BOBBY FRANKLIN: A CASE STUDY IN GOOD GUB'MINT

An obscure state legislator, Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia's 43rd House district, received a disproportionate amount of attention earlier this week for proposing that the state eliminate the practice of licensing drivers. Illustrative of his mastery of the Constitution, Franklin eloquently notes, "Free people have a common law and constitutional right to travel on the roads and highways that are provided by their government for that purpose. Licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right." He had the following exchange with a local reporter regarding this legislative masterpiece:

Franklin told CBS Atlanta News that driver's licenses are a throw back to oppressive times. “Agents of the state demanding your papers," he said. "We’re getting that way here.”

CBS Atlanta's Rebekka Schramm asked Franklin, “How are we going to keep up with who’s who and who’s on the roads and who’s not supposed to be on the roads?”

“That’s a great question," Franklin said. "And I would have to answer that with a question, ‘Why do you need to know who’s who?’”

“What about 12-14-year-olds who want to drive? What would stop them?" Schramm asked.

“Well, what’s stopping them now anyway?” Franklin answered.

We Georgians are well acquainted with Rep. Franklin, not merely for his brilliance but also for his productivity. In the current state legislative session he has proposed 50 bills in the first two weeks, including the first 21 bills to enter the hopper. Let's take a quick look at what Rep. Franklin has been doing for the people of Georgia.

HB1 – "to provide that prenatal murder shall be unlawful in all events…"

OK, so he's throwing pro-lifers a bone. No harm in that.

HB2 Georgia Right to Grow Act – "to protect the right to grow food crops and raise small animals on private property so long as such crops and animals are used for human consumption by the occupants"

So your neighbor can keep a donkey or a chicken coop in his yard. At this point I need to emphasize that Franklin's district is in suburban Atlanta.

HB3 Constitutional Tender Act – "to require the exclusive use of gold and silver coin as tender in payment of debts by or to the state"

Because according to the Constitushin, FRN ain't real money!

HB4 Life, Liberty, and Property Restoration Act – "to create the Joint Committee on Repeals"

No idea what this means, but I am going to have to assume that it's something crazy.

HB5 Freedom of Choice and Security Act – "to amend Chapter 11 of Title 16 …(to) repeal Article 4"

Ch.11, Title 16, Art. 4 outlaws the following things, among others:

16-11-102: Pointing a gun at another person
16-11-106: Using a firearm in the commission of another crime
16-11-113: Transferring a firearm to someone cannot legally own one
16-11-122: Possession of a sawed-off shotgun or machine gun
16-11-127: Carrying a firearm onto school property or at school functions
16-11-131: Possession of firearm by convicted felon
16-11-132: Possession of firearm by individual under 18
16-11-134: Discharge of firearm under the influence of drugs
16-11-170: To provide background checks under the Brady Act

Yeah.

HB6 Emergency Defense of the Home Act – "to repeal the power of the Governor to suspend or limit the sale or transportation of firearms during times of emergency"
HB7 Right to Travel Act – the drivers' license thing
HB8 Due Process Restoration Act – "to prohibit certain forms of surveillance without search warrants"

Hey, we finally found one that isn't completely fucking bonkers!

HB9 Kathryn Johnston's Law – "to provide that the use of forced entry in the execution of a search warrant is prohibited"

There. Now we're back on track.

HB10 Child Protection Act – "to provide that no local governing authority shall prohibit the construction of a fence between properties of a sufficient height to prevent a person at the highest point of observation in one residence to observe activity within an adjacent property"

Read that explanation carefully and note just how high the proposed fence in question would have to be to prohibit, for example, viewing one's neighbor's yard from a 2nd story window. But your bizarro 25 foot fence will enhance Child Protection!

HB11 Freedom from Compulsory Pandemic Act – "to repeal the authority of the Governor to issue mandatory vaccination orders"

A logical extension of the pioneering work of Dr. Jennifer McCarthy at the University of Google.

