Move over Broun, Price, and Gingrey

The loudest Republican members of the Georgia Congressional Delegation have managed to make our state the laughing-stock with jewels that have included:

  • Paul Broun, MD (Medical College of Georgia) saying to the Baptist Church Sportsman Group over dinner last September, “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is just lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
  • Phil Gingrey, MD (Medical College of Georgia) defended former Senator Todd Akin
    (R-Missouri) after Akin said that pregnancies only result from “legitimate” rapes. Even Scientific American had to weigh in on exactly how wrong Gingrey’s medical information is.
  • Tom Price, MD (University of Michigan) said in regards to making birth control accessible for low-income women through Obamacare, which he opposes, that he isn’t aware of one woman who can’t afford birth control. Price said, “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one.” (Price voted to defund Planned Parenthood and eliminate funding for contraceptive three times in 2011. )

And now, Senator Saxby Chambliss, who has decided not to run for a third term in the Senate, showed his true colors on the crime of rape in the military forces during a hearing earlier this week. According to a report issued by the Pentagon, three rapes occur every hour across our military forces. Every hour. Every day. 24/7. The Enemy Within is an eye-opening article on the expanse of rape culture within our armed forces.

Chambliss wants to explain away the criminals who rape by saying the problem is due to a “hormone level created by nature.”

That’s like telling a child things happen “just because.”

Rape occurs for all kinds of reasons, but none of them are acceptable, and all the men who carry out these crimes of violence are criminals. Rape is rape. Plain and simple. It is a crime whether it happens on our streets, in office buildings, parking lots, a woman’s home (Saying No to your husband is ok. Marriage isn’t a license to have sex when your spouse says No. It is called spousal rape, and it is a crime), and in our armed forces.

Chambliss also said, “We’re not doing our job” in regards to military rape. That’s obvious. Attributing the fact that three violent crimes of rape occur every hour in our armed forces as the result of “hormones” is not going to adequately address this problem.

A culture change, among both our civilian and military communities, is required to reduce these stunning crime rates. Suggesting that testosterone pollution is the cause is not going to solve the problem.

And in doing so, Chambliss insults and minimizes every victim of rape.

Chambliss won’t run in 2014, challengers expected to jockey for position soon

horsesJim Galloway at the AJC reported earlier today that Senator Saxby Chambliss told his senior staff this morning he won’t be running in 2014. Talk of a horse race among the Georgia Congressional Delegation, including Representatives Phil Gingrey, Tom Price, Tom Graves, and perhaps Paul Broun, isn’t new. Former Secretary of State and Susan G. Komen policy mastermind Karen Handel has also said she might want back into Georgia politics.

Broun’s staff will hold a town hall meet and greet later today in Sandersville.

Senators Chambliss and Isakson: Let me introduce you to my family

Dear Senators Chambliss and Isakson,

I have had the pleasure of meeting both of you when you have met with constituents in Sandersville. I haven’t had the opportunity to bring any of my family with me so I hope you will allow me to tell you a little bit about them.

My husband and I moved back to his home county 25 years ago because we wanted to live in a rural community and be near family. We raised two daughters outside tiny Warthen,  in an old farm house we restored with considerable sweat equity. We are fortunate to have two incredibly energetic grandchildren Ella, 5 1/2 years old, and Chase, 4 1/2 years old, who live nearby.

Ella making pottery, Spring 2012
Chase helping his dad at a volunteer firefighters equipment repair work day

Now that you have met my two grandchildren, I hope you will consider my concerns on behalf of Ella and Chase, the five grandchildren you have Senator Chambliss, and your nine grandchildren Senator Isakson.

The other day both of you voted to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to enforce the Mercury and Air Toxins Rule, known as MATS. These emission standards weren’t the result of fly-by-night or stealth regulatory work by the EPA. Instead, they were announced in 1990 as additions to the Clean Air Act.

Twenty two years is a long time for citizens to wait on cleaner air and the cleaner water which results from less pollution in the air. It was long enough for me to give birth to my younger daughter and raise her to the age of 22. Her entire lifetime has been spent breathing air that could have been cleaner a long time ago.

Mary Michael, Georgia Southern, May 2012

 I just can’t figure out why, after all the medical, scientific, and financial research done by numerous respected institutions and individuals which shows just how harmful mercury and heavy metals emissions are to fetuses, growing children, and anyone with asthma or cardiopulmonary disease, that anyone would agree it should go on any longer. Or the research that demonstrates that the tougher standards would actually create approximately 8,000 permanent jobs and up to 45,000 temporary ones.

Yet both of you chose to stand up and say with your votes, “Yes, I support the continuation of dirty air and water for American citizens, including my grandchildren.”

I did a little research so that I might understand why you voted as you did.  The Southern Company’s Georgia Power, which owns and operates Plant Scherer near Juliette, and emits the most carbon pollution in the country, was the second largest donor with a total of $102,650 in the 2011-2012 election cycle, to your campaign committee Senator Chambliss (that ought to be helpful if you run for re-election in  2014).

Senator Isakson
, the Southern Company was third on your donor list with $28,050 to your campaign in the 2011-2012 election cycle (on the heels of the $38, 350 donation for your re-election in 2010).

Where you trying to help your donors who are burning an awful lot of coal with your vote opposing tougher mercury rules?

Or maybe that vote would help clients using the law firm King and Spalding (K&S). Those attorneys represent a group called Power4Georgians that wants to build a coal fired power plant in Washington County. Senator Chambliss, K&S helped your campaign with $58,000 in donations, putting them at a respectable sixth on your list. Senator Isakson, they didn’t ignore you either. K&S is eighth on your donor list with $31,250.

It goes to figure that some local folks in Washington County would support your respective campaigns. I found out some of the neighbors at my farm have done exactly that. Ben Tarbutton (no middle initial or other identifier) has donated $3,000 so far to the Chambliss campaign in the 2010-2012 cycle. Several Tarbuttons have donated $9,300 to the Isakson campaign since 2009. Those family members include Ben Jr., Benji, Charles, Betsy, Gena, and Hugh.

It’s no secret since Plant Washington was announced over four years ago that the Tarbuttons have been vigorous supporters of Plant Washington. It’s also public knowledge that Charles Tarbutton, who personally donated $1,000 to the Isakson campaign in 2009, is a member of the Georgia Power Board of Directors.

There are 10 directors on the Georgia Power Board. There are seven members of the Tarbutton family who have donated to your respective campaigns since 2009. If we consider corporations to be people (per the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling), then the number of interested parties in these two groups plummets from 17 to 8. A single digit.

Almost 24 percent of the 21,187 people living in Washington County are under the age of 18. In the state of Georgia, there are over 2,500,000 children under the age of 18. The math should work out in favor of the children and votes in favor of upholding the MATS rule.

My grandchildren are among those 2.5M children who deserve cleaner air to breathe. Your grandchildren deserve the same, in whatever state they live in. My children deserved cleaner air when they were growing up. Yours did too.

So please tell me, when does the health of the children come first ahead of the money and influence of donors?