Stacey Reece Responds.

This was in Monday’s AJC. It’s Rep. Stacey Reece’s response to an article which Brian from Ellijay posted here.

As a legislator, my workplace happens to be the Capitol, and my colleagues are lobbyists. I support some of the causes of these lobbyists — and some I always vote against. But nevertheless, many showed the same friendship to me that other people have received from workplace colleagues. Like so many other workplace colleagues in this world, they threw us a shower.

Because these friends happen to be lobbyists and I am a legislator, every gift — including the $15 can opener — must be disclosed. I insisted that each participant follow the law and even go beyond the law by making sure they took part in the shower only as individuals.

The AJC has called me to task for this shower because of their insinuation this will make me do what these lobbyists want. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a lobbyist who was quoted in yesterday’s AJC story comes from a firm that fought me tooth-and-nail last year as I helped lead the fight to ban smoking in public places in Georgia.

It is a matter of perspective. One can take the cynical view that every lobbyist is only out to buy and sell a legislator’s influence. Or, one can choose to see past the walls of cynicism that infect our politics and believe that people who work in politics can be friends with those they work around — even lobbyists — and get nothing more than shared joy from the occasion.

Read the entire column here.

9 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    I’ve read his response. Here’s the question regarding lobbyists being your “friends:” If Reece leaves the legislature, will the lobbyists still be up for helping him celebrate his life? Will they still be willing to drop everything to take a call from him?

  2. Bill Simon says:

    I’ll repeat what I said in the post further below with regards to Stacey’s comment on lobbyists being colleagues:

    “Colleagues are lobbyists?”?

    Calling a lobbyist a “colleague” is like a chicken calling a fox a “colleague.”

  3. HowardDawg says:

    This is one of the most ridiculous statements I’ve ever seen a politician put out. This is what Republicans have worked so hard to accomplish? to see baffoons like this disgrace us all?

  4. Demonbeck says:

    Oh come on Bill, if you left your office for another job in another city, how many people from your office would you keep in touch with on a regular basis?

    This is a non-issue being played up by the AJC and people who don’t know any better.

  5. Bill Simon says:

    Demon, tell you what. Let’s call Mike Crotts, Randy Sauder, Ginger Collins, etc., and interview them to see how many of their lobbyist pals they share a meal with or even exchange any kind of phone calls with since they departed from the legislature.

  6. DoubleDawg3 says:

    I agree – regardless of whether these lobbyist are his “friends” away from the Gold Dome or not — it simply looks bad in an election year, given all the other GOP problems.

    Is he the only Republican who has announced for Cagle’s seat? I wonder why someone like James Mills (who’s been in longer than Reece I believe) or Carl Rogers (who even if he is a recent GOP convert has always seemed to be well liked in the Hall Co. area) hasn’t announced — maybe someone else will given the recent events.

  7. atlantaman says:

    I think what it comes down to is restraint and perception. I don’t even care whether the lobbyists are his “friends” or not. Although I do think he would be quite dissapointed with the turnout at future anniversary showers if he’s out of elected office.

    When you’re a representative of the people you should hold yourself to a higher standard (I know it’s such a cliche it sounds corny). That standard should not include getting as much free sh!t as possible.

    Since we have a citizen legislature why not have a shower with the people he acutally works with at his real job and quit whinning about being able to do the same things everyone else gets to do.

    Here the guy is trying to run for State Senate and he’s out there registering for $15 can openers with lobbyists. This sounds so Clintonesque it’s scary.

  8. Nate says:

    This statement about lobbyists being his colleagues is absolutely ludicrous. This just shows that this man has absolutely no concept of how our legislative process is supposed to work, and he is a legislator! Lord help us. I counted at leasr four times in his response that he refers to lobbyists as his colleagues. Two questions I would like to ask, if these colleagues were truly friends, why not wait to have this little party after session? We are only talking about a matter of a couple of days. My second question is, would I as a constituent have been welcomed to participate in this party at the 191 club? I think Reece’s response is more telling than his little party.

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