The Union of Georgia Elected Officials?

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

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

31 comments Add your comment

Bill

January 17th, 2013
12:34 pm

Yea, it’s them (the media) not us. My vote can not be bought by a few meals and football tickets (unless it’s a bowl game).

Aesop's Fables and other Lib Economic Theories

January 17th, 2013
12:34 pm

I doubt if he’ll be collecting union dues and forking them over to the dummycrat party, like any other union, so your analogy is just a bit off.

Bubba

January 17th, 2013
12:37 pm

Bull, Jim.

With few rare exceptions, most public officials in Georgia are grossly underpaid for the time their positions require of them. They serve for a mix of motives – unselfish public service, ego, ambition, desire for power, etc. But they do not serve for the money. Any worth their salt — except some city council members — could earn a heck of a lot more if they stuck to the private sector. A few meals, ball game tickets and golf outings do not begin to make up for that. It is a wonder that anyone with a darn puts up with it, though a surprising number of good ones keep coming back for more punishment year after year.

double

January 17th, 2013
12:49 pm

How can the most deceptive be trusted.The media just brings it out in the open.

Prayerful Consideration

January 17th, 2013
12:51 pm

Shouldn’t it be a confederacy of elected officials?

Ignatius

January 17th, 2013
12:52 pm

jgalloway

January 17th, 2013
12:53 pm

Bubba:

I don’t disagree with you on the pay issue, as you can see in this post. The paragraphs above point out that by broadening the target of ethics reforms, the governor has brought — or would like to bring — every county commissioner, city official and judge in the state into the argument. Which could complicate things mightily.

Tom

January 17th, 2013
1:00 pm

UGEO

We could call it Yu-Gi-Oh! (Gotta Catch ‘Em All!™)

lars

January 17th, 2013
1:01 pm

Jim, how about every county school board (cough DeKalb cough)

Michael

January 17th, 2013
1:06 pm

I think that every Georgian should be awarded a no-bid contract with the state and that way we will all be on the same field of play.

Keep doing this GOP

January 17th, 2013
1:19 pm

Which could complicate things mightily.

That’s why he said it. You think he is really for ethics reform ?

Not on the least.

honested

January 17th, 2013
1:33 pm

The ‘pay issue’ is a straw man.
It’s like patting generals on the back with full pay for the rest of their life and pretending they could have ‘made so much more money in the private sector’ as they start their new, high six figure lobbying/consulting job for an MIC contractor.
The rules and compensation for public service are fairly simple.
If you don’t want to serve the public (and are more concerned about the ‘public pocket’), please get out of the way and give others with the true interest of Public Service a chance.

Kris

January 17th, 2013
1:50 pm

The “”"The Union of Georgia Elected Officials?”"”" Needs to be run over by big truckload of Ethics, Or reeds little trolly hanger….

Duh….dirty deal, If you elected you should be held accountable for your actions…

Is this the point Shady deal calls the media and Bloggers Political Arsonist.

See Ya crooked deal 2014.

yuzeyurbrane

January 17th, 2013
1:58 pm

Deal is just trying to add a poison pill to kill the bill now that Ralston’s poison pill ploy did not work. Prediction: Deal will leave office a very rich man.

Marlboro Man

January 17th, 2013
1:59 pm

A bribe is a bribe is a bribe, it ain’t Christmas.

Marlboro Man

January 17th, 2013
1:59 pm

A bribe is a bribe is a bribe, it ain’t Christmas.

WillinRoswell

January 17th, 2013
2:00 pm

“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.”
Looks like payback time for the AJC and various television and radio outlets, mostly in Metro Atlanta. Add malicious Democrats to that list as well.
If all elected officials in Georgia cannot serve under the same ethics rules, then they should put their hands back in their pockets and resign.

Capitol Idea

January 17th, 2013
2:12 pm

Cracks of distrust. Those aren’t cracks. They’re more like chasms.

Silent Jay

January 17th, 2013
2:17 pm

The media had to jockey for camera position as the Governor was obscured by the big cash register on his desk.

honested

January 17th, 2013
2:28 pm

‘Vanquished by the truth’,……….
Let’s see, since the Governor took office, truth is we have had one speaker resign in disgrace, a committee chair who is wholly owned by a certain utility pay a fine and still face probable prosecution, a former Senator have the good sense to avoid running for his party’s Chair (lest the past be brought to light), ….just to name the most glaring examples.

Does nathan have a good grasp of the definition of ‘truth’ or ‘ethics’.
Governance is not supposed to be a ‘pay to play’ affair!

Shine

January 17th, 2013
2:29 pm

I would like a $100 cap on what development authorities can spend of our money as well. Spending 10’s of thousands of dollars wining and dining on some potential corp kook and the local development nut establishement is absurd. Pay for that out of your own pocket.

mike

January 17th, 2013
2:35 pm

Interesting outlook from the man who left Congress under an ethics investigation. I guess it is easier to blame the news media when they find those other unethical things you do. At least here in the great state of Georgia the governor can sic the Georgia State Patrol on the media and barr them from the gold dome.

Don't Tread

January 17th, 2013
2:39 pm

We’ve had the “Union of Federal Officials” for decades. (Ethics? What’s this “ethics” you speak of?)

nathan's political arsonist

January 17th, 2013
2:41 pm

November 4, 2014. Let’s purge the unethical and morally bankrupt crooks.

Mmmm Hmmm

January 17th, 2013
2:52 pm

Ethics reform?! HA! The law is written so that elected officials can have a $100 “breakfast” bought for them by a lobbyist, a $100 “lunch” bought for them by another lobbyist, and a $100 “dinner” bought for them by a third lobbyist all in one day. $300 is not a bad haul for one day of “work.”

Georgia

January 17th, 2013
3:21 pm

How many times do you idiots here have to be reminded that capitalism doesn’t work with crooks. Where do you get crooks? You don’t get them, you elect them.

SB in ATL

January 17th, 2013
3:36 pm

For the Governor to have his name in the same conversation as ‘Ethics’ is funny!

Proud Voter

January 17th, 2013
6:43 pm

Follow the money. Follow all of the state’s projects over the last four years. Follow the key appointments over the last four years. Interesting reading.

red herring

January 17th, 2013
8:53 pm

ethics reform is badly needed in georgia politics—from the GOV. on down—nothing wrong with including county politicians as well. it’s time get the suitcases of money out of our capital and our county courthouses as well. No football, golf, cruises, etc. what’s good for the taxpayer should be good for the elected officials. Don’t want the job under those circumstances then don’t run for office. it should be the “peoples government” not the highest bidders……

Michael

January 18th, 2013
7:40 am

Poor legislators with low pay? Then why seek the job unless you desire power and kickbacks. When Ralston replaced Richardson didn’t the ‘campaign’ contributions skyrocket within the next week? Then the vacations, etc.

Don Coyote

January 18th, 2013
12:24 pm

We need real ethics legislation for all elected officials and their appointed bureaucrats. The gift cap proposal is just an attempt to perfume the pig.