Jim Galloway brings us the details:
Last week, Handel was the only Republican candidate for governor to call for the resignation of House Speaker Glenn Richardson. Within the last few minutes, her campaign issued a press release that included the following:
“We are fortunate to have many dedicated members of the Legislature. This is an opportunity for all of us to take significant measures to end the culture of insider dealings, conflicts of interest and behavior that no one should be proud of but has been with us for decades. Republicans and Democrats are equally responsible and it’s time that it is finally addressed, Handel said today.
I agree with and back her suggestions, which include:
1. A ban on gifts of more than $25
2. Make the Georgia Open Records Act apply to the Legislature as it does to all state agencies.
3. Give jurisdiction to the State Ethics Commission for issues relating to conflicts of interest for legislators, state office holders, agency directors — including spouses.
4. Require all legislators to file a Conflict of Interest Statement with the State Ethics Commission, which will serve as the clearinghouse and repository of the statements and will be required to post them online. Lawmakers would also be required to recuse themselves from all matters that pertain to that conflict.
5. Continue the Governor’s transparency initiative so that taxpayers will be able to see – to the dollar – where every dollar is spent in state government.
6. Make mandatory the disclosure of travel and expense reimbursement by elected officials as is already required of agency directors.
I especially like proposal number two. I’m tired of certain pigs being “more equal” than the other animals on our Georgia Government farm.
I would also note that Handel has a history of making and implementing substantive Ethics proposals. Any candidate in Georgia that doesn’t understand Ethics is now THE issue for 2010 isn’t paying attention. As such, there are a few campaigns that probably are now mortally wounded as collateral damange, while voters will and should give fresh looks to Austin Scott and Jeff Chapman as things shake out.