One day after a return to the state Senate, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will walk across the street again this morning for a visit to the state House – with considerably more pomp.
Reed, who served in both chambers during 12 years in the Legislature, will be escorted by a formal House committee of escort that might as well be waving olive branches. That’s how loaded down with symbolism they’ll be.
House Speaker David Ralston has asked that state Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), who ran against him in the formal House vote for speaker, accompany the mayor.
And Reed has asked that the escort party include state Rep. Ralph Long, a Democrat who last year had the honor of being the only elected official to support Mary Norwood in the Atlanta mayoral contest.
After his address to the House, Reed goes to the Atlanta Press Club, where he’ll outline the basics of his administration.
Not enough has been made of House Speaker David Ralston’s appearance in the Senate on Wednesday – the first such visit by a speaker in my memory.
The official occasion was to (somewhat sardonically) congratulate Ralston for becoming the first former member of the Senate to be elected House speaker.
Ralston served six years in the chamber before leaving to run for attorney general in 1998. That attempt failed, of course, and the north Georgia lawyer took a seat in the House.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle introduced the House speaker, who essentially promised to question no one’s manhood during the coming weeks:
“Lieutenant Governor Cagle and I, and many members of this body, have had discussions over the past few weeks about the need – I think, really – the demand by the people in this state that we work together to solve some of the problems that we face as a people here in Georgia.”
Ralston made reference to his unsuccessful attempt in 2008 to oust Glenn Richardson from the speaker’s post, and a change in atmosphere:
Thirteen months ago, I was a carcass on the side of the road, politically. And now here we are… I think what has meant more to me than anything is having members in the House and even over here tell me that they enjoy coming to work again. That means more than anything.
Doug Richards over at 11Alive has this piece on a speedway executive up in Dawson County who has promised free admission to drivers tagged with heavy fines under Gov. Sonny Perdue’s new superspeeder law:
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