We scare people downstream from us. For good reasons. This from the Jacksonville (Florida) Times-Union today about the makeup of the current Georgia DNR board.
Environmentalists became particularly worried last month when the Senate rejected Gov. Sonny Perdue’s reappointment of Sally Bethea, the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and one of their main allies on the Board of Natural Resources.
That move followed the ouster of two members of the panel whom Perdue did not reappoint because a 2005 round of congressional redistricting left them in the same district as another board member, the governor’s office said. Thirteen of the board’s 18 members are appointed according to their congressional districts.
“The board is just way out of balance,” charged Gordon Rogers, executive director of Satilla Riverkeeper. “And it’s been systematic.”
Rogers said the removal of the other board members, Ralph Callaway and Sara Clark, “was our Christmas present. Sally was our Earth Day present.”
But Senate Majority Leader Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, who heads the committee that stripped Bethea’s name from a list of Perdue appointees, denies that Bethea was sacked because of her environmental credentials. Williams said the upper chamber was merely trying to follow a requirement of the state’s ethics laws barring lobbyists with an interest before a board or commission from serving on those bodies.
What I hear, at least two of the current Sonny-appointees to various and sundry state boards were lobbying quite vigorously, thank you very much, during the 2007 session. And if they weren’t registered, as was Sally Bethea, then maybe someone oughta notify the Ethics Commission, eh? Are there others who media, other than bloggers, should be sniffing-out too? Beats me. Ask Celine the Intern!