On the same day as the Supreme Court ruling on health care, Gwinnett's congressmen had opposite reactions Thursday to a vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
Upset by the motion, Democrat Hank Johnson, who represents part of the county, walked out of the House Chamber, along with many members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
"As long as the Justice Department continues to act in good faith to comply with the subpoena, a contempt citation is unenforceable as a matter of law. This contempt vote is a waste of time. Given the Department's track record of compliance, no federal court in the country would enforce it," Johnson said about the move, prompted by the congressional inquiry into Operation Fast and Furious, an Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms operation to track illegal guns over the Mexican border.
A border patrol agent was killed by one of the guns.
"This is about one thing and one thing only -- politics. The Republicans want to embarrass the president, his administration, and most importantly, tarnish his legacy. It's not okay to gang up on the president, plant fishing expeditions to smear his name, and try to devise his downfall," Johnson said. "The thought of this contempt motion sickens my stomach."
U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, on the other hand, voted in favor of the contempt resolution.
"I am both saddened and infuriated by the events leading up to the vote (Thursday) to hold Attorney General Holder in contempt of Congress," said Woodall, a Republican from Lawrenceville. "President Obama promised the most open and transparent Administration in history. Yet, when a series of bad administration decisions associated with Operation Fast and Furious led to the death of one American law enforcement agent and hundreds of Mexican nationals, the U.S. Attorney General chose to refuse to produce relevant documents and evidence that Chairman Issa and the Oversight Committee are seeking.
"Congress issued a valid subpoena, and Attorney General Holder has ignored it," Woodall added. "Congress has offered opportunity after opportunity for the attorney general to comply with the subpoena, and he has refused, leaving Congress with no choice but to hold him in contempt. The American people deserve answers about the troubling events surrounding Operation Fast and Furious and the lengthy cover-up that followed. With this vote, we will be one step closer to getting those answers."
Hunter removed from board
Tommy Hunter, who is running in the District 3 commission race, is no longer a planning commissioner.
Commissioner John Heard asked last month that Hunter be removed from the District 4 slot because of a perceived conflict.
Hunter ran in the District 3 commission race eight years ago before moving to District 4 and seeking that position in 2010. In January, the district lines will change, placing his Buford home in District 3.
But Hunter said that was no reason to remove him from the Planning Commission, a board that recommends resolutions to zoning issues to the county commission.
"The removal was without merit and under false pretense," Hunter said. I'm in District 4 until the new lines go into effect in 2013. I think it's clear that one of the current commissioners was not happy that I was there due to their relationship with my opponent in the commission race. This is exactly why I'm running, I'm sick of the dirty politics that goes on in this county and I plan to change it. You would think the current commission has more important things to do, like finding a solution to our coming water crisis."
Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, the incumbent in District 3 who is seeking a third term, abstained from the vote on the removal.
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Post.