Senator Jeff Mullis’ Statement on Sunday Sales

Not that we haven’t beat the dead horse of Sunday Sales enough already on Peach Pundit (A.D.D. Moment: Would SB 10 be considered a zombie bill since it came back from the dead?), but my state senator, Jeff Mullis, issued this statement about why he voted for SB 10 on crossover day (via CatWalkChatt):

“Let me first state that I am against the sale of alcohol on Sundays. I highly doubt that this referendum would ever come to a vote in our district. If it did come to a ballot, I would vote against Sunday sales, and I am certain it would fail.”

“The main issue in this particular legislation is my belief in local control of public policy. I have supported local control since my first day in office. Every single decision on the sale of alcohol in Georgia has been decided at the local level, and Sunday sales should be no different. Senate bill 10 would allow for every community to decide for themselves if they want to sell alcohol or not. My passion for local control is why I voted in favor of SB 10.”

“Another major factor for my ‘yes’ vote is my belief that giving local communities the power to hold their own referendums more than likely frees rural counties from being mandated to sell alcohol on Sundays. Currently, the Georgia General Assembly is controlled by mostly urban and suburban members. If SB 10 failed, there could be a chance that the legislature could form a coalition and mandate the state as a whole sell alcohol as many of the metro counties support Sunday sales. Instead, we now have given every community, regardless of their stance on this issue, to decide if it is in the best interests of their citizens.”

There are a few senators who voted against the measure yesterday who are liberty-minded and for local control.  However, they may have gotten a lot of phone calls and emails from their constituents and urging them to vote against SB 10 (they are their representatives after all), but I don’t know…I haven’t talked to them…just food for thought.

This is where the internal conflict within many conservative/libertarian Republicans across the state comes to a head…do you vote your socially conservative conscience or do you vote your liberty-loving conscience?  I suspect that is the question that many folks will battle with across the state if the measure passes the House, signed by Governor Nathan Deal, and submitted to the citizens of Georgia.  Expect the rhetoric on both sides to heat up in the House.  Grab the popcorn and your favorite beverage (including adult beverages..except on Sundays…for now) because it’s about to get interesting.

14 comments

  1. Steve says:

    “Currently, the Georgia General Assembly is controlled by mostly urban and suburban members…”

    WTF?!? If this were the slightest bit true… then why does the Assembly waste so much time on abortion clinic bills that wouldn’t hold up in court, or embarrassing itself over Obama’s birth certificate, or not doing jack squat about the metro area’s transportation issues, hospital issues, water issues, sewage issues, etc etc etc etc etc etc?

    Boss Hogg rural politicians make me sick. As long as they run against Atlanta, and push the view of Atlanta-as-boogeyman, their constituents keep sending them back over and over again to do nothing. They’re really no different from the racial demagogues that they like to criticize so much in the Atlanta political machine.

    • Charlie says:

      Lemme take issue with your first paragraph.

      You’re confusing the time taken up in the press (frankly, here included) with the time spent on legislation.

      I respect Rep. Bobby Franklin as a “true believer”, but I think even if you asked him, he would admit that the legislature as a body didn’t spend any time longer than it took to file a time/date stamp on his bills.

      The birther bill, likewise, didn’t get a hearing. Most of the signers did what signers do, it’s a verbal exchange between sponsor and signer, then a signature. There’s not time to read a bill then, where the process equates to speed dating. I’ve heard from more than one legislator that what’s in that bill is not what they were told upon signing. But other than the time it took to sign, and the subsequent reporters questions, no time was spent on that bill either.

      Now, would I like to see more on “real” issues, yes. But most of that work is done in committees, and in those early morning breakfasts and late night dinners between legislators – and yes, lobbyists. It’s not done with elegant floor debate. By the time they’re debating, most bills have already passed, or are already dead. What we see is just the show.

      • Steve says:

        Fair enough. I simply recall a phone conversation a couple of years ago with one of my local (suburban) legislators, urging him not to support the “Brain Train” proposal. He had to support it due to the players involved, but basically said that it was unlikely to go anywhere because, “The rural guys control the Assembly and they won’t go for it”.

        I groan at the urban-rural scapegoating, which is heavily used as an excuse by both sides. Sometimes it works in my favor because I *want* inaction on an issue… but it’s still a disingenuous excuse regardless.

        Glad to hear that you’re not taking any issue with my second paragraph. 🙂

        • Charlie says:

          There’s another key point which I think was in one of my first columns for Dublin, but probably needs to be re-written with a finer point.

