Some Senate Republicans want to take Cagle down a peg

November 4, 2010 11:50 am

by Jason · 51 comments

Jim Galloway reports that Casey Cagle may soon become Mark Taylor:

We understand that ranking Republican members of the Senate – including President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons, Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock, and Cecil Staton of Macon – have served notice on Cagle that they will attempt to curb his single-handed power to control that chamber’s affairs.

In other words, they want to render him a figurehead a la Mark Taylor.

Details about motivation for the move are still lacking. The issue will be raised among senators at a Friday caucus meeting that will introduce newly elected senators to their colleagues. Cagle will not be permitted to attend.

But in one-on-one conversations, look for Cagle to argue that stripping him of his powers would reduce the Senate to a third wheel in the legislative process that begins in January.

I’ve been hearing the same rumblings for a month or so now. I believe others have alluded to it here at Peach Pundit.

There are a couple of problems I see with this. Cagle was proactive in assisting incoming freshman Senators, so they may not be quick to jump in and vote to strip him of power. Another point is if you’re going to take on the King, you had better kill him. If you go after Cagle and fail, you risk dividing your caucus (even more than it already may be split) and you may be viewed as being as much a part of the problem as the Lt. Governor.

[UPDATE] We’ve been notified by a State Senator that Cagle will be in attendance tomorrow and is always invited to caucus meetings.

Silent Jay November 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm

“Details about motivation for the move are still lacking.”

Ask Glenn and Mark about motivation.

And getting their shoes tied.

LoyaltyIsMyHonor November 4, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I have a couple of observations here.

One, it’s pretty clear now who was behind Friday’s 12th hour ethics complaint; and

Two, this is a very risky move considering that Cagle could be the next Governor when the US Attorney finally comes down with a federal indictment on Deal.

Lady Thinker November 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm

Very true. Hopefully though, those with a backbone will stand up to the corruption and not bury their heads in the sand.

Joshua Morris November 4, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Maybe Chip Rogers should be stripped of his Majority Leader position. Apparently, getting involved in shady real estate deals and walking away with a bunch of money after stiffing the bank isn’t all that bad in some minds.

Three Jack November 4, 2010 at 2:52 pm

at least he can tie his shoes by himself.

Ron Daniels November 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

How about we strip both of power and put Shaffer in charge of everything?

Ken in Eastman November 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm

David would be a good choice!

kyleinatl November 5, 2010 at 7:58 am

Awesome! Let’s make the Senate more idealogically led than ever!!! *sarcasm*

rebelyelp November 4, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Incoming freshmen will go with the majority of the caucus or they could be running in a very unfriendly district in 2012.

Are there enough Casey Cagle Republicans willing to work with Democrats to keep the current Senate rules? If not, Casey is going to be a figurehead.

Wiley November 4, 2010 at 1:55 pm

And the majority of the Caucus will go with Casey.

rebelyelp November 4, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I don’t have a dog in this fight. But it looks like a strong list of names rumored to be behind this. Its a risky move for sure. We know how Casey will react — just as he did with prospective challenge from Austin Scott.

georgiaconservative33 November 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I wonder if some of this stems from Cagle’s handling of prospective opponents.

oompaloompa November 4, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Cagle’s trip to the woodshed is long overdue.

Tiberius November 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Nothing is more pathetic to view than a figurehead Lg in the Senate chamber. Casey saw this with Taylor for those years. Thus, Casey with fight with everything he has.

Changing the rules can be a tricky procedure especially if the majortiy caucus is split and the presiding officer isn’t is the one getting clipped.

My guess is they will compromise by narrowing Casey’s power but leave him enough of a significnat role. Otheriwse, its the worst kind of war—a civil one.

Velasco November 4, 2010 at 4:46 pm

They will fail and this will backfire.

Ken in Eastman November 4, 2010 at 4:49 pm

First of all, the people believed to be behind limiting Cagle’s power are not foolish. If this is true, then they have reasons and an agenda. We can guess at the reasons – and there are a few that come to mind – but what is there agenda?

These guys didn’t sit down at the Waffle House on morning and decide they were bored and needed something to do. I’m pretty sure there was not a moment when someone said, “Hey! I’ve got a great idea! Let’s screw with Cagle. That’ll be a lot of fun.” Followed by snorts and giggles and high fives. It just didn’t happen.

So, what’s the reason? And more importantly what are their agendas?

NorthGeorgiaGirl November 4, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Maybe their agenda is that they want to be able to act conservatively without Cagle stopping them.

