Questioning Porter on SpeakerGate

Dustin over at Georgia Liberal has a question for DuBose Porter over his recent comments about corruption under the Gold Dome in the wake of Glenn Richardson’s abuse of power, using his position as Speaker of the House to influence legislation for a lobbyist he had a relationship with, which Porter says was common knowledge.

The Democratic caucus did not put up a nominee for Speaker to run against Glenn Richardson at the beginning of the session. You can listen to the audio of Porter from the floor on January 12th, the first day of the new session, explaining they choose not to do so because of the budget crisis the state was facing. In fact, not only did the caucus not offer a nominee of their own, Porter seconded Richardson’s nomination.

Dustin asks:

What this says to me is that DuBose Porter knew of the affairs and ethical problems, but seconded the nomination and did not object by putting forth his own candidate (however futile that might have been). Now, I understand that he probably could not have gotten his choice through; however, he did not even put up one as a “protest.” More importantly, he SECONDED the nomination of a politician whose ethical problems were something, in his own words, “everyone around the Capitol knew to be true.”

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

Porter’s campaign is already seems like it’s dead in the water, but does this hurt his credibility, not just as a candidate, but as an effective leader of the Democratic caucus? What say you, Democrats?

27 comments

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Careful, Ronald Daniels, there are people over in Dublin who will cut you for saying that!

      Actually, that is exactly right. Porter owns the Dublin Courier-Herald and for the most part his popularity extends no farther than its coverage area.

      I’ve heard far too many Laurens County (Dublin is the county seat for you metro folks) Republicans even say, “Well, ol’ DuBose is a pretty good fella. We could do a lot worse.”

      The problem is that’s all I ever hear. I never hear why he would be a good governor or why he’s a good state representative, but they get all riled up if you talk about recruiting opposition.

  1. fishtail says:

    DuBose is just posturing, trying to get some momentum going for his campaign. Shameless hypocrisy? Yes, but he’s desperate. I would think we need to focus our attention on Casey Cagle, because our job’s not done yet.

    • Eh, you’re one step behind the parade route.

      Georgia seems pretty much married to one-party government, and that causes some weird dynamics. With no serious opposition to redirect anger toward, frustration with the status quo constantly bubbles below the surface. Once in a blue moon, it comes to a boil… people blow off their steam and get it out of their system, and then it goes back to bubbling below the surface.

      The Cagle rumor is just another illustration. That thing’s been whispered about for a year now, but was NEVER been explicitly discussed out loud for reasons of party unity. During the recent boil, it finally came to the surface… with even the front-page posters discussing alleged details openly (I learned more specifics in the past two weeks than I had heard in the previous year altogether). However, now that the storm is passing the ranks will close again. It will go back to The Rumor That Shall Not Be Named… it will be alluded to subtly at best… and comments like yours will be minus-sign’ed into oblivion for bringing it up.

      • Peter Griffin says:

        Anybody plugged in to Gold Dome gossip knows that the only new information in recent weeks about “The Rumor That Shall Not Be Named” is proof that the whole thing is false.

        I think we can all agree that if the hacks at the lib’ral AJC had a hint of truth or a shred of evidence, they’d be all over it. There’s no smoking gun, but for some it’s still just too much fun to stop talking about.

        • What “proof” was that? I heard that the alleged eyewitness was going to come forward and disavow the rumor, but I don’t know if that actually ended up happening. Not sure how you prove a negative, anyway.

          I know you didn’t mean to say that the whole thing was a “liberal” or “AJC” thing, but this is still the kind of pivot and backpedal I talked about. This hasn’t been too much fun to stop talking about “for some”… but rather “for each and every Republican that I know”.

  2. ByteMe says:

    Was just looking at the list of people assigned to the House “Ethics Committee” (and I quote those for a reason). It seems like it’s really a committee of the “leadership” looking to police the non-leadership. Several of those caught up in the rumors and news stories are on this committee.

    But what if the problem with ethics is with the “leadership”? Short of a bombshell revelation or an arrest, who’s policing them? Certainly hasn’t been the other side of the aisle; they are complicit in letting this go on as long as it has if only to keep from being on the bad side of a mentally unstable “leader”.

    Gotta be a better way.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      I agree, ByteMe. There must be a better way.

      What’s your opinion on the statewide grand jury to look at ethical matters among elected state officials? I can see potential room for abuse there, too.

      “If men were angels we would need no laws.” – James madison

      • ByteMe says:

        I’ve recommended before that there needs to be a state’s attorneys office charged with taking death penalty cases out of the hands of the counties. Something like this might work, but…

        The problem with a state-based grand jury is the same: you’d need a state-based prosecutor. Which means a state-based prosecutor’s office (as I recommended above), but that also means that trying to go after political leaders becomes more difficult unless the state prosecutors are career prosecutors and not political appointees.

        So I guess there might be a path to creating a “nearly independent” ethics panel, but you’d be creating “more guvmint” and that freaks some people out.

