Johnny Cash had a trademark. During his concerts he would stop, look at the audience, and introduce himself by humbly saying "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash." With those few words, he connected with his audiences in a way that made them feel as though they had known him forever. As your new congressman, I'd like to establish the same kind of rapport with you that Cash had with his audiences. I guess you could say that this column is my way of saying, "Hello, I'm Paul Broun."
I grew up in Athens, Ga., where I was exposed to politics at a young age. My Dad was a Georgia state senator for 38 years. He taught me, by his example, the importance of service. The desire to help people and my love of science led to my earning a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Georgia, and an M.D. degree from the Medical College of Georgia here in Augusta. I served in the Marines and was a commissioned naval officer. I practiced medicine in Blakely, Americus and, since 1998, in Oconee County.
I have been married to Niki for 22 years and have two grown daughters, a son-in-law, a teen-aged son and two grandchildren. We are members of Prince Avenue Baptist Church. I have been an AWANA leader, an Emmaus speaker and am currently a Gideon.
I am an avid hunter and fisherman, and love the outdoors. I enjoy cooking (especially wild game), flying my friend's small airplane, target practice and shooting sporting clays.
I particularly want to introduce myself to the residents of Augusta and the Central Savannah River Area. This is because I realize that I am following in the footsteps of Rep. Charlie Norwood, an Augustan who served in Congress for more than 12 years. He was widely respected and his accomplishments are still celebrated. In fact, Rep. Norwood was held in such high esteem that several of his bills have been re-introduced in Congress since his untimely death. This includes Rep. Norwood's CLEAR Act, a bill which strengthens state and local efforts to end illegal immigration. I have re-introduced this bill with my colleague, Rep. Marsha Blackburn.
Because of Rep. Norwood's legacy, I have set the bar high for my own performance in office. It is important to me that you know how committed I am to serving and representing you well. My goal is to do so in such a way that you consider Paul Broun a friend to the Augusta area. I still have a special place in my heart for Augusta from the years I lived here while attending MCG. I have lots of old friends here, and am making new ones on a regular basis. I want you to feel good about calling me your congressman, and I will work tirelessly to earn your confidence.
So, how will I go about achieving this goal? I'll start by advancing an agenda in Congress that I believe reflects the values and principles of all the residents of the 10th District. We need a smaller, streamlined government. Our taxes need to be lowered. We must secure the borders and put a stop to the invasion of illegal aliens into our country. We must lift the burden of over-regulation from the backs of businesses and unleash the power of the marketplace.
We must be totally committed to a strong military and I will work to expand the missions of Fort Gordon and Eisenhower Hospital. I will continually work to bring jobs and industry to this area. I have already begun working toward the development of an interstate highway corridor from Savannah to Augusta and northward. This is critical for the future economic development of the CSRA.
To reach my goal, I will also submit all legislation that comes before me to a four-part test before it earns my support. Is the legislation morally right? Is the legislation Constitutional as envisioned by our Founding Fathers? Is it something we really need? Is it something the country can afford? I believe these four questions help provide a framework by which the growth of government can be controlled and our citizen's God-given freedoms can be protected.
I also plan to achieve my goal by placing extraordinary emphasis on helping constituents resolve their problems with the government. If you should need assistance, please call upon me to lend a hand. I have opened an Evans/Augusta office in Columbia County at 4246 Washington Road, Suite 6, and I am told that this is the first time a congressional office has been located in Columbia county. My staff and I understand how important constituent service is, and we stand ready and willing to go to work for you.
Finally, I intend to be readily accessible to you. I am often in the Augusta area and am happy to come see you or schedule official meetings with you at our local office. The phone number there is (706) 549-9588, or you can reach me in Washington, D.C., at (202) 225-4101.
I appreciate your taking time to read this introduction. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be your representative in Washington. Call on me anytime.
U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, represents the 10th Congressional District.
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