Open Letter To Republican Representative Jeremy Gillam, House Speaker Designate:

 

In addition to the other things I learned about your actions (which are bulleted below), I recently became aware of the March 23, 2014, Talk Business & Politics Roby Brock interview with you, as newly elected Speaker Designate and Jonathan Dismang for Senate Leader. I transcribed the interview so I could get the full effect of what you said.

 

Three points in the interview especially disappointed me.  The first one that caught my attention was your response to the question that  the KATV Capitol reporter asked. "You were elected by Republicans and Democrats and so I am curious what that means as far as are you going to go stump for people in contested districts; do you have any standards as that goes?"

 

Your response was shocking: "My philosophy  basically has been the same since I got in the House.  That is to show the utmost respect to my colleagues that I serve with and so I am not going to be out campaigning against my colleagues...I won't have to be out campaigning against my fellow colleagues. [ You are saying you will not campaign against Democrats so it follows you will not campaign for Republicans running against those seventeen Democrat incumbents. Your words can be interpreted in no other way. You  were specifically asked about your standards in  contested districts because you were elected by Republicans and Democrats.]

 

Your utmost respect for your Democrat colleagues is misplaced and should be for the people who put you in office more than for your Democrat colleagues. Because of the actions of the Democrats you so highly respect, babies are being murdered in the womb, citizens are facing bankruptcy, skyrocketing health insurance, inflation, becoming dependent on food stamps, and increasing regulations that are destroying businesses and the economy, and a hundred other negative things.  

 

I presume you think you were being magnanimous and fair to further state, " I am a firm believer in proportionate representation." Again you are supporting those who are destroying our country and liberty instead of the conservatives who put you in office. An excerpt from a letter to the editor describes the electorate's view that sent a strong message to politicians this November 4. "We do not want to hear you spewing rhetoric about "reaching across the aisle; the Democrats lost. Instead, you should reach out to We the People." We see our country being destroyed; this is no time to consort with the enemy of our freedom.  

 

US Senator Trent Lott's Power-sharing in 2000 angered conservatives and cut the heart out of the Republican momentum.  It will do the same now in Little Rock if continued.

 

And it did not help matters to hear you praise the contentious reign of Speaker Davy Carter when you were asked in the interview about all that drama and the committee assignments Carter made and what your plans were.  You said, "I am a firm believer in proportionate representation...I think Speaker Carter laid out a really good platform and design on how to do the committee assignments as far as Democrats and Republicans so I look to probably follow along those lines."

 

You also said, "There is a chance of having consensus moving into the session.  That is what we are going to really strive for." If you really want consensus and to represent those people who you are supposed to be representing, you would resign as speaker and let the newly elected representatives vote for a new Speaker without threats from you or the Democrats. With a  64 Republican majority (an increase of 13 Republicans) and  with only 35 Democrats in the House, the people have sent a very strong mandate that they want conservative leaders instead of a follower of Davy Carter who evidently pulled all the Democrat votes to get you elected Speaker.

 

Other actions that disturb me which can be found at this link:  http://www.conduitforaction.org/gains-in-ar-legislature-could-be-minimized-by-legislative-leaders/#more-1670

 

Representative Jeremy Gillam recognizes he will need Democrat votes as the House becomes more conservative.  For example, he supported the passage of the Obamacare Private Option which most House Republicans voted against.

 

JEREMY GILLAM & DEMOCRAT ALLIES

·       Gillam surprised many Republican voters when he publicly stated he would not campaign for any Republican candidate who was running against an incumbent House Democrat.  Many of those Republican candidates are now Representatives-Elect.

·       Gilliam does not appear to have any desire to remove Gabe Holmstrom from the House staff and may even keep him as House Chief of Staff. [The hiring of Holmstrom by Speaker Carter was a shock among Republicans because Holmstrom had been the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. Having the former Executive Director of the Democratic party for a Republican majority House was seen as a slap in the face of Republicans who did not support Carter. Holmstrom’s salary as Chief of staff has increased dramatically to $132,499.95.]

·       Rumor to watch.  Buzz in the House says Gillam will appoint a number of Democrats as committee chairs, including a Democrat as the Chair of the Public Health, Welfare, & Labor Committee. 

·       A Republican House member sent word to Conduit for Action that CFA’s criticism of Gilliam’s protection of Democrats was hurting his own chances of getting a chairmanship.  It is a sad state of affairs when a Speaker-Designate has that much power over other legislators. 

Source for Talk Business Interview with Gillam & Dismang, March 23, 2014 at this link: http://talkbusiness.net/2014/03/rep-gillam-sen-dismang-outline-governing-style-issues-2015-leadership/ Scroll down to bottom for the video.

 

See this link to transcript of Entire Interview With Jeremy Gillam House Designate and Senate Leader Designate Jonathan Dismang : http://www.wpaag.org/Election%202014-Dismang%20&%20Gillam%20House%20&%20Sen%20speaker.html

 

Debbie Pelley

Posted January 8, 2015 by Women Action Group wpaagorg@gmail.com