More on Jeff Lewis (and Steve Davis)

I got a couple of late night voicemails from folks on the Jeff Lewis race. A number of them suggested the race hinged on other dynamics than the Speaker. As you can probably tell from the first post, this is a race I really was not paying attention to.

Nonetheless, a few calls from some prominent GOP consultants, not to mention a couple of lobbyists, said that Battles did make the Speaker an issue.

Cumulatively, it looks like we have a situation where this might have been an “all politics is local” situation — local factors compounded with the Speaker issue. I’d note that this is, with the possible exception of Steve Davis’s race, the only one where the Speaker was even an issue.

The general consensus is that the Speaker is still safe, but it gives a few members of the caucus who’ve been privately agitating against him a new talking point.

Thanks to all those who were kind enough to leave messages and emails between 12am and 3am. Geez. Some of us were sleeping.

Oh, and apparently Rep. Steve Davis has won re-election in a squeaker.


  1. atlantaman says:

    I’d like to be a fly on the wall when Battles has his first sit down with the Speaker. Maybe Dubois, since that’s who he’ll be voting for Speaker, can help him get some good committee assignments.

  2. eehrhart says:

    The Speaker is stronger than ever after this primary and I am fascinated by some of the analysis.

    The easy and obvious fact here is that a loyal and honest Committee chair Amos Amerson won handily by not running from his support of our Speaker.

    The Speaker clearly is only an issue for those inside baseball pundits who have their own issue or ax to grind or are upset that they do not have what they think they deserve. There will always in every political caucus be such large egos and malcontents. My advice to them would be try earning a leadership role and not whining about why you do not have one.

    As for Mr. Lewis he repudiated the Speaker and lost. Perhaps people just do not trust someone who could do that to someone they in effect work for and who promoted them to a position of authority and influence. How many of you would trust someone in your own companies who acted like that? I would not.

    The Speaker has over 90 rock solid votes in a caucus of 107.

    I say to Mr. “Big Announcement” tomorrow
    Bring it ON!

    Perhaps you are one of those dishonest disloyal types who after working for someone; and of course never once in senior meetings ever voicing even a disagreement, want to stab the person in the back who promoted you?

    I am sure people will just line up to support someone with these values.

    Bring your band of malcontents and super egos and lets see how you do in the light of day.

  3. Big Mack says:

    The speaker is a pluperfect idiot and an embarassment to the state. If the house members do not vote him out, we should vote them out as soon as we can. I have heard one other rep refer to him as the boss and to me this is enough to puke a buzzard. The voters are the bosses of the house members, whether the house members have enough sense to know it or not.

  4. eehrhart says:

    Of course the voters are the boss of any Representative. Im sorry you do not understand metaphor.

    As usual this crowd hides in anonymous and hurls personal insult with no substantive fact.

    Backstabbing personal insults and dishonesty and disloyalty were the basic tenants of my premise.

    Why not come out in the open and refute why someone who has these traits should lead Republicans in the House.

    Then we can debate the issue. I find pathetic those that hide the dark and attack from behind.

    Have the guts to stand for what you believe in and use your name if you want to hurl insults.

    If not then you are like the pathetic few who are challenging and who do not have the courage to stand face to face.

    As such you deserve no respect.

  5. willjonesatlanta says:

    Rep. Ehrhart is right about hurling unsults. However, it is a lot easier for the Chairman to use his real name than it is for others.

    The Speaker is not stronger than ever, he has serious problems within the caucus. He is telling people that he is expecting David Ralston to challenge him for Speaker. Members have said that Richardson has been calling them asking for their support. The word inside the Speaker’s office is that the response has not been what they had hoped. Ralston is seen by many as someone who could install some sense of decorum to the Speaker’s rostrum.

    Some members are upset at the latest example of Richardson’s inappropriate behavior in which he threw a pool and beer party for over one hundred lobbyist at his home on the 4th of July. Not exactly something the caucus expects from their leader.

    Ralston will have a tough battle, but he certainly has a lot more than 17 votes.

  6. eehrhart says:

    I rest my case will jones

    If you had any honesty and guts you would make your accusations face to face.

    You of course are wrong about the level of support and desperate if you expect people to believe that you really know what word is from the office of the Speaker. Im using my name and giving you the word.

