State Representative-elect Gregory talks guns, government, and gay marriage
by Jon Gillooly
January 10, 2013 12:00 AM | 6257 views | 7 7 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rep.-elect Charles Gregory conducts a town hall meeting at DogFather's Hot Dogs near Town Center Mall on Wednesday evening. Saying he was targeted by the ‘incumbent protection program,’ Gregory told the audience of about 50, ‘Making more regulations won’t stop people from being unethical. Unethical people will do what they’re going to do regardless under the table.’<br>Staff/Emily Barnes
Rep.-elect Charles Gregory conducts a town hall meeting at DogFather's Hot Dogs near Town Center Mall on Wednesday evening. Saying he was targeted by the ‘incumbent protection program,’ Gregory told the audience of about 50, ‘Making more regulations won’t stop people from being unethical. Unethical people will do what they’re going to do regardless under the table.’
Staff/Emily Barnes
MARIETTA — State Rep.-elect Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw) said that during his campaign, he was targeted by the “incumbent protection program” in the Georgia General Assembly.

During the lively town hall meeting Wednesday, Gregory also fielded questions on gay marriage and gun rights from a friendly group of about 50 residents at the DogFather’s Hot Dogs restaurant near Town Center Mall.

This was the second town hall meeting he’s hosted since ousting state Rep. Judy Manning (R-Marietta) in the Republican primary last year.

Andrew Reaid of Canton complained about the popular practice among Georgia lawmakers who send dollars from their campaign war chests to fellow incumbents up for election.

“They’re keeping each other in office. How do we stop that?” Reaid asked.

In response, Gregory said, “That’s exactly what happens, and it’s already been referred to openly in the House by some individuals as the ‘incumbent protection program.’ I don’t like it.”

Gregory said House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) gave Manning $5,000 in her race against him.

“It came out of his campaign funds, not his personal funds,” Gregory said. “And that’s just kind of what they do. If somebody is challenged, they shove the money over to that person and try and prop that person up to keep them in. You know, every situation is different, but I think if your election is supported solely based on House leadership, then you are pretty much tied to being their rubber stamp for the session.”

Gregory said he wasn’t sure what the solution was when it came to one lawmaker funneling campaign dollars to another.

“Making more regulations won’t stop people from being unethical,” he said. “Unethical people will do what they’re going to do regardless under the table. I don’t know what the solution is other than people to understand that — it may be to try and counteract it, try and be involved, try and do their research when they’re voting.”

Another audience member asked Gregory if Georgia would legalize gay marriage.

Gregory said marriage licenses started as a way of preventing interracial marriages.

“You know, marriage is a religious institution,” Gregory said. “It belongs in the church, and it should be between you and your God. It’s not the domain of the government. I don’t think anybody should be asking government permission to get married. So it takes gay marriage out of the whole equation. It’s not an issue anymore if it’s not a government thing. It’s a church thing. If your church is in favor of gay marriage, they would marry you. If your church is not, they won’t marry gay people. It would be up to the church. It has nothing to do with the government in my mind. It should not have to do with the government.”

Gregory said he believes that marriage is between a man and a woman.

However, “I don’t mean to impose that on anybody else or any church,” he said. “It should be a nongovernment issue.”

The freshman lawmaker said he’s received an overwhelmingly positive response regarding the four gun bills he pre-filed last month.

The bills would eliminate the licensing requirement for citizens to carry concealed weapons in the state, allow the carrying of firearms at churches and universities, and stop the governor’s ability to limit the sale and transfer of firearms during a state of emergency.

“These gun bills have been getting a lot of press, and I’ll tell you the personal response that I’m getting — I mean obviously it makes a good story — but I’m getting hundreds and hundreds of emails and phone calls and support of these bills like you wouldn’t believe, and very, very few, I am getting some, but very, very few people are calling in opposition to these bills, which is a very good sign to me that the people understand how important these fundamental rights are,” he said.

One audience member asked when the bills would be voted on in the Georgia House.

