Controversial Discussion of the Day

I’ve reached seven. My being a faithful Republican makes me cringe at posting this, but I do think it is newsworthy — and it should also send a signal to the Governor that he has some bridges to rebuild during the next legislative session.

What am I talking about? I’ve now had seven Georgia Republican legislators (3 House Chairmen, 3 Senate Chairmen, 1 Other) who have all said in casual conversation that they think they might just have a better shot at pushing their agenda items under a Democrat administration than under the present Republican administration. If I characterize too much, I’ll be betraying confidences of source, but these are seven who need to be listened to and are not just disgruntled foot soldiers.

When the people who are saying something like that say that, people plotting 2006 Republican campaigns need to take notice.

25 comments

  1. GAWire says:

    Erick, I agree with the fact that these folks need to be listened to, even though I don’t know who they are specifically. The fact that there are key Party Leaders disgruntled like this is significant and the Gov should be bending over backwards for them.

    However, I still believe these are ill-conceived bluffs. Any smart Republican will know that their agenda – assuming it is a conservative one – will NEVER be more successful under a Dem administration. As soon as that administration is in power, they will regret that decision so fast, Mark Taylor or Cathy Cox wouldn’t even have had time to pick out their color schemes in the leadership offices.

    The only real damage that these officials will do to the Gov is refuse to campaign as much as the ordinarily would have. The fact remains that the Gov will get re-elected, and when that is the case, those members will pay for what will be percieved as lack of Party loyalty.

    I see what you are saying, though, and agree that this issue is important.

  2. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    Committee Chairs saying even in private that their legislation would fare better under a Democrat Governor is beyond believable.

    With the virtual certainty that the House and Senate will remain GOP, I can think of no greater recipe for deadlock than to have a Democratic Governor.

  3. GAWire says:

    Here is my free advice to those guys: Think twice before making claims like that, and think numerous times before going public and attaching your names to those claims! There is no uncertainty that things like that WILL MOST DEFINITELY come back to bite them in the rear!

  4. Bill Simon says:

    Here’s a question: Why aren’t some of those “anonymous” bloggers anonymously blogging on here? Remember? Those secret legislators who are designated as Anonymous1, 2, 3, 4 or something like that.

  5. Chris says:

    Bill, it will be a long time before we start seeing elected officials operating real blogs. Too often we see a career ruined by some off hand remark or throw away line. Witness Trent Lott and Howard Dean.

  6. Ben King says:

    you know, neither of those things happened on blogs. I’m not saying that blogs don’t have that potential, but I’m not really aware of anything thats happened on a blog that has really hurt someone.

    But I suppose there hasn’t been a real cycle since blogs took of in ’04, and no one really knows how to deal with them yet? I’m not sure if that explains it. You still have total control over what a blog says. The comments stuff can be dicey, if you are an elected official.

    I guess we’ll see how hard people are doing op research on 06, huh?

  7. Bull Moose says:

    Well, whichever party can promise and create the appearance of delivering a results based government and not one that is just built on “hollow” principles will win in November 2006.

    There isn’t much Sonny Excitement out there — it’s all about how bad he is and what he and his staff are doing wrong and how rude they all are and how they think there better than everyone else… In fact, most business people that I talk to are fine with the idea of Cathy Cox being Governor — they just don’t want anything to do with Mark Taylor…

  8. Chris says:

    Here is the $65,000 question: What are these agenda items these Republicans think they have better chances getting enacted under a Democratic governor?

    And for that matter are these the kind of agenda items we want passed? its bad enought the Republicans in Congress are spending like they were New Deal Democrats, we don’t need that under the Gold Dome too.

  9. Mike Hassinger says:

    Erick-
    I’d really like to know the specific proposals your 7 silent Republicans believe would fare better with Mark Taylor or Cathy Cox wielding the veto pen. Maybe you could give us some hints about their agendas, and preserve the confidentiality of their names.

    I sense (and color me naive if you want to) that the voting public is less concerned about the “R” or the “D” after somebody’s name on a ballot and more about “what will this guy/gal do for me?” To go even further out on the limb, it’s time the R’s got together and stood for something other than the wedge-issue politics that have gotten them elected in the past. It’s no longer enough to just be a Republican, you have to really have some kitchen-table issues, some conservative viewpoints, that make sense to most people, to generate any excitement.

    Bull Moose is right: There isn’t much Sonny Excitement out there. Sonny’s a good guy, hamstrung by a bunch of newbies. He needs some better cheerleading, and that would start with setting all those grade-schoolers to work on geting the middle as fired up as the fringe wing-nuts used to be.

    I’d be willing to bet that your gang of seven (and maybe more) have some ideas/agendas that they are afraid would get them called “RINOs” in a primary. And I have to tell them and you: Run with it. Ideas are usually bigger than political parties, and voters are smarter than you think.

    Retail politicians (good ones, anyway) can put a wet finger in the wind and sense any change. Your seven are good ones, I’ll bet. They already know what the weather is going to be.