    Of course he is asking for support. Where do you think the 90 plus solid commitments came from?

    Now lets try facts rather than your typical sleazy innuendo. Yes the Speaker had a 4th of July party. And you know what? There was beer served. I have a news flash for you. In homes and celebrations all across America there was beer served at fourth of July parties. I will also submit that this did not cause the demise of the Republic. What a sleazy rottten spin, but what I have come to expect from your cowardly type.

    17 is high for whoever the coward crowd really puts up to run. Why not crawl out from under your rocks and stand face to face? Oh you are frightened you said. Try running a caucus with that lack of backbone you would not last a day.

    Also lets see who really has an honest bone in their body. Lets make every vote public and in the sunshine. Lets take away the lie factor that those of your ilk so count on in such elections.

    Give me one good reason to have a secret ballot unless you are dishonest? Are you?

    See if you are up to being upfront and honest.

    I seriously doubt it!!!!!

    Ralston huh? He is your candidate?

    Lets see what he has to say and if it is why has he never once,not ever made any representation that there were issues in any meeting of chairman? Never once communicated with the Speaker with any issue with governance?

    Hmmmm Could it just be pure raw ambition on his part?

    I am ready to wait and see and when he does some day decide to try face to face instead of in the back to debate him on any issue.

    In fact why not all of you who are out there all 10 of you , come forward with your issues?

    If you are so sure of the moral superiority of your cause why do you hide?


  7. Dantes says:

    Whoever is speaker next session – Richardson, Burkhalter, Ralston or Graves – please do Georgia a favor and get rid of this jerk Ehrhart.

    He’s embarrassing himself and the House, and it’s getting really boring.

  8. Icarus says:

    “Lets make every vote public and in the sunshine. ”

    Rep Ehrhart, curious question:

    What is your position on allowing public votes on union membership instead of by secret ballot?

  9. Thadius says:

    I am impressed by the passion with which you defend the Speaker…
    Now, if you could only harness that passion and focus it on actually fulfilling Republican promises like:
    1. Lowering State Government Spending (and not any of this “we decreased the rate at which government spending increases, if adjusted for inflation” bs)
    2. Stop abortion in Ga
    3. Give power to local authorities

    See, I’m ok with a hard charger who is charging hard to achieve an objective I find noble… But a hard charger (or two hard chargers) who throws his weight around for the purpose of gaining more weight to throw around, well that’s just not attractive.

    Get my drift???

  10. Taft Republican says:

    Richardson should have been canned the day after he boffed that lobbyist in his car outside of the Capitol. Once again, GA GOP “leaders” have shown their utter lack of ethics — and guts — by supporting this fine example of ethical behavior. Maybe they were all invited to the pool and beer party. Who does this guy think he is, Hugh Hefner? Or Bill Clinton? Good grief.

  11. Taft Republican says:

    Whoever is speaker next session – Richardson, Burkhalter, Ralston or Graves – please do Georgia a favor and get rid of this jerk Ehrhart.

    He’s embarrassing himself and the House, and it’s getting really boring.

    Think it’s too late this year. He trounced Tammy Bailey Rohner on Tuesday, and the Dems aren’t running anyone. When does filing close for independents?

  12. cartersvilleman says:

    It is not accurate to view the Lewis-Battles contest (which Battles won by less than 200 votes) as a referendum on the Speaker. While Battles did discuss Lewis’ close relationship to Richardson and there was always a question asked about the issue at the public forums and radio interviews, it was not a prominent issue in the campaign. Richardson was mentioned only in passing in Battles’ ads and mailouts. The issue of Richardson had little to do with Lewis’ defeat. Despite Lewis being named as one of the most effective legislators in the House by the Chanber of Commerce and despite the fact that he was apparently well regarded by his peers in the House, there has always been a perception in Bartow County among some voters that he was a “lightweight” and a “do-nothing”. Lewis’ last opponent in 2004 pulled 44% of the vote. Battles was more widely known and better organized than the last opponent. In addition, Battles’ experience as a banker, former Chamber president, religious leader and community leader undercut some segments of voters that traditionally voted for Lewis. It was a hard-fought, close race, largely about local issues.

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