          The rurual legislator’s days of controlling the legislature is nearing an end, if it hasn’t happened already. GA now has three distinct factions – urban, suburban, and rural – with North Georgia playing the role of wild card, as there’s a fine line of when their interests match suburban ATL and when they match rural Georgia.

          But the present and immediate future of GA politics is building coalitions for controversial bills. Party, and in some cases, geography will not be the boundaries. In a one party state, there are new rules for getting the majority of the votes, and it will be intra-party politics that bears the most watching. SB-10 is but a small preview of what’s to come for that.

  2. racinwithrex says:

    “The main issue in this particular legislation is my belief in local control of public policy. I have supported local control since my first day in office. Every single decision on the sale of alcohol in Georgia has been decided at the local level, and Sunday sales should be no different. Senate bill 10 would allow for every community to decide for themselves if they want to sell alcohol or not. My passion for local control is why I voted in favor of SB 10.”

    I love the fact that My Senator got the chance to stand up and make his speech. Of course I have heard it about a DOZEN times and have seen him do just the opposite just as HIS BILL SB 124 wanting to make it a State Law that any Bars have to be at least 300′ from a Church. I call it his Bill because his name is the ONLY one listed on the Bill… This was a local issue in the City of Trenton and a group along with Mullis wants to make it a State Issue. So much for his “Passion” for local Control. Just Sayin!!!!!!!!!

  3. Actually, there should not be any conflict between social conservatives and liberty lovers. But due to many out there who truly understand neither, these conflicts continue to resurface. A liberty loving com-padre of mine often uses the term “TaliBaptist” and I have used the phrase “Socialist Conservative” to set apart those that are merely social conservative in practice and rely solely on their God given/natural 1st amendment right to persuade and those that wish to use the power and force of government to mandate their religious belief on others.
    The thing that really gets me is I consider myself somewhat a social conservative (for those that know me real well, I said “somewhat”… lol). I was born and raised Methodist and grew up attending a small Church in Vinings that I’m currently on the board that oversees the private cemetery associated with it. I’ve been married to the same person for over 26 years, father of 4 children, a US Army veteran, thus steeped in “God and Country” and I have no problem seeing that these two ideas of Liberty and Christianity being somewhat one and the same cause or at least very compatible.
    I recently read this article that makes this point better than I ever could. If you take the time to read it you’ll see that even though this bill is trivial in the grand scheme of things. It is also very representative of the underlying problem when it come to self proclaimed elected social conservatives working against liberty instead of for it… It’s their job to regulate (to make regular) free commerce, not to impede it with threat of force… to do the later, would not be true to their oath and charge to protect liberty nor true to their religious conviction.

  4. racinwithrex says:

    I would like to add that I am glad he did vote YES on the Bill but it really don’t matter here in “His District” because Chatt. Tn already has voted and does have Sunday Sales and if those who could, would keep this whole District DRY but don’t mind driving a little North to get alot WET!…lol..lol…

  5. Dave Bearse says:

    “If SB 10 failed, there could be a chance that the legislature could form a coalition and mandate the state as a whole sell alcohol as many of the metro counties support Sunday sales.”

    Is Mullis a moron, or does he simply pander to ’em?

    • His statement is true and I’ve said the same several times. Probably not with those in office this year, but in a future year you could very well see alcohol legalized period… not delegating the authority to local communities.

      • Harry says:

        So all those arguments about local control would go out the window. There would be no more appeal to “conservative” values. The shoe would be on the other foot. Interesting. It will not happen anytime soon.

        • No. I’d say you missed my point, but I see how you could get that out of what I wrote. I should have worded it a little differently. What I meant to say was that were SB-10 not to pass giving the communities the option of local control, at some point in the future it could very easily be said that this is a blue law and that blue laws should be overturned, thereby not giving communities the choice to decide at all. Those against Sunday sales should jump at the chance to have local control over the issue instead of having Sunday sales forced upon them at some undetermined date in the future.

          • bowersville says:

            And that is most likely what would happen if SB-10 doesn’t pass the House. At some point in time, those that oppose Sunday Sales in their local community are going to have to demand local control. I’m one that would vote no on the local level. May loose, may pass…but I have my say.

            With the new census and new districts going to metro type areas the metro areas are going to control issues like this. IMHO those in the more rural areas like mine are taking a chance, a big chance on selling package beer etc. being forced on them by the State. But I’m sure those demanding of their elected officials to vote no are too stubborn to realize it. (not you Harry)

            Watch ’em squawk when that happens and demand local control.

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