Freshman Republicans in need of primary challengers

In covering the drama in the Senate today, Jim Galloway mentioned a meeting on Monday, arranged by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, where some freshman met with the Governor to ensure that tax hikes would be shot down:

Today’s turmoil in the Senate had a precursor. On Monday, we understand that several freshmen Republican senators met with Gov. Nathan Deal to discuss his lack of support for a restoration of the state sales tax on groceries, and a cigarette tax increase.

They apparently didn’t believe their Senate Republican leaders, who had told them that Deal had promised to veto either of those tax increases. (We’ll ascribe the best of motives to the freshmen, and suppose that they wanted to see tax cuts in other areas.)

Deal assured the new senators that he had indeed promised such a veto. Things still did not go well. One of the freshmen declared to Deal that they would go ahead and pass the sales taxes. If the governor chose to veto them, they would override him next year.

Whether they wanted corresponding tax cuts in other areas is unclear, but sources indicate that they weren’t pushing for that.

So who are the freshman GOP Senators pushing these tax hikes?

It’s my understanding that Ginn offered Deal the courtesy of a veto override.


  1. Bloodhound says:

    One thing is certain, the Senate Leadership was not moving in the right direction. At times it seems that they were preforming rear guard actions for Sonny rather than working towards getting our economic ox out of the ditch.

    When you think about some of the convoluted CA’s and resolutions that have appeared on recent ballots, authored by the leadership, the current Majority Whip key among those, one must ask who these guys are trying help?

    The tax bill, HB 387 that the Senate and House had “worked so hard to negotiate” according to my senator was a mere bank of mirrors placed in a manner that was hoped to fool the citizenry into believing it was a significant cut when in fact it was an increase.

    Conservative principles of tax reform work like this:

    1. Eliminate income tax THEN you don’t need deductions.

    2. Set consumption taxes at a level to operate a reasonable government.

    Senate Leadership and the House thought they had figured yet another way to play us as fools. They believed they were untouchable and could cruise as they please.

    Erick is burning up the airwaves calling these Conservative GOP Senators who bucked “traitors”. I call them the nine best Conservatives in the Senate and I wish mine would join them!

  2. DoubleDawg3 says:

    Confirmed that Ginn is the IDIOT that offered that up. Seriously – a freshman Senator and you’re going to tell one of the most experienced politicians in Georgia that you’re going to override his veto. If you take on the King, you better kill the King – otherwise, you find your name on the list!

  3. J says:

    I would run against Ginn. I live in that district and can’t believe he would threaten an override for a tax cut. What a joke. Thats how big of a prop that (R) by peoples names have become. Absolutely no principles

    • therightdirection says:

      please do. I was involved in the primary last summer and got a close look at how this man operates. This move he pulled is no surprise. He is Cagle’s puppet. The only reason he got into the race is because Cagle encouraged him to. Cagle was making arrangements way before he was stripped of his power.

  4. Mama_grizzly says:

    There are members of the House and the Senate that need to go that are not freshmen..

  5. Rambler1414 says:

    I haven’t been terribly impressed with John Albers.
    His bill to prevent SRTA from using the GA 400 tolls never went anywhere.

    • Bloodhound says:

      Rambler? How much assistance do you think he had from the Leadership?

      Being “conservatives” wouldn’t you believe it would be obvious to them that Sen. Albers’ attempt was the “right thing” to do?

      Of course, they offered him no support because, as it is with all entrenched power players, they had no intention of giving up any trickle of money/power.

      We turned this state red and the leadership is holding onto liberal tax agenda like a baby holding its breath in the midst of a temper tantrum.

      BTW, what color does a baby holding its breath turn?

      • Rambler1414 says:

        I will be the first to admit that I have not done my homework and tracked how he has voted on the bills I care the most about.
        The SRTA bill had good intentions, and it was a very hot issue in his race vs. Beach and Belle Isle.

        Your idea that “entrenched power players had no intention of giving up any money/power” makes no sense. The proposed Bill gave MORE POWER to the General Assembly, taking it from SRTA.

  6. Gary Cooper says:

    Wow….did Steve Gooch really try to oppose the Governor on this? Does he not know what district he is serving? Obviously he let that fluke of an election go to his head. I wouldn’t feel safe in my seat if I were him.

  7. Bert Loftman says:

    I asked my Senator what he thought and below is his response. I have a feeling he is closer to the truth than Jason. It does little good to spread rumors. I have a web page that is gathering data for possible challenges to the RINOs at both the state and Federal levels but try and keep things factual.
    Thanks, Bert

    What in the world are they talking about Bert? I am opposed to any tax increase. Where does this junk get started?

    I asked the Governor what his thoughts were on the tax reform bill. I got the same answer that I expected and that was that he had not seen the bill. None of us had at that time. I have never advocated for a tax increase . In fact, I have been on record of being opposed to the proposed changes so far.

    Noone in that room was for the tax on groceries either. One or two of those guys were questioning the cigarette tax but only to see if the gov had considered the additional $300 million we would get from Washington as match money. The governor said no to them and the discussion was over on that topic.

    Let me know how to respond to the appropriate source on this and I try to clarify my position.

    Thanks for the heads up.


    • Jason says:

      A few of things…

      – Jim Galloway broke this story, not me. His reporting is impeccable. I’m sure he would not have run such a story unless he was reasonably certain that the grocery and sales tax hikes, which he mentioned, were in fact advocated for in the meeting with Gov. Deal. It’s worth nothing that my multiple sources have verified that this story is accurate. I have no reason to believe it’s not.

