Ga. legislators have lost their fear of voters

NOTE: This is the Web version of my Sunday AJC column.

——————————

By the early 1990s, Democrats running the U.S. House of Representatives had grown fat and brazen, confident that no matter what their ethical excesses, their grip on power could not be threatened.

In the 1994 elections, Newt Gingrich taught them otherwise.

By 2006, Republicans in Congress had themselves grown fat and sassy enough to repeat the mistakes that had put them into power. Showing a blatant disregard for ethical standards, they openly traded political influence for the favors of K Street lobbyists and ignored warnings of a voter backlash.

So in 2007, they handed the speaker’s gavel to Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

The 2012 session of the Georgia General Assembly, which ended Thursday, has unfortunately rivaled its two congressional counterparts in terms of disregard for ethical standards, subservience to special interests and a sense of invulnerability to consequences. The Georgia state motto — “Wisdom, Justice and Moderation” — was largely abandoned in favor of “Stop us if you can,” and most of the time nobody could or did.

The lobbyist money flowed, and efforts to slow it were dismissed with scornful laughter. Tea Party demands that government not be used to favor certain industries or companies were ignored. “Tax reform” became an excuse for passing out favors, and issues such as immigration and abortion were used as smokescreens and distractions from the real action.

Come 2013, however, Georgia Republicans will not lose control of the Legislature. Unlike congressional Democrats in ‘94 and congressional Republicans in 2006, Georgia Republicans have every right to feel invulnerable, because they are. In fact, redistricting is likely to result in even greater Republican majorities next year.

In one sense, this has little to do with political parties. The good-old-boy network that ran Georgia under the Democrats continues to run Georgia today under the label of Republican. They continue to milk the system for their benefit and that of their friends; they continue to use the Legislature as a means to benefit the rich and well-connected. For the most part, the political culture has not changed at all.

But one thing has changed: In my years of covering a Democratic-run Georgia Legislature, legislative leaders were always aware of a rising Republican Party nipping at their heels, ready to use ethics and corruption against them. I won’t say that knowledge kept the Democrats honest, because in too many cases it didn’t. But it did keep them aware that if they let things get out of hand, they would pay a political price.

That’s what is missing now. There is very little fear of a voter backlash.

That attitude is personified in Senate Rules Chairman Don Balfour of Gwinnett County. No legislator this session seemed more eager to champion special-interest bills than Balfour. And when an ethics bill limiting lobbyist gifts to $100 was referred to Balfour’s committee, he buried it.

Late in the session, when a resolution creating a commission to at least study ethics reform was referred to his committee, Balfour rewrote it. He stripped the commission of citizen members and packed it with Senate leadership. In a pointed breach of Senate courtesy, Balfour even excluded the resolution’s author from the commission that he had proposed to create.

And although Balfour faces an apparently well-documented ethics complaint charging that he claimed false mileage reimbursement from the state, he has the comfort of $719,000 in his campaign fund, an enormous amount in a state legislative district, with more to come.

– Jay Bookman

511 comments Add your comment

Jm

April 2nd, 2012
7:17 am

Deal tolerates it

Fish rot from the head down

HDB

April 2nd, 2012
7:28 am

The problem here is quite simple: There has been…nor shall there be…any political competition!! In order to maintain power, those old Democrats became Republicans…and we, the voters, are stuck with limited choices! The Republicans now are the party with the money to maintain control…..

Jm

April 2nd, 2012
7:33 am

Hdb

Vote Lib

Libertarian that is :)

man behind the curtain

April 2nd, 2012
7:38 am

I know I sound like a broken record, but let’s not forget that lobbyist’s bribes don’t only come in the form of money; there’s jobs given to member’s (leadership’s) families, and anything else one can imagine.

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
7:42 am

A majority of Georgia voters apparently feel like they are getting what they want from the likes of Balfour and his klan. Maybe they are or at least think they are. After all, it really is pretty easy to con the uninformed with lies as long as the lies are what you want to hear.

Haven’t you heard, we’re overtaxed and Democrats love taxes. Vote for me, I’m a Republican.

That line not work on you. No problem. Have you noticed how we, you and me, have to take care of everyone else. Heard that one before, have you.

Family values.

They want to take our guns.

