Local legislator and favorite whipping-boy James Mills (R-Chestnut Mountain) has a lot to lose with the current shake-up of the state house leadership.

He owes his chairmanship and his “hawk” status to those who are being pushed out the door.

Mills’ proposed a rule change to remind caucus members to toe-the-line:

There was no vote on a rules change which had been proposed by Rep. James Mills to expel from the Caucus any Republican who didn’t support the GOP nominee for Speaker during the official election before the full House next month.

Normally, both parties nominate a candidate for Speaker every two years and the majority party’s candidate always wins, even though the formal election doesn’t occur until the session opens and all members – including those from the minority party – participate. Other things being equal, Republicans should win. They hold 105 seats in the chamber compared to the Democrats’ 74. There is one newly-elected independent.

But there’s almost always talk of someone forming a coalition campaign, attempting to peel off enough majority-party members to pair with minority-party members to steal the election from the ruling clique. Such a movement was underway in 2002 when two Democrats locked horns for the Speakership and the loser, aided by newly-elected Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue, sought to do just that.