Barrow, Allen both target Obama in early TV ads

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SAVANNAH, Ga. — Rather than take shots at each other, Democratic Rep. John Barrow and the Republican running for his east Georgia congressional seat have rolled out early campaign ads taking aim at the same target: President Obama.

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Allen  FILE
FILE
Allen

Barrow of Augusta is running for a sixth House term in Georgia’s 12th District, where his re-election chances hinge on the Democrat’s ability to win support from independent and conservative voters in a seat drawn to favor Republicans. His race against GOP businessman Rick Allen is considered one of the most competitive congressional campaigns of 2014. That explains why both candidates are buying TV ads for the Nov. 4 election before Labor Day. So are the national Republican and Democratic parties, which have already spent more than $482,000 on ads directly attacking Barrow and Allen.

Barrow’s newest ad, which began airing Thursday, shows the congressman at the Port of Savannah as he talks of battling the White House to help jumpstart a $706 million expansion of the port’s busy shipping channel.

“When the Obama administration didn’t put the funding to deepen the port in their budget, I took them on,” Barrow says in the ad. “And this year, we finally got it done.”

Savannah, like other East Coast ports, is scrambling to deepen its harbor to make room for supersized cargo ships expected once the Panama Canal finishes a major expansion. The Savannah project was granted a federal permit in 2012, but Washington has yet to fund it. Georgia officials were stunned in March when Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal 2015 contained no construction money. The White House insisted that first Congress needed to raise an outdated spending cap that was nearly $250 million below the project’s estimated cost. In remarks on the House floor, Barrow urged Obama “to lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

Though Congress did raise the project’s spending limit in May as part of a larger water projects bill, the federal government still hasn’t put up the cash. Georgia plans to start dredging using its own money.

Allen’s first TV ad of the fall campaign, released last week, also points a finger at the president while ignoring Barrow altogether.

“Look at the mess Obama’s made,” Allen says. “Veterans dying, ignored by the VA. The crisis on our border. His government can’t even run a health-care Web site.”

The Augusta Republican goes on to say, “Yet, not a single bureaucrat’s been fired and the career politicians are letting the president get away with it.” He fails to mention that Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned in May over delayed treatment for veterans, while Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stepped down in April after the rocky rollout of the government’s health-care Web site.

Obama is an unpopular figure with many voters in the 12th District, which covers 19 mostly rural counties and includes the cities of Augusta, Statesboro, Vidalia and Dublin. Barrow has thwarted previous GOP challengers by asserting independence from the president.

Republicans want to convince voters that Barrow’s relationship with the president is cozier than he portrays it.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has been airing a TV ad featuring a mother of five from Augusta who says, “John Barrow votes with Barack Obama on every issue that’s important to us here in Georgia. He gets wrapped up in the politics of Washington and forgets about the constituents back home.”

The NRCC ad states “John Barrow voted with Obama 85 percent of the time” – a claim that’s repeated in a second ad Republicans began airing Friday. That percentage appears to be true if you look only at 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency.

The Republican ad credits that statistic to an analysis by Congressional Quarterly of 2009 votes of individual members of Congress. But the same Washington publication reported in later years that Barrow was much more likely to vote against the president’s position on issues. It calculated Barrow voted in support of Obama’s position 83 percent of the time in 2010, 59.5 percent in 2011, 29.5 percent in 2012 and 35 percent last year.

“It’s a very deceptive number,” Barrow spokesman Richard Carbo said of the Republican ad’s 85-percent figure.

Meanwhile, Democrats have begun attacking Allen in an ad that also ignores some relevant facts. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s ad criticizes Allen’s construction company for taking government contracts “while Georgia families struggle.”

“And our sales taxes were raised to pay for 16 of Allen’s contracts,” says an announcer in the DCCC ad.

The DCCC cites some 26 government projects worth $184 million that Allen’s construction firm was awarded in an 18-year span. The tax-increase claim is correct if you fault voters for raising taxes on themselves. The 16 projects singled out in the Democrats’ ad were all funded through penny sales taxes approved by local referendums.

“Rick has never been a politician,” said Allen campaign spokesman Dan McLagan. “He’s a businessman who built schools and libraries and the like because the taxpayers voted for them to be built.”

