It seems very troublesome to read in your recent front-page article on ethics reform (“Local senators vote along party lines on ethics reform bill,” Jan. 23) that Republican Senate Majority Whip (Cecil Staton, R-Macon) selected four deputy whips, one who is a first term, freshman senator with no political experience (Hunter Hill, R-Smyrna). Regardless of his other credentials, why appoint a brand-new, inexperienced person for such a potentially important position? Usually these positions are for the most experienced and informed members.
Most people may not realize the job of a “whip” requires someone selected to influence and possibly, not only educate others on certain issues, but convince them how to vote. Preferably whips are politically skilled and experienced legislators who know other members well, or those in previous leadership positions. Why then appoint a man for whip whose background perhaps may appear to give him special leadership abilities, but with little or no political knowhow? It seems logical that such newcomers will need “on-the-job training,” especially with the complexity of today’s political scene. The question is, isn’t there a more experienced person to serve in such a position? It seems surprising, when all presently serving senators might surely be a better choice in such a leadership role.
Hopefully this young man will quickly learn skills required for this position and bring new positive input, rather than “double stamp” decisions which probably will agree with the party line. Rather, he will learn the multitude of details and skills necessary to do the job of guiding others in accord with the opinions, and guided by the needs of his constituents. Before he listens to lobbyists, he will first consider alternative positions. Maybe some of our government spokespersons, our duly elected officials who make questionable appointments, need a whipping with a good, old hickory stick!
Charlotte G. Marcus
Sandy Springs resident
Retired aide, Georgia General Assembly
House Research Office,
Aide, House Ethics Committee