Your morning jolt: Casey Cagle joins call for $100 gift cap on lawmakers

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle on Tuesday became the latest figure at the Capitol to declare his support for a $100 gift cap for state lawmakers, vowing to build support for ethics reform in the General Assembly. From the Gainesville Times:

“It’s a process, and the legislature’s got to get comfortable with it,” Cagle said.

Cagle, who spoke to the Kiwanis Club in Gainesville Tuesday, said he supports a measure like the one [Sen]. Josh McKoon proposed last session that died….

The lieutenant governor said a July 31, non-binding ballot question is likely to push GOP lawmakers to embrace stronger ethics rules:

“I think there’s going to be a lot of support — a lot of support,” Cagle said.

Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, last week pledged his support for a gift cap. At this month’s state GOP convention, House Speaker David Ralston declared it to be the wrong approach.

The Associated Press has pinned down a location for President Barack Obama’s visit to Georgia next month:

A campaign e-mail says the event is scheduled to begin June 26 at 11:30 a.m. at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.

General admission tickets to the event cost $500. For $10,000, guests get a ticket to a photo reception and two preferred viewing tickets for a reception with the president.

We must find a word other than “presumptive.” Texas voters on Tuesday nailed down the GOP presidential nomination for Mitt Romney:

President Barack Obama and future GOP nominee Mitt Romney indulged in off-setting gaffes on Tuesday. Aaron Blake and the Washington Post tell of the mis-launch of a Romney iPhone app:

In the app, the phrase “A Better America” is misspelled “A Better Amercia.” The misspelling was picked up and tweeted widely Tuesday night, soon spawned a hashtag-driven Twitter meme in which people imagined just what Amercia stood for and what kind of policies Romney had planned for Amercia.

Meanwhile, Obama was channeling Gerald Ford. The government of Poland demanded a “strong and clear” retraction from the White House after Obama’s reference to a “Polish death camp” while honoring a Pole who carried word of the Holocaust to the rest of the world.

From the Associated Press:

“We can’t accept such words in Poland, even if they are spoken by a leader of an allied country,” Prime Minister Donald Tusk told journalists in Warsaw today. “Saying Polish concentration camps is as if there was no German responsibility, no Hitler.”

The White House has admitted that the president “misspoke.”

Future GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, the first Mormon to clinch a national nomination, on Tuesday released his birth certificate. Yes, his father was born in Mexico. And, yes, it is “Mitt.” Not “Milton.”

In Las Vegas on Tuesday night, Newt Gingrich told reporters that he considers Hawaii to be President Barack Obama’s birthplace, but doesn’t think doubters like Donald Trump are driven by racisim. Newt, via Politico:

“I think that Obama creates very powerful emotions about him, largely because of the radicalism of his views. And I think that that’s a key fact. I mean, nobody runs around and asks whether Colonel [Allen] West [of Florida] was born in the United States. He’s an African-American, you know. He’s a congressman.

Artur Davis, the former Alabama congressman who seconded Barack Obama’s nomination for president four years ago, says he’s leaving his home state – and perhaps the Democratic party as well, should he attempt a return to Congress from Virginia. From his web site:

[C]utting ties with an Alabama Democratic Party that has weakened and lost faith with more and more Alabamians every year is one thing; leaving a national party that has been the home for my political values for two decades is quite another. My personal library is still full of books on John and Robert Kennedy, and I have rarely talked about politics without trying to capture the noble things they stood for.

I have also not forgotten that in my early thirties, the Democratic Party managed to engineer the last run of robust growth and expanded social mobility that we have enjoyed; and when the party was doing that work, it felt inclusive, vibrant, and open-minded.

But parties change. As I told a reporter last week, this is not Bill Clinton’s Democratic Party (and he knows that even if he can’t say it).

In the New York Times, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss had some kind words for President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism efforts, despite what Chambliss sees “as a failure to capture and interrogate more terrorist suspects:”

“We’ve crippled Al Qaeda. The foundation may have been laid in the Bush administration, but you have to recognize that this administration has been very committed to carrying the fight to the enemy.”

The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s assertion that U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who is attempting to put an end to military recruitment sponsorship of sporting events, “hasn’t even been to a NASCAR race.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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29 comments Add your comment

More of the Same

May 30th, 2012
9:47 am

The same Lt. Gov. that purposefully sent the Ethics Bill to the Rules Committee (instead of the ETHICS Committee), knowing it would die, is now behind the bill.

The same Chairman that killed the bill without a hearing or vote is now behind the bill.

A bit dishonest… and maybe… unethical?


May 30th, 2012
9:58 am

Perhaps they’ve figured a way around the $100 limit.

