Your morning jolt: Our very own Denny Hastert situation

Exactly why Mark Burkhalter decided against pursuing the House speakership relinquished by Glenn Richardson is a topic that has yet to be fully explored.

“As has been reported, I have personally been pursuing other career opportunities for several months. Out of respect and fairness for our Caucus and the House of Representatives, I want to be transparent about my career interests and let a process commence for the election of a new speaker,” the Speaker pro tem said in an e-mail dispatched to House GOP caucus members last night.

This is apparently a reference to Burkhalter’s pursuit of the high-paying executive directorship of the Georgia World Congress Center. The problem is that Burkhalter let it be known last week that he had removed his name from consideration for the GWCC post.

It’s a contradiction that requires resolution.

Otherwise, one must assume that something else is afoot, and that the state Republican party may be facing its most damaging crisis since the GOP first grabbed power in 2002.

Republicans are using the language of scandal, and not just in reference to Richardson – whose affair with an Atlanta Gas Light lobbyist came to light after an attempted suicide and some televised payback from his ex-wife.

Last night, state Rep. Rich Golick of Smyrna, who is entering his 12th year at the Capitol, said that he’s considering a run for one of the top leadership posts now available. Maybe speaker, maybe not.

But it was the way Golick said it that mattered. “What we need now is stability, maturity and experience,” Golick said. “What we need is a Denny Hastert at every slot.”

That is a historical reference to the collapse of the U.S. House speakership of Newt Gingrich in 1998, after a poor mid-year performance and emerging details of an extra-marital affair. The speakership devolved upon Bob Livingston of Louisiana, who was unanimously chosen by Republicans to replace Gingrich.

Livingston was gone in a matter of days, after his own extra-marital indescretions came to light. Like Gingrich’s, they came while House Republicans pushed the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for sins committed in the company of Monica Lewinsky.

Hastert, a congressman from Illiniois, was brought in as a reliable third choice to stabilize a situation that was quickly coming apart. So invoking his name means something.

One female Republican veteran this morning is suggesting that, given the current zipper situation, House GOP members consider a woman for speaker – Jan Jones of Alpharetta or Donna Sheldon of Dacula.

Also consider the entry of state Rep. Larry O’Neal of Warner Robins into the mix for speaker. He’s an older gentleman — soft-spoken and well-versed in budgetary matters. That he is very close to Gov. Sonny Perdue may handicap him with some Republican members of the House. (O’Neal’s candidacy would also revive discussion of that 2005 retroactive tax break the governor enjoyed.)

But the fact that Perdue would inject himself (even tangentially) in the speaker’s contest is a measure of how seriously the situation is being taken, as a threat to Republican hegemony in the state Capitol.

We now have a situation in which Democrats could offer to put their weight behind of the several Republican lawmakers certain to offer themselves up for speakership. To prevent this would require a unified House Republican caucus – a caucus that is currently foundering on exactly what it means to be Republican.

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27 comments Add your comment

Good Government

December 8th, 2009
10:03 am

Speaker Wendell Willard or Austin Scott or Donna Sheldon (give up the long shot campaign for Governor)
Speaker Pro Tem Larry O’Neal or Bobby Reese (give up the long shot campaign for Congress)
Majority Leader Rich Gollick or Barry Loudermilk
Majority Whip Mark Butler or Jay Roberts

Get rid of the corrupt status quo regime

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 8th, 2009
10:03 am

“What it means to be Republican?”

Go along with the Roman Anti-Christ’s “Fifth Column” for whom Bush and Cheney fronted, when every living soul in Georgia is welcome to read “The New Pearl Harbor,” for FREE, by a theologian with a Ph.D. and probity http://files.meetup.com/275335/The%20New%20Pearl%20Harbor.pdf
to know with absolute moral certainty, before G-d Almighty, that 9/11 was a “Reichstag Fire Redux” and Bush and Cheney, with the Gay Old Pervert party at their side, committed it as High Treason.G

It’s called Misprision of Treason.

Wonder why Karen C. Handel doesn’t let on as to her maiden name or religion? G-d knows why she doesn’t have any children.

Capitol Hack

December 8th, 2009
10:06 am

If Burkhalter turns down a $400K+ a yr. job at the GWCC for the Speaker’s job at $95K a yr., the membership would rightly question whether he’s smart enough to be Speaker.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 8th, 2009
10:17 am

How good to have someone of honor and nobility who prefers service to The People and Nation glorifying G-d, rather than mere money.

If Chapman admits Bush and Cheney committed 9/11 and helps do something about it, he may be a possibility.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 8th, 2009
10:19 am

Look at how much good Tiger Woods’ money has done his name.

GoOx

December 8th, 2009
10:19 am

So glad my man Ox isn’t caught up in all this “zipper” stuff.

This could be a great opportunity for Austin to actually win an election vs. getting pummeled by my man Ox.

Carter is a Fool

December 8th, 2009
10:37 am

Sharon Cooper would also be a good choice.

Lucas

December 8th, 2009
10:42 am

Isn’t Ox caught up enough in that $120k of campaign contributions from insurance companies he’s ostensibly supposed to regulate?

tc

December 8th, 2009
10:54 am

why is salary so high for new director for wcc? aren’t we in a recession. the outgoing fellow has been doing it for a zillion years. so why should the new hire get what the departing fellow got? how much does the #2 make at wcc and how many years on that job? anyone know?

how is it a real estate developer/legislator is a leading candidate for some running a convention center other than its state affiliation?

