When Breaking Out the Guillotine, it is Best to Chop Off All Heads at Once. The Costs of Cleanup are Cheaper.

December 7, 2009 5:01 am

by Erick · 98 comments

“No one is looking for a Saint Speaker, but one without a propensity for philandering with lobbyists would be nice.”

In 2002, Republicans took over the Georgia State Senate and Governor’s Mansion for the first time since the Civil War.

In 2004, the GOP took over the State House of Representatives.

In 2006, the GOP completed its take over of the State of Georgia, capturing the Lt. Governor’s seat, the Secretary of State’s Office, and solidifying its hold on the legislature.

In 2008, when the GOP was crumbling everywhere, it was a banner Republican year in Georgia.

In 2010, the Republicans might be annihilated from the State of Georgia. They would deserve it.

A Lt. Governor caught with his pants down, a Speaker of the House who tried to commit suicide, and a host of potential leaders waiting in the wings all with adultery problems — the GOP deserves destruction in Georgia if it does not clean its own house immediately.

Put simply, while breaking out the guillotine to chop off Speaker Glenn Richardson’s head, the Georgia Republican Party needs to line up Mark Burkhalter, Ben Harbin, Casey Cagle, and a few others behind him. Do it all at one time.

Cleaning up all the blood at once will be far cheaper in the long run.

Georgia Speaker Glenn Richardson two weeks ago announced he had tried to commit suicide. The Speaker went through a very messy divorce. His best friends were all killed in one day in a plane crash together. He had undertaken an affair with a lobbyist that did not work out well. He admitted to suffering severe depression. People were willing to give him a second chance.

But then his ex-wife spoke out. She had the text messages and voicemails of a belligerent Speaker threatening to use his power to destroy her. What’s more, additional revelations into the Speaker’s affair showed that he might have used his power to help his mistress’s company — Atlanta Gas Light — get some sweet legislation passed.

While many had wanted to give the Speaker the benefit of the doubt, his ex-wife’s television interview and the new revelations sealed the deal. He had to go.

Under Georgia law, when the Speaker prematurely leaves office, the Speaker Pro Tempore automatically becomes Speaker until an election can be called within the House of Representatives. That election must happen in around 100 days.

Meeting in back rooms, late into the night, and with the Governor, a deal was hammered out. Speaker Richardson will resign. No, not now. That would make too much sense. The Speaker will hang on until the first of the year, be replaced by Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter, who would then call an election and throw his support to House Majority Leader Jerry Keen. In exchange, the Speaker Pro Tempore will get appointed by Governor Perdue to lead the Georgia World Congress Center — a cushy job.

There is just one problem — the Speaker Pro Tempore has his own sex scandal.

A few years ago, Mark Burkhalter, took a lobbyist funded trip to Daufuskie Island, SC with a group of strippers. He claimed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he sure enjoyed himself.

Burkhalter, who agreed to the deal to step aside in favor of Rep. Jerry Keen is now having second thoughts and is considering staying on as Speaker, image problems be damned.

Georgia House Republicans would be wise to throw him out. He is no friend of social conservatives and truly is no real friend to fiscal conservatives — he’s from the school of Republican thought that believes he represents the highest bidder.

And strippers. Lots of strippers.

“Georgia Republicans need someone with the fortitude to clean up the culture of scotch and strippers that now permeates the Georgia General Assembly.”

Jerry Keen, the House Majority Leader, might actually be a good Speaker. He is not scandal plagued. He keeps his pants on. But he has also been part of the team that caused all the problems. He also entered into this backroom deal that, while it might assure him the Speaker’s chair if Burkhalter keeps his word (a nebulous hope), it does so at the expense of clean up.

Then there is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Ben Harbin of Augusta. Representative Harbin was arrested a while back, charged with DUI, and found to be in the company of a certain young lady who is not his wife. Allegedly, there are still issues.

The House GOP has been perfectly willing to keep Harbin in his Chairmanship. In fact, pretty much every philanderer, tax cheat, con artist, and crook has remained undisciplined by both the House and Senate Republicans. They are behaving more like the national Democrats in their support of Charlie Rangel and Jack Murtha than as Republicans.

If the Republicans in the Georgia House of Representatives do not find someone who is willing to keep his pants on to be their Speaker, they might as well hand the reins over to the Democrats. No one is looking for a Saint Speaker, but one without a propensity for philandering with lobbyists would be nice.

