsor NASCAR(huh?), old light bulbs, deep water drilling, rate increases to build nuclear plants, and pollution.

He dosen’t like dogfights, campaign finance disclosure, DADT, abortion, food safety, endangered species, NPR, armed forces in Pakistan(prior to bin Laden’s assassination), immigrants, whistleblowers, energy efficiency, physical fitness, regional transportation, and the unemployed.

Walks, talks, and votes like a Republican who wants to be re-elected

I would vote for him.

Obozonomics

October 18th, 2011
10:13 am

Aquagirl, you liberals are so funny, you call them teanuts, what do you call your occupy crowd since your kind supports them, including Obozo. LOL

carlosgvv

October 18th, 2011
10:14 am

MiltonMan

If you had any reading comprehension skills you would see that Kyle’s post is NOT about any liberal candidate’s opposition to Graves. It is about Graves’ supposed independence from other Republicans. Conservatives like you are the “purest form” of those most responsible for the dumbing down of America.

Centrist

October 18th, 2011
10:20 am

My bet is that Graves will be re-elected by a wide margin of constituents who are happy with his politics.

He is going to garner some opposition due to his failed real estate investment with Rogers, but the hyperbole mostly from Democrats will probably not stick. The bank made the loan based on the property as collateral and took it back – the dispute concerning their signatures and promises of re-financing were SETTLED under private terms.

Atlantan

October 18th, 2011
10:20 am

@carlosgvv – certainly you jest or your head is in the sand. Who controls the public school system….? It isn’t conservatives and definitely not even Republicans.

Obozonomics

October 18th, 2011
10:22 am

carlosgvv, since you “claim” to be so smart, please defend some of your heroes for me, please, Vernon Jones, Jim Martin, Hank “Guam is tipping over” Johnson, Cynthia Mckinney, John Lewis, these are fine examples of liberals, right carlosgvv?

Cosby

October 18th, 2011
10:23 am

I like his style…We need more Statesman like him and less elite, lifetime members that we have. Barr would be part of the old school it is a life time position with all the nice perks and benefits we vote to urselves

Chuck Doberman

October 18th, 2011
10:24 am

You have a problem with the term Aquagirl used…. and your handle is “Obozonomics”… and you expelright wing talking points more often than you breathe… but that’s not hypocritical though, right…?
So very typical.

Fred

October 18th, 2011
10:24 am

The Flea Party…huh..huh..huh

Chuck Doberman

October 18th, 2011
10:29 am

Graves has done well arranging a collection of pretty words, but his platform, at least in Ga., is mainstream republican and he will be re-elected overwhelmingly. The fact that the republican party has taken a drastic turn to the right has been blatantly obvious for a long time now so I have to wonder how this is surprising to anyone.

Fred A.

October 18th, 2011
10:33 am

Graves has drunk too much of the tea. He is out of place up in D.C. Bob Barr is just what this country needs now. He is not afraid to speak his mind and lead a revolution. If conservatives out there want their country back, they should realize that Barr can make that happen. True, Barr ran as a Libertarian a couple years ago, but that was because he was aggravated at the Republican Party, as I’m sure many Republicans were/still are. He has always had conservative-leaning ideals, and will bring those back to Congress when he is elected next year. Barr is a fighter, he gets things done.

Clarke S.

October 18th, 2011
10:39 am

Bob Barr is a man of integrity. He is not afraid to speak his mind, even if its against what the majority wants. He will work for his constituents, like he did when he represented the old 7th. Barr is not intimidated, or will he shy away from anything that Washington or the Obamacrats will throw his way.

yuzeyurbrane

October 18th, 2011
11:03 am

Don’t think there is much difference between Barr and Graves policy-wise. Democrats won’t like either one. Re integrity, however, there is huge difference.