They don’t believe in God!

Let me know when I hit a nerve with you so I can start reeling you in. Sinkwich and Doom and Scout, et al. I got them hooked. They don’t even try to get away any more. How about you…

JamVet

April 2nd, 2012
7:46 am

I, for one, am beyond sick of these Republicans.

Given the golden chance to end some of the nonsense in this state and provide effective, reasonable, ethical governance, these fake conservatives have done the very opposite. They have actually made things even worse. More class warfare on working Georgians, more dirty deals and corruption, more bigotry and an even bigger sense of entitlement as they brazenly take payoffs from the very people they are supposed to be watching and protecting us from.

And why you know who came in DEAD LAST of all the 50 states on that recent list.

And the kicker? These numbskulls that elect them DO NOT CARE.

They will do it again in November. And the one after that. And the one after that…

stands for decibels

April 2nd, 2012
7:53 am

So many “Balfour” punchlines involving walks, intentional passes, low-and-inside, etc., and so little time.

stands for decibels

April 2nd, 2012
7:54 am

Any Balfour declarations in response to this one, Jay?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 2nd, 2012
7:58 am

Ga. legislators have lost their fear of voters

No D’uh.

Georgia voters are lazy toothless whiners.

We elect these knuckleheads year after year after year.

It is OUR fault.

We are our own worst enemies.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

April 2nd, 2012
7:58 am

“That’s what is missing now. There is very little fear of a voter backlash.”

Jay, don’t you mean that there is NO fear of a voter backlash?

Georgia Republicans know that they can literally do whatever the heck they want as there is worry that they will be held accountable by voters.

All any politician at the state level has to do is have an (R) in front of their name and say that they’re a conservative and they can get elected and re-elected to their hearts’ content while taking in all of the money and gifts that their pockets can hold and their calendars can handle.

stands for decibels

April 2nd, 2012
7:59 am

Brosephus™

April 2nd, 2012
8:00 am

Jay

Applaud the column, but you do realize that, regardless of how true your words are, you’re simply gonna be criticized for “picking on Republicans”. If these Georgia voters really gave a damn, they wouldn’t elect such jackasses. I can only imagine this thread will get more posts on you talking bad about Republicans or the predictible “What about ********” deflection to Democrats as opposed to actually acknowledging the problems within the elected officials and determining to get ethical people elected to office.

I personally don’t give a rat’s ass what party they belong to… Just get somebody who actually knows what ethics are.

Georgia on my mind...

April 2nd, 2012
8:06 am

Jay, thanks for keeping the people of this state informed. When a person defines ethics, it merely lies within the person and not the party. Great leaders are not born, it is a learned behavior(integrity). There should be a law that if you are elected under a certain party, you can not change parties until the next election cycle.

Mick

April 2nd, 2012
8:07 am

It’s much the same down here with your kissin cousin, florida. If only we could divide the state into north florida and south florida, things would be so different. The north florida would finally realize that they were being subsidized by south florida while all the time having to accept legislation that doesn’t match up with south florida reality. Amazing, the further north you go in florida, the more southern it gets…

Rick in Grayson

April 2nd, 2012
8:10 am

Granny points the finger at who is responsible. The question is why does this happen? Isn’t the “free” press supposed to expose political corruption? Why isn’t the press shining a spotlight on the problem? There is some reporting of corruption, but not nearly enough.

Luckily, Balfour will not be running for re-election.

Paull

April 2nd, 2012
8:13 am

“That’s what is missing now. There is very little fear of a voter backlash.”

Because any Republican who stands tall on the really important issues of abortion, birth control, no taxes and no regulations is infinitely preferable to any socialist Democrat.

AJC’s doing good work, Jay. But you still face a really tough slog to convince voters that ‘choice’ when it comes to politicians isn’t a dirty word.

Woody

April 2nd, 2012
8:13 am

This is not an era charged with enlightened thought. But nature does not tolerate excesses, and so a correction will eventually occur. Perhaps returning veterans will lead the revolt. One can only hope.

