Speaker Election Open Thread

Here you go folks. Updates as we get ’em.

Live feed from the floor

My apologies for the site being down this morning… Apparently the hosting company was doing some upgrades last night and our server didn’t get restarted after the change window. We’re back now… fire away.


  1. galiberal says:

    Well, to start off, I want to reflect on something:


    Porter, You cannot champion ethics reform when you seconded the nomination of Glenn Richardson, possibly the most unethical Speaker in recent history.

    So, I have no faith in any of our legislative leadership to bring forth a Speaker at this point. I don’t trust the Republican Leadership, and after reading/writing that, I don’t have faith that the Democratic leadership will stand up about anything.

    However, I am hopeful that we will rid ourselves of the hawk system!

      • rugby says:

        I forget how many but a number of legislators were selected by Glenn to step into any committee meeting at any time and vote any way they (read: Glenn) wanted to, regardless of if they were assigned to that committee or not.

  2. Elin is Hot says:

    Sure hope we get a blow-by-blow account of their morning prayer whereby they promise to adhere to the guidance of the Lord while performing their daily legislative duties.

    It cannot be a Republican-run meeting unless one injects their concept of “faith” at the prelude, regardless of whether any of them care to follow the suggestions.

  3. B Balz says:

    Wendell ‘splains Rep. Ralston income tax NON-issue well.

    Chrmn Cohen on behalf Bill Hembree “Uses Willards line about ‘crossroads’ ” Mr. Hembree youngest of five, lost Dad at age 3. Sounds nervous, BTW.

    David Knight on behalf of O’Neal (‘splains his electorate of 30% minority almost elected a felon…) Candidate best prepared to handle budget from day one. “Larry will be a full time Speaker”
    Speaker with procedural knowledge.
    Rock Solid Conservative, Pro-Life, etc…

  4. B Balz says:

    Chairman Ralston 1o minutes

    Measured, strong, resonant voice. Been in Chamber as page since 60’s, one of two republicans in Chamber! Open honest good government, in addition to GOP values.

    13 month ago speech for caucus change, “Need beyond debate” Cannot afford busineal as usual, that day is over.

    Decision boils down to leadership, strong steady, calm, guiding thru choppy waters. Fix problem, and move on.

    Maintains republican principles. Has peace and resolve, peace because of what we believe, resolve to overcome challenges.

    Bigger than friendships, shrillness, “I love Larry O Neal, love Bill Hembree” because when we walk out, we better walk out strong, united. Build anew.

    Remember who our obligations and responsibility lies with small business, family(ies).

    Simple guy, simple life, wife with kids at school. G’d bless, give wisdom, go to work.

  5. B Balz says:

    Chairman Hembree

    Voice is clear, younger, strong.

    15 years ago freshman legislator, awed by activity, watched Tom Murphy, cigar in hand, instill fear and respect.

    First republican speaker since 1874, today is another historic day, put past behind us, goals, new course, team, land of opportunity.

    Talking about what we can develop: New jobs, better education, GA will be best place to live and work in US.

    Won’t personally benefit, embarass, use office for personal gain, set standard for others to follow. New way of doing business, no more hawks, speakers PAC, heavy handed retribution. Speaker office open, lines of communication open, process of legislation open. Peoples house! Aggressively use new technologies to bring the peoples business to them.

    20101 Transportation and water biggest issues, cannot afford another session without answers. Choices made today affect 2010 voters decisions. Will help you protect your District.

    No skeletons, clean slate, fresh start. Humbles and honored to serve, with full support of wife Beth.

    Thank you and God Bless

  6. B Balz says:

    Up to ten minutes Larry O’ Neal

    Subdued, measured, clear voice.

    Started campaign in ICU

    Separation of powers, sanctity of separation of powers. Tax deal “immaculate amendment’ explained.

    Room for each member, and seat for all. Agenda will be a consensus agenda. Listen more than talk, full time speaker, quit law practice. Full time committment is essential.

    Vibrant committed group of members sent by millions of voters. Will not allow the reputations of a few tarnish the many. Turn our business to the business of GA. How will they pay for Christmas? Come together on rigid budget process addressing our core concerns.

    I am in a safe district. Allows me to lead a top notch political program for you. Wife and I to be in each district, helping you raise money for you and not a speakers PAC.

    Asking humbly for your vote to become your servant leader. One week ago lying in ICU, feverish, saw face of angel. My angel squeezed my clammy hand, “God loves you and so do I, Kathy (sp) O’Neal.”

  7. B Balz says:

    Toastmasters 101

    Rep. O’Neal gave the most emotional speech
    Rep. Hembree the most enthusiastic
    Rep. Ralston the most logical speech.

    I think Rep. O’Neal will carry the vote.

  8. B Balz says:

    Has everyone cast their ballot?

    Has anyone not cast their ballot?

    If so, return to seat.

