The Republican Liberty Caucus has joined the chorus of those seeking the reinstatement of four GOP lawmakers who were stripped of seniority positions after their vote in favor of Georgia Transportation Board Chairman Mike Evans.
The executive committee of the caucus approved a resolution praising the four members as "fine examples of members of the Georgia General Assembly. Representatives who vote their principles and the interest of their constituents."
"The divisiveness coming from the speaker is creating tension among the Republican caucus," said Chris Farris, chairman of the 500-member group. "If the leadership in the House expects to govern effectively, then these tactics must stop."
Reps. Tom Graves, Martin Scott, John Meadows and Doug Collins, all Republicans, were targeted by House Speaker Glenn Richardson after voting for Evans over former Rep. Stacey Reece, R-Gainesville, Richardson’s choice for the DOT board.
Gainesville’s Collins was stripped of the chairmanship of the Children’s Health Issues subcommittee.
Graves was removed from his post as a "hawk," a member who can vote on any of the standing House committees. Graves was also evicted from his office in the Capitol building.
Meadows was removed as vice chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and as secretary of the House Insurance Committee.
Scott was removed as secretary of the House Ways and Means Committee and from an income tax subcommittee he chaired.
Evans was targeted after he voted for Gena Abraham to become commissioner of the state Department of Transportation. Richardson wanted a colleague, Rep. Vance Smith, to head the department.
The Republican Liberty Caucus is made up of self-proclaimed "Goldwater" Republicans who favor limited government, individual liberty and free markets.
The action comes on the heels of a resolution Thursday by the Hall County Republican Party in support of the ousted lawmakers.