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"A senator's attention span is probably less than an average juror's, so we'll need to simplify, simplify, simplify." -A statememt made by Barr in regards to the Senate preparation for the Clinton impeachment trial.
 

Bob Barr is commonly seen as a gun-toting, NRA champion, anti-gay bigot. Barr is definitely  all of these, and more. He's been named "Gun Rights Legislator of the Year" by the Gun Rights Organization, a far right wing organization. While pretending to be a champion of "traditional" marriage, Barr has remarried three times and also licked whipped cream off of a beauty pageant’s breasts. Hardly a man of "traditional" marriage standards. Despite this, he has remained one of President Clinton's harshest critics regarding Monica Lewinsky, and was calling for his resignation long before the Lewinsky scandal. He's also been critical of Clinton's fundraising practices, despite his own shifty financing services. In addition, during the Judiciary Commitee hearings (which he serves on) it was revealed that Barr has given speeches to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a racist organization.

Hypocrisy: The Flynt Case


Bob Barr, one of Clinton's strongest accusers, is the latest legislator to be "Flynted". He follows Former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Speaker-never-to-be Robert Livingston, both of whom, according to the Irish Times (a daily newspaper in Ireland; it's status is equivalent to the New York Times in Ireland), were outed by Flynt (Sidenote: According to the Dec. 21 Irish Times, Gingrich resigned because Flynt was "negotiating with several parties, people described as having an association with a prostitution ring, for a series of credit card receipts that showed Mr. Gingrich paying for the services". Livingston resigned because Flynt was about to reveal a taped conversation where "Mr. Livingston asks the woman a question to the effect, can't I be the victim next time" (indicating a dominant-submissive affair with a woman who was not his wife)).

According to an affadavit filed by Barr's second wife Gail Barr, Bob Barr paid for and did not object to her having an abortion in 1983. This is rather amusing for two reasons: first of all, Barr is a member of the pro-life caucus. The fact that Barr did not discourage her from having an abortion is rather interesting in light of his strong pro-life stance. Second of all, Barr, in divorce court in 1986, stated that the did object to the abortion. Gail Barr's affadavit, if true, proves that he committed perjury in divorce court. Barr, however, still considers Clinton's "sin" of lying about where and when he touched Ms. Lewinsky to be an impeachable offense. He, himself, will not resign as he claims all the charges against him are false.

Hypocrisy: Traditional Marriages


"The flames of hedonism, the flames of narcissism, the flames of self-centered morality are licking at the very foundation of our society, the family unit," so says Bob Barr. This was said in regards to the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill which he sponsored that would have defined marriage as the life-long union between a man and a woman (and thus not allowing homosexuals to be married to each other). From statements such as these, one would imagine that Bob Barr would not only be a strong proponent of "traditional" marriages but would also be relatively pure of the flames of hedonism. This sort of morality was not manifested when he, in 1992, decided to enliven a Leukemia Society luncheon by licking whipped cream off the breasts of two well-endowed women, one a nurse and the other a credit card executive. (I've been looking for pictures of this for a while...if anyone has these/knows where I can get them, please email me). His table evidently donated $200 to the society to enable him to do this. While this sort of behavior is a pretty good indication that Barr is, indeed, a heterosexual, it does little to show how Barr can be a preacher against the flames of hedonism and immorality. It also seems to define what sort of marriage Barr defines as traditional.....one where the woman is subservient to the man (as behavior like this would seem to indicate a good deal of sexism on Barr's part).

In addition to the problem of matching Barr with morality, there's also a bit of a problem matching Barr with the "traditional marriages" he loves to promote. Barr and others claim that homosexual marriage is a threat to "traditional" heterosexual marriages like his own. Problem is....long before the gay rights movement gained momentum, Barr was on his third marriage. Barr evidently has some sort of personality trait that wrecks havoc with his marriages....which is hardly the fault of the homosexual population of the United States. Not only has Barr had some marital problems of his own, but he also seems to have had problems being able to care for his children born from his past marriages. Barr was taken to court in order by his ex-wife in order to increase child support payments by $600 a month. Seeing as how Barr makes $133,600 a year as a legislator, it isn't too difficult for him to pay $2,100 a month for three of his children. He has also been sued by another former wife for refusing to pay medical bills.

Hypocrisy: Fundraising


Barr has also been rather hypocritical regarding fundraising. He has made numerous statements against Clinton regarding the (probably) dirty money that was funneled to the Democratic Party through Johnny Chuang and others (the money paid by foreigners into the 1996 Democratic campaign....illegal under U.S. law and a serious violation on the part of Clinton). As has been stated, he's been one of the strongest proponents of impeaching Clinton, on issues ranging from Lewinsky to fundraising to Whitewater. In addition, Barr's commitment to cleaning up the sort of fundraising that Clinton engages in is would appear to be minimal at best. Not only did he fail to vote for the Shays-Meehan bill in the House that would ban most soft money contributions (and thus help to clean up our corrupt campaign financing system), but he was one of the few Republicans who voted against reprimanding Newt Gingrich for his illegal fundraising with GOPAC. In addition to this, Barr has also had some fundraising difficulties of his own.