HB12 Georgia Food Freedom Act – "to exempt from local regulations certain retail sales of Georgia grown agricultural or farm products directly from the producer to the consumer"

If history has proven anything it's that unregulated food is safe.

HB13 – "to prohibit the levy or collection of income taxes"

Well that 'll fix our massive budget deficit.

HB14 – "to change the term "victim" to the term "accuser" …where there has not yet been a criminal conviction"

OK, that seems reasonable. But I'm sure his motives are somehow insane.

HB15 – "to provide that no person employed by or under contract with…this state…shall be permitted to address any committee or subcommittee of the General Assembly"

Common sense lobbying reform? Bobby, I'm disappointed. What has gotten into you?

HB16 Georgia Nuclear Energy Financing Act – "to eliminate provisions for a utility to recover from its customers the costs of financing associated with the construction of a nuclear generating plant"

We'll recoup the costs from the general tax revenues instead.

Oh wait.

HB17 – "to abolish the Department of Human Services"

I hear they mostly spend their days playing Duck Hunt anyway. Good riddance.

HB18 – "to abolish the State Road and Tollway Authority"

Bobby, we're starting to run out of sources of income. I'm not sure you realize this.

HB19 – "to provide that federal reserve banks and branches located in Georgia shall not be exempt from state income tax"

Can a state tax a Federally chartered bank? Man, I wish the Supreme Court offered some guidance on this complicated question of federalism.

Oh wait I just tripped over McCULLOCH v. FRIGGIN' MARYLAND. FROM 1819.

HB20 – "to provide for the comprehensive regulation of federal tax funds"

This is so poorly written as to obscure its intended meaning, but from the complete bill I gather that this is some kind of scheme to create a state panel to rule on what Georgia's tax dollars can and cannot be used for by the Federal government…which sounds really constitutional.

HB21 – "to provide findings of the General Assembly regarding the constitutionality of certain federal laws and other mandates; to provide that any judicial officer, law enforcement officer, agent, or employee of the federal government, any multinational government, any international government, or any global government commits the offense of racketeering by color of law when he or she attempts to enforce any law not recognized as valid."

If you're going to propose the first 21 bills you might as well go out in a blaze of glory – Nullification! "Global government" paranoia! The common sense assertion that states get to pick which Federal laws are "recognized as valid"! Boy, I wonder if Rep. Franklin had any crazy left for the remainder of the session after this 21 bill burst of furious activity…

HB37 – "to provide that political parties shall provide documentation that their candidates in the presidential preference primary meet the qualifications of the United States Constitution to hold the office of President of the United States"

Oh hell yeah.

You're money well spent, Bobby. Reading your list of legislative proposals I can't imagine what our state government could do to streamline its operations, reduce waste, and get more accomplished.

54 thoughts on “BOBBY FRANKLIN: A CASE STUDY IN GOOD GUB'MINT”

  • The Man, The Myth says:

    Here is my thought: whack jobs like this guy provide the ultimate paradox of "conservatism" – they obviously despise and distrust government institutions, yet they want to participate and run for them. Additionally, this guy shows a wonderful example of how they always want to make us fear something. Regardless of democracy's shortcomings, governments are elected to represent us. These people make it sound like we have zero influence on our government, they are all out of touch and incompetent, so we should fear them (or maybe kill them). To me this train of thought is absurd, but it evidently is appealing to many people.

  • Aw, man. As a fellow servant of the University System of Georgia (for 20 too many years), I can only say: Why the fuck do any sane people still populate the University System of Georgia? Get out while you can, if you still can.

  • raising chickens in my backyard? That's not a bad idea actually. Can I also raise a huge bull hog too and ride him to work? That would be sweet.

  • duck-billed placelot says:

    HB14: change 'victim' to 'accuser' – ten to one this is meant specifically for rape and domestic abuse victims. Anti-choicers generally claim 'false' rape accusations are a horrible and oppressive problem that destroy the lives of SO MANY good (white) boys, that we should do everything we can to make the vanishingly small number of rape cases that are actually prosecuted even worse for the victims.

