BREAKING: SPEAKER FAILS IN DOT “CULTURAL REVOLUTION” (so far)

The Speaker and Lt. Governor have failed to call an election for the DOT Board this week. The Lieutenant Governor was pushing for it to get it out of the way. The Speaker was pushing for a cultural revolution on the DOT Board to punish the Board for failing to install a sock puppet loyal lieutenant in the Speaker’s Army.

Gold Domeologists would be wise to interpret the machinations as the Lt. Governor calling the Speaker’s bluff and the Speaker tacitly admitting he has yet to find enough votes to launch his revolution.

24 comments

  1. Had Enough says:

    Come on, Earl. Tell us how you and Glennie have the votes. How you’re really only concerned about Democracy and how everyone should bow down before you.

    Give us some lame explanation about how this is not a temper tantrum by a bunch of overgrown schoolboys and hypocrites.

    Please tell us you got something better than Stacey “Give me a wedding gift you damn dirty lobbyist” Reese and Floyd “I’m for Hillary and Obama” Griffin.

  2. Looks like this is going to be another long session and a very short Republican majority.

    One would think that these highly intellectual people would figure out it is more cost effective to cooperate than to demagogue. The arrogance is repugnant.

    The residual effects will not be good for down ticket races.

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Maurice,

    I think you’ve been misled. To presume that the people who get elected are the “top” of either the intellectual or intelligence totem poles is to presume a lot.

    I’m actually beginning to realize that in Georgia, the cream stays on the bottom of the milk (i.e., the REALLY smart people don’t go for elected office).

  4. JRM2016 says:

    Can someone tell me why legislators, who are the constituents of the DOT Board members, do not have the right to seek out challengers when the Board members they elect abrogate the will of their constituent members?

    We do that all the time in the wider democratic world, why are the rules different here?

    What would totally solve this problem would be to make DOT Commissioner an elected post, like Labor Commissioner, Commissioner of Agriculture, etc.

  5. Had Enough says:

    JRM – it’s because we expect real leaders to do what is best for the state not pander to small group of cowardly hypocrites drunk on their power.

    DOT may be elected by the legislature but they’re accountable to the people of this state who want real change.

    the real leaders voted for change (translation Abraham). The children have a right to seek out challengers but it’s the ultimate act of political hypocrisy by a Republican majority that increasingly is a disgusting disappointment to all of us who worked to get them elected.

  6. Jace Walden says:

    JRM2016,

    You are exactly right. It would totally solve the problem. I wonder why when it comes to stuff like the GlennTax Raise, the legislators can’t wait to get it on the ballot, but when it comes to stuff like this, they’d rather keep the power of nominating these folks to themselves.

  7. JRM2016 says:

    The way I see it, all the DOT Board Members were making a simple realpolitik calculation. That is whether to let the Governor have his choice for DOT Commissioner (Abraham) or for the Legislature to have their choice (Smith). I know it was not a choice between reform and corruption because I know Vance Smith well and am sure he would have been more than equal to the task given his personal work ethic and involvement with transportation issues in the state for the better part of two decades.

    Also, I didn’t hear anything about Abraham being a “reform” candidate until the eve of the session and she released the news…stop the presses…that there is waste, fraud and corruption at DOT.

    While I don’t know her, I am sure she is also a fine person.

    The point is that if who runs the state Department of Labor is important enough that it has its own place on the ballot, then why not the DOT Commissioner who oversees how many billions in annual state spending?

    It looks like the Status Quo that has been established is that the Governor is going to have whoever he wants in as DOT Commissioner. While I am a great supporter of our current governor, I think that is a dangerous incursion into our system of checks and balances and if it cannot be corrected by the current method of the legislators electing DOT Board members then perhaps we should just let the people decide.

  8. Had Enough says:

    Vance is a very good man and a very good legislator. But no one who knows both of them seriously believes that Vance would go in a clean house at DOT. He’s just too nice. And he doesn’t have a background in executive branch management.

    And your whole Governor versus legislature hogwash doesn’t hold up. Cagle strongly backed Gena as did many Senators.

    This was a simple process for the Board to choose the best candidate. Instead Glenn and his fellow 3 year olds decided to make this a “vote for our buddy or else” conflict with the Governor.

    Sonny, who I’m not a big fan of, didn’t start this fight. Neither did Cagle. It was the ridiculous House Leadership who are lamely trying to make this out like it’s about the Governor’s influence at DOT. Wake up. The Governor has always had significant influence at DOT.

    Glenn wanted his way and nothing else. Now he’s throwing a temper tantrum, but having his lapdogs try to cover it up with fancy words about “representing constituents” and “supporting House independence”.

    It’s a temper tantrum by a group of small men who have embarrassed our state with the personal and political hypocrisy.

  9. Georgia’s Health Care Insurance Axis of Evil:

    1) Sen Ralph Hudgens
    2) Rep Tom Knox
    3) Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine:

    1) Priced out of the Market?
    2) Unable to purchase “Individual” Coverage during middle age or because you are female?
    3) Can’t get coverage because of pre-existing conditions?