If that is not bad enough, let us turn our attention to the Georgia State Senate. In the Lieutenant Governor’s Chair sits Casey Cagle, the man who destroyed Ralph Reed’s chances of ever getting into elected office. Cagle intended to run for Governor of Georgia this year, but due to “back surgery” he felt would make running for statewide office too burdensome, he decided to seek re-election as Lt. Governor — also a statewide office.

Rumors have long circulated that Cagle has a philandering problem too. This is the point where we get into wink-wink-nod-nod territory as there have been long, assorted, and firm denials (puns kind of intended), but pretty much anyone you talk to treats the stories as fact.

Basically, the main story goes (and this story is not new), after Cagle got elected Lt. Governor and before he actually took the office, a secretary whose name many of us know walked into his office looking for him and found him standing receiving . . . well . . . let’s call it a Lewinsky . . . from a lady not his wife who shortly thereafter allegedly parted ways with Cagle’s campaign wherein she had been employed.

And that’s not the only rumor about the Lt. Governor and not the only woman allegedly connected to the Lt. Governor. The latest story, recounted nearly identically to me by a couple of people, circulating about the Lt. Governor involves earrings that went missing in his vehicle — he wanted someone’s head for the supposed theft until it was politely pointed out that the incident would create a record and Mrs. Cagle might wonder exactly which pair of her earrings had gone missing.

Sadly, unlike the Speaker, the Lt. Governor is an elected office by the voters, and there is not much anyone can do except marginalize him in office. That is precisely what the GOP must do.

Cagle, not a very effective leader anyway, should be treated as the Republicans treated Mark Taylor, the former Democratic Lt. Governor, once the GOP had taken over the Senate. Taylor became a figure head with virtually no power.

If the Georgia Republican Party will not clean up its own house, the voters will. We saw that happen to the Republicans at the national level in 2006 and 2008. Georgia Republicans need someone with the fortitude to clean up the culture of scotch and strippers that now permeates the Georgia General Assembly.

There are signs the Georgia GOP is learning its lessons and will clean house. I hope it will. And I hope it does so quickly and thoroughly. It is unpleasant to write about this, but sunshine is terrific disinfectant. Allegations, innuendo, and rumor are never the stuff that should bring down a person or party, but let’s be honest — everyone is using the words “rumor,” “allegation,” and “innuendo” knowing that there have been no admissions except from the Speaker, but plenty of loose lips, quiet nods, and hushed laughter.

Let the sunshine in. Off with all their heads. Quickly please.
————————-

EXIT QUESTION: For those of you, particularly the men who are named herein and their employees, crying foul about me daring to actually talk about the rumors and say precisely what those rumors are, answer this question. Why is it that the people most concerned about these stories and pushing them hardest are not political enemies of these men, but their political friends?

ByteMe December 7, 2009 at 5:48 am

Mostly good, just one big glaring error:

In the Lieutenant Governor’s Chair sits Casey Cagle, the man who destroyed Ralph Reed’s chances of ever getting into elected office.

Some Indians and a criminal lobbyist helped Ralph do that all by himself. Ralph shouldn’t somehow get a free pass just because he claims to be a “True Christian”.

Harry December 7, 2009 at 6:46 am

Who’s giving out free passes?

ByteMe December 7, 2009 at 7:22 am

I’m guessin’ Erick. But you have to have the appearance of being a “True Christian” to get them, it seems.

Ludwig Von Beachbum December 7, 2009 at 6:44 am

Quote
“Jerry Keen, the House Majority Leader, might actually be a good Speaker. He is not scandal plagued. He keeps his pants on. ”

Wrong!

Quote

“But he has also been part of the team that caused all the problems. ”
Right!

Howard Roark December 7, 2009 at 6:48 am

It is time to clean our own house.

kdoc December 7, 2009 at 7:18 am

Erick, I’m with you on this. If our elected leaders cannot manage their personal lives, how can we expect them to give principled leadership to our state?

Debra December 7, 2009 at 7:33 am

If you think Jerry Keen has kept his pants on, I have a wonderful bridge overlooking the sea to sell you in Middle Georgia!

Jerry Keen is nothing but a “What’s in it for me and my friends” kinda guy.

