Revenge Is Sweet

Note this from Chuck Clay and Dick Pettys at InsiderAdvantage:

Cagle got himself elected chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus in 1998 over Sen. Don Balfour of Snellville. Two years later, Balfour was a participant in a coup which ousted Cagle from the job and put Sen. Bill Stephens in his place.

(Balfour, currently chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, and Cagle still are on opposite sides. Balfour is an executive of Waffle House, which backed Reed in the battle for lieutenant governor. A letter distributed over Balfours signature recently informed Waffle House district and division managers that Reed signs but no others without specific permission would be allowed at the restaurants.)

In 2003, Cagle was on the short end of another battle, losing again to Stephens in the race for majority leader of a Senate by then under GOP control.

(At the same session, ruling Republicans stripped the lieutenant governor Democrat Mark Taylor of most of his important powers, vesting the power to name committee chairman in a Committee on Assignments led by Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson and by the Senate Majority Leader.)

The Committee on Assignments last year stripped Cagle of the vice chairmanship of the Rules Committee the gatekeeper for legislation, with power to block legislation from reaching the floor and instead made him vice chairman of the relatively less prestigious Science and Technology Committee.

It should also be noted that Reed won Toombs County, home of Tommie Williams, and Chatham County, home of Eric Johnson.


  1. BahamaBoy says:

    Balfour couldn’t even deliver the Waffle House vote for Reed. I didn’t see any No. Fulton locations with Reed signs on display. With an endorsement like Balfour’s, why didn’t the Reed camp put up 4 x 4s in front of every WH in the state?

  2. techtrack says:

    the memo that was posted here, gave the max dimensions. they were not allowed to put up 4×4’s

  3. nfire says:

    Nice! Balfour should go from Rules chair to vice chair of Retirement. Staton can be the committee secretary.

  4. Bill Simon says:

    On another note, what makes people think that most of the people who frequent Waffle Houses are even Georgia voters? Lots of them are used by people just passing through the state.

  5. GAWire says:

    Oh, so now IA is trying to be the “expert.” Those guys crack me up. Here’s the thing, guys: You either work for the candidates, making it impossible to be “impartial” or you provide an independent, objective analysis.

    As far as Balfour goes, I always wondered what the heck he was thinking with his actions in this race. I mean, c’mon … go to candidate school (and I don’t mean the one LI puts on – I mean go to Newt’s political candidate school). Endorsing Reed is one thing … that happens all the time, and those other guys will be fine switching over to Cagle (might have minor consequences during the next session, but Cagle will tuck that one away for when he needs it). But, using your business to support the guy openly is a different story. I wouldn’t be too happy if I were on the Board at WaHo, not that it hurt them really. Balfour’s actions just made them look silly.

  6. Bull Moose says:

    Elephants have great memories… I do think there needs to be a few adjustments to better reflect the growing and maturing leadership of our state political infrastructure.

    Casey Cagle’s win was a testament to the idea that hard work, true committment to public service, sincerity, and authenticity are important qualities in public elected officials.

    Hopefully the “gotcha” politics that some have played in the past are going to be just that, in the past, and Casey Cagle and company can move forward along with Governor Perdue and continue moving Georgia forward.

    I think that the Senators that endorsed Senator Cagle did the right thing. They stood with him as a matter of principle and they prevailed. The good guys won.

    It was very magnanimous for Senator Stanton to quickly rally behind Senator Cagle and offer his full support. Hopefully, all Republicans, Independents, and even moderate Democrats will realize that Casey Cagle is the embodiement of hope and opportunity and support him come November.

  7. Art Vandelay says:

    Ill be the first to admit that I dont know decade (or even several year) old history between these senators so if stuff that happened that long ago still plays into what’s happening…i’m unfamiliar with it.

    But, regardless of Casey and Balfour’s history, I have a hard time believing anyone is going to strip Balfour from Rules. The Senate is not as palpably vindictive as say, the House might be. From my experience, at the end of the day, they are friends.

    Now Staton, he might be a different story…he’s new and they could easily just move him around to say, retirement committee and it wouldn’t look so spiteful.

    Sidenote…Balfour supported the wrong guy…..he’s still very cool and he’s also very conservative.

