An honest look at the value of ethics laws

All of us — OK, maybe just most of us — think of ourselves as honest people.

But in the name of being honest, we should be willing to admit that we’re even more honest when we fear that someone might be watching. That fact doesn’t make us bad; it makes us human. Having a conscience is important, but a conscience is always strengthened by fear that somehow you might get caught.

If that fear diminishes, your conscience has a harder and harder time making itself heard, and temptation grows more powerful. It’s true for all of us, in every walk of life.

And in Georgia politics, that healthy fear of getting caught has all but disappeared.

That’s the real implication of the news that Georgia has been ranked 50th — dead last in the country — in the quality of its ethics laws and ethics enforcement. The legal mechanisms that might help keep our politicians honest simply do not exist or do not function.

And that didn’t happen by accident. Or as Zell Miller used to put it, that turtle didn’t get on that fencepost all by itself.

State officials have stripped the state ethics commission of much of its funding. They have stripped it of the legal power it needs to do its job. They have passed laws that discourage private citizens from filing complaints with the commission. Legislators have even gone so far as to strip the ethics commission of the title “ethics commission,” renaming it the “Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.”

Why? Because getting in trouble with the “transparency commission” sounds so much less serious.

These days, of course, there’s not much chance of anyone running afoul of the commission no matter what you call it. Just last year, when commission employees dared to get serious about investigating ethics allegations against Gov. Nathan Deal, the commission’s executive director and its sole investigator were summarily dismissed.

Message sent; message received.

Meanwhile, of course, Georgia legislators continue to insist on the right to take gifts of unlimited value from lobbyists who court and seduce them, seeking special favors. And the main argument against changing the law? Lobbyists and legislators, we’re told, would just keep doing the same old thing illegally, under the table.

This, from the people who are trying to reassure us that our elected officials are honest.

It is all too clear where this is headed. It might happen next year; it might be the year after that. But ethical arrogance on the scale that we’re seeing under the Gold Dome can only end in one way: indictments and prosecutions.

Again, even honest, well-intended people benefit from knowing that somebody is looking over their shoulder. If the existence of a well-funded, independent and functioning ethics commission makes elected officials a little nervous and uncomfortable, good. That’s exactly what it is supposed to do — comfort in such matters is a dangerous thing.

But if we’re going to be honest — there’s that word again — we have to admit to another side of this problem. Yes, the legal mechanisms needed to enforce ethical standards in Georgia have been dismantled. But that is possible only because the people of Georgia have allowed it to happen.

In other words, it’s not just the legal standards that have disappeared — the political mechanisms that might enforce ethical standards no longer exist either. And to be honest, in Georgia they have never particularly strong in the first place.

327 comments Add your comment

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 26th, 2012
6:53 am

“In other words, it’s not just the legal standards that have disappeared — the political mechanisms that might enforce ethical standards no longer exist either. And to be honest, in Georgia they have never particularly strong in the first place.”

Old news there, Jay. You always get what you vote for…

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 26th, 2012
6:55 am

Actually there should be a psychiatric test you have to take to run for election. If you really want to be a politician, then you’re disqualified.

Bud Wiser

March 26th, 2012
6:56 am

Ethics are what you do when no one else is watching you.

Doggone/GA

March 26th, 2012
7:02 am

“Ethics are what you do when no one else is watching you.”

And in this case…lack of ethics is what you do even when someone IS watching.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:03 am

Why should anyone care that Georgia is “ranked” at all? Only leftists think Georgia needs more laws. If you will wipe out 80% of what is already there, I’ll support the effort. Count me as one who has less confidence in the law than in the market. The market is not as arbitrary in favor of overlords.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
7:03 am

Well, I thought it was established that the research that showed Georgia as dead last was deeply flawed, so flawed as to be worthless. Especially since corrupt as heck NJ came in first. But some people haven’t been paying attention or doing their homework. So I’ll post this. Again.

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-22/contest-for-funniest-new-jersey-joke-has-a-winner.html

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:04 am

Skip more “ethics” legislation and simply enforce the bribery statutes. If there is no bribery going on, I don’t care otherwise.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:06 am

I had hoped we would be discussing the Anti-Injunction Act today, as that is the top of the news.

