Promises, promises

Well, the new legislative session (full AJC coverage is here) kicked off yesterday in an unsurprising move of the state GOP consolidating its power over the two chambers.

Republicans, who for two years have controlled the state Senate and the governor’s office, won a majority in the 180-member House in November’s elections. On their first official day in power they began imposing their will, adopting new House rules just hours after the General Assembly convened for its 2005 session.
Democrats who paid little mind to the GOP as they dominated state politics for 130 years cried foul, complaining the changes give Republicans too much power.
“It does away with representative government,” said House Democratic leader Rep. DuBose Porter of Dublin.
Republicans wasted little time consolidating their newly won power. The new House rules let Richardson appoint legislative “hawks” who can swoop in to any committee with the authority to vote the way the speaker wants them to.
The rules do not specify how many “hawks” Richardson can name, but he said there will probably be no more than two or three. Democrats immediately bristled, arguing the move guarantees Republicans can win any dispute in committee. “I hear them crying,” Richardson told reporters later. “I promise we’re not going to abuse this.”

Oh! Well, he promises that it won’t be abused. Obviously, my heart is set at ease by this promise. Politicians are well known for their ability to keep promises. At any rate, it should be an interesting session…

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