Harry December 7, 2009 at 8:42 am

I do know that Jerry Keen has sponsored some pretty decent tax reform legislation.

umustbekidding December 7, 2009 at 7:53 am

hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha ;-)

Ludwig Von Beachbum December 7, 2009 at 7:54 am

I feel so ….well right! LOL

redrock December 7, 2009 at 7:54 am

The problem I have with this article is that Erick acts as if he is an omniscient being within the realm of GA politics.

You take unsubstantiated rumors (that are probably unprovable) and run with them, spreading them like wildfire with no regard to the individuals and families they could rip apart.

I’ve heard of these Cagle rumors for a long time now – if there was some sort of evidence (like the original rumor states), don’t you think it would have come out?

And then there are the statements such as, “Burkhalter, who agreed to the deal to step aside in favor of Rep. Jerry Keen is now having second thoughts and is considering staying on as Speaker, image problems be damned.

Maybe I am out of the loop on all of these rumors and inter workings. That’s very possible – but does Erick get on the phone and get updates about what Burkhalter is thinking daily?

This “let’s kill everyone” article seems overstepping and ridiculous. And the reference to “killing” any of them is rather offensive.

Georgia Judge December 7, 2009 at 8:05 am

In typical Erick fashion he diminishes the value of facts and verification and instead defers to value of repeated rumors,because the more you say somthing the more truth value it posseses.Not that facts are a requirement here but your description of the meeting between leadership and the Gov could not have been more off,just saying you may want to get a better source.
Look the last week has been off the chart bizarre but I feel certain the Caucus will step back and do the necessary things to right the ship,whatever that may be.As far as the Lt.Gov well we all know your biased opinion of him and are not surprised of the constant attacks,although I find it humorous that you think it is sad that the position is elected by the people of this great state,and he will be reelected.
There will be much hype of the sky is falling the Dems are going to rule the world but at the end of the day the R’s will run the table in ’10.

ByteMe December 7, 2009 at 8:09 am

The Speaker will hang on until the first of the year, be replaced by Speaker Pro Tempore Mark Burkhalter, who would then call an election and throw his support to House Majority Leader Jerry Keen. In exchange, the Speaker Pro Tempore will get appointed by Governor Perdue to lead the Georgia World Congress Center — a cushy job.

Even the AJC reported this as what happened in the meeting based on their sources. And then something changed….

Burkhalter pulled his name from the list of GWCC candidates.

Truthteller December 7, 2009 at 9:51 am

Byte, I’m not arguing with you here in asking this (for once ;). But I simply don’t know the answer: what is the source that Burkhalter pulled his name from the GWCC list? Where did you read/hear that?

And did it happen over the past two to three weeks?

ByteMe December 7, 2009 at 9:58 am
Buzz Brockway December 7, 2009 at 10:18 am

Keep sticking your head in the sand there Georgia Judge. If you don’t think more revelations are forthcoming and there won’t be ramifications at the ballot box then I don’t really know what to say to you.

Ludwig Von Beachbum December 7, 2009 at 8:08 am

Redrock

It is pretty juvenile to believe these people at the top in the house and Eric Johnson in the senate didn’t know about Richardson. And in light of what hasn’t left the closet on Keen yet, I can understand why no action was taken with Richardson. These guys held the keys to the ethics door.

My guess is that some of these guys that had their pants down are praying Glenn doesn’t get over medicated and wants to get right with god. You know, make things right. When a soul loses all it has a tendency to do that.

Let’s hope he does not end up in an Atlanta park horizontal with no dirt on his shoes like Clinton friend Vince Foster did.

NorthGeorgiaGirl December 7, 2009 at 8:16 am

We definitely need a house cleaning and some people who believe in servant leadership at the top. Too many of our elected officials are just there on an ego trip trying to get as much for themselves and their friends as possible before the party ends.

Someone mentioned a back bench revolt the other day…that is the only hope we have to clean up this mess.

Fawkes December 7, 2009 at 8:37 am

Love him or hate him, Erick has some balls for posting this.

Rick Day December 7, 2009 at 12:21 pm

even if it was 2 weeks late…

ReaganRepublican December 7, 2009 at 10:04 pm

Oh please, this little prick has no balls.

Silent Outrage December 7, 2009 at 8:47 am

Wow! Well done Erick! Thank you for speaking up about this and for doing the right thing.

If the GOP wants any chance to hang onto power, and that includes the Governor’s Mansion, it will clean the mess up at the Gold Dome and start taking ethics serious.

