Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) is seeking the GOP nomination for Georgia’s open Senate seat. He is competing against two other sitting House members for the nomination and is running on a far-right platform of less government spending and lower taxes, typical of a Tea Party candidate. However, earlier this week it was revealed that Broun has spent over $30,000 the past two years on a debate coach. Worse, the money came from from his Congressional office’s funds, therefore this is money provided by taxpayers.
Apparently, Broun brought on Brett O’Donnell from Liberty University in 2012 to help with his ‘rhetoric.’ O’Donnell has also worked with Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in the past, helping her prep for the GOP Presidential primary debates. Both Goerge W. Bush and Mitt Romney used O’Donnell during Presidential debate preparations as well. I guess O’Donnell was supposed to help Broun get away from saying things like evolution and the Big Bang Theory are ‘lies straight from the pit of hell.’
Anyway, Justin Gray, a reporter from Atlanta’s Channel 2, discovered the payments to O’Donnell while perusing through Broun’s Congressional office financial records and broke the story. He also tried to get a response from Broun about the story, but obviously Broun was in no mood to talk. Eventually, Broun’s camp responded back and said that there was nothing shady about the payments to O’Donnell, and that he was actually a fully vetted staffer brought on to help with communication.
Obviously, that is a lie. Perhaps even from the pit of hell. O’Donnell is not a staff member of Broun’s Congressional office. He is essentially a consultant that has been paid a few times to prep Broun for debates or town hall events. The issue here is that O’Donnell should have been paid out of campaign funds and not from funds meant for legitimate Congressional staff members. For someone who complains about wasteful government spending, Broun sure doesn’t mind dipping into the well of taxpayer-provided funds and using it for his own personal gain.
Currently, polls indicate that Broun is the front-runner to grab the GOP nomination. However, now that this story is out there, it would seem that Broun’s opponents are going to jump all over him for this. Also, how are Tea Party voters going to feel now that their candidate of choice has been exposed as a hypocrite who has no qualms with wasteful Washington spending as long as he’s the one doing it?
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).