Larry O’Neal is the right combination of competence, calm, and commitment to change that we need

As both a colleague of Larry O’Neal’s who supports his campaign for Speaker of the Georgia State House of Representatives, and a frequent reader of Erick and PeachPundit, I wanted to take a moment to provide an accurate portrait of who Larry O’Neal is and what he will do to change the culture of the House as our next Speaker.

The truth is, Larry is the first candidate for Speaker to issue a specific plan that calls for sweeping changes in the culture and procedures of the House. It includes the following:

  1. Abolishing the hawk system.
  2. Eliminating the speaker’s PAC (MMV).
  3. Larry will have no legislative agenda (like Richardson did) unless approved by the caucus and will sign no bills except the budget.
  4. Larry will demand that legislative leadership also refrain from using their position to push specific bills.
  5. A strong ethics package, drafted by the rank and file and not dictated by him.
  6. A review of all existing committee leadership to make sure no conflicts of interest exist.

Larry is a deeply talented leader and an absolute gentleman, and he is dedicated to his wife of many years. He has demonstrated impeccable character in his own life and will be an exemplary face for the House. During my three years of serving on the Ways and Means Committee, my admiration for him has only grown and gotten stronger. Having traveled with him, my respect for his personal integrity has been further confirmed. His wisdom, toughness, and fairness are what we need in the House, right now.

To underscore this, even the liberal Macon Telegraph said the following about Larry on Friday:

“O’Neal is so different from Richardson he could be called the anti-Richardson. He’s chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and would bring his expertise of the tax code to bear on the current economic crisis. He’s also clean as the proverbial whistle, something his party needs right now. He is also someone the party can rally around. Always the gentleman, O’Neal is well respected and utterly capable.”

All the candidates for speaker are fine men whom I greatly respect. However, Larry is simply first amongst equals, and a leader we can be darn proud of in the House.

Just as importantly, Larry’s campaign platform is made up of detailed commitments of how he will change the culture in the House. His demonstrated character in his personal, professional, and political life shows he can be trusted to do what he says.

That is why he is exactly the right combination of competence, calm, and commitment to change that we need to lead this team into 2010 and beyond.


  1. AthensRepublican says:

    The anti-Richardson? Umm…didn’t he support Richardson? Didn’t he support the hawk system under Richardson?

    His comments to the press since all this unfolded have also been troubling. Yes, a great guy, but your “accurate portrait” has not convinced me. I hope the caucus chooses another candidate.

    • politicalwidow says:

      If I recall correctly, the entire House voted by acclamation to re-elect Richardson in 2006 – including every single candidate for the job right now. That was right in the middle of the rumors about affairs or affairs, if the media reports are accurate.

      Fairness is a good character trait, from kindergarten to message boards.

      • AthensRepublican says:

        As you may recall, the House Republican caucus voted on their candidate for Speaker prior to that time. It was not unanimous.

        • politicalwidow says:

          Who ran against Glenn in the caucus election in 2006? I don’t recall anyone doing it, at least not anyone the least bit serious.

          Bottom line: Ralston, Hembree, and O’Neal were all reappointed to their chairmanships after the 2006 election by Glenn. That would not have happened if they had opposed Glenn anywhere.

          And that was the same time the rumors were swirling.

          We really need to start being fair around here.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            We really need to start being fair around here.

            I agree, we should be fair. To be fair you should mention that when David Ralston had the courage to stand for Speaker against Glenn Richardson that Larry O’Neal did not – and did not even have the courage to vote for Ralston.

            Larry O’Neal is not a bad person, but that is the truth.

            We need to reward the people who were brave enough to oppose Richardson – not those who voted for him in 2008.

          • Truthteller says:

            Hey knucklehead, what is Ralston Chairman of again?

            Will wait to hear from you, you source of accuracy you…

  2. Andre says:

    Larry O’Neal’s platform sounds all fine and dandy, but I have one small concern.

    Where does he stand on House Rule 7.3?