GodHatesTrash December 7, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Now, now, don’t worry. Georgians have been electing unethical scum since Georgia became a state in 1788.

The GOP and the GOP leadership are exactly what the people of Georgia deserve.

NorthGAGOP December 7, 2009 at 8:49 am

Looks like the 2010 Governor’s race is now about ethics. Only one candidate stands out on ethics – Karen Handel

John Konop December 7, 2009 at 8:56 am

The GOP leadership needs a new face. Chip Rogers has demonstrated an independent face willing to buck the system in the face of failed policy and or office holders as an example him not endorsing Kathy Cox in the primary. The GOP should look for more willing to put country before PARTY.

A few suggestions:

Speaker- Why not elect Fran Miller and or Ed Lindsey both are very thoughtful and willing to solve problems over playing political party games.

Lt. Governor- I like Casey Cagle on a personal level and do think he has great intentions for the state but would not be smarter for him to step aside for David Shafer before another shoe drops?

Governor- Is it not smarter of the GOP base to support Karen Handel or Austin Scott who do not have ethical issues surrounding the campaign?

Fawkes December 7, 2009 at 9:01 am

David Shafer would make a great Lieutenant Governor.

Karen Handel and Austin Scott? I AGREE. ;) These are the two candidates who have, so far, kept their noses clean.

I can’t wait for the Ox to issue some sort of warning to the House GOP to straighten up in order to pander to the folks here on Peach Pundit. Ha!

Doug Deal December 7, 2009 at 10:11 am

David Shafer would make a great Lt. Governor.

As for Austin, didn’t he jump on the back Richardson bandwagon a few weeks ago?

ksuowls81 December 7, 2009 at 6:37 pm

I think a few years ago would be the more appropriate answer. If you aren’t aware the leadership does not support him because around the capitol he is known as someone who isn’t a lacky to leadership. That’s why they supported Nathan Deal. They could do anything to him and he would just sit behind his desk and take it.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor December 7, 2009 at 10:23 am

Yeah, I like Chip Rogers too. But you have to question his intelligence, common sense, and sanity when he decided to team up with Judson Hill regarding healthcare and the 10th amendment BS.

AthensRepublican December 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Why Austin Scott? Decent guy, but he was a stauch supporter of Glenn Richardson and has yet to admit error.

ksuowls81 December 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Let it go. The majority, with the exception of David Ralston, were supporters of Glenn Richardson. How did Rep. Lindsey vote? Rep. Coan? Rep. Telhet? Rep. Porter? Give me one person who was not a supporter of Richardson when it came to voting for him. Austin Scott was asked a question AT THAT TIME about how he felt about Glen and he gave a truthful honest answer. If he is guilty of anything he is guilty of using some hyperbolic rhetoric when describing his support. It would have been horrible for the Republican party if the the leadership was not behind him before they all knew that this was going on.

If you would have asked me one year ago how I felt about Gov. Sanford I would have told you that he would be the best man for president always and forever. That changed once he came halfway clean about past transgretions. It’s easy for most of you guys on here to make comments because y’all couldn’t lead your way out of a wet paper bag.

AthensRepublican December 7, 2009 at 6:44 pm

Well he sure convinced me with his signed post on this forum.

“Austin Scott
Supporter of Glenn Richardson Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow”

By the way, Teilet and Porter are Democrats and were not voting in the House Republican caucus. Ones that stood against Richardson include 26 members of the House Caucus: Graves, Meadows, Collins, Benton, England and several others.

ksuowls81 December 7, 2009 at 6:50 pm

As I said it is easy to look at that in hindsight. I would have supported Glen, Gov. Sanford, and any other seemingly well meaning Republican’s “Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.” But like with everything else things change. I understand where you are coming from, but this news changes everything. Feelings and people can change and maybe Austin was guilty of a little hyperbole, but there are certain things in life that become game changers and this could be one of them. Austin was the first elected official to come out and say that he would ask for Richardson’s resignation. Signing a petition is the same as asking for it.

AthensRepublican December 7, 2009 at 7:01 pm

Point taken. I would like to her Austin say that though.

Icarus December 7, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I had some fairly detailed and lengthy conversations with Austin Scott last week.

I think ksuowls is accurately describing Scott’s support for Glenn.

And that includes his support yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Jeff December 8, 2009 at 4:56 am

I concur that ksuowls81 is accurately describing Scott’s support, based on conversations I too had with him.

