HB 614, the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program that Jason Pye and I warned you about yesterday and I asked you to call your Senator about has FAILED in the Senate by a vote of 25-29-1-1. Senator Steve Thompson (D-Marietta) did not vote on the measure and Senator Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) was excused.

Of the local delegation, only Senator John Bulloch(R-Ochlocknee) voted against the measure. Senators John Crosby (R-Tifton), George Hooks (D-Americus), and Freddie Sims (D-Albany) all voted for the measure.

I was watching the debate and had the live download going, so I hope to be able to post video of the debate soon, as Senator Preston Smith (R-Rome) did an AMAZING job speaking against this measure, both when questioning the measure’s sponsor – who happens to be Senator David Shafer (R-Duluth), who is running to be your next Lt Governor – and when in the well speaking on his own.

Indeed, one particularly insightful quote from Senator Smith was this:

“We are at the end of the day, the guardians of liberty for our citizens.”

The problem is this: The following Senators chose NOT to guard our liberty, and instead voted to allow the State to monitor even further and more obtrusively your private medical decisions:

David Adelman (D-Decatur)
Gail Buckner (D-Morrow)
Gloria Butler (D-Stone Mountain)
John Crosby (R-Tifton)
Greg Goggans (R-Douglas)
Tim Golden (D-Valdosta)
Johnny Grant (R-Milledgeville)
Ed Harbison (D-Columbus)
Seth Harp (R-Midland)
Lee Hawkins (R-Gainesville)
Steve Henson (D-Tucker)
Jack Hill (R-Reidsville)
George Hooks (D-Americus)
Ralph Hudgens (R-Hull)
Emanuel Jones (D-Decatur)
Dan Moody (R-Alpharetta)
Jeff Mullis (R-Chickamauga)
Jack Murphy (R-Cumming)
David Shafer (R-Duluth), running for Lt Governor
Freddie Sims (D-Albany)
Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna)
Don Thomas(R-Dalton)
Renee Unterman (R-Buford)
Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody)
Tommie Williams (R-Lyons), President Pro Tempore of the Senate

Fortunately, there were 29 Senators who voted to guard your freedoms this time:

Don Balfour (R-Snellville)
Robert Brown (D-Macon)
John Bulloch (R-Ochlocknee)
Jim Butterworth (R-Cornelia)
Ronnie Chance (R-Tyrone)
Jeff Chapman (R-Brunswick)
Bill Cowsert (R-Athens)
John Douglas (R-Social Circle)
Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta)
Bill Hamrick (R-Carrollton)
Bill Heath (R-Bremen)
Judson Hill (R-Marietta)
Bill Jackson (R-Appling)
Lester Jackson (D-Savannah)
Eric Johnson (R-Savannah), running for Lt Governor
Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta)
Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville)
JB Powell (D-Blythe)
Ronald Ramsey Sr (D-Lithonia)
Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta)
Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock)
Mitch Seabaugh (R-Sharpsburg)
Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale)
Preston Smith (R-Rome)
Cecil Staton (R-Macon)
Ed Tarver (D-Augusta)
Horacena Tate (D-Atlanta)
Curt Thompson (D-Norcross)
John Wiles (R-Kennesaw)


I was very pleasantly surprised to hear the word ‘libertarian’ thrown about quite a bit yesterday, both on this bill and another bill. But do not let that fool you. The GOP is learning that their ONLY route to continued success at the ballot box is to embrace a more libertarian position, and yet they have had their chance to embrace this for SEVERAL years now – since 2002 in Georgia and between 2000 and 2006 nationally – and did everything as anti-Freedom as you can get! Again: DO NOT TRUST a Republican claiming a ‘libertarian streak’, as Senator David Shafer did last night. Indeed, that comment alone was one of the funniest jokes I’ve heard in quite a while! But more on that in follow on posts. My goal over the course of April is to both finish commentary on everything the Senate touched, and to give a detailed analysis of how the Senate overall compared to the positions here at SWGA Politics, as well as a detailed analysis on each Senator’s voting record as compared to the positions here.

I’m sure Senator Stoner gets tired of his name being made fun of, but seriously, a Stoner voting FOR drug monitoring???

I’m glad to see the two Senators currently running for Lt Governor are finally on opposite sides of a measure. I’m more happy that Sen. Johnson voted against it, because this bill needed to be killed. But still, I am happy to see SOME actual differences emerging.

Finally, Senator Preston Smith actually represents some areas of my home county of Bartow, and seeing him last night and at other times only drives this point home: While I don’t agree with him on every issue, he would be a formidable State-wide opponent indeed. Based on what I see in the Senate, I would hate to be a lawyer in the courtroom going up against him! (He is a lawyer in ‘real’ life.) His line of questioning and subsequent speech from the floor invoking, if not directly quoting, Orwell’s 1984 was simply amazing to watch.


GLW now has the video of the entire debate, starting from the moment Lt Gov Cagle called for the bill to be read to the point that Cagle gavelled the measure as failed, including both the Smith/Shafer exchange and the Smith speech from the well.


One Response

  1. Libertarian streak is code for “I’m actually going to vote the way my party is SUPPOSED to lean in the first place”.

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