Barr, Loudermilk clash in lively forum

Congressional candidates Bob Barr and Barry Loudermilk locked horns Tuesday over taxpayer money and Attorney General Eric Holder in a lively forum sponsored by the Acworth Business Association.

Barr, a former congressman from Smyrna, questioned Loudermilk, a former state senator from Cassville, about why he copyrighted an educational video about the Constitution that was paid for by the Georgia Department of Education. Called “It’s My Constitution,” the film features Loudermilk and his family and is aimed at educating school children.

“Are you willing now to come forward tonight — with a degree of transparency that you seem to hold very high when you talk about these issues — and tell the voters what you are hiding with regard to your lack of transparency on these and other issues involving abuse of taxpayer money,” Barr said on the stage at NorthStar Church in Kennesaw.

Loudermilk said he has never made any money on the film and that it was copyrighted to protect its content.

“Well, Bob, you even surprise me with those accusations because there is absolutely no truth to any of those and I think you know the truth regarding those,” Loudermilk said. “The state owns the video. It is free for everyone. You can go to YouTube and see it.”

Loudermilk then took aim at Barr for endorsing Holder for attorney general in 2009.

“Bob, can you explain why you penned a very glowing letter of endorsement that helped Eric Holder become the attorney general of the United States?” Loudermilk asked.

Barr pointed out that he has since called for Holder’s resignation because he “has enabled this president through his inaction and through providing legal opinions to the White House… to continue violating the law.”

“So rather than focus on the letter, why don’t we focus on the things that Eric Holder has done in office that have led me to believe that he needs to resign and for which I have called for repeatedly,” Barr said. “Maybe you would like to join me.”

The candidates were forced into a runoff in May when neither captured more than 50 percent of the vote in the six-way Republican primary race for Georgia’s 11th Congressional District. The district covers all of Bartow and Cherokee counties and parts of Cobb and Fulton counties.

Barr and Loudermilk are now are competing in the July 22 Republican primary runoff to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate. The winner will head to Washington as no Democrats have qualified to get on the ballot.

The two are scheduled to square off again in a debate on Georgia Public Broadcasting Sunday.

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