Eggs & Issues Breakfast – the runny gossip

January 16, 2013 10:15 am

by Bridget Cantrell · 5 comments

Jim Galloway’s update is entertaining.

Booze and tobacco dropped from menu:

By tradition, Coca-Cola has served as the corporate sponsor of a luncheon honoring the president pro tem of the state Senate at the opening of each year’s session.

Also by tradition, the menu has included Bloody Marys and cigars. But no more. We’re told that both alcohol and stogies have been removed from this afternoon’s festivities honoring David Shafer, R-Duluth, the Senate’s newly elected leader.

The reason? The flourishes were thought to clash with the Capitol’s embrace of ethics reform, including a $100 per lawmaker cap on gifts from lobbyists passed by the Senate on Monday.

Or perhaps it was fallout from Coke’s new anti-obesity campaign. Either one.

Ethics bill more of a sun visor than a cap: (oh c’mon – that’s funny right there)

Speaking of ethics, here’s the exchange that just took place between House Speaker David Ralston and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle at this morning’s Eggs & Issues breakfast, sponsored by the Georgia Chamber. My AJC colleague Greg Bluestein said Cagle had just bragged about his chamber’s passage of a $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers:

Ralston: “I tease my friend that it was more of a sun visor than a cap that they adopted yesterday. (Chuckling)

Cagle: “Where are those boxing gloves? (More chuckling)

Ralston: “We can disagree about the way we do this. At the end of the day I anticipate the lieutenant governor and the Senate and the Souse will come to an agreement about what constitutes a real change. We can debate a ban or a cap all day long but let me make a couple of points that get lost in this discussion.

“What the specifics are kind of cloud why we’re having this discussion. What it boils down to is who is going to influence public policy in this debate …Is it going to be influenced by the political class or media elites who make … a clearly erroneous perception of the kind of people in the Georgia House and the Georgia Senate?

Bridg Note: I’ve been trying to meet as many legislators in person as I can.  Yes, it’s very easy to write snarky posts about people you don’t personally know – who aren’t real.  I’ll write more about my project this weekend, but know that I’m trying to move my perception of people towards first-hand interaction instead of online articles.  I was told Speaker Ralston’s office “would get back to me.”  I’ll be right here with bated breath.

Also at this morning Eggs & Issues breakfast…

…sponsored by the Georgia Chamber, every state officer present was asked to stand and be recognized. All but one, that is. School Superintendent John Barge was left out.

The slight was apparently unintentional. Barge was belatedly introduced after a speech by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. But for a few minutes, everyone wondered whether it was another sign of the high-profile split between Barge and the rest of the state GOP leadership over charter schools. More than a few lawmakers have hinted that the school superintendent will see some punishment in his budget.

Baker January 16, 2013 at 10:25 am

Good way to run policy & budgets: Cut State Dept of Ed b/c of previous policy disagreement with Superintnendent.

Sounds like this group is really trying to be serious about the problems we’re facing and putting away the pettiness of past years.

stillaskeptic January 16, 2013 at 10:35 am

“people you don’t personally know – who aren’t real” – well said.

The Last Democrat in Georgia January 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

“Booze and tobacco dropped from menu……We’re told that both alcohol and stogies have been removed from this afternoon’s festivities honoring David Shafer, R-Duluth, the Senate’s newly elected leader.”

It’s good to see that the Legislature and those affiliated with them are attempting to be more sensitive about what they do, at least what they do in public view, anyways. Though it is regrettable to see the end of a tradition that is as delightful as Bloody Marys and cigars.

Jackster January 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm

So does that mean that they’ll need to provide their own booze and tobacco?

All I’m saying is we should just combine food, booze, and tobacco and serve magic brownies; what better way to lobby for legalization of weed than a room full of high flying officials.

cheapseats January 16, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Bloody Marys and cigars are two tastes that I like a lot but not together – ugh! Scotch, rye, bourbon, brandy/cognac/dry port with cigars is fine but, dear lawd! Tomato juice is just wrong with a fine smoke.

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