An accelerated race for House speaker

Gov. Sonny Perdue greets state House members just before the doors were closed. John Spink/jspink@ajc.com

Gov. Sonny Perdue greets state House members just before the doors were closed. John Spink/jspink@ajc.com

Updated at 12:45 p.m.: Gov. Sonny Perdue, whose last session of the Legislature could be derailed by an out-of-control fight to replace Speaker Glenn Richardson, made a surprise visit to a closed-door meeting of the House Republican caucus.

My AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin has details at Gold Dome Live.

Perdue has left, and the GOP lawmakers remain behind closed doors. One thing we’ve picked up: Republicans just finished a vote that accelerates the election of a caucus candidate for speaker to next Thursday, Dec. 17.

(This post originally said the election had been moved to Tuesday, Dec. 15. And that was the plan going into the meeting.)

House Speaker pro tem Mark Burkhalter, who we did not see present in the assembly, had originally set a date of Dec. 21.

Candidates for speaker at this point include Larry O’Neal, David Ralston, and Bill Hembree.

The new date will make for a very busy weekend — but might settle the issue and allow preparations for the January session to continue apace.

As he exited the meeting, the governor was asked if he were backing O’Neal, a personal friend from Houston County, for the position of speaker. The governor said no — and almost said he wasn’t backing anyone in the contest, but interrupted himself.

O’Neal, who encountered a flu bug this week, was not present.

“They’ll get it right, because that’s what representative government does. They’re a little unsteady right now, but they’ll regain that confidence as they pick leadership going forward to work with the executive branch,” Perdue said.

The governor said he doesn’t think the Richardson resignation — driven by an affair with a lobbyist, an attempted suicide, and an ex-wife’s retribution — has hurt the Republican brand.

“Sometimes, we don’t understand the degree that other people are worried about their kids’ education, their job, their health care. These sort of internal battles — I think as long as they get their act together and go forward and get their feet under them, I don’t think there’s been any damage,” he said.

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26 comments Add your comment

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 11th, 2009
12:10 pm

“Get their act together?” “Acting” like men, and Georgians – not being.

Draft-dodging panty-waists, philistines, adulterers, traitors and thieves: All Birds of Feather going along with the Roman Anti-Christ W.T. Sherman brought to town some time ago.

Feats of Strength on Tuesday — Peach Pundit

December 11th, 2009
12:19 pm

[...] From our unwilling PP Corespondent Jim Galloway: Gov. Sonny Perdue, whose last session of the Legislature could be derailed by an out-of-control fight to replace Speaker Glenn Richardson, made a surprise visit to a closed-door meeting of the House Republican caucus. [...]

Steve

December 11th, 2009
12:34 pm

I see you’re not reporting the fact that the caucus had to vote to close the meeting over objections by the media – so much for Georgia Republicans improving their credibility.

Hello

December 11th, 2009
12:35 pm

Obviously abuse of office and ethical violations are not of any major concern to our Governor, they are just “distractions.” Business as usual here in the banana republic of Georgia. Did he really think Richardson had an affair with a lobbyist in 2007 because he was worried about his kids’ education, his job or health care? And that all the state leadership knew about it but steadfastly ignored it?

Elmer

December 11th, 2009
12:39 pm

These folks strongly believe in conducting the public’s business behind closed doors. It’s how they operate.

Jim Galloway

December 11th, 2009
12:53 pm

The press getting the boot wasn’t unexpected. Caucus meetings, whether held by Republicans or Democrats, are rarely opened to the public. But Aaron Gould Sheinin has the ouster of press types covered over at Gold Dome Live: http://blogs.ajc.com/gold-dome-live/2009/12/11/house-caucus-gathers/?cxntfid=blogs_gold_dome_live

Jim

December 11th, 2009
1:39 pm

Will Jones,

Do you ever have anything intelligent to say? You rant about nothing of value all the time. Say something of worth or get the heck off these blogs.

Jim

Lawton Sack

December 11th, 2009
2:17 pm

Yes, as a Georgia Republican, I can say that this harmed “the Republican brand.”

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 11th, 2009
2:32 pm

Jim
December 11th, 2009
1:39 pm

Your attempt to shield the draft-dodging philistines, pederasts, adulterers and traitors of the bi-partisan false-elite masquerading as “lawyers,” and “Republicans,” is duly noted. Perhaps you, too, are one.

RetiredSoldier

December 11th, 2009
3:31 pm

Elmer-

I assume you have as harsh an opinion of the U.S. senate democrats and how they are handling the health care bill? Galloway is right, caucus meetings for both parties are closed to the press.

Republicrat_Slave

December 11th, 2009
3:39 pm

“Keep moving, there is nothing going on here. We got this. Everything is under control. This (s)election will be handled like all other (s)elections. Go back to sleep America, there is nothing going on here; nothing here to see.”

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

December 11th, 2009
4:11 pm

The United States senate is a joke.

Old Hippie

December 11th, 2009
4:42 pm

Maybe the GOP caucus should elect Dubose Porter speaker – at least he could get something constructive done.

RetiredSoldier

December 11th, 2009
5:10 pm

Old Hippie-

Nope, don’t think so. Porter is more interested in finishing 4th in a 4 person democratic primary for Gov.

speak the truth

December 11th, 2009
5:43 pm

The Governor is being quite myopic saying that this has not damaged the party. That may be his wish but just saying it doesn’t make it so.

Ludowici

December 11th, 2009
6:26 pm

I think Richardson’s actions have hurt “the Republican brand”…and I don’t think that Sonny’s fish ponds, or his and Larry’s land deals and tax scams have helped it either.

Base

December 11th, 2009
9:16 pm

What a bunch of ego manics,they are all incompetent.They all need to be booted out of office.

Elector

December 12th, 2009
11:55 am

Interesting how the folks who are outraged by Glen Richardson’s affair rush to looked the other way when the President of the United States has an affair with an intern and lied about it. Over and over again.
Or our Current president appointing a overt communist to be the green jobs czar.
Or the democratic senator from LA storing bribery money in his freezer.
Or the democratic senator from CN taking a sweetheart financing deal from Countrywide while he was supposed to be regulating the industry.
Or the democratic senator from MA who had an sexual liaison with a page and was commended by his caucus for his action.
Or the safe schools czar appointed by the current democratic president who advocates sex with children
Shall we go on? We can fill the limit.

Try Me

December 12th, 2009
12:32 pm

What about the Democratic senator from MT who had his girlfriend appointed US Attorney and then got her a big raise and travels with her.
All of the Democrat outrage seems a little forced.

Vivian Voter

December 12th, 2009
12:34 pm

It saddens me that these “transgressions” continue to happen on both sides of the aisle and all levels of government and society.
We have a dearth of leadership in this country. We have very few people who will choose to do the right thing and it is harming this entire nation.

SpaceyG on Twitter

December 12th, 2009
2:07 pm

The only “out of control” fight Georgia Republicans in positions of great leadership ever had was a fiery debate, behind closed doors of course, over who had the best boob job over at the Pink Pony: Crystal or Tiffany.

cletus T Rockafella

December 12th, 2009
3:07 pm

“Draft-dodging panty-waists, philistines, adulterers, traitors and thieves: All Birds of Feather going along with the Roman Anti-Christ W.T. Sherman brought to town some time ago”

Well, jeez, that would be: Bush #2, Clinton, Carter, LBJ, Will Jones, Ted Turner, Cheney, and most democraps & repuklicans.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

December 12th, 2009
6:27 pm

“CTR,” your joke-name and anonymity is perfectly understandable.

Ludowici

December 12th, 2009
7:08 pm

Elector, it’s not necessarily that he had an affair, but it’s who he that affair with. Some people are tired of corruption in both parties. I guess your okay with it as long as its a Republican?

WoDawg

December 12th, 2009
9:10 pm

Attaboy, Ludowici. It also has something to do with the Speaker’s carrying the water for legislation favoring the employer of the lady he was bedding.

[...] new date will make … Read more Here An accelerated race for House speaker By Jim Galloway Yaab Tagged as: Aaron Gould, AJC, bill hembree, david ralston, Dec, election, [...]