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Rep. Paul Broun assailed by watchdog group

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013 9:55 AM
Last updated 10:19 PM
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ATHENS, Ga. — U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, was named one of the “most corrupt members of Congress” by a Washington, D.C., watchdog group on Wednesday, the same day a local organization aimed at stopping his Senate candidacy filed for federal recognition.

Broun  JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
JIM BLAYLOCK/FILE
Broun

Broun, whose 10th District represents a portion of the Augusta area, was named to the annual list put together by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington for the second consecutive time.

The congressman, however, rebuts the criteria used for his inclusion.

The listing stems from his “failure to disclose the true source and terms of his campaign loans,” according to the group’s report.

When he ran for the congressional seat in 2007, he reported making personal loans without interest to his campaign. In 2010, his campaign reported making more than $30,000 in interest payments to Broun, according to the report.

Broun was one of 13 members of Congress – four Democrats and nine Republicans – named in the report.

In 2011, after the watchdog group filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, Broun’s then-spokesman blamed the mix-up on an “inexperienced staffer who made a simple error” when reporting the loan. The loan stemmed from a home equity line of credit through Athens First Bank & Trust and included market-rate interest, the spokesman said.

Broun’s campaign finance reports were amended in 2012 and included two previously undisclosed loans, as well as new information on the known loans, according to the report. The newly disclosed loans totaled about $207,000, bringing the total for the loans in question to $321,000.

The group is alleging that Broun violated several campaign finance laws by mischaracterizing the bank loans as coming from personal funds and might have violated others by failing to disclose the loan in the amended 2010 report. The report cites a congressional rule that members of the House of Representatives conduct themselves “at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House” in condemning Broun. An investigation by the FEC is pending, according to the group’s report.

“Incredibly, Rep. Broun is now seeking a promotion to the Senate without ever fully explaining the source of money he used to get elected to the House,” its executive director, Melanie Sloan, said in a news release. “Members of Congress should not be able to evade the basic requirements of the law by relentlessly obfuscating the truth.”

In response, Broun’s office sent a report from the Office of Congressional Ethics, labeled confidential, that reads “there is not substantial reason to believe that a violation of House rules or federal law occurred” in relation to Broun’s earning interest income from the loan. The Aug. 24, 2012, report show that the ethics board unanimously recommended the House Committee on Ethics dismiss the allegations of wrongdoing.

“I cooperated fully with the Office of Congressional Ethics during their thorough review of these baseless charges,” Broun said in a statement. “Additionally, I worked with the Federal Election Commission to update all my campaign’s previous filings. In the end, the OCE voted unanimously, and on a bipartisan basis, to recommend dismissal of this matter. This so-called ‘watchdog’ group doesn’t care about the facts, they just care about advancing their fundraising efforts.”

A spokesman from his campaign, who also serves as his spokesman in the House of Representatives, did not respond to a request for comment about the local group forming to end Broun’s Senate hopes. The group, Trust 2014, formally opposes fellow Senate candidates and U.S. Reps. Phil Gingrey and Jack Kingston, too, though it originated with opposition to Broun.

Caroline Daniel Ramsey, the lead adviser for Trust 2014 and its Crush campaign, described the three men as nonprogressive in their views, clarifying “when I say progressive, I don’t mean liberal; I mean thinking like it’s 2013.” She said the men are so polarizing and antagonistic that it is difficult to have civil discourse about their beliefs and policies or even trust them.

“You want to trust your politicians like you trust your neighbors,” she said.

Ramsey and fellow campaign organizer Michael Smith have roots in the Organizing for Action campaign, which stemmed from President Obama’s re-election efforts.

The idea of the new political action committee is to raise the level of rhetoric in politics to where people can have civil discourse and find common ground to move forward, they said. Its aim is to talk with swing voters leading up to the election about their choices, though it does not officially advocate for any candidate.

Comments (18) Add comment
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Little Lamb
48030
Points
Little Lamb 09/19/13 - 09:28 am
9
9
Trust

From the story:

“You want to trust your politicians like you trust your neighbors,” Caroline Daniel Ramsey said.

Sorry, Caroline, but there are neighbors I trust, and there are neighbors I don't trust. Politicians: you never trust them.

This "Trust 2014" group sounds like a bunch of naïve liberals who have formed a group to oppose Republicans instead of supporting Democrats. I guess it's the new way. The tax laws probably make it more lucrative to do it that way.

Jake
33441
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Jake 09/19/13 - 10:14 am
9
4
Who cares?

Just as long as he is a Republican, right?

Fiat_Lux
16246
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Fiat_Lux 09/19/13 - 10:20 am
13
8
Re: watchdog groups,

Today, if they support DumocRats and target Conservatives, they're called watchdog groups. If they support the Conservative side and target DumocRats, they are treated to IRS investigation, are refused tax exempt status and may be the focus of FBI or NSA scrutiny.

