Opinion: The bad political theater of Michael Williams

On March 3, too late for a bill to become law this year, state Sen. Michael Williams filed a constitutional amendment to mandate higher pay for local law enforcement officers. On Thursday, he blamed someone else for that bill not becoming law.

Next spring he’ll ask you to overlook, or perhaps embrace, such bad political theater and make him the GOP nominee for governor. It is not too early to start looking for a different candidate.

Specifically, Williams on Thursday pinned his measure’s failure on Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who also happens to be running for governor. Williams did so at a bizarre Capitol press conference that had promised “corroborating details” about Cagle’s “reprehensible actions.”

What were these “reprehensible actions”? Williams claimed — without details, corroborating or otherwise — that Cagle “actively worked to kill the legislation” but then, in a recent campaign appearance, indicated support for raising officers’ pay.

For today, let’s set aside the question of whether it’s all that conservative for either candidate to entertain either a) foisting an unfunded mandate for officers’ pay on cities and counties, or b) committing the state to a bottomless subsidy of their pay in service of a minimum wage, which soon would be demanded by other public workers. The point for now is Williams’ all-too familiar game of playing politics by accusing others of … playing politics.

I’ve only covered eight legislative sessions, many fewer than Cagle and several more than Williams, but even I know one needn’t work too actively to kill a constitutional amendment that wasn’t even filed until Crossover Day (the annual deadline for legislation to have already gone through the committee process and be passed by one chamber or the other). The companion bill for the amendment, known as the “enabling legislation,” was filed 12 days later, also missing the cut.

There is a chance Williams was talking about another of his bills; keeping with his theme, he didn’t say. But that one was barely filed in time for Crossover Day, and a contemporary news story by Maggie Lee of the Macon Telegraph indicates Williams quickly abandoned it for the amendment approach.

This was Williams’ third year in the Senate, so it’s probably not that he fails to grasp how the Capitol works. Still, he has done other things that make one wonder.

There was, to name another example, his wild accusation at the Georgia GOP convention in Augusta last month that he had been offered — again, no details or corroboration — the chairmanship of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee if he would drop out of the gubernatorial race. That might sound scandalous, but in reality it’s simply telling about Williams.

Leaders and members in the House and Senate alike always have a keen interest in the budget, trying to ensure funding for pet projects or programs. And the budget always comes down to difficult negotiations between each chamber’s appropriations chairman. The last thing either chamber would do is put those negotiations, and the fate of those pet projects and programs, in the hands of a second-term legislator who has never even gotten a major bill passed.

With Williams at the helm, senators might as well show up at the House with a white flag, wearing David Ralston T-shirts. And if Williams thought that either the appropriations accusation or the charge about Cagle killing the tardy amendment would hold up, it shows either his own naivete or that which he expects from voters.

The latter is most likely. Williams is trying to run as the “outsider” du jour taking on the “career politicians.” But being an ineffective insider does not make one an outsider. And it really does not make one the best conservative hope for bringing “more results, less talk,” as Williams promises.

Anyway, back to the details Williams omitted Thursday. Pressed by reporters for the promised corroboration, he demurred: “We have a very long race ahead of us,” he said.

Maybe. Maybe not.​

Reader Comments 0

114 comments
bendedknee
bendedknee

LOSERS! Cons strike out again trying to repeal Obamacare. Just give the rich some tax cuts and go home for  the rest of the year.

The Commie  Negro from Kenya wins again.

Caius
Caius

The WH complains about press coverage of the Russian meeting with Junior, Son-in-Law and Manafort, etc., etc. and the cover ups that the WH has created. Had they put all their cards on the table in January the press would no longer be covering the story. History proves cover ups generally do not work.


Had Trump made a deal with the Dems in December he would be building his wall today and would have already signed off on Trumpcare. But alas!  With 30 Dems and 30 Repubs every bill gets through the SEnate in a slam dunk. But alas!


JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I see Bookman has gone from collusion to attempted collusion.

How does that square up with the Dims actually colluding with Ukraine? 

McGarnagle
McGarnagle

@JohnnyReb


I am sure Dems still contend there is collusion going on. Trumps latest tweet admits meetings with Russian contacts with his campaign team. Not sure how to square that one up?  

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

The Dims had a defense ready yesterday for the Sunday shows when Schiff explained the Dim/Ukraine link is like writing a bad check while the Jr/Russian Lawyer meeting was like robbing the bank.

And this boys and girls is another example of why Dims can't win dogcatcher. 

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

I think the Russians meddled in the elections and it was the demonrats who they colluded with.

Starik
Starik

@MarkVV @AndyManUSA#45 Plus, it makes no sense whatsoever. Putin blamed Hillary for Russian demonstrations. Hillary wanted to continue Obama's policy opposing Russia (mostly unsuccessfully). Trump is quite the opposite; he has nice things to say about Putin and other dictators. He seems to identify with them.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Another new poll says just 33% of republicans think Russia meddled in our last presidential election.


Well let's see here....hmm.....the other 67% believe they know more about this issue the professionals at the CIA, the NSA and the FBI combined.  How entirely foolish these nimrods are.

Starik
Starik

@breckenridge Evangelicals in large part. They don't examine facts and decide, they believe.

breckenridge
breckenridge

Donald Trump has the lowest approval rating  of any president in the last 70 years after being in office 6 months.


Yeah, I know.....can't trust the polls blah blah blah.  Bottom line - Trump has not done a good job.  If  you think he has then you are either a drug addict or partisan hack.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

The dnc and the Russians colluded to entrap Trump Jr. In this meeting, it couldn't be more obvious. lynch bent over backwards to let the Russian feloness into the country. fusion weBS fingerprints are all over it. It was a corny concoction to begin with which means it came from the empty heads of the dummycrat party.

Junior cut it short and walked out.

And didn't pick up a 3 million ruble check like hillary did.

Some people are just so ignorant!

Starik
Starik

@MarkVV @breckenridge @AndyManUSA#45 I wish we knew a little bit more about Andy. His education level, his age, whether he's able to work... maybe it's cruel to challenge him. His posts may be therapeutic.

MarkVV
MarkVV

The evidence that some Trump supporters (namely, those on this blog) are afraid of what the investigation of the Russian meddling in our election will uncover is their relentless attacks on Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, President Obama or anybody else on the Democrats’ side. They are like little children who, when accused of some mischief, defend themselves by “he (or she) also did it.” If any defendant in the court of justice defended himself by “somebody else has done it too,” he would be laughed out of the court and into the prison.

Putin wanted Trump to be elected, not Hillary Clinton. His people made the effort for that to happened, and Trump was elected. Trump’s people kept meeting with the Russians, and then lied about it. Trump’s son loved it when offered dirt from the Russians on his father’s opponent. His son-in-law and chis campaign manager went to the meeting expecting to get that help from a foreign power.

You can throw as much dust and blow as much hot air as you want, it does not change the basic facts. Whatever Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Podesta or anybody else on the side of the Democrats did or did not do, it does not change the facts about the campaign of the candidate, who was elected.

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Have to agree with stogiefogey, people are tired of this relentless Russia, Russia, Russia attack on Trump. Time to drop a deuce or get off the pot.

MarkVV
MarkVV

@SGTGrit Speak for yourself. Where is the evidence for your (and  anybody else's saying the same) that "people are tired of ...?

SGTGrit
SGTGrit

Have to give credit where it's due. Adam Chit, said it would be inappropriate for Democrats to have met with Ukrainian officials seeking campaign dirt on Donald Trump.

Starik
Starik

@SGTGrit I wouldn't be surprised if they did. The Russians wanted to elect Trump though; they wouldn't help Hillary. November 2016 was a disaster, and I don't see either party making changes to improve the system.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

"Trump Jr. did, however, have full reason to suspect Clinton had operated nefariously in her dealings with Russia. Bill Clinton had given a $500,000 speech in Russia. Clinton had given her approval in handing one-fifth of U.S. uranium to Russia, after which her foundation received $2.35 million from the Russian-controlled company. Suspiciously, Clinton did not disclose the transaction.

Likewise, Clinton campaign chief John Podesta sat on the board of a company that received $35 million from the Russian government alongside fellow board members Anatoly Chubais, a senior Russian official, and Ruben Vardanyan, an oligarch."

Our government investigates the wrong people.

http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/media/341493-opinion-forget-don-jrs-email-its-hillary-clinton-who-colluded-with#.WWWj62GRkvt.facebook

Starik
Starik

@AndyManUSA#45 I guess some folks were ashamed to admit they intended to vote for Trump, even in a phone call.

AndyManUSA#45
AndyManUSA#45

Some folks = the reporters in the Washington post newsroom.

Fake!

breckenridge
breckenridge

July 16 - The American people's support for President Trump has weakened since the spring as the White House has faced a stalled agenda overshadowed by investigations into Russian meddling, a perceived decline in American leadership worldwide, and struggling GOP efforts to pass a healthcare bill unpopular with the American people.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll found 58 percent of those surveyed disapprove of Trump's performance in office. The president's approval rating sits at 36 percent, and has steadily declined since April.

