Auto calls and four year terms…

State Rep. Mike Keown (R-173) has pre-filed HB 22, which would add auto-call solicitations from candidates for public office to be added to the states “do not call” list.

Keown also pre-filed HR 2, a Constitutional amendment that would take terms for members of the Georgia General Assembly from two years to four years.


  1. 1. Not sure how political free speech would be effected.

    2. Maybe this is an ok idea for the Senate if you stagger the districts so that half are elected in presidential years and half in governor years. Terrible idea for House districts. Removes a good check and balance, right now a governor gets 4 years to implement his agenda and the public can send a powerful message (one of support, indifference or opposition) in the midterm elections.

  2. RiverRat says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with Chris on staggering the Senate in four year terms. We could at least pretend that the senate is more considerate of bills and governing. (this coming from a dem when the GOP is in control).

  3. liberty21 says:

    I agree with State Rep. Mike Keown(R-173) on HB 22, but on his pre-filed HR 2 I would add a term limit of 2 terms only which is the same term limit as Governor, if they decide to move State Senate and State House terms to 4 years from the current 2 years.

  4. jsm says:

    I like HR2 because of the fact that GGA members are almost constantly campaigning. After their first 10 months in office, they start campaigning again for the next cycle. If we like these people well enough to elect them to state legislature positions, we should give them enough time to do something during their terms. If they do a really awful job, there’s always the option of a recall.

  5. RuralDem says:

    I can’t help but to think HR2 is simply something to do because the GOP is in control. I doubt he would have presented something like this if the GOP did not control both chambers.

    Anyway, I don’t like the idea. JSM, that arguement really does not hold up considering that members of the US House are in the same bind. Would you propose that we increase their terms as well? If so then I’ll simply shut my mouth 🙂

    I think term limits for members of the General Assembly (or Congress for that matter) is crazy! Let the people vote for who they want to represent them. If they send someone for two decades to represent them then so be it.

  6. jsm says:

    RD, I see your point about terms of US Congressman vs. state legislators. I’m just so tired of seeing “election year” bills every other year to woo swing voters who are looking no further than how much government help they received from their legislator. We long for legislators with backbone, but sometimes we don’t re-elect them.

    I also think a longer term may insulate legislators a wee bit from their big campaign donors. They wouldn’t need them as often.

    Maybe 4-year terms aren’t the right thing to do, but I certainly think they’re worth considering.

    I agree on term limits. I believe the voters are responsible for their own representative and the length of time he or she serves.

  7. joe says:

    Better yet, let’s go to 1 year terms for everybody. It would be such a pain in the butt for incumbents that they might not run again, especially if they all took a 100% pay cut.

    Ooh ooh reluctant representatives instead of professional politicians, yeah I know, blasphemy on this site…

  8. atlantaman says:

    I’ve never understood why we even have two chambers, it’s not like the US Congress where Senators are supposed to represent the states’ interests (although 17th amendment changed that somewhat) and the House represents the people. That being said I think 4 year terms are good for state Senators (at least there would be some difference from the state House), but a bad idea for the House.

    It’s always a slippery slope for incumbents to start lengthening their terms as it can be viewed as very self-serving.

    Another interesting thing some States do is base the House districts on their Senate districts. We’ve got a 3 to 1 ratio here in Georgia, so when you redistrict the main battle is over Senate districts, then you simply draw 3 House districts within the Senate districts. The VRA may complicate doing something like that in Georgia, but it’s an interesting concept.

  9. ColinATL says:

    Similar auto-call laws in other states have been upheld. For example, Indiana requires that all recorded calls be introduced by a live person. It doesn’t infringe your free speech, just requires that you use live people to deliver it.

    The ultimate comedy in this past year’s election was that anti-immigration live calls in Indiana were outsourced overseas, causing people with distinct accents to recite anti-immigration screeds. Too funny.

    Here’s a blurb about it from the DCCC:
    NRCC Spends Thousands on Calls Attacking Hayhurst Record on Immigration from Callers with Foreign Accents. According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, “The telemarketing business used by Republicans to flood northeast Indiana with phone calls attacking Democratic congressional candidate Tom Hayhurst promises its political customers ‘a geographically neutral dialect’ to drum up voters. But many people who received the calls said the messages were delivered by voices with Indian or Hispanic accents. Many telemarketing companies hire call centers in India and other countries because of cheap Internet-based telephoning. A representative at FLS headquarters did not respond to a request for an interview. The NRCC paid $13,747 to the telemarketing firm to make thousands of calls this week describing Democrat Hayhurst as ‘bad on immigration’ or an advocate of higher taxes.

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