Barr has a major, $100-a-couple campaign fundraiser set for Feb. 6 at Adventure Outdoors in Smyrna. The star attraction will be Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., the self-styled “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”
He got that nickname by doing such things as using chain gangs as a source of free labor for local communities in his county and for making inmates in his jail wear pink underwear and pink handcuffs. Arpaio also was a strong supporter of Arizona’s controversial immigration law and is currently being investigated by the U.S. Justice Department for alleged racial-profiling.
Barr features an endorsement from Arpaio on his website: “Bob stood strong for our Second Amendment rights, for tax reform, for individual liberty, for a balanced budget and, perhaps most important, against Bill Clinton. We need that toughness in Washington now more than ever. I know Bob personally and have worked with him. He will deliver; he has before and he will again.”
BARR thus would seem to have his immigration bona fides in order.
Yet there’s more — or less, depending on how you look at it — to his stance on immigration than meets the eye, according to well-known Cobb immigration reformer D.A. King.
King’s group, The Dustin Inman Society, announced Monday that it has tagged Barr — who it refers to on its website as “Weathervane Bob Barr” — as its “least favorite” of the four candidates seeking to succeed U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) as 11th District Congressman.
King told Around Town that its non-endorsement of Barr was based on the inconsistency of his positions on possible legalization of illegal aliens and workplace verification, especially when compared with the pro-enforcement positions taken by Gingrey through the years.
“After voting to establish what is now called E-Verify while in Congress as a Republican in 1996, Barr is now opposed to the no-cost use of that job protection tool” said King of Barr, who left the Republican Party and ran as the Libertarian nominee for president in 2008 prior to circling back to the GOP fold in recent years. “This, in addition to his ongoing position that immigration be (prohibited) only for terrorists, criminals and the seriously ill doesn’t assure those of us who are paying attention on the causes and remedies surrounding our immigration and employment nightmare.”
“With apologies to Forrest Gump, maybe life is like a box of chocolates. But this is not something most of us value in a potential member of Congress,” added King, who writes occasional immigration-themed columns for the MDJ.
Other major candidates for the 11th District seat are Tricia Pridemore of Marietta, House Majority Whip Ed Lindsey of Buckhead and state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Bartow).
MEANWHILE, Barr made other news in recent days by telling well-known 9/11 / JFK / Waco / black helicopter conspiracy theorist Alex Jones he again has impeachment on his mind.
You’ll recall that then-Rep. Barr in November 1997 was the first to call for an impeachment inquiry against President Clinton.
Barr told Jones on Jones’ syndicated internet radio show that the other day he pulled out a copy of his original impeachment resolution, and “I took that document, figuratively kind of dusted it off, added a little bit of language to it and darned if it doesn’t sound pretty good with Barack Obama’s name in there.”
SATURDAY’S Cobb GOP Breakfast will feature three 11th District congressional candidates as speakers, of whom the best-known is Loudermilk. Also speaking will be Allan Levene, who styles himself as “the official write-in candidate” and retired Army Col. Larry Mrozinski of Cherokee.
The breakfast runs from 8:15-10 a.m. at the Cobb Republican Party headquarters, 799 Roswell St., Marietta. The breakfast buffet opens at 8:15 and the program begins at 8:45. Admission is $10 per person. For info call Joe Dendy at (770) 820-6545.
MORE POLITICS: Retired Cobb educator Dr. Bill Scott has announced his plans to run for the seat on the Cobb School Board now held by Chairwoman Kathy Angelucci, who last week announced her plans not to seek another term on the board when her current term ends at year end. Ohio native Scott has lived in Cobb for 28 years and holds a Doctorate of Education degree from Samford University in Birmingham. He was 1983 Brumby Elementary Teacher of the Year, 1992 Cobb Administrator of the Year, the 2002 Georgia PTA Outstanding Principal of the Year and is former principal of Chalker Elementary in Kennesaw.
GEORGIA House District 34 Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Marietta) already has one announced opponent for the upcoming GOP Primary, Marietta attorney Bert Reeves, and as mentioned in Saturday’s Around Town, might be getting another, former state Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta), who he upset in the 2012 GOP Primary.
But Gregory defeated Manning before the depth of his Ron/Rand Paul-style libertarianism was well known by most voters in his district. He might find his re-election race steeper going, if District 34’s results in the 2012 Republican Presidential Preference Primary are taken into consideration.
Of the 7,900 votes cast that day in District 34, Paul got only about 600, or 8 percent of the vote. In fact, Paul trailed well behind Newt Gingrich’s 44 percent, Mitt Romney’s 31 percent and Rick Santorum’s 16 percent. So while there’s little question that Gregory’s (and Paul’s) supporters are passionate, it is questionable whether there are sufficient numbers of them to power Gregory past his opponents.
FORMER Cobb Solicitor Ben Smith Jr. says he will not be a candidate for the Northwest Cobb seat on the county commission held by Helen Goreham, who is retiring at year end. Smith, a single parent, weighed such a run but ultimately decided it would mean too much time away from his young son.
Smith’s decision to opt out of the race leaves the field at present in the GOP Primary to former commission Chairman Bill Byrne, retired Marietta assistant fire Chief Scott Turner and Realtor Angela Barner. No names have emerged as yet as potential candidates in the Democratic Primary for that seat.
EVENT: The Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia will host its annual criminal practice CLE seminar with Patrick Longhi as chair from 8:25 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Kennesaw State University Center. Faculty will include retired prosecutor Jack Mallard, Solicitor Barry Morgan, Jimmy Newkirk, John Marshall Law School Professor Timothy Saviello, Georgia State University Law Professor Jessica Gabel and Neuroscience Professor Nicole Vincent and Georgia Court of Appeals Chief Judge Herbert Phipps. For more go to www.iclega.org.
SATURDAY’S annual Cobb Chamber of Commerce banquet at the Cobb Galleria Centre attracted some high powered guests: retired world heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield of Atlanta, Atlanta Braves President John Schuerholz and Braves executive VP Mike Plant.
SPEAKING OF SPORTS, a spokeswoman for the Marietta Derby Darlins roller derby team announced on Monday that it has been accepted as an “apprentice” affiliate of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, the governing body for women’s amateur flat-track roller derby. The next home bout for the Darlins, a nonprofit amateur team, will be on March 15 at the Cobb Civic Center, according to spokeswoman Karen Glover. For more go to www.mariettaderbydarlins.org.