Sylvia CooperCity Ink columnist and correspondent for The Augusta Chronicle.

Republicans try to avoid congressional race brawl

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Some potential candidates for the 12th Con­gressional District Re­pub­lican primary say Glor­ia Norwood, the widow of former U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood, and their son Carlton Norwood tried to broker a deal to select a candidate to run in the primary.

John Stone, the only announced Republican candidate, acknowledged that Carlton told him he wanted to avoid a fierce primary like last year’s, during which Republicans depleted energy and bank accounts fighting each other.

Stone, a former spokesman for Norwood, said he told Carlton, “That’s very good. But I’ve been running since February.”

Former Augusta Mayor Bob Young, who considered running for the seat if incumbent Democrat John Bar­row had decided to run for the Senate, said he was invited to meet with the Nor­woods about selecting a candidate, but declined.

“I wasn’t going to be involved in selecting a candidate,” he said. “I thought the purpose of the primary is to select the candidate. I think the people should select the candidate.”

Republican Rick Allen, who is expected to announce this week that he’ll try for the seat again next year, said that he, too, had spoken to the Norwoods and that they were very pleased with his decision (to run).

Augusta lawyer Wright McLeod, who came in third in last year’s Republican primary, has decided not to run next year.

GEARING UP: Friday was Stone’s last day as chief of staff for U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, and he’ll be moving to Augusta in mid-June.

“I will start Monday putting in more time in the campaign,” he said. “I’ve been contacting people from the 2008 campaign. I’m trying to build a sense of unity in the primary, so we don’t tear each other to pieces.

“My campaign is not against other people but against Barrow – not that I’m against him personally. Everybody is in agreement not to fight among ourselves. I started my campaign with that idea in February.”

TALES FROM INSIDE THE BELTWAY: Stone says one of the stories coming out of Texas since the IRS scandal broke concerns Carter.

Before Carter was to speak to the Cedar Park Tex­as Tea Party, the IRS asked the group to record his comments and send it the recording.

‘That’s a little frightening,” Stone said. “And you couple that with the Justice Department wiretaps of The Associated Press phones in Washington, and a little known but more frightening aspect was that in order to tap the AP phone lines, they tapped the House of Representatives press lines. They went into the House press gallery switchboard in order to make those taps, and that is not only a violation of the House of Repre­sentatives but of the entire press corps.”

Stone said the media’s relationship with the Obama administration reminds him of the poem about a woman riding a crocodile across a river, so I looked up the poem and copied it for you:

The Lady and the Crocodile

She sailed away

On a sunny summer day,

On the back of a crocodile.

“You see,” said she,

“He’s as tame as tame can be,

I’ll ride him down the Nile.”

The croc winked his eye

As she bade them all goodbye,

Wearing a happy smile.

At the end of the ride,

The lady was inside,

And the smile

Was on the crocodile!

WHEW! Whoever wins the Republican primary will have to run fast to catch Barrow, because he’s got a head start.

On Monday, he spoke at Memorial Day events in Augusta and in Dublin and attended two town hall meetings. One was at American Legion Post 205 on Highland Avenue in Augusta, and the other at a post in Statesboro.

On Tuesday, he went on farm tours in Appling and Jeff Davis counties.

On Wednesday, he visited with Columbia County Commission Chairman Ron Cross and Administrator Scott Johnson. Then he met with Tammy Shepherd, the president of the Columbia County Chamber of Com­merce.

Shepherd said she had written a letter to the U.S. De­partment of Transpor­ta­tion about a possible loss of the nonstop flight from Augusta Regional Airport to Washington because of U.S. Airways’ merger with American Airlines.

Barrow said he was happy to tell Shepherd that he’d already sent a letter to the department “to the very same effect.”

“It’s a threat to our nonstop flight to Reagan Air­port in Washington,” Barrow said. “It’s important to the people at Fort Gordon, SRS and folks overseeing construction work at Fort Gordon. I know how important it is to everybody else in the region. That’s why I’m working to hold on to it.”

On Thursday, Barrow had another day of visits and meetings in the Augusta area and lunch at the Pin­na­cle Club to hear Young speak about his book, The Trea­sure Train. As it turned out, he and Gloria Nor­wood were at the same table.

After the Pinnacle Club, Barrow visited Jim Steed’s farm and dairy in Grove­town, toured the Cintas facility in Augusta and attended the Smallcakes Cup­cakes ribbon-cutting in Colum­bia County.

Asked whether he didn’t get tired going to so many events, Barrow responded, “I don’t recommend this job to people who get tired.”

On Friday, Barrow attended Coffee County Day, took two farm tours and had lunch at the Farm Bureau.

