A billboard paid for by an activist group urging U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to resign has been placed in Dalton and in other parts of Georgia's 14th Congressional District.
The billboard - paid for by the Republican Accountability Project - can be seen at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Thornton Place in Dalton. The sign reads, "You lied about the election. The Capitol was attacked. Rep. Greene: Resign."
The Greene billboard was also displayed in Rome, Georgia, over the weekend.
Greene isn't the only Republican lawmaker targeted with a billboard by the activist group that was created after the Jan. 6 insurrection in Washington, D.C. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from certifying Trump's election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Trump, Greene and others claimed the election was stolen from him for weeks after the Nov. 3 vote, even as election officers, state officials, judges, the Trump administration and even the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the claim. After the insurrection, Greene and other Republicans voted unsuccessfully to block the election outcome from being made official.
Billboard in Dalton
The activist group started a $1 million ad campaign across the country "calling for prominent members of Congress to resign for their role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack," according to the group's website.
The group says it is singling out GOP lawmakers "who were the most irresponsible during the aftermath of the 2020 election." Others with billboards include Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and several others.
Bill Kristol, a conservative political analyst who held senior positions in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, is the chairman of the board at the Republican Accountability Project, although last year he said he would consider himself a Democrat at least until Trump left office.
Asked for her response to the billboard effort, Greene's office referred the Times Free Press to her comment on Twitter calling out Kristol for "perpetual warmongering" and for being a "pro-abortion Democrat" in a tweet.
"These America Last globalists are clinging to relevance because the people have rejected them," Greene tweeted.
Georgia state Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, R-Rome, hasn't seen the billboards because he's been spending time in Atlanta as the 2021 legislative session is underway. He has seen reports about Greene's social media activity - both posted by Greene or "liked" - and said that kind of rhetoric has no room in the Republican Party.
Among other things, Greene has indicated school shootings in Florida and Connecticut may have been faked to spur action on gun control legislation - which she opposes - and that Jewish bankers may have shot space lasers at California to start forest fires there, clearing the way for rail projects.
"I think the Republican Party needs to take care of it," Hufstetler said. "I'm not telling Congress what to do, but this hurts us in the Republican Party."
Hufstetler since 2012 has represented Georgia's 52nd District, which has significant overlap with Greene's district. His district includes Floyd County along with portions of Bartow, Chattooga and Gordon counties. Hufstetler said he has heard from multiple businesses that Greene's comments and the controversy she is wrapped up in will deter them from investing in Georgia's 14th District.
"This will hurt us economically," he said. "It's a big fundraising thing for her, and I've seen she's had money sent in for this. Right now it's really on Congress to do something to fix this."
On Friday, Greene released a statement saying nearly 60,000 people from all 50 states had donated more than $1.6 million to her campaign amid television and internet reports that she portrays as the mainstream media carrying water for the Democratic Party.
Hufstetler pointed to multiple instances in the state Legislature when lawmakers were stripped of their committee titles, removed from certain offices and groups because "we have a minimum standard of behavior."
When Greene was running in a Republican primary last year against neurosurgeon John Cowan, Hufstetler endorsed Cowan, as did Sens. Jeff Mullis and Chuck Payne. In the House, Reps. Dewayne Hill, Kasey Carpenter, Eddie Lumsden and a handful of others also endorsed Cowan.
Cowan actually won Floyd County with 58% of the vote. Everywhere else, Greene easily coasted to a victory with 57% of the vote in Georgia's 14th District.
Greene has been under intense national pressure for weeks as reports on her history of supporting violent solutions to political issues, and perpetuating conspiracy theories, have come to light. Without naming specific posts, she has attributed some of the posts to "teams of people" managing her social media presence. "Some did not represent my views," she said.
Democratic members of the House and Senate have rushed to condemn her and have suggested the freshman lawmaker should be stripped of committee assignments.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California took it a step further and has promised to introduce a resolution that would expel Greene from the House of Representatives entirely. Other Democratic lawmakers have said they would join that resolution.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi - who has been at the center of some of Greene's controversial posts - called Greene's comments "absolutely appalling" and criticized House Republican leadership for placing Greene on the House education committee.
California Rep. Barbara Lee called Greene "a threat to the safety of members, staff, and our democracy.
"It's time for her to go," Lee said.
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans have been mostly silent on Greene's posts and the controversy surrounding her.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, tweeted a criticism of both Greene and Trump after Greene told her supporters she had a phone conversation with Trump over the weekend.
"Lies of a feather flock together," Romney tweeted. "Marjorie Taylor Greene's nonsense and the 'big lie' of a stolen election."
Greene responded by saying Romney "obviously cares nothing about the people's No. 1 concern.
"Please grow a pair or a spine," Greene tweeted.
Greene has continued to stand up for her comments while distancing herself from some of the most controversial views she said she has held in the past, such as believing in the QAnon conspiracy and saying a plane did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11.
"Every attack, every lie, every smear strengthens my base of support at home and across the country because people know the truth and are fed up with the lies," Greene said. "I will never back down. I will never give up. Because I am one of you. And I will always represent you."
Contact Patrick Filbin at email@example.com or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.