Rumor Du Jour — UPDATED

Apparently the Speaker is willing to play with life.

Rumors are swirling that the Speaker, to induce Tom Graves and company to vote to oust Mike Evans, offered to put the Human Life Amendment up for a vote.

You pro-life voters pay attention to this: the vote was not coming to the floor on its own merits, but as a political deal to get the Speaker’s cronies elected. So much for life being of real value — it’s apparently only a negotiating tool.

If you support the Human Life Amendment, start praying for people less principled than Tom Graves, et al — people willing to sell out real principles to get the pro-life PR.

I just landed in Washington and was on the phone with Clelia Davis from the Speaker’s Office before I got off the plane. So, before leaving the airport, I want to make sure I put up this update.

According to the Speaker’s Office, they “categorically deny” this rumor. They say that one unnamed person suggested that the Speaker offer up the HLA in exchange for votes and he would not do it.

Good for him. And I apologize for having the facts wrong on this, but absolutely trust the person who gave it to me.

Likewise, they want to be sure everyone knows that there is zero truth to the rumor that the Speaker or Leadership would run anyone against any of the Republicans who voted for Evans.


  1. shrike071 says:

    The speaker is a wicked, cunning, vindictive, evil man… I put him in the same class as Ann Coulter – which is “The group of people that ANY politician should distance themselves from.”

    This is the type of person that you all elected to lead. It speaks volumes about the character of the party. Especially telling is the fact that nobody in the party has the spine to do anything about it.

  2. Bill Simon says:

    So, Erick, here’s a question: Under the HLA, wouldn’t that mean that every stillborn and miscarriage would come under higher scrutiny to investigate whether or not it was “voluntary manslaughter” or “involuntary manslaughter?”

  3. Chris says:

    Bill – it gets better than that. Any doctor who performs an abortion to save the life of the mother will have to defend himself in court that the termination was “manslaghuter in defense of another person”.

    HLA may or may not be a good idea depending on your view of when life begins. However without accompanying legislation it’s going to let overzealous prosecuters run amock.

  4. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Chris, what if that doctor used the gun that was in his glove compartment from his car that was parked in his office’s parking lot?….oh nevermind, I’m getting way ahead of myself.

  5. Bill Simon says:


    It’s a bad idea. 90% of these legislators and 95% of the population hasn’t one clue as to biological processes…and GRTL is on the steps of the capitol declaring that the mass of cells at 1 day old is equivalent to …you right at this moment in time.

  6. newuser says:

    The Human Life Amendment is a legislative necessity if Georgia legislators want to enact ANY meaningful legislation that places legislative limits on human experimentation, human/animal hybrids, designer babies and any other medical technology that ends in the destruction of a human life.

    Without a broad constitutional amendment the GA Courts would be given too much room to legislate from the bench. Those “powers need to be reserved for the people.”

  7. StevePerkins says:

    Is there any purpose to government at all other than doling out pork and arguing over gays and abortion (i.e. so people will pay less attention to the doling out of pork)?

    I mean on one hand, I’m glad that there are religious-retards out there who are willing to be pawns and foot-soldiers for the fiscal conservatives… otherwise we would be grossly outnumbered by fans of the welfare state. However, lately the script has been flipped… such that the religious-retards are calling the shots, and fiscal conservatives are expected to be foot-soldiers for THEM! This has turned out about as well as any intelligent person could have predicted (e.g. the worst Presidential administration and Congressional majority in modern history).

    Please, Bible-thumpers… go crawl back in your caves, let the smart guys call the shots, and we’ll send for you when we need you to mail in contributions or canvas neighborhoods. Thanks.

  8. eburke says:

    We don’t need a political deal to get cronies appointed. We need to elected principled men and women to the General Assembly. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be unscrupulous members but they wouldn’t get elected to positions of leadership. If the members of the House have no problem with Speaker Richardson then they have less moral fiber than I thought.

  9. Rick Day says:

    I hereby forever change the designators in the Culture War ™ over zygotes.

    It is declared that one can not use the term PRO LIFE unless they are also ANTI DEATH PENALTY.

    If one is PRO DEATH PENALTY and ANTI-ABORTION, then one must now reference themselves and their agenda as :


    Because that is what you are going to get of you ban abortion. Infanticide and abortions performed by lay people.

    That is what you are…and nothing will ever change that. You reap what you sow.

  10. Burdell says:

    Rick: Baloney.

    The death penalty metes out punishment to those who take the life of another. It is society’s way of saying that murder is much worse than other crimes. In other words, it affirms the value of life.

    Abortion punishes the one innocent party in the whole affair. It is a way of saying that a living being can be destroyed for the convenience of another. In other words, it cheapens the value of life.