    Open the ballot box, fade to silence…

  9. B Balz says:

    Second ballot for Ralston and O’Neal, I guess there was not a majority and now a vote between these two fellows.

  10. Ken in Eastman says:

    Glenn Richardson currently speaking

    “probably the last time I will have the opportunity to address you”

  11. Ken in Eastman says:

    Richardson very emotional.

    “I ask you to embrace your new Speaker.

    “Use moderation is all of your decisions.

    Standing ovation as Richardson exits

  12. B Balz says:

    Glenn is recognized to speak.

    Deep sigh, not sure if I can do this, ~small voice~, thank you. you are my family. Sniffling, changed noted, heavy heart. I realize the last time to have this opportunity. Makes me sad. Love this House, this Chamber. Gave the best years of my life. I’ll miss it, miss you.

    Seven year ago we only had 71 members. Barely half of those members are here today. Tort reform, womans right to know, bnalanced budget, without raising taxes, voter ID laws, fought to reform property taxes, broadcast meetings on internet, watch debates and see what we do.

    ~voice breaking~ Along the way, wherever we may have failed, my responsibility, leave on my shoulders. Here in my heart I have suffered in silence from depression. Most people did not know. Some of that is my own creation, and I seek forgiveness from G’d, I have asked for it. I sought to resolve my marriage. When I could not, I tried to kill myself. That’s all. ~voice small and breaking~ For some reason, I did not die.

    Through prayers friends, family, support, I am getting better. All I know this is the ned for me. Everything has a beginning, and everything has an end. This is my end.

    Embrace, encourage, our new Speaker.

    As I leave here today, I leave this use justice, moderation.

    ~crying~ Applause.


    So very sad — Human Frailty. That was the voice of a broken man, you cannot fake that sort of thing. Faith, Hope, Charity to you, Glenn.

  13. B Balz says:

    The use of real time technology has the ability to connect Americans to the political process in ways unimaginable only a decade ago.

    We, as citizens, can now easily watch the folks we elect, and that will change everything.

    Unless nobody tunes in.

  14. B Balz says:

    Here we go:

    At this time Chairman Ralston shall address the Causcus!

    Glad to be wrong, the House did the right thing!

  15. B Balz says:

    Chairman Ralston:

    alright we have a long day.

    I am real happy, ~sniffling~ I need your prayers, I need Larry ONeal and Bill Hembree, and the last thing, Let’s go enjoy Christmas!

    I yield the well.

    Speaker Pro Tem:

    Lynn Walker
    Clay Cox
    Jan Jones
    Fran Millar
    Rich Golick

  16. B Balz says:

    Mike Jacobs did an excellent job explaining that Rep. Millar is ‘open and transparent’, refreshingly blunt, and a good legislator.

    • ByteMe says:

      Millar is an insurance salesman who has never been on the insurance committee? If only the bankers on the banking committee had figured that out before they ran their banks into the ground at a huge cost to taxpayers.

      • Bill Greene says:

        What bankers on the banking committee? Seriously, almost every one of the Members on that committee there are absolutely clueless about banking, finance, oh and the Constitution.

  17. Ken in Eastman says:

    Jan Jones: “I don’t want to be something I want to do something.”

    “Regardless of who wins the leadership positions we share a common destiny.

    “The race is not only about competence . . .

    “I’ll be supportive of the caucus’s will because I care deeply about transparency . . .

    “Ethics are not too heavy a burden to carry as one rises to elective office . . .

    “Changes are needed and will be made and I will facilitate it.

    “Members want a more direct hand in the process . . .

    “I’m not afraid to make the hard decisions. In fact it will be the only way we can succeed.

    “I get things done and I care about the quiet people in the caucus and the quiet people back home.

    “I’m running for this position because I feel an urgency to do what I can while I can . . .

  18. Ken in Eastman says:

    Clay Cox: Wake up! Especially you, Willie.

    “Thank you for the opportunity to stand before you as a candidate to be one of your leaders

    “I’m part of the class of 2004; that class that finally won a majority in this House for the GOP. We asked people to just give us a chance to be the majority.

    We told them we would be different. We would finally get the conservative agenda moving.

    “We have much more to do

    “We pay a tax we don’t need to pay – a state income tax

    “the federal government exceeds its bounds

    “I will introduce a resolution that Congress abandon its quest to take over health care whether I am elected today or not

    “We promised we would run government like a business.

    “We need to make sure that leadership does not become so entrenched that it becomes corrupt

    “I want term limits on leadership positions

    “I believe that Georgia is watching our little old caucus elections today. They see this as the old guard vs the new. That’s their perception.

    “They will judge us by how we respond

    We have been brushed with the same broad brush as our leadership, but we chose that leadership. We have to choose today to right the ship

  19. Ken in Eastman says:

    Jan Jones, Rich Golick, Clay Cox and Len Walker are the four remaining in the contest for Speaker Pro Tem for the GOP nomination.

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