  10. Mike Hassinger says:

    Chris Farris said:

    “its bad enought the Republicans in Congress are spending like they were New Deal Democrats, we don’t need that under the Gold Dome too.”

    Amen, brother.

  11. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Ben King, in reply to your message earlier…just a quick note – while I can’t recall any actual elected representative getting into trouble over a blog posting, I do recall that story about the D.C. Staffer and her “escapades” with certain males on Capitol Hill…that’s one example of a blog gone bad…but I’d HOPE, that an elected rep wouldn’t be idiotic enough to be posting stuff like that on a blog.

  12. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    This isnt the right place, but until we see somthing on the Chambliss and Isakson vote against the Rebuplican leadership to not set a troop withdrawal timetable from Iraq, I wanted to send along my strong congratulations on a fine vote by our US Senators. Well done guys. When the rest of the Republicans stand around like a bunch of clucking hens while helicopters evacuate the Green Zone, you can rest easy knowing that you did your part to preserve freedom in Iraq and save the lives of American soldiers. Thank you.

  13. Tommy_a2b says:

    I have not here from Legislators this exact item, “said in casual conversation that they think they might just have a better shot at pushing their agenda items under a Democrat administration than under the present Republican administration.” but I have heard from different Republican Legislators that their agendas would probably be much more fiscally conservative under a Dem administration. TABOR would probably be pushed harder as well as department cutbacks. Any more thoughts?

  14. housecreek says:

    The Governor of Georgia should scrutinize bills coming from Republicans and Democrats. Have you seen some of the things Chairman want to do? Take Georgia to the Silver Standard, take House and Senate elections to every 4 years, have an oversight committee for every agency, etc… Sometimes, people overreact. It is good to have someone with scrutiny to have the final say before some of this crap becomes law!!!

  15. buzzbrockway says:

    The Legislators who’ve expressed this opinion may be correct, but I’m wondering when GOP Legislators had success in the past getting their agenda supported by a Democrat Governor?

    Two quick examples: Ethics reform and Women’s Right to Know. Both supported by most Georgians and both bottled up by the previous Democratic leadership. Maybe the GOP didn’t get all it wanted on those issues, but they got a heck of a lot more with Sonny than with Roy.

  16. emily says:

    There is an interesting story today in the Washington Post, which was also picked up by the AJC (“Fed staff rejected Georgia Voter ID”), about the Justice Deptartment’s pre-clearance of the GA Voter ID bill. Strangely enough, while Georgia Republicans are justifying their opposition to the injunction with the fact that the DOJ pre-cleared it, it turns out now that 4 of the 5 experts at DOJ issued a memo stating their opposition. Their legal opinions were overruled by a poliltical appointee and the bill was pre-cleared despite their research.

    The Post story links to the entirity of the internal staff memo, which details the reasons for NOT pre-clearing the Voter ID bill. Erick, you have so diligently followed this case, I’m a little surprised you haven’t had more to say about this new revelation. I’d be interested to know–and Erick, you might have more insight into this also–to what degree Perdue and his people influenced the DOJ on this–or at least the guy that went over the heads of the actual experts who made the determination that the bill was bad. What kind of interaction was happening between the gov’s office and this guy, John Tanner? My guess is: quite a bit.

    Any thoughts?

  17. Tommy_a2b says:

    Notice both of the issue Buzz notes are social issues and not fiscal. Not that I am not thrilled those passed bit are we so different fiscally (Rep vs Dem.)

  18. Bill Simon says:

    Buzz, your point is, alas, not a relevant point.

    During the time of those bills (and any other desired legislation by the GOP), the GOP didn’t control either of the state legislative bodies.

    Now that we control both the senate and the house, I would predict that even if a Dem replaces Perdue, bills will go through…and, may even go through better BECAUSE there will be required compromises made.

    Last year, had people like the Savannah Morning News and Neal Boortz not raised alarm bells about SB 5 (the “eminent domain” bill that would have allowed private enterprise to work in concert with government to pick pieces of personal property and declare eminent domain to seize it), that bill would have sailed through both houses AND been signed by the Governor…because, from what I understand, someone in his office had quite a hand in putting that bill forward.

  19. I think there may be some debate as to whether voting against a withdrawal timetable for American troops is “saving the lives of American soldiers.” Assuming they aren’t assigned to Brian Nichols security detail when they return to the states, most troops would be safer doing whatever they used to do in the US than serving in Iraq.

    But hey, if the Isakson/Chambliss extreme wing of the GOP wants to define their party as the one that wants to indefinitely keep American soldiers in harm’s way refereeing a civil war, go right ahead!

  20. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    Hey, wonder if Bob Woodruff will be fired from the Washinton Post, Chris? Do the rules of competent journalism apply to liberals too?

    I guess its time for the lunatic fringe on the left to start looking for a new target.

  21. Bill Simon says:

    Chris…really now…combining Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss into an “extreme wing” of the GOP is like combining Sam Nunn with Cynthia McKinney into an “extreme wing” of the Democratic Party.

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