Conservative Georgia District Urges G.O.P. to Keep Up the Fight - NYTimes.com
Conservative Georgia District Urges G.O.P. to Keep Up the Fight
More moderate voices seemed rare. John Godrey, 69, a retired textile industry executive strolling the grounds of the Coosa Valley Fair in Rome, said he was a Republican but found Mr. Graves unrealistic. “Obamacare is a passed law, and the only way to do anything about it is through elections,” he said. “Republicans have to take back the Senate and probably get a president.”
Mr. Graves served seven years in the Georgia General Assembly before winning a seat in Congress in a special election in July 2010. He ran on an anti-abortion, pro-gun, tax-cutting platform and arrived a few months before the Tea Party wave swept House Republicans into the majority.
In 2011, Mr. Graves was sued by a Georgia bank for defaulting on a $2.2 million business loan.
That seems to have made little impact on his constituents, though it is remembered in Calhoun, where he used the loan to invest in a motel. The property was abandoned after the electricity was shut off for nonpayment. Mr. Graves’s partner said at the time that they were not responsible because the property had been transferred to a third party.
Beth Peters, the coordinator of domestic violence services in Gordon County, recalled scrambling for 24 hours to find new homes for the motel’s residents, many of them poor or disabled.
Ms. Peters, 48, who voted for Mr. Graves, said she now questioned his judgment. “You kind of wonder if he’s able to decide what’s right for us in Washington if he can’t run his own business,” she said.
Mr. Tripcony, the surveyor, said he underwent heart surgery not long ago without health insurance, “a bad blow.” He has been making payments against the cost. He had heard of the online marketplace for insurance that opened on Oct. 1 under the Affordable Care Act.
“I just don’t trust it,” said Mr. Tripcony, who has an equal distrust of President Obama. “I don’t like him, and I don’t feel comfortable with anything he’s got to do with.”
Mr. Tripcony said he had a better idea for a system to provide health care at a fair price. “I think it should be the same for everybody,” he said. “One big company, whether owned by the government or private.”
Informed that he had described the single-payer system that Mr. Obama abandoned when Republican critics called it socialized medicine, he said, “Yeah, I know, it’s crazy.”
He said he might eventually seek health insurance under the new system. “In a couple of months, when they get the Web sites working, I may do it.”
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