Posted: 12:23 pm Monday, January 27th, 2014

Phil Gingrey targets Paul Broun’s gun giveaway; David Perdue breaks on Internet sales 

By Greg Bluestein

To anyone who questions whether Rep. Phil Gingrey’s candidacy is being cheered by Washington Republicans, witness the opening minutes of Monday’s forum of Republican Senate candidates, hosted by the Georgia Municipal Association.

Rep. Paul Broun, feared by some establishment types as being vulnerable to a general election upset, was pressed on whether he thinks giving a free AR-15 to a supporter is actually such a good idea. (He offered the assault rifle on Friday.)

Broun responded as he has throughout the campaign, touting his Second Amendment chops and saying “Georgia is a pro-gun state.”

It was Gingrey’s response, though, that turned heads. He suggested Broun’s gun giveaway was political pandering, and said that every candidate on the stage was sufficiently pro-gun rights.

“I’m not accusing him of a stunt,” he said — and in so doing, made that very accusation.

After the forum was over, a crowd of reporters huddled around Gingrey to push him to elaborate. They eventually teased this from him:

“Paul is a good man. I’m not accusing Paul of invoking a gimmick,” he said, adding: “It’s a little gimmicky.”

The other candidates didn’t take the bait. But Gingrey, in his closing, gave a glimpse at his pitch to out-conservative Broun. “You need the right person to represent you – the most conservative candidate who can be elected in November.”

***

If there was another point of departure at Monday’s event, it was the topic of Internet sales — and whether companies that sell their goods online should be subject to state sales taxes like their bricks-and-mortar brothers.

Georgia passed such a law last year. The U.S. Senate has passed out the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would address the question on a nationwide scale. The six Republican candidates were asked their opinion. These were among the replies:

– Gingrey praised Georgia’s effort, and said he would consider the federal version, but strongly implied that he would ultimately vote against it:

“I don’t it really should be a federal issue. I know the Senate has already passed that. I know our two senators voted in favor of it. It hasn’t come to the House yet. It’s something I’ll look at very, very closely. I’m so much against raising taxes – and [for] promoting entrepreneurship of these small shops, mom-and-pops, that are on the Internet. But we need to look closely at it.”

– Broun was more succinct: “We shouldn’t be raising taxes on anybody,” he said.

– David Perdue, the former CEO of Dollar General, broke from the pack by endorsing the measure:

“Being the only retailer up here, I can tell you – I’ve seen both sides of this conversation. Look, one of the things the federal government does – or should do, frankly – is make sure all players in our free enterprise system play on an even playing field. Here’s where, because of technology, they’re not. Frankly, I think whether you have brick-and-mortar, or Internet sales, we should have the same rules apply to both. That’s from a retailer.”

– Rep. Jack Kingston portrayed an Internet sales tax as a slippery slope:

“If you put this Internet sales tax on the table, then you are also going to inch municipal bonds there. Now, I do not favor stopping the tax exemption for municipal bonds, because I know how important that is for you as a tool for economic development.

“But if you start picking and choosing which taxes you want, that’s what’s going to happen. When we take the plunge for tax simplification, we have to do it all at once.”

– And Karen Handel said implementing the tax would be daunting:

“I appreciate that we want to have fairness across the board for businesses. I’ll tell you, I have real concerns that this bill might have some unintended consequences. Remember, the revenue threshold for this is $1 million. For most small businesses, they’re margins are going to be 5 percent, maybe 10 percent. The compliance aspect of this is going to be enormous….”

***

Over at the Associated Press, Bill Barrow added these thoughts from the event:

As the Q&A exposed some distinctions among the GOP field, it also highlighted the tightrope candidates walk as they try to yield no ground on their conservative credentials.

[Eugene] Yu stood out on immigration, saying “amnesty … is insulting to someone like me who came here legally.” But he said the U.S. government should make it easier to immigrate legally.

Perdue said he opposes the Senate immigration law. But he broke from the chorus of opponents to frame the entire question as a “Washington distraction” that takes attention away from the more pressing matter of a structural budget deficit and rising national debt.

Broun, after multiple claims of being the most conservative, recalled voting for a House measure that would have barred federal law enforcement from prosecuting doctors who prescribe marijuana for medical treatment.


Perdue broke with Broun and said Congress should require online retailers to collect sales taxes. Kingston expressed sympathy for store-front retailers facing online competitors who don’t collect taxes, but he took pains to say any changes should be a part of a comprehensive tax overhaul. Broun said plainly that levies on Internet sales amount to a tax increase.

Gingrey and Handel expressed sympathy for the pending proposals, heavily backed by retailers with store fronts, but they stopped short of explicit support.

Broun, who repeatedly railed against “out-of-control government spending,” highlighted his work to secure federal money for an Athens health center and other projects he said were worthy.

Railing on the national debt, Handel said, “I don’t think we can afford to have anything be a sacred cow.” But she went on to state her general support for “priorities” that include “community development” grants to local governments.

On the same topic, Gingrey assured the audience, “I know how important they are to you, and I will continue to work very hard to make sure that this cow is just as sacred as any other.”

14 comments
Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

The state ain't collectin' tax on half of whats s'pose to be collected on already. We can always depend on government to screw up everything it touches--Including the various tax system--'Specially the taxin' of sales. 

