The race is underway

I’ve been fielding calls all evening from House Republicans jockeying for position with Speaker Richardson resigning.

The money is on Burkhalter by virtue of his present position, but a lot of guys are saying we need to look at Jerry Keen, who they think will convey a more grown up demeanor — Burkhalter has a few notes of interest in his past that don’t contrast well with the present situation.

I’m getting lots of positive feedback on Keen who, before this day started, I was told was the choice of many to be the guy to play Howard Baker to Richardson’s Nixon — the guy to tell the Speaker he had to resign.


  1. Icarus says:

    So you’re saying we need to choose between a guy who may have some similar “issues” or a guy that, in trying to out-Christian everyone, will inadvertantly point out the blatant hypocrisy of many others within the Republican leadership and ranks who can’t walk the walk? Great choices.

  2. AubieTurtle says:

    Dogonnit! Which one is going to let me go to the store after church and buy some booze so I can get sloppy drunk? Won’t the grocery store lobby please send a hottie over to the capitol to get this taken care of?

  3. sonofliberty says:

    Article III, Section III , Paragraph II (b) of the Georgia Constitution provides that…. the Speaker Pro Tempore shall become Speaker in case of the death, resignation, or permanent disability of the Speaker and shall serve until a Speaker is elected…..such election shall be held as provided in the rules of the House……

    • ByteMe says:

      The election will happen in the first days of the new session (just as it would after an election), so no biggie.

      • Icarus says:

        That’s not how it works, Byte. The Republican House caucus will decide to either bless Burkhalter or to choose new leadership. They will do this as soon as possible, and will not wait anywhere near the beginning of the session to do so.

        • ByteMe says:

          Session starts in a month +/-. If there’s more than one person going for the chair, it’ll take more than a few days to sort out and lobby. If they’re smart about it… well, never mind. They aren’t.

          • Icarus says:

            First, you’re probably under the assumption this just started today. It didn’t.

            Secondly, there is nothing to motivate a caucus into a quick decision more than fear. The longer this plays out, the longer its in the news, and the more they have to fear the public “perception” that the Republicans have a leadership problem.

            This decision will take less than 72 hours. Probably much less.

          • AubieTurtle says:

            Probably started before they were all on the news stating they stand behind the speaker. Having an exit strategy ahead of time is a good thing.

          • ByteMe says:

            Actually, the assumption that this started a couple of days ago is more accurate than not, according to the AJC this morning:

            Richardson apparently learned about the interview just three to four hours before it aired Monday. Other legislative leaders — many of whom had publicly consoled the speaker after his suicide attempt last month — had no warning.

            As little as three days ago, they were all vowing fealty to the emperor. They were blindsided and now look more clueless than usual.

            And the perception that they have a “leadership problem” has been something that’s been there for the past 3 years and they did nothing to change anything about it. They’re only afraid of losing their next election and this won’t be enough to do it, so they can take their time and select the right person for the job… once Richardson gets around to actually resigning, which the petulant weasel seems to be taking his sweet time about.

  4. Silent Outrage says:

    I must agree with Icarus – those choices as Speaker are akin to chosing between one hypocrite or the other.

    I don’t know who really fits that bill anymore in the Georgia House in terms of Republicans.

    Right now, the only person who seems to be even close to a decent person seems to be Wendell Willard.

  5. sonofliberty says:

    …..Rule 29 provides that …..if the Speaker Pro Tempore becomes Speaker pursuant to the provisions of Article III, Section III, Paragraph II (b) of the Georgia Constitution, the Speaker Pro Tempore shall call an election to be held within 120 days after he becomes Speaker…..

      • Hope Jason gets elected. He would make an incredibly effective speaker.

        I’m all for house cleaning, but not so naive that this would ever happen. I hear the rats scurrying now.

        This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue, although it will be spun as such. It is a moral issue that strikes at the core of our society. We’ve tolerated the games and keep people ignorant of the process of government. So we reap the whirlwind.

        In Middle Georgia, I have high respect for Allen Peake and Tony Sellier. Both are principled and would make excellent leaders as well.

        I’m sick that this is happening, but it will happen again regardless of the party in power. There’s nothing new under the sun.

  6. Wouldn’t David Ralston be in a good position to seek to replace the Speaker? I mean it’s only been a year since he sought to remove Richardson, and I would imagine many of his supporters would already be in place.

    • macho says:

      With all due respect to Ralston, nobody ever had a chance of beating Richardson at that time. Now that there is more than a chance, since Richardson resigning, Ralston might not even be in the top 5 candidates, certainly not the top two. It would be like declaring McBerry the frontrunner for Governor since he tried to remove Perdue in the last primary.

      • Still, he had a number of people supporting him that were ready to face the wrath of the Speaker – that’s some built in support.

