The state ethics commission appears ready to dismiss the complaint lodged last October against Casey Cagle that accused the Republican lieutenant governor of having an inappropriate relationship with a campaign staffer and overpaying her with campaign funds.
Case No. 20010-0066 – a Cagle spokesman confirmed this is the one — is listed on the “dismissal” portion of the March 1 agenda for the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.
The complaint was filed by Ray Boyd, the real estate entrepreneur who last spring considered a Republican run for governor – but would not sign the loyalty oath required by the state GOP.
Boyd’s complaint offered no proof of the affair, which allegedly occurred around the time Cagle, then a state senator, was elected lieutenant governor in 2006.
Cagle called the allegation “absolutely false,” and declared the complaint to be the work of his Democratic opponent, Carol Porter. Porter denied having any role in the matter – and Boyd agreed that this was so. Although Boyd was one of her supporters.
Cagle spokesman Ben Fry said the state ethics commission typically does not act on complaints against occupants of the Capitol while the Legislature is in session. The lieutenant governor asked for that policy to be waived, Fry said, so that the complaint could be dispatched as soon as possible.
Supporters of package sales of alcohol on Sunday will gather at the Capitol at noon today. They now have an anthem of sorts.
The following video – we do not know who to credit or blame — was posted yesterday on the Facebook page of Georgians for Sunday Alcohol Sales:
The Sunday sales rally will be followed by a 4 p.m. gathering of union workers in support of public employees in Wisconsin. The Washington Post provides a quick primer today on the situation:
TRENTON, N.J. – The offensive by Republican governors to tackle the power of public employee unions sparked new clashes Tuesday as protesters descended on Ohio’s capitol and Democratic lawmakers in Indiana fled the state to avoid a vote on anti-union legislation.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie ratcheted up the pressure on state employees by linking relief from property taxes to sharp increases in what government workers pay for health insurance.
The budget fights initiated by Republican governors represent a multi-state effort by like-minded politicians to solve budgetary problems in part by weakening public employee unions and demanding significant concessions from workers. After the November elections, Republicans now control many more state legislatures and governorships.
Although the particulars may differ – some governors are seeking to end collective bargaining rights, others are not – the state executives share both a political philosophy and a conviction that the public is prepared to support these measures if they help fix long-term budgetary problems.
Republican officials said there is no coordinated campaign underway. Governors are loosely communicating, sharing text messages and occasional phone calls as they offer moral support to one another.
My AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin notes the delicate path that House Democrats are walking by joining Gov. Nathan Deal’s effort to revamp the HOPE scholarship program:
Democrats have been largely supportive of Deal’s proposal — at least publicly and on its basic framework. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, and Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, a past Democratic caucus chairman, stood with Deal as he unveiled the proposal Tuesday morning at Georgia State University.
Later, at a news conference, Abrams, who signed on to the bill as a co-sponsor, repeated her support for the framework of the plan, and said Democrats insisted on a seat at the negotiating table.
“We were invited to work with Governor Deal,” she said. “As the authors of HOPE, the creators of the program, we refuse to not be at the table.”
Still, Abrams said her party’s support is contingent on several key measures remaining in the bill, including access to HOPE for remedial classes at technical colleges and funding for pre-K.
This morning, AJC’s Politifact takes on the accuracy of E-Verify:
Indeed, the GAO and experts for and against making E-Verify mandatory agree that the program has improved. It’s overwhelmingly accurate for authorized workers, but it fails to catch a large percentage of illegal ones.
The most current data says that overall, it was inaccurate between 2.3 and 5.7 percent of the time, according to Westat.
For legal workers, its error rate was between 0.6 percent and 1 percent, Westat found. But of the workers it thought may be unauthorized, 22 percent were actually legal.
E-Verify mistook legal, foreign-born workers for illegal ones 20 percent more often than it did for their U.S.-born counterparts, according to Westat. The system especially struggled with workers with Hispanic and Arab surnames, which means “increased potential exists for an adverse impact on individuals’ civil rights and civil liberties,” the GAO warned.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider