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By Tom Crawford:
One of my favorite memories of the late Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-Marietta) dates back to the last night of the 2004 General Assembly session, when the House was about an hour away from adjournment.
Rep. Brian Joyce (R-Lookout Mountain) had announced that night he would be retiring from the General Assembly. Joyce then left the chamber, bringing his legislative career to an even quicker end.
While the House worked its way through the usual blizzard of last-minute bills, one of the reporters in the press gallery nudged me and pointed in the direction of Franklin’s desk. Every time a vote was called on a bill, Franklin would punch in a vote at his desk, then quickly move about 10 feet down the row and vote the machine on Joyce’s vacated desk. Franklin was voting twice on every bill.
One of the themes underlying this year’s waves of political protests — whether anti-tax, anti-Obama, anti-health care reform, whatever — is that government in all its forms should be abolished. I have some Libertarian friends who consider it a bedrock principle that government never works under any circumstances, so the sooner we get rid of it and stop collecting taxes, the better. I have no doubt that they are sincere in their beliefs. We have seen a milder variation of this anti-government viewpoint during the health care reform debate from Georgia congressmen like Reps. Tom Price and Paul Broun and Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. They have strongly opposed proposals for a government-funded “public option” or similar form of federal health insurance program modeled on Medicare. “As a physician, I can attest that nothing has had a greater negative effect on the delivery of health care than the federal […]