Four groups launch a pre-emptive strike against Bob Barr

This week, one after another, four prominent, national conservative groups issued a rare series of public warnings to a private citizen considering a run for Congress.

Don’t do it, they told Bob Barr. We will bury you.

The first organization was the most important – the anti-tax Club for Growth, whose members are a deep source of Republican campaign contributions. Then came Concerned Women, a Beverly LaHaye group, followed by Eagle Forum led by Phyllis Schlafly.

On Friday, the influential Family Research Council joined the pack.

Each group – or, officially, their political action committees – endorsed U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, the tea party favorite and Republican incumbent who replaced Nathan Deal, now governor, in Washington.

But each one also gave specific mention to Barr, the former congressman and 2008 Libertarian candidate for president. Once a favorite of the conservative movement, who helped lead the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the four groups denounced Barr as a traitor to the cause. Gay marriage topped their lists.

“While he once authored the Defense of Marriage Act, Congressman Barr has since repudiated it and would like to see the law overturned. Mr. Barr was also an advocate for homosexuals in their quest to openly serve in the military,” wrote Connie Mackey, president of the Family Research Council’s campaign arm.

A spokeswoman for Graves said the congressman had not solicited the endorsements, or the denunciations of Barr. But if you believe such things happen by coincidence – well, get busy on that letter to Santa. Time’s a-wasting.

“It’s something of a compliment to someone who’s been out of Congress for eight years, to have somebody obviously stirring the pot sufficiently to have organizations unendorse you — before you even announce you’re running,” said GOP strategist Bill Crane, who’s helping Barr in his pre-campaign phase.

“If nothing else, it’s a demonstration that Bob’s candidacy would be formidable, though certainly, you’d prefer to have them say, ‘Run, Bob, run,’” Crane admitted.

Barr expects to make a decision by the end of the year. He’s been sounding out former supporters, and state party officials. A poll of the district “looks pretty favorable toward his candidacy,” Crane said.

There are reasons to think Graves is vulnerable. He was elected to a 9th District that included most of north Georgia. His new district, renumbered as the 14th, now includes the heavily populated northwestern counties of Floyd, Paulding, Polk and Harralson – all strangers to him.

Though Graves is a tea party hero, neither Governor Deal nor House Speaker David Ralston wanted him as their congressman – two important votes of non-confidence. (U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, who has represented much of the territory being shifted to the new 14th, on Friday endorsed Graves, calling him a “champion of fiscal conservatism.”)

Then there is the matter of the $2.2 million loan issued to Graves and state Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, in 2007 to renovate a Calhoun hotel. The lawsuit accusing the pair of defaulting on the loan was settled recently, but the issue remains a volatile one for a congressman so vocal about putting an end to government bailouts.

All that said, deposing a congressional incumbent is never easy. And Barr will have much to explain about his changes of position under the Libertarian banner.

“The tea party and the Libertarian party are not identical,” Crane said. “The tea party has a much more conservative front on a number of social issues. So there will be some disaffected voters. There will be some people that we’ll have to spend some time with.”

Topmost is legislation that Barr sponsored establishing a federal standard for marriage as being between a man and a woman. “Bob has in fact had a change of heart related to the Defense of Marriage Act,” Crane said. Barr now considers it a states’ rights issue.

Though judges and justices of the peace can perform them, the vast majority of weddings are still conducted in churches, where the federal government has no business, Barr is likely to argue. Limited government is limited government.

There would be plenty of irony in an attempt by Barr to return to Congress. Barr was defeated in 2002, when he ran against fellow Republican John Linder — Barr’s own 7th District had been weighted with Democrats by the Legislature.

His defeat was cited as a case of voters pulling away from a Republican who lived on the ideological extremes. A new Barr would run as a conservative with a practical streak – a man who would argue that principles are good, but dysfunction is not.

“When Bob served, the Congress balanced the budget twice, cut taxes, cut spending, reformed welfare, and actually got things done, despite having divided government,” Crane said. “It’s important to know the difference between saying the right things and voting correctly, and getting things done.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

57 comments Add your comment

double

December 2nd, 2011
6:11 pm

If Barr desires to really piss them switch parties ,or run independent.

honested

December 2nd, 2011
6:28 pm

Wow, although I would never vote for anyone with an ‘r’ by their name, I might have to write a campaign check to bobbar.

If you have those particular fascist oriented groups against you, there must be something good you can do for the American people.