    HB15: Wouldn't this mean that state employees cannot be expert witnesses? For example, if someone wanted to hold hearings on whether Georgia should allow off-shore drilling or change pollution standards, wouldn't state-employed Fish & Wildlife employees be not allowed to 'address [the] committee', while oil company 'scientists', because they were paid by BP, could?

  • My hair stylist had llamas. Llamas are quiet, peaceful, intelligent and sociable. She had to move their corral to the front of her property because a neighbor complained. Too bad she didn't have those fences.

    May we always preserve the sanctity of our precious bodily fluids!

  • Wow Ed! I never would have guessed you to be from Georgia. Oddly enough I worked for the University System for 12 years, after 12 years as a classroom instructor in the CIty of Atlanta public school system. (I also graduated from a Georgia university.)

    How embarrassing. I am ashamed to have to claim this creature Franklin as a Georgian, but I guess he must be. (We should ask for his birth certificate I guess.)

    I do have a dozen laying hens on my little 6 acre place in the North Georgia appalachians. No hogs. No cattle. But I do have a visit from the occasional deer, wild turkey, and a black bear or two.

    We have, over the years, spawned some real whackos. Remember Lester Maddox? Or J.B. Stoner?

    But also, when I was in elementary school, my school system (DeKalb County public schools) was ranked first in the nation under Jim Cherry-Superintendent.

    Oh well…I am still Georgia Jeff. That being said, I will offer no defense for this clown.

  • Well in taking an axe to the State's revenue streams there'd be no roads to drive on so that would make the opening story moot.

    The food ones may be related to Monsanto and friends having a Fed bill to prevent the trade and sale of home grown vegetables or something like that. My hippie cousin keeps posting stuff about that.

  • I would not be surprised if he is either a fellow or full blown practioner of Identity Christianity or one of those folks who will call himself a sovereign citizen.

  • Dr. Jennifer McCarthy at the University of Google.

    Dang coca-cola burns as it come out of your nose…

    I've got to ask, did he propose any legislation that would help with job formation? Healthcare? Oh wait a minute, he has a job & I bet the legislature in Ga. has a pretty sweet healthcare benefit, so it doesn't matter that his constituents probably don't have jobs or have jobs that provide crappy healthcare…

  • Wouldn't barring state employees from testifying in hearings also play hell with any hearings relating to law enforcement or corrections? I really can't imagine how you can have hearings like that without allowing testimony from the officers involved.

  • HB10 Child Protection Act – "to provide that no local governing authority shall prohibit the construction of a fence between properties of a sufficient height to prevent a person at the highest point of observation in one residence to observe activity within an adjacent property"

    I'll bette a million fucken dollars that this wackefucke motherfucker does WACKEMOTHERFUCKEN BATTLE with his neighbors and tried to build some kind of massive spite fence and the zoning board made him stoppe.

  • I've heard people make proposals like this driver's license bill before. My response: "Requiring a driver's license doesn't restrict your right or ability to travel in any way. Who says you have to travel by car?" Always gets blank stares from the sort of people who would suggest such things.

  • My neighbors have ten goats, a cow, a hundred chickens, twelve turkeys, 8 pigs, six horses and a coon hound on 1.2 acres.
    That's Franklin's constituency for HB2.

  • I have to agree with him on the food stuff. I'm tired of reading stories about other insane people turning children in to the authorities for having lemonade stands. I also really like farmer's markets, and if I get salmonella because I didn't wash the pig shit off my tomatoes, well, it's my own damned fault. I'd rather take my chances with that than to not be allowed to purchase produce anywhere other than my local MegaSuperMarket that was trucked in from 6 states over and treated with 60 different kinds of chemicals to keep it looking 'fresh' for 3 months on the shelf.