    For those not familiar, two years ago, in what can only be described as a vindictive action after news outlets continued investigating allegations of ethics improprieties [Peterson, Larry (2007-3-25). It’s your money, but so what?. Savannah Morning News. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.], House Speaker Glenn Richardson pushed through a rule change that banned reporters from the chamber while legislators are in session [Bluestein, Greg. Ga., Kan. join states limiting media access to lawmakers. The Gainesville Times. Retrieved on 2009-12-11.].

    The move was decried by the Georgia First Amendment Foundation as “another effort to impede public access to government proceedings.”

    Hollie Manheimer of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation said, “By limiting the flow of information to the public, this is a step backward.”

    Larry O’Neal presided over the debate that preceded this rule change and refused to recognize DuBose Porter for the purpose of speaking to the motion (check the archived footage if you don’t believe me).

    If the GOP majority is indeed sincere about restoring the public’s confidence in the state House, they will repeal Rule 7.3 and let the sun shine in a little more on the chamber’s proceedings.

    • barstool69 says:

      I think we need to take a long look at just what openness of committee meetings and recorded votes has done. People often push to let “more sun shine” on the General Assembly. But what has the real effect of all of this been? I think there is a good argument that in trying to make legislators more responsive to the public, the rules have made legislators more responsive to those that have the most time and inclination to follow what goes on: lobbyists and activists who represent minority interests. They have succeeded in over-politicizing every vote and in my mind preventing legislators a lot of times from doing what they think is in the state’s best interest. Rules that were supposed to shift the power from the people to the legislators have ultimately placed it with neither.

      • macho says:

        It’s a great point. All this sunshine talk makes for great rhetoric, but what does it actually accomplish. Probably makes for lack of communication and more concentration of power. The second a reporter, or television crew, enters the room it is guaranteed to change the entire discussion. Every legislator in the room is on watch, on guard, and thinking of catchy 15 second sound bites. It will effect the participants in conscious and subconscious ways. Sorry it’s just reality.

        If you had to have an important conversation with someone, wouldn’t the content and delivery be different if you knew it was going to be plastered on the front of the AJC. You might argue, great the content should be restrained, maybe sometimes, but usually it just serves as an impediment.

        These folks are there to represent us and at some point, for better or for worse, we have to take responsibility for them.

  3. HankRearden says:

    Rep. Peake if you believe everything you’re saying, I have some property in Florida I’ld like to sell you.

  4. inlimine says:

    “Larry is a deeply talented leader and an absolute gentleman, and he is dedicated to his wife of many years.”

    I couldn’t help but *LOL* at that sentence’s content. It’s a shame you have to combine such clauses right off that bat when buttressing a candidate for Speaker in GA.

  5. RealPub says:

    I hear that Peake has been promised the ‘Ways & Means Chair’ for all of his tireless help. Only problem is that O’Neal will be lucky to keep it himself after he loses the Speakers Race. Poor Peake!

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      I must confess that I like both Allen Peake and Larry O’Neal. I believe that if you lined up the Georgia House with the “good guys” on one side and the “bad guys” on the other side, they would both be on the right side.

      I do not; however, think that Larry O’Neal is the right person to be the next Speaker of the Georgia House. He’s not a bad man but he’s not the best man for the job.

      As for the liberal Macon Telegraph’s editorial, it’s more about geography and whom they know than anything else. We need to move past location and simply choose the best person for the job.

  6. log224 says:

    Funny that I posted something very similar on a posting by Erick where the bandwagon was against Larry O’Neal and was pilloried.

    When will this group of sideline Jacobins stop shouting “off with their heads”?

    This restructure/recovery of the Georgia House is not going to work unless that body as a group supports it. The Speaker is not a medieval lord bestowing favors on the fiefdom. It’s a serious position for moving legislation and also keeping discipline in the House.

    Whoever the Republican Caucus chooses they are going to have to live with the results.

