Posted: 3:58 pm Friday, May 2nd, 2014

Jack Kingston and the blessing and curse of the ‘establishment’ 

By Greg Bluestein

A handful of conservative business leaders gathered Friday at the second floor of a bustling Midtown office tower to celebrate their favored U.S. Senate candidate. Rep. Jack Kingston, winner of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement, beamed alongside them, enjoying the first fruits of the victory.

“We’ve found our candidate in Jack Kingston,” said Rob Engstrom, the Chamber’s national political director. “He’s the conservative candidate we trust and he’s got the record to prove it.”

Engstrom said five of seven GOP candidates sought the endorsement, which has brought Kingston a burst of TV ads and support from high-profile business leaders. That made it all the more curious that one of them, Rep. Paul Broun, reacted so harshly to the news.

“It should come as no surprise that the establishment-serving U.S. Chamber of Commerce would endorse longtime Congressman and King of Pork, Jack Kingston,” Broun said in a statement.

We’ve noted before that Kingston’s background as a powerful voice on the House Appropriations Committee could come back to haunt him. But Engstrom said Kingston’s votes on earmarks only played a small role in the group’s decision. He said the Savannah Republican landed a rating near 90 percent on more than 400 issues the group has closely tracked.

“He’s someone we rely on to get something done,” said Engstrom.

Kingston dismissed a few recent polls that show rising support for businessman David Perdue and former secretary of state Karen Handel, arguing that a super PAC wouldn’t be targeting him with blistering attack ads now if he was in third place.

Kingston’s poll put him at the top of the pack and Perdue at No. 2, and the Savannah congressman’s language at the event reflected that.

He never mentioned Handel but took aim at Perdue, saying the former Fortune 500 executive has a “long history of laying off people and getting golden parachutes.” (Perdue’s camp, it should be noted, says their candidate is the only one in the race with bona fide business experience.)

As for Broun’s attacks?

“Sour grapes and rhetoric that doesn’t ring true,” said Kingston.

10 comments
Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Jack Kingston is a former fraternity boy in Athens who became an insurance salesman.He has supported private insurance measures in Congress including blocking a prescription benefit for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and insisting that it be managed by private health insurance (the so-called Part D program).These complicated arrangements have generated huge profits for health insurance ($80-$200 million for some CEOs and 50 percent of the premium dispersed to employees rather than the insured’s healthcare).Until the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 (which Kingston fought hard against) the Part D program allowed private insurance companies to eliminate the benefit whenever a client required expensive medications.Kingston has not only supported gun carrying expansion but has worked hard to create more purchase of guns including automatic assault weapons.If you believe an Insurance Agent will speak the truth to you and be concerned about your welfare – vote for Kingston – otherwise send this fellow back to Athens.

JohnBoy10
JohnBoy10

Just another clown trying to out crazy his opponent - full of vitriol and destruction. Has this guy offered up ANYTHING positive that he might, just might, contribute to the betterment of the people of our great state? He is another empty suit that will continue to kowtow to the NRA, corporate interests, and the shameless leaders of the Radical Right Wing. Bad for the state, bad for the country...vote for common sense, not a self serving ideologue. This guy hasn't had an original thought since the day he fool-heartedly decided to drive by a gas station while on empty - and bragged about it!

Emorydawg
Emorydawg

Jack Kingston will be a water boy for the Koch Brothers. He will represent their interests and not Georgia's. Since Sam Nunn retired we have sent only bush leaguers and clowns to Washington. Kingston reminds me of the character Jethro in The Beverly Hillbillies.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

Hey Kingston, your kids say you'd drive 5 miles out of your way to get cheaper gas? In that road hog you've shown on tv , you get...what...15 mpg? So you would use 2/3rds a gallon to get cheaper gas ( for you repubs, a round trip is 10 miles / 15 miles/gal=2/3rds gal) ? Have you  heard of air quality? Does that bomb have any smog devices? Wasting gas?


Do not get me wrong, you are probably the best the repubs have to  offer (maybe Perdue) !

Kamchak
Kamchak

Engstrom said all five GOP candidates sought the endorsement...

Followed by:

“It should come as no surprise that the establishment-serving U.S. Chamber of Commerce would endorse longtime Congressman and King of Pork, Jack Kingston,” Broun said in a statement.

Broun -- he was for the Chamber of Commerce before he was against it.

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Kamchak  

Got proof of that, sport?

Thanks in advance.

Sport.

DS
DS

@EdUktr  Political Insider reported on April 30 that Broun sought an endorsement from the Chamber of Commerce. When he didn't get it, he flip-flopped, suddenly becoming critical of the Chamber:

Presumably Broun did not use such language when pursuing the Chamber’s endorsement for himself. Chamber political director Rob Engstrom replied by saying, “Congressman Paul Broun is a hypocrite; and is running a dishonest and desperate campaign.”

He said Broun filled out a Chamber questionnaire in March, and checked a box next to the following words: “I support the mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is to advocate for the American free enterprise system. By checking this box, I am actively seeking the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.”

So yeah, Broun was for the Chamber before he was against it. I understand the confusion, though---Broun is all over the place. Style over substance, I suppose.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@EdUktr  

Got proof of that, sport?

First day of that brand new remedial reading comprehension class?

Just askin'.

Jim Norris
Jim Norris

@DS @EdUktr Paul Broun believes the earth was created 4,000 years before Christ. So how does he reconcile Noah loading T-Rex onto the ark?

Jack Kingston has accumulated millionaire wealth exponentially since being in Congress increasing 29% from 2004 till 2010.. He is running a tired-out add bemoaning people who receive "welfare and food stamps." This to play to an audience that does not know TANF (welfare) recipients are required to actively look for work and the assistance is T temporary. It should likewise be noted that working people who live in poverty need food stamps to survive something that Kingston who owns a cottage on Tybee near the beach would never need. I might add that this beach received an earmark co-sponsored by Rep. Kingston though he denied any benefit from this legislation. What? It is no surprise that the Georgia Chamber of Commerce would find Kingston to be their "darling."

EdUktr
EdUktr

@Kamchak @EdUktr  

Have any friends who can maybe proofread your comments for you beforehand, sport?


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  1. […] more aggressively courting mainstream Republican voters. For Kingston, it paid dividends with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s endorsement – a sign that at least some influential voices in the GOP establishment are backing […]