Sunday letters: Why does Harrell have such power?

May 4, 2014 

First Day

RAINIER EHRHARDT — AP

— I laughed out loud when I read House Speaker Bobby Harrell’s comment that he was glad a hearing before a judge was open, after all his attorneys’ efforts to conduct this in secret (“Harrell hearing to be open,” March 22). How has this man accumulated so much power that the entire Legislature refuses to consider ethics legislation that may affect him negatively?

We watched his refusal to provide documentation to the news media when these charges of misuse of campaign funds first surfaced, his claim that he was told there would be no reasons for a Grand Jury investigation and his latest attempts to have the attorney general removed from the investigation. If he is innocent, why are all these subterfuges necessary?

The House of Representatives appears powerless with him in command; obviously House members are terrified that they will be stripped of committee positions and otherwise punished if they do not cave to his wishes.

How in the world has one man accumulated this kind of power? Why doesn’t the House restrict the speaker position to two terms to avoid this kind of problem, or why does someone not challenge him for the position? Surely we have some intelligent members who can handle the demands of the job.

Diane Jumper

Gilbert

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