    Turning the page is to put the scandals behind, and helping to change the culture…but you can’t do it without buy-in. Does anyone remember what happened at the national level when Gingrich’s Contract with America swept the Republicans into Congress on a “throw the bums out” wave? Years later, we get the same scandals from the Republicans.

    The key is discipline. For Dems, people might not have liked Tip O’Neill in the U.S. House, but he did keep discipline. There’s going to be bad actors and skirt chasers elected to every legislative body; keeping the integrity of the institution is the job of Speaker.

    That said, I think if the Georgia House wants Larry O’Neal as its Speaker, he will be very capable in the position, have no skeletons (the tax legislation is history and was passed by the Legislature, not in a back room), and will keep discipline in a time when it’s sorely needed.

    OK folks, load up the pillories…I have thick skin.

  7. Muscadine says:

    Funny how all of a sudden when there is an opportunity O’Neal is “anti-Richardson” Where was this competance and calm when we needed him most?

  8. fishtail says:

    Will LoopHole Larry resign as the Governor’s personal attorney if elected Speaker of the Georgia House? I find it unsettling that one of the heads of the legislative branch would be providing personal legal advice to the head of the executive branch of government. Doesn’t that sort of trample on the separation of powers concept? I can see all sorts of conflict of interest scenarios….but I guess that’s why Sonny wants his boy Larry in as Speaker….if Sonny can pull this off, he will have the “fix” in after he has left office and returns as a lobbyist or vendor seeking to influence State business.

  9. Booray says:

    When you read the responses to this thread, you can see why people have a hard time taking this place seriously.

    I don’t know any of these candidates for speaker personally – but then neither do you bozos. O’Neal seems to favor most of the things the torch-bearing “Jacobins” (nice phrase) around here wants, and you just ignore it.

    And this land tax deal? Is there anything that fits the definition of “dead horse” better than this stupid land deal? This was beat to death three years ago, but because the Jacobins around here really WANT it to matter so they can use it in their lynch mob, reality doesn’t matter and they just pretend its some kind of hot news just now uncovered.

    The mentality of this board is why people in medieval times always had such fear when the king died. The mob took over.

    O’Neal, Ralston, Hembree, Loudermilk – these all appear to be serious gentlemen who deserve higher-minded and fairer treatment than is being delivered here.

    • ByteMe says:

      Is there anything that fits the definition of “dead horse” better than this stupid land deal?

      Sure, we’ll stop beating this horse… as soon as Perdue pays the $100K in taxes that he got to keep because his buddy Larry slipped a provision into the budget at the last minute when no one was paying close attention that benefited exactly ONE person.

      Oh, wait, Perdue doesn’t actually want to pay the same taxes on real estate transactions that someone who isn’t the Republican governor of this state would pay? Well, then…. That sounds very “Republican” to me!

      You see the image problem yet?

      • politicalwidow says:

        “Do he see the image problem yet”?

        The point is not whether he or you see the image problem – it’s that the Democrats did a load of commercials about this land issue in 2006, and the voters themselves didn’t think it was an image problem.

        As I think they would say in a courtroom, the image problem with the land deal is a question that has been asked and answered.

        The voters didn’t think there was an image problem, so why are folks even having this “land deal political problem” discussion?

        • ByteMe says:

          One instance of cronyism isn’t a problem to the voters. Several issues becomes a “systemic problem” that the voters will recognize. Combine that with a poor economy and that usually favors the party not in power.

        • Ken in Eastman says:


          Yes, the Democrats made a big deal about these things relative to Sonny Perdue during the election. Governor Perdue had already defined himself with the voters. If Larry O’Neal becomes the next speaker, then this will be rehashed relative to Larry O’Neal.

          Larry O’Neal is unknown by the vast majority of people in this state and this IS how he will be defined: “Loophole Larry.” This is not very fair to a pretty decent guy, but watch it happen. I would not want to be a GOP State Representative or even State Senator in a marginal district with Representative O’Neal as the face of the Georgia GOP.