But please, we have wasted enough money on signs to rename stuff after ray-gun.

BILLY MAYS HERE

December 2nd, 2011
6:47 pm

Never thought I would say it, but “Go Bob Go”

Richard Winger

December 2nd, 2011
7:54 pm

The trouble with Bob Barr running as an independent or a Libertarian is the Georgia ballot access laws, which are so severe for minor party and independent candidates for U.S. House, no independent has overcome those laws since they were stiffened in 1964, and no minor party for U.S. House has managed to get on the ballot since the law was first written in 1943. Before 1943 no petition was needed, but now about 20,000 signatures are needed, and they must be notarized, and a large filing fee is needed as well.

missing the point

December 2nd, 2011
7:57 pm

how is it these people are called “champions of fiscal conservatism”, yet our debt is running thru the roof and that’s even when these so called fiscally conservatives get in. the bottom line is people have to realize money comes from people. you beach and holla about taxes because they all raise taxes. most of the times rethugs say they won’t tax you but then, they “fee” you out the water.

Slip

December 2nd, 2011
8:32 pm

The rookies in congress including Graves have been incapable of governance. They personify the “no” wing of the Republican congress and the experienced congress people can not gain any sway. Government without compromise is failure.

td

December 2nd, 2011
8:49 pm

Slip

December 2nd, 2011
8:32 pm

The dems control the Senate and the WH and they are the ones that can not govern. The Republicans only control the House of Reps. After the 2012 election the Republicans will control at least the House and the Senate and maybe even the WH so then we can talk about being able to govern.

td

December 2nd, 2011
8:50 pm

BILLY MAYS HERE

December 2nd, 2011
6:47 pm
Never thought I would say it, but “Go Bob Go

We are going to vote for the same person.

catlady

December 2nd, 2011
8:52 pm

Graves–a champion of fiscal conservatism? Only if you believe that, in conserving HIS money and sticking the rest of us with the bill (his motel loan defaulted), he is behaving in an ethical way, in a way that represents the interests of his constituents. NOT. While he may be conservative with HIS money, he has proven to be profligate with OUR money. Vote him out!

dagnabit

December 2nd, 2011
8:54 pm

Why are these republicans so against competition.

[...] political action committees are not too happy about the idea and have made their opinions known. This week, one after another, four prominent, national conservative groups issued a rare series of [...]

pierre gustave toutant beauregard

December 2nd, 2011
9:36 pm

“The default on Graves’ loan contributed significantly to the collapse of the Bartow County Bank (the small community bank which loaned the $2.2 million to Graves). The bank’s collapse and liquidation cost the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation $69.5 million.” Calhoun Times 8/31/11

” The property which was purchased with the bank loan, was stripped of anything valuable by its new owner and is now abandoned and become an eyesore. Due to unpaid property taxes going back to 2009, the city may have to seize the property and spend over $100,000 to secure and eventually demolish it.” Calhoun Times 10/7/11

“U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, who has represented much of the territory being shifted to the new 14th, on Friday endorsed Graves, calling him a “champion of fiscal conservatism.”

Talking about Dumb and Dumber…

Centrist

December 2nd, 2011
10:26 pm

It’s always fun watching the AJC support and promote the more liberal candidate – even if they have to hold their nose and push for Bob Barr. I know and like Bob Barr, but also know his ambition moves his political stances according to which office/ constituency he targets.

The trial balloon Barr sent up is now shot full of holes. He is not likely to get enough Democrats to come out with crossover votes in a Republican primary to displace Graves from the very conservative Republican district, and that is Barr’s only chance.

Amazing

December 2nd, 2011
11:09 pm

I don’t like Barr and never have. But, he has every right to run for office as anyone else. Let the voters decide at the ballot box. This continues to show the hyprocisy of the Republican party.

BehindEnemyLines

December 2nd, 2011
11:53 pm

The potential of a Barr candidacy raises concerns that perhaps there should be a sanity test as part of the qualifying process. Insanity is the most complimentary defense he could plead to explain the past few years.

sldasdf

December 2nd, 2011
11:54 pm

When conservatives denounce Bob Barr that tells you how extreme the right has become.

BILLY MAYS HERE

December 3rd, 2011
12:43 am

Centrist

December 2nd, 2011
10:26 pm

It’s always fun watching the AJC support and promote the more liberal candidate

Then stop reading the AJC and don’t post here.

Betcha you won’t, though.