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Dixieman
22250
Points
Dixieman 08/23/14 - 08:17 pm
8
0
Barrow

pretends not to be a Democrat. Won't even mention the word in his ads.
The man has moved three times to cling to his seat in his redrawn district. He would move to Mongolia if he thought it would help him get re-elected.
Barrow gets lots of support from out of state from desperate Dems who think they need to prove they can elect a white guy in the South. Local support? Not so much.
Barrow -- better polish up your resume and post it online as you will be out of a job come November.

Connor Threlkeld
1316
Points
Connor Threlkeld 08/23/14 - 08:35 pm
8
0
The anti-Allen ads mentioned

The anti-Allen ads mentioned at the end bother me. I don't even live in Georgia, so I don't have any skin in the game, but that same logic could be used in attack ads if any government employee or anyone else who has ever received taxpayer funds decided to enter politics. Take my wife, who has "taken hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars over the course of her career." All you have to do is leave out the little detail that she earned the money over 13 years as a teacher, and it sounds evil.

deestafford
44460
Points
deestafford 08/23/14 - 11:42 pm
6
0
Barrow's ads are for the uninformed...

Barrow's ad's are for the uninformed, shallow knowledge, sheeple who fall for deceptive ads.

Barrow's ads are full of inaccuracies and his voting record is nothing but a preplanned ploy for reelection.

Notice he voted for Obama's proposals early in his first term when they were the ones that could do the most damage.

A vote for any Democrat is a vote for Obama, Harry Reid, and all liberals in Congress. There is no such thing as a conservative Democrat.

Young Fred
25170
Points
Young Fred 08/24/14 - 12:40 am
5
0
Barrow

is against Obama except when he's for him.

As is typical with dem politicians they get conservative at election time in order to gain votes from dem voters who love god and country but can't be bothered to actually research voting records.

Barrow's no "horse of a different color", he's donkey through and through.

Little Lamb
55402
Points
Little Lamb 08/24/14 - 06:22 am
4
0
Pinnochio Alert

From the story:

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s ad criticizes Allen’s construction company for taking government contracts “while Georgia families struggle. And our sales taxes were raised to pay for 16 of Allen’s contracts,” says an announcer in the DCCC ad.

The sales taxes were raised only last year, and only to pay for transportation projects via the TSPLOST. Rick Allen's company is a construction company, but I think it constructs structures, not highways. Am I correct?

Little Lamb
55402
Points
Little Lamb 08/24/14 - 06:24 am
4
0
By the way . . .

. . . it is safe for Barrow to vote for John Boehner's bills in order to pander to conservative Georgians because he knows that Harry Reid will not bring the bills up for consideration in the Senate. It's a dirty little game that Barrow is playing.

hoptoad
49053
Points
hoptoad 08/24/14 - 09:06 am
3
0
As I said in the Rants/Raves,

As I said in the Rants/Raves, the dems/lefties always profess to be conservative during campaigns because they know the majority of voting citizens are conservative. Once they are elected, they then will continue to lie, steal, punish, bully and whip us into good little socialists.

Mostly, democrats pretending to be conservative hope to garner Independents' votes because Independents vote "for the best person" with seemingly no idea that once in office the "best person" is going to vote with the party with which they are affiliated.

hoptoad
49053
Points
hoptoad 08/24/14 - 09:13 am
2
1
There should be rigid rules

There should be rigid rules governing the ads put out to the public. If I'm correct, politicians are exempt from lawsuits for slander and libel put forth during campaigns . This should be changed so politicians being bombarded by falsehoods and half-truths have some recourse.

hoptoad
49053
Points
hoptoad 08/24/14 - 09:20 am
2
0
I have had occasion to be in

I have had occasion to be in the company of Mr. Allen several times and find him rather smug and arrogant.

However, I'll vote for Allen if it'll help relieve us of Barrow. I just don't trust Barrow even if he has voted against some of O's policies. I think he does this when he is sure they will fail in the Senate anyway. And he does what he thinks will make him look good.

jimmymac
66423
Points
jimmymac 08/24/14 - 10:52 am
0
0
RINO
Unpublished

I know there's a term for a Republican who acts conservative but is really a liberal at heart but is there something for a Democrat who pretends to be a conservative at election time?

Darby
37494
Points
Darby 09/09/14 - 11:47 am
1
0
"I have had occasion to be in the company of

Mr. Allen several times and find him rather smug and arrogant."

.
Scratch the surface of JUST ABOUT ANY politician and that's what you'll get.

After all, you have to have a really tremendous ego to think that you and you alone can solve other people's problems.

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