          • macho says:

            It was the cornerstone of Taylor’s campaign. His consultants must have had polling telling him to continue to run the ads, but being perfectly objective, I thought he ran them too much. Essentially, he had turned everyone that was going to turn on that issue and Taylor needed to move on to another negative issue.

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            The reason Taylor’s campaign did not benefit from those attacks was that he had his own moral lapses and it was a wash.

            I agree with what you are saying, and Larry O’Neal’s name was seldom if ever mentioned in any of those ads. If he becomes Georgia House Speaker it will be revitalized and his role will be emphasized.

            What’s your best guess as to how the press will describe him if he is the new speaker? In other words, what is he best known for? Yeah, you got it in one.

          • rightofcenter says:

            Uh, Ken, since when do regular voters vote on the Speaker of the House? Like, never. The Republicans tried to run against Tom Murphy repeatedly – it never worked (his loss was demographics related). You don’t think Larry O’Neal makes a more favorable “face of the party” than Glenn Richardson? Let me sell you some Florida property, then. If whoever is elected Speaker makes the changes that are needed (as referenced in Larry’s platform), the Speaker of the House will be a non-issue in 2010. A Dem who tries to run against the Speaker (when probably only 5% of the voters can identify the speaker) is a sure-fire bet to lose.

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            The question is not if Larry O’Neal is better than Glenn Richardson, though, is it?

            Larry O’Neal isn’t running against Glenn Richardson – and he wouldn’t. THAT is the problem.

            If Glenn Richardson were still speaker, Larry O’Neal would not only fail to oppose Richardson, he would vote for him. Why do I think that? Because that is exactly what he did last year when Richardson had opposition.

            Not only did Larry O’Neal not stand against Richardson, he VOTED FOR Richardson.

            A I said, the question is not if Larry O’Neal is better than Glenn Richardson. The question is, “Is Larry O’Neal the best person to be The Speaker of the Georgia House?”

            Not only did Larry O’Neal fail to stand against Richardson, he was afraid to even vote against Richardson.

            Tell me again how that is a sign of leadership.

            Tell me again how this is a man we can trust to do the right thing when faced with difficult decisions.

            Tell me again how this man deserves to lead.

            Tell me again how this man, Larry O’Neal, is the BEST person to be Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives.

        • 1magnoliapeach says:

          Like it or not, the reason no one paid attention to the “Tax Break/Land Deal” in that election is because the biggest objections were from Dems which basically nullified it to the voters. If more fellow repubs, shouted the same things THEN they are shouting NOW, it would have mattered. But I agree, it really doesn’t make a difference now. I do think the Gov. should look at himself in the mirror.

  10. Bloodhound says:

    There are men who are qualified for the job that do not carry the baggage of cronyism. The fact is that Rep. O’Neal is directly connected to Gov. Perdue’s land purchase, resulting tax break & the whole Oaky Woods debacle.

    Why would we allow that baggage, which will be pounded by the opposition party with great vigor, to be a yoke around the neck of our party?

    The GOP has a great opportunity. The ball is in the air floating toward us.

    I can’t believe we are about to drop the dern thing?!?!

    • politicalwidow says:

      “Pounded by the opposition party with great vigor”

      Perhaps you weren’t living in Georgia in 2006, but that’s exactly what the Dems did with this tax issue then, and it failed miserably.

      I can just imagine now the rolled eyes of reporters when Jane Kidd sends out a news release with the “hot news” that they think there’s a scandal with Gov. Perdue’s land deal.

      Can anyone see how odd it would be for the Dems to dig up a 3 year old issue that failed before and try to use it all over again? Has this board become so jaded it can’t see that?

      • Bloodhound says:

        Yes, I was living here. I’m a rarity. I’m a native and life long Republican.

        As such I realize that just because life long Democrats change parties for political expediency the changes that would cause them to behave in a trustworthy, conservative manner does not always come with that change.