Silent Jay

December 3rd, 2011
12:46 am

Bob must scare them terribly for all four to come against him.

itsmeagain

December 3rd, 2011
12:48 am

More like women concerned with making America one of the least hospitable areas in the world. These people make me sick. All of them are going to hell

Ronnie Raygun

December 3rd, 2011
12:49 am

Barr may be kind of a nut, but at least he’s not an outright crook like Graves. Since local conservatives didn’t mind electing a crook as governor who installed his relatives and cronies into several high paying state positions, they probably won’t have a problem putting Graves back in office. At least Barr seems to have principals. Graves, not so much.

[...] SOURCED [...]

Political Mongrel

December 3rd, 2011
1:30 am

Barr repeatedly showed in his previous terms that he actually gives a rip about the people in his district and did not go to Washington to be a lobbyist’s bought plaything. I have some fundamental disagreements with his ideas, but I respect his honesty and dedication.

clyde crommett

December 3rd, 2011
2:09 am

After 2012 president will be OBAMA. WOP (whineing old party) has become obsolete, their own chooseing. They dont have answers, so just
keep on whineing, thats how OBAMA got in first time. Rerun letterman show last nite, Newt skit sexing vending machine.

Steve From Dalton

December 3rd, 2011
2:38 am

I am a big 10 Adm. supporter. With guys like Chip Rogers, I not so sure I want power returned to the states. Rogers has a vendetta with the Tax Assessors office and has passed some screwball laws. Now Graves and Rogers have stuck Gordon County with a Demo bill.

Tiberius

December 3rd, 2011
3:05 am

I’d vote for Bob Barr over Tom Graves in a heartbeat. It takes a real public servant (as opposed to a politician) to realize and refute their earlier mistakes.

Techfan

December 3rd, 2011
4:51 am

If those four are agin him, then I’m fer him.

Jack

December 3rd, 2011
5:45 am

Barr just wants his old job back. All politicians know it’s the best job they’ll ever have. They preen, hold press conferences and retire with a good pension funded by the taxpayers.

Jackie

December 3rd, 2011
6:26 am

Barr is dead meat politically. The republicans hate him and the democrats don’t trust him. Mr. Barr has made his bed and will have to lie in it.

Smoke

December 3rd, 2011
6:26 am

There is a big difference between “controlling” the Senate and having a “majority” in the House. Boehner has proven that you can have a majority in the House and pass irrelevent bills, and McConnell have proven that 51% does not constitute control. Apparently there are some businesspeople and governors don’t understand simple things about the US Congress. Will someone please explain how a Party goes from telling us that “tax cuts do not cause deficits” and have signed a “no-tax increase” of any kind pledge to voting for not only one, but two increases in the same day?

Attack Dog

December 3rd, 2011
6:32 am

This is the year of adulterer for the GOP candidates. One of many ironies is that Bob Barr wrote the first so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DoMA) which was passed with the leadership of fellow adulterers Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole and House Speaker Newt Gingrich. They did this while they were doing what to Bill Clinton? Let’s not forget that Newt didn’t have sex with his neighbor’s wife because he did the same thing that Bill did with Monica.

Ga Values...Just call me heartless

December 3rd, 2011
6:34 am

I voted for Bob as President, his main problem is his attatchment for ughly women but helooks pretty bad himself. My vote & check will go to Bob Barr.

no timw

December 3rd, 2011
6:34 am

barr has no chance–but he’ll run just to keep his name active and get some more lobbying and speaking gigs and maybe write a book. Cash in bob!!

Attack Dog

December 3rd, 2011
6:36 am

Since Dixiecrats love to vote on or raise morality issues, how come they haven’t voted to make adultery a criminal offense? DoMA, DADT, and Abortion to name a few Oh, I know, most of their candidates would go to jail.

Cherokee

December 3rd, 2011
6:45 am

Been said elsewhere here, but if these four groups are against him then he has my vote.

cloudodust

December 3rd, 2011
7:06 am

Attack Dog : Issues with sex in politcs is a sticky subject. It’s the individual, not the party, that should find the spotlight. Thing is, DEMs love to cast stones at REPs failings, all the while, accepting low morals from their own as par for the course. Generally, we want proof of the incident, not accusations (see stained blue dress vs Ginger White) Problem is the MSM operates on a TMZ mentality (sorry TMZ) and loves to take innuendo and make it news. Evidence is the key, but as one much wiser than I has said, and I’ll paraphrase here, ”If you repeat a lie often enough, people will accept it as the truth.”’ It appears you are Exhibit A….