“You know, realistically I’m a nobody to them, all right, so I’m a freshman,” Gregory said. “‘Who does he think he is putting bills in?’ Really it’s probably going to come down to if there is overwhelming grassroots support. They don’t want to take risky votes. They want safe legislation. They want budgets. They want things that they can’t get an opponent over, so it is not in their interest to put up bills that take a stand on something. So it is going to take a lot of pressure, and I’m going to be working as much as I can from the inside for that, and I’m going to be trying to build coalitions with other people because there is really broad support for this sort of legislation as well as other pro-liberty legislation, I can already tell that.”

Ralston and his leadership team are the ones who decide whether the bills will be voted on, Gregory said.

“Unfortunately, whether a bill comes up for a vote or not is pretty much at the discretion of the Speaker of the House and maybe a couple of other people up top there, and the rest of us are just either rubber stamps or, you know, I don’t know what,” Gregory said.

But that’s not going to prevent Gregory from filing bills he believes in, he said.

“It really doesn’t matter if they get a vote or not. I’m still going to try and put forward legislation based on whether it’s right,” he said.

Gregory said it was his goal to see more “liberty-oriented” Republicans elected.

“It’s the only way we’re going to save this country,” he said. “When we talk about liberty, we’re talking about the philosophy of the founding of this country. We’re talking about what our Founding Fathers actually believed. What they wrote. At the time they were referred to as classical liberals. Today they would be considered libertarian. I believe that the libertarian base of the Republican Party is the faction of the Republican Party that truly perpetuates the spirit and the message of the founding of this country.”

Gregory, 34, and wife, Samantha, have three children. He runs his own computer software company, Possum Delight Technologies.
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Old Mariettan
January 12, 2013
Do tell us more about this idea Rep. Gregory has about Georgia issuing its own currency. Who thinks up this stuff?
Capitol Realist
January 14, 2013
This guy sounds like a piece of work! Not sure how he expects to get anything done with the philosophy of "I don't care if my legislations gets any votes...." What a dummy! That's what you're THERE FOR! Don't get doors slammed in your face before you even start! It's time to stop politicking and start working as a statesman and building relationships. Your District will thank you in the long haul.
David W
January 11, 2013
Uh, oh... Looks like we have another one of those naive, honest, bright, young, innocent gentlemen to represent the people down at the dome. That makes four or five of them if my math is correct. Ralston needs to hurry and get them indoctrinated before they do any good. We never had to worry about anything when Judy was in there. There was never anything to think about. Welcome, Charles!
January 10, 2013
"Gregory said House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) gave Manning $5,000 in her race against him."

Gregory is correct about this statement. At the time of this "incumbent protection program" gift, Ms. Manning really did not need the contribution. If I am correct, she had well over $ 60,000, on hand, for her campaign!

Speaker Ralston made the contribution to but the support and the votes of Ms. Manning!

"Legalized Vote Buying" must stop!
some hope
January 10, 2013
Gives me hope to read about someone who is actually interested in doing the right thing and not worrying about keeping his job until he is 100. Hope he is successful and goes on to higher office. And by the way, this bunch of far left liberals who are trying to take this country away from us will fail. As much as Obama wants to be a dictator and not a president, it just ain't in the cards.
January 10, 2013
We will be behind Charles Gregory and if we need to go to the state capital to help him we will. The second amendment is the single most important part of being and true United States citizen. The right to bear arms should always be unencumbered at all cost or you’re not free and a cause worth dying over as well. We need to pass tax breaks for bullet and gun manufactures to move to Georgia just like Idaho has. The south’s fatal flaw was no manufacturing before the civil war don’t make the same mistake again. Joe Biden thinks he can just roll over the second amendment without even hitting a speed bump!! I hear from the locals that Roy Boy Barnes was the one that took your right to bear arms away in the 1990’s in a supposedly declared emergency!!
January 10, 2013
I fully support his legislative ideas, just wish he was my Rep. and not leftist ideologue Alisha Morgan. That's what I get for living in an area full of nitwit voters who couldn't pass a basic civic tests....
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