Or maybe they are trying to neutralize him because he really is as bad as the rumor mill says.

Either way, I don’t think the people behind this are stupid or devious in nature, and this may be a good thing for the Senate.

Ken in Eastman November 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

NorthGeorgiaGirl,

I wasn’t trying to imply devious. In fact, the way this was handled was anything but sneaky. If this were devious, then we still wouldn’t know about it.

I definitely think it may be a good thing, but there is a cause somewhere. It’ll leak out eventually.

I suspect that there are good reasons for this and that Casey Cagle might be more agreeable to this than some believe. And, no, I don’t have inside information; I’m just trying to piece this together.

NorthGeorgiaGirl November 5, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I understand. I think I read “agenda” as something more than you meant. Cynical nature, I suppose:) In any case, Chip Rogers is a smart man, and I don’t think this course is being pursued without a lot of thoughtful consideration of the consequences either way.

I agree with you. This could be a very good thing. I hope it ends in better government for the state.

Ken in Eastman November 6, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Thanks. “Agenda” is a loaded word these days, but I meant it in the less pejorative sense.

Annie Ethel November 4, 2010 at 6:36 pm

I think this was decided last session around the time that Preston Smith imploded. You have demonstrable evidence that when you need to get it done, right now, Cagle was not the reliable go-to man. It also explains why we didn’t have anyone run against Cagle in the primary. Anyone (like Austin Scott?) who could have run a decent campaign against Cagle – didn’t.
Leadership saw the solution: focus campaign funds and energy on other races and get those candidates to an office you can’t neuter after the fact.
Otherwise, why did we have all those great GOP senior legislators run for Insurance Commissioner and the like?

fishtail November 4, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Well, there is a whole lot of backroom dealing go on in the Senate, and for good reason. Casey ain’t out of the woods yet on the “bimbo” issue. Fresh material is supposedly in the hands of an Atlanta TV station. It’s X-rated, so I don’t guess they can air it, but all the Capitol reporters and State Senators know about it. When the story breaks, Cagle will be neutered for awhile. But who knows, maybe his family and God and the people of Georgia will forgive him and he can soldier on. But the Senate leadership is taking pre-emtive steps to avoid confusion when the sh%t storm hits.

Velasco November 5, 2010 at 9:26 am

Incredible.

A new twist in the rumors fishtail? What is this version 13? Quit making things up.

edmund November 5, 2010 at 9:27 am

We’ve finally figured out who fishtail is — Ray Boyd! After just seeing for yourself that there’s nothing to any of the rumors, you’ve already gone and spun your next mutation.

fishtail November 5, 2010 at 10:04 am

Stay tuned…you can apologize to me later. Ray.

Jeff Scott November 4, 2010 at 11:09 pm

If Cecil Staton is involved, then 1) this is a done deal; and 2) he’s being promised something very good.

Allow me to explain:

As some of you may know, I used to be the afternoon host at Staton’s news/talk station in Warner Robins. One day in December 2009 I was discussing the ethics problems facing the Republican Party in Georgia, including the issues with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and his inability to tie his own shoes (in fact, it may have been in reference to this post by Erick: http://www.peachpundit.com/2009/12/11/the-senators-are-not-off-the-hook/). About half an hour after I had moved on and was on to another topic, I received a panicked phone call from Sen. Staton asking me what I had said about the Lt. Gov. You see, apparently somebody close to the Lt. Gov. (or his office itself) had been monitoring my show, and Cagle (or at least somebody close to him) was not happy about me publicly stating the allegations against him. Staton made it very clear to me that I needed to be very “careful” what I said about Cagle, because Staton was worried that he could return to Atlanta for the 2010 session and not have an office or a parking spot, since that is all cleared by the Lt. Gov.’s office. So in effect I was told to not air Cagle’s dirty laundry because it might hurt Staton.

I tell you that to explain this: Cecil Staton does not stick his neck out. If he is sticking his neck out and challenging Casey Cagle, then this is a done deal. And Staton has something to gain. Look for him in some kind of leadership position next year.

Ken in Eastman November 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hi Jeff,

Cecil Staton is not a risk-taker. Tommie Williams is no one’s fool. I agree, this is a done deal.

Hope you’re doing well.

Obis_Sister November 5, 2010 at 8:20 am

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. /snark

Ron Daniels November 5, 2010 at 8:53 am

I’m down with stripping power away from Cagle and all; but when you guys choose to have your caucus meeting in Macon . . at the law school . . . and you block off my parking spot . .

Yeah. Not too pleased.