Jm aka Bloomberg (Facts) Troll

March 26th, 2012
7:07 am

Now. All that said, GA could use some ethics laws with teeth. Good luck.

N-GA

March 26th, 2012
7:07 am

Remember Ralph Reed? UGA ‘85, Emory Univ. ‘89

He is not a symptom…he is part of the root cause. He and others like him hide behind the claim of being religious thus blinding the already blind and getting their support.

Bud Wiser

March 26th, 2012
7:07 am

Since when are ethics even considered by the party that says …”you’ll have to pass this to see what’s in it…” (referring to Pelosi on Obamacare in 2008).

No introspection here in your own sick and twisted party, eh Bookman?

Today will begin hearings at the SCOTUS on Obamacare, ruling expected probably in June.

Interestingly enough, the more Americans see of it, the less they like it. Galup polling shows now that overall 62% of all Americans do NOT approve of it, 72% of those that call themselves Republicans, and even 56% of Democrats think it will or should be overturned.

Sooooooooooo, any of you dimwits that still love it are in the minority of your assemblage of minorities. Wear it like a badge of honor, as I am sure that you will.

Ever seen what a salmon looks like at the completion of its long travels from the ocean back to the fresh water streams where it was born?

Well, Obamacare is already turning red, with its skin shredded (probably self inflicted from all of the ‘exemptions’ allowed to its stooges), and by June, when SCOTUS delivers its 5-4 decision of unconstitutionality, it will be flopping and dead.

As will Obama’s chances of re-election.

Bud Wiser

March 26th, 2012
7:08 am

Doggie I concur with your 7:02.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:12 am

Perhaps we can all agree that if (a) Solyndra owners bundled significant campaign contributions to the Obama 2008 campaign and then (b) received substantial taxpayer contributions to the company, that there was a breach of ethics approaching the level of bribery or money laundering. If we cannot so agree, then Georgian ethical issues are so piddling as to be meaningless.

Cherokee

March 26th, 2012
7:19 am

Obamacare! Solyndra! Bill Ayers! Sheesh…

As to the topic at hand, Georgians get what they vote for…

Why worry about ethics when there are gay people or women to attack?

Foghorn Dawghorn

March 26th, 2012
7:22 am

Bookman how could you evan say anything bad about them good ‘ole Georgia boys and their good ‘ole history?

I’m betting that whoever published that study is part of the libruhl media, just like you Bookman, and that them northerns in NJ is far more corrupt that good ‘ole god-fearing Jawja. We know. We seen the Sopranos documentary.

stands for decibels

March 26th, 2012
7:24 am

most of us [...] think of ourselves as honest people

I accept my limits on that score. I think Mick Jones put it best in that classic Clash tune:

I have the will to survive
I cheat if I can’t win

Road Scholar

March 26th, 2012
7:27 am

Only liberals want ethics laws? Really?

stands for decibels

March 26th, 2012
7:28 am

Of course it’s not just Georgia where this kind of active resistance to accountability takes place. Anyone here familiar with a modest project that the folks from On the Media (in conjunction with the Government Accountability Project) embarked upon, about a year and a half ago?

http://www.wnyc.org/blowthewhistle/

It’s really stomach churning when you think how high up this stuff goes.

Jay

March 26th, 2012
7:35 am

“… but but but…. Obama!”

Amazing, isn’t it?

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
7:37 am

Jay,

We disagree on much however we are totally in agreement with this issue. I’ve written several more notes to state corruptresentatives..almost as embarassing as Newt winning the state.

I concur 100% with Rangar, between bundlers getting 16 of 20 billion “green” cash, Paulson, Hastert, Reid, Pelosi…leaders in DC all trading on insider info…seems to set the table for our local folks..

Keep up the pressure Jay.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:38 am

Dear Jay @ 7:35, good morning, we could call your essay “straining on a gnat while swallowing an elephant” as I did @ 7:12. Thus the “but but but Obama stuff.”

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
7:38 am

Good Lord.

Has no one on the right the stones to stand up and say this is disgusting?

Amazing, indeed.

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
7:38 am

Only leftists think Georgia needs more laws ethical governance and public servants who adhere to the rule of law.

State officials have stripped the state ethics commission of much of its funding. They have stripped it of the legal power it needs to do its job. They have passed laws that discourage private citizens from filing complaints with the commission.

