The truth, in this case, is Republican 11th District Congressional candidate Bob Barr of Smyrna — currently a fierce critic of President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder — authored a Letter of Recommendation back in 2009 on behalf of then-AG nominee Holder.
The episode was brought to light via a mailer from fellow 11th District hopeful Barry Loudermilk of Bartow County, which arrived over the weekend in the mailboxes of those in the district.
Voters will decide several high-profile political contests a week from today — and as typically happens on the eve of an election, a wave of negative political fliers have gone out in recent days to help those voters make up their minds.
Barr and Loudermilk, along with former state Majority Whip Ed Lindsey of Buckhead and Tricia Pridemore of Marietta, are the front-runners in the race to succeed Phil Gingrey as 11th District congressman. (Gingrey is running instead for U.S. Senate.)
Barr’s three-page letter was dated Jan. 8, 2009, and was addressed to U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and to Sen. Arlen Specter, the committee’s ranking member.
It notes he and Holder disagreed over “policy matters,” but said, “It is with a great deal of professional pride and personal pleasure that I write you in strong support of The Honorable Eric Holder to serve as Attorney General of the United States. …
“In the best of times, Eric Holder would be an excellent choice to serve as Attorney General. However, in these times of tremendous international and domestic turmoil, in which the line between military operations and law enforcement actions has become blurred to the point our precious civil liberties are at great risk, the choice of Mr. Holder could not be timelier or more crucial. …
“America will benefit greatly if Eric Holder is permitted to serve as Attorney General. I respectfully urge swift and positive action by the Judiciary Committee and confirmation by the full Senate …”
BARR, who served as U.S. Attorney for Northern Georgia from 1986-90, told Around Town on Monday he first met Holder during that period and he had “crossed swords” with him a number of times while he was a member of the U.S. House from 1995-2003.
“He asked if I would mind writing a letter based on my knowledge of him, and said he knew we disagreed on lot of issues, and especially the Second Amendment, but said that if I would write one he’d appreciate it,” Barr said. Barr at the time had just completed an unsuccessful run as the Libertarian nominee for U.S. president and did not return to the Republican fold until more recently.
“I was glad to recommend (Holder) for attorney general — and I later become one of the first to publically call for him to step down,” Barr told AT.
Indeed, in a Feb. 5 column for Townhall.com Barr not only said that he had written a recommendation letter on Holder’s behalf, but called for Holder’s resignation. Holder, he wrote, was “either complicit or directly involved in a litany of scandals and other problems, including: turning a blind eye to Black Panther Party voter intimidation (while aggressively attacking states’ voter ID laws), Operation Fast and Furious, Justice Department-backed intimidation of government whistleblowers, department-sponsored intimidation of members of the press, and altogether failing to protect our nation’s very foundation based on the rule of law and the separation of powers in our government.”
Added Barr on Monday, Loudermilk’s ad is just “politics as usual.” “It’s nothing new. It isn’t like they’ve made a great discovery. I was one of the first ones to call for Holder to step down — and I don’t recall Barry ever doing that. It’s just standard politics, throwing mud and telling half-truths.”
LOUDERMILK, in the same mailer, also took a swipe at fellow 11th District hopeful Lindsey, criticizing his support in early 2009 for a House resolution saluting the election of Obama as the first African American president. Lindsey told Around Town on Monday the resolution was nothing but “a courtesy to a newly elected president,” and added he has sponsored and co-sponsored successful measures aimed at blunting the Obama agenda in Georgia.
“By comparison, Barry Loudermilk has taken no leadership in taking on Barack Obama in the last five years. And in fact, he abandoned his Senate seat last August to run for Congress, costing taxpayers in Cobb, Cherokee and Bartow more than $100,000 for a special election to replace him.
“The difference between me and Barry on standing up to Obama is simple — I act and he talks,” Lindsey said.
“And this flier tells me that our polls are right that show us surging and moving,” he added. “You don’t attack somebody who’s behind you.”
MEANWHILE, many residents of House District 34 received a mailer targeting state Rep. Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw), “advancing a liberal agenda” and “advancing an extremist agenda.”
The mailer charges that Gregory voted against a bill blocking implementation of Obamacare in Georgia, voted against drug testing for food stamp applicants and supported the author of legislation to allow sexual predators in public schools.
Gregory, a Ron Paul adherent, is facing a strenuous challenge from Marietta attorney Bert Reeves. The mailer was paid for by The Georgia Coalition for Job Creation.
U.S. SENATE candidate David Perdue held a noontime rally on Marietta Square Monday and squeezed in a word ahead of time with Around Town. He argued polls are showing him as the strongest Republican match against presumptive Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn this fall, partly because of his non-political background and partly because he’s not as far to the right as some of his primary opponents.
“She polls very well against the ‘incumbents’ in this race (U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston, Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun and former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel),” he said. “She talks very moderately and is appealing to a broad base of independents in this state. But she doesn’t poll that well against me. And I think it’s not just because I’m an outsider, but because I’m talking about the economic crisis that people feel. People know that something’s wrong and something’s got to be done.”
MORE POLITICS: Saturday’s 26th annual Cobb Democratic Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner — at which Nunn will be the headline speaker — has been moved to the Doubletree Hotel in Atlanta. For more info go to www.cobbdemocrats.org. … Gingrey announced Monday he has been endorsed by 10 Georgia sheriffs, including Cobb’s Neil Warren and his counterparts in Bartow, Douglas and Paulding counties. …
A letter to the editor in Sunday’s MDJ rebutting an earlier letter by Kennesaw City Councilwoman Chris Welsh that was critical of Cobb Commission candidate Bill Byrne inadvertently ran without the name attached. The letter in question was authored by James Strawn of Marietta.
PEOPLE: Cobb Superior Court Judge Adele Grubbs will be presented with the 2014 Community Service Award at the 26th annual Kathryn and M.J. Woods Annual Scholarship Banquet at 7 p.m. Friday at Zion Baptist Church in Marietta. Co-chairs of the event are Louis and Josetta Walker.
AND MORE POLITICS: End-of-April campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show Lindsey in the driver’s seat with $287,000 cash on hand, thanks in large part to a $230,000 loan from himself. Pridemore was in second place with $158,258 cash, Barr next with $96,425 and Loudermilk with $89,882. Candidates Larry Mrozinski and Allen Levene apparently did not file reports. …
Kim Gresh and George Hartzog will hold a fundraiser for Pridemore from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at 410 Chinquapin Drive in Marietta.