Posted: 8:34 am Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Paul Broun spends $33k in office cash on rhetoric coach 

By Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has spent $33,000 of his congressional office budget over the last two years on a specialist in rhetorical skills, according to the above clip from Justin Gray of Channel 2 Action News.

The video focuses on the expenditure of taxpayer dollars. We’ll focus on where the money went – to Brett O’Donnell, the former Liberty University debate coach was Michele Bachmann’s top aide when she ran for president in 2012. O’Donnell has also served as a debate coach for George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogBroun’s office identifies O’Donnell as a vetted staffer:

“In compliance with all House rules, Brett O’Donnell has been a contract member of Congressman Broun’s official communications team since early 2012. He provides training, as he does with several other Members of Congress, with public speaking, on-camera interviews, and media appearances so that Dr. Broun can best communicate his legislative priorities, issues, and message with his constituents. As stated by the House Administration Committee, O’Donnell’s communications training is in compliance with all House rules.”

***

You’ll have to forgive state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, for believing HB 707, his bill barring state and local officials from supporting Obamacare in any way, had made the final cut during the final meeting of the Senate Rules Committee on Monday.

Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, one of the General Assembly’s most vocal Obamacare critics, had successfully moved to include the bill on the rules calendar for Tuesday and Thursday, the last two days of the session.

But after Spencer and supporters left the committee meeting, Sen. Cecil Staton, R-Macon, who is not running for re-election and thus doesn’t have to worry about having to go through another Republican primary, successelly moved to table the bill, removing it from considerationon a 10-4 vote, according to our AJC colleague James Salzer.

HB 707 could still surface. It has also been attached to a measure that would create an Alzheimer’s registry.

Late Monday, Spencer issued a press release that announced a 2:30 p.m. Tuesday protest at the state Capitol, juiced by this slightly over-the-top passage:

“That eleventh hour betrayal effectively killed the bill, but it could still be brought back to life by an amendment of companion legislation,” said Rep. Spencer. “Tomorrow, I will identify the Republican Benedict Arnolds, the King George the Third and his myrmidons who ship wrecked his path-breaking, patriotic bill (HB 707) to prevent the federal Leviathan from commandeering the machinery of state government or resources to enforce ill-conceived federal health insurance mandates.”

The hyperventilation extended to tea partyist Debbie Dooley, whose Monday night email blast included this:

“Lame-duck Republican Senator Cecil Staton made a motion to table the bill, it was seconded by Democrat Senator Steve Henson. They effectively killed the People’s bill that has already passed the House and has only two legislative days left to become law. Only an uprising by the People can resuscitate it.”

***

Speaking of slightly over-the-top: For the last few days, Senate Rules Chairman Jeff Mullis has added a self-mocking twist – pro wrestling-style entrance music — to the meetings of his all-important committee, which determines the flow of legislation in that chamber. As captured by our AJC colleague Kristina Torres:

***

The last Georgia politician able to pull off full clan regalia – that’s clan with a “c,” as in Scottish – was U.S. Rep. Larry McDonald, who’s been gone more than 30 years now. But the pleated-skirt look doesn’t look bad on Lauren “Bubba” McDonald, a GOP member of the Public Service Commission. From Monday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah:

bubbakilt

Photo by Anna Heritage

 

***

The fond memories of Georgia GOP trailblazer  Howard “Bo” Callaway keep coming in. State GOP chair John Padgett praised the former House member for planting the seeds that grew the state Republican Party into the powerful force it is today.

“Because of his sacrifice, a Georgia Republican holds every statewide constitutional office, including governor,” said Padgett.

That governor, Nathan Deal, declared Wednesday “Bo Callaway Day” in Georgia and has ordered flags flown at half-staff. We hear that his wife, Sandra Deal, will be at the funeral Mass, which will be held at noon Wednesday.

“Bo stood up for what he believed in even when the odds and the political system were stacked against him,” said Deal. “Georgians are all the better for it.”

***

John McCallum, a Republican running in the coastal First District to replace U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, is up with his first television ad. It talks about the national debt and shows off his family.

The Newt Gingrich aide from St. Simons Island is one of several Republicans vying for the seat, including state Sen. Buddy Carter (who’s already on the air), state Rep. Jeff Chapman and surgeon Bob Johnson.

The McCallum campaign would not reveal the size of the buy or where the spot will air.

28 comments
Rango-
Rango-

Typical Ga Republican politician.

Charles50
Charles50

So I'm wondering did he hire O'Donnell before or after he said that evolution was a lie from the pit of hell?

honested
honested

debbie dooley just can't keep the springs from popping out.


Which 'people' does she speak for?

The ones who want lifetime limits back on their insurance?

The ones who don't want their kids covered while they are in college and establishing a career?

The ones who want to go bare because of a pre-existing condition?

The ones who prefer to wait until a simple condition becomes an emergency?

The ones who wish to have an illness lead them to bankruptcy?


