POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Local officials meet with Speaker Boehner; Hunter memo causes stir

Camie Young

Camie Young

Gwinnett officials didn't just bend the ear of local representatives in Washington D.C. during an annual fly-in last week. The Chamber of Commerce-led delegation got a private meeting with U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

According to a press release, Gwinnett business leaders had the opportunity to have a 30-minute discussion with Speaker Boehner about concerns such as short- and long-term funding for transportation, affordable energy and the environment, regulatory reform, expanding trade opportunities and American competitiveness, and taxes and the economy.

"The Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce has long been a force for job creation in Gwinnett County and serves as a vital resource for businesses in the community. I was proud to host the Gwinnett Chamber during their trip to Washington, D.C., and pleased to arrange a meeting with them and U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner," Congressman Rob Woodall said in the release. "As the House continues to drive down spending, battle regulatory red tape, and scale back the size and scope of government, Speaker Boehner must continue to hear from the primary engine of the American economy -- small business owners -- and Gwinnett County has some of the nation's finest. I am grateful to the Speaker for prioritizing the Gwinnett Chamber and recognizing the value that its members bring to America. I hope that the dialogue was as valuable to members of the Chamber as it was to me and the Speaker."

Jann Moore, vice president of the Chamber's public policy division said the trip was a "wake-up call to the Gwinnett business community to take an even more aggressive posture and communicate more frequently with our federal decision-makers."

"We are fortunate in Gwinnett to have powerful responsive representation in Washington and it is critical to our continued economic success and job creation efforts to let them hear from the business people who are the 'boots on the ground' working hard every day to keep people employed and make payroll," Moore said.

During the annual trip to Washington, leaders brought the same issues to the forefront during one-on-one meetings with Woodall, U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, and Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss.

Hunter memo brought up in campaign

A job reprimand from 2004 is making hay in the District 3 commission race.

The document about Tommy Hunter, a former Gwinnett public utilities staffer who is starting his third campaign for county commission, is circulating among political circles, and it has turned heads.

The letter documents violations of seven different provisions of the county's Merit System rules, mostly involving performing his second job in real estate while he was on the clock as a senior construction manager for the government.

While the letter was placed on candidate Mike Korom's website, Hunter said the circulation of the memo "is more dirty tricks from the Beaudrea campaign," referring to incumbent Mike Beaudreau.

"This was a private letter from a previous employer filled with inaccurate accusations," he said. "My opponent is more interested in spreading false accusations than discussing important issues of this campaign. I will continue to focus on water supply, transportation, the budget, property rights for those surrounding the proposed airport expansion and keeping an open door policy to constituents. If elected I will never forget that the residents of District 3 will always be my boss."

But Rich Carithers of Korom's campaign said the document brings into question Hunter's ethics.

"This is exactly why Mike Korom has entered the race," Carithers said in an email. "The voters will not have to worry about Mike Korom being more concerned about his own personal gain while on the taxpayer's dime."

While qualifying is continuing this week, the fourth announced candidate for the District 3 race is former Snellville Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer.

Poll shows support for tax

Officials with the Untie Atlanta campaign say voters are supportive of the proposed regional transportation sales tax, which is on ballots July 31.

The results of a recent poll of 600 voters, they said, showed 51 percent of people said they would vote "yes" and 36 percent would vote "no."

Support is strongest among Democrats, who gave a 60 percent yes response. Suburbanites gave a 52 percent affirmative, a press release said.

"An overwhelming majority of those polled, 87 percent, agreed with the statement that 'metro Atlanta has a traffic problem and something must be done about it.' Even those not yet voting 'yes' realize that addressing traffic congestion is essential to moving our region forward," the campaign press release said.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via email at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.

For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.


R 3 years, 4 months ago

"An overwhelming majority of those polled, 87 percent, agreed with the statement that 'metro Atlanta has a traffic problem and something must be done about it.'

Yep.... BUT the question DIDN'T ask if TSPLOST was the way to Git-R-Done.

Is this all 8 MILLION in funding can buy?


Floyd_Akridge 3 years, 4 months ago

Dirty tricks from the Beaudreau campaign? Say what?

A seven page letter of reprimand, especially as detailed as it is, is very relevant to this campaign and I personally think it is disingenuous to try to blame the letter's appearance on Commissioner Beaudreau. Remember...the letter couldn't be published if it didn't exist.

Finally...stop trying to point a finger at Commissioner Beaudreau. I haven't asked him but I seriously doubt that he is given access to Mike Korom's website. Mike Korom published this letter and even advertises its existence on his campaign's home page. That tells you a little about the Korom campaign too.

The simple and obvious truth here is that of the four candidates for the District 3 Commissionership Mike Beaudreau is the clear leader and the clear conservative. The other three act like they are squabbling over the last slice of pizza.


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