    Georgia Senate Insurance and Labor Cmte
    Phone: (404) 656-4700
    Legislative Assistant: Leah Tatum Dick

    http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2007_08/senate/insurance.php

    Committee Members

    Hudgens, Ralph T (R-SS 47) Chairman

    Shafer, David (R-SS 48) Vice Chairman

    Moody, Dan (R-SS 56) Secretary

    Brown, Robert (D-SS 26) Member
    Chapman, Jeff (R-SS 03) Member
    Golden, Tim (D-SS 08) Member
    Harbison, Ed (D-SS 15) Member
    Murphy, Jack (R-SS 27) Ex-Officio
    Pearson, Chip (R-SS 51) Ex-Officio
    Ramsey, Sr., Ronald B. (D-SS 43) Member
    Rogers, Chip (R-SS 21) Member

    Georgia House
    http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2007_08/house/Committees/insurance/gahins.htm
    404.656.5912

    Tom Knox
    Chairman

    Howard Maxwell
    Vice Chairman

    John Meadows
    Secretary

    Administrative Assistant: Marsha Barnes
    Committee Aide: Craig Foster

    Committee Members:
    Steve Davis, Matt Dollar, Carl Epps
    Ronald Forster, Rich Golick, Ben Harbin
    Keith Heard, Bill Hembree, Doug Holt
    Lester Jackson, Mike Jacobs, Jerry Keen
    Jimmy Lord, David Lucas, Robert Mumford
    Quincy Murphy, Carl Rogers, Ron Sailor
    Richard Smith, Stan Watson, Joe Wilkinson

    Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine
    http://www.inscomm.state.ga.us
    404-656-2070

  10. JRM2016 says:

    The way I see it (and I guess we will find out when the DOT Board elections are held) the majority of legislators did not want the Governor’s hand picked choice for DOT Commissioner forced upon them.

    While I respectfully disagree with your analysis about what kind of job would have been done by Vance Smith v. Gena Abraham, I do agree that it is unfortunate that there has been such acrimony created as a result.

    I do think the Governor had a role to play in all of this by pushing Abraham. DOT members were then really caught between a rock and a hard place. It was not a secret to the Governor that Vance Smith was interested in this job and would likely seek it when it next became open. He ignored that and chose to push his own choice.

    The long term solution to this problem beyond when all the current personalities involved have moved on is to allow the people to decide, just like they do with Ag. Commish and Labor Commish.

  11. Still Looking says:

    JRM, Just because we elect some department heads, doesn’t mean we should elect the DOT Commish. I think of myself as pretty well informed, but honestly what the hell do I know about the qualifications it takes to run the Labor, or Ag or DOT departments? Doesn’t it take professionals to run these departments? I’d rather let the governor appoint the best person with the skill needed to implement his policies and direction.

    And remind me again why we elect sheriffs, clerks of the court and the soil and water people.

  12. Bull Moose says:

    Let’s weigh on the side of optimism in hopes that the Speaker has decided to allow Abraham a chance to reform DOT before they jump the shark.

    I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, aren’t you?

  13. BubbaRich says:

    JRM and others:

    I have to agree with Still Looking. Let’s say you need to hire a technical expert in payroll administration for your company–do you let your automobile repair company employees vote on who you hire? While the Honda expert, the Ford expert, and the janitorial staff would probably pick somebody they could get along with, they don’t necessarily have even the knowledge about what’s necessary for the payroll job, nor is the sum of their interests necessarily the best interest of the company. Plus, you need to have one point of responsibility for something this complicated.

    Now, the people in charge often make bad decisions about who to hire for a position like this, on personal and political reasons, but they do have the responsibility to make it work or pay with their own ass.

    There are lots of idiots in Georgia I wouldn’t want to elect the DOT, especially since it would be dominated by Atlanta voters, which means AT BEST city-oriented decisions, and at worst the same things as city politics.

  14. tedsimmons says:

    An elected DOT commish is a bad idea, just as elected ag, labor and especially attorney general are bad ideas. Sheriff too. Even informed folk are only barely aware of the issues in these fringe races. Anybody think an Abraham could have won a statewide race? No– the asphalt interests would have eaten her alive. Plus, she’s too bright to get into elective politics. But she’s just right for that job, judging by the consternation she’s causing.

    Only the loathsome Richardson can make the do-nothing Sonny look good. The DOT job is an executive job. It should be the exec’s prerogative to fill it. That we even have a DOT board is an absurd throwback to the Talmadge era.

  15. bowersville says:

    “Even informed folk are only barely aware of the issues in these fringe races.”

    Just when I was starting to believe in the power of the people, my bubble it burst.

    What should we require of the voters? A reading test or a poll tax?

  16. Harry says:

    How about an expectation that their elected officials will exercise good judgment in making appointments?

  17. JRM2016 says:

    I find it humorous that the best way to get the “most qualified” person in any position in government is to make it a political appointment.

    If that was true, then Harriet Miers would be on the Supreme Court now.

    I suppose only time will tell if the Governor’s choice was the right one. Other than releasing the shocking news that the DOT is a mess, I don’t know of any groundbreaking policy that has been set or really anything that has been done to justify all this talk about who was “most qualified” for the job.

    The point of all this discussion has been to ask whether or not the process is the right one.

    The overwhelming opinion on this site appears to be the Governor should have the appointment.

    Then instead of complaining about the current system, you should propose it be amended in some way.

    Of course as the system stands today these elections are the province of the legislature who indirectly influences the appointment of the DOT Commissioner.

  18. BubbaRich says:

    JRM:

    Yes. You sound like you want to say it’s too simple and bad, and it’s too complicated and bad.

    Just like the Supreme Court appointment, the executive makes the appointment with the approval of the legislature. That’s a small check on the power of the executive, and it brings more of the voice of the people into the process.

    It seems like the best possible system, bringing professional responsibility and knowledge into the selection, while still giving the legislature confirmation power. If you think direct election is better, you need to explain why, rather than just saying “ELECTION IS BETTER!”

  19. Dave Bearse says:

    You’ve no doubt read about newly minted DOT Commissioner Abraham’s concerns about public-private partnerships. I today heard a rumour that she will soon assume the chief or a chief postion at the Tollway Authority.

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