Floor and Committee Statements

Mr. President, I rise on a point of personal privilege to commend a  gentleman from Georgia, Mr. Keith Hatcher.

      Twenty-five years ago, when I worked with my father--my father, among other  things, was the past president of the Georgia Association of REALTORS. I  remember one afternoon he came into my office and said: Son, we just hired  someone today who is going to be special. His name is Keith Hatcher. I want you  to be sure and look him up the first time you get a chance.

      Well, about a week later I met Keith. I was then a member of the Georgia  Legislature, and I showed him around a little bit. He became the assistant to  John Cox, who had been the venerable representative of the REALTORS for years  in that State. I saw that spark in Keith Hatcher's eye, and I knew he was going  to be a great one, and a great one he has been.

      In his 25 years representing the Georgia association and landowners and homeowners  around our State, he has fought hard for limitations and curbs on the power of  eminent domain, fought hard for lower ad valorem taxes and transfer taxes, and  fought hard for reform of landlord-tenant laws. He has worked day in and day  out for the landowners of our State and for the REALTORS of our State, and he  has done it in the most professional, comprehensive way anybody could possibly  do it.

      He has another great story to tell. Keith faced a significant health hazard  just a few years ago. He was about to lose a kidney, and he could have lost his  life, but he went through a transplant program in Birmingham, AL. The  transplant was successful, and he rehabilitated himself. Today, he works as  hard as he did before the injury.
      Importantly, as well, he works as a member of  the board of the National Kidney Foundation helping to raise money to support  the transplant program so others who are afflicted as he was will have the same  cure he has had.

      So this week, as the REALTORS from Georgia come to town, as I think they  will from every other State of the Union, to talk to the Members of the Senate  about laws that affect their industry and their profession, the one from  Georgia will be led by Keith Hatcher. As he has for the last 24 years, he will be  a voice for home ownership, a voice for lower taxation, and a voice for wide  distribution and ownership of land, which makes the United States of America  the most unique country of any on the face of this Earth.

      I am pleased to commend him today on the celebration of his 25th anniversary  representing the Georgia Association of REALTORS.

      Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.