Patriotism, pat downs, pensions become topics in GOP runoff |


Patriotism, pat downs, pensions become topics in GOP runoff |

ATLANTA — Republican runoff opponents Bob Johnson and Buddy Carter found new sources of mud to fling at one another after the Independence Day holiday as they contend for the First District congressional nomination.

Carter’s campaign resurrected comments Johnson made in a pair of forums in October and February in which the Savannah surgeon argued congressional pensions should be paired with term limits to discourage career politicians.

“I would make sure that at the end of 12 years, if you have 12-year term limits, you would get a generous pension so that you would get the heck out of Dodge and go back home,” Johnson said in a forum at Brunswick High School. Four months earlier in Savannah, he said the $42,000 annual pension available after 10 years in office “is not an outrageous compensation.”

Carter argues now is not the time to call for boosting the pension, especially when it’s already more than the median income of most counties in the district.

“Everyday citizens are dipping into their retirement to put food on the table, and Bob wants to raise the pension,” said Carter, a pharmacist who didn’t participate in the state pension as a legislator and donated his salary when mayor of Pooler.

Johnson’s spokeswoman, Maria Jeffrey, wouldn’t say if Johnson was critical of Jack Kingston, Newt Gingrich and Nathan Deal, Republicans who all represented Georgia more than 12 years in Congress, nor did she say what pensions Johnson receives or would accept.

“The response is this: Dr. Bob supports the ultimate retirement plan for career politicians — term limits, a concept Buddy Carter vehemently opposes,” she wrote in an email.

via Patriotism, pat downs, pensions become topics in GOP runoff |

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