  3. griftdrift says:

    Leave it to the Georgia Liberal gang to somehow spin a point of minutiae into an indictment of one of their own. It’s like they have a phobia against winning.

    How’s that Poythress campaign going, Dustin?

    • ByteMe says:

      It’s the same thing the Republicans have been trying to push here since the scandal unfolded. That somehow the Democrats — because they didn’t have enough votes to do anything anyway — was somehow complicit in putting and keeping Richardson in office.

      That’s like blaming the theater-goers for a bad play. It’s ridiculous, but it resonates with the few who are looking for someone else to blame for their mess.

    • galiberal says:

      I am not, nor will I, take a stand in the race so far. I have offered every candidate the same opportunity: I will put up their press releases as they send them to me. Poythress sends me his, and Porter sometimes sends me his. I have this policy the same candidates for Athens Mayor.

      To be honest, I am not sure who I am voting for at this point.

      On that note, we will send out surveys after the new year to get information from the candidates on a list of specific issues. I will compile this and then sit down with the staff to determine who we would like to endorse. It will be based on who agrees with our policy stances and who is viable.

      If anyone here works for a campaign, then send me the press releases of your candidates, and I will put them up.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    Hardly a Greek tragedy. Dems wanted Richardson to continue until the train wreck became public so they could say, I told you so?

    Republicans would now like to shift the blame for the train wreck to the Dems?

    Better the Repugs keep cleaning their own house. Might not be good for the out of power party but it could MAYBE be good for Georgia.

    Dems had a couple wake up calls. If they hit the snooze button again … real government suffers while real policy debate remains … I second that by doing nothing.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      MD,

      Not all of us Republicans are anxious to shift the blame. We realize if we don’t recognize what happened then it could happen again. I’m not concerned about David Ralston, but there will be other Georgia House Speakers after him and we don’t know who they will be.

      There is deep support among grassroot GOP activists to acknowledge the totality of what happened so the right decisions can be made. I’m sure that some of our state legislators don’t yet get it but voters in general, especially Republicans, feel betrayed by the actions of the guilty and will now be far less forgiving of this type of behavior.

  5. fishtail says:

    Back to DuBose Porter…he appears now to be trying to take some credit for booting Richardson, even though he was the man that seconded Richardson’s nomination for Speaker at the same time, everyone now agrees, the Speaker’s shenanigans were common knowledge. I would not put it past him to try to be the first guy to put Ralston’s name into nomination for the full House vote in January. Then he can strut around as the “healer” that can work across party lines when he is Governor. And if Ralston’s tax problems re-surface after a more thorough review, then we will not be surprised to see an opportunistic DuBose blasting Ralston as a part of the culture of corruption under the Gold Dome. DuBose is a Georgia version of Bill Clinton, shallow and insincere…today’s friends are tomorrow’s enemies….and vice versa.

  6. Elin is Hot says:

    How is it a problem for Democrats and ethics? Dems do not care about ethical or moral behavior unless they can point fingers at Republicans who expose themselves as unethical.

    If the Democrats had been in power, this would have all been swept under the rug.

  7. Progressive Dem says:

    If it wasn’t for Suan Richardson, we’d still have the same leadership. As evidenced by their tolerance of the Speaker’s and others behavior, neither Republicans nor Democrats have been serious about ethical behavior. Let’s see if some meaningful ethics bill gets passed this year. It is up to the citizens to demand accountability and transparency.

  8. fishtail says:

    I went back and checked on the vote last year for Richarson versus Ralston. Ralston got 25 votes. The Democratic Caucus had 75 votes and, following DuBose Porter’s advice, they voted for Richardson. So Ralston could have been Speaker the first time he ran….but somehow DuBose either got snookered or cut some side deal with Richardson.

    • AthensRepublican says:

      Not exactly correct. Generally, the caucus comes together behind their Speaker nominee. Ralston backed the nominee of the GOP caucus as did the 25 GOP members that had opposed Richardson and supported Ralston.

  9. Dave Bearse says:

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

    “Possibly” is not saying much when there have only been two.

  10. benevolus says:

    Why WOULDN’T DuBose second him? Richardson was going to win anyway, so maybe, just maybe, the Dems would get a little less psychotic retribution, and Bobby Kahn had the ethics complaint covered.

    Either that or GR would crash and burn, giving the Dems a foot in the door in some legislative races.

    If Richardson flames out due to ethics and Republicans want to keep bringing that up? Go for it.

    It was all good.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      benevolus,

      No, it’s not all good.

      I’m a Republican and I was disgusted by Richardson’s behavior and DuBious Porter does not get a free pass either.

      Porter was also there when Tom Murphy ran the state house like a personal fiefdom and Porter was there to wallow in the spoils with no complaints. Why didn’t he have a conscience back then?

      So the ends justify the means, Mr. Alinsky?

      With more than a century of corruption by Democrats of this state, you should be careful not to enjoy this too much. A lot of people remember what your party did while in power.

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