    My parents actually own a very small-scale meat processing plant. I understand that meat processors are regulated by a different agency than farmers (it's FDA and USDA, but I can never remember which one), but the problems are similar: the larger corporations have access to greater amounts of capitol, and in the U.S. unfortunately that means greater ability to influence legislation, and to meet guidelines that should only apply to the MegaCorps anyway. By nature the products produced in giant-ass facilities are more prone to contamination than something that comes from a small-scale facility. It's just the difference between processing 12 carcasses a day vs. 12,000. In a smaller production facility, you can take the time to avoid getting shit on your product in the first place, and then to wash it off in the rare event that an accident occurs.

  • As a Native Texan, I know my state has more than its share of crazies. But I'm afraid the Lone Star State must give pride of place to the Peach State.

  • He's just the type of idiot to continue to get re-elected under the Bachmann Principal: "He's an idiot, but he's our idiot." Alternately, you could consider it American Electoral Stockholm Syndrome.

  • Since you brought it up Mr Ed, it will be incumbent upon you as the "accuser" to see if any of Mr. Frankilin's wackocity gets any traction.

    Please report back at the end of the Legislative session about April 1st to see how many HBs from Rep Wackjob:

    1.) made it out of committee
    2.) passed by the House
    3.) were considered in the Senate
    4.) made it out of committee
    5.) passed by the Senate
    6.) have a successful conference process and are adopted by both bodies
    7.) make it past the veto pen of Governor Deal

    I am betting 0.

    And I don't think you can ascribe any incrementally wasted $ to Rep Franklin's antics.

    //bb

  • HB4 is worth checking out, as it's straight outta Idiocracy:

    http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2011_12/fulltext/hb4.htm

    In short, the legislative leadership will pick 3 members from each house to "review" all the laws to see if they're "constitutional". The gotcha? NONE OF THEM CAN EVER HAVE GONE TO LAW SCHOOL. Rabid anti-intellecutalism at its finest.

    Also, a million bonus points for having the ONLY example of "civil government exceeding its mandate" be from the Old Testament; nothing like a good dose of mythology to improve the government!

  • I don't know how long you have lived in GA, Mr Ed, but we have a long Democrat/Leftist wacko tradition too.

    For Ex:

    How about the Father-Daughter duo of the late State Rep Billy and US Rep Cynthia (cutest lil Communist in Congress) McKinney. Billy once pulled a knife on a "colleague" at the Legislature. Cynthia is from the Left Coast of Mars.

    //bb

  • displaced Capitalist says:

    Ok, Amy's probably a troll but I'll bite:

    I'm tired of reading stories about other insane people turning children in to the authorities for having lemonade stands

    It drives me nuts this is quoted so often and yet it's the worst kind of myth. THIS NEVER HAPPENED. There was a NYT article a few years back which explained this situation, I'm too lazy to find it for a troll. The short of it was, some kids were trying to set up a lemonade stand in central fucking park in downtown Manhattan. The kids started getting death threats from the crazy dudes who sell lemonade there for a living so the police asked the children to leave FOR THEIR FUCKING PROTECTION.

    This was no local neighborhood thing either: Their father was some kind of Ayn Rand Objectivist with a chip on his shoulder and was trying to use his kids as an excuse to compete directly with the other vendors anyway and bypass the city regulations which are set up to, you know… keep the vendors from killing each other!?!

    So stop spreading this bullshit.

    I also really like farmer's markets, and if I get salmonella because I didn't wash the pig shit off my tomatoes, well, it's my own damned fault. I'd rather take my chances with that than to not be allowed to purchase produce anywhere other than my local MegaSuperMarket that was trucked in from 6 states over and treated with 60 different kinds of chemicals to keep it looking 'fresh' for 3 months on the shelf.

    You realize that the "regulations" that keep you from shopping at a farmers market (do such regs exist? I never heard of them) are there to keep those mega corporations from 6 states over from poisoning you with something a little more dangerous than pig shit.

  • We have a Bobby Franklin in Tennessee, his name is Stacey Campfield. He's always putting forth wingnutty bills like this. His latest: force people on public assistance to get drug tests before getting any money.

