The Empire Strikes Back.

I’m hearing that a “status quo” slate is being put together that would feature:

Larry O’Neal – Speaker
Jan Jones – Speaker Pro-tem
Jerry Keen – Majority Leader
Ed Lindsey – Majority Whip

I don’t know Mr. O’Neal or Ms. Jones. I do know Ed Lindsey and I like him a lot. I hope he’s not thinking of being on a “status quo” slate. Jerry Keen staying simply does not give the House the change it so desperately needs.

UPDATE: I should have reiterated the point other of my fellow front pagers have made: We’re in a very fluid situation and things are changing by the minute and probably will change many times before any votes are cast.

I’m hearing from some people that there is no slate and I’ve been played. More than one trusted source gave me this but hey, what I posted might indeed be inaccurate. I’ll let you folks decide.


  1. AthensRepublican says:

    It will be interesting to see if the new leadership team (guess we will eventually find out who they are) keep Ben Harbin as Chair of the Appopriations Committee.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      AJC reports that Jerry Keen has endorsed Larry O’Neal for Speaker. That news supports what Buzz posted here. Keen’s blessing can’t be good news for O’Neal since many are calling for Keen to get out himself.

  2. YossarianLives says:

    “Status quo”? More like the “We are not serious about the Republican Party, or more importantly the People of Georgia” slate.

    • LongTimeListener says:

      Sure, Larry O’Neal, who has shepherded many tax cuts through the House as Chairman or Ways and Means isn’t serious about the Republican party. Jan Jones must not be serious either… I mean, she is from North Fulton, and so is Burkhalter, so she isn’t serious about the People of Georgia. The level of commentary here is beneath juvenile.

  3. TPNoGa says:

    I just called my Rep. and asked him to support a new slate. I asked him to help clean house of the current leadership group.

    I told him that we need to get this stink off of us and that if we didn’t we could lose the Assembly. I really don’t know much about my Rep., so for all I know, he could be a Richardson loyalist.

    Hope he listens.

  4. Georgia Judge says:

    You must understand a rumor is no longer a rumor if it is repeated enough,it then becomes the undeniable fact.
    Just curious putting the current issues aside concerning the R’s can someone tell me what planet these squeeky clean D’s are going to come from,because I would like to watch the craft land.

  5. Icarus says:

    This is the first I’ve heard of these being a slate, and I’ll take them individually:

    Larry O’Neal was the first “consensus” name that popped up among the various factions of the house that were trying to figure out how to get Burkhalter off the stage quickly. I still view him as a placeholder at this time, but another name has yet to emerge that appears likely to get 60+ votes. Given that the caucus will not vote on Friday, it is very likely that another name can/will emerge, but the folks pushing the others with him as a “slate” are probably doing so for the sole purpose of advancing themselves or their favorite (differing) candidate.

    Jan Jones – only was added to leadership last year to appease others after the Ralston challenge. Has been mostly locked out of the current inner circle. Not many fingerprints on the major issues that throw negative light on the current leadership.

    Jerry Keen – Should have been gone yesterday. It is his presence, and his presence alone, that makes this a “status quo” slate, even though it’s not really a slate. I’ll have more to say here on the front page in just a few.

    Ed Lindsey – really? Ed is old guard good old boy? Do I really need to go further here?

    • mondaymorningqb says:

      Jan Jones owes her political life to the Burkhalter/Martin/Beach group backing her to the hilt in a contested three-way race up in Northwest Fulton in 2002. Unless it was a symbolic vote in order to appease her NIMBY constituency, I would be shocked if she voted more than 5 times in her entire time in the House against the entrenched powers that be.

      She’s been a consistent vote for the status quo, nothing more. I wouldn’t exactly call her the poster child for independent thinking that everyone claims to be clamoring for with the new leadership.

      • Hissy Fit says:

        Rep. Jones might have had Burkhalter’s help getting elected but she has risen in the ranks because she is a thinker, scary smart and a very hard worker. That is something that can’t be taken away just because she was close to Burk. She has made it on her own which is something Beach can never claim.

    • macho says:

      Jan Jones is extremely tight with Burkhalter. Jan, Chuck and Mark are all from North Fulton and were compatriots in Burkhalter’s bill to split Fulton County. A year ago she and Chuck Martin were out there spreading the rumors that Mark was going to run for Governor.

    • Making Sense says:

      Jerry Keen leaving leadership and the House should be taken up as a Peach Pundit crusade. When the ship is sinking, you make a full change.

