The tea party, religious conservative push for ethics

Below is a letter from a coalition of tea partyers and religious conservatives, demanding that the Legislature take up a cap on gifts from lobbyists. The signatures at the bottom are worth looking at:

Dear Legislators:

Over the past two and half years we have seen the biggest grassroots conservative movement in recent history. The American, and more specifically Georgia conservative has risen-up (some for the first time) to become involved in the political process.

We are dedicated to a return to fiscal and personal responsibility, constitutionally limited government, and free market solutions. Now, Tea Party groups, 9-12 groups, and other grassroots activists are uniting together with long-time established conservative statewide organizations in Georgia to call for strong ethics and accountability from our leaders.

We now have the ability to move forward on what could be the most important piece of legislation this session, a comprehensive ethics reform bill being offered by Representative Tommy Smith in the State House and Senator Josh McKoon in the State Senate.

We can look to our neighbors in Louisiana, as a prime example of how ethics reform can transform a state. Louisiana has gone from last to ranking first in the nation on tough ethics laws. .

A recent poll by the Atlanta Journal Constitution shows that 82% of Georgia Republicans support ethics reform, specifically with a cap on lobbyist gifts to legislators. The same poll also shows 72% of all Georgians (Republicans and Democrats) support comprehensive ethics reform in Georgia.

This truly is the most important election of our lifetime. We as Republicans must stand-up for all of the values we know to be good and honest. The ethics of our party, and our elected officials must be above reproach.

As leaders in the conservative movement, we call on you to sign-on to the ethics reform legislation being offered by Representative Tommy Smith in the State House and Senator Josh McKoon in the State Senate.

With your support, Georgia can lead the nation in ethics and accountability, and we call on you to support this important legislation.

Sincerely,

Julianne Thompson – State Coordinator, Georgia Tea Party Patriots, Co-Organizer, Atlanta Tea Party

Kay Godwin – Co-Founder, Georgia Conservatives in Action

Dan Becker – President, Georgia Right to Life

Debbie Dooley – State Coordinator, Georgia Tea Party Patriots, Co-Organizer Atlanta Tea Party

Pat Tippett – Co-Founder, Georgia Conservatives in Action

Sara Salsbury – State President, Eagle Forum

Jack Smith – Chairman, North Georgia Tea Party Alliance, Gilmer County Tea Party

Jerry LaGuire – President, Georgia Christian Coalition

Nolan and Diane Cox – Valdosta Tea Party

Judy Craft – Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta

Wendy Bloedt – Coweta County Tea Party

Michael Opitz – President, Madison Forum

Steve Ramey – Founding Fathers Tea Party Patriots

Cheryl Espy-Dalton – Clayton County 9-12 Tea Party

Sahar Hekmati – Conservative Republican Women

Mary Adamski – North Georgia 9-12

Terri Green – Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta

Linda Umberger – Dawson County Tea Party

Debbie Whelchel – North Georgia New Generation Republican Women

Cheryl Lavette – Smart Girl Politics

Nickie Summers – C.E.O. of Stand Up Be Read

Jeff Chapman – Peach Tea PAC

Kathy Hildebrand – Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta

Jody Hice – President, Let Freedom Ring Ministries

Mike Griffin – Executive Director, Ten Commandments Project of Georgia

Bob Frey – Georgia Tea Party Patriots

Chris Owen

Ray Newman

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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35 comments Add your comment

missing the point

January 24th, 2012
12:32 pm

I would like to see this effort done at the federal level on down across political lines. People just now waking up to lobbyists and ethic issues? Tired of the good ole boy system, huh??

Ga Values...Ron Paul for Peace & Prosperity

January 24th, 2012
12:32 pm

This has as much chance of passing as getting Newt to give up keeping a mistress.

Jeff

January 24th, 2012
12:34 pm

So the Tea Party has thrown in its lot with the big spending NeoCons. As I’ve said, they are nothing more than GOP 1.02.

Bobby

January 24th, 2012
12:35 pm

Nothing more than right wing lies and hypocrisy. Same as it’s always been in Georgia.

missing the point

January 24th, 2012
12:36 pm

will this mean all the people that signed will NOT be voting for Newt?

DannyX

January 24th, 2012
12:40 pm

Nothing will happen until Republican leadership is held accountable.

This is a very important issue, if real ethics reform is not passed this session, the Tea Party and the religious groups should target a couple of high profile Republicans and work together on a campaign to have them voted out of office and replaced with a Republican that will work for real reform.

