Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Leadership Elections

Today, the Democratic House Caucus elected Rep. DuBose Porter minority leader, Rep. Carolyn Hugley minority whip, Rep. Calvin Smyre caucus chair, and Rep. Nikki Randall caucus vice chair. They also elected a treasurer and secretary, but I do not have those names at this time.

In Bibb, the local delegation met this morning at Cheddars and elected Sen. Cecil Staton chair and Rep. Allen Freeman vice chair. Rep. David Lucas was past chair, and this shift reflects two things. First, following the losses of Benedict and Perera, Republicans now control the local delegation. Second, until today, leadership in the local delegation has been decided by seniority. No more. Senator Staton has sponsored some of the most egregious legislation to ever hit the floor (or fail to hit the floor) of the Assembly. His greatest hits include Voter ID and a bill that would have given developers taxing authority. I think it would be fun to total the cost to taxpayers for defending the various pieces of unconstitutional legislation he has sponsored.

It's going to be quite a session. While some Republicans say this will be a 'gentle' session, I don't think these guys can help themselves. Look for legislation restricting or banning abortion, restricting gay adoption, putting a constitutional amendment on voter id on the ballot, increasing the rights of developers and restructuring of the tax code to benefit their big business buddies. Maybe Democrats should just get out of the way, vote their conscience and let these guys show Georgians their true colors. Do you really think that if they had passed SB 5 and HB 318 (the secrecy legislation) that Georgians would've sent them back to the capitol?


Tim said...

you can expect a constitutional amendment to change from income to sales tax

Amy Morton said...

Oh, yes. That, too. Because they care so deeply for Georgia families. To what degree should elected dems continue to "fix" legislation for them? We have prevented them from passing somed bills that would've been awful, but then, the average Georgian would've thought so, too. Is it time to step back and let them make their mess? That's risky, but worse than this? I am thinking about issues like the secrecy legislation that was pulled in 2005 and the insurance bill that initially did not include coverage for mammography etc. Do we just vote no and let this stuff though so that voters understand their agenda? Or do we want our legislators to continue to "fix" the most awful parts of bills, before they become law?

Kathy said...

Well, on the one hand it's tempting to just take our hands off the brakes and let the Republican train run on through with their true colors flying. But when you consider that children and old folks and low income people are sitting on the tracks, we cannot in conscience fail to do everything we can to at least slow the engine down.

It is frustrating that people don't have better sense than to re elect Boss Hawg and his cohort Larry "Roscoe P. Coltrane" O'Neal. When people vote against their own best interest like that, it is tempting to let them stew in a pot of their own making.

Having said that, Democrats have always been the "good guys" who took care of those who needed help. That perception has been grossly distorted by the opposition on hot button issues I will not belabor here. So we have not only a duty here, but an opportunity to be "the good guys" again. Unless our elected dems have also had the apparent "conscience-ectomy" that Republicans surely must have undergone as a group, they will be unable to sit by and watch this trainwreck without attempting to sidetrack it, whether it does any good or not.

Kathy said...

The rabid Repubs will no doubt be "partying down" and submitting all manner of legislation designed to enrich and pander to the already conspicuously well-heeled.

But as far as abortion and gay rights legislation goes, I believe they will introduce only legislation that they absolutely know will never be deemed constitutional. As you pointed out, they have a two year term. This will give them the opportunity to bluster about family values, whine about "liberal control" and most importantly, retain these hot button issues for next time around.

They know they have nothing to offer the average voter except the illusion that they are taking the high moral ground. If ever these two issues came off the table, the emperor's nakedness would be exposed so plainly that few voters could fail to see it.