Over at the Macon Telegraph, on the political blog Lucid Idiocy, Travis Fain has the announcement by state Rep. Larry O’Neal, the Republican from Warner Robins that he’s a candidate to replace Glenn Richardson as House speaker.
O’Neal, who has been fighting the flu most of this week, said he emailed his colleagues in the House today to tell them “that I intend to seek the speakership.”
“What we need the most right now is somebody to calm things down. …” said O’Neal, chairman of the House’s tax-code-writing committee, Ways and Means. “We can’t have any distractions. We’re facing (an economic) situation I’ve not known in my life time, and I’m a pretty old guy.”
O’Neal’s close friendship with Gov. Sonny Perdue is well known. We’re also hearing that House Majority Leader Jerry Keen of St. Simons Island, who looks to be the top surviving Republican in the leadership, is backing O’Neal.
Reverberations from Richardson’s resignation, largely rising out of an affair he had with an Atlanta Gas Light lobbyist, continued to penetrate the 2010 race for governor on Wednesday.
The relationship between money and the Legislature is on the minds of many.
Some kind soul was good enough to send this copy of a fund-raising letter sent by Republican campaign for governor Eric Johnson, over the signatures of five former colleagues in the Senate: President pro tem Tommie Williams of Lyons, Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock, Caucus Chair Dan Moody of Dunwoody, and Rules Chairman Don Balfour of Snellville.
On Dec. 16, $1,000 will get you private time with Johnson at the Ansley Golf Club.
Also Wednesday, former Gov. Roy Barnes decided that angst in the state Capitol was important enough to interrupt himself, in an e-mail to supporters:
I had planned on emailing you today to encourage you to visit our revamped website.
However, like many Georgians this week, I have other things weighing on my mind.
During my travels across our state, many of you have expressed to me your disappointment in the culture of corruption that seems to run rampant under the Gold Dome, and I share your dismay. Just last week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that lobbyists have spent $1.3 million to entertain and influence our state’s public officials this year alone.
When I hear this news, I think about the hardworking Georgians I’ve met over the last several months – folks who need state leadership on their side now more than ever – and frankly, I’m more than just disappointed. I’m fed up.
Instead of standing up for the citizens of our state, it seems that our elected officials are looking out for the special interest groups that foot the bill for luxurious out-of-town trips, high-priced meals, and extravagant outings to sporting events and concerts…and it needs to stop.
Worth noting: No mention of Republicans or the Republican party.
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