News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Aug. 9, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- With less than two weeks until the 12th Congressional Republican runoff, the two men in the race to take on Democrat John Barrow in November are taking shots at one another.
According to the Secretary of State, the recount requested by candidate Wright McLeod has been conducted, and no significant change was found, meaning Lee Anderson and Rick Allen will move forward to a runoff.
The gloves are off and neither candidate is holding back, attacking one another in a new round of political ads that hit the airwaves this week.
"After all Barack Obama has put us through, Lee Anderson made it worse," announces a campaign ad supporting Rick Allen.
"Watch out, Rick Allen's brought out the manure spreader," adds an ad paid for by Lee Anderson.
The runoff election just got dirty.
Anderson calls Allen's ad "ridiculous distortions, false attacks and hypocrisy."
He also adds, "I guess some people will say or do anything to get a title for their portfolio."
"The man cannot tell the truth, like I said, it's typically career politicians and their spin and that's why I'm going to Washington, because the people need to know the truth," Allen said.
In Allen's ad, he accuses Anderson of voting to raise taxes on two different occasions. Records show Anderson voted to support House Bill 307 in 2010, providing a fee to be imposed on hospitals.
Anderson says, "The fee was requested by Georgia's hospitals as a way to help improve their medicaid funding formula. I am very disappointed that Rick Allen would insult the voters like this and twist a great Republican tax reform bill into something bad."
Despite circulating a flier saying he's never voted for a tax increase, Anderson does admit to supporting the recent TSPLOST.
"How does he defend that? You know how he defends it, he calls me a liar, and he's dead wrong," Allen said.
As a state representative, Anderson said he wanted to give voters a choice on TSPLOST, and in this area, they said yes.
"But the voters did pass it?" News 12's Katie Beasley asked Allen.
"Yes, one of three, but largely Republican primary voters voted against it," Allen said.
Anderson's response: "Rick, hypocrisy is not a Georgia value, and you shouldn't attack the voters for the choices they make."
Allen also admits giving campaign contributions to Democrats over the years, but he calls it a stretch to say that a contractors' group he was a member of supported President Obama in 2008.
Either way, one thing is clear, voters will be seeing a lot more ads in the days ahead.
Allen also argues he's not a government contractor, like the Anderson ad claims. He says he's never done federal government work, only local projects.
Anderson's camp points out that some of those projects were paid for by SPLOST dollars, meaning taxpayers.
Anderson was unavailable for an-on camera interview.
The runoff is Aug. 21st.