Sally Austin

December 8th, 2009
11:02 am

If you think Sharon Cooper would make a good Speaker, then you have never been to one of her Health and Human Services committee meetings. She may be the worst Chairperson in the House.

A woman is not a bad idea, but why did Donna Sheldon and Jan Jones support Glenn Richardson for so long? They need to address that.

I still think David Ralston is the person best fit to lead.

Al Bundy

December 8th, 2009
11:15 am

This should be a case study of what happens when you vote for people to run your government, who openly despise it.

tc

December 8th, 2009
11:20 am

but then want jobs in government once they leave general assembly. we ought to have a revolving door policy.

A woman for Speaker? — Peach Pundit

December 8th, 2009
11:52 am

[...] out, ideas are being floated left and right. One idea that’s popped up this morning is of a woman for Speaker of the House: One female Republican veteran this morning is suggesting that, given the current zipper situation, [...]

Al Bundy

December 8th, 2009
12:01 pm

@ Handel Backer- In case you needed proof to try and refute my statement. She didn’t deny some counties’ request for more voting machines, she just never responded to their request.

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/stories//2008/10/26/advancevote_1026.html

bulldog

December 8th, 2009
12:23 pm

The old guard is scrambling. I think they are afraid David Ralston will clean up the House. Too bad the people can’t vote on this position. Ralston would win in a landslide.

The General

December 8th, 2009
12:40 pm

From your article, “while House Republicans pushed the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for sins committed in the company of Monica Lewinsky.”

No, Mr. Galloway, his impeachment was for lying to Congress, not about his affair with Lewinsky. Please do better than revisionist history on this recent scandal.

Intown lib

December 8th, 2009
12:56 pm

No one from the North Fulton delegation should be elected speaker (or governor for that matter). They would just use the position to attack the City of Atlanta and dismember Fulton County thereby dividing our state at a critical time for water and transportation issues.

RetiredSoldier

December 8th, 2009
1:09 pm

Good catch General. I’m surprised JG didn’t say the impreachment was about “is”.

Intown lib

December 8th, 2009
1:36 pm

General: I thought it was for lying under oath in a deposition about the sins he committed in the company of Monica Lewinsky in a sexual harrassment suit where the plaintiff was a media hounding trailer trash. A wrong definitely. A high crime worthy of impeachment and weakening the Commander-in-Chief … not really.

[...] the end of the month, and now with Mark Burkhalter saying he is interested isn’t interested is interested in the GWCC Executive Director position, it seems that Majority Leader Jerry Keen is left with the [...]

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 8th, 2009
2:04 pm

“The General?”

Yeah, general hogwash.

tc

December 8th, 2009
2:52 pm

sounds like if burkhalter gets wcc job, they are rewarding corruption. again, why is it he is a candidate for director of wcc? graveline had that job since 76 and was a true convention manager when hired. what are burkhalters qualifications to run the wcc? he may be a successful real estate developer, but skill sets are not the same and in this highly competitive economic environment i would think the citizens of ga want the best for the wcc.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 8th, 2009
3:04 pm

Burkhalter pulled his name from consideration for the WCC job. He should have it now that he’s caved before the Republican caucus? Who’s running the show? The corrupt Gay Old Pervert party, or The People of Georgia?

P.S. Any commenters claiming status as military officers, active or retired, had better read “The New Pearl Harbor” and take a position on Bush’s and Cheney’s 9/11 treason; or be known as false men without honor and worthy only of contempt.

AH

December 8th, 2009
6:40 pm

I am sorry, Sharon Cooper is not remotely fit to be Speaker. Every soul at the Capitol and most in Cobb County know Sharon has issues with controling her emotional behavior and outbursts. Not exactly what the Rs need at this moment. Yes, she is a staunch Republican. Yes, she has raised enormous sums of money for Rs. But, Rep. Cooper does have the steady, level tempermament needed (especially at this point in time)for the position of Speaker. Just attend one of her meetings. Self-explanatory from that point on.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 8th, 2009
6:50 pm

Given the multi-generational, serial treasons committed by the Gay Old Pervert faction’s leaders (viz. finance of Hitler; assassinations of Kennedy and KIng for false war on behalf of Rome in Vietnam; 9/11 for false war on behalf of Roman Catholic/Rockefeller Big Oil and the Saudis in Iraq and Afghanistan) “staunch Republican” just means stupid, or, traitor.

The “object” is to be American: Understanding and obeying The Creed’s three Mottoes is all that is required to accomplish it.

Death for Treason
Reason for America

[...] unless some drastic things happen. Into those cauldrons, names such as David Ralston, Rich Golick, Jan Jones, and Clay Cox have been thrown – which Golick and Cox officially in the races. I already said [...]

[...] But clean isn’t the only criterion, and members need to think holistically about their next leaders. Right now there is an urgent impulse for “stability, maturity and experience…a Denny Hastert at every slot,” as Rep. Rich Golick, a Smyrna Republican and candidate for speaker pro tempore, has put it. [...]