Same shade of Broun

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We've said before that we've never seen a politician more committed to self-promotion than Paul Broun.

Now we can say with authority that he's committed to a fault.

Georgia's 10th District congressman, it appears, has busted his district budget in his tireless effort to get his name and face and voice out to constituents.

Broun has spent nearly his entire budget for 2008 in the first half of the year, and may have to reduce staff or drastically cut other expenses, according to Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call .

"Mr. Broun is about to run out of money to staff and operate his offices in Washington, Athens, Augusta and Toccoa," says a report from the Athens Banner-Herald .

Broun blew half of his $1.38 million budget on the ever-present letters, phone calls and mailings to 607,000 voters in the district -- a full dozen letters and fliers before April.

Broun spent more on such things than any of the other 434 members of Congress, according to The Politico .

Broun's spokespeople insist the office is within budget, and that all the mailings were kosher, since they passed the scrutiny of a bipartisan commission that reviews tax-paid congressional mailings.

Well, there you go: a seal of approval from a Congress that has a 9-percent favorable rating among voters, and which this year alone will overspend the federal budget by about $400 billion.

The investment houses aren't the only financial failures going.

When his challenger in the July 15 primary, Barry Fleming, took note of Broun's past financial problems in his personal life -- including bankruptcy and failure to pay taxes -- some voters instinctively defended Broun. They said that was in the past, and that his personal life is no guide for his professional performance.

They must wonder now.

Or, at least, perhaps they should.

If Roll Call and The Politico are correct -- and they are close observers of our senators and representatives in Washington -- then Broun's "brand" of arch-conservative budget hawk isn't worth the taxpayer-paid mailing it's printed on.

As the Athens paper noted, "Is it affordable?" is Broun's supposed litmus test for voting on bills before Congress.

He should ask the same about his office's bills.

The Broun experience is a sign that Congress' so-called "franking" privileges -- using our money to promote their own career advancement and to protect their eternal incumbency -- needs to be given a serious look. Why, in this day and age, does a congressman need our money to promote himself in the name of "informing the people"? Constituents can be informed via Web sites and e-mails and news stories. And few people are shy about picking up a phone and calling if they have a question or complaint.

This waste of taxpayer money on a congressman's self-perpetuation tour also is a stark reminder of the growing need for term limits. We need to do away with career politicians -- and after one expensive year in Congress and several other runs for office, Broun already is one of them.

"Franking" is considered a privilege that can be taken away.

So is membership in Congress.

Comments (36) Add comment
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DuhJudge
206
Points
DuhJudge 07/24/08 - 11:59 pm
0
0
Why, in this day and age,

Why, in this day and age, does a congressman need our money to promote himself in the name of "informing the people"? Because we can't depend on you anymore. The Chronicle has become a blunt instrument to be used by a few people in the CSRA to commit character assasination. Interview the Congressman before you hit him again. You should be in the "police blotter" column instead of on the editorial page.

Craig Spinks
818
Points
Craig Spinks 07/25/08 - 01:39 am
0
0
DuhJudge, this piece doesn't

DuhJudge, this piece doesn't measure up to the quality of Michael Ryan's work. I wonder who wrote it.

Riverman1
94211
Points
Riverman1 07/25/08 - 04:03 am
0
0
Michael Ryan has been a Broun

Michael Ryan has been a Broun critic as have the other newspapers in the 10th district. Think they are trying to tell the "believers" something?

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11293
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/25/08 - 05:26 am
0
0
It's walking like a duck to

It's walking like a duck to me!

rbk
0
Points
rbk 07/25/08 - 05:41 am
0
0
I would still rather have an

I would still rather have an ex-doctor representing me than a lawyer. I trust more doctors than I do lawyers! It seems to me that sore losers are the ones that try to dig up the most dirt!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/25/08 - 06:03 am
0
0
It's a little late for this

It's a little late for this hit piece, based on an unsubstantiated article from another paper. Flemming lost, big. Let's move on.

HYPOCRITES 08
7
Points
HYPOCRITES 08 07/25/08 - 06:34 am
0
0
Great point, PT.