Deklan Georgia

December 3rd, 2011
7:16 am

Our life & death (nat’l defense) is the job of the federal govt, your quality of life is up to your state. Bob is a proponent of the US Constitution; some of that in Washington would be greatly appreciated. Here at home, don’t ask/don’t tell and affirmative action is why the perimeter is there…

BitterEXdemocrackkk

December 3rd, 2011
7:24 am

re: Richard Wingers comments above! Thanks for citing the truth there that the clueless masses dont even realize. They are too stupid to call for legislative changes that would allow others on the ballot.
Demopublican CONTROL is an EVIL thing, but the clueless follow right along. Georgia and NC have probably the worst Ballot Access Laws in the nation…like I said ‘clueless’…

Noler

December 3rd, 2011
7:47 am

He’s a rino..we need real conservatives that will protect family values and balance the budget..he needs to go back to looneyville and take Ron Paul with him

Noler

December 3rd, 2011
7:48 am

Then move dumb democrap

Eric

December 3rd, 2011
8:04 am

This is why pacs need to go. Vote for the individual, not the party or pac, that best represents your views. Vote for Bob Barr!

[...] Four groups launch a pre-emptive strike against Bob Barr [...]

woo

December 3rd, 2011
8:42 am

Hope Barr wipes the floor with Tea bagging suck-up Graves.

Bobby

December 3rd, 2011
8:46 am

While liberal Democrat I am, I have no problems voting for Bob Barr as a Republican. He reminds me much of Barry Goldwater, conservative but also able to think independently which Graves isn’t able to do bowing down to the groups that oppose Barr.

woo

December 3rd, 2011
8:48 am

Since Clinton, when I loathed Barr mightily, I have sen a different side of him in my North GA community. He regularly refutes the right-wing stupidity in out local paper’s “Letters to the Editor”. I find many areas of commonality with him now. I’d cross over and vote for him against Graves in a heart beat. Not that I agree with him on all issues. But these purity tests are what is ruining our nation.

nelsonhoward

December 3rd, 2011
9:04 am

Bob is for reform on National policy on war on drugs. The problem is larger today than it was when President Nixon announced his war on drugs in 1972. He is for legalizing marijuana atleast for medical use.
Bob supports the right to bare arms.
Bob Barr says that education should return to the local level and the national Department of Education be disbanded.
Bob became the first U.S. represenative to call for the impeachment of President Clinton in 1997.
Bob got 523,686 votes in 2008 when he ran for President.

Buzz G

December 3rd, 2011
9:31 am

Let Bob Barr run against the leftist Obama and then see the crazy opposition. There is nothing like going up against George Soros and his billions.

Look before I leap...

December 3rd, 2011
9:33 am

@nelsonblowhard 9:04

“Bob supports the right to bare arms.”

But where does Bob stand with the right to bare LEGS?

bart

December 3rd, 2011
9:50 am

Go, Bob. Do not be blackmailed and threatened by these extreme groups. Graves needs to go.

Not So Casual Observer

December 3rd, 2011
10:42 am

I hope Barr runs because these four groups are opposed.

The ongoing slander of Herman Cain is a good reason to have reform of campaign law. Please will one of the Cain accusers provide some PROOF. At least with Gary Hart there were pictures and with Clinton there was DNA.

The PACS and special interest groups need to be neutered and steps taken to diminish the influence of money in elections.

Slip

December 3rd, 2011
10:43 am

“The dems control the Senate and the WH and they are the ones that can not govern.”

Not an entirely accurate statement. “Controlling” the senate these days means having a supermajority which the dems do not have. Though a democrat, President Obama has made countless efforts to compromise far beyond the center of the economic spectrum only to be rebuffed, not by the republican leadership, but by the government freezing ideologues serving their first term.

The problem global markets are having with the US is not so much the debt problem as the apparent inability of the the legislature to “reach” a plan that might be a solution. Notice I say reach rather than agree. This is how government works.

And I must take the opportunity to add that spending cuts without some revenue increases will create further recession and the markets know this. The rookies are clueless. [for example, shut down a war and muster out hundreds of thousands of soldiers without adding some government assistance to get them back into the job market will mean drastic expansion of the jobless numbers, thus frightening business to close their wallets until the storm passes.]