5/11: Ethical reform in Ga.

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Georgia lawmakers are taking heat about the lack of ethical reform statewide — as reflected in the column below by a Sandy Springs resident. He says he feels that legislators work more for special interests than the citizens they’re elected to represent.

In response, a longtime lobbyist discusses the benefits and knowledge lobbyists bring to the political arena.

What do you think?

9 comments Add your comment

Don McAdam

May 11th, 2012
12:17 pm

Our elected representatives are supposed to be answerable ONLY to us. However, when we see legislation passed like bank bailouts (but only for the largest banks) and we see farm subsidies (mostly for the largest interests like ADM) we rightly question how this favorable treatment came to be.

We all know that Wall Street gives enormous sums of money in campaign contributions and the same goes for big agriculture, big pharma, big etc. That campaign money keeps the congressman in office (80% the candidate with the most money wins). The congressman is grateful to the big donor.

We have to take steps to reverse this.

Hillbilly D

May 11th, 2012
10:47 am

How do you convey your concerns to the lawmakers?

I just walk right up to him and tell him. It’s one of the pluses of living in a rural community. We all know our elected representatives personally and they can’t hide from us.

David M. Green

May 11th, 2012
8:03 am

The act of a Georgia state legislature accepting money and gifts from lobbyists should be called for what in reality it is: POLITICAL PROSTITUTION.


May 11th, 2012
7:16 am

I have questions for all of the people – before and after me – who are critical of legislators and lobbyists, who make snide remarks about both, who express HORROR that lobbyists actually draft bills, who are convinced that Georgia is run by a bunch of crooks and nincompoops.

Do you know your state Senator and Representative personally?

Have you every met them?

Can you name them?

Do you know any lobbyists?

Have you ever visited the Capitol?

Have you ever attended a forum held by your legislators?

Are you a member of any professional or trade association or other kind of organization that has an interest in public policy issues that are decided by the Legislature? If you are, do you consider your organization’s aims to be legitimate? How do you convey your concerns to the lawmakers? In person, one by one? Or do you hire a person to represent you? A lobbyist, maybe?


May 11th, 2012
6:48 am

Sea and Man, you have your head up your a———s. No bid contracts for the Gov. trips for Ralston. But I guess since the are repulicans you hold them to different standards. You are part of the problem in this state.


May 11th, 2012
5:44 am

Lack of ethics laws does not mean lack of ethics! Look at the President’s home state,many ethic laws but none observed to be followed!

Hillbilly D

May 10th, 2012
10:09 pm

The lobbyists do bring benefits and knowledge, hell, sometimes they even write the bills.


May 10th, 2012
8:09 pm

GA ethics – isn’t that what they call an oxymoron?


May 10th, 2012
7:23 pm

Ethical reform in GA? So the legislature actually has some ethical guidelines? Could have fooled me! There isn’t a thing a lobbyist can bring to the table [except for lots of money- ie bribes] that the average citizen could not speak with their rep about. That also assumes one can get the attention of the elected officials in the legislature [without bringing money to the table].