Not In Alabma

April 2nd, 2012
8:14 am

Larry Paul Langford (born March 17, 1948)[1] is the former mayor of the city of Birmingham, Alabama.[2][3] He previously served on the Jefferson County, Alabama, Commission, including four years as the first African American commission president. He also served as mayor of Fairfield, Alabama, and served one term on the Birmingham City Council. Prior to entering politics, Langford was a well-known television personality, having worked for then-local ABC affiliate, WBRC TV as the community’s first African American TV news reporter. In 2010, Langford began serving a 15 year federal felony sentence, the result of a highly-publicized public corruption trial in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.[2]
Langford raised money and generated public interest and support for Visionland Theme Park (now known as Alabama Adventure Theme Park), located near Bessemer. The park was built largely by bond issues backed by a consortium of municipalities in the western part of the county, as well as the city of Birmingham and the county government. The park later declared bankruptcy, and was sold to Southland Entertainment Group for just over $5 million at auction.
In 2007, Langford was investigated by the SEC on corruption charges. In 2008, a lawsuit was filed against him for illegally accepting $156,000 in cash and benefits.
On December 1, 2008, Langford, along with investment banker William B. Blount and former state Democratic Chairman Al LaPierre, was arrested by the FBI on a 101-count indictment alleging conspiracy, bribery, fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns in connection with a long-running bribery scheme.[4] His public corruption trial ended on October 28, 2009 with convictions on 60 counts, and resulted in his automatic removal from office.[5]
On March 5, 2010, Langford was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a federal judge in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He was also fined more than $119,000.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Langford

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

April 2nd, 2012
8:15 am

As Jay alluded to in an earlier post, I fear that this debacle posing as a legislature is headed towards a really bad end in the form of major scandals and multiple indictments.

Even if a party and governing body has absolutely no fear of reprisals from voters for their blatantly unethical behavior, there is no way that things can go on indefinitely like this.

Despite the cockiness and the smug attitude, these Georgia Republicans won’t last anywhere near close to 140 years in power like their Democrat predecessors with the total disintegration of ethical behavior (and morals) as their own bad behavior and/or either demographic changes are certain to catch-up with them relatively sooner rather than much later.

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

April 2nd, 2012
8:16 am

those old Democrats became Republicans

Blaming this on the Democrats, too? LOL

Brosephus™

April 2nd, 2012
8:16 am

AJC’s doing good work, Jay. But you still face a really tough slog to convince voters that ‘choice’ when it comes to politicians isn’t a dirty word.

Who says they want to be convinced in the first place? Read some of the justifications made here on this blog, and you realize that it’s not a tough slog, it’s impossible based on the logical reasoning used to cast votes.

Lee Weber

April 2nd, 2012
8:18 am

Fine column, Jay. I’m about as hard core right wing as you can get on the issues, but this stuff is exhibit A as to why I’m now an independent. I refuse to hold my nose and vote for ethically challenged legislators, even if I agree with them on the issues. Ethics comes first.

Brosephus™

April 2nd, 2012
8:20 am

Not In Alabma

And what does that have to do with Georgia ethics??

Wade Hampton

April 2nd, 2012
8:23 am

Not unlike the Federal scene, and to the scared proggies’ chagrin, there IS a party or idea “nipping” at the corrupt status quo’s heals.
.
And that idea is Liberty.
.
The Libertarian Party is always there,
and growing.

Brosephus™

April 2nd, 2012
8:25 am

Not unlike the Federal scene, and to the scared proggies’ chagrin, there IS a party or idea “nipping” at the corrupt status quo’s heals.

Called it at 8:00!!!!! Less than 30 minutes….

Not In Alabama

April 2nd, 2012
8:26 am

And what does that have to do with Georgia ethics??

…it has nothing to do with Georgia ethics. It just shows how corruption can lead to a dead end and how it hits close to home.

Brosephus™

April 2nd, 2012
8:29 am

Not In Alabama

Didn’t think it had much to do with Georgia ethics. Thanks for acknowledging as much. It would have helped had you posted something that explained your post instead of just posting wiki. Appreciate the explanation.

carlosgvv

April 2nd, 2012
8:30 am

Georgia politics are now utterly corrupt and rotten to the core. Voting for either of the parties does nothing to change this. The only answer is a strong, honest third party we can support. Corruption does not cure itself. It only gets worse. I wonder how long it will take Georgia voters to realize this?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 2nd, 2012
8:30 am

Proggies?

Good Lord.