I don’t know how wondering where Obama was born could be racist.


May 30th, 2012
10:00 am

Cagle is trying to play the game as if he still has a chance to be governor one day. Not going to happen Casey.

Neutral policially

May 30th, 2012
10:07 am

I got roadblocked out of the blog for criticizing the grossly biased AJC, and pointing out its major loss of stature. I have found ways around it, but also found I have better things to do than debate this biased blogger and his liberal, partisan followers. More manual and automatic censorship is in the offing by this Pravda type blog – its what leftists do.

I’ll drop by from time to time – but the subjects have been boring or just repeat liberal dogma (too much like Bookman). I’ll watch the Wisconsin recall, SCOTUS rulings, local elections and T-SPLOST referendum without further comment. Few here will miss me, no sense in being somewhere if not wanted, and arguing with the minister and choir about the quality of the music gets nowhere.

follow the money

May 30th, 2012
10:10 am

So in 20 years when $100 will barely buy you a cup of coffee and a doughnut, we get to have another great debate about this same topic. Do our “leaders” address any issues with forethought?

Danny O

May 30th, 2012
10:16 am

It looks like the ethics bill has become a House v. Senate issue. Anything can happen now.


May 30th, 2012
10:16 am

Neutral policially

May 30th, 2012
10:07 am

Well dang Centrist you will be missed by a few of us on here. The leftest tint of this blog is getting more obvious everyday. I am sure I will also be banned before this is over with but I will try to play within the rules and just keep pointing out how wrong the leftest are and keep pointing out the faults of their messiah.

Road Scholar

May 30th, 2012
10:18 am

They should pass a NO GIFTS policy with immediate resignation as the penalty. The lobbyist who violates no gifts then pays for the admin cost of holding the election to refill the position. Easy with no reporting necessary. Ya know….all those confounded forms and filling them out!!!!

Was Romney’s parents legal citizens?

“as a failure to capture and interrogate more terrorist suspects:”
Get off the golf course and go to Pakistan if you want to talk to them!

Oh, and good luck!


May 30th, 2012
10:19 am


Why am I in moderation? My last comment had absolutely nothing in it to break any of your rules. All I was doing was saying good bye to a fellow blogger. Was it for using his real screen name?

Bob Loblaw

May 30th, 2012
10:22 am

First, I don’t see Casey supporting a $100 cap anywhere in any article. Says there will be a lot of support for it, but nowhere does it say he’s outright fighting for it. Second, why do we even care? We’re saying that a hundred bucks isn’t enough to overly influence a politician but $101 is? This is idiocy.

Danny O

May 30th, 2012
10:24 am

From PolitiFact Georgia:

A reporter at Charlotte Motor Speedway asked Earnhardt whether he would invite Kingston to a NASCAR race.

“Yes, because he’s a Republican from Georgia,” Earnhardt said, according to The Sporting News article. “He ought to have seen a NASCAR race by now.”

Democrats: You’re off the hook. Feel free to enjoy motorsports that turn both left and right.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
10:29 am

RE: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s assertion that U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, who is attempting to put an end to military recruitment sponsorship of sporting events, “hasn’t even been to a NASCAR race.”

By that logic, no one in congress can advocate budget cuts to NASA, since no one in congress has been to the moon.

And to neutral politically: we’ll try to get by without your whining diatribes against the librul media and how your righties are so victimized . I remember you from childhood, you were always the last kid chosen, so you took your ball and bat then pouted and whined all the way home.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
10:39 am

I think we misunderstood cagle’s intentions. In keeping with his previous positions on ethics, he really said that no gift UNDER $100 will be considered when buying his vote.


May 30th, 2012
10:40 am

auntie, you take christ’s name in vain, and you think you wrote something worth reading? Try the hemlock, it did wonders for Archimedes. no wait, it was Eumenides, no, Euripides. dang it, I can’t remember my Greek Mythology. Wasn’t it the guy who looked at himself in the pool and fell in love with a bullfrog? curses, I’m so confused.


Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
10:45 am

O4ever, I know where you’re coming from. Anything above the level of “See Spot run. Run, Spot run” is all Greek to you.

Marlboro Man

May 30th, 2012
10:51 am

That would be $100 too much. Zero, nada, no gifts or meals period from anyone that could even be tied to a cause.

Mr. KnowitAll

May 30th, 2012
10:55 am

Good Grief, Jim. Comparing a typo on a tweet from Romney to not knowing who invoked Nazi death camps in Poland is hardly comparable.

