Tuesday, December 1, 2009

AJC's Jay Bookman: House Speaker Richardson should resign

Posted By on Tue, Dec 1, 2009 at 4:51 PM

House Speaker Glenn Richardson, with Gov. Sonny Perdue
House Speaker Glenn Richardson (left), with Gov. Sonny Perdue

In his most most recent column, the man does not mince words:

[Glenn] Richardson, the speaker of the Georgia House and probably the second most powerful person in state politics, has long had a reputation as an immature bully drunk on his own power, a man more interested in his personal gratification than in the affairs of Georgia. Given his volatile personality, he did not seem destined for a long run in politics.

That reputation was confirmed yesterday in a devastating TV interview with his former wife, Susan. Among other things, she confirmed rumors of several years ago that Richardson had been having a lengthy affair with a lobbyist for Atlanta Gas Light.

Conservative darling Bookman (kidding!) goes on to say that the recently suicidal Richardson can't start the session with so massive a scandal hanging over his head, that Richardson's epic stumble isn't the GOP's fault (unless they fight for him to stay in office) and that this breach of public trust is about more than a mere affair. Rather, it's about using one's position of power for personal gain.

To wit:

The relationship between Richardson and the lobbyist had been a poorly kept but until now undocumented secret at the Capitol. According to the report by Fox 5’s Dale Russell, the former Mrs. Richardson produced emails between the speaker and his girlfriend in which Richardson said he “can and will bring all hell down on (AGL)” if it dared to fire her as a result of the rumors. (The woman later resigned under less-than-clear circumstances.)

Yikes. As CL's Thomas Wheatley so astutely foretold — a full week before Richardson's latest snafu hit the news — the upcoming legislative session is gonna rock!

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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