      – This meeting was requested, as Galloway notes and as my sources have said, specifically because these freshman would not take leadership’s word that Gov. Deal would veto the tax hikes. If Sen. Gooch is “opposed to any tax increase,” then why did he go to the meeting?

      – Have you ever of “CYA”? See Sen. Gooch’s response to you. Seems you’re buying it, hook, line and sinker.

  8. SOGTP says:

    As Bert mentioned above I also spoke with Frank Ginn and corresponded with Charlie Bethel. While Jason’s big picture is correct, the fine details reveal something less shady.

    The real issue with this story is that these six (6) Senators had broached the subject of trying to extort more federal dollars from the tobacco tax for Medicare and Medicaid. I think we all agree this is a big No … No … STOP suckling from the federal trough.

    Thank you Jason for giving us a heads-up on this meeting. It did energize us to engage our State Lord and Masters in polite conversation.

  9. Cloverhurst says:

    Albers toll bill was a fluke from the beginning. The bonds have already been sold.

    The fact is Sonny pressured the GDOT Board while the Board member from the 6th District was out of the country to renew the 400 lease to SRTA. He did this to insure that Gena had a job for the next 4 years.

    Albers does what Chip Rogers tells him, that’s the bottom line.

    I also find it real funny that he spoke up and voted to ban anonymous political ads, after he put out a robocall impersonating Tom Price’s wife with no disclosure.

  10. fran millar says:

    In order to cut the income tax by 25 percent and eliminate the tax on energy for manufacturers to stimulate job creation, we wanted to know if the Governor could support a 30 cents increase in the cigarette tax. This will raise in excess Of $100 million in state funds and pull down in excess of $200 million in federal funds. We could then keep the planned phase in of the total senior tax exemption that we passed last year and/or possibly eliminate some of the other proposed increases. Groceries were never on the agenda. Bottom line consumption taxes vs income taxes are where we are going (fair tax philosophy). Any questions call me 770-490-0213. Fran Millar

    • Harry says:

      That’s a good strong argument, but why are we attempting to just trade one set of taxes for another, rather than aggressively taking steps to reduce spending? This legislature is afraid to go against special interests and take out the fluff in the budget.

    • SOGTP says:

      @Fran. Fair enough, but why don’t you just cut spending. Cut spending to 2000 levels in real dollar terms. Then you will not need to raise taxes on anything.

      If you people under the Gold Dome would STOP taking the green crack cocaine dollars from the Federal government, you wouldn’t be expected to fulfill their mandates and constantly be scurrying around trying to find a tax here, a tax there, a tax everywhere.

      Just cut spending and stop taking money from the FEDs in Washington District of Criminals.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      fran, I for one support y’all’s efforts. People don’t understand cuts have already occurred, and I know there are surly more to come. State agencies and benefactors have had to find ways to cope(layoffs, furlows, paycuts etc.), but at the legislators on both sides know, whether they admit or not, there must be other ways to deal the budget situation. Lowering the income tax is the way to go, and ,as you mentioned, will make Georgia more attractive for businesses.

    • Jason says:

      I realize that you like a tax hike and that federal funds are coveted by members of the Georgia General Assembly, but Washington is running a deficit well over $1.5 trillion; the federal government has no money and pushing poor tax policy to justify funding that is essentially funded by debt tells me that you don’t deserve to be in office.

      We could then keep the planned phase in of the total senior tax exemption that we passed last year and/or possibly eliminate some of the other proposed increases. Groceries were never on the agenda. Bottom line consumption taxes vs income taxes are where we are going (fair tax philosophy).

      The senior exemption was a poor idea. It isn’t a broad-based tax cut and can be seen as a political move in an election year. It also contradicts your point that we’re moving to a consumption-based tax system. You can’t keep carving out exemptions or maintaining current exemptions while trying to broaden the tax base. By doing so, you’re picking winners and losers based on how much you value a constituency (or at least, that’s the perception).

  11. rightofcenter says:

    Are you serious? I’m sure they haven’t thought to cut spending.

    I would recommend that people on this board be banned from simply saying “cut spending” and be forced to offer some specifics on what to cut.

    Thanks to Senator Millar for clearing up the misinformation out there. I look forward to Jason’s post after he calls the Senator and gets the “real truth.”

      • Exactly.

        Why not just cut everything. Every single line item and every single entitlement by the same percentage.

        That way, the Government isn’t picking winners or losers. Everything loses the same percentage of money.

        At this point, I would settle for an all-encompassing cut of 2% for every line item and 2% for every entitlement. And 2% for Defense.

        When you’re 14 Trillion dollars in debt, you’d think cutting spending by 2% would be a no-brainer.

        Unfortunately, there aren’t any brains in Congress.

        • KD_fiscal conservative says:

          Although I may be wrong, I think rightofcenter was talking about the state budget. In which case there already have been deep cuts in most sectors. Starting with education, going all the way into state employee benefits and so on, and even more cuts to come. At this point, attracting businesses and spurring growth of the state economy to get tax revenues up to par should be of up most importance. Unfortunately,as evidenced by the sham of a ‘legislative session,’ clearly is/was not.

          On the Federal level, I really like that approach, I simply don’t understand why Republicans, the party of “fiscal conservatism” aren’t pushing an across the board cut….well actually I do…they’re more about ending “liberal radio” and non-existent “taxpayer funded abortions” then actually reducing the deficit.

    • Jason says:

      Um, yeah, Galloway at the AJC noted the grocery tax was on the table for these members. I simply posted his comments here. And frankly, these is members of the General Assembly that have been caught red-handed. Believe them if you want.

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