Augusta - Delegates at the Georgia Republican convention approved a minor rebuke to Gov. Nathan Deal on Saturday, sidestepping harsher language targeting the second-term governor's vetoes.
Called “A Resolution on Getting Back to the Basics of Republican Principles,” it avoids sharp criticism of his vetoes of “religious liberty” legislation that broadens legal protections for same-sex marriage opponents and “campus carry” measure that legalizes firearms on college campuses.
Instead of a bid to “censure” the governor, like activists at the Third District did, or even express “deep disappointment” in his decisions, like delegates at nine of the 14 congressional districts passed, the resolution amounts to a lighter slap on the wrist.
Here’s the guts:
"Therefore be it resolved by the delegates of the Georgia Republican Party convention to call upon our elected Republican legislators, and our Governor, to get back to the basics of republican principles and demonstrate what true Republican leadership is; namely, limited, transparent government, lower taxes, reduced regulations, true individual liberty to exercise publicly and privately our religious beliefs and rights to free speech …"
It laments that "recent legislative and administrative action did not decrease the size of Georgia's budget as Republicans promised voters" and pans lawmakers and Deal for supporting the package of tax hikes and fees to raise money for infrastructure improvements, which it called "the largest tax increase in Georgia history."
Taken together, the resolution said, it gives "the appearance that the legislative and executive Republican Party leadership has lost the vision of principled, conservative leadership they promised, as revealed by the failure to conduct the state's business upon these principles."
Here's the full language:
The resolution faced slim opposition from both sides. Some activists contended it didn’t go far enough in critiquing elected officials, while others said it was misguided.
"This resolution is completely and utter garbage. It’s garbage," said Will Kremer, a Forsyth County activist who said Republicans shouldn't pan the governor. "That’s ridiculous. I think that we’re better than passing a resolution that criticizes it.”
Deal, we should note, is not in Augusta to celebrate or rue the decision. He skipped the convention and is in Atlanta to host elite high school students.