State Rep. Bill Hembree of Winston, one of several candidates for House speaker, sent the letter below to the Republican membership on Friday.
Hembree’s communication isn’t as detailed as the platform sent out by state Rep. Larry O’Neal sent to House members – no promises to do away with the hawk system or dissolve the speaker’s political action committee.
However, it’s fair to say that Hembree puts a larger emphasis on the moral issues raised by the Glenn Richardson situation. And like O’Neal, Hembree promises not to embarrass his colleagues:
In less than one week we will come together again to choose a new Speaker. This is an opportunity for each member of this caucus to vote their conscience and to put this week’s rhetoric into action. We cannot afford to continue down the path of talking about family values and ethics reform on the campaign trail but turn a blind eye at the State Capitol. It must end now and it must start in the Speaker’s office.
The 2010 Legislative Session is only a few weeks away and we know that it will present many challenges. The state’s budget will occupy much of our time but we will also have to address transportation, ongoing water issues, and joblessness just to name a few. With so much important to work be done, we cannot afford any further distractions or disgraces. We must clean up the House, clean up our image, and most importantly clean up our actions. We cannot allow the 2010 Legislative Session to begin with any questionable ethics charges lingering and overshadowing the work our constituents elected us to do.
I am asking again for your support and for your vote to lead the House as your next Speaker. I am a God fearing man and a family man first, and a state legislator second. I am not seeking this position for personal gain, power or prestige. I am asking for the honor of serving as your Speaker because I believe that now more than ever we need honest, ethical and moral leadership and I can provide just that leadership. I will not embarrass you, abuse the position or the authority entrusted to the office of the Speaker, pursue a personal agenda or use the services provided to the office to benefit myself or my family.
As your Speaker, I will be open and honest with you. I will make myself and my staff available to not only hear your concerns but to address them as well. As your Speaker, I will conduct myself in a manner that each member of this caucus, the Georgia House of Representatives and all of Georgia can take pride in and I will set the standard to be followed by others.
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