That reminds me of George W. Bush promising in his 2000 campaign that he was going to clean up Wall Street and then in one of his first moves as president he reduced the already small increase to a vastly undermanned and underfunded SEC Corporate Oversight Division.

And that sure worked out so well for us all.

What a terrible thing these people in the new Party First, Part Last, Party Always GOP have become. Imperious, corrupt, unaccountable and not even remotely remorseful…

Rightwing Troll

March 26th, 2012
7:40 am

From downstairs:
“The kid was fighting for his life,he lost.”

The kid brought a pack of skittles to a gunfight is what happened…

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:41 am

Dear Jay, apologies, sloppy writing @ 7:38, “strangling on a gnat…”

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
7:43 am

JAY,

Plenty of evidence exists that Obama is no more or less a crony and corrupt than his predecessors…he chose health insurers, telecom, banks and wall street protections versus protecting us..he clearly made sure his cronies and bundlers got paid back…in some instances, selling grants at markups. Don’t pretend your guy is any different than those before him..whether it’s First Solar…check that one out…Solyndra, Goldmann Sachs, the list goes on ….he is becoming cheney-esque in his cronyism..if he is relected, who will be first at the trough?

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:46 am

Dear Granny @ 7:38, good morning, has no one on the left the brains to see this is meaningless?

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
7:48 am

Rangar,

Couldn’t disagree more…any systemic corrupting activities need to be addressed. Saying it’s too small a sack of potatoes is akin to saying you can only get a little pregnant…that leads us to Sanctitorium…won’t go there…

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
7:49 am

rags

meaningless?

no stones, rags. no stones whatsoever.

stevie ray

“Plenty of evidence exists that Obama is no more or less a crony and corrupt than his predecessors”

Indictments? Charges? Lawsuits?

Nope. Evidence in your own mind apparently.

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2012
7:49 am

We’re Number Last! Congratulations, Georgia GOP. By the way, excellent job of keeping us Number Last in bank failures too. How’s that unemployment rate going. And education. No wonder the Georgia GOP have to literally bribe businesses with promises of no taxes and credits and such to set up shop here.

Road Scholar

March 26th, 2012
7:52 am

rd: Sort of like the “meaningless” voter id law? Name one specific violation?

And folks, this is about a Georgia ethics law/enforcement. President Obama has as much to do with this as Newt,Santorum, McConnell, Boehmer, …etc.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:53 am

Dear Stevie @ Granny, I fear we simply disagree. Bribery is troubling – “ethics lapses” are not. The former is corruption, the latter is merely a whip for leftists to brandish against those they dislike. Otherwise we would have heard your voices over the big stuff.

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
7:54 am

GRANNY,

Glenn Greenwald “Liberty & Justice for Some”, Peter Schweizer “Throw Them all Out”, Lawrence Lessing “Republic Lost…Corruption in America by Porter Stansbury…http://www.stansberryresearch.com/pub/reports/201112PSI_issue.html#continue

Books and white papers can be enlightening….ever consider? Once again , your one liners speak volumes for your shallow thought process…

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
7:55 am

Yes, the legal mechanisms needed to enforce ethical standards in Georgia have been dismantled. But that is possible only because the people of Georgia have allowed it to happen.

THIS!!!! You get what you vote for. When you require ethics in candidates but not from elected officials, you get the state of politics in Georgia.

—————————

Only leftists think Georgia needs more laws.

Only a Repubologist would look at a discussion on the ethics of elected officials and post a moronic statement such as that. On second thought, you’ve probably spoke more truth than you realize in that you don’t want ethical elected officials, hence your support for the current state of governance here in GA.

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 26th, 2012
7:55 am

If you say you don’t care about political ethics, if you vote for the ethically corrupt, if you turn a blind eye to their felonies, then you are an accomplice to their crimes. By supporting these men you are telling the world that you too, are morally corrupt and ethically challenged. Think on that for awhile.

Road Scholar

March 26th, 2012
7:55 am

Taxpayer: Wrong. We are No 1 in bank failures… up to 78 I believe…unless another one…

But just wait for the bill to pass that if a developer takes out a loan and cannot pay it …we wipe it off the books! I think I’m going to develop a development on my pile of pollen in my driveway!

