Congressman John Barrow Sucks

EDIT: So, my it turns out that my voting numbers were based on “test data” that was not marked as such. Grrr. Oh well, Barrow still sucks.

So I’m stuck being in John Barrow’s “district.” I put it in quotes because Congressman Barrow was originally elected as my representative when his home was actually located in the district. Unfortunately for him (and us), our district was redrawn.

So in 2006, Barrow had the option, from what I understand, of either remaining in his home and running without the benefit of incumbency, or moving in order to remain in the district to which he was elected to represent and take advantage of his incumbency.

Obviously, he chose to turn his back on where he actually resided and instead chose to exploit the power of being an incumbent, even if it meant having to move his home.

Well, he’s running for re-election. He’s obviously worried. Very worried. If early voting in Savannah is any indication, he won’t make it to the general election on the Democratic ticket. He’s losing to Savannahian Regina Thomas by a 2-1 margin in the Democratic primary.

Well, Barrow is currently and repeatedly shooting himself in the foot, and when you shoot yourself in the foot, it hurts.

He has a group of telemarketers– I’m not sure if they’re an outside firm or campaign volunteers– calling the residents of Savannah to convice them to vote for Barrow in the primary. Here’s how his callers appear on my caller ID:

Unknown Name
000-0000

First call, yesterday at 2:45PM. I didn’t answer.

Second call, yesterday at 4:16PM. I answered, and politely informed the caller that I didn’t like the fact that they spoofed caller ID data while calling constituents, and asked that they not call again.

Third call, today at 5:55PM, while I was eating dinner. I answered, “Is the the John Barrow campaign?” The caller was stunned. She said nothing. I asked, “Who is this?” She said, “I’m calling from the campaign to re-elect Congressman John Barrow…” I cut her off.

I informed her that I did not appreciate that they were fraudulently spoofing caller ID data, didn’t appreciate that they called me again after I asked them not to call again, and informed them that legislation has already passed the House outlawing caller ID spoofing with intent to defraud or cause harm (HR251, June 12, 2007, Truth in Caller ID Act of 2007). If the house actually had a recorded vote, my bet is that Barrow voted for the bill, but the ever-transparent and practically-zero-approval-rating Congress did a “voice vote,” where members’ votes are not recorded or available to their constituents.

Was I defrauded or caused harm? Well, it took my time to answer the call again. My dinner got cold. I had to go through the stress of informing my congressman’s campaign that they were being dishonest. Am I nitpicking? You bet. But the fact is that levels of “harm” are not differentiated in the bill. Causing me to, for example, have to pay 1/1,000,000 of a cent extra on my electric bill to charge my cordless phone after Barrow’s three calls is harm, just as much as if he were to come burn my house down. Harm is harm, and the bill fails to differentiate levels of harm.

So, Congressman Barrow, if you want my vote, and if you want to fight the stereotype of dishonest politicians, I recommend that you behave and conduct your campaing in the most honest possible fashion. And that includes making sure that people who work on your behalf are 100% honest as well.

Oh, and by the way, I’m on the do not call list. How nice that Congress exempted them from that law.

12 thoughts on “Congressman John Barrow Sucks

  1. It’ll be interesting to see how the incumbents do in this election. Congress’ approval rating is in single digits. The talking heads seem think this is an ominous sign for Republicans, but if only 9% of Americans are happy with the Congress shouldn’t it be an incumbent blood bath?

  2. Heya Nemov,

    I wish that were true. Unfortunately, the single-digit approval rating is for the Congress as a whole. Practically everyone hates Congress.

    But people love their own congressmen. After all, they are the ones who, via pork, reclaim the tax dollars that the federal government (ironically, Congress) have confiscated.

    So, if people could vote for every congressman, it would be a bloodbath. But since we can only vote in one race, and since the incumbent most likely has a proven record of bringing home pork for their district, they’ll all be reelected.

    At least that’s my take on it.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. Hi Bob,

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I got the numbers straight from the county site. I would never discovered it had I not needed to look up my property card. Lucky coincidence I suppose.

    Now I know the number of votes is insignificant, and I know that Savannah– at least the District 12 half– does not necessarily speak for our geographically massive district. That’s why I qualified my initial statement about him not making it to the general on the Democrat ballot based on early voting in Savannah.

    But, voter turnout in District 12 is typically very low, and polling data– if it exists– is not made available to the public at large. When you don’t have much to go by, you go by what you’ve got.

    The folks who turn up for early voting are, in my opinion, typically more politically informed, or at least more politically interested, than those who are guilted into voting on election day. Likewise, primary voters also tend to be more politically informed. Those people who have already voted– those few people– have a clear preference to hire someone from Savannah to represent Savannah. Not a real shocker.

    Anyway, here are the numbers:

    US HOUSE 12 – D (64 / 64) 100
    Vote For 1 Votes %
    REGINA D. THOMAS 185 66.07
    JOHN BARROW (Incumbe 95 33.93
    280

    http://www.chathamcounty.org/elections/results/result.xml

    Thanks again,

    Mike

  4. Hey Mike,

    I’ve never seen early votes reported before the polls closed on Election Day anywhere in the country. Is that normal in Chatham County?