        Good position doesn’t mean front runner, I don’t think we could pick a front runner in a caucus vote without knowing who all is actively trying to get the job. One would assume Ralston already has the people who supported him earlier in the year in place, that’s something no one else would have. That’s an advantage. A weak one, but an advantage none-the-less.

        • macho says:

          I think the majority of the people supporting Ralston were fed up with the Speaker and already on the political outs with him. Unless Keen and Richardson pull some unique maneuver, it looks like the position defaults to Burkhalter.

  7. Maybe, depends if they go until April. However, I think if there was an attempt to put off the election of Speaker rather than it being the first vote, there would be a significant backlash.

  8. Silent Outrage says:

    I would just like to see someone who’s ethical and moral compass are beyond reproach and I believe that disqualifies Burhalther and Keen.

  9. NorthGeorgiaGirl says:

    Is there anyone from the 216 group who is not running for another office who would make a good speaker (sorry, and who isn’t Bobby Franklin)?

    • Fawkes says:

      Oh come now, don’t you want the Constitutional Tender Act to pass? 😀 Couldn’t type this with a straight face.

      • Bill Greene says:

        Fawkes, only if we want to follow what the U.S. Constitution actually requires of the State. It’s all well and good to snicker and giggle about the attempts of legislators who actually take their Oath seriously, to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution; but the plain and clear words of Article I, Section 10 cannot be denied. And, of course, if Georgia passed the ConTen Act, real money would flow into State coffers, banks could begin to reverse their dubious record of Georgia leading the nation in bank failures, and the citizens could have their personal wealth protected from the ravages of the private banking cartel called the Federal Reserve.

        But we wouldn’t want that to happen, would we? 🙂 Sorry, couldn’t type that with a straight face.

  10. Medic8310 says:

    How about Jay Roberts for Speaker? He’s kept his nose clean and has quietly moved up through the ranks of the House GOP!!

  11. ieee says:

    Ah, Jerry Keen, Georgia’s number 1 criminal legislator. The one who worked so hard to pass so many laws that he KNEW were illegal. One of Georgia’s criminal legislators who thought it was just fine to force Georgia families from homes that they owned, all for no legitimate reason. He MUST also have known that his laws would in fact put children in more danger than they were. All experts told him that at least.

    Has anyone in the history of Georgia had more laws overturned than Criminal Keen? Has anyone written more worse-than-worthless and counterproductive laws? It’s hard to imagine.

    If you need to understand what kind of “person” Criminal Keen is, all you have to do is look at his actions when he was trying to pass his “Sex Offender” laws. Is was quite apparent that he is a person that is nearly unhinged, an anti-reality zealot.

    He just came right out and said that a major goal of his laws was to drive people listed on Sex Offender Registries out of Georgia. It’s hard to fathom that any decent legislator/leader/person could possibly have that as a goal. He was saying that he thinks people listed on the Registries are a real scourge and danger to society, so much so that they must be monitored every second. So, his “solution” to that problem is to push those people off onto other people? Move the problem somewhere else?

    Is that how Criminal Keen solves all of his problems? By pushing them off onto someone else? Wow, that is real leadership. He calls himself a Christian too. Yeah, I don’t think so. Real leaders solve problems, they don’t push them onto other people. You won’t find any informed people who will say his laws solved any problem. Keen didn’t solve any problems but he created plenty.

    And as if his first round of “Sex Offender” law stupidity was not enough, he came back around during a subsequent legislative session to add more. That was when he added his “bus stop” Banishment against people on the Registries. Did anyone read the opinion piece that he wrote for the Atlanta-Journal Constitution in support of that bit of stupidity? In it, he hysterically and theatrically described how without his law a very young child (believe he said 6 years old) would be forced to walk to his/her bus stop in the early morning darkness RIGHT PAST A SEX OFFENDER’S HOME!!!!!! (have to say that with the appropriate level of hysteria)

    The big question I had about that was – does Keen really believe that is a problem or does he really think that Georgia citizens are so thoroughly stupid that they would read that and think “oh yeah, we need bus stop Banishment”? The reality was that anyone in their right mind was thinking “Who the F would allow a young child to walk to their bus stop alone and remain there unsupervised?” The stupidity of that whole law is just too difficult to comprehend. Oh, BTW, that wasn’t the only gem that Keen offered up in his opinion piece. You really ought to read it to get an idea what he’s about.

    If Keen had any sense, he would have passed a law that would have required that parents/guardians supervise their children in transit and at bus stops. Now that is a law that would actually do something. Even I, as one of the great Unwashed who is listed on a Registry, did that. I didn’t even consider thinking that the nanny state was somehow going to be “protecting” my children and certainly not by such an idiotic method as moving all the “bad guys” away from my children’s bus stop. It’s stupefying.

    The fact is, Georgia doesn’t need the kind of “leadership” that Criminal Keen inflicts. He is a disgrace certainly to Christians and Republicans (He is the EXACT kind of person who so polarizes people against those groups.). He is no less of a disgrace to American principles and decent people in general.

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