Political Notes – Hice isn’t even in office one day and tea partiers are already gunning for him

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia’s 10th Congressional District may have set an all-time speed record for ideological backlash: he was elected last fall with strong tea party support but tea partiers were already plotting his overthrow before he had even served 24 hours in office.

Hice, whose first official day as a congressman was Tuesday, made his first official vote to reelect Rep. John Boehner of Ohio as the House speaker. Rep. Barry Loudermilk of the 11th Congressional District also voted for Boehner, as did Georgia’s other GOP House members.

Tea partiers had assumed that Hice would vote against Boehner and they were outraged at what they saw as Hice’s betrayal. They were already discussing who could run against Hice in the 2016 Republican primary.

Here’s a sampling of Facebooks comments following Hice’s vote:

Debbie Dooley: “Jody Hice outright lied on the campaign trail in his pledge not to vote for Boehner. He voted for Boehner. He turned his back on his supporters and embraced Boehner and the Republican Establishment. We need to start recruiting primary opposition.”


Steve Lemelin: “Neither of them [Hice and Loudermilk] have a spine.”

Corey White: “Primary only 18 months away . . . one & done, Jody Hice!”

Christopher M. Wall: “He never even gave himself a single session to become cynical and capitulate. Imagine him after a re-election. What a disappointment.”

Jeanette Sumrall Smith: “RINO BASTARDS! We need to find independent candidates and then EVERYONE FED UP send in $10-$20 to support them! If the $$$ start rolling in, people will get interested!”

Essig will step down at GBPI

Alan Essig, the founder and driving force behind the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute (GBPI) think tank for the past 11 years, is stepping down as executive director. Essig’s wife recently accepted an academic position at Michigan State University, so he is relocating to East Lansing.

He will be replaced by Taifa Butler, GBPI’s deputy director, effective April 1. Butler previously was the policy and communications director for the Georgia Family Connection Partnership, where she monitored public policy and its impact on children, families and communities.

“Taifa has a long track record of success as a nonprofit executive and leader,” GBPI Chairman Eliot Robinson said. “She has the management experience, passion and drive to make sure GBPI continues to be the state’s most trusted source of information about state policies ranging from education to health care to economic opportunity.”

Essig was a legislative budget staffer for several years before founding GBPI in 2004 and was widely acknowledged as one of the leading experts on budgetary and financial issues. Under his leadership, GBPI has assembled a strong lineup of policy experts in the budget, education and healthcare areas.

Olens names new solicitor general

Attorney General Sam Olens has named Britt Grant, his counsel for legal policy, as solicitor general. She replaces Nels Peterson, who was appointed vice chancellor for legal affairs for the Board of Regents.

As Solicitor General, Grant will work with state attorneys on significant litigation and oversee appeals of court cases. Before joining the law department, she was an attorney at Kirkland & Ellis in Washington, D.C.

Timothy Butler, currently an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission in Atlanta, will replace Grant as counsel for legal policy. He will be the chief liaison to the General Assembly and manage major policy issues.

Dutton joins Convention of States Project

Former legislator Delvis Dutton of Glennville, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress last year, has hired by the Convention of States Project as regional director for legislative affairs.

The Convention of States Project is a conservative organization that is lobbying state legislatures to call what is known as an Article V convention that would rewrite the U.S. Constitution.

“Having a former state legislator as part of the national team will be instrumental in boosting our communication and education efforts among state legislators,” said Mark Meckler, co-founder of the Convention of States Project.

© 2015 by The Georgia Report


Tags: Alan Essig , Delvis Dutton , GBPI , Jody Hice , John Boehner , Sam Olens , Taifa Butler , Tea Party