As I’ve said repeatedly: Adultery is politically survivable. So is attempted suicide (barely).

Unless you are John Oxendine, there is simply absolutely no way to defend a man who is accused of threatening to beat his wife.

Austin Scott played the game of politics well here and maintained his honor based on the facts available at the time.

Atlanta December 7, 2009 at 8:58 am

The willing self-destruction of the GOP in Georgia is remarkable. Have they not learned anything from national party’s failures? Republicans must hope that like Richardson’s abortive suicide, the defense of those who have failed to keep their promises (to spouses, the electorate, or otherwise) will also fail and prove just as salubrious.

Ken in Eastman December 7, 2009 at 8:00 pm

If the GOP members of the state house do as it appears they have done – block Burkhalter and other with scandal potential and force an election the first day of the session, then they will have to receive the credit they are due.

I realize a lot has happened since you posted this morning though. Right now, they could pull the chestnuts out of the fire (Make you own joke here!) and be heroes.

We don’t have to accept “business as usual” and we should not.

And I still believe David Ralston would make a great Georgia House Speaker.

TPNoGa December 7, 2009 at 9:05 am

I am sorry, but this post is awful. I do not consider gossip and rumors to be helpful. That’s what this post does is spread vicious rumors. What if they aren’t true? There are families involved.

Cousin Pat from Georgia December 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Better hope the families don’t have access to golf clubs…

NorthGAGOP December 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

Austin Scott has stated that he is one of Richardson’s best friends. He was in a leadership position in the house, and didn’t do anything about the Speaker. is that the kind of leader that we want, someone who will just stand by and watch “stuff happen” in his domain.

I’m sure that someone will try to point out that Handel didn’t do anything either. She is the SoS and was focused on doing successfully her job as SoS.

ksuowls81 December 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I’m sorry NorthGAGOP. Obviously you do not know much about Austin Scott. Austin has had his chairmanship stripped away from him because he was one of the FEW who were not afraid to stand up against Glenn Richardson.

While we are at it lets give it a break about knowing and supporting. If anyone would have came out any earlier, like Erick trying to come out about Cagle, they would have been crucified. “Ah that’s just unsubstantuated accusations”, “He’s just jealous”, “Just trying to get attention for his cause”. Most guys on here knew that it was the biggest secret that no one talked about, but no one started a crusade against him until it came out to the public. Austin Scott is one of the few individuals in this race that have any ethics what so ever and knowing what I know about Austin is that if he had any idea what so ever, as a strong christian and family man, he would not have stood by and let this happen.

AthensRepublican December 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Here is what your ethical strong christian and family man said about Glenn Richardson:
http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/Dave_Ralston_to_Challenge_House_Leader_Richardson
Austin also posted his undying loyalty to Glenn on this very Peach Pundit forum.
His opponents (should Austin Scott even become a serious contender for Governor) will rightfully hang Glenn Richardson around Austin’s neck. Other than that, Austin seems like a decent guy. He should apologize for his misjudgment in support Glenn Richardson at the expense of the people of Georgia.

ksuowls81 December 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Well if he would have known about it. Just because you support someone doesn’t mean you know about their private life. I have worked down at the capitol off and on for MANY years and this is something that took me by surprise. Yeah the capitol is small, but secrets can still be kept. It was kept from the public this long. You would think that if it was a well known secret there would have had to be at least one whistleblower out there. There was not ONE, democrat or republican.

By the way in the most recent poll I saw Austin was polling even with Eric Johnson. Should Eric no longer be considered a contender?

Culpepper December 7, 2009 at 7:29 pm

And BTW, Eric Johnson has two significant things that Scott doesn’t – key endorsements, and $1,000,000 in the kitty. How much does Scott have?

HankRearden December 7, 2009 at 7:50 pm

On a similar note notice how Tom Graves has not said one thing about all of this now that Richardson did the fundraiser for him. He too should come out and say he stands for good government and demand that Richardson step down now for the good of the Party and the State.

Culpepper December 7, 2009 at 7:25 pm

PLEASE! You are obviously a paid staffer or relative of Scott’s.
He might be ethical, but he is also a jerk, which is why the leadership has not supported him, which is why his margin for reelection gets thinner every time he runs at home.

ByteMe December 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm

You understand that the “leadership has not supported him” line is actually a positive now, right?

