Courtesy John Fredricks / Beacon Media
House Speaker Pro-Tem Jan Jones (R-Milton) is the Joan of Arc of re-creating Milton County.
Hopefully, she'll end up with a better result than the famous French national heroine did.
The resolute Jones is determined to make sure of that. And she's pulling out all the stops to get the 125 votes she needs in the House next week to insure her constitutional amendment -- HR21 --gets to the senate.
Jones, speaking before a record crowd this morning at the annual Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce Expo breakfast in Alpharetta, said she is a handful of votes short of the two-thirds majority she needs -- as of today. "We have been working the other side of the aisle, and we have picked up considerable Democrat house support," Jones said. "We've closed the gap considerably in the last several days." Earlier this week Jones stated, "Good governance and economic efficiency is non-partisan and slices thourgh party affiliation." She says Fulton County cannot be fixed. "The only way to fix it is to eliminate it," Jones argued. The North Fulton legislator maintains that the resolution is good for all Georgians. "It [HR21] is gaining momentum as more House members review the facts behind it," she claimed. Jones says she needs about 20 Democrat votes to get it over the top.
Jones' Milton county supporters got thrown for a loop last week when her Majority Whip, Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Buckhead) came out against the resolution and tacked on an amendment at the last minute to stall it from getting out of one obscure house committee. His Kamikaze bid failed, 9-7, but his opposition forewarned trouble ahead
One veteran North Fulton Representative vented his disgust with the Lindsey stealth bombshell, referring to Atlanta's only Republican representative as "Judas."
BIG GUN CALLED IN
Jones countered the Lindsey defection by rolling out her big gun: Rep. Mark Burkhlater (R-Johns Creek). The former Speaker Pro-Tem, who has staked his political career on making the re-creation of Milton County a reality, delayed several business trips to help Jones and her North Fulton legislative team round up votes. Burkhalter, immensely popular in the Gold Dome with deep ties to many Democrat house colleagues, has been working feverishly to gain support for the resolution, sources say. "He's made great progress, as our entire team has," Jones said.
DO OR DIE IN RULES NEXT WEEK
Jones says she is confident the resolution will make it out of the Rules committee next week. Once accomplished, the gnostic house leader said the historic floor vote would then get on the docket. But Jones warned that she would not bring the resolution to the floor if she didn't have the votes. "If we are not successful in this session, I will bring it back next year," Jones vowed. "It's not a matter of 'if' for Milton County," she predicted. "Its a matter of when."