Originally created 03/19/00

Blames GOP for blocking initiatives



I take exception to the March 12 letter by my friend Sen. Joey Brush, R-Appling, which stated that Democrats had blocked for years the Republican reform legislation which would allow for public initiatives or referendums.

In fact, just the opposite is true.

Since the early 1970s, in just about every session in both the Senate and the House, I have introduced legislation which would allow for public initiatives. Republicans not only have not supported this legislation, they have actively blocked it.

I will not take up space with a history of each bill; however, I will relate what occurred in 1998 when I sponsored Senate Resolution 8, which would amend the Georgia Constitution to provide for public initiatives and popular referendums. My bill was sent to the Senate Special Judiciary Committee chaired by Sen. Mike Egan, R-Atlanta. All of the members of the committee were Republicans. ...

On Jan. 26, 1998, at 4 p.m., in the State Capitol, the members of the Special Judiciary Committee heard my presentation. Then they decided to amend the bill.

When it came time to pass the bill out of committee, Sen. Ed Boshears offered a motion to pass the bill as amended. The motion failed for lack of a second. The Republican committee killed the bill in committee not allowing the Senate to vote.

We need to elect fair-minded, free-thinking individuals to office, not Republicans or Democrats. I have always tried to best address the concerns of the people I represent. The people I represent have made it clear that they would like to have public initiatives and I have supported their wishes.

Sen. Brush has access to complete information on every bill that is introduced during the legislative session. I do not understand why he would have written such a biased, untrue letter ...

State Sen. Don Cheeks, Augusta