NorthGAGOP November 5, 2010 at 8:55 am

If they wanted to take Cagle down, why didn’t someone credible primary him?

redrock November 5, 2010 at 9:16 am

While our candidates were on the campaign trail talking about the jobs and budget, Chip Rogers, Tommie Williams, and Bill Cowsert were dreaming up ways to get more power themselves.

This is just a power grab.

debbie0040 November 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I support what they are doing and everyone that I have talked to about it does as well… It is about time they did it. Casey Cagle behaves like a dictator in the Senate and some of his power should be taken away.

Gary Cooper November 5, 2010 at 2:41 pm

While I agree with you on the Cagle sentiment. Name me one Lt. Governor this state has had that didn’t act like the “dictator” of the GA Senate?

Ken in Eastman November 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Agreed debbie0040. This needs to be done, and probably already has been done in principle.

Spacey G November 5, 2010 at 9:39 am

And I wish I had a fancy new broomstick too. You guys get so jacked-up if the wind just rustles across your pedestrian beer bellies. Cagle may not end-up the Mark Taylor you’re looking for. Unless his neck and back just totally blow-out on him. So much pain, so much.

B Balz November 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I don’t have a beer belly, but if I did it would be extraordinary.

Three Jack November 5, 2010 at 9:41 am

no way cagle is dethroned if they allow him in the caucus meeting, no way. they will back down and he will likely come out with even more power than before…just my prediction.

Ken in Eastman November 5, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Machiavelli, “If you strike at the king you must slay him.”

I think these guys are aware of that rule – especially if the king is known to be vindictive.

This will be what they believe to be a killing blow.

Velasco November 5, 2010 at 10:16 am

Republicans look like fools for doing this the same week of a historic election.

Gary Cooper November 5, 2010 at 10:18 am

What some of you are missing is the fact that these are some pretty powerful Senate players that are contemplating this coup on Cagle. Obviously this has been brewing for awhile and they have been playing their cards behind the scenes. They saw what happened back during the session and how Cagle would bully those who stood in his way, so I think this has been planned for some time. And with this being planned, you better believe these power players know that they have the votes in the caucus to get this done. Otherwise, why risk a civil war and give the Democrats a chance to paint you as dysfunctional?

And to answer why the GOP did not go after Cagle by funding a primary opponent? Simple, look at his campaign war chest, look at what he (supposedly) did to Austin Scott when he thought about challenging him, and realize that the GOP was smart not to waste valuable resources on a race that more than likely would not have went the way they wanted. Instead, let Cagle cruise to re-election and then take away his power in the Senate. You basically have a Lt. Governor with no major accomplishments if he decides to run for Governor in the future….a la Mark Taylor.

edmund November 5, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Looks like it’s really quieted down in here during the caucus meeting. Guess without Senator Shafer’s 15 personalities to post comments it gets lonely quick.

Charlie November 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Caucus has taken a lunch break, though they’re probably back in by now. Cagle has spoken to the caucus. Was described as “contentious”. They’re scheduled to work on caucus rules upon returning for lunch, then the infamous potential changes to Senate rules, then vote on officers. There’s still a long afternoon ahead.

Charlie November 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Senate rules are up now. I’m told the debate is “very heated.”

Three Jack November 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm

they should have scheduled this as a pay-pre-view steel cage match to generate much needed cash for the state.

Charlie November 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I understand that it’s living up to the billing. My 4:30 update said still going strong.

Charlie November 5, 2010 at 5:23 pm

They’ve moved at least some of the leadership votes ahead of the caucus rules vote. Cecil Staton has defeated Mitch Seabaugh for the position of Majority Whip. Seabaugh held that position until he resigned in protest over Cagle’s pushing of the hosptial bed tax last session.

Charlie November 5, 2010 at 5:31 pm

David Shafer has been elected to Caucus Vice-Chairman, over Ross Tolleson.

Ken in Eastman November 5, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Charlie,

Is there a way to see if these are proxy votes for changing the rules?

I like David, but I also like Ross who’s my state senator and a good guy. *sigh* I’m happy for David, but . . .

rebelyelp November 5, 2010 at 5:38 pm

What do you forecast from the winners of these leadership positions as it relates to whether or not the powers of the LG will become more limited?

Charlie November 5, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I’ve heard both sides. There are so many playing both sides that most Senators can be forgiven if they develop various paranoia psychosis for a few days.

View from Brookhaven November 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm

Galloway, thru Lori Geary of Channel 2, updated to say that a “power-sharing” agreement has been reached…whatever that means.

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