Senate Rules Chair – Let The Games Begin

As noted in the comments yesterday, Senator Don Balfour did not attend the Senate retreat at Little Ocmulgee State Park where Senate Republicans have chosen to change direction in leadership.  Jim Galloway has a bit more details this morning regarding the change in tone with the Lt. Governor.  While many were telegraphing this change was coming, two areas caused most to go stone cold quiet:  What powers would the Lt. Governor regain, and who will be Rules Chairman.

Those that would dare hint at Cagle’s role indicated it would likely end up as a power sharing agreement.  Expect the two new leaders of the Senate and Cagle to have a direct role in picking Committee Chairmen instead of a feckless and unaccountable committee of 8.

Without knowing how Committee Chairs will be selected (Senate Rules adoption has been deferred into December), it is harder to determine what the role of Balfour will be.  Many behind the scenes have been more vocal that Balfour isn’t likely to return.  His decision not only to travel to Vegas rather than attending to the business of the caucus, along with his decision to leave a proxy with the losing side of the battle, is the strongest signal yet he will not return.

Thus, the speculation begins as to his replacement.   Right now, it appears Transportation Chairman Jeff Mullis has the upper hand.  We’ll see if that was pre-vote posturing or a likely reality soon enough.

For those not sufficiently content to speculate on Rules Chair, feel free to add in who will likely replace Shafer on Regulated Industries, Chance on Economic Development, and Mullis (should this be the direction the Senate decides to go) on Transportation.


  1. jpmsouth says:

    There is a piece we should also watch regarding the power sharing formula with the Lt. Governor. The Georgia Constitution states that the Lt. Governor is a member of the Executive Branch of Government working for the Governor. The Georgia Constitution also states a member of one branch of government may not be a member of another branch of government. In other words – the Executive Branch is forbidden by the State Constitution from being a participant in the legislative process delegated in the Constitution as a responsibility of the Legislative Branch. Ref. Article I Section 2 Paragraph 3, and Article V Section 1 Paragraph 3.

    Folks are forgetting the reason the Senate leadership used in Macon 3 winters ago to restrict the Lt. Gov.’s authority in the Senate was the State Constitution.

    • southernpol says:

      My prediction would be Gooch – Transportation, Golden – Insurance.

      If Bethel did not run for anything yesterday, then I predict he gets a pretty good chairmanship.

  2. Daddy Got A Gun says:

    but …. but ….. I INVESTED in Don.

    He told me its like money in the bank.

    Now what happens to my INVESTMENT?

  3. DoubleDawg3 says:

    What about Bethel as Judiciary, since Cowsert challenged Shafer and lost I don’t think he’ll be in line for it, necessarily.

    I agree with the guess that Gooch will be Transportation Chair.

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    Why all the fuss about internl rules when they’ll do what they want at any given moment?

    That’s on display in the US House, where Boehner is exempting Paul Ryan from the internal GOP rules that limit Chairmanships to six year terms to enable career politician Ryan to continue his plum Budget Committee Chairmanship.

      • xdog says:

        Gopers have allowed exemptions before. This time they felt they’d be best served by keeping Ryan’s name in the news.

        Recently, he’s been using his big brain to explain how the national ticket he was part of failed to carry either Janesville WI or his home county.

        • Harry says:

          The GOP began chairmanship term limits in 1995. The Democrats then did the same to maintain appearances. Now let’s see a genuine bipartisan effort to enact term limits for all Senators and Representatives.

          • xdog says:

            You’re trying to change the subject.

            Your assumption that every rep who has been in DC for 20 years is corrupt or ineffectual or blind to their responsibilities is wrong. At any rate term limits don’t fly as long as legislative staff, think tankers, lobbyists, academics, PAC pimps, et farking al stay for the long term.

            • Harry says:

              Corrupt, ineffectual, blind to their responsibilities, and more senile. If term limits apply to presidents and governors, then why not congressmen and Senators as well? Long-term associations and alliances with special interests and such inbreeding would be reduced, right?

  5. jpmsouth says:

    Perhaps the reason provided in Macon in 2010 was ‘bullsheet’, but the Constitution is clear that the Executive Branch is limited as to the amount of control it has in the legislature. The real question is the amount of political expediency the State republican leadership is willing to assume versus the State Constitution – and how much we are willing to accept from the leadership.

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