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
8:31 am

Speaking of Libertarians, what are those Koch crooks up to these days.

Not In Alabama

April 2nd, 2012
8:32 am

Appreciate the explanation.

No problem. The ex-Mayor of Birmingham would NOT have been arrested if he had committed the same crimes in Georgia.

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
8:33 am

The Libertarian Party is always there, and growing.

And here’s what I think of that:

http://leftycartoons.com/the-24-types-of-libertarian/

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
8:34 am

what are those Koch crooks up to these days.

Funneling large amounts of money to the DSCC to make sure they own both parties.

Doggone/GA

April 2nd, 2012
8:34 am

“The only answer is a strong, honest third party we can support”

Nope. The only answer is strong, honest PEOPLE we can support.

Brosephus™

April 2nd, 2012
8:35 am

The ex-Mayor of Birmingham would NOT have been arrested if he had committed the same crimes in Georgia.

Yeah, he would have. He belonged to the wrong party. Had he been in equally as deep as a GOP counterpart, he would have gotten off. Check the results of the bingo/gambling case that just went through re-trial. The only people who were convicted were the people who pled to lesser charges and turned state’s evidence. :)

Bill Orvis White

April 2nd, 2012
8:37 am

D’uh, Republicans have a lock on most state houses because folk are getting smarter by receiving their information from non-mainstream media sources. When they receive the truth, they vote accordingly! Before the 1990s, we got most of our news from the dominant liberal media culture so the majority of us felt like we were in the minority and gave up on going to the polls. That all changed when Rush and his friends became popular on AM radio. Regular began to wake up and say, “Yes, there is an alternative.” Then this all went over to TV with FOX News and suddenly people connected to find out that they were not alone! Then, the Internet came along and we really hooked up and organized! So, we saw A LOT of states logically go red and the Socialist-Democrat parties shrink more and more. I say that Republican legislators NEED to be proud of their accomplishments and keep pressing on with their rightful pro-life/pro-business agendas that annoy the media. I LOVE IT! It’s fun to see folk like Liberal Jay get all upset when common sense rules pass in these state houses.
Amen,
Bill

Adam

April 2nd, 2012
8:38 am

But… but …..but…. TEA PARTY! 2010 ELECTIONS! MANDATE! (except individual responsibility mandates, we don’t like those)

Also, Obama’s fault, the left started the culture wars, and evolution and climate change aren’t real. Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, NBPP, poor Zimmerman was just defending himself. Fast and Furious, Soros, Solyndra, Socialism.

Ok, did I miss anything?

Not In Alabma

April 2nd, 2012
8:38 am

Okay, will do.

stands for decibels

April 2nd, 2012
8:38 am

And here’s what I think of that:

Column 4, row 6—only short term answer to all of this, far as I can tell.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 2nd, 2012
8:40 am

ByteMe – Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
8:34 am
what are those Koch crooks up to these days.

Funneling large amounts of money to the DSCC to make sure they own both parties.

<strong?Reall? Care to back that up

Actually in Koch news…..

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/30/koch-brothers-rove-fec-campaign-donations_n_1392838.html

carlosgvv

April 2nd, 2012
8:42 am

Doggone/GA

If by “PEOPLE”, you mean our current political parties, how much clearer does it have to be made to you that they are never going to become honest?

Adam

April 2nd, 2012
8:42 am

About the whole “third party” thing, what you’re really expressing here is either:

a) From the left, an expression of anger at Democrats for not getting everything you want, therefore you have to teach them a lesson by “voting third party” or not voting at all.
b) You’re really just a run-of-the-mill Republican voter who will vote Republican AGAIN in this election, just like every other election, only you WISH you didn’t have to because you can see how crazy they’ve gotten.

My advice for a is that you’re not teaching anyone a lesson but yourself, because the Republicans DO get the votes when you and enough other people think “gee I can vote third party this time” and then suddenly all your rights are taken away unless you’re a white male with property.

My advice for b is that first you admit you have a problem with the current Republicans, and then put your vote where you mouth is and ACTUALLY vote third party instead of just taking about it.

I promise the Republicans won’t get any message other than WE HAVE A MANDATE! if they win again.

