When I qualified to run for State House District 101 I knew if elected I would have to change the way I blog. People expect certain things of their elected officials and there’s only so many “smart-aleck” comments I can get away with before voters get upset. Since I won the July 20th primary I’ve come to understand there are other matters I must take into consideration. Next January I will be a Legislator, and part of the House Republican Caucus. While I’m accountable to the voters of my district, being part of a Legislative body requires I earn the trust of my colleagues and maintain a certain level of confidentiality.
For those in the House who don’t know me allow me to provide you a brief political biography.
In 1996 I attended my first GOP State Convention and I’ve attended almost every one since. I volunteered with the Gwinnett Republican Party first as a Precinct Captain, was elected to the positions of District Manager, Second Vice-Chairman and from 2002 – 2005 served as Chairman. After my term as Chairman I was the campaign manager for Melvin Everson’s successful race in a State House special election. In 2006 I Chaired Governor Perdue’s reelection campaign in Gwinnett. I’ve also manager three other local campaigns successfully for Rep. Davis Casas, Commissioner Mike Beaudreau, and this year, Rep-Elect Josh Clark. I’m also a 2001 Graduate of what was then known as the Coverdell Leadership Institute.
I began blogging at Peach Pundit in October of 2005. For me, blogging is an outgrowth of my political involvement, not the other way around. I blog for the same reason I became active in politics: I care about getting good people elected and advancing good policies. As a State Legislator, I hope to advance good policy and represent my constituents well. I’ve never considered myself a journalist. That’s not an excuse to be factually incorrect, but rather an acknowledgement that I blog to express my opinion and advocate for things I care about.
Blogging can be a rough and tumble enterprise sometimes. Sometimes things are said that probably shouldn’t be, and anonymous comments can drive you crazy from time to time. Opinions about the Legislature’s performance have been expressed on Peach Pundit and from time to time it’s critical. I’m sure some Front Page Posters will disagree with votes I cast on occasion.
Nevertheless blogging is something I really enjoy and I think it is a valuable addition to the political process. Nobody tells me what to blog, and I don’t tell anyone else what to blog. I’m responsible for what I say and not what others say, so if you ever have a problem with something I say please let me know. If you have a problem with something someone else says, get in touch with them.
As a Legislator, I’ll have to keep some of my opinions to myself. Commenting on pending legislation will be something I’ll avoid. They say crafting legislation is like watching sausage being made, thus blogging about the various twists and turns a bill takes wouldn’t be wise in my view, since a proposed piece of legislation may not look at all like the finished product.
Clearly, discussions I have with fellow Legislators are not to be blogged about. The content of Caucus meetings and other “off the record” meetings will be off limits as well. During my years of political involvement I’ve had hundreds of discussions with elected officials that were intended to be private. Not once have I betrayed the confidence of those elected officials. Feel free to talk with members of the Gwinnett Delegation to get their comment on that.
Like every other incoming freshman Legislator, I realize I need to earn the trust of the other members of the House and Senate. I’m confident that if you give me the chance, I’ll earn your trust.
If any Legislator has a questions about anything I’ve said here, please email me at [email protected], I’ll email you my cell number and happily speak with you directly.