…..your stripes are showing.

below the gnat line

May 30th, 2012
11:01 am

Maybe I’m cynical, but I reckon the rascals (both the politicians and lobbyists) have figured a way around this. Maybe it’s something like $100 per gift/swag; however multiple staff members within a lobbying organization (counting even the cleaning service) could each throw in their hundred bucks, so it adds up enough to send Rep. Bubba Blowhard to the Master’s; or pay for a nice weekend at Reynolds Plantation; or box seats at the Ga-FL game for Bubba and his family. They figure real reform (e.g. zero “gifts” or swag) could come in and be much worse. The devil’s in the details.


May 30th, 2012
11:04 am

I support Kingstn’s initiative, but having an Earnhart tag on the front of his pickup is like “support the troops” stickers on the bumper of cars driven by people with no intention of serving themselves plus making sure the VA is underfunded.

Lobbyists’ gifts should be limited to a cup of coffee, period.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
11:18 am

The Sobibor Death Camp was in Sobibor, Poland. It has always been called the “Sobibor Death Camp” and will always have that moniker. But if I am understanding the Poles indignation, it is not offensive to call it Sobibor Death Camp, but it is offensive, and somehow a gaffe on Obama’s part to call it the “Polish Death Camp.” Go figure.

Auntie Christ

May 30th, 2012
11:34 am

In re, the above comment: Treblinka and Bełżec death camps were also located in Polish towns and the death camps have been referred to for years as “Treblinka” and “Bełżec.” death camps, with no complaints voiced by any Polish officials.


May 30th, 2012
11:38 am

Whoaa..I wondered if someone changed my name to: below the gnat line. Those were my thoughts exactly. When I was a State Employee (aren’t the Legislators State Employees???), we could not accept gifts, meals, etc. from anyone that were customers of the state, anyone that did business with the state or anyone who might influence our decisions in business. Doesn’t that cover just about anybody, except gifts from family? We were limited to $10 gifts (wedding, Christmas, baby shower) from co-workers. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. What’s good for the lowest employee should be good enough for those that make the rules.

William Smith

May 30th, 2012
12:20 pm

How can 100% of an organization support an idea and it never is enacted into law. All politicans talk about ethics but it is only talk. The system is corrupt because our leaders want it to be corrupt. People say the voter can lead to change but in this matter I doubt it. We need a third party with no ties to the business, unions, or industrial military complex to solve this problem. The chances of this is less than the Braves winning the division by 20 games. We are now in the middle of a time in our history that we need a leader who loves America more than power or a political party. It just ain’t going to happen.

Scott Fresno

May 30th, 2012
12:57 pm

I’m not a ‘Wifer’, but why hasn’t Romney ever shown his original marriage certificate?

william henry talbot walker

May 30th, 2012
1:14 pm

@william smith
A third party won’t solve anything. The flaw in our system is that it is set up for the fox to guard the henhouse. Parties are totally meaningless to politicians anyway, as illustrated by our current governor’s convenient change of heart, when the Republicans rose to power. The problem is that the job seemingly only attracts people of low moral character, who view it as a money making opportunity, and nothing else. Their common skill is the ability to lie convincingly, and that they do.

Church of the painful Truth

May 30th, 2012
1:30 pm

Here we are in the month of May and everyone is jumping on the bandwagon for ethics. Let’s wait until January,2013 and see who is still on the wagon train.Talk is cheap and action will hurt the ole pocketbook!! Most running for office will say anything until after the election in November. It should be 25.00 limit just like state employees.


May 30th, 2012
4:22 pm

The greed of lawmakers is sickening–it is killing democracy.

@ Auntie Christ-11:18/11:34

May 30th, 2012
8:02 pm

Pres. Obama’s comment infers that the Polish government was responsible for the Sobibor death camp, failing to acknowledge it was a product of the WWII Nazi Germany occupiers of the country – not by Polish leadership decree. This is a huge distinction.

As to your comment about Treblinka and Belzac, the Poles have never denied the death camps were in their country. However, they would be just as upset if referenced as sanctioned by the Polish government.

In this day and age of dumbed down and revisionist government school history classes, it is important for the leader of our country to correctly articulate circumstances, especially when it affects an ally of the U.S.

R U Kidding Me?

May 31st, 2012
8:35 am

Let’s not kid ourself about this proposed Ethics Reform bill. Remember, Georgia is one of only three states with no limits on gift to Legislators from lobbyists. So I guess some ethics reform is better than none, and this bill barely scratched the surface.

Here is what it does: Its a $100 cap PER DAY, PER LOBBYIST. I believe there are about a thousand registered lobbyists in Georgia. Multiply that times $100 and that’s $100,000 PER DAY that can legally be spent on a single Legislator. Now multiply that times 365 days and that $36.5 MILLION that can be legally spent on a single legislator. This is Ethics Reform? R U Kidding Me?