Bob Barr, representative
of the evil empire.

A 1996 audit by the Federal Election Commission revealed that Barr's 1996 campaign collected about $55,000 in contributions that exceeded the legal limits. 72 contributors were identified by the FEC as exceeding the $1,000 per election limit on individual contributions for a grand total of $54,971 in illegal donations. According to an auditor, $36,626 of this was returned before the audit, but they were issued "well beyond the 60-day period provided for making such refunds". Barr's campaign, however, didn't return the remainder until the FEC revealed their illegality. In addition to these "problem donations", the FEC found that Barr's campaign misstated its financial activity, failed to properly disclose political action committee (PAC) donations and did not make timely disclosures to the FEC of  all large donations. While these are hardly gross violations of campaign finance laws, they do show that Barr, once again, is not the champion of clean government that he claims to be.

In addition to violations recognized by federal law, Barr also takes a rather large amount of money from industries he oversees. Barr sits on the Financial Services and Consumer Credit Sub-Committee, and the Domestic and International Monetary Policy Sub-Committee of the Banking and Financial Services Commitee.  A full third of the money he received from PACs in the 1995-6 election was received from groups that he oversees. The list, available at American Politics, includes Suntrust of Georgia Bank PAC ($4,500), Independent Bankers Association PAC ($3,000), Credit Union Legislative Action PAC ($10,000), and American Bankers Association PAC ($6,500). All of these groups are overseen by Barr and obviously have something to gain by donating large sums of money to his reelection campaign. Oddly enough, Barr, while screaming about the Clinton/Gore fundraising scandals, has little to say about his own fundraising dirt.

Bob Barr: Racist Posterboy


Bob Barr has proved himself to be a friend of a racist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC).  The CCC continues to favor segregation and other such ideas, and its website features such fine statements as "Given what has come out in the press about Mr. Clinton's alleged [sexual] preferences, and his apparent belief that oral sex is not sex one wonders if perhaps Mr. Clinton isn't America's first liberal black president... His beliefs are actually a result of his inner black culture. Call him an Oreo turned inside out" (H. Millard, 1998). According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a liberal group that monitors militias and other rightest organizations, the CCC is "reincarnation of the infamous White Citizens Councils,". In the 1950s and 60s, the White Citizens Council was known as the "uptown Klan". Essentially, it was an upscale Klu Klux Klan designed to attract society's elites to its cause and its membership was generally composed of individuals involved in local businesses and government. After the organization's demise, many members went on to create and lead the CCC. The chief executive of the CCC, Gordon Lee Baum,  was the midwest director for the White Citizens Council and the leader of Mississippi CCC, William Lord, was a regional organizer for the Citizen's Council. Because of these sorts of things, the CCC has even been kicked out of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). David Keene, head of CPAC, said "we kicked [them] out of CPAC because they are racists."

Bob Barr has given his support to this group, although to a much less degree than Trent Lott, who has spoken to and endorsed the group several times over the past few years. In June of 1998, Barr spoke to the group at a meeting in Charleston, North Carolina and seemed to be perfectly comfortable doing this...until the press heard about it. While Barr's speech did not specifically endorse the CCC, he almost undoubtably supports it as he was perfectly willing to give a keynote speech to the group. After first attempting to not comment on the matter at all, Barr claimed that he had no idea that the group endorsed ideas such as segregation. In the first place, this is rather hard to believe as one has to only glance briefly at their website to realize that this is not a run of the mill conservative organization. Second of all, the CCC's leader, Gordon Baum, claims that they sent their material to him before Barr spoke. "He knew what we were all about before he spoke to us,"  Baum said. "We don't invite people and let them walk into the dark on us." In addition, Barr also sat through the group's youth panel, where the group's views, according to Baum, were made explicit. Barr, in an answer to these charges, said the material he was given seemed to indicate it was a mainstream organization and supported by Trent Lott, Jesse Helms, and a few other politicians (Helms and Lott are noted bigots, by the way). The youth panel also gave Barr "serious pause" but he spoke to them anyway. If Barr was really serious about avoiding the appearance of endorsing a racist group, he should have cancelled his speech to the group much like the Lt. Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee, did in 1994. He stated he cancelled his speech after he learned who else was speaking and what the organization stood for.  He said  "he would never knowingly share the platform with someone affiliated with white supremacist and anti-Semitic organizations" because he "live[s] by the maxim, 'Avoid the very appearance of evil.'"

Much like Lott, Barr's speeches to a racist group are not an isolated incident. In the past year, Bob Barr has allowed the John Birch Society, an ultraconservative organization filled with Klu Klux Klansmen and other truly terrifying examples of the right, to pay for two of his trips to speak to the group's governing council about his attempts to impeach Clinton. For one of them, the group paid $1,060 to send Barr to San Francisco. Since the speech, the Birch society has begun to actively support Barr's efforts to impeach Clinton by selling T-shirts and buttons. They've also turned a portion of their website into an impeach Clinton section which, in some ways, is similair to Barr's own ramblings on the matter at his own website.