Wade Hampton

April 2nd, 2012
8:43 am

Hey Byte-Me..and the other prog/statists—
.
The Libertarian Party will NEVER prevent you from having the State indoctrinate/school your children, plan your retirement, manage your healthcare, plan your diet, protect you from marijuana, satuated fat, and mooooslims, etc……….
.
But the Libertarian party WILL allow the smarter citizens to “opt out” of the above foolishness.
.
Its called government by cooperation..not coercion.
.
Ron Paul 2012.
You’re gonna LIKE the way he looks in the Oval Office.
I gaurantee it.

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
8:44 am

Bill Orvis,

I think Rush has already let us know his true desires — bedroom monitors with live feeds back to his studio so he can do his part for the Republican party and make sure that conception is promptly reported to the GOPolice.

Wade Hampton

April 2nd, 2012
8:45 am

And Furthermore…the War-mongering Koch brothers are as about as much libertarian as Obama is a peace-loving civil rights respecting democrat.
.
Not.

Ayn Rant

April 2nd, 2012
8:46 am

Most Georgia voters would vote for a baboon if he ran on the Republican ticket. Why would Republican legislators care about what their unthinking supporters think?

The Georgia Legislator’s duty is to come to Atlanta for a few weeks of fancy food and expensive drink, posture a bit on abortion and hispanics, pass a few unconsequential bills, take whatever it is that the lobbyists are giving away, and leave town with a bloated belly and full pockets.

Doggone/GA

April 2nd, 2012
8:46 am

“If by “PEOPLE”, you mean our current political parties, how much clearer does it have to be made to you that they are never going to become honest?”

I I had meant parties I would have SAID parties

JamVet

April 2nd, 2012
8:47 am

I also love that transparent claptrap of “Well if he was in my district…”.

Yeah, riiiight.

Hell, he has an R after his name and to the dead red people in this bassackwards state that is ALL that matters.

And guys like Double-chin Balfour know their lackeys well…

Georgia

Overall grade: F (49)
Public access to information: F
Legislative accountability: F
Political financing: F
Ethics enforcement agencies: F

Georgia has the worst levels of corruption risk and lack of accountability of any state in the country. The state scored a D or worse in 12 of the 14 categories. The state’s biggest problem is the absence of a strong ethics enforcement agency. Republican governor Sonny Perdue managed to get an ethics bill through the legislature, but by the time it passed, his proposals to ban gifts to state workers and clearly define appropriate campaign spending had been stripped out. According to State Integrity reporter Jim Walls, while Georgia has provisions to prevent certain kinds of corruption in campaign finance and lobbying, the state is full of unaddressed loopholes and lax enforcement. “About 2,000 Georgia officials, including one in five sitting legislators, have failed to pay penalties for filing their disclosures late, or not at all,” he said.

And you GOPhers are not remotely embarrassed or even concerned, are you?

stands for decibels

April 2nd, 2012
8:51 am

Most Georgia voters would vote for a baboon if he ran on the Republican ticket.

I’m reporting to the AJC this grotesque display of hate speech directed at our Simian-American brethren.

Foghorn Dawghorn

April 2nd, 2012
8:52 am

Of course the DAWGS are #1 in football just like Jawjuh is #1 in corruption.

If you don’t love Jawjuh then leave it. Delta is ready when you are. We don’t like outsiders or those that ain’t from around here.

We like our backwardass republican dixiecrat ways. It is why we are #1!

stands for decibels

April 2nd, 2012
8:53 am

the War-mongering Koch brothers are as about as much libertarian as Obama is a peace-loving civil rights respecting democrat.

the truth hurts, but yep.

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
8:53 am

Reall?Care to back that up

Sure thing. Surprised me as well.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pac2pac.php?cycle=2010&cmte=C00236489

Check out the fourth line of the table. It’s certainly NOT equal, but it’s still a large donation… and there are even more below that in the table.

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
8:54 am

In the Libertain/Republican Utopia, there is also no regulation preventing one from taking a dump in thy neighbor’s water or spraying deadly bacteria in thy neighbor’s air or on thy neighbor’s food so long as it can be demonstrated to yield a hefty profit. After all, what will those that do not profit but instead turn sick and/or die do about it? Oh Yes! They’ll take the Koch crooks, et al, to the Clarence court and win, posthumously, an honorable mention, on page 273, in an obscure footnote, of one of his shorter opinions. Does anyone actually read those things.