Culpepper December 7, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Touche ByteMe!

ksuowls81 December 8, 2009 at 12:33 am

You have a completely different view on him then anyone I have ever met. Have you opinion, but if you want to talk about short tempered Gubernatorial candidates let’s talk to anyone who has worked in Karen Handel’s office.

AthensRepublican December 9, 2009 at 9:19 pm

In fact, Scott’s re-elect numbers have been very weak for the last two election cycles in a conservative south Georiga district. Maybe that’s why he is running for Governor?

Ludwig Von Beachbum December 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

Every time I think of Handel I think of Perdue who is down on Jekyll right now turning the dirt on his beach front give away deal and screwing of the state he directed to the Reynolds boys dba Linger Longer. If there will be a survivor in the scandal department it will be Purdue who probably inspired the lot of these clowns.

Handel? No way. Nuff of the Perdue machine.

ByteMe December 7, 2009 at 9:13 am

I gotta ask: why do you think of Handel and Perdue in the same thought? Nothing I’ve seen over either of their political careers leads me to believe that they are in any way related, except maybe in the “I’m for good government” kind of blah-blah they both use in speeches.

janna December 7, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Wasn’t Handel Sonny’s deputy Chief of Staff at some point? You don’t get that job without being a homeboy or homegirl.

By the way, ask Karen about how the SoS website was dramatically redesigned to promote what a great SoS she is. The timing was interesting..it was unveiled shorty after she announced her candidacy. That sure skirts the ethics boundaries in my book. I wonder how much State money was spent on that?

NorthGAGOP December 7, 2009 at 2:11 pm

You can go to the web site and see how every dollar is spent in the SoS office.

janna December 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Nope. You can see broad categories of spending, not specifics.

Fawkes December 7, 2009 at 9:14 am

Handel is not Perdue. I pity you if you don’t see that.

NorthGAGOP December 7, 2009 at 9:13 am

LOL every time I hear that Handel is part of the “Perdue machine”.

Ludwig Von Beachbum December 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

Oh..I was the one that coined “Sonny’s Girl” That was me, I confess. LOL

Progressive Dem December 7, 2009 at 10:05 am

It’s wonderful for Erick to “get religion” and call for reform, but where was he when all of this was going down? With all of his inside sources, sounds like he was complicit in keeping it all managed and ignored. Why start throwing roundhouse punches now? I have to wonder if he saw the light when this turned into a potential advantage for Handel. Usually political operatives/consultants are just opportunitists, not really reformers.

This quote is telling, “the man who destroyed Ralph Reed’s chances of ever getting into elected office.” OMG, Ralph Reed proved he has abosolutely zero scruples, and Erick is lamenting the fact that Casey Cagle blocked him form ever being elected to office!!? In the same post in which is calling for “disinfectants”!

Cousin Pat from Georgia December 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm

This is the cycle of scandal that permeates so much of our political (and popular) culture.

People do bad things and other folks learn about it, either hoping to become insiders themselves or not believing rumors they can’t substantiate. Then one person inside the scandal gets caught with their pants down, and everyone has a story to tell. Those in the know have to get as much mileage out of their information as possible before the 15 minutes is up.

Mad Dog December 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Pro Dem,

I smell satire in Eric’s comment. Cagle didn’t destroy Reed. But the way Cagle remembers it, Reed was seen as unbeatable. Until Cagle ran the greatest statewide campaign in the history of the world.

Cagle was also born in a Log Cabin… to a virgin mother. If you read his personal story …

Doug Deal December 7, 2009 at 10:15 am

Erick,

I have criticized you a lot recently, but mainly it is when you get into Redstate mode. When you are in Peach Pundit mode, you are far more compelling and I think make much better arguments.

Good job in take a major stand on this issue. Too bad there is no one on the left willing to do this when it needs to be done.

NorthGAGOP December 7, 2009 at 10:19 am

Interesting that Erick picked Pearl Harbor Day to drop this bomb.

Doug Deal December 7, 2009 at 10:23 am

Pearl Harbor Day was perfect. Especially when you had legislators circling the wagons around Richardson a couple of weeks ago talking about how “stressful” the Speakership is when millions of young Americans had their lives on the line every day from the war which was initiated on this very day.

Profiles in courage meet profiles in corruption.

Andisheh Nouraee December 7, 2009 at 10:30 am

It’s a good thing the Georgia GOP has been so effective at thwarting same-sex marriage.

