Excerpts from an article about one of my favorite Georgia Democrats, Rep. Calvin Smyre. - Georgia Democrats appreciate all you do for us Rep. Smyre.
Smyre turns away speaker's wrath
Local lawmaker brokers peace deal for Richardson, outspoken young Democrat
By Chuck Williams
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer
March 18, 2005
State Rep. Calvin Smyre still has some influence in the Georgia House despite being in the minority party.
Smyre, D-Columbus, helped bring a truce this week between Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson and Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, D-Austell.
Smyre and a small group of Democratic and Republican leaders brokered the deal.
Richardson said Smyre was a "calm spirit" in what had turned into an emotional partisan spat.
"He very much helped facilitate a conversation and resolution," Richardson said. "He played a pivotal role. We couldn't have done it without him."
Before Republicans took control of the House this year, Smyre had been a key Democratic leader, chairing the Rules Committee. He is currently Democratic caucus leader.
A meeting Tuesday led to the resolution.
The meeting came after Richardson took to the floor of the House Tuesday morning and made a passionate appeal for decorum in the House.
Smyre said there was pressure, even from Democrats, for Richardson to censure Morgan, who at 24 is the youngest member of the House.
As noted in the caption, Rep. Calvin Smyre is one of my favorite Georgia Democrats. As noted above, he is currently serving as Chair of the House Democratic Caucus.
He has previously served as Chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia, and now serves as Chair Emeritus.
He is a go-to person, whether it is legislation that has hit a snag or someone with difficult situation or problem needing resolving.
In a 12-27-04 post I wrote the following about Rep. Smyre:
In my recent write up of the state Executive Committee meeting in Atlanta, I noted that Rep. Calvin Smyre hit a grand slam talking about our Party and our future. I stressed how impressed I was with his firm grasp of and understanding the big picture, and knowing what we must do to prevail in 2006 and 2008.
I also noted that if Rep. Smyre says something, our Party "can take it to the bank."
Well, one thing I did not include in my write up of the meeting was a comment Rep. Smyre made about the relationship of the Democratic Party of Georgia and the NDC.
When he was saying that it was time for us as a state Party to make our views known to the DNC, and if we do and still we are ignored, the Democratic Party of Georgia can at least "go down in dignity."
And in a 12-20-04 post, I wrote the following about Rep. Smyre:
Rep. Calvin Smyre echoed much of what Mr. Lance had said, but was more forceful, firing up those in attendance in the process. He is fed up with the DNC ignoring the South, and reviewed how completely writing off the South will continue to portend disaster for us landing a Democrat in the White House and its trickle down effect.
He reviewed some data similar to that posted in a 12-19-04 post that noted that the South includes 13 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Together they cast 168 electoral college votes, more than three-fifths of the 270 required for election.
Rep. Smyre thinks it is time to quit being nice and sugar-coating our feelings about the national Party.
He seems close to the point of thinking Georgia Party officials should go public, letting the powers that be know how sick and tired of the DNC we all are.
The former Party Chair is an eloquent spokesman who can rattle off statistics backing up his position. I hope we do go public, and the sooner the better. And if we do, there is not a better spokesman for the Party than Rep. Smyre.
And lastly, in a 11-22-04 post I wrote that
my favorite low profile political trio – Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, Attorney General Thurbert Baker and former state Democratic Party Chairman Calvin Smyre – remain most vigilant in rebuilding our state's white-black Democratic coalition as we all work together in reviving the crumbled Democratic power and putting back together again our Humpty-Dumpty Democratic Party of Georgia following our November 2002 whipping.
The next time you run into Rep. Smyre, thank him for all he does and has done for our party. Rep. Smyre, we 'preciate you.