Vote for this tax hike or lose your chairmanship

That was a rumor going around the Capitol today during the debate over HB 307, the hospital tax:

Democrats accused the Republicans of trying to bully their members into voting in favor of the bill.

On the Republican side, there were strong whispers that Judson Hill of Marietta was stripped of his Reapportionment and Redistricting chairmanship over a potential no vote. Hill was not in the chamber at all during any of the votes and was marked excused.

There was also talk that Senate Republican Whip Mitch Seabaugh of Sharpsburg quit his position. He voted no on the bill and offered a no comment afterwards.

Not the first time this has happened, won’t be the last.


  1. Harry says:

    I mean, it doesn’t look real good for Republicans to raise taxes in the middle of a recession when there’s still plenty of pork and bureaucracy being spared. The yes voters must have safe seats. I guess we’ll see.

    • Harry says:

      This is why we need Karen. She’s the only one with the cojones to say no to the good ole boy network of hospitals, state employees, etc.

      • Henry Waxman says:

        I almost feel guilty ruining a good pep rally with facts, but unlike Karen and the other candidates, Nathan Deal actually has legislative achievements in this area. In 2006, a provision Chairman Deal authored (Section 6051 of Public Law 109-171) curtailed a similar Medicaid kickback scheme involving Medicaid managed care organizations in Georgia and eight other states. Because of this Deal-authored provision, these states had to stop using this deceitful scheme to artificially inflate their Medicaid distributions. Governor Barnes instituted the MCO scheme, and it is truly sad that Governor Perdue is trying to pull a similar scam with this bed tax.

        The hospitals supported the Barnes-created Medicaid kickback scheme, and Deal stood up to them in order to solve the problem.

        Please tell me what legislative or executive actions Karen Handel has taken to eliminate waste and fraud in the Georgia Medicaid program.

          • Henry Waxman says:

            The lack of experience in these very important areas is exactly the point I am trying to make.

          • It’s the fact that someone HAS had experience fighting in this area that makes me inclined to support Deal. He HAS fought it before and he WILL fight it again. Why take the chance with someone who doesn’t have the record to back it up when we can elect someone who has?

            He has REAL experience with the issues facing Georgia right now. Karen has not. Deal for Governor!

            • Republican Lady says:

              Deal’s record of evasiveness when he’s called out on ethical issues is fact. Georgia taxpayers aren’t going to pay for the bank of lawyers Deal will have to hire to deal with problems he refuses to face. President Nixon did some good things also, but ultimately failed the American people with ethical lapses just like Deal has by ignoring or addressing his ethical report. That is why Karen will win.

        • Harry says:

          Deal is a very intelligent fellow, a strong conservative and a great public speaker, but he’s damaged goods. It appears he used influence derived from his elected position in order to maintain a privileged monopoly. Bottom line – the Georgia consumer took a hit, so it seems. You can’t expect such guys to continue being elected. Voters are aware more than ever of how they’re being worked over, to put it politely.

          • Henry Waxman says:

            Harry, I truly hope that he isn’t seen as “damaged goods” because I have worked with well over 100 elected officials in my career, and I would put Mr. Deal at the top of the list without hesitation in terms of intelligence, compassion, fairness, and desire to solve problems for his constituents.

            I read the report the OCE staff drafted, and I understand that this report recommends that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct review the matter further. However, it is important to note that the OCE report was released on January 28, 2010, and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (while aware of the recommendations for almost two months) did not see fit to pursue the case. Maybe it’s because the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct saw what I saw in the case and didn’t see a problem with a Member of Congress sitting in a group meeting with private citizens, other elected officials, and the Georgia Revenue Commissioner. Congressman Deal had absolutely ZERO authority over the Georgia Revenue Commissioner, and thus, there was no power to abuse in this situation. It would be like executives from two different companies having a discussion; neither really has any direct influence over the other. It is also important to note that the privatization plan that the Revenue Commissioner was pushing would have actually made GSD MORE money than the pilot program with the state that they were working under at the time.

