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. http://blogs.ajc.com/gold-dome-live/2009/12/03/house-republican-there-will-be-new-leadership-shortly/
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.
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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