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2012
7:56 am

How are the ethically challenged Graves and Rogers coming with their “if Georgians are stoopid enough to loan us money they don’t deserve it anyway,” defense. Ragnar is the lead “attorney” on that case, isn’t he. I heard he picked Orly as his second.

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
7:56 am

RANGAR,

Please don’t ever put me in category with GRANNIE. I have posted ad nausea evidence of DC corruption so don’t suggest I’ve not been perhaps the biggest loudmouth about DC corruption…see some of my sources. Also, don’t label me a liberal unless it’s on human issues….too bad your latest post isn’t living up to your moniker’s character…

Road Scholar

March 26th, 2012
7:57 am

Bro:”You get what you vote for. When you require ethics in candidates but not from elected officials, you get the state of politics in Georgia.”

But wait, once elected aren’t they already running for reelection?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
7:58 am

Rags

Ethics lapses are not troubling?

No stones. No gravel.

Stevie ray

I’ll take accurate brevity to faux fact word salad anyday.

My thought process is deep enough to figure your shallow ass out.

(That said keep reading Glenn it will deepen you.)

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2012
7:58 am

Road,

I should have /SARC’d that comment on the bank failures. I was ridiculing our Georgia Republicans for their efforts to claim “up is down”, “good is bad”, “Obama’s worse”, etc.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
7:58 am

Dear Road @ 7:52, agree that voter fraud is endemic only in those areas controlled by democrats – Seattle (2006), Minneapolis (2008), Chicago (every election). Given Atlanta’s tilt left, the voter identification law is a sound prophylactic. There is no similar history of bribery at the state level – only complaints about defunding bureaucrats.

Jay

March 26th, 2012
7:59 am

I agree with Granny. To my recollection, there hasn’t been so much as an indictment of any high-level Obama people in almost three and a half years of his administration. You guys are blowing smoke.

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
7:59 am

“Otherwise we would have heard your voices over the big stuff.”

Notwithstanding that they have inserted custom GOP fit, industrial strength ear plugs while wearing industrial strength headphones.

What? I can’t hear you!

What corruption?!

(BTW do you have any VIP tickets to the Masters, Mr. Southern Company lobbyist?)

Jm

March 26th, 2012
7:59 am

““… but but but…. Obama!”

but but but the study you cite is worthless. But pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

There’s a valid argument to be made for ethics laws. Why did Jay elect to build his on a foundation of sand?

Gale

March 26th, 2012
8:00 am

What you say is true about disqualifying politicians, Normal. I think there is a good reason Hollywood and good novels portray the hero politician as a reluctant one.

jconservative

March 26th, 2012
8:00 am

In our small county a push was made for a county ethnics commission. By the time it was approved by the elected county commission it was so water down it was little more than a joke.
But its members have been appointed and we have an Ethics Commission.

Foghorn Dawghorn

March 26th, 2012
8:00 am

good thing you are a scholar of roads. you certainly don’t get sarcasm and overstatement.

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
8:02 am

JAY,

Grannie’s full of it and you need to research this…read the books and link…naive of you to practice contempt prior to investigation.. Why not be a professional and do your homework…you got nothing to prove me wrong…bring it….very shallow most recent post..

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2012
8:02 am

If we can just get rid of select laws, we would not have any indictments of Republicans either.

Georgia Senate Reform Act of 2012

March 26th, 2012
8:02 am

Georgia Senate Reform Act of 2012

1. Term Limits
12 years max, some possible options are below.
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2. No Tenure / No Pension
Members of Senate receive a salary while in office, that salary ends when they leave office.

3. Senate members (past, present & future) are to participate in Social Security.
All funds in the Senate retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
and Senators participates with all Georgians.

4. Senate can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Georgians do.

5. Senate will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Senators pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Senate loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the Georgian people.

7. Members of Senate must equally abide by ALL laws they impose on the Georgian people.

8. All contracts with past and present members of Senate are void effective 3/1/12. The Georgian people did not make the contract members of Senate enjoy, Senate made all these contracts for THEMSELVES. Serving in Senate is an honor, not a career.