Imagine how much sluttier Richardson, Cagle, Hardin, etc. would have been if the gays had succeeded in undermining the sacred institution of marriage.

ByteMe December 8, 2009 at 8:41 am

Are you going for high score with that post? Anyone know what is the high score just now?

Bucky Plyler December 7, 2009 at 11:45 am

Sometimes heads have to roll. It remains to be seen if the head rollers will show up & follow through.

I can tell you that there is a Sentor with integrety, running for Governor, who will not be under that guillotine. His name is Jeff Chapman & he is worthy of your vote.

Three Jack December 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm

this is absolutely ridiculous. ga faces budget shortfalls, transportation problems and still remains at the bottom of almost all education scoring. yet here we are discussing who did who and who knows about who did who.

2010 sets up as the lamest of lame duck sessions. less than a month before legislators convene in atlanta, the gop is devoid of leadership – governor perdue already has one foot out the door, lt. governor cagle has no credibility on a personal or professional level and the house is in total disarray.

there is no way this mess is resolved by january even if the rest of the philandering fools are neutralized. has there ever been a larger assemblage of hypocrites representing the state of ga?

Cousin Pat from Georgia December 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Because there is no correlation to personal dishonesty and professional behavior, is there? I beg to disagree.

If Georgia was humming along with a vibrant economic engine, a budget surplus, transportation solutions and a lights-out education system, voters might excuse a few shenanigans. Might. As in: “that representative is that other district’s problem.”

But as bad as things are in Georgia, (and from the looks of my last visit, they have gotten BAD) scandal becomes the story and the reason behind that which is ailing you. Because if they can’t keep their own affairs in order, how will they fix the state’s?

Ludwig Von Beachbum December 7, 2009 at 12:15 pm

Jack

Are you saying ethics should take a back seat during bad times?

Three Jack December 7, 2009 at 3:14 pm

allow me to clarify me earlier post.

i blame gop leadership for the current predicament and agree with all who want them out of the game. that means legislators, party officials including the chairwoman and anybody else who turned the other way.

due to their many transgressions which are coming to light less than one month before an election year legislative session, the gop is screwed (pun obviously intended).

if you’re going to stand with bible in hand judging others as many of these scoundrels do regularly, then you better damn well live up to your own high moral standards lest you be exposed as the hypocrite you are. the gop has and continues to be full of sanctimonious hypocrites.

John Konop December 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm

I agree!

Rick Day December 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm

If I wear a blond wig, can i get what I want through ‘lobbying’?

As long as I don’t have to swallow……

NorthGAGOP December 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm
IndyInjun December 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Ah, I finally got it.

Erick wants to send them to hell in a head basket.

Ken in Eastman December 7, 2009 at 1:23 pm

As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth:

If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well
It were done quickly

Yes, tey should be removed. For those of us who have toiled in Georgia GOP politics for years because we wanted the state to be better, the continuation of this farce is galling at best.

This orchestrated transfer of power is not the reason we knocked on doors, wrote letters and speeches, handed out literature, donated money, stuck our necks out, supported candidates, put up signs, set up and attended meetings, put on debates, argued with the Democrat power structure, wrote newspaper columns, did opposition research and in some cases (mine for example) were threatened.

Changing the name of the speaker is not enough. We need new, real leadership who will remain true to the ideals for which we have fought and not yield to political convenience and good o0l’ boy expectations. We need better; we deserve better; and we will do so with the help of our legislators or in spite of them.

AthensRepublican December 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm

Well said!

Ludwig Von Beachbum December 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I just followed NorthGAGOP’s link to the AJC above. In the comments section “Rhonda Atlanta” makes a good case against Handel being the tower of ethics. Sounds like she should call for the governor to step down. LOL

Atticus Grinch December 7, 2009 at 7:53 pm

Regardless of what the Georgia GOP does or how its members act, I can’t imagine there being a statewide shift back to the Democrat party. I can’t imagine the Democrats taking the House or the Senate back in the foreseeable future. The Dems simply don’t have a message that appeals to the middle and lower economic class voter and to the white suburban voter. The GOP can muddle around with impunity; I think if there were a real fear of voter backlash against the GOP, the House and Senate would have cleaned house yesterday.

Has there been any public reaction by the social and religious conservatives that march lockstep with the GOP in Georgia? Those folks have been used. If I were one of them, I think I would have some righteous indignation. The party they support “talks the talk” but that’s about it.

