By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
In what may be a first for the Georgia General Assembly, outspoken atheist and LaGrange attorney Mike Smith has qualified as a Democratic candidate for George House District 69. If elected, Smith said, he will propose legislation to outlaw all lobbyist gifts to Georgia legislators, legalize marijuana, and "make the rich pay their fair share of taxes."
"I pledge to bring a rational voice to the Georgia Legislature," said Smith, 62.
"The failed war on drugs is the lynchpin of the Republican party's Southern strategy, which was designed to trick white Southerners into voting against their own interests," Smith said. "With the legalization of marijuana, we can increase tax revenue, close expensive for-profit prisons, and use the savings to improve the education of our children."
A Vietnam War veteran and former paratrooper, Smith now opposes all wars. "That includes the Republican wars against women, immigrants, gays, blacks, unions, and free speech," he said.
Smith also vowed to work towards ending the improper influence of rich corporate lobbyists on our laws.
"Every year, lobbyists give millions of dollars in gifs to our representatives to control our laws," Smith said. "Our laws should not be written by lobbying groups like ALEC. Our laws should reflect the democratic values of Georgians, and our legislation should be produced only for our people and only by our representatives.
"Georgians deserve better, and now is the time to stop legalized bribery in the Georgia Legislature," Smith said.
Smith said that the incumbent in District 69, Randy Nix, "represents the three most dangerous and politically corrupt American institutions of this century: banks, the religious right, and the Republican party."
"Our Republican legislators have allowed local schools to be closed while the richest remain exempt from paying taxes," Smith said. "We should close tax loopholes and raise taxes on the one percent who profit from the hard work of Georgians."
Smith, a father of three, has worked as a disability attorney in LaGrange for the past 30 years. He has a B.A. in history from LaGrange College, J.D. and L.L.M. degrees from Atlanta Law School, and an M.A. in psychology from the University of West Georgia.
Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.