        The fact that the unscrupulous actions of a couple of cronies failed to cost them their political lives should have little bearing on decisions we make going forward as a Party.

        Rep. O’Neal did what he did and I don’t see anyone denying that. What I do see is a few people stating that since he has not been held accountable in the past that he should not be held accountable going forward.

        Again, we have an opportunity to right the ship or scuttle it in port.

        We have a daunting task ahead of us in dealing with the economic woes and subsequent revenue shortfalls. We need leaders with real conservative values, not men who get the job because they managed to get away with something.

        • politicalwidow says:


          Here’s a fact that no one seems to acknowledge: after three years and lots of scrutiny, not a single entity anywhere in this state has said O’Neal’s actions were improper.

          If this “conflict” charge were true, everyone up to and including the State Bar could have acted on it – but they haven’t.

          For the most part, politicians are “guilty until proven innocent.” How long does it take before O’Neal gets even the benefit of that unfair standard?

          As an aside, I am also a life-long Georgian who has followed state politics a long time. I remember many years ago when James Mills was accused of a terrible act. It was a major story, and James was thrown under scrutiny in political circles.

          In the end, no proof was ever produced, and James as exonerated, as he should have been. Because even though he’s a politician, he is also a man with a reputation and family, and he shouldn’t have been accused wrongly the way he was.

          No one – I mean no one – has ever found that O’Neal did anything wrong. It may “look bad” to some, but everyone up and including the voters of the state have had the details of this laid in front of them, and they all said, “Not convinced.”

          Ralston has had personal tax issues. Hembree lives in a very marginal district that speaker’s are not usually elected from. O’Neal has “Oaky Woods.” They all voted for Glenn for speaker in 2006, right in the middle of the rumors.

          None of these men can be made to even appear perfect, but then again, none of you boys are. I know this is just a political message board, but we need to be realistic about these people and not just run out and skewer them unfairly or expect them to be without any stain at all, even the appearance of a stain.

          • benevolus says:

            Hey! The hawks have been around for several years too. Therefore- not an issue. And the sex with lobbyists has been going on practically forever! Not an issue!

          • Ken in Eastman says:


            First of all, David Ralston had a tax “issue” caused by the embezzlement of funds by an employee of his company who was terminated and prosecuted. David Ralston paid the money that was supposed to have already been paid. This does not constitute “personal tax issues.”

            Second, I love how you jumped all of the way back to 2006 so you could lump everyone together. This way you can conveniently leave out the fact that David Ralston openly stood against Glenn Richardson for the Speakership in 2008 when Larry O’Neal voted FOR Glenn Richardson.

            Nice try for obfuscation, but no cigar.

          • IndyInjun says:

            Hembree lives in a very marginal district that speaker’s are not usually elected from.

            A totally asinine statement there, seeing that all but maybe two districts in the state can be so identified.

  11. politicalwidow says:

    All you boys seem to be missing something here. Some of you say that he is too close to Perdue and others of you say that he is too close to Richardson-many of you seem to be saying it all at the same time.

    Tell me how someone in Georgia politics over the last four years could simultaneously belong to both of these men at the same time?

    Maybe what you are not seeing here is that Larry O’Neal has been the kind of competent person who respectfully does his own thing and will not cause the kind of embarrassments we have seen in the House of Representatives.

  12. Chris says:

    Representative Peake,

    I would agree with you that Larry O’Neal would be a welcome change from the days of Glenn Richardson. However I believe the House GOP must look to the 2010 election cycle and the “culture of corruption” charge that will be laid against the entire caucus.

    Larry O’Neal did author an amendment that benefited the Governor’s tax situation with regard to land in Florida. Whether he knew it would benefit the Governor or not, whether it was legal or illegal, ethical or unethical, this is the appearance of cronyism that the House GOP must purge itself from.

    I’ve said it before. The media is biased against us. That sucks. But life is unfair. The media will treat us unfairly, and gloss over the crimes and lapses of the opposition. We as Republicans must buck up and be cleaner that the opposition.

