Debate shows Broun, Fleming on same page

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Republican opponents for the 10th U.S. Congressional District agreed more than they differed during a Saturday debate at the Columbia County Library in Evans.

Incumbent Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, and state Rep. Barry Fleming, R-Harlem, fielded questions from a group of panelists on gas, the Middle East, illegal immigration, medical school expansion, child predators and taxes.

Both said they are proponents of a "Fair Tax" amendment that would eliminate federal income taxes and abolish the Internal Revenue Service.

"I believe adopting the fair tax would be one of the biggest economic boons to this nation," Mr. Fleming said.

Such a national sales tax would force everyone to contribute to the system, he said.

Dr. Broun agreed, but said government needs to cap a sales tax to just 10 percent of the total purchase amount.

Perhaps the most contentious part of the evening was the candidates' differing stances on the Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online Act. Mr. Fleming supported it while Dr. Broun voted against it.

Mr. Fleming said he would support any legislation that "cracks down" on child pornographers.

Though he said he believes in being tough on sex offenders, Dr. Broun called the SAFE Act a bad law that allows too much government intrusion into the private communications of residents and unfairly punishes Internet service providers.

The candidates for the July 15 primary agreed the U.S. should be prepared to do what is needed to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

"Iran having nuclear weapons is totally unacceptable," Dr. Broun said.

Mr. Fleming said the U.S. needs to stands by such democratic allies as Israel in that region.

"The last thing we need in this world is a nuclear Iran loose in the Middle East," he said.

Until Iraq is capable of standing on its own, Mr. Fleming said he supports keeping American troops in the region.

Without citing a source, Dr. Broun said Saturday he has been rated the No. 1 toughest federal lawmaker against illegal immigration. He said illegal immigrants are destroying the nation's health care and education systems. He proposes tighter security on the country's borders, ending birthright citizenship, and adopting English as the official language in the U.S.

Mr. Fleming agreed with sealing the borders and adopting English as the official language, and also with keeping illegal immigrants out of federal housing.

A graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Broun said he would like to see Augusta become a "destination city" for medical care and research for civilians and military.

During the most recent session of the state Legislature, Mr. Fleming said he formed a committee to examine the state's medical school facilities and believes in expanding MCG and establishing satellite campuses in other Georgia cities.

To ease burdens at the gas pump, Mr. Fleming agrees with presidential candidate John McCain in temporarily suspending the federal gas tax, drilling for oil inside the U.S. and off the coasts of Florida and California and advocating nuclear power.

Dr. Broun agreed with Mr. Fleming's points, especially domestic drilling.

The candidates will have a final area debate July 7 on Comcast Connect Live on Comcast Channel 4.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (16) Add comment
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Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/22/08 - 07:15 am
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I found it interesting that

I found it interesting that the moderator, panelists, Barry Fleming and many in the audience wore suits as would be expected while Paul Broun didn't. In addition, the podiums were there for the candidates to stand behind when they addressed the audience. Broun chose to sit the whole time. Not a big point I realize, but I was always taught you dress appropriately to show respect to others. Broun would either invoke his service in the military or his belief in the Bible to answer anything from the gas shortage to his statement that social security was unconstitutional. I found the debate a contrast in style and substance. Barry Fleming looked sharp like he was still an assistant DA working for Danny Craig prosecuting criminals before a court.

tomgahunter
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tomgahunter 06/22/08 - 07:51 am
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Riverman1, you hit the nail

Riverman1, you hit the nail on the head Fleming is a "suit" that will repesent special interest while Broun will repesent the people. Why does Fleming run these half truth ads?? Does he know what the truth is?

patriciathomas
42
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patriciathomas 06/22/08 - 08:06 am
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I definitely prefer Dr

I definitely prefer Dr Broun's conservative libertarian approach to most issues, but his "10% cap" comment shows he still doesn't have a grasp on the fair tax. He needs to do the research instead of relying on his proxy.

Riverman1
79144
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Riverman1 06/22/08 - 09:12 am
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Anyone see Paul Broun's

Anyone see Paul Broun's financial disclosure statement? He made about 20 thousand as a physician working at various places, but he is listed as owning a third in something called Broun Brothers Investments, LLC. He has assets in that somewhere between $250,000 to $500,000. Of course his brother, Conway, another owner, has other LLC's registered in Florida. James Daws, brother-in-law and partner in LandSouth, is an officer in most of these LLC's.

