Isakson Cribs Debate Question from Largest Donor’s Website in Apparent Pay-to-Play

October 23, 2016 - Georgia’s voters all know Senator Johnny Isakson relies on special interests and lobbyists for his legislative agenda – now he even relies on them for his debate questions. In an apparent case of pay-for-play, on Johnny Isakson’s only question of Democratic opponent Jim Barksdale, he asked (plays at 16:57):

ISAKSON: Mr. Barksdale, I’d like to know your position on the rule proposed by the EPA on the waters of the United States.

We refer you to the first issue listed by “Georgia REALTORS for Isakson,” a creation of the SuperPAC of the National Association of Realtors, whichinvested over $1 million in this race last week:

Fighting Regulatory Overreach (EPA Navigable Waters): When the EPA released a proposed rule that expanded the waters it regulates and could have severely limited private property rights, Johnny fought to stop the overreach of this government agency.

To be clear, Johnny Isakson used his only question of Jim Barksdale in this election’s only debate to promote a priority issue of the largest donor to his campaign. It’s particularly tone-deaf given Isakson’s long history of protecting companies and putting special interest donors ahead of farmers, families, and homeowners across Georgia.

As we enter the homestretch of the election, it’s telling that Johnny Isakson needs a $1 million donation to take on Jim Barksdale, an outsider candidate who—unlike Isakson—is clearly built, not bought.



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