State Rep. Larry O’Neal, the Republican from Houston County and probably the leading candidate for House speaker, just sent the note below.
If elected, “there will be no witch hunts,” he writes. On the other hand, O’Neal hints at a significant shake-up in the House.
Here’s what he wrote:
As you may know, I am recovering from a serious case of the flu that turned into pneumonia, and answered some questions at Travis Fain’s request while in the hospital that became a story now posted on your blog. I am on the mend now, but I wanted to offer some additional comments that might give a fuller picture of my campaign for speaker.
We must elect a calm, competent, experienced speaker, since we will immediately leave this speaker’s election and face a massive budget deficit that matters much more to Georgia taxpayers than any caucus election. I believe that I represent that kind of leadership.
Once we turn to that issue after the speaker’s election, I want to be clear how I will operate as speaker: I will set a high ethical standard that will apply to all members equally. No one will be “above the law,” including myself.
Accordingly, I will be re-evaluating all committee chairmen before the session to ensure they have met that standard, and decisively make changes if required. There will be no witch hunts, but no committee chairman will be exempt from this review, no matter how important the committee or chairman.
I want to make no further public comments on my views on the speaker’s race until I speak directly to the members of the caucus.
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