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Lt. Gov. threatened with impeachment

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POSTED: February 2, 2008 5:02 a.m.

ATLANTA (AP) - A state House Republican said Friday he would bring impeachment charges against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle if the Senate refuses to consider a dozen veto overrides the House passed on the first day of the legislative session.

State Rep. Ron Forster said Georgia law requires the Senate to immediately consider the veto overrides instead of sending them to a committee, and threatened to call for Cagle's impeachment if he doesn't soon follow suit.

"Our constitution is the foundation of our society," said Forster, a Ringgold lawmaker who chairs the Interstate Cooperation Committee. "We cannot have somebody ignore what's written in the constitution. If you don't like it, you can amend it, but you have to follow it."

Cagle, for his part, seemed to laugh off the proposal.

"We appreciate Rep. Forster injecting some humor into a stressful legislative session," said Jaillene Hunter, Cagle's spokeswoman.

The House overwhelmingly voted to override a dozen of Perdue's vetoes on Monday, the legislative session's first day. But the Senate refused to take immediate action, sending the proposals to a committee where they remained Friday.

Forster would target the impeachment proceedings at Cagle, who as lieutenant governor presides over the Senate. He said the resolution won't aim to oust Cagle from office, but possibly fine him.

"I'm not out to crucify him. It's not a House-Senate squabble," he said. "This is my feeling."

If the proposal moves forward, it would certainly ratchet up the tension between the two chambers.

The friction between the two chambers erupted in the final days of last year's legislative session, when Perdue vetoed the $700 million midyear budget. The veto galvanized House leaders, who rallied the chamber to override Perdue's veto. But Senate leaders refused to follow suit by claiming the move was unconstitutional.

Republican leaders promised a clean slate this year, but the message of unity they preached quickly rang hollow after the veto overrides.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press

 

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