You cannot read this and be anything but disappointed over Speaker Richardson’s workers paradise.
Look folks, I practiced law for over five years and during that time billed a great many hours on DOT work. The DOT sucks. And Mike Evans has been one of the good guys.
I realize if you read House propaganda you would think otherwise, but Evans has been a good guy and a reformer.
It’s ludicrous to me that the Speaker intends to replace him with Rep. Reece, who didn’t run for re-election after lobbyists threw him a wedding party. Come on people, we’re trying to clean up the DOT, not turn it into a favor factory for the GOP.
[UPDATE:] By the way, this came out in the AJC on March 24, 2006. The title is “Lobbyists shower legislator with party.” This is the Speaker’s pick to replace Mike Evans:
The engagement party invitation let guests know that the loving couple could use a set of martini glasses and a place setting for 12 of their china.
Nothing out of the ordinary there — except that the bridegroom is a state legislator and the 21 people hosting the wedding shower are lobbyists, many with interests in some of the biggest bills under consideration by the Georgia General Assembly.
The betrothed, Rep. Stacey Reece (R-Gainesville), called the event held in his honor Tuesday night at the private, upscale 191 Club in downtown Atlanta “appropriate.”
“Whether someone buys you a vase or a dish towel has no more bearing than if a lobbyist takes you out to a committee dinner and pays for that,” Reece said.
Others thought the event crossed the line. House Republican leaders noted the distinction between a committee dinner and an engagement party and questioned Reece privately about the appropriateness of having lobbyists pay for such a personal affair.
“I would have handled it differently,” said House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons Island). “But I accept Rep. Reece at his word that he viewed this as friends wanting to do something for him and nothing more.”
Public watchdogs said most Georgians don’t see it that way. Jill Johnson of the Georgia Public Interest Research Group said the party feeds the perception that lobbyists and legislators have too cozy a relationship.