I haven’t noticed any links on the Pundit about the AJC article on the goodies that the Speaker got from lobbyists, including two $275 tickets to see Van Halen. I am sure some serious public business was discussed at that concert. The love affair between the e GOP members in the House and Senate and lobbyists is more repulsive that the sexual horseplay. Remember, these clowns were going to change things and were going to put an end to “business as usual”. LOL.

SpaceyG December 7, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Is “scotch” capitalized? Like this… “Scotch.”

B Balz December 8, 2009 at 9:04 am

Scotch. Scotchy, Scotch, Scotch, I love Scotch.

Mae December 7, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Agreed – it’s time for the GOP to clean up its act before it loses all public/voter confidence. Somehow the party’s upper echelon has let power go their heads, with the result being scandal, ethics lapses, egomania and other negatives that Democrats are keen to point out and Republicans who remember what it means to be a Republican are just sick over. As I see it, we need more GOP leaders like Sen. Jeff Chapman, who place honor and integrity above following orders from the Glenn Richardsons and Casey Cagles, who have for too long held sway within GOP upper level politics. Time to clean house – amen!

Silent Outrage December 7, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Someone better check w/ CC’s jilted ex-girlfriends and make sure they are happy or this story is going to keep on walking this week…

Senate Republicans better clue up fast or they are going to find Lt. Governor Thurmond in control come Jan. 2011

umustbekidding December 8, 2009 at 6:11 am

The GOP just needs to clear all candidates through me because I am a good “@$$hole detector”. The GOP can’t seem to figure this out about a person until it is too late.

Mad Dog December 9, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Is very scared now. Wondering if your meter works on dogs.

ByteMe December 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Well, that is how dogs do it, right?

B Balz December 9, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Ruh-roh !!!

Georgia Judge December 8, 2009 at 8:27 am

Buzz,
Ok ,Ill bite.Tell me which Statewide offices the Dems will take,and what gains they will make in the House and Senate.
As far as the revelations,the regurgitation of unproven and salitious rumors do not qualify as new,and actually have grown old.

John Konop December 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I think unless the GOP gets it together they could have problems with Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Education.

Governor and Lieutenant Governor better be clean as whistle with real solutions. And as far as Education job they better run away from the federal and state unfunded heavy handed one size fit all No Child Left Behind approach that is failing and pushed by Kathy Cox.

The voters have had it with the same old song and dance from both sides!

G. Moxley Sorrel December 9, 2009 at 12:09 am

Did any of you ever think that maybe some of these “rumours” are leaked by politicians that have their own agenda and use bloggers to do the “dirty work” of getting it out there in the public. Some of the things you people believe is just incredible.

B Balz December 9, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Cool handle.

Bill Greene December 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm

A few years ago, Mark Burkhalter, took a lobbyist funded trip to Daufuskie Island, SC with a group of strippers. He claimed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he sure enjoyed himself.

That’s pretty funny, considering that the lobbyist who provided those strippers was Rusty Kidd, who just got elected to the Georgia House in District 141… looks like his timing is all wrong, if he had come in last year he could have gotten any bill he wanted passed.

Ken in Eastman December 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm

I wonder if Rusty Kidd (who ran and was elected as an Independent, btw) has any old photos laying around? If so, he might prove to be a VERY effective legislator.

Bill Greene December 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Maybe that’s why both parties threw challengers at him?

Ken in Eastman December 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Seriously, the Dems sent out some last minute mailers “reminding” people of his involvement in the Dafuskie Island scandal.

I think being the son of the late State Senator Culver Kidd was the determining factor. Interesting that this hasn’t been brought out on the thread discussing Crazy Jimmy’s grandson.

TalmadgeGhost December 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Ah yes the good ol’ days at the Melrose Club on Dafuskie Island. I can hear Matt Towery’s famous retort now – “I don’t know nothin bout no nudie club dancers”.

“Skin” Edge also in attendance – I mean with a name like that….

stang99 December 11, 2009 at 12:33 am

Where is the criticism of the corruption that has plagued the city for the past 30+ years? Naming an airport after a man who welcomed corruption and kickbacks for preferable treatment?

The city is a joke so just attack one side that hasn’t been in office very long when the other side built the meaning of “Good Ole Boy Politics”

Amazing, anything that people perceive against their accepted norm has to be evil, society is truly doomed in this line of thinking.

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