GOP 11th congressional district candidates: Time to end Obama’s ‘uncontrolled power’
by Jon Gillooly
April 06, 2014 04:00 AM | 6287 views | 7 7 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Candidate Allan Levene takes a ‘selfie’ with the crowd during a technical delay during a debate for the 11th Congressional District at the Cobb Galleria Centre on Saturday. <br>Staff/C.B. Schmelter
Candidate Allan Levene takes a ‘selfie’ with the crowd during a technical delay during a debate for the 11th Congressional District at the Cobb Galleria Centre on Saturday.
Staff/C.B. Schmelter
CUMBERLAND —The six Republican candidates hoping to represent the 11th Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) squared off in a candidate debate Saturday night in the ballroom of the Cobb Galleria Centre.

The winner of the May 20 Republican primary is expected to take the seat given there are no Demo-cratic candidates in the race.

Rose Wing, 1st vice chair of the Cobb GOP, numbered the audience at between 650 and 700 people.

The debate was a fairly tame affair with perhaps the most unscripted moment occurring when the microphone system died as Marietta’s Tricia Pridemore was answering a tax question. While the crowd waited several minutes for the problem to be fixed, some of the candidates pulled out their iPhones and snapped pictures of the audience, sparking amused laughter.

Stop Obama with the power of the purse, Barr says

One of the questions candidates were asked is how they would serve as a check against the “uncontrolled power” of President Barack Obama.

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr of Smyrna was first to answer.

“As the House of Representatives member who first called for the impeachment of President Clinton, I have a little familiarity with how to stop a president run amok,” Barr said to applause.

Barr said the president cannot spend “a dime” on the running of the White House without funds appropriated by law from Congress.

“That starts in the House,” Barr said. “And when a president signs an executive order that goes beyond his authority, which we have seen this president do time and time again, it’s time for the House of Represen-tatives to attach a rider to the White House appropriations bill denying any money can be spent for that particular order.”

Barr said the House can do the same thing for any government agency.

“That will do one of two things,” he said. “Either force the president to sign it because he needs that spending bill, or it forces him to do what we did with President Clinton, it forces him to come to the table and talk about these issues on our terms. We have that power in the House. We need to define the rules of the playing field and actually hold this president accountable and stop him through the power of the purse strings.”

Allan Levene of Kennesaw, who has spent a career in the IT business, advised forming a caucus of representatives on both sides of the aisle to stop certain spending bills from passing.

“If you can stop financial bills from passing, it will help check the ability of the White House and the president to run the country by executive fiat and that means a cleaning of the House,” Levene said. “We have to help the current members of Congress to retire. We need new blood in Congress, and we need to, as the Founding Fathers said, the members of the Congress, they do what they need to do and then they leave. At the moment, they do what they want to do, and they stay. And it’s all wrong.”

Lindsey says Georgia won’t participate in Obamacare

State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead) said he has already started several measures to pull back on “the imperial presidency.” Lindsey spoke of cosponsoring House Bill 707 this year.

“What it simply does is it takes on Obamacare, says the state of Georgia will not be a participant in this economic train wreck,” Lindsey said. “The second thing we did this year in the Georgia House and the Georgia Senate is we passed that Constitutional Convention that I called for that will call for a balanced budget.”

Lindsey said the best way to curtail government overreach is to limit how much can be spent.

“Now the federal government has a blank check,” he said. “We need to put an end to that.”

A third action Lindsey called for is ensuring no bill goes to the floor of the House without a majority of the Republican caucus supporting it.

Former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R-Cassville) said Congress can’t control the other branches if it doesn’t have a budget.

“For years, we didn’t even have a budget. We were giving a blank check to the president,” Loudermilk said.

Loudermilk said it is necessary to have the courage to stand up and exert the constitutional authority of the legislative branch.

“And third, we have to have the leadership that has the courage to stand up against the president of the United States when he violates his constitutional authority and not give him a blank check and just allow him to borrow money without any control as we just recently did,” Loudermilk said. “We expanded the debt ceiling without any control. We have to have courageous and strong leadership, even in our own party, who will stand up and will exercise the constitutional authority of Congress.”