WW1949
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WW1949 06/22/08 - 10:37 am
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Riverman1, what is wrong with

Riverman1, what is wrong with having alot of assets? At least he is not drawing welfare, living is housing paid for by the taxpayer or getting food stamps. He works?

karmakills123
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karmakills123 06/22/08 - 10:47 am
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Yes..just what is wrong with

Yes..just what is wrong with being succesful? sounds like envy to me.

yakirz
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yakirz 06/22/08 - 12:05 pm
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I don't like either
Unpublished

I don't like either candidate. However, I applaud Broun for not blindly following stupid traditions, such as wearing hot, uncomfortable, constraining clothing, especially in a climate such as ours.
We have become a casual culture, and I have no use for outdated formal clothing. Respect someone for their ideas, not their attire.

nahali
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nahali 06/22/08 - 01:20 pm
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Niki Broun was almost asked

Niki Broun was almost asked to leave because she was so badly behaved. Classy.

ModCon
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ModCon 06/22/08 - 01:42 pm
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I'm glad Niki behaved the way

I'm glad Niki behaved the way she did. The people who sat behind her were Broun supporters coming in and Fleming supporters leaving. Good work Niki!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 06/22/08 - 01:48 pm
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Niki Broun did not behave

Niki Broun did not behave badly nor was she asked to leave. If she said anything it was done quietly and only those around her heard it. Heck, I sat next to the most obnoxious person and he wasn't asked to leave. Broun has enough problems without us making up things about his wife's behavior.

jack
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jack 06/22/08 - 02:07 pm
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Tomgahunter, what ads are

Tomgahunter, what ads are half truths? Were I still a resident of Augusta, I would rather have a home guy as my rep. What "special interest" wouold Fleming support? Specifics please.

jack
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jack 06/22/08 - 02:08 pm
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PT, honey, where you been ?

PT, honey, where you been ? I have missed you!

ModCon
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ModCon 06/22/08 - 02:21 pm
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I will have to defer to

I will have to defer to Riverman on whether Barry Pascal's request for the audience to refrain from excessive comments was directed at Niki or the Rain Man impersonator. Perhaps her comments were audible to only those in her direct vicinity, but it still had a profound effect on the couple sitting directly behind her to witness what they perceived as very unlady-like behavior. It was a very prominent Augusta couple so I don't doubt what they say they saw.

tomgahunter
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tomgahunter 06/22/08 - 03:15 pm
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Jack you really need to get

Jack you really need to get out & see what's happening.. Can you still walk or you chair bound.. had a great burger at the pool hall friday. Fleming is a RHINO, Broun is a conservative, which are you?

southern2
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southern2 06/22/08 - 04:09 pm
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I, for the most part, have

I, for the most part, have been undecided between these two, thinking that I would be happy with either one as my Washington rep. Now, I am leaning toward Fleming based his response to a local issue. I contacted both candidates, via their web sites, concerning inconsistent lake levels along the Savannah River managed by the Corps. I was pleased with the rapidness and concern from the Fleming response. 2 1/2 weeks later and still no acknowledgement from the Broun Camp.

DuhJudge
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DuhJudge 06/22/08 - 07:12 pm
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I do not like the way that

I do not like the way that Barry has paraphrased the bills that Congressman Broun made his wilderness votes on. You simply can not take a bill as complex as what the Congress has to address, paraphrase it to suit your message, and then slam Broun for his vote. We are smarter than that and it is almost insulting to think that Barry expects these commercials to work on us that way. Barry was suited up and standing like a lawyer at trial and Dr. Broun was coatless and sitting like a doctor at bedside. And the messages fit the deliverer. I swear Barry sounds mad at the world, and I believe he really thinks that the job that Jim Whitehead lost was his.

LCC0256
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LCC0256 06/22/08 - 09:01 pm
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Paul Broun has voted and

Paul Broun has voted and acted as a Christian conservative during his one term in Congress. Barry Fleming is a lawyer who in the worst of taste and the most trying of times for our country has elected to attack and lie about Mr Broun. Just look at the facts. Use common sense. Who has helped this country more a straight talking & acting his convictions doctor or an opportunist lawyer who every time he opens his mouth is either saying half truths or outright lying about his opponent. Surely in this overwhelmingly Christian part of the country with a supposed high level of average education level the voters here can plainly see what this Fleming boy and his "supporters" are up to. Why would they attack and weaken a proven Christian conservative at a time when we desperately need men & women in Congress who will have the courage and conviction to stand up to the marxist democrats? Only self serving egocentrically motivated insatiably greedy excuses for human beings would be a party to this. These type of country club republicans are the main reason marxism has gained such a huge stranglehold on our political system BETTER READ THAT LAST SENTENCE AGAIN AND AGAIN & think about it.

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