At the tail end of Thursday’s state of the state address, Gov. Nathan Deal weighed into the debate over ethics at the state Capitol.
Never mind the dig at the press corps. The governor may have frozen the discussion by declaring that any rules applied to state lawmakers should also apply to every elected official in Georgia. Emphasis mine:
”I will conclude my remarks on a topic that does not require the recitation of statistics, but is one that is recognized in both the public and private domains as a cornerstone of success – that is ethics. We can build the strongest foundations of frugality, efficiency and competitiveness upon which our state government will rest; but if the citizens of Georgia don’t trust us, it will all be in vain, for the vibrations of distrust will crack even the strongest foundations.
“There will always be those in the media and elsewhere who thrive on sowing the seeds of doubt and distrust and who will never recant their sinister innuendos and malicious accusations even when they are vanquished by Truth. And while you will never silence those voices of discord, nor should you try to do so, you can bolster the confidence of the public that might be tempted to listen to them by simply establishing clear rules under which you and those who deal with you in your capacity as elected officials must operate.
If there is to be an expansion of the code of ethical conduct for members of the General Assembly, it should apply equally to all elected officials at the state and local levels.
This is an interesting tactic. In essence, Deal has invoked the principle of collective bargaining and worker solidarity. A Union of Georgia Elected Officials, so to speak.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider