Glenn Richardson and the 2010 race for governor

Secretary of State Karen Handel, a GOP candidate for governor, just issued this statement calling for the resignation of House Speaker Glenn Richardson:

I am saddened and disappointed that the current situation has reached this point. It is clear that the Speaker should resign immediately for the good of our state and our citizens. Georgia is facing difficult problems that require leadership and focus. In this climate, the people’s business is simply not being done.

Certainly, public officials are entitled to privacy. However, as public officials, we accept a higher level of scrutiny and responsibility and are held to a higher standard — and rightly so. When ethical lapses occur, immediate and decisive action is required.

We have a responsibility to show – through words and deeds – that we are upholding the highest ethical standards. We also have a responsibility to hold our selves – and each other – accountable. Failure to do so serves only to undermine the trust the people have placed in their elected officials.

Read that statement carefully. This part bears repeating: “We also have a responsibility to hold our selves – and each other – accountable.”

Regardless of what happens to House Speaker Glenn Richardson next, his troubles are likely to have a bearing on the 2010 race for governor.

Handel is hinting at the fact that the 2007 legislative ethics panel that originally dismissed a complaint against Richardson — charging that he had an “improper relationship” with an AGL lobbyist — was headed by then-state Sen. Eric Johnson of Savannah.

Who is now one of Handel’s several rivals in the governor’s race.

Also Thursday, another GOP candidate for governor drew a line.

Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Austin Scott (R-Tifton), a 2010 candidate for governor, said Thursday that House Speaker Glenn Richardson (R-Hiram) needs to act or Republicans will act for him.

“I know the (House Republican) caucus is going to do the right thing and there will be new leadership shortly,” Scott told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.

When state Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) challenged Richardson for his job last year, Scott was among the speaker’s first and most vociferous defenders.

He signed one endorsement:

Supporter of Glenn Richardson Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.

But State Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, yet another GOP candidate for governor, has decided to stay out of the fray, and criticized Handel for jumping in:

I call on all Georgians of faith to pray for wisdom and grace for our state leaders in this hour of difficulty. No Georgia House members need nor require candidates exploiting this issue for political gain. I have confidence the majority caucus and the House as an institution will deal with this current situation.

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20 comments Add your comment

[...] in moments. Jim Galloway has the release: I consider Glenn Richardson a friend, and clearly, the entire family has been through a great [...]

[...] Secretary of State Karen Handel, also a 2010 GOP gubernatorial hopeful. “It is clear that the Speaker should resign immediately for the good of our state and our citizens,” she says. [...]


December 3rd, 2009
10:16 am

Another typical GOP move – no loyalty and self-serving. Some things never change.


December 3rd, 2009
10:25 am

And soon we will learn that Eric Johnson is also tangentially involved with Cagle’s abandonment of the race for Governor. Seems to me that Mr. Johnson has been pulling everyone’s strings.

Al Bundy

December 3rd, 2009
10:30 am

Compassionate conservatism at its best. Or did that slogan die out right after the 2000 election?

GA Peach

December 3rd, 2009
10:49 am

Why is it that the ethics complaint filed in 2007 by democrats about this same affair was dismissed by Republicans? Because they are hypocrites who do not believe in holding each other accountable until forced to do so, or until it becomes politically advantageous. This state is becoming a joke.


December 3rd, 2009
11:04 am

More of a joke than under Tom Murphy? I don’t think so. When these things reach a tipping point it takes several days for the person in question to understand he is gone, either by resignation or be forced out. Either way Richardson will be gone shortly.

BTW, I’m so glad the Dems never have ethical problems. Gt real Ga Peach, both sides have ethical problems.


December 3rd, 2009
11:10 am

What’s up with the partisan sniping? Helloooo…ALL politicians are like this to one degree or another!


December 3rd, 2009
11:41 am

True leadership here. Handel has always been willing to step up and do the right thing. She stood alone in the Jackie Barret case


December 3rd, 2009
11:45 am

Send David Ralston the mop and broom to begin cleaning the House of Representatives!


December 3rd, 2009
12:32 pm

Mr. Richardson gets his comeuppance. Instead of so steadfastly examining what’s going on in my bedroom (i.e. the anti-gay-marriage amendment position), perhaps he should have been a little more attentive about the moral implications of whatever was going on in HIS bedroom, or that of his mistress, or that of whatever hotel room at which they had their out-of-marriage trysts.