    Cuz you know, all of "those" people on the public dole are all drug addicts. Of course they are!

  • Lightning Bonus Round:

    Note how, of all of Franklin's "DOWN WITH THE EVIL GUB'MINT" bills, not a single one of them proposes repealing the Georgia State law against buying alcohol on Sunday.

    Because we need SMALLER GUB'MINT, that also THROWS YOU IN JAIL FOR NOT BEING A GOOD CHRISTIAN.

    I fucking hate this fucking state.

  • I have the misfortune of living in Bobby Franklin's district. He's obviously expanded his anti-abortion/anti-porn agenda. It's beyond me how no one runs against him, even a Republican. The guy is such a sap that any normal, competent person could easily beat him in an election. I'd run myself if I had the aptitude. Then again, Bobby seems to hold onto his seat while exhibiting none himself.

  • I'd be willing to bet that HB 4 was inspired by opposition to the health care reform law. I'd also be willing to bet that HB 15 was inspired by the thought that Republicans in power shouldn't have to listen to them damn lee-brul unions for public employees, but that if it ever came to Democrats in power not wanting to listen to conservatards, the screaming will be audible from the international space station.

  • his food bills are standard for most states. the language he's using is specific to small producers to sell directly to customers at their farm or at farmers markets. I run a farmers market in St. Louis, so I can tell you he's right on those. everything else… nuts.

  • By the way, I wonder how many of these legislative actions are part of ALEC ("American Legislative Exchange Council," basically industry-funded group that crafts "model legislation" to make its way through state legislatures …)

    I was going to provide a link but it appears their website is down for some reason … but Google it ….

  • @Mark Herpel:

    No I fucking didn't. Even if I lived in his district, I would write in "Dixie Normous", or "Hugh Jim Bissell" rather than vote for this fucktard.

    As for the actual article,…


    I fucking hate this state.

  • Also too, Ed, you made a correct assumption on HB 4. It's some utterly insane hogwash about how teh Church rocks, and teh Gub'mint is teh sucks. I'm not sure what it is, beyond that, even after reading it.

  • HB 2 doesn't seem too crazy… Keeping chickens is legal in the city of Minneapolis as long as some metric is reached e.g. 75% of the homeowners within 50 yards of your property sign off on it.

    I'm generally supportive of home gardening, keeping chickens for eggs, and generally producing your own food supply — especially brewing your own beer — as long as it doesn't make your neighbors miserable.

    Is there a good, er, any reason to not do this?

  • Ahhh
    //bb

    "And I don't think you can ascribe any incrementally wasted $ to Rep Franklin's antics."

    I agree with your first point, but he is getting paid – so there are a lot of wasted dollars directly attributable to his antics.

  • 'HB4 Life, Liberty, and Property Restoration Act – "to create the Joint Committee on Repeals"

    'No idea what this means, but I am going to have to assume that it's something crazy.'

    I think this is for state nullification of federal laws. The state committee will decide whether federal laws are Constitutional, and if not, toss them out.

    Rather hilarious when you consider that the Constitution itself clearly states that federal laws are the "supreme law" of the land, and any state or local laws that conflict with federal law are thus overruled.

  • @duck-billed placelot, I tend to agree. Forbidding state employees from talking to congress is a great way to cut congress off from being able to talk to any of the people who actually run the government they're supposed to be leading.

  • OK, so even the first one: HB1 – "to provide that prenatal murder shall be unlawful in all events…" – has a major problem in its wording.

    By definition, murder is unlawful homicide. So it's just a tautology – prenatal murder is always, by definition, unlawful. Sure, this can dovetail with another bill that says that abortion is always murder, but then HB1 won't have any additional effect. He couldn't even word the first one correctly.

  • HB13 isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as sales and property taxes are raised to compensate. After all, Washington and NH get by with no state income taxes…

    But somehow, I suspect that's not on his list.

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  • Right to grow! Yes! I'd rather b surrounded by pets than all the other crap people have piled on their porches and yards in Georgia.

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