Mud in District 12 race continues to fly with Anderson mailer

Mud – or in Grovetown state Rep. Lee Anderson’s case – manure – continues to fly in the 12th Congressional District race as Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff between Anderson and Augusta businessman Rick W. Allen grows closer.

A mailer from Lee Anderson for Congress goes too far in accusing Allen of contributing money to incumbent Democrat John Barrow, said Allen’s campaign manager, Scott Paradise.

“It’s a flat-out lie,” Paradise said. “This piece is a last-minute piece, and maybe they thought ‘let’s send it out and hope we don’t get caught.’ But they slipped up.”

The mailer, which features “Rick Allen’s Democrat Dream Team” with photos of Charles “Champ” Walker, Barrow and President Obama, says Allen gave money to Democrats in hopes of securing lucrative government construction contracts.

It cites a Federal Elections Commis­sion filing as the source of information about Allen’s donation to Barrow. The filing, accessible at FEC.gov, shows an April 11, 2006, donation of $250 to Barrow from “Richard E. Allen,” which is the name of an Augusta lawyer, although it lists the donor’s address as the Augusta home of Rick W. Allen, Anderson’s opponent.

In an e-mail Tuesday, Anderson’s political director, Scott Knittle, said “none of our materials ever referenced a donation from Rick E. Allen.”

The money instead came from Associated General Contractors, a political action committee in which Allen has held leadership roles in Georgia and made contributions.

Anderson, a well-funded farmer with a television ad showing manure splattering on Allen’s face, has not agreed to any debates Allen has requested. He also declined an invitation, which Allen accepted, to debate at the Atlanta Press Club today.

Paradise dismissed the other allegations on the mailer – that Allen gave to Walker in 2001 and to a political action committee that supported Obama’s stimulus plan.

Allen briefly supported Walker, a Democrat running for the District 12 seat in 2001, with whom he had a Bible study group, before the emergence of Max Burns as the Republican congressional candidate, according to Paradise.

Associated General Contractors, the source of the PAC donations, gives almost 90 percent of its money to Republican candidates, he said.

Since the primary, Anderson and Allen have exchanged barbs mostly over the new transportation sales tax that Anderson helped authorize in the Legislature, which Allen calls the largest tax increase in Georgia history.

The exchange continued Wednesday with Anderson pointing to a July
debate in Statesboro when Allen was videotaped saying, among other things, the sales tax is “the right kind of tax,” even though his construction com­-
pany builds government buildings funded through a similar 1 percent sales tax.

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