Of those who disapprove of Trump's performance, 48 percent said they "disapprove strongly." 

36% approval rating = tremendous upside potential!

stogiefogey
stogiefogey

@breckenridge  "A new Washington Post-ABC News poll..." 

These media polls have proven to be wildly inaccurate time and again yet we still believe them as if gospel.

People routinely lie to pollsters. 

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Starik @stogiefogey @breckenridge

Polls are designed to produce a predetermined result and if that is not good enough, over sample Dims.

All you need to know about the poll is, "Washington Post-ABCNews"

breckenridge
breckenridge

"It would be better for President Trump if all his children were no longer working in the White House."  US Congressman Bill Flores, R-Texas, 7-14-2017

Well stated.

breckenridge
breckenridge

“The voter fraud commission can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from.”  Delbert Hosemann, R-Mississippi, Secretary of State.

Yeah that predominant feeling among the nation's secretaries of state, the majority of whom are republicans.

bu22
bu22

@breckenridge " In May 2016, CBS2 Los Angeles identified 265 dead voters in southern California. Many cast ballots “year after year.”

  •  The Heritage Foundation’s non-exhaustive survey confirms, since 2000, at least 742 criminal vote-fraud convictions.
  • North Carolina announced in April 2014 that 13,416 dead voters were registered, and 81 of them recently had voted. Among 35,750 North Carolinians also registered in other states, 765 voted in November 2012, both inside and outside the Tarheel State.
  •  South Carolina’s attorney general concluded in January 2012 that 953 people “were deceased at the time of their participation in recent elections.”
  •  The Public Interest Legal Foundation recently discovered that Virginia removed 5,556 non-citizens from its voter rolls between 2011 and last May. Among these non-Americans, 1,852 had cast a total of 7,474 illegal ballots across multiple elections.
  • Craftier liberals have inched away from the baseless “Vote fraud = Loch Ness Monster” argument. Now, some claim, vote fraud is not “widespread.”"  http://nypost.com/2017/07/14/the-vote-fraud-that-democrats-refuse-to-see/

    Starik
    Starik

    @bu22 @breckenridge Those numbers are pretty small, really. The only way to be 100% sure of voting is to have a national voting system and national registration, with biometric eligibility verification. You ok with that? I am.

    bu22
    bu22

    @Starik @bu22 @breckenridge "not widespread" is a way of avoiding closer scrutiny.  These are only known problems.  Voter ID would alleviate most of the above problems.  Hard for dead people to walk up with ID.  States keeping their rolls clear of non-citizens would alleviate many of the rest.

    bu22
    bu22

    @Starik @bu22 @breckenridge And a study could provide more definitive answers to the types of problems.  But Democrats seem to be desperately afraid of better voting rolls.

    breckenridge
    breckenridge

    The media is still enthralled with Don Jr.'s meeting with the Ruskies.  Rusky intelligence was on a fishing expedition, the threw a baited hook in the water and got a nibble, that's about it.  Why Jr. didn't come clean from the get-go.......oh I suppose because he got played and he was embarrassed.


    Time to move on media.

    MarkVV
    MarkVV

    @breckenridge It is not nothing when a candidate’s and now President’s son loved to get help from an adversary foreign power to defeat the candidate of the opposing party, brought the campaign manager and the candidates son-in-law to the meeting where they expected to get that help, and he then kept lying about it. Also, we still do not know what actually happened at that meeting.

    stogiefogey
    stogiefogey

    @breckenridge  We're at or near the point of "Russia" fatigue where people are so tired of it 24/7 they'll automatically tune it out, if they haven't already.

    breckenridge
    breckenridge

    @MarkVV @breckenridge 

    Well if there is a continuing story it's Jared Kushner.  He has no business in the Trump administration, top security clearance or not.

    AndyManUSA#45
    AndyManUSA#45

    "Colorado's 3,400 voter de-registrations scaring Democrats"

    Yes, the very idea that someone is checking voter registration rolls has led to 3400 illegal aliens deregistering in Colorado alone. Don't want to get deported, eh?

    Take it anyway you want, that's a lot fewer people voting for the dummycrats next time around.

    Deal with it.

    MarkVV
    MarkVV

    @AndyManUSA#45 AndyMan does not understand the difference between registration and actual voting, no surprise there.

    But the implied effect is truly shocking. If those 3400 illegal aliens voted for Hillary, she actually won by "only" 132,986 legal votes, rather than 136,386!