Steve - USA

October 18th, 2011
11:05 am

So I guess Aquagirl would call then “Fleanuts”. :)

Kyle Wingfield

October 18th, 2011
11:07 am

And the battle of the sock puppets (re: Graves v. Barr) is on…

Junior Samples

October 18th, 2011
11:09 am

Not only does Graves like defaulting on loans, but wants the taxpayers to clean up their mess. That hotel is probably an eyesore now.

Sure acts like a career politician.

Junior Samples

October 18th, 2011
11:22 am

Bob Barr reminds me of Don Quixote in tinfoil armor. Never met a conspiracy theory he didn’t like.

rwcole

October 18th, 2011
11:23 am

I’m just wondering how much Tom Graves paid for this advertisement.

Obozonomics

October 18th, 2011
11:35 am

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/criminal_occupation_oh3CnKANUqYHrGPCaZaLRK

LOL

Occupy is a bunch of losers, i am so glad that the liberals have claimed them..

GWAHAHAHAHA

Politi Cal

October 18th, 2011
11:52 am

Do you really thaink Graves means it when he says it? Hard to tell. Poloiticians, as a breed, are self-preservationists to the Nth degree.

OakhurstDawg

October 18th, 2011
12:10 pm

Junior is right on.

Bob’s typical rant in the AJC follows this formula:

1. Identify a single (statistically insignificant) instance of perceived or real injustice against an individual (preferably a hot button one like guns).

2. Go on about it ad nauseum w/o regard to any of the external circumstances surrounding the event.

3. Portray the event as if it were occurring in a widespread manner and impacting hundreds of thousands of individuals.

4. Summarize thusly: THEY’RE COMING TO GET US ALL!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!

@@

October 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

I had to do some reading on this Graves fella. He doesn’t represent my district so…

Anyhoo!

Bloom quotes the deposition from bank Vice President Alan Black in which Black acknowledges “I knew that they didn’t have $2.2 million, no.”

Not sure what that means with the “no” that follows. Did they or didn’t they? If they did, then Graves is no different than those millions to whom banks loaned money knowing full well they were in over their heads.

Where’s the love and compassion from leftists?

schnirt

Besides, the bank ended up with the property, or, at least, the land on which the property sits. It’s probably worth more without the “inn”.

Opposing government’s fiat with fire? Somebody has to. If only we had more that were willing.

Dumb and Dumber

October 18th, 2011
1:50 pm

I guess folks like “Centrist” have a hard time grasping that Graves made a PERSONAL GUARANTEE on the loan and then, we he defaulted, blamed the bank for making the loan to him in the first place.

If he were a democrat, he’d be pilloried for that stance, but since he is a Republican, he gets a pass.

Its called hypocrisy…and Tom Graves is a hypocrite, and a Congressmen, but I repeat myself….

14th district resident

October 18th, 2011
4:17 pm

I don’t care if it’s Bob Barr or Jerry Sherian or who ever. I just want Tom Graves to come home. I will agree that he has voted like most republican would like for him to. But charter also has to count and the fact he says do like I say and not like I do. He tell us in Washington that we should be responsible for our on selfs that we should paid our on debt that government should stay out of it.But he did not pay his debt he let a bank go under instead of paying. He sued the bank for lending him the money in the first place. When they lent him the money on his good name and the fact the he and Senator Chip Rodger had been good customer in the past. But the first time it look like there was trouble they dumped the property to a man they knew was on the heals of going under. They did not care that other would be hurt. Just for their own skin.
So tell me how do you respect a man and want him to serve you. I don’t

14th district resident

October 18th, 2011
4:36 pm

@@ the property has a motel that has been condemned that the county as to pay to destory.Plus there is over $40,000 in back taxes that has not been paid on this property.

Hillbilly D

October 18th, 2011
8:20 pm

Graves is my Congressman, unfortunately (maybe they’ll Gerrymander me out of his district) and given his own financial dealings, I don’t have a hell of a lot of faith in him having any say in the country’s. Before him, we had Nathan Deal, so we ain’t had much representation up here in the Hills, in a long time. Wish there was another Phil Landrum around.