Georgia’s Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
8:02 am

“there hasn’t been so much as an indictment of any high-level Obama people in almost three and a half years of his administration. ”

Because Holder is going to indict Obama people? The same guy who thinks killing Americans without a trial is ok? The same guy who thinks a Congressional “recession” is anything longer than a microsecond?

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:03 am

Dear Stevie @ 7:56, apologies for my sloppy writing – I did not intend to allege “leftism” as a personal epithet. I do affirm that “defunding a bureaucrat office” as evidence of corruption is a typical leftist tactic, and one that will not stand under scrutiny. I am also comfortable that the government of Georgia, while often arbitrary and illogical, does not suggest the corruption found in those states with comparatively large taxpayer expropriation.

DebbieDoRight - A Do Right Woman

March 26th, 2012
8:03 am

ragnar: Why should anyone care that Georgia is “ranked” at all? Only leftists think Georgia needs more laws.

Only an idiot would make such a comment. Good Morning ragnar.

Mick

March 26th, 2012
8:04 am

If georgia is 50th, florida must be 49th, the kissing cousins of gooberstan…

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:04 am

Jm

Worthless?

Because Jonathan Weil says so?

One right wing writer?

That’s all you got?

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
8:05 am

JAY,

No indictments? That’s speaking to the very topic of today’s post. Contradictory…Have any of those subject to your post today been indicted? I don’t know the answer but I presume they have in fact been indicted less you wouldn’t stand on such pretzel logic..

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:05 am

Stevie Ray

No sir…you are over full of it.

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2012
8:05 am

stevie ray should do his own homework. blah blah blah about you having already posted all your evidence. Link to it.

Cosby

March 26th, 2012
8:06 am

Politicians and ethics….please, the two will never meet. And now there is growing evidence that ethics and news media do not meet either…kind of shame that the moral vlaues of this great country have been down trodden on and the pace has picked up in the past three years..one line news blurbs from the media that are taken as the entire truth to one line speaches from politicians that are never questioned..and even if a politician is guilty of ethics violations, raley does anything really happen to them…see Cynthia McKinney

stands for decibels

March 26th, 2012
8:06 am

I guess it’s pointless to add that this shouldn’t be a left/right or even authoritarian/libertarian issue, that everyone presumably accepts that their side’s elected officials are as susceptible to corruption as the other side’s? That we Democratic-leaning (or in my case, Democratic-tolerant) folks have our “Cold Cash Jeffersons,” our Jon Corzines, and suchlike, to contend with?

Georgia on my mind...

March 26th, 2012
8:06 am

Jm

March 26th, 2012
8:08 am

Granny – nothing. That’s what you got. Jonathan Weil is right wing? Care to prove that?

Thought so…..

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:08 am

Dear GSRA @ 8:02, well argued, I will sign on to such “ethics” legislation.

stevie ray

March 26th, 2012
8:08 am

RANGAR,

Sorry, I’m feeling a bit chippy today…boring LEFT vs Right thoughtless jabber….those who don’t admit their baby’s warts are not worth your or my time…behave.

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2012
8:09 am

Ralston should be getting a 1099 from whomever funded that european vacation shouldn’t he?

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

March 26th, 2012
8:10 am

Glad to see Kyle and Jay continue to pound this home. We need some investigative journalist reports/scandals to really get some meat behind the outrage.

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
8:10 am

Granny, it is “worthless” because it does not use enough red herrings, etc to arrive at the outcome that a certain uninformed somebody wants it to have.

It’s like a third grader crying that the final test was worthless, although the adults know better…

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:11 am

jm

again

all you got?

one guy?

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

March 26th, 2012
8:12 am

I guess we see how much pull the Tea Party really has — ZERO!

stands for decibels

March 26th, 2012
8:12 am

Glad to see Kyle and Jay continue to pound this home.

Think I oughta go over to Wingfield’s joint and call his conservative-leaning regulars a bunch of tools and dimwits? And hang around there every freakin’ day and make the same blanket-statement accusations in hopes someone might talk to me? would that be a productive use of my time?

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
8:12 am

But wait, once elected aren’t they already running for reelection?

True, but the burden of proof for ethical conduct is much lower than it is for an elected official. All one has to do as a candidate is proclaim their religious beliefs, their church affiliation, and their family and all is ok for the candidate. ;)

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:13 am

If you are serious about removing the corruption of elected officials, you need only diminish the cash they can play with. I note that is a tenet of conservatism, and is the ultimate control of corruption.