DS
DS

"If you put this Internet sales tax on the table, then you are also going to inch municipal bonds there." --- Jack Kingston

Huh? Interesting the way his mind, uh, works.

Anyway, consumers are already supposed to pay "use" taxes for online and mail order purchases. This has been the law in many states, including Georgia, for decades. (It was originally intended for mail order purchases, but applies to online purchases as well). Having online retailers collect it just makes sure it gets done.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

What I got out of this blog - liberals are in favor of gun control and taxes of any kind, Republicans are not.

DontTread
DontTread

"Rep. Paul Broun, feared by some establishment types as being vulnerable to a general election upset"


The other problem is that Paul Broun has no problem voting against the establishment Republicans when he views a bill as unconstitutional.  And we can't have that, now can we?  People are supposed to do as they're told.  Zell Miller had the same problem with the Democrat Party back in the day.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Dr. Phil just could not bring himself to CALL a SPADE A Spade when comes to the "GIMMICK" of Paul Broun. This is why Neither deserve Our VOTE! 

One who is Clown and the other is a Certified Clown.

Bhorsoft
Bhorsoft

Ok, if we want to level the playing field between brick and mortar and online store, the brick and mortar stores need to pass along the shipping costs as a line item to their customers.  


I find the difference between shipping costs and sales taxes for many of the items I buy to be negligible.  In those cases I buy for speed or convenience - which ever is more important to me at the time.  If I need it right now, I'll go out and get it.  If i can wait a couple of days and another Arctic Clipper is on the way, I might buy it online so I don't have to go outside.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Doctor against Doctor! Now that is One, You do NOT see OFTEN!

PSWallace
PSWallace

George Washington's bill of goods for his 1758 election to the House of Burgesses:


"40 gallons of Rum Punch @ 3/6 pr. galn             

15 gallons of Wine @ 10/ pr. galn                       

Dinner for your Friends                                      

13-1/2 gallons of Wine @ 10/                             

3-1/2 pts. of Brandy @ 1/3

13 Galls. Beer @ 1/3

8 qts. Cyder Royl @ 1/6

Punch

30 gallns. of strong beer @ 8d pr. gall 

1 hhd & 1 Barrell of Punch, consisting of 26 gals. best Barbadoes rum, 

12 lbs. S. Refd. Sugar 1/6

3 galls. and 3 quarts of Beer @ 1/ pr. gall 

10 Bowls of Punch @ 2/6 each

9 half pints of rum @ 7-1/2 d. each 

7-1/2 1 pint of wine"

honested
honested

Time for Gingrey to get on the bandwagon.

He could give away decommissioned aircraft from the factory in his district, Handel could give away chastity belts, Perdue could give away whole dollar stores......


It will take a lot for one of the candidates to really 'find the bottom'.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@The_Centrist Liberals don't care if you want to stroke your little gun every chance you get, we just want laws that keep you from doing it in public places. (BTW, can you tell us libs how to tell which is the good guy with a gun and which is the bad guy with a gun, when they start shooting up the joint, and killing folks that are texting their baby sitter.) 

As for taxes, I'm with you, those damn libruls in the Jawja legislature have some nerve raising taxes on interweb sales, and that librul deal signing it into law. I'm sure you'll join with us centrists and vote the Dem ticket in November, right?

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, you must be hallucinating. What's the deal, do you have to post at least one crazy stupid thing a day for all the negative attention you crave?

honested
honested

@DontTread 

If only dr. broun would consult reality in determining what he 'views' as Constitutional then he might be considered electable by more than 8% of the voters.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Bhorsoft  

In those cases I buy for speed or convenience - which ever is more important to me at the time. 


My complaint against brick and mortar retail is they most likely will not have the specific item that I want. I am often told, "No, we don't have that in stock but I can order it for you." I can order the thing myself from Amazon, and have it delivered directly to my door.

DannyX
DannyX

@AuntieChrist, yep, the libruls in the legislature recently ok'd an extension of the tax that will fund the new football stadium and also passed a new hospital bed tax signed by librul Deal.  Them libruls in Cobb are thrilled with their new stadium tax hike, and librul The_Centrist cheered them on.

Trackbacks

  1. […] at 2:16 on January 27, 2014 by Ed Kilgore Jim Galloway’s latest dispatch from the fever swamp that is the Republican U.S. Senate primary in Georgia is worthy of some […]

  2. […] From Greg Bluestein at the AJC’s Political Insider: […]

  3. […] Phil Gingrey targets Paul Broun’s gun giveaway; David Perdue breaks on Internet sales […]

  4. […] The most interesting angle to come out of Monday’s gathering of the top GOP Senate hopefuls was the rift over legislation that would allow state and local governments to collect taxes from online sellers. Businessman David Perdue came out for it, the other contenders opposed it. […]

  5. […] from the campaign of Paul Broun, candidate for the US Senate in Georgia. The AR-15 offer came up in a debate last […]

  6. […] primary opponents, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), called Broun’s assault weapon raffle “a little gimmicky.” according to the Atlanta […]

  7. […] primary opponents, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), called Broun’s assault weapon raffle “a little gimmicky.” according to the Atlanta […]

  8. […] primary opponents, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), called Broun’s assault weapon raffle “a little gimmicky.” according to the Atlanta […]