Foghorn Dawghorn

April 2nd, 2012
8:54 am

I’d vote for a baboon regardless of the ticket he ran on. But there his most likely ticket would be libertarian.

Mick

April 2nd, 2012
8:58 am

bill orvis

Yes, the rise of rush and fox have led us to where we are at; polarization and right wing propaganda, the people now vote against their own self intersts. Slowly, they are waking up to this fact. Women have got it figured out and so do the hispanics. Republicans are staring at the dustbin of history with the likes of limbaugh (mr viagra) hannity, and fox behind their sails…

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 2nd, 2012
9:00 am

ByteMe – Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!

Thanks for the backup!

That said, ” It’s certainly NOT equal, but it’s still a large donation”

That’s a HUGE understatement…..

Not equal….not even close….not even effective cover.

But again, I’m proud of you for backing up your statement.

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
9:01 am

ByteMe,

I’m sure there are Democrats on the Koch Crook’s payroll given the diversity of the party but the bulk of the Koch crook contributions clearly fund folks in the Republican party since it is the Republican party that best aligns with their interests.

ProgressivePeach

April 2nd, 2012
9:02 am

[Channeling John Goodman] YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS? YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS, GEORGIA, WHEN YOU ELECT REPUBLICANS!?!?!?

Jim too

April 2nd, 2012
9:03 am

How about appointing a special prosecutor to root out corruption ? Oh wait, we would need laws to empower that person and our elected officials won’t pass any. Imagine that!

St Simons- island off the coast of New Somalia

April 2nd, 2012
9:03 am

Willful ignorance glorified as some “folksy virtue”

Its an isidious cultural phenomenon, this glorification of ignorance
by today’s modern con.

Wade Hampton

April 2nd, 2012
9:04 am

Mighty brave of ye…………Stands.
.
Bravo.
.
I’m out.

larry

April 2nd, 2012
9:05 am

Well, when you elect a corrupt governor who was caught in the Lt. Gov.’s office along with the Lt.Gov trying to twist the arms off of the Commissioner of the Dept. of Revenue trying to protect his business interests , what do you expect?

And , to beat all, the U. S. Attorney’s husband accepted a position in Deal’s administration, did he not? And if he did, any investigation of Deal or any investigation of a state office holder, the U.S. Attorney would have to recuse herself. Interesting isn’t it.

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
9:05 am

I’m proud of you for backing up your statement.

Let me know when I don’t.

And, no, it’s not equal at all. But then again, maybe it’s because they haven’t asked. Hard to know. I’m pretty sure Koch doesn’t care whether it’s D or R as long as they have access for their lobbyists. Just because the R form of corporatism is stronger than the D form doesn’t mean they aren’t both susceptable to money and lobbyists for corporatists.

Peter

April 2nd, 2012
9:06 am

Georgia has been ranked the worst State in America Ethically…….Thank you GOP !

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
9:10 am

Bill Orvis White

April 2nd, 2012
9:11 am

@Mick

“Yes, the rise of rush and fox have led us to where we are at; polarization and right wing propaganda,”

The rise of hate speech starts and ends with the likes of Euro secular-socialists Hairy Reid, Olbermann, Maddow, Bawney Fwank, Schultz, Nanny Pelosi, Sharpton, Jackson and Maher.

“…the people now vote against their own self intersts.”

Voting for school + doctor choice and economic freedom is voting for our own interests, thank you very much.

“Slowly, they are waking up to this fact. Women have got it figured out and so do the hispanics. Republicans are staring at the dustbin of history with the likes of limbaugh (mr viagra) hannity, and fox behind their sails…”

If that isn’t hate speech, I’m not sure what is these days. Most women and hispanics are pro-family and wish to protect the innocent, the unborn. Republicans are getting folk to wake up and see the future which will be a President Willard “Mitt” Romney WHO WILL dismantle ObamaCare and bring freedom back to our soil.

Amen,
Bill

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:11 am

Funny you didn’t mention the epic shalacking dems took in 2010… My how does that get left out???? By the way you are comparing apples to oranges. The state level is so much different than the national level. The democrat party no longer exists in Georgia because they have shifted so far left on social issues not to mention the enormous amount of wasteful spending that went on for decades.