  8. politicalwidow says:

    I would understand if Casey had Balfour removed but I hope he doesn’t. Balfour is great as Rules chairman and I cannot think of anyone else in the caucus who could do it as well as him.

  9. Art Vandelay says:

    politicalwindow is right…Balfour is a great rules chair…and he’s hilarious. Senate Rules is the best committee – it’s almost always entertaining.

    On a different note, I dont think Casey (alone) could have Balfour removed. I mean, it would take significantly more something than just Casey. Leadership makes those decisions–not any one person alone. And the way it stands right now, EJ, Balfour, Tommie, Mitch…they are leadership.

    I seriously doubt that much will change. I could be wrong and I guess we’ll see…but that’s my stance for now.

  10. landman says:

    Guys,I know if you were to ask Cagle he would say that all he is concerned about now(other than spending some quality time with his family) is helping us secure a winning ticket in November.Casey is committed to whatever is necessary to see that not only he wins,but the Gov and all the down ballot races do as well.This type of rhetoric about payback and other BS does nothing to help us further this goal.

    Once again I hope all the Republicans unite and we take it to the Dems in November and I think this type of speculation while completely baseless is very harmful to our chances of winning in November.I hope the war wounds heal and we can go after the Dems in full force.If we do the Dems are done they dont have any gas left with the present players and have no farm system so we will truly be a Republican State!!!!

  11. conservativecore says:

    For a bunch of folks who believe themselves to be astute political junkies you fail to understand the most important line in the article. REPUBLICANS STRIPPED THE POWER FROM THE LT. GOV. and from the few I have spoken to they have no plans on giving it back.

  12. Jack S says:

    Biggest loser so far has been matt towery. A poser pollster who was more interested in kissing ralph reed’s ass at the end of the race than offering any objective analysis. The guy’s a joke.

    This little rumor mongering he’s doing amounts to nothing more than a “oh, look at me I’m trying to still be relevant”.

  13. Bull Moose says:

    conservative core, I think you’ve been talking to cows… I believe the full powers of the LT. GOVERNOR will be restored. Casey Cagle is someone his fellow Senators trust and worked hard to get elected.

  14. conservativecore says:

    Bull you are a fool. But hey you want to wager if there are significant rules changes we can. And before you do you may want to see if there were any real rules changes in DC after the 94 elections. Intenally and externally politicians and governing entities do not and usually will not give up authority.

  15. shep1975 says:

    There are several possibilities here assuming a Cagle victory in the fall. Unfortunately, my former boss, Senator Balfour, may be on the bad end of things.

    The current Vice-Chair of the Rules Committee is Bill Hamrick. Bill was a big Cagle supporter. He would seem the most likely to be bumped up.

    Another switch may come in Insurance. Ralph Hudgens, the current chair of that committee, will probably not keep it being he was a Reed supporter too. Shafer is the Vice-Chairman of that Committee and has a strong background having been Chief Deputy Commissioner of Insurance in Oxendine’s first term.

    As for Eric Johnson and Tommie Williams, I am not sure about their relationship with Cagle, but I have gone to an inside source for information, but I’ll keep it privledged so Amanda won’t yell at me again ;o)

    I had heard early on that Tommie was behind Casey, but that was only rumor. Pat Tippet works for Tommie and she was a big Reed supporter.

  16. debbie0040 says:

    If the Senate Cagle supporters start punishing Reed supporters it will ignite a war. Grassroots Reed supporters are still ticked off and they will not sit still for that type of retaliation and it will become a very public and vocal war. It will further divide the party….

    But then again Cagle has to win…..Cagle has inadvertantly given Reed supporters more reasons not to support him…

  17. bowersville says:

    Debbie, I’m not being a smart*ss here (well maybe a little), but it might be time for the elected officials opposed to Cagle in the primary to put their fingers up to the politcal winds and donate a K to Casey’s election campaign.

  18. shep1975 says:

    Isn’t the limit now $5K?

    Most of these issues go much further back than this campaign. A bit was stated above. The caucus is divided on some of the leadership issues, however, they are not divided when it comes to working a one to get things accomplished. That says a lot about the quality of character of a lot of our senators.

  19. bowersville says:

    The reference to the 1K was a tongue ‘n cheek reference to the 1K some chose to make into such a big deal about Cagle, but you’re right 5K is more in line.

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