December 3rd, 2009
1:27 pm

Nice, Handel steps up, and Oxendine waffles. Whether Oxendine likes it or not, this has become a politcal issue.


December 3rd, 2009
2:07 pm

Oh for the good old days when democrats ran the state and Georgia was well respected. Wise up folks.

professional skeptic

December 3rd, 2009
2:57 pm

As I posted at Gold Dome Live:
John Oxendine doesn’t want to comment because he’s not exactly squeaky clean himself. He took illegal campaign contributions, his daddy is an ex-judge who’s as crooked as they come, and apples don’t fall far from the tree.

Old Fart

December 3rd, 2009
3:31 pm

Thank you, Karen. Politicians are rock-bottom in respect because of their self-serving, “you-scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours” mentality only focused on winning the next election. I appreciate that Karen has taken a stand on this issue, as she has in others, that looks out for the best interest of Georgia’s citizens. I am saddened by Mr. Richardson’s situation but not to the point of wanting to continue paying his salary & benefits, and putting all action on hold until he recovers. Think about it — if General McChrystal was injured (mentally or physcally) to the of being “combat-ineffective”, how long do you think he should stay in command? Mr. Richardson should have done the honorable thing and resigned when all of this first came up. He knows that. I know that. And Karen Handel knows it. You probably know it, too. Right?


December 4th, 2009
8:50 am

my, my….Speaker Richardson’s demise reminds us once again of the similar demise of Newt Gingrich….same old same old….you don’t have to worry about beating them when they become “leaders”….they self-destruct…

Dafuskie Island

December 4th, 2009
10:16 am

If Handel will keep her mouth shut all this can turn out to be good for business.


December 4th, 2009
12:35 pm

Hypocrisy knows no political boundaries. It lives in all political parties, to some degree. But to present oneself as a defender of moral righteousness in public and then to engage in such behavior as swearing to “bring all hell down” on someone for interfering with an agenda of a personal natural in lieu of an agenda for the good of the State is the height of Hyprocrisy. People of this ilk, and those that continue to support them even after they’ve been publicly exposed, is a major reason the state of all of our politics, local, state, and national, are in such dire shape.

Jerry L. Cox

[...] candidate, Secretary of State Karen Handel, has already reminded Georgians that one of her rivals, former state senator Eric Johnson, chaired the ethics panel that [...]

Silver Bullet

January 5th, 2010
6:01 pm

Georgia is last in everythig. Except scandals and insider profiteering using the taxpayers’ money.
Georgia is in the worst shape in bond debt of ANY state in the nation..why is that? Because the Ga Supreme Court decided it was ok for Authorities to get backing from the taxing power of the counties…DOH…in opposition to why Authorities were set up by the legislature in the first place…to stand on their own with revenues generated by the Authorities to repay their debt.
THIS IS JOB ONE FOR THE LEGISLATURE…fix this loophole…when you look at the numbers (ALL BAD) from the results of this politically motivated Court decision then even Forest Gump would know something was wrong! a shame. We are victims of our own educational system..that is precisely why our state is a disaster. Look at the candidates who offer for office. They were educated in Georgia!
I could go on but I am sure most of you already know about most of these train wrecks. But on the subject of train wrecks I suppose that you also know that reservoirs in Georgia are not about water. They are about insiders finding out, through their politically connected pals, where these reservoirs are going to be before anyone else knows. They go out and buy cheap ’swampland’ for several thousand dollar per acre and when taxpayer dollars, amounting to a HALF BILLION DOLLARS, sell their waterfront lots for $200,000.00 per acre.
There are no water wars if we werent forced by these money hungry politicians to build them.
Many cities around the world use ULTRA FILTRATION and recycle their water to a cleaner stage than we drink here everyday. An ultra filtration plant to produce 50 mgd costs about 50 million dollars. A reservoir to produce 10 mgd costs about half a billion.
These are just a few of the underhanded, dirty political dealing projects that happen every day in Georgia…from the city to the county to the state level.
And nobody does anything except to meet up with their lobbiest pals and get perks while the citizens toil and get nothing for their efforts. Boot all the bums out and start over…and over…and over if we dont fix it it wont get fixed.
Richardson is the tip of a huge iceberg…he is just one of the unlucky ones who got caught.
And in conclusion, as a news reporter, I once was told that by a prostitute that prostitutes come in from other states by the droves when the Georgia Legislature convienes…I was doing a story on that business and also realized at the time the government could shut these escort services down overnight but they are afraid it may “Hurt our convention business”. Ok enuff said.