            So, if he didn’t have any power over the Georgia Revenue Commissioner and the change the Georgia Revenue Commissioner was pushing would have made the company Deal had invested in more money (but the public less safe), how is it even theoretically possibly that he abused his power for his own financial gain?

          • Henry Waxman says:

            The Medicare Part D drug benefit represents just 3% of total federal Medicare outlays and has alleviated significant portions of the Medicaid prescription drug spending by states. Every state in the U.S. has the option eliminate drug coverage in their Medicaid program because this is an optional benefit under federal law. However, EVERY state chooses to cover prescription drugs because they know they lower their overall spending on Medicaid.

            If there is a candidate for governor that thinks we should eliminate prescription drug coverage for seniors, I truly hope they would clearly advertise this fact. The state could easily make it illegal for pharmacies in Georgia and the citizens of Georgia from participating in Medicare Part D. How about it Karen Handel? Ox? Johnson? Scott? Anyone want to outlaw Medicare prescription drug coverage for seniors?

            It truly makes zero sense for Medicare to pay $50,000 for a heart surgery but refuse to pay a partial subsidy on a $50 per month prescription drug that could completely alleviate the need for this expensive surgery or at least delay it for several years.

            • Henry Waxman says:

              And if he would have voted against the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003, then he would have also voted against Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and the right for seniors to choose private sector health insurance options instead of being forced to stay in traditional Medicare Parts A and B. Do you think we should get rid of those as well?

  2. old political pro says:

    is there any question that cagle is the most ineffective buffoons down there? now that glenn is gone there is nothing to distract people from how big of a wuss that guy is.

      • Henry Waxman says:

        It comes in handy. I use it almost every week in the mentoring program with which I volunteer.

        • Henry Waxman says:

          By the way, three cheers for you for being a teacher. My mom and brother are teachers, and I have no idea how you all are able to do it.

  3. Republican Lady says:

    It has to be the strong desire to rid the world of ignorance because it sure isn’t the pay. I teach part-time at a local college and it is very satisfying to see the ‘light bulb’ come on in a student’s eyes when he/she finally understands the concept of whatever is being taught. I live for that ‘look.’

  4. debbie0040 says:

    Please tell me I misunderstood that Sen. Hill and Sen. Seabaugh may have been punished because they opposed a tax increase in a GOP controlled legislature? Please tell me that I am wrong.

    • Chris says:

      The corrupt soul of Glenn Richardson has, like in that Denzel Washington Movie, moved from one side of the building to the other.

  5. If the GOP leadership keeps this up, we’re GUARANTEED to lose seats in what SHOULD be one of the most Republican years in American history. I’m highly disappointed in their actions.

  6. ChiefofStaff65 says:

    Anyone realize that Austin Scott, that guy from Tifton running for Governor voted against a tax increase? He was one of 40.

    Seems on the Republican side we actually have someone who voted against it, instead of yelling from the bleachers how they would have.

    Just sayin.

  7. Fred Smulavich says:

    Senator Chapman also voted against the measure, but I understand that you would forget… especially considering Rep Scott says he’s the only sitting legislator in the race in most emails he sends.

    It’s sad to see a man who was being marginalized trying to marginalize someone else… It’s like the old high school hierarchy.

    • ChiefofStaff65 says:


      I was in no way meaning to diminish Sen. Chapman’s vote at all. I have in fact, a great respect for Senator Chapman and have repeatedly stated on this blog, he is one of my top picks I would like to see on the ballot in November.

      • Fred Smulavich says:


        Well, I didn’t mean to sound incendiary towards you. It’s more that in so many areas I find Rep Scott to be an honorable man, yet it’s extremely distasteful to me to misrepresent that fact and disrespect Chapman in an outreach. Why soil an otherwise good name on pettiness, you know?

    • Harry says:

      Yeah, a tax cut for union members and high-income government employees and employees of monopolies with cadillac plans, which only goes into effect if the state has a fiscal year in which the revenue shortfall reserve is funded at the level of $500 million or more. They would like to call it an “offset” but it’s not even that. This was inserted by a bunch of lobbyist-infested RINOs who don’t deserve to be re-elected. Cagle included.

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