Maria Sheffield endorses $100 cap of gifts to state lawmakers

You may or may not agree with him, but House Speaker David Ralston was right about one thing – the argument over ethics in the state Capitol will certainly cause some fissures in the GOP.

Here’s a message that Maria Sheffield, one of four Republicans in the fight to oust U.S. Rep. John Barrow, just posted on her Facebook page:

I will vote yes for ethics reform July 31 on the GOP Primary ballot. I invite and encourage all conservatives to join me. I congratulate Senator Josh McKoon and my friends Julianne Thompson and Debbie Dooley of the TEA Party, Kay Godwin and Pat Tanner Tippett of Georgia Conservatives in Action, and Dan Becker and Nancy Stith of Georgia Right to Life for their leadership on this issue.

The ballot question specifically calls for a $100 cap on gifts to state lawmakers. Sheffield isn’t likely to be the last to line up behind it.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

34 comments Add your comment

rukidding

May 21st, 2012
12:05 pm

Great move by Maria to get some press.

Cherokee Mom

May 21st, 2012
12:32 pm

Of course she does. Why wouldn’t someone running for a congressional office say that? Maybe she should focus more on washington’s problems because they are much much worse that Georgia’s problems. If all the state is worried about is ethics reform then I would say our state legislators are doing a pretty good job.

td

May 21st, 2012
12:32 pm

How do you enforce a $100 gift ban? What is the consequences of breaking the ban? Who determines who broke and did not break the ban? Will the people that voted the member to represent them have any say so in the matter? Who can file a complaint?

There are a ton of unintended consequences to imposing such a ban. You have to set up a agency to m monitor and how much power to give to said agency. Do a bunch of politically appointed people have the power to unseat an elected representative? Will the power lay in the legislature and if it does can you see what may happen to a member that votes their conscience instead of getting in line with leadership? What about the rights of the people that elect an individual? I can see now a Federal court case about an African American getting removed from office for accepting a $125 meal.

No, I am for as much sunshine as possible and let the people decide if the gifts are over the limit for their district. More government is never the answer to solve a problem.

obama4ever

May 21st, 2012
12:39 pm

and just where can one buy a 100 dollar cap? The most I’ve ever seen a cap go for is fifty big ones, man. You know, I don’t even care. If you’re stupid enough to spend a hundred bucks on a cap, then you deserve mitt romney for president and I hope the whole country gets hat hair.

findog

May 21st, 2012
12:43 pm

That’s right Maria, only conservatives should vote for ethics reform
RINO’s, moderates, democrats with nothing else on their ballots; should all vote no to reform
And even if you get 85% voting for it the GOP under the gold dome will never legislate an end to their annual junket to Atlanta

johnboy

May 21st, 2012
12:48 pm

now if we could just get term limits

Ralston Rocks!!

May 21st, 2012
12:49 pm

How else could he get a $600,000 loan with no payments so he could pay off his IRS Leins?

Thanks Jimmy T.!! Don’t worry, Ralston will kill any banking bills that get in your way so long as he doesn’t have to pay back his loan from you.

Ethics would be too much trouble for everyone.

yellowdog.

May 21st, 2012
12:56 pm

nice to see that bloggers not calling each other names!

this wont stop anything; dont hold yoiur breath on this “promise”. theres always a way

Marlboro Man

May 21st, 2012
1:18 pm

NO GIFTS. PERIOD. NO FREE LUNCH OR DINNER.

Romegaguy

May 21st, 2012
1:40 pm

Maria is just trying to get some free publicity and suck up to the tea party folks since she is having problem raising real money for her flailing Congressional campaign. And she got it

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

May 21st, 2012
1:43 pm

Cherokee Mom

May 21st, 2012
12:32 pm

“If all the state is worried about is ethics reform then I would say our state legislators are doing a pretty good job.”

Did I just see that someone typed that our state legislators are doing a pretty good job?

Man! What have you been smoking and where can we get some of it? Because whatever it is, it sounds like some pretty good and highly-potent sh** that seems to be capable of producing some extremely-powerful psychotic hallucinations!

Our state legislators doing a pretty good job? Come again?