KSL
140564
Points
KSL 09/19/13 - 10:29 am
5
7
Guess that is what we get

Guess that is what we get when the potus has become a quasi-dictator.

myfather15
55844
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myfather15 09/19/13 - 10:53 am
4
3
Is this "CREW" a left

Is this "CREW" a left supporting group? I assume they are, but they might not be. I personally don't like Broun either!! MANY politicians try to make money ANY way they can, even "bending" the rules, as THEY call it.

myfather15
55844
Points
myfather15 09/19/13 - 10:54 am
6
6
KSL

Yes, there is no limits when the President is a marxist!! He believes himself to be a superior human being and his followers believe it as well!! He can do absolutely ANYTHING he wants, and those on the left will blindly follow him!!!

dichotomy
36340
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dichotomy 09/19/13 - 11:02 am
7
6
Watchdog groups........more

Watchdog groups........more like a pack of little ankle biter house dogs. No reason to bite....it's just what they do....yap and bite.

I'll bet a dollar to a dime that they got their Obama IRS tax exemption pretty pronto.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 09/19/13 - 11:47 am
0
0
When this
Unpublished

"watchdog" group eradicates charlie "white cracker" rangel, I'll give them some credence.

Brad Owens
4859
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Brad Owens 09/19/13 - 12:16 pm
6
3
Much ado about ...

NADA... with all the actual corruption in our government THIS is what they look at? Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

lsmith
105
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lsmith 09/19/13 - 02:42 pm
0
0
Organizing For Action?
Unpublished

Well there went credibility. That group is as polarizing and corrupt as they come. Their motto is to win at any cost.

Truth Matters
7838
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Truth Matters 09/19/13 - 04:51 pm
4
2
"I'll bet a dollar to a dime

"I'll bet a dollar to a dime that they got their Obama IRS tax exemption pretty pronto."

Perhaps. However, It is a matter of record that ONLY progressive groups were actually denied tax exempt status. It's not your fault you didn't know that since Chairman Issa went to great lengths NOT to allow that part of the "SCANDAL" to see the light of day. Only because the ranking minority member outed him do we know this.

deestafford
30525
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deestafford 09/19/13 - 05:26 pm
4
3
I wish Broun would stay in the House and not run for the

Senate. I don't know why it is that every House member looking in the mirror when he shaves in the morning, or when she puts on her makeup, sees a future US Senator staring back. Then even every US Senator is looking in the mirror in the morning they see a future US president looking back.

As to that "watch dog group". They are a remnant of the obama campaign and trying to destroy any candidate with conservative leanings. This goes to show how well the obama and the dems are organized at the grass roots level.

burninater
9799
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burninater 09/19/13 - 05:47 pm
2
4
"As to that "watch dog

"As to that "watch dog group". They are a remnant of the obama campaign and trying to destroy any candidate with conservative leanings."
------
Dee, you are clearly misinformed. CREW began in 2003, and is the remnant of neither Obama campaign.

If you value truth, I would recommend you be skeptical in the future of whatever your source was for the CREW/Obama falsehood. On the other hand, if you enjoy being lied to, carry on!

dashiel
176
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dashiel 09/19/13 - 06:22 pm
5
2
Broun is an embarrassment

to Georgians still capable of being embarrassed. The standards for becoming a United States senator must have reached an all-time low if our choice is this Honey Boo-Boo boob.

Little Lamb
48030
Points
Little Lamb 09/19/13 - 06:57 pm
1
1
Tapeworm

Burninater posted:

CREW began in 2003, and is the remnant of neither Obama campaign.

Thanks for the research. Perhaps we should just think of CREW as a tapeworm sucking the sustenance out of political campaigns.

nocnoc
47444
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nocnoc 09/19/13 - 07:30 pm
1
0
WHOLE List and Why also.

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ)
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)
Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Rep. Greg Meeks (D-NY)
Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)
Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

RUNNER UPS
Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL)
Rep. John Tierney (D-MA)

Read the reasons why?

http://www.crewsmostcorrupt.org/page/-/PDFs/Reports/Most%20Corrupt%20Rep...

See page 42 for the Rep. Paul Broun .

Dixieman
16595
Points
Dixieman 09/19/13 - 08:56 pm
2
1
"watchdog group"?

More like out-of-state trendy-lefty organization. Bah, humbug. Broun is a good man (but I agree he would be better advised to stay in the House and abandon his Senate run).

WalterBradfordCannon
1492
Points
WalterBradfordCannon 09/20/13 - 06:25 am
3
0
I lost all respect for Broun

I lost all respect for Broun when he assailed scientists as coming from the pits of hell. Any good Christian should be able to see, clearly, that assailing secular scientists for pursuing truth is as blasphemous as bearing false witness in the name of the Lord.

Bizkit
34439
Points
Bizkit 09/20/13 - 08:19 am
1
1
CREW was organized as a

CREW was organized as a "watchdog"group to counter conservative Judicial watch. Hillary was involved at one point and they apparently focus on conservatives. I have no doubt Broun may be a crook, but what is the usual relative argument-what politician isn't a crook. Who,besides a mafia, would have thousands of dollars in their freezer.

itsanotherday1
47042
Points
itsanotherday1 09/20/13 - 09:46 am
2
2
Dittos Walterbradford

The guy is far right nutball. I've never liked him and like him even less as time goes by. Very weird stuff coming from the mouth of a supposedly educated man.

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