    The House GOP is about to hand Oakey Woods back to the Democrats and media on a silver platter for the 2010 election cycle.

  13. I completely agree with the Hon. Rep. Peake. Larry O’Neal sounds exactly like the kind of person I want to see the GOP rally behind going into the election cycle.

  14. politicalwidow says:


    It won’t let me reply to you, so I’m putting this back up here. Your response sounds noble, but means nothing. “I expect more of my political leaders.” Like what? Proving the negative (logically impossible)? Turn all the water in the fountains into coke? Sorry to sound like a smart aleck, but you know there is good reason in what I’m saying, and you’re just burying your head and refusing to acknowledge it.

    I spent a few minutes to go back and dig up a post from none other than Bobby Kahn himself from 2006, right after the election when he and the Dems failed miserably to convince people the land deal was dirty. I have linked it below.

    You will see Bobby and the Dems tried to push this land deal everywhere they could, including the IRS. Absolutely no one ever agreed it was dirty. No one.

    At what point does this become a dead issue? That’s a serious question. The voters, the IRS, etc. etc. have all passed on this. Who else has to say “nothing here” before this becomes a dead issue?

    • Bloodhound says:

      PW, your very wordy replies simply indicate your ability to give poor behavior a free pass.

      Rep. O’Neal’s actions in these matters becomes a dead issue only by turning a blind, or condoning eye to them.

      Again, no one denies that he did what he did.

      Some members of the Party think we should continue to look the other way.

      Many members of this Party believe that what he did should disqualify him from a Leadership role.

      I am one of those.

      • politicalwidow says:

        OK, how’s this for straightforward:

        The voters don’t agree with you. No independent body that has reviewed the land deal agrees with you. Bobby Kahn was even forced to admit that he doesn’t agree with you.

        You’re entitled to your opinion, but that doesn’t make it right.

        • Bloodhound says:

          “You’re entitled to your opinion, but that doesn’t make it right.”

          Common ground has been reached! I feel the same way about your opinion.

          I find it difficult to believe that you cannot think of a person in our Party, currently serving in the House, that would make a better choice for Speaker.

          Why the insistence that we promote someone with this yoke around his neck?

          Honestly? Do you believe we have no better option?

          • AthensRepublican says:

            I agree with Bloodhound, the entire exchange here is a strong signal that the caucus should be looking elsewhere (not O’Neal) for its next Speaker.

    • Ken in Eastman says:


      Perhaps what we want are political leaders who consistently do the right thing. Some only do the right thing when it coincides with personal or political profit. I’m sure you’re familiar with them.

  15. I Am Jacks Post says:

    “Larry O’Neal is the right combination of competence, calm, and commitment to change . . . ”

    We were promised Denny Hastert would be each of these things too. And yet DeLay spent Hastert’s reign with his forearm up the Speaker’s rectum. So, should O’Neal win election, who is his DeLay?

  16. B Balz says:

    Rep. O’Neal’s voting record is virtually 100% yea for every bill the House came up with last year. That indicates to me that if one likes what the House did last year, Rep. O’Neal is a safe bet.

    @political widow: Barely legal is not usually right.

    I become wary when one defends a ‘retro-active tax break for the Governor’ saying the deal was legal. There are so many examples of bad business practices that are legal, but ought not be done. The word ‘ought’ represents an ethical ideal.

    To me, the appearance of an impropriety exists with Rep. O’Neal, even if this transaction comes right up to the line of legality, it looks inappropriate. Both he and the Governor hail from Bonaire, some suggest the LLC’s used in the transaction were set up by Rep. O’Neal, etc. It appears plausible that a questionable, yet legal, transaction took place benefitting the Governor. That people may not seem to care is hardly a stout defense.

    Both the existence of hawks and a Speakers PAC seem counter-intuitive to good government. Removing them puts us back to where we were prior to the GOP House takeover. It is not a gain.

