Children of a Lesser House

You read stuff like this and you have to question the maturity of the House leadership.

A political campaign to oust state Department of Transportation board members who defied Speaker Glenn Richardson in selecting the new DOT commissioner could delay DOT reforms that are desperately needed, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said Thursday.

The DOT board selected Gena Abraham, then head of the Georgia Building Authority, by a one-vote margin in October to clean house. She was put forth by Gov. Sonny Perdue and supported by Cagle. Her main opponent was Rep. Vance Smith (R-Pine Mountain), chairman of the House Transportation Committee and Richardson’s choice.

Cagle said


  1. Harry says:

    The AJC will be happy to publicize anything with a negative spin that concerns GAGOP inside baseball. Having said that, I hope Gena is here to stay, and I hope she can do something about all the unsightly billboards popping up, that are ruining the appearance of this state.

  2. Chris says:

    its not the billboards that ruin the appearance, its the idiot in front of me that’s going 45 in the left lane.

  3. eehrhart says:

    First of all this was never about Gena Abraham. I would be very surprised if there was any move at anytime to change that outcome. Any one who suggests differently is just playing childrens games and has no interest in the outcome only self aggrandizement.

    A little known fact is that the original recommendation for Ms. Abraham to the Governor for her original agency head position came from the Speaker and he is a big fan of her. I can tell you he just honestly felt that Rep. Vance Smith was the choice and advocated for that outcome.

    That said, there is a reason there are 13 members of the DOT board. The original premise is that they should represent their regional interests and that one man the Governor whoever that is did not control all of the power with respect to transportation.

    These board members have one constituency who elects them and that is the peoples represenetatives in the Senate and the House. It is not childish politics to expect those whom we elect to represent our views. If I were to tell my constituents that I was not interested in their views and that any attempt to oust me because of that would be childish politics; I wonder how much sympathy I would get? NONE and I would deserve none.

    The Board members like Mike Evans were asked to represent their constituents and they did not. Now they want to whine that they are being picked on. Give me a break!

  4. JRM2016 says:

    Should political decisions have political consequences? I think the answer is yes. If DOT Board members voted earlier this year against the wishes of their constitutents, what is troubling about those DOT Board members being shown the door? If we had elected officials who were pursuing policies with which 80% of Georgians disagreed, would we suggest it is “childish” to call for their removal at the next available opportunity? I think not. That is democracy. I certainly believe the DOT Board members who say they voted their conscience. They shouldn’t complain now that the hour is almost at hand for them to face their constituents and defend their decision.

  5. Icarus says:

    I no longer question the maturity of the house leadership. The last few days of the session last year removed any doubt that they will ever exhibit maturity.

  6. Harry says:

    In Northside Talk in the AJC, someone suggested some ideas to gain recourse against billboards:

    1) Boycott any business that pays for advertising on one of these billboards.

    2) Seek state legislation that bans the issuing of backdated permits.

    3) Strictly enforce all provisions of the law related to billboard construction, access, environmental considerations and maintenance.

    5) Ensure the land on which the billboards are located are fully assessed for tax purposes at fair market value to reflect the billboard revenue potential.

  7. GodHatesTrash says:

    Here in VT, billboards are outlawed, leaving for unobstructed views of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks across the lake… of course, it does make it harder to have a successful massage spa or titty bar, so your wives and daughters might have to look for other work if’n you moved up here…

  8. Bill Arp says:

    Who cares is Lt. Governor or the Governor is upset with the Speaker over the DOT race. The Commisssioner of the DOT is selected by a vote of the elected delegation in the congressional district. With the makeup of the district being almost 3 Representatives to 1 Senator. Clearly the Speaker should have his choice put in the Commissioner’s office. To call the Speaker petty for promoting his candidate over the Governor’s candidate is assuming that the Members of the House of Representatives do not want Vance Smith to be the next commissioner. This is not the case, the Speaker should get his choice for DOT commissoner and NOT the Governor. There is a reason why the Governor does not have a role in this process and his attempt to coral more power in the sphere of his jurisdiction is illegitimate. I wonder what the Governor would say if the Speaker successfully got the Board of Corrections to fire the Commissioner against the will of the Governor. It would not happen. The Speaker is pursuing a massive retaliation and he should not have allowed the Governor and Lt. Governor to put his in this position. Being critical of the Speakers choice to advocate for Vance Smith is clearly part of the DOT campaign process. Lets see if he can pull it of and get the DOT back from the throws of the Governor.

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