Our “highly-esteemed” state legislature was just found to be the most corrupt state lawmaking body in the entire union and our state is either dead last or close to last in many key categories including education, transportation, water availability (which really takes some effort to pull off for a state that gets over 50 inches a rain on average a year), employment opportunities, job growth and quality-of-life and you think that they are doing a pretty good job?

Man, just when I thought that I had heard it all…..

gette

May 21st, 2012
1:43 pm

If Cherokee Mom is more concerned about Washington ethics, and thinks the legislators in her County are not that explains how they keep getting elected have compromised the integrity here.The priority is being more concerned with what they get away with on a micro level than DC. Guess she didn’t get the memo that GA ranks dead last on ethics across the nation.

td

May 21st, 2012
1:47 pm

Last, Please go on with the BS about the legislature being the most corrupt ever. You know good and well that the survey was done by a lib organization and that 8 out of ten of the most corrupt states were Republican controlled while at the same time IL did not even make the list and there last tow governors are in jail due to corruption.

Kris T.

May 21st, 2012
2:02 pm

None of these practices will be changed until we get lawmakers with integrity, instead of getting their pockets lined by lobbyists. No Free Gifts or lunches. If someone has to monitor the problem let the legislators pay a fee to that entity just like they charge to drug test TNAF recipients. If the state should provide lunch of supper feed them the same as state prisoners. (Bread and baloney). That’s good enough for them.

Centrist

May 21st, 2012
2:02 pm

Some sort of ethics reform is going to pass soon – too many citizens in both parties want it.

(Hello, jgalloway)

nelson

May 21st, 2012
2:23 pm

Now, am I naieve or can’t I spel. Why would a lawmaker want $100.00 gifts? Is he not getting paid? I would like a gift, enough of that> What does the giver get for their money? A coat or a fancy tv? I just don’t understand. Certainly not influence. Does not influence go to all of the populace who would like it?

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

May 21st, 2012
3:34 pm

td

May 21st, 2012
2:10 pm

“That is a lie and you know it”

It must not be that much of a lie as he (Balfour) paid back $800 to the state after being confronted with the allegations.

Road Scholar

May 21st, 2012
3:45 pm

td: the gift limit/ban is could be a rule to abide by. There is a state ethics committee already. There needs to be written rules as to what is/isn’t acceptable and the penalties defined. The gift limit on the House Speaker needs to be reduced to $25, because of his resistance and utter stupid comments.

As a state worker I was originally not allowed to accept ANYTHING. Later, it was raised to $25; I still did not take it unless it would have embarrassed the giver. I only took gifts when the Commissioner mandated it (dinner during a convention….in a group.) and I submitted a form to document it!

This ain’t rocket science!

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

May 21st, 2012
3:46 pm

nelson

May 21st, 2012
2:23 pm

“Now, am I naieve or can’t I spel. Why would a lawmaker want $100.00 gifts? Is he not getting paid? I would like a gift, enough of that> What does the giver get for their money? A coat or a fancy tv? I just don’t understand. Certainly not influence.”

Actually, since you mentioned it, Georgia Lawmakers don’t really necessarily get paid as much as most people think as the average salary for state legislators is just under $20,000 a year.

The lack of adequate limits on the amount and value that state legislators can receive combined with low salaries can become kind of a problem as the job seems to attract lots of “entrepreneurs” so to speak who seek to make most of their legislative income through affiliations with lobbyists representing major business interests who are more than often ready, willing and able to do business in a legislative environment where favorable legislation always goes to the most generous and highest bidder.

td

May 21st, 2012
3:46 pm

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

May 21st, 2012
3:34 pm

The state pays the lawmakers up front their money and it is up to the legislator to pay them back for money they were not suppose to get, so you statement is a lie. If not then every lawmaker would be guilty of the crime you are accusing Balfour of.

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

May 21st, 2012
3:48 pm

Road Scholar

May 21st, 2012
3:45 pm

“This ain’t rocket science!”

It is if one really hates the assignment.

Michael #1

May 21st, 2012
3:52 pm

Last, never argue with TD, as he doesnt like facts, unless they come from FAUX.

