Top Democrats And AG Olens To Decide Fate Of Rep Tyrone Brooks

The three person panel that will decide if indicted State Representative Tyrone Brooks will be suspended will have a majority from his own party, reports Aaron Gould Sheinin via Jim Galloway:

Deal named Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, D-Tucker, and House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, to the three-member panel. The state Constitution calls for the committee to decide if the charges against Brooks makes him unfit for office.

Interesting position for Democratic leaders who have been quite willing to join forces with those of us who have been quite willing to criticize and call for punishment of those breaking rules on the majority’s side of the aisle.  The fate of how they handle a criminal charge against one of their own as it is adjudicated is now solidly in Democratic hands.

3 comments

  1. George Chidi says:

    A pattern is emerging.

    When called on to remove the DeKalb school board, he replaced them with (arguably) higher caliber board members, without changing the political or the racial composition of the board. The message was pretty clear: he didn’t want to make the removal of a black elected official a partisan thing.

    And now this.

    Even as I puzzle through Deal’s exasperating response to the south Georgia prom stuff, it’s becoming clear to me that he’s sensitive to his party’s long-term “outreach” problem with nonwhite voters, and he’s trying to limit the ammunition opponents can use later.

    Brooks needs to resign right bloody well now, of course, to limit the damage to the party. A resignation would allow for a replacement to be elected. If he is removed, his seat remains open, leaving Republicans’ constitutional majority one skinny vote short. Brooks knows this, but he’s not going anywhere as long as he thinks a resignation might be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with the prosecutor.

    The minority leaders in both houses are quite aware of that. By putting it on them, Deal is asking the Democratic Party to make a rank Realpolitik decision. If they keep him, they can be credibly accused of suborning corruption because it’s politically expedient. If they chuck him, they damage Democrats’ political defenses and might be accused by black Democrats of doing Deal’s dirty work for him. I don’t envy the decision Henson and Abrams have before them.

  2. Harry says:

    Sometimes I need it spelled out. Why would Brooks negotiations with a prosecutor be enhanced if he refuses to resign? Seems to me that by not resigning it would tend to hurt rather than help him in the eyes of a prosecutor. Being a member of the legislature is not or should not be a bargaining chip.

    • sockpuppet says:

      @Harry:

      Brooks doesn’t care about how he looks in the eyes of the prosecutor. The prosecutor thinks that he is guilty anyway. Which is, er, why the prosecutor is trying to put him in jail. Also, regardless of what Yates thinks of him personally, her job as a prosecutor is to seek the toughest sentence possible unless there are extenuating circumstances (which there aren’t). So whether she thinks that Brooks is a bad guy or a nice guy who did a bad thing, her approach would be the same.

      “Being a member of the legislature is not or should not be a bargaining chip.” That is not how it works in the real world. His political office and the hopes of avoiding a messy, politically charged trial that might result in a hung jury if Brooks is able to get a favorable one are his only leverage and he is going to use them. If he deludes himself into thinking that he shouldn’t get jail time, then it won’t work. But he can and should use his status as an opportunity to knock a few years off his sentence, for example.

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