Tommy Smith in the hunt for the Speaker’s seat

I’ll help with your first question of “who?” Tommy Smith is from the 168th District and was sworn into office in 1979. He also is a blueberry farmer and has no problem sponsoring legislation that will benefit him…like to create the Georgia Blueberry Commission. Precisely the type of leadership we don’t need at this critical juncture.

Jim Galloway suggests that “some might look lightly on Smith’s candidacy[.]” He’s right, and I’m one of them. Next?

[UPDATE] In the comments, the question is posed, “If so what’s the problem with promoting a commodity [i.e., blueberries] grown in Georgia? Since he is a grower himself it seems logical he would sponsor the bill.” The problem is that it is indicative of the “me” culture in the Gold Dome. If we are really going to get down to brass tacks, let’s look at all the legislation sponsored by Smith in 2009. Of the 13 bills and resolutions, 7 were House Resolutions to commend someone or something. Only 6 actually had any substance to them. Smith would rather crow about helping out his own industry than taking a serious look, as a legislator, at what can be done to help all industries statewide and not just his own. This is the kind of small minded, self-promoting and (to use a Cagle-ism) intellectually flaccid legislator we don’t need in a leadership role. He has traveled to Atlanta for 29 years and never, until now, decided he wanted to give a rats beehind about important issues.

The message to Smith is clear: leadership is not found in legislation to commend Alfredo’s Italian Restaurant for “providing culinary delights in a family-friendly setting in the Atlanta area since 1974.” This is a serious time for the majority caucus and we need legislators in leadership roles who have a vision, a goal, of a better Georgia with abundant liberty and freedom. Small minded backbenchers need to be thankful that their constituents don’t see their lack of drive and are better served to support true leaders advance Georgia.


  1. aquaman says:

    The Commission’s activities are supposedly paid for by producers; “The commission will be fully funded by blueberry growers, and is charged with promoting the growth and sale of Georgia grown blueberries.” If so what’s the problem with promoting a commodity grown in Georgia? Since he is a grower himself it seems logical he would sponsor the bill.

  2. redrock says:

    I’ve never heard of Tommy Smith before – but I say give him a shot. We can only improve from this point.

    Surely you jest about that blueberry commission conflict of interest bit.

    Can we convince Tom Graves to halt his run for congress and make him speaker?

  3. AthensRepublican says:

    Tommy Smith is well liked in his district and is very responsive to his constituents. One concern I have would be is his close association with the previous Speakers (no models of ethics). That said, I am interested in what these candidates have to say.

  4. TalmadgeGhost says:

    Great to be a new poster to this fine site.

    All I have to say is, NO MORE HAYSEEDS RUNNING STATE GOVERNMENT. It should be mandatory for the next 10 years to undo all of the damage that has been done over the past 8, any candidate for statewide office or GA House/Senate Leadership have to be within 25 miles of I-285.

    Party doesn’t matter to me, geography does.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Then I’m sure you’d be happy for the reinstatement of Glenn Richardson. It’s only 22.5 miles from I-285 to Hiram.

      If Richardson doesn’t interest you, then you’ll find plenty of interested folks at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. They also meet your selective criteria. Of course, you’d have to get their rights as citizens restored first.

      There are plenty of able people in the Atlanta area, but having that as your sole criteria may not be the best idea.

  5. Ken in Eastman says:

    The man is a BLUEBERRY FARMER and sponsored a bill to create a BLUEBERRY COMMISSION!!!!

    STRING HIM UP IMMEDIATELY! He don’t need no stinkin’ trial! He’s a damned BLUEBERRY FARMER! *gasp*

    If we let him get away with this . . . why next LAWYERS WILL BEGIN WRITING LAWS!!!

    Oh the HORROR!!!

    (Tongue now withdrawn from cheek)

  6. ModeratelyMinded says:


    Just an FYI. The Blueberry Commodity Commission was sponsored by Rep. Smith because his district includes some of the largest areas of blueberry farms in the state and he was asked by the GA Farm Bureau and the GA Blueberry Growers’ Association to introduce this legislation.

    This legislation, by the way, enables the farmers to actually TAX THEMSELVES in order to promote the crop that they grow.

    From reading about the Blueberry Commodity Commission, I have found that the farmer approved assessment is used to generate funds which will be used for research grants to the extension service and other research organizations to find solutions to the host of problems that face the growers.

    As I see it, at least Rep. Smith introduced legislation that will enable the farmers to take care of their own problems, rather than completely rely on the state to solve ’em for them.


  7. rugby says:

    “The problem is that it is indicative of the “me” culture in the Gold Dome.”

    Or it is indicative of the type of constituents he represents.

    Then again I’d never accuse Pete of making stupid conclusions.

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