Great point, PT.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 07/25/08 - 07:25 am
0
0
Suprise!!! The Athens Banner

Suprise!!! The Athens Banner Herald is owned by Billy(Please taxpayers build me a civic center for my horse events)Morris. I'm not a big fan of Dr. Broun but his phone townhall meetings are one of of the best methods of communicating with his constituents. Perhaps if Barry Fleming had an ad that said what he would do in congress instead of doing nothing but try to tear down his opponent he might have gotten more than 30% of the vote.

truthneedstobetold
0
Points
truthneedstobetold 07/25/08 - 07:54 am
0
0
AS I have said Paul Broun is

AS I have said Paul Broun is the great deciever. I have laughed as people said the reason they voted for Paul Broun is because he is fisically responsible.LOL LOL
He is hiding a lot lot more. I can't understand why so many people can be so-o-o gullible.It is scary that Broun would be the 10th district congressman for a full term. Wake up people!

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 07/25/08 - 07:58 am
0
0
I don't see how a congressman

I don't see how a congressman ever accomplishes anything. Doesn't his term only last two years? Which means he must campaign all the time! I remain unconvinced that Broun isn't trying to sneak MCG to Athens like Governor Bubba wants him to. Maybe the Chronicle shares this suspicion, but mailing out too many fliers is a mighty weak argument. This editor's time might be better spent keeping a close watch on the henhouse.

truthneedstobetold
0
Points
truthneedstobetold 07/25/08 - 08:03 am
0
0
broun isn't good at anything

broun isn't good at anything but deception. i called his office to get the facts about his spending and they told me i would have to come to washington to get them,that they were not going to provide them. wake up people!!!!

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 07/25/08 - 08:16 am
0
0
MCG to Athens is a state

MCG to Athens is a state call. Broun has no hand in it and could not, in two years, do anything at the federal level to make a difference. That said, Broun is a complete and utter moron and we have the oppurtunity in November to replace him with a different moron. Work at that.

alumna
10
Points
alumna 07/25/08 - 08:22 am
0
0
What better way to spend his

What better way to spend his budget than on mailings that tell the constituents what he's doing for them? All the other Congressmen/women spend their money on fat. Broun doesn't. At least his expenses are things that benefit me, his constituent, and allow me to know exactly what he's doing. Let's get all up in arms because he's doing what he was elected to do!!!

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 07/25/08 - 08:42 am
0
0
Yes ...but what he is up to

Yes ...but what he is up to is sending repititve non-content mailings and holding "conference calls" with staged actors. Why spend money on that?

ThurstonHowell
0
Points
ThurstonHowell 07/25/08 - 08:49 am
0
0
Still, it is disturbing that

Still, it is disturbing that a few years ago Augustans did not want him yet now his 4'x4' signs are all over. Seems like alot of effort to keep a job that pays a fraction of his campaign budget?? This fact should make us all suspicious of his motives.

dashiel
176
Points
dashiel 07/25/08 - 09:07 am
0
0
PayWhatYouOwe, point taken.

PayWhatYouOwe, point taken. I hail from the good ol' days when corporations didn't own congressmen--their hometown bank did! Getting one on the right committee can do you a powerful lot of good at all levels, if you own him and he can make a career of it without getting caught misusing a youth. Broun reminds me tool much of Atlanta's privatizing wolves. "It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep."

jack
11
Points
jack 07/25/08 - 09:32 am
0
0
Well, you guys voted for him

Well, you guys voted for him , so now live with what you have brought upon yourselves.

Pay What U Owe
5
Points
Pay What U Owe 07/25/08 - 09:39 am
0
0
Dash, for Broun to accelerate

Dash, for Broun to accelerate MCG to Athens, he would have to be on a committee than somehow dumped money on Athens at Augusta's expense. I.e. diversion of research dollars, medical education funds, etc etc. That would be a fairly surgical earmark requiring him to be in the right place at the right time with the right information. I have contacted Broun's office on issues around getting more NIH and resident education dollars into the district on several occasions. Despite being a physician, Broun is incredibly uninformed and uninterested on these issues. He is evidently working on hard on gay marriage and porn on military bases tho. Wonder how he has a budget for that?

