It pays the salary for Speaker of the Georgia House Glenn Richardson for one month!
With his resignation announcement on December 3, 2009, we now have the privilege of paying Richardson’s salary for the next 29 days until he finally and permanently departs the Gold Dome on January 1, 2010, headed back to Hiram. And what, pray tell, do we as taxpayers get in exchange for this financial outlay?
Georgians, we get the services of a morally bankrupt leader who allegedly is an adulterer. We continue to employ someone who allegedly has threatened to use the GSP and GBI against his ex-wife (and, don’t forget, said divorce has several “unusual aspects” to it). We maintain the lifestyle of someone who, as late as this week in some published reports, was allegedly throttling at full power between emotional extremes of rage and depression.
And we get someone who has no political leverage, power or prestige and is emotionally, morally and mentally incapable of advancing any sort of legitimate legislative agenda.
Speculation early in the week was that a component of how and when Richardson would depart was dependent on how he would be able to “cope” with the loss of his primary income of $99,082.95 a year in salary as Speaker. The compromise, it seems, is that he has been allowed to continue to suckle from the ample bounty of tax dollars that he feels he is deserved of for another four weeks, slowing efforts for the majority caucus to prepare for the 2010 session of the General Assembly where important issues are going to confront the legislature.
And, on top of all this, it also allows the incoming Speaker to prevent the majority caucus from holding an election on who should be Speaker. The grumbling on that issue has already been noted here and elsewhere.
Sunshine remains the best disinfectant. And to allow the charade of Richardson continuing to draw tax dollars in salary while implementing a plan that permits Mark Burkhalter to delay any new election for Speaker until, most likely, after the next session of the General Assembly, is shameful and obviates any stated goal of open and honest government.
Glenn Richardson needs to speed up his official resignation to this coming Monday. Better yet, how about today. And Mark Burkhalter, the symbol of fidelity and truth that he is, should immediately call for an election for Speaker.
Georgia House Republicans: you are going to get one shot, and only one shot, at this to be able to fix it. You need to stand up and publicly be counted now or risk your own political futures come November, 2010.