  17. IndyInjun says:

    log224 wrote –

    Does anyone remember what happened at the national level when Gingrich’s Contract with America swept the Republicans into Congress on a “throw the bums out” wave?

    Ah, I remember it well. In 1992 Perot got nearly 20 million votes running on a balanced budget, term limits, and anti trade deal platform. The Contract built upon those forces, except for trade (we are paying dearly for that one) In short, Perot scared both parties temporarily straight.

    What did we get, you say. Well we got budget surpluses for a couple of years and a few honorable GOPers term limited themselves.

    As for a Speaker enforcing discipline, all I can say is THANK GOD that Pelosi and Reid cannot and I THANK GOD that there are independent voting Blue Dogs. If we had the same unprincipled toe-the-line that the Bushite GOP enforced we would be in trouble.

    We will be decades overcoming the damage that the Bushite GOP did to this country with its anti-Constitution, enormous government, mega social program, centralized education, and financial corruption. I as a Republican, despise all of these things done in my name and, no, I did not like the lock-step abandonment of principles that you seem to love.

    Another unfortunate aspect of putting caucus before country or even the Christian morals the the socon GOPers (I am fiscon)profess when Speaker Hastert did nothing about Rep Foley’s sexual predations against male pages just to preserve an ‘R’ seat.

    You seem to be oblivious to the house cleaning (or stall cleaning since the House is now an animal house) required. A minimalist approach just won’t do.

  18. Lawton Sack says:

    Do the GOP GA Legislators not realize that the position of Georgia’s next Governor is at stake with all of this mess? Isn’t the silence of Roy Barnes and 99% of Georgia Democrats at this moment in history show us that they are ready to pounce in 2010?

    The Democrats are playing this perfectly, while we are being told to just trust in the Caucus. I learned lessons from the GOP’s downfall at the Federal level. The main lesson was not to be silent any longer while the GOP leadership tells us what to do. We were told the same thing: Don’t worry about it, we have it under control. We lost the White House, the House, and the Senate!!!

    Kudos to Karen Handel and Austin Scott for speaking up. Penalties to the rest of the GOP Gubernatorial candidates for your silence.

    It is your right to not listen to the Grassroots. It is your right to bash people on Peach Pundit. It is also your right to deal with the problems when you quit listening to the people.

  19. mariettaelephant says:

    I like them all, but think O’Neal is the best man for the job right now. Hembree is a great guy and I cannot say anything at all against him, but his district is not safe enough. If there is anything “bad” about him it is that he is too nice which might sound silly, but a Speaker has to stand up to people and not be “nice” sometimes.

    O’Neal will be the right leader for dealing with budget issues and getting us through this transitional time in the House.

    The tax horse is dead.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Transitional time? Do you mean transitioning back to a Democratic majority?

      Hmm, I wonder if O’Neal would switch parties again like he did in 2002?

      • Ken in Eastman says:


        Was it just ’02 that O’Neal became a Republican? Wonder who he voted for in ’00; Bush or Gore?

  20. IndyInjun says:

    The tax horse is dead.

    No it isn’t. That puny $300 tax increase got Georgian’s attention, but there is more to come.

    The Greatest Depression has begun and it will be worse in that the cost of necessities will explode at the same time wages fall or disappear. The relative pain of paying property taxes will rivet attention of voters to the fact that they are paying more while the GOP governor got a tax break they cannot get and their taxes went up because the taxes that corporate owners paid on land now are piled on the homeowners.

    At the same time, the costs of electricity are going to rise, causing even more pain in a necessity. The people will remember that a GOP governor and legislature passed SB31 allowing advance profits to go into the rates they are paying.

    I am a Republican, but I never read anywhere that the GOP was for tax reductions on the corporations and the politicians to be directly transferred into tax increases on everyone else. I did not become a Republican because the party was so controlled by lobbyists that it voted advance profits to a utility at my expense.

    Reform, GOP, or die.

