Two weeks ago, I called Brian Kemp Georgia’s “outstanding governor.” And I really believed that. At that time, I was looking forward to enjoying Gov. Kemp following through on all of the issues he campaigned last year.
But now, unfortunately, two short weeks later, Kemp has lost my respect, and from what I’m seeing the respect of countless others who elected him, including President Donald Trump. Kemp has lost so much respect, in fact, that it is difficult for me right now to identify appropriate language to describe Georgia’s governor. So for now, maybe I’ll just call him “Brian, who is Georgia’s governor.”
As I write, Brian, who is Georgia’s governor, has scheduled a news conference to announce his senate selection to replace retiring Johnny Isakson. Obviously, by the time you read this, the name of that individual will be known with certainty.
But the final identity of Georgia’s new senator has little relevance for my purpose today. It matters little because Brian, and we’ll just leave it at that, has already done the damage. Brian has spoiled his relationship with me, and with countless other Georgians who trusted him, by what he tweeted concerning the impending senate appointment he is empowered by law to make. I don’t know if the term best describing Brian’s tweet might be “impudent,” or “insolent,” or maybe somewhere in the middle. Regardless, it was not respectful of Georgia’s citizenry or voting public.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Now favored by most Georgia Republicans to occupy Isakson’s seat until 2020 would be 9th District U.S. Congressman Doug Collins. For three years, North Forsyth County’s own representative and ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee has been a staunch supporter and defender of President Trump against all hoaxes. And while I’m at it, Collins was one of the few House Republicans having the sense to vote against the 2015 Iran Nuclear Review Act, which empowered President Barack Obama to obligate the United States to the unspeakable agreement President Trump cancelled earlier in his presidency.
And so, instead of making the obvious and frankly easy choice, one for which Brian would be widely celebrated by his statewide base, two weeks ago the governor travelled to meet President Trump in Washington, accompanied by an individual few outside I-285 ever even heard of, billionaire Kelly Loeffler, who reportedly submitted her application for the senate seat as time neared a close.
The only reason Georgians might recognize her name is that she is the owner of Atlanta’s women’s professional basketball franchise. So if you do not follow women’s professional basketball, you probably did not recognize her name. Don’t feel bad.
But that Ms. Loeffler is a WNBA team owner is not a problem for conservative, Trump-supporting Republicans. The selection of Loeffler is poor for several other reasons. First, this choice violates the most basic principle of public service, to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. From all appearances, a billionaire just bought the people’s U.S. Senate seat.
Secondly, a governor should never foist such a high-profile appointment on supporters when the chosen individual has no history of public pronouncements by which to judge his or her political knowledge and attitudes.
Thirdly, what is known about Ms. Loeffler is unbecoming to Brian’s conservative base. In the past she contributed to numerous Democratic candidates and shared the profits of her WNBA franchise with Planned Parenthood. As Trump would say, “not good.”
And finally, President Trump dislikes the choice of Ms. Loeffler. That is because she is part of the “Washington establishment and the financial and media corporations that fund it,” which Trump battles continuously to win back control of the people’s government.
Loeffler’s husband, Jeffery Sprecher, is founder, chairman, and CEO of Intercontinental Exchange Inc., which owns and controls the world’s major stock and commodity exchanges. Sprecher, himself, is chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, an individual who is likely therefore at political odds with President Trump, whose very purpose as president is to remove the control of the American government from the hands of people like Sprecher.
And Jeffery Sprecher placed wife Kelly in position as CEO of Bakkt, Wall Street’s answer to Bitcoin, which is tasked with helping control the value of the world’s cryptocurrencies through Microsoft-designed trading platforms. Bakkt’s primary targets are “federally-regulated markets.” Does Brian not understand there might be a small conflict-of-interest handing one of Georgia’s precious senate seats over to Wall Street bankers?
So there are legitimate concerns former Brian Kemp supporters maintain over his presumptive choice. Even so, according to Brian, “The idea that [he] would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is not pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100% supportive of our president is ridiculous.” And, according to Brian, “The attacks and games are absolutely absurd.” And finally, Brian “could not care less what the political establishment thinks.”
Earth to Brian, you are not talking to the political establishment here. You are talking to the voters who elected you governor. Earth to Brian, you just told your supporters you “could not care less” what they think.
And Earth to Brian, you are talking to President Trump by whose sole influence you won the 2018 Republican Primary. You just told President Trump, you “could not care less” what he thinks.
You have obviously forgotten one thing. You work for us.
Hank Sullivan is a Forsyth County resident, businessman, author and speaker on American history, economics and geopolitics.