Legislative Analysis, Sine Die, by J. A. Davis
The 2005 Georgia legislative
session ended one day short of the allotted 40 days. Some
might consider that an accomplishment in itself.
We at GHC have been pretty critical of a number of issues
and utterances by the leadership of the Republican majority in
both houses along with Governor Perdue. In an effort to show
our sincere effort to be non-partisan, we must in fairness
give some credit where credit is due while maintaining our
criticism for those areas where we have observed variances
from our own beliefs.
The majority can rightfully boast about a record passage of
what they describe as 19 of 20 administration backed bills.
This is by any standards a pretty remarkable scorecard. It is
particularly more impressive when you consider the bills
passed a 60-40 senate and a 55-45 house by an average overall
of, they say, 91%.
At first glance you might surmise the
Republican leadership turned in a pretty effective job for
their team. On the other hand, you might wonder what happened
to the Democratic leadership?
We had hoped to see a new
Democratic focus and the development of a strong two party
representation. We were disappointed to see the rank and file
continue their alliance with the Black Caucus on issues such
as photo ID requirements for voters. The squeals of 'racism!
racism!' from the radical Democrats approach the level of
Ever since the 2000 election, Americans have faced the
prospect of having elections determined in courts. It just
makes sense----especially with the added issue of illegal
immigrants---to pass measures so that the people of Georgia
can have more confidence in the results of their elections.
These same people squealing about the photo ID requirements
are the ones who advocate voting rights for convicted felons
(in prison or elsewhere) and people of illegal status. For
them it seems to be about race and political advantage and the
integrity of the electoral system be damned.
The administration apparently also believes they can ignore
the State flag issue despite the fact that
79% of Georgians support a Fair Vote. As I've suggested
before, some apparently believe that they
are bulletproof on this issue. They really underestimate
the anger and the memory of Georgians on this....especially
when there are extremely dedicated people who will remind the
people relentlessly until November 2006.
The Republicans stubbed their toes on their "secrecy
legislation". This is an opportunity for the opposition. The
other glaring weakness from the administration and the
majority lies in Governor Perdue's endorsement of the Bush-Fox
immigration policies, or lack thereof, and the fact the
Georgia administration accomplished nothing in reform for
This will become more and more costly to all Georgia
taxpayers as welfare programs, greatly heightened public
school costs, emergency medical assistance and Medicaid are
stretched beyond the limits of Georgia taxpayers who have
become the victims of legislative neglect. Both parties share
the blame for this.
Our Georgia Heritage Council website has chronicled the
progress of the various bills which have passed the session
and we invite you to review them. [
Feb. News || Mar.
One bill that finally passed without the blessing of the
administration is the Smoking Ban. The final watered down bill
is pretty confusing and there is some question as to whether
it will be signed or vetoed. The message from the majority is
they want to get the government out of the people's lives, yet
this bill intrudes on the ability of business people to
operate as they see fit, on their property, either smoking or
non smoking in true free enterprise and freedom of choice.
After hearing the debate on the Smoker Ban, we were
disappointed to learn that a number of people who call
themselves Conservatives are just as ignorant of The
Constitution as those they criticize. For my part, I agree
that folks who don't want second hand smoke should have the
free option of avoiding it by choice---but not by government
How did the potential candidates come out of the 2005
session? My own view is that both Democrats Cathy Cox and Big
Mac came out unscathed. Sonny Perdue can take considerable
credit for the outcome of some favorable legislation. A race
between any of the above will be interesting and I believe
close. Majority Leader Bill Stephens, a candidate for
Secretary of State came out well. There may be a surprise in
either this race or for the Democrat side of the Lt.
Governor's race. I'm guessing, but I think Lewis Massey,
former Secretary of State and Democratic Primary candidate for
governor before dropping out to Roy Barnes, may be in the
wings. One of the Republican candidates for Lt. Governor,
Casey Cagle, wasn't hurt in the session and his main rival,
Ralph Reed, was working the halls and developing one of the
best political organizations I've seen since some of my more
active days in politics.
Who lost stature in the session? My vote would be Senate
President Pro Tem Eric Johnson for trying to unsuccessfully
strip the Lt. Governor from making his own staff appointments
and for his continued efforts in pushing Eminent Domain
legislation favoring developers along his part in trying to
extend secrecy in public meetings and disclosures.
I'd be pleased to see the views of our GHC readers on their
own evaluations of the legislative session, the bills passed
or lost, or carried over, and the key players on the political
horizon. We encourage you to write your opinion and it's OK if
you disagree with me. I learn a lot that way.
is a retired radio-TV journalist living in Gainesville, GA.
Active in civic and political affairs, he is past president of
the Georgia Jaycees, former vice president of the US and the
world Jaycees, former campaign chairman of the Georgia
Republican party. He voluntarily serves as chairman of the
Georgia Heritage Council. He is a collateral descendant of
President Jefferson Davis.
2005 Interim Legislative Scorecard
Legislative Output 2005
79% of Georgians Want a Fair Vote
Georgians support Republicans because...
James Madison and the citizen's informed consent
Illegal Immigration Amnesty Shuffle
Comparing Day and Night
Contact: Telephone 770 297-4788 P-6, 2363 North Cliff Colony
Drive Gainesvlle, GA 30501