Election package becomes collateral damage in ethics fight

Some things are so well planned that things can’t possibly go right.

HB 899, carried by state Rep. Buzz Brockway, was a package of non-controversial housekeeping changes to the state’s election laws requested by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

It was one of many bills dealing with elections.

But coincidentally, the state’s elections laws and ethics laws are grounded in the same code section. Which apparently troubled some state lawmakers. They decided to bundle together everyone’s legislation into a single package, to make sure that no naïve, do-gooding soul would attempt to tack on an ethics reform package that might be embarrassing to kill.

As Mark Twain said, “Put all your eggs into one basket, and then watch that basket.” Except they didn’t.

The now-omnibus election bill included a provision that would have shifted voting for Augusta-Richmond County council from the general election to the summer primary. From a Democratic climate to a Republican one.

Senate Democrats lined up unanimously against HB 899, a few Republicans joined them, and the bill died six votes short of the 29 needed.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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25 comments Add your comment


March 27th, 2012
6:26 pm


But business as usual under either Democratic or Republican control.


March 27th, 2012
6:39 pm

AJC article dredging back up the Graves/ Rogers Calhoun investment. No mention of the counter suit by them against the bank for reneging on promised new terms. Little emphasis that it was a SETTLED agreement, and a false implication that taxpayers pay FDIC insurance because the FDIC is underwritten by taxpayer money. Bank fees pay for it. This erroneous, selective quote was given at the front of the article: “They may oppose bailouts, but it looks like they are getting one themselves”.

Just more gross AJC bias.


March 27th, 2012
7:25 pm

Just more gross behavior from our state Republicans/Tea Party leaders.

__it keeps piling up.


March 27th, 2012
8:22 pm

Centrist, their claim that the bank would not re-write their loan was in there, like every other article about their special treatment


March 27th, 2012
8:50 pm

Even findog spins it as if the bank turned down a favor to re-write the loan. They filed a counterclaim arguing that bank officials RENEGED ON A PLEDGE TO REFINACE which is very different. The bank didn’t agree to SETTLE for no reason – the counterclaim must have had merit. It got a single sentence mention in the middle of a highly critical article insinuating without a shred of evidence/proof that it was a sweetheart deal and taxpayers would be on the hook.

Grossly, biased yellow journalism – just what you would expect from the AJC.

Michael #1

March 27th, 2012
9:32 pm

Well at least we were named the worst State in the US for Ethics. Centrist you are not the sharpest tool in the shed. You flip things around so well you to work at IHOP.

Look before I leap...

March 27th, 2012
9:38 pm

These 2 bozos borrowed 2.3 million dollars and did not pay it back.
They tried to dodge the obligation by turning the keys over to some dumb schmuck who had zero chance to repay the load.
A Ga bank failed.
The FDIC is on the hook for at least $800k
Hamilton bank is on the hook for another $200k.
Obviously, Graves and Rogers are counting on finding someone who can plunk down $1.2m, spend another $300k to raze the property, pay the back local taxes and then find another $1m to build something resembling a viable business concern.
What will be interesting to see, is if that knight in shining armor ends up with a lucrative state contract worth millions sometime after the fact.
By then, the state ethics committee will be so thoroughly gutted, there won’t even be an email address to send a complaint to.

Dumb and Dumber

March 27th, 2012
9:47 pm

Graves and Rogers turned control of the hotel over to a “guy wearing an ankle bracelet, what did they expect to happen?”….best quote of the day.

What would Sonny do? Oh, I know, have the legislature pass some specific sweetheart tax breaks that only applies to Graves and Rogers. After all, that’s how the democrats operated for 100 years so its only fair….right [faux] Centrist?


March 27th, 2012
9:50 pm

Centrist has tunnel vision,and speaks out of both sides of mouth.He has defended these two crooks from the beginning.How fdic is paid comes out of the individual’s pocket.Kinda like someone stealing groceries,makes us all have to pay more.


March 27th, 2012
10:02 pm

Now Look is joining the spin party. Graves and Rogers lost a potful of money and have no property to show for their “investment”. Just like millions of other real estate investors (Democrats included). Some greedy banks that were giving out no doc, no interest loans for over appraised values and bundling them into Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMO’s) with bogus bond ratings for profitable resales got left holding the bag when the house of cards collapsed. But banks got huge government bailouts and stimulus packages thanks to Obama – and no accountability for the fraud. Annual deficits, public debt, and money printing presses went into overdrive – future reaction unknown – but taxpayers have yet to be hit (unless you count this major jobless recession).