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
9:13 am

TaxPayer: that’s so far this election cycle…. And it’s not a lot of money either, relative to the millions being thrown at the PACs that don’t have to report anything.

larry

April 2nd, 2012
9:13 am

Funny you didn’t mention the epic shalacking dems took in 2010

Funny you didn’t mention the epic buyer’s remorse the people had not 6 months later.

carlosgvv

April 2nd, 2012
9:13 am

Doggone/GA

Well, uh, gosh, golly political parties are made up of PEOPLE.

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
9:14 am

If that isn’t hate speech, I’m not sure what is these days

I think we can all agree that you aren’t sure what is these days :)

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:14 am

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

larry:

Polls still show Republicans are the favorite going in to November. By the way the Senate is sure to turn red… I realize dems are in a tizzy right now and just don’t understand how all the momentum they had in 06′ and 08′ fizzled so fast but look at the record. Wasting trillions of dollars and jolting so far left on social issues will doom a party every time…..

Brosephus™

April 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

Funny you didn’t mention the epic shalacking dems took in 2010… My how does that get left out???? By the way you are comparing apples to oranges. The state level is so much different than the national level.

One day, the Georgia voter will open their eyes to the fact that state and local governance has more of an immediate effect on them than the national level. However, given the fact that I had already said there would be such deflection in my 8:00 post, I’ll say, once again, “I called it”!!!!

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

This is gonna leave a mark

Not really. A $50K donation out of over $100 million raised so far isn’t even a rounding error.

Partisan distractions on your part, Joseph. “But but but.. Obamaaaaaaa!!!” Waaaahhhh!!!

carlosgvv

April 2nd, 2012
9:17 am

Adam – 8:42

So, there’s really nothing we can do. OH!! WAIT!!! I’m a white man with property so everything’s ok.

Here’s a tip. Leaving school after the 8th grade really isn’t much of an education.

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
9:18 am

Polls still show Republicans are the favorite going in to November

Citations? Where exactly are they the “favorite”? In typically “Red” states? Any swing states?

Cosby

April 2nd, 2012
9:18 am

So youir point..once the individual gets into office, they taste power and a different lifestyle and forget they atre ‘Public Servants”…time for tem limits and a public commission to hold ethical hearings…no judge or lawuer should apply. simple…hole your senator and representitive accountable..call his / her office and let them know you know waht is going on. and if you walk into a restaurant and they are stiting ther4…they should buy your dinner!!

Peter

April 2nd, 2012
9:19 am

Bill Orvis White ..You Stated you don’t even read….. You are part of the problem

Road Scholar

April 2nd, 2012
9:19 am

So what are we going to do about it? Continue to whine? Throw your hands in the air and say “I told you so!”? Vote for these scumbags?

We need the tea party, union reps, and others who challenged the status quo to draft an ethics “bill of rights”. Enlist splinter groups into the movement and require any politician to run to endorse the “BOR”. If they do not, there is another reason to invoke term limits, unless the past demands for term limits is just BS! We meed this done soon, so it can be used to right the state in the primaries and fall election.

Otherwise, they will feel more “empowered”. They are already laughing at us!

Doggone/GA

April 2nd, 2012
9:19 am

“Well, uh, gosh, golly political parties are made up of PEOPLE”

well, uh, gosh, golly…you can’t have an ethical party if you don’t have ethical PEOPLE

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
9:19 am

Been fun playing, but gotta go. Later all!

ByteMe - Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!

April 2nd, 2012
9:20 am

and require any politician to run to endorse the “BOR

You mean do to them what Norquist has done to them? Interesting stategy.

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:20 am

Again I ask of you libs. Show me some evidense of ethics problems in our state involving legislators in recent years. Seems to me the Republicans who now rule this state adhere to a fine ethical standard…

JamVet

April 2nd, 2012
9:22 am

Funny you didn’t mention the epic shalacking (sic) dems took in 2010… My how does that get left out????

Funny you didn’t mention the epic humiliations the neocons took in 2006 AND 2008… My how does that get left out????

Joseph does love him some rampant Republican corruption in Georgia though, huh?