On Saturday, before the day was half-done, he had been to the Augusta Market, the Salvation Army Auto Auction and an antique-car show at Krispy Kreme on Washington Road.

AT LEAST WE’RE ON THE MAP: To all the Republicans in Augusta who keep bragging about how important the city is to Gov. Nathan Deal and how Augusta has his ear, answer this: Why did Deal make 30 board appointments last month, and not one of them was from Augusta? They weren’t even close to Augusta.

Oh yes, I forgot, he gave us all those millions for Geor­gia Regents University.

RAIN TAX, RAIN TAX, GO AWAY! Folks complaining that the city is cutting garbage service in half to one day a week but charging them the same as before are really going to be mad a year from now when the billing for the rain tax starts.

But by then, they might be so assuaged by the public relations consultant, the public involvement strategy, media campaigns, newsletters, fact sheets, brochures and other PR coming their way, they won’t let out a peep.

IT IS HARD FOR THEE TO KICK AGAINST THE PRICKS (THAT’S FROM THE BIBLE.): The Augusta Commission’s Ethics Reform Study Sub­com­mittee is supposed to meet a second time this week to work on a new policy.

At the previous meeting, they agreed that commissioners can’t do business of any kind with the city.

That seems to be about all they need to say, if you ask me. But they think they have to decide how to punish violators. And some want to drag the process
out as long as possible to keep it in the public eye to embarrass the most recent violators as much as possible.

Commissioner Grady Smith, whose company did subcontract work on a city project at Fort Gordon, should just quit making the case for such endeavors. He’s not getting anywhere with it. And I don’t think any of his colleagues will take his challenge to put their records of honesty and integrity up against his.

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Riverman1 06/01/13 - 10:38 pm

Ouch! Double entendres and all.

But let me summarize. Gloria Norwood wanted the other candidates to drop out and join her in supporting Wright McLeod. It didn't happen.

Lee Benedict
Lee Benedict 06/02/13 - 12:51 am
Kiss their rings

Who ARE the Norwoods to think that they can pick and choose and broker an agreement as to who runs? Are they that full of themselves? This is America, and if someone wants to run, then s/he should run. Testing the waters are asking around for support is wise. As far as Bob Young, would the GOP actually support him regardless of whether or not the Young home hosted a gala for Barrow?

I sincerely hope that the claim of the Norwoods selecting a nominee is the author's hype and not evidence of stuff similar to what Obama and the Clintons do. Give the people choices, let the candidates make their cases and may the best candidate and person win.

southern2 06/02/13 - 06:37 am
Loved Charlie Norwood but

Loved Charlie Norwood but isn't this what we see every election cycle. Nevermind who best represents the true gut feelings, not the compromised watered down version, of the folks. It always seems that the "establishment" candidate always rises to the top...i.e. McCain, Bush, Romney which usually spells slaughtered at the polls. Selected? Just maybe.

seenitB4 06/02/13 - 07:35 am
I like that Sylvia...might use it myself :)


Little Lamb
Little Lamb 06/02/13 - 08:02 am
Smoke-filled Rooms

If the Republicans want to avoid bloody primary fights in the future, they need to go back to conventions instead of using primaries. I say, “Boo,” on Gloria and Carlton Norwood in their effort to become kingmakers; but good, old-fashioned conventions would be a lot of fun.

I can't remember how the conventions worked, though. Did each county have its own convention and then mass for a state convention. If so, that's too many. They could have regional conventions consisting of several counties. That would be for statewide elections. For U.S. House, I guess county conventions leading up to a district-wide convention would be okay.

palmetto1008 06/02/13 - 08:26 am
Bob Young doesn't fall for

Bob Young doesn't fall for the typical political garbage. He's a level-headed, fair-minded person, and who considers and respects all perspectives. He really does need to get back into politics. He'd have my vote for Congress, President, or dog catcher. And, I might add, that's it's relatively rare that I mark the box next to the candidate with the [R] beside the name.

...point to ponder
...point to ponder 06/02/13 - 08:40 am
2 itms...

1. John Stone needs to run for the office and not against Barrow. He needs to tell me why a person with his intellect would make a good Congressman. I'm not voting for him because he is against Barrow.

2. Augusta, Ga. politically means nothing to Gov Deal.... The votes that come from this area are insignificant compared to his Atlanra market.
I'm looking forward to voting for a new Governor that cares about Augusta...Deal has not stopped all the mess at MCG...GHSU...ASU. I want a new Governor that is much more in tune and proactive on matters that affect communities like Augusra. *his not choosing any appointees from this area really shows us something.