Bob Barr: NRA's Legislator of the Year


Throughout the years, Barr has consistently advocated the National Rifle Association's positions on almost everything, ranging from gun control to impeaching Clinton. However, when he was a United States lawyer, Barr testified before a Georgia House panel on a bill to ban assault-style weapons. He appeared to be speaking in favor of gun control, although he now claims he was speaking in a neutral manner. Regardless of this small blip that may suggest his political views are a bit less certain than they appear, Barr has consistently acted as the NRA's best friend in congress. His championship of gun rights is so large that he was second in number of votes to Charlton Heston for the position of President of the NRA. Heston received 161,172 votes while Barr received 144,392. Barr also sits on the 76 member board of directors of the NRA, which obviously makes him friendly to the board's concerns.
 

Barr has championed almost every pro-gun bill imaginable and was the leading force in convincing the House to pass the repeal of the ban on semiautomatic assault rifles on March 22, 1997. The NRA's first vice-president, Neal Knox, said "It was Bob Barr's job to get it [the repeal of the ban] done, and he did". Barr has also proposed the abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and revoking the Brady Bill (which requires waiting periods before the purchase of handguns). Over the summer of 1997, Barr also pushed for a bill that would eliminate funding for research on gun-related fatalities at the Centers for Disease Control. In defense of this, he stated that the CDC has "not eradicated disease. They have work left to do". Evidently, because of this they shouldn't try to help people who've been shot with a semi-automatic rifle that Barr appears to want every man, woman, and child to own and operate. 

Barr's unabashedly pro-gun stance is a good part of the reason he was elected in 1994. The NRA worked closely with Barr's campaign to get out the vote in a non-presidential year election. The gun lobby, including the NRA, provided Barr's campaign with tens of thousands of dollars in 1994. The NRA was also part of a far right coalition that united behind Barr in 1994, including the John Birch Society, the Christian Coalition, and the National Right to Life Committee. Barr won the election narrowly, with 52% of the vote.

Barr: Fun Facts


Welfare Recipients: Barr took his distaste of welfare recipients to extremes when he asked FBI director Louis Freeh if the agency is conducting background checks on welfare recipients that are being hired by the White House. Evidently, Barr was concerned they might try to steal important documents or something as he stated that hiring them raises "very serious security concerns". The White House's response was that "To suggest that a single mother raising children and trying to move from welfare to work is inherently a greater security risk is offensive". Evidently, Barr doesn't recognize that the greatest crooks reside in the capitol building.....not people on welfare.

Trials: When Barr served as a U.S attorney in Georgia in the mid 1980s, several odd things happened in light of modern day events. Today, Barr proclaims that he is qualified to know that Clinton is at fault because he used to serve as a United States attorney, where he prosecuted many cases. The records show, however, that Barr never tried a case...primarily, he gave speeches to the public and made a bunch of press releases. Barr never made an opening or closing statement, never examined a witness, and never offered an objection. This isn't highly unusual for a U.S. Attorney, but most at least participate in a trial in more than a supervisory role. Barr's trial experience came as a defense lawyer, where he defended various criminals. While its rather disturbing that Barr has been proclaiming that he tried many cases when, in fact, he tried none, its hardly a grand crime. More disturbing, however, is that Barr, in a great disrespect to the law, repeatedly leaked court information to the press. Ken Starr has been accused of this in the courts and its a highly illegal thing to do. Its illegal because one is innocent until proven guilty. Information leaked to the press can wrongfully portray an individual and ruin their reputation, even if they are innocent.  Barr leaked to the press profusely...so much that many of his assistant attorney's stopped telling him sensitive information out of fear that Barr would leak it to the press and, in the process, ruin their cases. The local heads of law enforcement complained to Washington that Barr was doing this, which caused the Department of Justice to launch two investigations of Barr, the results of which have never been made public. In sum, Barr was hardly the sterling prosecutor he has recently portrayed himself to be. Rather, he was an attorney who never prosecuted a case (and claimed he prosecuted many) and, in violation of the law, leaked information to the press.

Bob Barr's Links


Barr's House Homepage: Barr's views and biographical information can be accessed here.

Mother Jones did an expose on Barr and several other corrupt congressmen/women.

American Politics: One of the articles American Politics has done on Barr. It provides a decent overview of Barr and criticizes several of his policies, including his rabid impeachment drive and his fundraising tactics.

Guerrilla Barr:  A highly amusing take on Barr's (and others) recent activities.

Hustler has its page on Barr, including an affadavit from Gail Barr.

Barr's Democratic opponent's page is here.


Click on the cartoon above (by Tom Tommorow...from 8/3/98) to return to House of Crooks