Dick Pettys of InsiderAdvantage has noted that Stout failed to back House GOP leadership on a budget deal struck with Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Senate:
He was no team player when the leadership, struggling session-long to find a way to finance the state budget without a huge general tax hike, settled on a plan to raise the necessary revenue by increasing an assortment of fees, most of which hadn’t been adjusted in decades, and to impose a hospital bed tax.
That was paired in the very same bill with measures to eliminate the state’s quarter-mill share of property taxes and to eliminate the tax on unearned income for seniors.
House Majority Leader Jerry Keen (R-St. Simons Island) wrote a $500 check to one of Stout’s two primary opponents, builder Steve Golden.
But Stout reports today that he received $2,000 from Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge), $500 from Majority Caucus Secretary Allen Peake, and $250 from Majority Whip Ed Lindsey.
Said Stout in an e-mail this afternoon:
I think this is a reflection of a bigger change in leadership at the State House. The Jerry Keen era of “the way we campaign has no bearing on how we govern” is over now. Speaker Ralston encouraged the ideal of “voting your district” which means putting the people in the district first. I think that the changes we are seeing will benefit the citizens of Georgia and I appreciate the real leadership of those that put Georgia’s people ahead of partisan politics.
And I’m so glad that Jerry Keen will not be in the House next year.