    So, I’m happy to call myself PRO-LIFE, and that encompasses opposition to abortion and support for the death penalty.

  11. cantonmom says:

    The truth is, Tom Graves is a great man. He saw the wickedness in the Speaker’s “deal” and turned it down. This cost him all the things he had worked so hard to obtain at the capitol. I sat in the Gallery yesterday and listened to Rep Graves give a speech from the Well during Morning Orders. He did not rant against injustice or expose the Speaker for the man of little integrity that he is. Rep Graves called for the other House Reps who believe in the sanctity of human life to stop sitting on their hands for fear that their principles will get them the axe. In the near silence of the House, members hung on his every word and Rep Graves’ last words were this, “It is the time to lead.”
    When it came time for our nation to abandon its backward and debase hatred of African Americans by overturing the Dred Scott decision, I’m sure there were still depraved men in the seats of power. Those who would stop at nothing to deny Black people their civil rights and their personhood. Just because the battle for justice and truth is a long and hard one does not mean you throw in the towel or sell out your principles because you constantly come up against opposition from the sinister and corrupt.

  12. StevePerkins says:

    Come on folks, can we on Peach Pundit at least be smart enough to not waste our time with actually debating the abortion (or death penalty) issue on the merits? No matter which side you’re on, that’s like trying to convince a UGA alumni to switch over to Georgia Tech as their favorite team. It’s just an absolute waste of time and energy.

    A majority of people want abortion to be legal. A majority of people want reasonable restrictions and regulations on abortion. An OVERWHELMING majority of Congressmen want to punt the issue over to the judicial branch so they can keep the status quo while letting the Supreme Court take the heat for it. (Congress could strip the Supreme Court of subject-matter jurisdiction over abortion at any time, and it would be perfectly constitutional. They choose not to intentionally.)

  13. Tommy_a2b says:

    Erick, the fact that Clelia Davis called so quickly makes me bet the rumor is fact. If you made a couple of calls to the people “rumored” to have been in the meeting you may be able to get more info. Take this as a suggestion. There is way more to this story, hint hint.

  14. eburke says:

    Why should I believe anything that Glenn Richardson or his spokesperson says. He has already proven himself ethically challenged.

  15. M.P.E. says:

    Wow, that hard hitting piece of journalism took exactly two hours and one phone call to crumble. Lots of backbone.

  16. cantonmom says:

    Actually Steve, a very recent poll declared that 57% of Georgian house holds want to see Roe overturned. This discussion was not about the nation, it is about Georgia, the Georgia Constitution and the proposed amendment to the Georgia Constitution.
    We are no more debating the abortion issue than you are generalizing a group of people who have different beliefs than you and then resorting to name calling as if this comment section were a second grade play ground. Your derogatory statements and name calling against pro-lifers has an eerie similar ring to the types of names racists like to label African Americans with in the past.

  17. rightbeforeleft says:

    Tommy, Burke and MPE are correct. The fact that the spokeswoman was so quick to refute is a clear example of misdirection and spin. What we can give Erick credit for, however, is leaving the original text up with strikethrough. I sense he wants to be able to accede to Clelia’s demands but dispense the truth anyways. Don’t discount our fearless leader so quickly.

  18. Bill Simon says:

    But…let’s remember… Clelia Davis is listed as one of the Top 20 “most beautiful” people in the Legislature.

    So, I think Erick is letting his libido get conned into controlling his normal brain patterns and he will believe ANYTHING Clelia (or, any one of the other 19 beautiful people) tell him.

  19. StevePerkins says:

    This discussion was not about the nation, it is about Georgia, the Georgia Constitution and the proposed amendment to the Georgia Constitution.

    The Supreme Court has found a federal constitutionally-protected right to abortion (with certain restrictions allowed)… and the federal Congress has chosen to let this view stand (even though they could strip the Supreme Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction over the issue in a heartbeat if they really so desired). That being the case, this is NOT a state level issue. Any law changed here in Georgia will be immediately challenged in federal court, and will almost certainly be abrogated.

    This is what is know as “pandering to really stupid people who don’t understand Constitutional law”.

    Your derogatory statements and name calling against pro-lifers has an eerie similar ring to the types of names racists like to label African Americans with in the past.

    I’m not really sure that me saying, “Southern religious conservatives are morons,” and compare that to racial segregation during the Jim Crow era. That really takes chutzpah when you consider that Southern religious conservatives were the ones CREATING those circumstances for african-americans! 🙂

    So in other words… you’re being uppity, boy.

  20. BubbaRich says:

    I can’t believe somebody with the respected name of “newuser” would lie, but that poll actually has 65% when the only two choices are “legal-illegal,” but only 24% wanted “illegal in all cases” when they had some more nuanced choices.

