Rep. Chuck Martin has an…inventive…new proposal for selection of the next Speaker of the Georgia House. As The Beacon newspaper terms it: “elect the next Ga. House Speaker right from the floor in a series of public and open votes and make the Speaker selection process transparent and fluid, thus circumventing the House GOP power brokers.”
This is not sitting well with some other members of the caucus. Like, for example, Wendell Willard, who didn’t beat around the bush with his response.
House Judiciary Chairman Wendell Willard (R-Sandy Springs), who is running for State Senate in 2010 (D-56), expressed skepticism. “I am vehemently opposed to this concept for choosing our next Speaker,” Willard maintained. “It would set a dangerous and unnecessary precedent.”
Willard explained that Martin’s plan, although perhaps noble on the surface, actually circumvents the democratic political process. “The Republican Party has earned an electoral majority from Georgia voters,” Willard said. “Martin’s initiative would open the door for a liberal who is a Republican in name only to win the Speaker ship with the support of Democrats. This would circumvent the electoral wishes of Georgia voters over the last five years,” Willard asserted.
[UPDATE] Martin has contacted us with his reply to Willard’s comments…posted after the jump.
As Martin wrote late Thursday evening:
In my opinion, Wendell’s assumption that 16 or more Republicans would vote for a “liberal” to become Speaker is more than just unlikely, it is quite funny. Frankly, that talk is reflective of the scare tactics one usually sees from Washington these days. We have at least four Republicans offering for the Speaker’s job and all four are more than capable of making the case before the entire House. With a Republican Majority, there will be a Republican Speaker and a direct House Floor Vote will provide that individual the absolute validation needed in this situation.
Martin also noted, concerning his original proposal:
I stand by the proposal; however, the reason is to have an inclusive process for all and provide absolute validation for the Speaker that is elected not because “I’m fed up.” It is not directed at or trying to promote any one candidate.