Ralston and Graves would be a great targets.

ray

January 24th, 2012
12:42 pm

Republicans will not pass any reform. They will not kill the goose that lays golden eggs.

jconservative

January 24th, 2012
12:44 pm

“…82% of Georgia Republicans support ethics reform…”

Yet they voted into the governors office an ethically challenged Nathan Deal.

Talk is cheap. Practice what you preach ladies and gentlemen.

We will know when an ethically challenged Newt Gingrich is on the ballot in the Republican Primary.

Electing people with high moral standards may eliminate the need for legislation. You might want to give it a try.

Hillbilly D

January 24th, 2012
12:51 pm

Ethics in government is a good thing, no matter who is for it. I’ve never heard of any of the people who signed this before but that doesn’t matter. Good luck to them but I don’t expect anything to come of it.

Karen

January 24th, 2012
12:54 pm

Too little, too late by the TP. Look at who they elected!

Buckhead Boy

January 24th, 2012
12:54 pm

Seems a bit bizarre that people who support Gingrich and chose Cain to respond to the President’s State of the Union Address claim interest in ethics.

Real Athens

January 24th, 2012
12:56 pm

For 8 years Sonny Perdue ate at the public trough, using political influence to enrich himself and his followers. He was a member of the GOP. Then in 2010, Georgian’s (led by the SAME people on this letter) helped elect governor a man described as one of the most ethically challenged in the House of Representatives — one who was under investigation when he decided to step down to run for governor.

This same governor has now packed his administration with family, campaign donors and other high profile “businessmen” who have no experience in the areas of government they have been chosen to lead.

This is the “change” these groups have wrought upon the state. If Georgia State government is corrupt the blame lies solely with the voters who elected the officials. You get what you “play” for. As Georgia continues it’s historic march backwards these “patriots” are solely to blame.

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
1:02 pm

I agree DannyX

Until there is a downside for NOT pursuing ethics reform, it simply is not going to happen.
It is telling that our politicians will only act out of fear, as opposed to showing true leadership.

I believe that there are many good and decent people both Democrat and Republican in the state legislature who are actually interested in promoting issues that genuinely benefit the citizens of Georgia. But since the power of the legislature is so heavily concentrated in the “leadership” positions, their voices are seldom heard.

This should be an issue that all voters should care about, not just the “Tea Party”.

Jackie

January 24th, 2012
1:03 pm

Confident whistling by the graveyeard from democrat partisans who did nothing about ethics for the decades they held absolute power in Georgia.

missing the point

January 24th, 2012
1:12 pm

Jackie…dems didn’t have us paying to drive in certain lanes. Dems didn’t have pet projects like Go Fish for their friends and buy up tracts of land from which to later turn around and make huge profits off of. Might be dirt on both sides but even you have admit the repubs treat Ga like a MILF. These people in the tea party are just now feeling disenfranchised?? C’mon.

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
1:14 pm

Jackie

January 24th, 2012
1:03 pm

Confident whistling by the graveyeard from democrat partisans who did nothing about ethics for the decades they held absolute power in Georgia.

You make a point. But the GOP has been in power for a decade now and they have done nothing either. This tells me it is not a partisan issue, but a sign of a very messed up system.

Auntie Christ

January 24th, 2012
1:15 pm

Look up oxymoron in the dictionary, this is cited as example 1: “Ethics in GA politics. “

B. Thenet

January 24th, 2012
1:21 pm

I would wager every single one of them voted for that ethically bankrupt Governor of ours.

Look before I leap...

January 24th, 2012
1:22 pm

I just realized that I am agreeing with religious conservatives and the tea party.
I think I am going to vomit and then start drinking early today.

Auntie Christ

January 24th, 2012
1:27 pm

Jackie, if you had followed GA politics for as long as I have, you would know that there has never been a democratic party in GA, only a branch of the republican party that labelled themselves as ‘democrats.’ because it was politically expedient. When the winds shifted they tacked with it. Just because zell miller, sonny perdue, and 100’s more corrupt right wing hacks called themselves democrats, did not make it a fact.

Jackie

January 24th, 2012
1:35 pm

Georgia was a solid democratic state for generations and only the ignorant or the amneisatic would deny that. Yellow Dog Democrats would rather vote for a yellow dog than a republican. The fact that the democrats lost their stranglehold on the state is a just a reality of history

Only in relatively recent years have democrat and republican grown to be so clearly defined left and right. There was once a conservative wing to the democrats and a liberal wing to the republicans. Aligning our political divisions with our social divisions has only occured one other time beginning in the 1840’s..

