Desperation and Overreach Raise Questions in Lt Governor Race

David Shafer is obviously the leading candidate for Lieutenant Governor, a fact demonstrated by the negative campaigning of some of his opponents. A complaint of sexual harassment, filed the day after Shafer qualified to run for Lieutenant Governor, was dismissed following a full investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. The political motivation behind the accusation couldn’t be more obvious; as a friend of ours would say, “you’d have to be wearing blinders not to see that”.

Adding an exclamation point to the statement that Shafer is the leading candidate, Rick Jeffares, who appears to be the most desperate candidate, challenged Shafer to a “shoot-out” of sorts. According to a Gwinnett Daily Post article, “Henry County-based former state Sen. Rick Jeffares said he wanted to face Shafer in an impromptu sporting clays shoot. The stipulation in the proposal was that the loser of the shoot out — which was proposed for “high noon” at the Cherokee Rose Gun Club in Griffin on Friday — would have to suspend his campaign.”

Jeffares proposal for a campaign-ending shootout appears to have been at least partially motivated by the NRA’s endorsement of Shafer. That was obviously a smack in the face to Jeffares who advertises himself as a conservative who supports the Second Amendment. And while he may question whether Shafer knows which end of a shotgun the shells are loaded, we have to question Jeffares’ claim of being a conservative.

Jeffares was the sole author of Senate Bills 262 and 263, which have been the subject of two Georgia News Daily articles. Those bills call for a large portion of the City of Stockbridge to be de-annexed and for the establishment of the proposed new city of Eagle’s Landing, which would incorporate the area carved away from Stockbridge.

In authoring these bills, Jeffares has taken anything but a conservative approach to government. Although municipalities (cities) exist at the pleasure of the state legislature, truly conservative senators and representatives typically take a hands-off approach unless a mayor or city council runs afoul of the law, or commits egregious ethics violations. No such issues were involved with SB262 and 263 which disembowel Stockbridge in conjunction with forming Eagle’s Landing.

If Jeffares is truly a conservative, we have to question why he would author legislation that causes state government intrusion into local municipal affairs. Just as liberal federal government policies have resulted in overreach into the realm of state and local governing bodies, Jeffares’ bills smack of liberal overreach policies in which the state legislature intrudes into municipal government.

It’s disappointing that many conservative legislators voted in favor of Jeffares’ bills, which currently await the governor’s signature or veto. Some of the legislators who voted in favor of the bills reason that in calling for a referendum, the bills provide residents in the area with the ability to self-determine whether they want to be part of Stockbridge, Eagle’s Landing or unincorporated Henry County. Philosophically, that’s a valid consideration, however, the structure of Jeffares’ bills disenfranchises many residents who will not be permitted to vote. Government usurping the rights of voters- a textbook example of liberal government overreach.