Just who does she think 'the people' are?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Thanks Jim Galloway for posting these videos.  I knew that things had deteriorated but not to this level.  Deal has to go.  Everyone of the videoed elected personnel you presented is an embarrassment to Georgia.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

I remember when David Scott ran the Rules Committee with decorum, Robert's Rules of Order, public comment, open discussion in public by the members of the committee, and open voting.  That looked like a serious Democracy.  The current chairman appears to either be pregnant or have cirrhosis of the liver with massive ascites.  Since it appear to be a male, probably the later.  A lousy sound system, no semblance of any seriousness, and poor musical taste.  Are these the people deciding who will receive life-saving healthcare in Georgia?  Time to CLEAN HOUSE.  Disgusting.  I can smell the stench all the way out on the street.  Whoever cast a vote for anyone of these traitors should be ashamed and taken to the woodshed.  Is this the Democracy my forebears and I fought for?

DannyX
DannyX

Here we go again with the crazy Republican lap dog conservative AJC doing another hit piece on the Democrats!  The cons at the AJC have been reading the recent polls that show Broun leading the Republican primary.  Well we can't have that, now can we???  Better run another hit piece on Broun so the ajc's bff Kingston can gain some ground.  The ajc will do anything to make sure a Republican is elected in November, if Broun wins the Republican nomination Republicans could lose the election.

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Wow - you could teach Broun the King's English - he will still be a previous 'physician' that practiced without a license, can't accept scientific facts, and proposes the elimination of Medicare, Children's Healthcare, Social Security, the federal Highway Program, the CDC, the NIH, and essentially every federal activity except his own $147,000 taxpayer supported salary and office support.  Do we want to fund this person at any level?  Not me.

stands_for_decibels
stands_for_decibels

"HB 707 could still surface. It has also been attached to a measure that would create an Alzheimer’s registry."
[insert tasteless joke here.]

notagain
notagain

I remember Democrats for Callaway,not Repubs for LM...

Capt Tom
Capt Tom

Forget the $33,000....I want to hear Broun's thoughts on the latest "lie from the pit of Hayull" about The Big Bang.

Mustang100
Mustang100

You've got to be kidding here, right? Unfortunately, no.

Hints: IRS, Keeping doctors, wrecking insurance for 80 million people by 2016, Benghazi, etc., etc., .

td1234 gets it.

td1234
td1234

Is this the best the lib media can come up with as a running point for Dems this year. 


Debate coach vs Obamacare. LOL


Will Dems lose all the statewide races by and average of 10 points like 4 years ago or will it be more or less? This is the only unanswered question. 

332-206
332-206

Uh, Jim, over the top might also apply to the AJC video clip intro music...

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

"U.S. Rep. Paul Broun has spent $33,000 of his congressional office budget over the last two years on a specialist in rhetorical skills,,.."

The money would have been better spent on therapy!


Comparing this legislature to pro wrestling....you can't make this stuff up! Mr Spencer was slammed after coming off the top rope!

Caius
Caius

Bo was going to be governor of Georgia.....But, Republicans decided to cross over and vote for Lester Maddox as the Democratic nominee for Governor and the rest is history.  

Republicans continue to be their own worst enemy.

"History proves that neither peoples nor governments learn anything from history."


EdUktr
EdUktr

Is the new Democrat strategy to give similarly provocative titles ("rhetoric coach") to every politician's debating skills trainer? 

(Excepting Democrat politicians, of course.)

Charles50
Charles50

@td1234  So you're not concerned about $33,000?  and if this had not been exposed we have no idea how much more it could have been because I bet he won't use them anymore.  Funny how you Repubs pick and choose what money to get outraged over.

Chris30338
Chris30338

@td1234 Lets see the difference here:


ObamaCare: Health Insurance policies for the people of the United States

Debate Coach: Tax payer money spent for his re-election campaign


And this guy is running as the Tea Party favorite who criticizes wasteful government spending but bills tax payers to pay for someone to help his re-election campaign? 


The two aren't even comparable.

stands_for_decibels
stands_for_decibels

@td1234 What kind of odds are you offering that Broun will be anything but a bad memory this time next year?


Eustis
Eustis

Might want to check your history. Back then he Legislature was almost all Democrat and they supported the Democrat, Maddox.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@collegeballfan  

The day after Georgia Democrats lose yet again to the state's Republicans come November—will YOUR side have learned anything?

Chris30338
Chris30338

@EdUktr Broun, Tea Party favorite, is spending Tax Payer funds on a Campaign Consultant. So the guy who preaches to us about government waste, is spending tax payer funds on someone to help him with his campaign. The consultant was a debate coach for Romney and George Bush. 


Typical Tea Party hypocrite who is happy to spend tax payer money on his own re-election campaign while running on a platform of government waste.

td1234
td1234

@Charles50 You see Bourns office released a statement saying this was a consultant hired to better teach the staff how to communicate with constituents. 

td1234
td1234

@stands_for_decibels No odds on the primary. I am still trying to get an analysis on the candidates and their chances of winning. 


There will be a runoff and Bourne will more than likely be one of the two since he is perceived as being the most conservative. 


I still do not know who will be the other one yet and that will determine who will be in the general election and be the next Senator of the state.

Charles50
Charles50

@EdUktr @collegeballfan  Has your side learned anything from losing TWO national elections?  Based on what's coming out of the legislative session I don't think so.

td1234
td1234

@Charles50 National elections are not state elections. The great predictor Nate Silver just said yesterday that each state will elect the governor the same way they voted in the Presidential election. Georgia voted for Romney. Case closed.