    We need some better language for discussing this issue…the anti-abortion phreaks get people emotionally involved with discussions and pictures of late-term abortions, which are extremely rare. One of the wingnut talking heads I heard last week used both “abortion stops a beating heart” (a definite lie for most abortions) and discussed “spilling innocent blood,” and without doing more research right now I’m nearly certain that most abortions occur before blood even exists.

    Zygote/DNA-worshippers like to confuse this issue because, if they make it medically clear, only a vanishingly small percentage of people would want to legislate zygote protection. Of course, pro-choice people use this confusion, too, when fighting medical limits on more late-term abortions.

  21. Icarus says:

    AJC’s political insider this morning seems to indicate that “categorically deny” appears to apply to a very narrow category in this case.

  22. johnmartinforafreegeorgia says:

    Actually, the AJC story does back up what Clelia said yesterday. Scott agrees that the Speaker did not approach GRL and that he did not want to trade the bill for DOT votes:

    Clelia Davis, the speaker’s communications director, said Richardson never proposed such a deal, either in person or through a go-between.

    “A House member … came to the speaker and suggested that some DOT board votes may be for sale if the speaker agreed to a floor vote on the Human Life Amendment,” Davis said in a prepared statement. “Speaker Richardson said absolutely not.”

    Davis said in an interview that “the speaker and Rep. Scott did discuss the offer, and again, the answer was no.”

    Later she said, “Speaker Richardson stood on principles, not politics.”

    The idea to swap DOT votes for Richardson’s support for the anti-abortion legislation, Scott said, came from another lawmaker, whom he refused to identify.

    Scott said he and Richardson briefly talked about the proposed deal during a one-hour meeting between the two men on Friday. He also said that he and Richardson agreed during that meeting that swapping DOT votes for anti-abortion legislation was a bad idea.

  23. drjay says:

    not to nitpick too much just for the sake of nitpicking–but from what i remember of developmantal biology the heart starts beating between the 2nd and 3rd week and a closed circ system follows pretty closely behind–most women do not even know they are pregnant until a missed priod 2 or so weeks into the pregnancy–while most abortions are in the first trimester–they usually occur after the woman is aware of the pregnancy–having said that the inflammatory language both sides use does tend to make real progress toward decreasing the abortions that occur from happening and grandstanding and unworkable laws (or proposed laws) probably do not help either–full disclosure i consider myself pro-life and do think it is something very similar to murder regardless of the developmental status of the fetus in question…

  24. BubbaRich says:

    Okay, I dug up some details, and the heart starts beating (but not actually circulating blood) in the fifth week of pregnancy.

    You really think it’s murder to flush out a zygote?

  25. drjay says:

    a “zygote” again trying to remember my first year of dental school–only exists for a day or two–once the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine wall it becomes an embryo–a large number of zygotes never implant–as i recall only 50% of prenancies develop to the point where a woman would even know she’s pregnant–i do think life begins at conception but that is an impossible event to pinpoint obviously–my admittedly limited understanding development would not preclude me from offering the morning after pill to a rape or incest victim if that is what you are asking?

    and the “5th week of pregnancy” would only be the 1st week after a missed period–the 2 to 3 weeks i noted was from fertilization b/c that is how we discussed it in school

  26. BubbaRich says:

    That’s good progress. Now, would you preclude yourself from offering the morning after pill to, say, your daughter, if a condom broke?

    For me, these are all side questions for other people, since it’s obviously not a person until it has a functioning brain. It’s not any more a human being whether it’s fathered by a rapist or a loving husband. “Life begins at conception” is a sick, empty phrase. You, luckily, are smart enough to put it aside in at least some cases.

  27. drjay says:

    well i would not offer the pill to anyone as i am a dentist and i don’t think that is a rx i am authorized to write–my point is i am pro life as a spiritual not necesarrily intellectual belief –so it is difficult to discuss on a purely intellectual level for me–but no as a general rule i do not think morning after pills for broken condoms is a good idea–but i am not going to protest a pharmacy over it–as i alluded to before, i think it would be more useful to ensure adequate educational and even contraceptive opportunities as a means of reducing unwanted pregnancies and abortions–and again the morning after pill gets into a fuzzy issue b/c you technically do not know if you are pg or not when you actually take it–but that is obviously not the case w/ a traditional therapeutic abortion–and what do you consider a “functioning brain” merely cerebellar activity, higher brain function, what of an anacephallic??

  28. BubbaRich says:

    Definitely higher brain function, although I think that itself is somewhat fuzzy. It’s not a person, it doesn’t have a “self,” without higher brain function. There are many emotional arguments you can make against that, though, at least in the public arena.

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