U.S. Army Col. Larry Mrozinski, retired, a Woodstock resident, also spoke of a leadership problem.

“It is a failed Congress,” Mrozinski said. “It is a failed leadership, and it is full of career-minded individuals.”

Pridemore called for a balanced budget.

“We cannot go on continuing to spend over $17 trillion in the future, borrowing money that we simply may never be able to afford to repay,” Pridemore said. “The second of which we need to use the power of the House committee structure to call in the department heads and call in those agency executives, those bureaucrats, and make them answer for the policies and procedures that they’re passing off as laws. Laws are made by the legislative branch. They’re enacted by the executive branch. And we need to stand firm on that.”

Who won?

Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who is not endorsing any of the candidates, served as one of the moderators.

Swint said after the debate the evening’s winner couldn’t be chosen based on applause given how many of the candidates’ supporters were in attendance.

“If you were looking for thoughtful answers, stuff that’s not just canned in a box, I thought Barry Loudermilk did a good job of answering the questions in a thoughtful way, putting forth ideas that aren’t focus-grouped and ballot-tested and all that,” Swint said. “I thought Tricia Pridemore did a good job, too, of answering the questions in a thoughtful way. If you were looking for red meat, it was Bob Barr. And Ed Lindsey did a little bit of both. He had some red meat in there, but I think he had some interesting things to say, too.”

As for who Swint believes won the evening: “If I was an unattached voter and just was coming in trying to learn, I would probably go with Loudermilk, but that’s just an off-the-cuff reaction,” he said.

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Who Won, Not You
April 07, 2014
Errr, Mr Who Won, getting worried? Democrat strategist David Axelrod, one your own, predicts Republicans will gain eight seats in the U.S. Senate and ten more in the House. How is that Obamacare working out for you? More Hopey and Changey?
Who won?
April 07, 2014
The Democrat that runs against these clowns.
April 07, 2014
Well, since there IS no Democrat running in this race, one of these six people will be our next Congressional representative. If you genuinely cared, or knew anything about this race, you'd have been at the debate, instead of leaving anonymous snarky comments on MDJ online.
April 06, 2014
This "forum" was less a "debate" than protracted jousting over poorly defined questions. Mr. Loudermilk appears to think that in his words "I have more endorsements than the rest of the candidates combined" is justification enough for the voters. After looking at his "endorsements" the "Madison Project" has endorsed no incumbents, and his good friend Mr. David Barton is a totally uncredited Constitutional Scholar. Ms Pridemore at least showed up for this event, but appeared to be out of her depth as to content. Mr. Barr expounded with numerous "sound bites" as could be expected from a practiced regional and national stage politician. Colonel Mrozinski exhibited the traits of a professionally retired military officer, appearing to have done his "homework" on topics. Mr. Levane exhibited a rare and unpretentious view, though without the structure to mount a viable campaign. Mr. Lindsey, extolled his contributions on the States political stage with an easy recall of legislative accomplishments. All in all, this was a venue for posturing from a "leading" candidate without substance and more substance without "posturing" from Mr. Barr, Lindsey and Mrozinski.

Just Wait
April 06, 2014
It is interesting that these Republican candidates want to stop the uncontrolled power in the White having uncontrolled power in the House and Senate. The real pity is that none of them are worth the gas to drive to the poll and vote for.
Politicans a mess
April 06, 2014
Until congress and the president agree to term limits and signing a law that states NO CANDIDATE can take money from corporations, the US will continue to be a mess. The politicians are out for themselves and money. In addition, the birth law needs to be changed and anyone born in the US must have at least one parent whom is a US citizen. A law needs to be created that no person, who does not have legal residency, can be educated in our system from K-12. Lastly, the pension plans for congress need to stop, and there should be no lifetime secret service for former presidents. Start there if you truly want to fix the US!
April 06, 2014
I was at the debate, and one of the few voters there not tied in advance to a particular candidate. Sadly, the person with the best ideas of how to solve the problems, is an outsider with little chance of winning: Alan Levene.

One of his best answers: eliminate pensions of any representative that runs again after serving 8 years.
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