    Also the dropoff between the US Senate Democratic primary (1939 votes) and the 2 US House Democratic primaries (37+489=526) is enormous. Would it make sense to guess these early votes were GOTV’d by Senate candidates and their voters just voted the Senate line?

  5. Hey Bob,

    You know, I have no idea if it’s normal for them to report the results before the polls close. I’ve lived here since 2002, and I have never seen it before. My hunch is that someone messed up and posted the link, and it was retracted when the suspected mistake was made.

    Early voting apparently started on Monday the 7th, so I wonder how anyone voted for these results, which were apparently posted a week before voting started. If you want to call or email someone over there, the contact info is: Russell Bridges, Elections Supervisor, (912) 201-4375, elections —A-T— chathamcounty —D-O-T— org. I’d be interested to learn who cast these votes (but I’m not necessarily willing to make waves with the board of elections… heh).

    Let’s see… about 117 days until the election, and voting irregularities have already begun. I feel like I’m back home in Chicago!

    By the way, nice site you have there, Bob. Great idea on the escrow donations. I’m sure we wouldn’t agree on politics (and that’s ok), but it’s still interesting to compare your site to our main site. You’ve got two years on us over at America’s Debate.

    :)

    Mike

  6. Hey Mike,

    Making waves is what makes blogging fun!

    I just wrote Russell and will let you know how he explains this…

  7. Yeah, yeah. I know making waves is what makes blogging fun. :P

    But… this is the South. The election guys probably know the property tax assessment guys, and they determine how much tax I pay on my house. The tax assessment guys probably know the city code enforcement guys, and they can find violations in any house just by driving by. The city code guys probably know the permitting guys, and they can deny my improvement permits, or jack up the rates, or make me tear down walls to check my plumbing.

    I prefer my semi-anonymity on local issues. If they want to track me down, they can find me I’m sure. Corporations are, after all, a matter of public record.

    I’m interested in the response you get to your email, so please be sure to update me!

    Mike

  8. Grrr! It would have been nice if they would have marked it as such!

    I do like what it says on the page now, though:

    Previously posted results were test data and not actual votes cast.

    Actual election results will be posted beginning at 7:00 pm on election day.

    Well I guess that clears it up.

    Anyway, I’m still rooting for Regina Thomas for the Democratic nomination. I’ll probably pick a Democratic ballot this time around, just so I can vote against Barrow, the incumbent.

    Plus, I just have to vote on this question, which is for Democrats only:

    Establishment of Speed Limit

    For our children’s safety, do you favor a speed limit of 25 mph or less on all two-lane roads that do not have either a sidewalk or a bike path?

    - Yes

    - No

    I’ve got to vote no. There is an 8 mile stretch of road, surrounded entirely by swamps and nothing else, that is the only way to get to the beach from Savannah. It does have a bike path for part, but the path is decidedly off the road, and there’s no way to leave the path once you’re on it. It is currently a 55 mph zone. If this passes (and I don’t even understand how this is a question for Democrats only), going to the beach will take more than twice as long. And, since kids who live on the island attend school on the island, and since kids on the mainland attend school on the mainland, there is absolutely no justification for this restriction.

    Likewise, there are just too many two-lane roads without sidewalks or bike paths to justify this. I mean, seriously (brace yourself for cold-hearted, government shouldn’t hold everyone’s hand, constitutional conservativeness)– how many kids have to get hit before parents teach them to look both ways before crossing the street, and to keep on the shoulder?

    Plus, look how it’s worded! Sell your proposal on logic and reason, and not on emotion. Why not have a law aimed at preventing accidental drowning that says, “For our children’s safety, do you favor banning water and all containers capable of holding more than one inch of water?”

    For the Presidential primary, I chose a Republican ballot. The predictions were that Huckabee was going to win our state, and I just couldn’t let that happen. I voted… ugh… Romney. Shhh… don’t tell anyone!

    And by the way, Bob, if you want to see any of Barrow’s campaign materials, I’d be happy to scan and email them to you. He sure sends enough of them.

    Edit: Here’s our ballot, as far as I can find: http://www.chathamcounty.org/elections/2008%20General%20Primary/Card%2024.pdf

    :)

    Mike

  9. Err… maybe that’s not the ballot. “Sample Democratic Party Primary Election Ballot Of The State Of Georgia.”

    Man, I wish they wouldn’t post stuff to the official elections page that isn’t actually official. Have these folks never heard of an internal webpage, not accessible to the public…!?

    Whenever I vote, I pull the ballot up at home so I can know exactly what to expect. Wording can be tricky, and sometimes there are races I’ve never heard of before stepping up to the machine. I like to do my research before I cast my vote.

    Anyway… that is all for now.

    :)

    Mike

  10. Mike,
    Yeah, I’m aware of “I love my Congressman” syndrome, but when approval ratings are this low (it’s a record I think) something has to give. I’ll be voting against the Republican in my district who almost lost last time (Vern Buchanan). He’s a car dealer, that’s where it should have ended.

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