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Senate race between Beach, Rogers gets increasingly bitter
by Kristal Dixon
July 26, 2012 08:09 AM | 1980 views | 1 1 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The campaign between Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) and his challenger, Brandon Beach continues to take a nasty turn as mailers against both candidates escalate.

Both campaigns are accused of engaging in mudslinging.

Rogers’ campaign has been accused of attacking Beach on his role in the Georgia 400 tolls.

A mailer produced by the anti-TSPLOST organization Traffic Truth is utilizing false newspaper headlines, noting the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce CEO has “failed to stop the Georgia 400 tolls” and “Beach sponsors party for largest tax increase in Georgia history.”

The first made-up headline refers to the upcoming regional transportation sales tax referendum voters across the state will consider on July 31.

The flier also contains a photo of a cow’s rear end and is titled “tell Brandon Beach to stop ‘milking’ us dry!”

Beach has stated he’s in support of the referendum, commonly referred to as the TSPLOST.

Beach noted he didn’t attend the meeting in which then Gov. Sonny Perdue called for the Georgia Department of Transportation’s board to approve extending the tolls.

He added if he were at the meeting, he would have voted against extending the tolls.

He also said he “didn’t vote for the largest tax increase in Georgia’s history” and added Rogers actually supported the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, the legislation allowing the referendum to go on the ballot across the state.

“He has full responsibility for what’s on the ballot next Tuesday,” Beach said, referring to Rogers.

A pro-Beach mailer criticizes Rogers for his involvement in the controversial loan he received to remodel the Oglethorpe Inn in Calhoun.

The senator, along with U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, were sued by the former Bartow County Bank in 2010 for failure to make payments on a loan they took out in 2007 to buy and renovate the hotel.

The pair took out a loan of $2.3 million in 2007, but later only had to repay half — $1.2 million — of the debt owed on the loan, according to news reports at the time.

Rogers said earlier this year the suit by the bank was filed after he and Graves sold their shares in the corporation, and a counter-suit was filed against the bank for breach of contract.

Additionally, the ownership of the property never changed hands it was always owned by the corporation, Rogers said. “I simply sold my stock in the corporation.”

Rogers also said that the settlement satisfied all parties. A confidentiality agreement was also put into place to prevent both parties from discussing the specifics of the settlement.

The bank’s former CEO had been quoted as saying the failure to repay the loan contributed to the bank’s failure.

It also slams Rogers for his alleged connections to John Letcher Edens, the man Rogers and Graves transferred the loan to.

Edens, along with his son Jonathon Edward Edens, were both arrested and charged with theft in Cartersville last July.

Rogers referred to the mailer as “Chicago-style gutter politics” that “shows the desperation of my opponents and the lack of any positive ideas for Georgia.”

Rogers also said he believed the flyer contains false accusations and plans to “consider all potential legal action after the conclusion of the political campaign.”

Do mailers influence the way you vote?

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