HillGuy
8
Points
HillGuy 07/25/08 - 10:09 am
0
0
This gives a whole new

This gives a whole new tartness to sour grapes. The chronicle is upset because apparantly their endorsements don't have much sway even in their own backyard. In fact in the fture, The Chronicle would be better off endorsing the candidate they want to lose.

HillGuy
8
Points
HillGuy 07/25/08 - 10:34 am
0
0
Get it through your thick

Get it through your thick skulls...
The US Congress and Rep Broun have absolutely NOTHING to do with the decision to open a branch of MCG in Athens. It is a state matter purely.. decided by State officials. You know.. this Athens vs Augusta nonsense obviously didn't work in the primaries... Broun took every county including 58% of the vote in Columbia County.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 07/25/08 - 12:51 pm
0
0
I am part of the 58% in

I am part of the 58% in COLUMBIA COUNTY WHO voted for him and like him. The media is filled with lies and slander. Can't expect any more from democrats.........

Lou Stewall
374
Points
Lou Stewall 07/25/08 - 12:51 pm
0
0
It would have been extremely

It would have been extremely stupid of Broun to save his money for the contest against a Democrat, AC. Why all the venal attacks without giving Broun a chance to rebut? Broun has removed all his signs, which were only on private property by permission of the owner. Will you please tell Fleming to take his signs down which were illegally erected on the right-if-ways?

steve-o
0
Points
steve-o 07/25/08 - 01:21 pm
0
0
Wow! The chronicle is really

Wow! The chronicle is really upset that Dr. Broun beat their boy. Sour grapes if you ask me. Phleming lost- Get over it.

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 07/25/08 - 01:25 pm
0
0
Thank you Dr Bukk......well

Thank you Dr Bukk......well said.

142
Points
Dan White 07/25/08 - 01:47 pm
0
0
This is why I voted for

This is why I voted for Fleming. Broun proved that he cannot manage his personal finances with the bankruptcies in his past. How could we expect anything different with him "managing" the public's money? Well, at least we won't be flooded with tax-payer mail from his office for the rest of the year!

truthneedstobetold
0
Points
truthneedstobetold 07/25/08 - 02:50 pm
0
0
There is a vast difference

There is a vast difference between Sour grapes and hard reality.
The reality is Broun abused tax money. He can't handle finances.
He can't balance a check book. His office is broke because of his misspending. Anything click yet!

dani
13
Points
dani 07/25/08 - 03:04 pm
0
0
I felt as if I was being

I felt as if I was being harrassed every day, often several times a day by Broun supporters. "Hello! This is Pat Boone. Yessss, it's really me, folks. I want you to go out and...". I was hoping that we would be rid of the pest but it didn't happen, so perhaps a shortage of funds will do the trick.

steve-o
0
Points
steve-o 07/25/08 - 04:59 pm
0
0
If fleming had won the

If fleming had won the chronicle would have been fawning all over how brilliant he ws for getting his message out to the people. total BS.

steve-o
0
Points
steve-o 07/25/08 - 05:04 pm
0
0
Broun whupped Fleming by a

Broun whupped Fleming by a LANDSLIDE! Dr. Broun now has the task of cutting spending on the federal level, passing the Fair Tax, Protecting the second amandment, supporting Life, and helping Fort Gordon as well as the rest of the tenth district. God Bless you Dr. Broun.

JeffersonWasRight
0
Points
JeffersonWasRight 07/25/08 - 05:50 pm
0
0
Paul Broun preaches "fiscal

Paul Broun preaches "fiscal responsibility," and he's been "fiscally responsible" enough to vote down PeachCare and veterans' benefits. He cares about "fiscal responsiblity" enough to make "Can We Afford It?" the foundation of his 4-way test.

It's a shame, then, that the question "Can We Afford It?" DOESN'T apply when he's using our money to fund his re-electionl.

For those of you that can't stand Paul Broun, think seriously about Bobby Saxon. Visit his website, read his values, and consider whether you want "Fiscally Responsible Paul" to be your Congressman for the next decade or so.

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