Brad Owens
Brad Owens 06/02/13 - 09:27 am
Lee Benedict...

Hey Lee, I hate to tell you this but Bob Young would trounce Stone and Allen if he ran.

And for the record, his wife had the party for John Barrow and he had "no comment" about it. By the way, she was right to do it Anderson was not fit for congress and I am VERY surprised a rightwing Republican like you would support Anderson given his actual voting record in the State House.

I guess party or rhetoric matter to you all more than actual voting records huh?

And if you want to know why it is smart for folks to try and pick good candidates on the GOP side, I only need to point to the last election.

Seems Lee "Lee-duuuh-ship" Anderson is a poster child for why you all need to start picking good candidates.

But then again, I am a John Barrow supporter so I will just sit back and enjoy the fight on ya'lls side and get ready for another victory party at the Partridge Inn with my exceptional congressman.

Drinks all around!


Riverman1 06/02/13 - 12:21 pm
Bricko Farms Product

Oh, Brad, get out of here. Anderson was the candidate because he won the primary. Barrow will go anyway he believes will get him votes and that means appeasing Richmond County, low income-low information, voters. Just because he’s a Southerner doesn’t mean he is a Democrat like they used to be. He’s more like a Bill Clinton Southerner. If you are happy with that…that’s you.

Bob Young has proven to be a wise and effective public official, but letting his wife take the responsibility for the party at his house for Barrow is a full bag of Kricket Krap from Bricko Farms out on Sand Bar Ferry Road. He was into the contents of the bag up to his neck. Yes, party loyalty does mean a lot to Republicans.

Dixieman 06/02/13 - 10:38 am

We need to quit nominating crazy people who sneak in through low turnout primaries and then get whomped in the general election. I favor the British system: If you want to run for office, you have to go to a candidate school operated by the national party which then scrutinizes you and your positions and determines your electability. If you pass, you go run locally somewhere like back home. This system has its drawbacks, yes, but I WANT TO WIN SOME ELECTIONS so we can repeal Obamacare, introduce FairTax, etc.!!

allhans 06/02/13 - 08:10 pm
When I think Bob Young, I

When I think Bob Young, I think HUD, after that I think of the ---- communities that are growing around us....

Lee Benedict
Lee Benedict 06/02/13 - 07:31 pm
Fact check

Brad, pal o'mine, love ya, mean it, prayers for your safety in Africa. Now, please tell me when I endorsed Anderson. Hint: I didn't. In fact, I was very...VERY critical of his campaign. Prior to July's primary, I thought that Lee's campaign was doing OK. For the record, I supported Maria Sheffield and would do it again. In the runoff, I voted for Allen; in part because I think he's good people, and in part because of the shameful and shameless campaign run by Anderson. He would throw bombs and then retreat in deep isolation. He/his campaign thought from day 1 that all would vote for the "R" in November.

BTW, let 2012 be a lesson to all who want to sound intelligent. I can't even guess how many people told me something along the lines of, "We need a Congressman from here". Well, the nominee was from here. Anyone who thought that Anderson would beat Barrow (or Barrugh, depending where in the 12th his ads ran) simply by being on the ballot was/is way out there. IMHO, Sheffield was by far the best person and candidate, and Wright the worst.

McLeod lied about why he voted and for whom he voted in the 2008 Democratic primary. Let's just admit it...he LIED. He gave thousands of dollars to an ultraleftist candidate, and brushed it off by saying that a friend asked him for help. Please! Let the friend ask for help. If...IF his views are so opposite yours, then stand on principle and keep the checkbook tucked away. But what really sealed the deal on this guy was how he flaunted his military record. He served. Got it. Mention it in your opening and include it in your bio. That stupid sign on the campaign HQs proclaiming to be the only veteran in the race and then stating that he fought for you once so let him do it again, in my view, exploits the memory and deeds of those who never made it home alive. I (almost) equate what he did to what the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee did with regard to flaunting his military "experience".

Away from the 12th for a moment: we need someone for the 10th.

just an opinion
just an opinion 06/02/13 - 10:58 pm
Carlton Norwood?

Really? Who cares what he has to say?

Darby 06/03/13 - 11:23 am
Bob Young "I think the people should

select the candidate.”

And they do. But the time honored process calls for those who give a rat's fanny to get together, interview and evaluate those who are interested in the job and decide who they would like to support.

I remember very well Charlie Norwood going though the exact same process.

That's how Bob Young got into the mayor's office. Maybe he forgot already.

The screening process can work and work to the benefit of the people.

Darby 06/03/13 - 11:25 am
Sounds like Mr. Mayor Bob might have

a chip on his shoulder.

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