Graves and Rogers appeared to avoid bankruptcy – like hundreds of thousands of other real estate investors (Democrats included). Liberals are pissed that Republicans Graves and Rogers didn’t lose enough – and that a majority of voters understand what happened and will likely return them to office. The liberally biased AJC has no influence OTP.


March 27th, 2012
10:27 pm

The majority voters may return these two to office,from lack of understanding..The AJC gives fair and accurate news.Their opinions are not biased.


March 27th, 2012
10:42 pm

Georgia, the most corrupt state in the Nation! Something to be so proud of, NOT! Graves and Rogers, too dumb to hold a political office. Anyone with any sense knew the housing/business market was already starting to collapse in 2007. Of course they fit right in with the rest of the Republican buffoons we have in office in Georgia.


March 27th, 2012
10:54 pm


I don’t follow your ‘logic’.

Is it your contention that despite clear and obvious incompetence, graves and rogers somehow ‘deserve’ re-election because of their questionable real estate dealings?

Tommy Gunn

March 27th, 2012
11:19 pm

Centrist, What about the fact they only bought the property because the inside info they had told them the DOT was going to re-do the intersection? Had the reccession not hit, they would have made out like the bandits they are! These guys are the definition of ‘SLICK”!

No Longer Republican

March 27th, 2012
11:23 pm

Centrist…you have lost your brain..if you ever had one. The bailouts came from GWB. Love that selective memory. And if you hate the AJC so much…QUIT READING IT!


March 28th, 2012
3:13 am

And yet again, the People get screwed out of Constitutionally mandated equal protection due to squabbling between “two” Parties who are 99.99999% identical.

The bottom line

March 28th, 2012
3:57 am

Centrist must be on the Graves/Roger payroll. How trite. Blame everything on the “liberal” media to justify all unethical behavior of right wing hypocrites. Typical right wing mentality. Hold everyone accountable but me because the rules don’t apply to me because I’m a right wing, holier than thou Republican.

Buckhead Boy

March 28th, 2012
5:14 am

Centrist, my grandfather had a saying about a ‘little bit of knowledge”, which I’ve learned from your posts applies to you. The so-called FDIC insurance “trust fund”, like all federal trust funds, is merely an accounting entry on the Treasury’s books. There is really no separate fund. The premiums go into the General Fund. When the trust fund needs cash, the Treasury simply makes it available on the the theory that it will be repaid over time by the FDIC trust fund (the banksters’ premiums). That’s been the case since 2009. Hence, an implication that bank bailouts are now underwritten by the taxpayer is hardly false. Now, here’s something to be really concerned about. The banksters have been shifting trillions in derivative obligations from their “gaming” operations into their FDIC-insured retail deposit divisions. That’s trillions with a capital “T” of potential toxicity that the taxpayers are now the ultimate backstop for. To believe anything less is more than naive.


March 28th, 2012
6:41 am

maybe we all can agree that one party domination in this state is bad as it relates to ethics….dems were bad when they were in control, repubs even worse now…they are trying to make up for lost time i guess

and the sheeple keep electing these folks…of course there are not many alternatives

switching gears, how can the feds mandate emergency health care services but somehow that argument breaks down on the requirement to force folks to pay for healthcare. why not just rescind the law that says emergency care regardless of ability to pay?

Independent voter

March 28th, 2012
8:13 am

Georgia republican just pass a bill to cut unemployment….We are going come out strong to vote these republicans out of the office…Nathan will not win a 2nd term the people of Georgia are wittness the republicans are trying to destroy middle class and poor.

Vote all republicans out of the office.


March 28th, 2012
8:33 am

hahahahahahahahaha…keep electing these brain dead tea party idiots and our state will continue to be the laughingstock of the nation


March 28th, 2012
8:35 am

centrist is really chip rogers


March 28th, 2012
8:37 am

All agreements are “settled” agreements. That’s why they call them agreements. On the other oft raised issue. Banks often call loans or fail to renew them, even when they indicate it’s likely. They are bound by rules and one might suspect that those rules were bent when this loan was made and whe times got hard someone decided to put the banks interests first. Of course with power politicians willing to exert their influence to get what they want, maybe that someone didn’t really realize what was in the banks best interest.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

March 28th, 2012
9:44 am

Thus showing that Centrist, is

1) Probably a Banker. Or a Rich person who chums with Bankers.
2) Actually Center Rightist, not a Centrist.

Rural Education

March 28th, 2012
11:01 am

Graves and Rogers don’t have to worry, they can let the Koch brothers funnel them the money through ALEC.