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

April 2nd, 2012
9:22 am

Hey Joseph…..Watch This!

ANY body at all think that a bad bundler – Democrat or Republcan should not be investigated and charged if appropriate?

Anybody?

Guess RedState/Drudge/Whatever just wanted you do try and do damage.

Road Scholar

April 2nd, 2012
9:23 am

God, I wish I could type…. and spell correctly….need.

Jefferson

April 2nd, 2012
9:23 am

Some of these new laws should end up in court, we don’t need half of what they propose, it just ass kissin’.

Adam

April 2nd, 2012
9:24 am

carlosgvv: Plenty we can do – vote Democrat this election, and then we can deal with a party that actually responds to moderate people who express concerns, or we could NOT vote, vote third party, or vote Republican – which all will lead to Republicans getting elected this cycle. And they won’t listen to the moderates even if the moderates vote for them.

Plus, you should know by now my education level is much higher than your personal attack, as well as you should know a personal attack is completely unnecessary with me.

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:25 am

ByteMe – Thugs vs. Goons IN 3-D!!:

I do realize your confusion but reality sometimes puts us in a strain. Libs simply lack logic and understanding. Looking at recent polls logic would tell you that the democrap party has a huge mountain to climb in keeping the Senate and the Whitehouse. Congress is totally out of the question.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/senate/2012_elections_senate_map.html

Road Scholar

April 2nd, 2012
9:26 am

Joseph: When you show me a specific case of voter fraud in Georgia! As GG-UT says….ethics apply to ALL running and serving elective office. And by the way, I have no problem showing my ID to vote! Waiting……

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:26 am

JamVet:

Examples please????

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:28 am

JamVet:

By the way I did mention the demorats had momentum back in 06′ and 08′ but shifted so far left most folks couldn’t relate to them anymore… Please read before posting nonsense…

josef

April 2nd, 2012
9:29 am

Phooey…here I am with a day to play around here while working on the other screen, and what’s the topic? The ethically challenged Georgia legislature…been there, seen it, bought the t-shirt. Not only is the Imam’s topic an early summer (global warming, anyone) rerun, so are the comments. It should be aborted and the Imam and we should evolve…the Late Unpleasantness anyone?

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
9:30 am

And it’s not a lot of money either, relative to the millions being thrown at the PACs that don’t have to report anything.

Koch Brothers, Allies Pledge $100 Million At Private Meeting To Beat Obama

I’m not sure I follow your claim, ByteMe.

Adam

April 2nd, 2012
9:30 am

josef: Early summer and completely missing winter….

Joseph

April 2nd, 2012
9:31 am

Road Scholar:

I simple search turns up many cases of voter fraud… I guess Google confuses libs…

http://dailycaller.com/2011/11/24/12-charged-with-voter-fraud-in-georgia-election/

TaxPayer

April 2nd, 2012
9:31 am

Libs simply lack logic and understanding.

Joseph, examples please ????? :roll:

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

April 2nd, 2012
9:31 am

Didn’t we just cover this ??

Mary Elizabeth

April 2nd, 2012
9:31 am

This article is well stated and well needed because it exposes the “arrogance of power” operative in Georgia. I must say, however, that I preferred the the closing sentence in the Sunday paper edition of this editorial to the one above.

================================================

I am posting a couple more entries that expose the “arrogance of power” theme that exists throughout our nation today.

From Paul Krugman’s 3/25/12 editorial in the New York Times:

“Now, ALEC isn’t single-handedly responsible for the corporatization of our political life; its influence is as much a symptom as a cause. But shining a light on ALEC and its supporters — a roster that includes many companies, from AT&T and Coca-Cola to UPS, that have so far managed to avoid being publicly associated with the hard-right agenda — is one good way to highlight what’s going on. And that kind of knowledge is what we need to start taking our country back.”

“And ALEC, even more than other movement-conservative organizations, is clearly playing a long game. Its legislative templates aren’t just about generating immediate benefits to the organization’s corporate sponsors; they’re about creating a political climate that will favor even more corporation-friendly legislation in the future.

Did I mention that ALEC has played a key role in promoting bills that make it hard for the poor and ethnic minorities to vote?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/opinion/krugman-lobbyists-guns-and-money.html?_r=3&ref=opinion