Ayn Rant

March 26th, 2012
8:13 am

Ethical and moral behavior is a free-will, individual choice. It cannot be legislated or coerced. We need ethical and moral politicians, not ethics laws. The deficiency in ethics and morality of Georgia legislators can be measured by the number of lobbyists swarming to every legislative session.

Here’s an idea: how about prosecuting gifts and favors to public officials as bribes, and prosecuting campaign fund “requests” by public officials as extortion? Why should politicians be exempt from common law and good sense?

Fly-on-the-Wall

March 26th, 2012
8:14 am

Bud,

Where did you pull that “56% of Democrats” want the AHA repealed? Oh wait, I don’t want to know…nevermind.

My guess would be because it doesn’t go far enough – SINGLE PAYER.

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

March 26th, 2012
8:14 am

Jay, our ranking 50th was on the Fox Business Report web site? I read it yesterday but can’t recall how I wound up there or the address.

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
8:14 am

Finn, it is quite humorous how the even-handed Mr. Wingfield has also had to “admonish” his far right, rabid Republicans over this issue of their servile acceptance of non-ethical state governance by their own.

As a group, the fake conservatives have become more than perplexing and have devolved to downright dumbfounding…

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

March 26th, 2012
8:15 am

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:16 am

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:13 am
If you are serious about removing the corruption of elected officials, you need only diminish the cash they can play with. I note that is a tenet of conservatism, and is the ultimate control of corruption.

citizens united???

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:17 am

“Tax and tax, and spend and spend, and elect and elect” is the Willie Sutton theory of governance.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:18 am

Dear Granny @ 8:16, I respectfully suggest you look through the wrong end of the telescope. If our overlords had less control over our lives, no corporation would waste a dime on elected officials. It is the overlord demand for control of corporations that causes shareholder expenditure to be “rational.”

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

March 26th, 2012
8:19 am

Actually, the Fox article references the study author which was the Center for Public Integrity.

Jm aka Bloomberg (Facts) Troll

March 26th, 2012
8:19 am

GG

By the way I also have my own common sense

Unless Weil is lying, the study is clearly worthless

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
8:20 am

you need only diminish the cash they can play with. I note that is a tenet of conservatism,

In light of that statement, care to explain Citizen’s United? Restore Our Future? American Crossroads?

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php?cycle=2012

stands for decibels

March 26th, 2012
8:20 am

Just a quick take on…

Georgia Senate Reform Act of 2012

1. Term Limits
12 years max, [...]

I see nothing noble about limiting a citizenry’s ability to keep a elected representative who the citizenry believes (whether they’re right or wrong about this!) is working in their interests. I think limiting the number of terms a US President can served has not improved the pool of candidates, nor the skill level of actual elected Presidents, since Republicans decided that one FDR was enough.

2. No Tenure / No Pension
Members of Senate receive a salary while in office, that salary ends when they leave office.

Don’t see why civil servants, whether elected or hired, shouldn’t be eligible for some kind of pension. That sort of modest financial security is a long-standing trade-off for (presumably) higher wages one could receive in the private sector.

3. Senate members (past, present & future) are to participate in Social Security.
All funds in the Senate retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
and Senators participates with all Georgians.

Red herring, methinks.

4. Senate can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Georgians do.

See above.

5. Senate will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Senators pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

sounds like a red herring to me. GA legislators aren’t paid enough to begin with

6. Senate loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the Georgian people.

What kind of fab health insurance do they have now? Sounds like another red herring.

7. Members of Senate must equally abide by ALL laws they impose on the Georgian people.

8. All contracts with past and present members of Senate are void effective 3/1/12. The Georgian people did not make the contract members of Senate enjoy, Senate made all these contracts for THEMSELVES. Serving in Senate is an honor, not a career.

There’s nothing wrong, IMHO, with making a career of elected officialdom.

Georgia’s Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Meh. GA’s Founding Fathers believed in a lot of stupid crap.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:23 am

Dear Brosephus @ 8:20, good morning, suspect your post simultaneously crossed with my 8:18

Finn McCool (Class Warfare === Stopping Rich People from TAKING MORE of OUR MONEY)

March 26th, 2012
8:23 am

We need ethical and moral politicians, not ethics laws.

