August 10, 2005


Top Vidalia Democrat will join GOP today (NANCY BADERTSCHER, 08/11/05, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

State Rep. Greg Morris, a Vidalia Democrat and entrenched party insider, is set to appear before friends and supporters in his hometown today to announce his defection to the GOP.

His decision bolsters the comfort level of the new Republican leadership in the 180-member House, which heads into the 2006 General Assembly session in control of 100 seats, nine more votes than they need to pass most legislation.

His defection is significant for Democrats since Morris, 41, was part of former Democratic House Speaker Terry Coleman's inner circle until Republicans took over the House and speaker's office last year.

He also had been Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor's de facto floor leader in the House and allowed to sit in on closed-door meetings of the Senate leadership when Democrats controlled that chamber.

In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Morris said Wednesday he had found himself increasingly at odds philosophically with his party.

"On major issues that are important to me and the people I represent, I'm out of step with the Democratic Party," said Morris, who was elected to the House in 1998 and previously served as a Democrat on the Toombs County Commission.

A half dozen other House Democrats switched to GOP last year, three after Republicans won control of the House and completed the takeover started in 2002 with the Senate and governor's office.

Even their wins are losses.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 10, 2005 10:10 PM

Funny. I just learned that after the Hackett campaign DCCC is getting swamped by inquiries from soldiers in the field in Iraq, many of whom used to be Republicans, about running for office.

Even our losses are wins.

Posted by: Rick Perlstein at August 10, 2005 11:17 PM

Yeah, right.

Posted by: ray at August 11, 2005 12:18 AM

"So I just learned..."

Hey, like any good journalist, he's passing along unsubstantiated and unsourced rumors as facts. I betcha he's even got the forged Microsoft Word document to prove it, too.

It would be interesting to find out who these so-called soldiers in Iraq might be, as I was under the impression that overt political activity by active duty personel is a violation of the UCMJ.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 11, 2005 1:14 AM

Ray, Raoul

I respectfully disagree. The military has all sorts of people and unfortunately there is inevitably a small contingent of cowardly, American hating, little weasels who stumble into the military because they saw it as another welfare program. That they find the Democratic party as their natural political home doesn't surprise me at all.

Posted by: h-man at August 11, 2005 4:31 AM

Yeah, Rick, and hey, didya see the exit polling data? It's Kerry in a landslide, you can take that to the bank.

Posted by: Mike Morley at August 11, 2005 6:25 AM

Now, guys. Being a Democrat is many things -- selfish or short-sighted or historically ignorant -- but it is neither cowardly or treasonous. It's not even a sin.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 11, 2005 7:32 AM

Kerry got 18% of the vote among military in Iraq. I'm sure a few of them would like to be congressmen or women.

Posted by: Jeff at August 11, 2005 8:58 AM

Jeff: I had to read that three times before I figured out that you meant that the Dem troops wanted to be Congresswomen, and not transvestites.

Posted by: David Cohen at August 11, 2005 9:12 AM

Tonly Blankley was on Diane Rehm's Friday round-up last week and all the democrats were fired up about losing that race so well. He pointed out that at this time in '91 he and Newt were out recruiting returning Iraq vets because they'd surely win congressional races.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2005 9:55 AM

Mr. Perlstein: why? Hackett lost. To a weak candidate.

If 48% under those circumstances makes you cheer, you go right ahead.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 11, 2005 10:12 AM


He's still celebrating how close Gore and Kerry came.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2005 10:21 AM

The other hugely under (un?) reported reason the Hackett race was so close was because Republicans stayed home. We're just not as good as foaming at the mouth as the Dems.

Posted by: John Resnick at August 11, 2005 10:27 AM

The other hugely under (un?) reported reason the Hackett race was so close was because Republicans stayed home. We're just not as good at foaming at the mouth as the Dems.

Posted by: John Resnick at August 11, 2005 10:28 AM

Political novices running for Congress rarely win unless they're rich or famous to begin with. Veteran status is an asset for a Democrat, no question, but how many Hacketts are there who would be strong enough candidates to even make a race close?

Posted by: pj at August 11, 2005 10:39 AM


The problem is it's only an asset in the districts they can't win.

Posted by: oj at August 11, 2005 10:42 AM

Mr. Cohen, until the democrats stop preaching that abortion is a public good, I would say that belonging to the party is a sin. Aiding and abetting the murder of innocent children is a mortal sin, I don't know of any religion which celebrates the act. (This would explain the democrats need for the separation of Church and anything Important.)

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at August 11, 2005 11:24 AM

Hackett ran as a supporter of the WoT and the president. He kept his anti-war, hate-Bush statements out of the media. I think Rush was the only one who set voters straight. He called him desk-puke, apparently a term of endearment among military men.

Question: What's wrong with the Republican party in that district that they didn't get ads out letting voters know what Hackett really was like.

Posted by: erp at August 11, 2005 11:41 AM

ERP: the republicans in the 2nd district came off a messy primary where the establishment candidate, DeWine's son, got clobbered.

There is no doubt that the Ohio republican party is in bad shape, due mostly to self inflicted wounds. The Ohio republican establishment is not conservative and is ethically chanlleged.

The best shot for keeping the statehouse in 2006 will be Blackwell, but the establishment hates him. The other thing they have going for them is the ineptitude of the Democrats.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 11, 2005 12:20 PM

So in other words, the Stupid Party, doing everything which they've done for decades to earn the name they deserve, still managed to get 52% of the vote. I guess I can live with that sort of Dem victory.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 11, 2005 1:08 PM