  6. foray says:

    Jan wasn’t added- she started running for Whip when Barry announced he was running for Congress- a year before she was elected- numerous people claimed to enter the race but were all scared off by Jan

  7. Dave Bearse says:

    Isn’t O’Neal from the from the same neck of the woods as Governor Perdue, and didn’t he have a business relaitionship with Perdue? Wasn’t O’Neal found out to have inserted a retroactive change in tax law exempting property from state capital gains taxes? Didn’t Perdue say he didn’t know the legislation would save him $100,000 in state taxes when he signed it on a Friday, yet his following Monday-filed tax return used the exemption?

  8. Bloodhound says:

    I trust it is not poor form to use the same response from an earlier post but here goes:

    Rep. O’Neal?

    Isn’t he the individual who assisted Sonny in the Oaky Woods debacle a couple of years ago?

    If memory serves, it was Larry O’Neal who formed the real estate company for Mrs. Sonny so they could purchase 100 acres adjacant to Oaky Woods. It was Larry O’Neal who serves on the board of the bank that loaned Sonny’s childhood friends the money to purchase the 19,000 acres after Sonny turned down the Nature Conservancy’s bid to protect that Wildlife Management Area, wasn’t it?

    Who was the Chair of the House Ways & Means Committee when the “Private City Act” was hatched? Rep. O’Neal I think?

    Wasn’t that the legislation that would have allowed the developers of Oaky Woods to levy taxes on the citizenry?

    Aren’t we lucky that 51% of our voters saw through that scam?

    Is someone that entrenched in cronyism the man we want in the Speaker’s Chair?

    I hope not.

  9. stingray says:

    I took a client to Cherokee Town Club for lunch today. I happened upon Jan Jones. From the looks of it, it was a strategy session. I wouldn’t have even noticed if it wasn’t for the well-put together brunette that was with her (hey, I am a man). Good luck to her. I think she would be great.

  10. stingray says:

    I took a client to Cherokee Town Club for lunch today. I happened upon Jan Jones. From the looks of it, it was a strategy session. I wouldn’t have even noticed if it wasn’t for the well-put together brunette that was with her (hey, I am a man). Good luck to her. I think she would be great.

    • stingray says:

      From what I can gather from various sources, this one is notoriously impermeable. But, she is brunette! 🙂

  11. flyonthewall says:

    I say we push for a different slate:

    Bill Hembree– Speaker
    Len Walker– Speaker Pro-tem
    ???????????? – Majority Leader
    John Lundsford– Majority Whip


  12. Game Fan says:

    I don’t know any of those people. 🙂 Some of us “outsiders” are simply relying on more turnover. Odds are, you might find some better folks by throwing darts at a phone book. What’s the big deal about “leaders” who can “get things done”? Get what done? How about they all just stop legislating for a while?

    • flyonthewall says:

      Game Fan,
      Putting this group in would be a 180 degree change from the status quo. This would be new meaning to your word “turnover”. You would be very happy with the change in tenor and behavior with this team of Leaders.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Game Fan,

      While I am a sometime fan of the “we’re safe, the legislature is no longer in session” group, I also know that this state is in the early stages of a fiscal crisis. The water is up to our collective mouths and with a continued decline in state tax revenues we are about to step into deeper water. I don’t think we can hold our breath until 2013 or so when, hopefully, revenues begin to climb again.

      Oh, and to complete my poor analogy, raising taxes would be like the state temporarily raising its head above water by pushing down and climbing on the backs of the soon-to-be-drowning taxpayers and businesses of the state.

      We don’t need good leadership. We need great leadership and we need it now. There will be NO easy decisions in the state legislature for the next few years.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Well, gee, if you insist that it’s “great” . . . who am I to disagree.

          Seriously, thanks.

          Most people are not aware of our financial situation and more need to be so this won’t be a nasty shock when it hits – and it will hit hard. It’s going to affect services to Georgians because the easy cuts were made long ago.

  13. I’d first like to congratulate Peach Pundit. The last few days have proven your impact on Georgia politics.

    That said, let me set the record straight. There is no “slate” for House leadership — at least none that I am involved in. Each of us running must be judged on our own merits.

    As for myself and the Whip position, I bring a solid track record of passing family friendly, fiscally conservative legislation that has the taxpayers back — without digging deeper into their wallets.

    I can also work with whoever gets elected to the other leadership positions and have a strong history of doing so among my colleagues. The important thing we need to do is take care of this leadership void quickly and get back to focusing on the bread and butter issues that our constituents elected us to tackle.

    I have pledged to my fellow GOP House members to promote a bottom up approach to our caucus agenda and to be a strong advocate for their constituents concerns.

    Rep. Edward Lindsey

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Do you support ethics reform, and if so, what measures in particular do you believe to be necessary.

      We do not need a repeat off this.

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