Your far left perspective, notwithstanding, Democrats held absolute control in Georgia for decades.

BTW, it’s interesting to note that Fulton County is spending $700,000 specifically to lobby the state legislature.

UGA Class of 86

January 24th, 2012
1:38 pm

Auntie Christ…I was about to make the same point. Our esteemed Governor too was a democrat when elected…these are the exact same people that have been running Georgia for decades…just changed party affiliations when it became convenient for them to keep power. And that is why they continue to do what they do. Its not the party its the system. How to fix it? Wish I knew…

missing the point

January 24th, 2012
1:40 pm

Look before I leap…I had to “earl” myself.

Dumb and Dumber

January 24th, 2012
1:45 pm

I love Jackie’s reasoning, because the Dixiecrats, um, Democrats, never passed ethics reform, the Republicans never have to either.

Brilliant

and as for the Georgia Democratic party being “liberal” … well since the dems now only have a couple of seats inside 285, maybe they are small “L” liberal now; but back in the 80s and 90s when Nathan Deal, sonney Perdue, etc., were “democrats” — it was just GOP lite.

J Throckmorton Malcontent

January 24th, 2012
1:51 pm

I’ll reach across the aisle and shake hands on this issue. Even with those who have made one-sided “cultural warfare” on me & mine for decades. I invite the tea partiers and cultural conservatives to continue to consider the positive uses to which their power & the power of government can be put. I hope Jason Carter will lend an ear to this request.

Hillbilly D

January 24th, 2012
1:54 pm

This tells me it is not a partisan issue, but a sign of a very messed up system.

Good point.

Hillbilly D

January 24th, 2012
1:55 pm

if you had followed GA politics for as long as I have, you would know that there has never been a democratic party in GA, only a branch of the republican party

Does that include the 2nd half of the 19th Century and early 20th? Georgia was almost totally Democratic and anti-Republican.

Real Athens

January 24th, 2012
2:04 pm

Jackie you are right, but so is Auntie.

Your revision of history is also the lynchpin of the “new” GOP (check out Newt Gingrich daily)

The Georgia led by Brown, Slaton, Russell, Talmadge’s Sander’s and Maddox was more aligned with Dixiecrat than Democrat. That is much is fact.

“Yellow Dog Democrats was a political term applied to voters in the Southern United States who voted solely for Democratic candidates, with the term commencing in the late 19th century. Due to Republican president Abraham Lincoln’s leading the Union against the Confederacy, these voters would allegedly ‘vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for any Republican’.”

These were the “Democrats” of Long, Byrd, Wallace and LBJ. They were a wholly different animal than of FDR, Kennedy and Humphrey, Wellstone — and you know it. The GOP of today is most definitely descended from the originators of the “Southern Strategy” and bear little resemblance to the Party of T. Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Goldwater.

Nonetheless, the GOP in Georgia today has been in power for 8 years and has done nothing to quell cronyism or raise ethical standards. If anything, it has gotten worse since Busbee, Harris and Miller.

Real Athens

January 24th, 2012
2:08 pm

Sorry for the grammatical error laden post. Fingers refuse to work today.

Gm

January 24th, 2012
2:20 pm

These people are pusing for ethics, what a joke, yet they are backing Newt who has no ethics and was put out as speaker, and has no famly vaules, please Georgia Rep you are a joke and bunch of hypocrites””

[...] The tea party, religious conservative push for ethicsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Below is a letter from a coalition of tea partyers and religious conservatives, demanding that the Legislature take up a cap on gifts from lobbyists. The signatures at the bottom are worth looking at: Over the past two and half years we have seen the …Tea Party Renews Ethics PushGPBall 19 news articles » [...]

honested

January 25th, 2012
7:58 am

If they were seeking ethical behavior, why did they instill such a crooked majority?

V Blanton

January 25th, 2012
11:16 am

Why does it surprise anyone that the legislature won’t support this bill. Everyone in this state knows that the only reason most of these people run for a seat in the House or Senate is so they can pad their bank account.

J Throckmorton Malcontent

January 25th, 2012
11:42 am

Well, I see this effort failed to pick up even a single GOP co-sponsor amongst the godly men & ladies of the Georgia House.
Thank you, Mary Margaret Oliver, for your effort on behalf of good government and outreach.
To out teafolk, keep trying on this issue. But perhaps you will find out what your agricultural friends in South Georgia found out last year–the Republican Party isn’t responsive to your interests the way, say, Speaker Murphy was.

Tea Party ramps up ethics push – Rome…

January 25th, 2012
1:00 pm

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