Speaker Richardson on the retribution warpath for opponents of the GREAT plan?

I’m hearing that Georgia House Representative Bob Smith (R-Watkinsville) has contacted the Georgia Municipal Association, the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia School Board Association and demanded copies of their budgets.

What do these three organizations have in common? Why, they all opposed House Speaker Richardson’s GREAT plan last year!

At that time, some legislators threatened to introduce legislation to prevent organizations that receive funds from public coffers from engaging in any form of lobbying. This latest move would seem, overall, to suggest that the intent of some to suppress dissent is alive and well.

Think what you want about the GREAT plan, but this sort of “school yard bully” behavior has got to stop.


  1. Redcatcher says:

    I am certainly not in favor of any school yard bully tactics, but is there any chance of a real tax change as long as associations such as you have mentioned are lobbying against them. We have so many special interest groups (and I have represented one of them at the legislature) that we may never be able to address the tax code. Is our legislature any different than the Congress? They know all and are only subject to the big money donors and well connected lobbyist. Sounds like this could be said for both Washington and Atlanta.

  2. fishtail says:

    I applaud the legislator from Watkinsville for taking a curious interest in these organizations. I have an additional suggestion for him that I hope he will consider. The Georgia Association of Educators (GAE) is the union for Georgia’s teachers. They don’t like to be called a union but that’s exactly what they are. Years ago GAE lobbied the legislature and received approval for GAE union dues to be directly deducted from their members’ paychecks. What power at the State Capitol that deduction has given GAE! I remember Gov. Zell Miller complaining about the millions that GAE brings into their annual budget from these payroll deductions. And what was GAE’s position on the GREAT Plan? Maybe Rep. Smith can request some info from GAE about their budget. Inquiring minds want to know.

  3. Bill Simon says:

    “some legislators threatened to introduce legislation to prevent organizations that receive funds from public coffers from engaging in any form of lobbying”

    Does AGL Resources receive funds from public coffers?

  4. sonofliberty says:

    Frankly, we have had enough of school yard bully tactics…..we saw this week what it got us in Washington from the Republicans……when are State House Republicans going to show some courage and send the bully packing? They have a great alternative in Representative David Ralston………

  5. sarahharperscott says:

    What about requesting a copy of a budget suddenly becomes “school yard bully tactics”? If Rep. Smith suddenly requests that the IRS investigate these agencies, then there might be room to question. Yet if these agencies have done nothing wrong and they have nothing to hide, then what is wrong with sharing this information.

  6. Dave Bearse says:

    Stop? It’s increasingly clear it’s the method of operation.

    We’ve been in a drought for most of the decade and nothing’s been done for transportation for a half dozen years, but the signature bill of the 2008 session was allowing guns on transit and in restaurants with Richardson’s tax cut du jour consuming the rest of the session that adopted a budget with a $2B and rising deficit. By gosh, the lobbying of local governments, the ones whose power would be usurped is responsible!

    (Of course the definition of “organizations” prohibited from lobbying will exclude health insurers and providers, utilities, technology firms, banks, road contractors, wholesalers and retailers among the thousands of businesses that receive checks from state coffers each year.)

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