Everyone has the same definition of “moral” and what is “ethical”. Nope. Society has to determine what is ethical and set the standard. How do they set the standard? Through laws meant to guide behavior.

You want to watch a football game where all 22 players are playing by their own rules with no referees? How much fun would that be?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:23 am

Jm and Rags

bless your hearts

…overlords….and wmds and mental recessions…..

Finn

I posted that last week…..

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
8:24 am

Ragnar

If you look at the list from my 8:20, you’ll notice the top 5 Liberal supporting Super PACs don’t even equal Newt’s Super PAC’s fundraising amount. That would appear to contradict your statement about your conservative tenet.

—————————

Granny @ 8:16

Seems like we were thinking the same thing…. :)

What a sad day in Georgia

March 26th, 2012
8:24 am

Rest in peace Ray Charles…and prayers for Treyvon Martin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8IqkRbxcTA

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:25 am

Overlords

Very scarey indeed.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:26 am

The bottom line on the “importance of ethics” seems to be that if one believes in the value and integrity of markets, one does not care about the value and integrity of the permanent government. And if one magnifies the importance of government, there is a necessary diminishment of the role of markets, a preference for the bureaucrat judgment. I side with the former.

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
8:28 am

If our overlords had less control over our lives, no corporation would waste a dime on elected officials. It is the overlord demand for control of corporations that causes shareholder expenditure to be “rational.”

I think you’ve been looking through the wrong end of a liquor bottle. :)

The control of government has increased BECAUSE of corporate influence and not the other way around. If that were not the case, the US Chamber of Commerce would not have such an influential lobby nor would the NRA. Look locally at Georgia at how tax cuts and deals are given to corporations for things, but the taxpayer is constantly screwed without courtesy of lubrication and/or a reach around. I’ve become to expect nothing but Republican appeasement and such from you, and as always, you did not disappoint me this morning.

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
8:29 am

“If our overlords had less control over our lives, no corporation would waste a dime on elected officials.”

??????????????????????

At least 75% of Americans think corporations have too much control over OUR lives and OUR government.

Washington DC is corporate owned territory.

BIG business now has approval ratings as abysmal as used car salesmen.

Corporations rule this nation and the world. They have the money, the access, the resources and the manpower to dwarf the voices of individuals. Remember them? We the people? The former sovereigns in this republic?

Transnational corporations have become too dominant within our society. They exercise too much control over all levels of government, but especially our federal government. They have rapidly exploited sectors of our economy and society that should be preserved for “the common good” such as education, health, media, water, and forests. They’ve established free trade as the suit that trumps all others including human rights, labor, communities, and the environment.

And today’s Republicans should have listened to men FAR more intelligent and moral than they. But they didn’t…

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. ~Thomas Jefferson

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
8:30 am

Dear Finn @ 8:23, good morning, “Society has to determine what is ethical and set the standard. How do they set the standard? Through laws meant to guide behavior.” Why should “society” set that standard rather than voters?

Dear Bro @ 8:24, respectfully disagree. Citizens United would have no meaning or purpose except for the fact that government insists on micromanaging the economy. In a rational world, where government took no role in the economy beyond punishing collusion or punishing actual fraud, no corporation would send a dime to any political campaign. That is THE conservative tenet I posit.

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
8:31 am

The bottom line on the “importance of ethics” seems to be that if one believes in the value and integrity of markets, one does not care about the value and integrity of the permanent government.

Without a functioning and viable permanent government, you wouldn’t have a stable country to allow that market to survive. In other words, you pretty much crapped out an elephant turd then….

Jm aka Bloomberg (Facts) Troll

March 26th, 2012
8:31 am

Granny

Where’s your one analysis supporting the “study”?

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” – Democrat

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:32 am

Rags

“Society has to determine what is ethical and set the standard. How do they set the standard? Through laws meant to guide behavior.” Why should “society” set that standard rather than voters”

society votes

D’UH.

Jm aka Bloomberg (Facts) Troll

March 26th, 2012
8:33 am

Granny since you can’t do math I’ll help.

I have one more than you. You lose.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
8:34 am

jm

still just that one, right?

that and a teaspoon of deflection…