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

May 21st, 2012
3:57 pm

td

May 21st, 2012
3:46 pm

Lawmakers get paid for in-state expenses between their homes and the Capitol. The problem is that Balfour claimed in-state travel expenses on days that he clearly was NOT in-state.

http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2012/apr/04/state-senator-balfour-returns-800-after-expenses/

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

May 21st, 2012
4:10 pm

It doesn’t matter who points out the ethical violations, even if it is a Liberal pointing out the ethics violations of Conservatives, as an ethics violations by Conservatives are still ethics violations, plain and simple and in a rather loose legislative environment where almost anything goes and almost everything short of murder is allowed, falsifying expense reports is pretty blatant, especially when one is already getting donations, money and gifts from multiple sources and has over three-quarters of a million dollars on hand for their re-election campaign.

In most circumstances what Balfour did would be considered what is actually is, stealing from the taxpayers, and would be handled accordingly as a criminal matter.

It just so happens that Balfour “works” in an environment where virtually all ethics and morals of any type went down the drain a long time ago, so the only people he has to answer to are the voters in his district.

yuzeyurbrane

May 21st, 2012
4:11 pm

We have the best state government that money can buy. We are #1 in something.

double

May 21st, 2012
4:52 pm

What is a tow governor?You underestimate our speaker.The loan was 1 million,58thouand.He would be happy to pay 600k.If the survey was done by libs,you just know it’s not right.The speaker is a big man but not lazy,most could not keep up with his shadow.Term limits with caps.Braves caps that is.

R U Kidding Me?

May 21st, 2012
4:59 pm

td:

Everything you disagree with, you parade out the “left-wing liberal organization” excuse. Slice it anyway you want to, but Georgia is one of only 3 states in America that allows UNLIMITED gifts to elected officials.And almost 80% of Georgian agrees there need to be ethics reform in this state. Maybe you like sleeze balls like Sonny Perdue, Chip Rogers and Don Balfour. It’s incredible that a staunch right-wing conservative would be against Ethics Reform. You know what this is??? I bet you’re really a closet left-wing screeming liberal!!!

zeke

May 21st, 2012
5:01 pm

didn’t they run off roscoe dean years ago for double dipping on expenses?

double

May 21st, 2012
5:05 pm

Not 58k 52K…….

td

May 21st, 2012
5:09 pm

R U Kidding Me?

May 21st, 2012
4:59 pm

First: The republicans you mentioned are less sleazy the Barnes, Murphy and what was the guy’s name that went to jail for mail fraud?

Second: The Libertarian and Tea party side in me sees less government is better government. I also do not want the legislature to take my power in my vote away from me.

Third: Instead of taking a swipe at my views can you take a few minutes to answer the legitimate questions I raised.

honested

May 21st, 2012
5:24 pm

R.U…….

It just requires understanding the ’strict father’ mindset.

The clowns who are elected by low information types are ’successful’ and therefore must be living in a ‘proper’ fashion (think terms like ‘righteous’) else they would not have been elected as ‘conserrrrrrrvatives’ by ‘conserrrrrrrrvatives’.
If you buy that first part, then the idea they would be swayed by any gift is not in keeping with their superior mindset. Putting a price on how much they are allowed to accept in order to sell out their constituents just cheapens their superior position.
Also, remember these voters are the same ones who see absolutely nothing wrong with the actions of scurrilous players like ALEC (I mean if rich folks want to buy a certain kind of government, who are we little people to disagree).
So as crazy as the tiny distorted minority who oppose ethics reform may be, they probably actually believe that nonsense.

What did I miss?

May 21st, 2012
5:36 pm

The part I liked best:

td complaining that some liberal organization that didn’t include Illinois on its list of most corrupt LEGISLATURES was clearly biased because their GOVERNORS had severe ethics issues. If you can’t tell your Executive from your Legislative branch, it’s possible that a political debate is not the place for you…

Rural Education

May 21st, 2012
6:56 pm

The most corrupt state in the Union.

[...] Maria Sheffield, running in the 12th district GOP Primary, has endorsed the ethics cap that will appear on the Republican Primary ballot on July [...]