  21. Sally Austin says:

    For whom does the bell toll? The bell tolls for the powers that be.

    The in crowd is doing all they can to save the candidacy of Larry O’Neal. They will reform everything. They’re so glad that Glenn Richardson is gone. They couldn’t stand him and the way he ran the House. They only stuck by him out of loyalty. They tell us that O’Neal’s words (the Travis Fain interview) shouldn’t be held against him, they tell us his actions (the last six years in office and his sycophantic support of Glenn Richardson) shouldn’t be held against him. They tell us his friends (Sonny Perdue) shouldn’t be held against him. They tell us his backers (Jerry Keen and Earl Ehrhart) shouldn’t be held against him. They tell us he’s the right the man Georgia needs in these troubling times.

    We need a leader alright and Larry O’Neal is no leader. Larry O’Neal is a Democrat. He became a Republican the night is best buddy was elected Governor. His buddy then made him a chairman (bypassing scores of more deserving and qualified Republicans) when Republicans took the House and now his buddy is trying to make him Speaker. It’s not going to work.

    As evidenced by our incredibly inept cast of gubernatorial candidates and our buffoon party chairwoman, Republicans are in desperate need of a leader. What’s a leader? It’s not someone who sits by and watches ineptitude, corruption, unethical and immoral behavior reign over our party and do nothing. A leader is someone who when he sees wrong steps forward and calls it out, disregarding all risk, accepting all consequences. DAVID RALSTON DID EXACTLY THAT!

    Would Larry O’Neal be a Republican today if Republicans were still in the minority? Will Larry O’Neal stay in the House and continue to serve his constituents if he losses the Speaker’s race and is no longer a chairman and is moved to the CLOB? Will Jerry Keen? Will Earl Ehrhart? We will know the answers to these questions very soon. One answer we know very well is David Ralston will. Ralston did not cower, Ralston stood up to Glenn Richardson, and I might add, he did so respectfully, not one time did David Ralston sling mud during his challenge for Speaker. When he did not prevail he acted with dignity and accepted the consequences and went right back to work. And when he steps op onto the Speakers rostrum and takes the gabble in January it will be poetic justice worthy of a Greek drama.

  22. B Balz says:

    Mr. Ralston also voted Nay on SB 31, and his voting record against House bills was surprising, indicating to me, he may not be a ‘go-along-er’. Plus, he did stand up against Richardson:

    What concerns me about the Great Shake-Up is that a group of new leaders are going to be faced with an immensely tough session, with no prior working experience.

    This is going to be an interesting session, thanks so much Glenn and Mark.

  23. jenny says:

    Rep. Allen Peake is unfit to serve in the legislature and should be replaced as quickly as possible.

    So who’s running against him?

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Well, yeah, that too.

          I still don’t think Peake and O’Neal are bad people. They are; however, wrong.

          You know that if we fail to reward those with courage who stood against Richardson and reward those who merely watched – or even actively voted for Richardson, such as Representatives Peake and O’Neal – that we are punishing political and personal courage while rewarding the opposite. Am I the only one whom this bothers greatly?

          Don’t do the EASY thing folks; do the RIGHT thing.

          • 1magnoliapeach says:

            It is a bit creepy that Richardson was so disliked in private but was able to garner the support in The House among his fellow colleagues. How can that happen? It seems that for someone to really stand up against this guy really took some courage.

            So, looking ahead, who would someone say would be the new Chair of the “Rules” and also the “Ways and Means” committess under a Ralston /and /or O’Neal led House?

  24. sonofliberty says:

    ….Rep. Ralston…is a leader who is committed to consistently do…..the right thing…..the caucus cannot squander this opportunity….to do the right thing.

  25. Life and Liberty says:

    I’m not going to call Peake or anybody a “bad” person, but wrong leads to bad legislative decisions.
    These men can every one Install stripper poles in their Sunday school classrooms for all I care.

    When their personal lives or love of federal money cause them to compromise their oath, they prove themselves unfit to serve.

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