From The AJC: Wingfield And Bookman

March 15, 2012 10:26 am

by Charlie · 7 comments

Two good reads from the AJC:

First up, Kyle Wingfield paints the legislature with a deservedly broad brush for their refusal to consider any form of gift ban. 

I chose not to name names in these instances for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is that there’s no point in making this about particular personalities. This is not a matter of a few bad apples. I’m not sure most of them would consider this practice rotten, even if citizens might think their lawmakers are spoiled.

According to my review of the ethics commission’s data, since 2008 an average of 156 legislators a year — almost two-thirds of them — have accepted tickets from lobbyists to some kind of event (not counting those related to politics or policy).

Read the entire piece to put that quote in its proper context.  And to get your blood pressure up a bit.  Then read the following from Jay Bookman.  In it, he deals with the delicate subject of Mitt Romney and his Mormon faith.  I think it’s very well done, and worth a few minutes of your time.

CobbGOPer March 15, 2012 at 10:52 am

Maybe Kyle doesn’t want to name names, but I’ll throw two right out there:

Don Balfour

David Ralston

Both instrumental in killing ethics reform legislation this year. Both crooked as a dog’s hind leg (in my opinion).

Scot March 15, 2012 at 11:43 am

The only way we see ethics reform is by having choices in primaries.

greencracker March 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Me to ex-legislator: I have some uncertainty on gift ban. It seems to me money will infiltrate the system somehow, that a ban just removes all pretense of reporting. How much back-channel gifting already goes on? Like exponentially more than actually gets reported? Or not so much?

Him: Not really much at all.

—-

The more I read, the more I see and hear, the more I have uncertainty on his answer.

CobbGOPer March 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

You do realize said ex-legislator is lying through his teeth, right?

saltycracker March 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Romney: Mormons have “an overeagerness to be perceived as normal, wholesome and accommodating as possible. Being seen as different has cost them dearly.”

Having been around Mormons in school, business and personal life for decades, they walk the talk.
And that is rare in people and about extinct with politicians.

CobbGOPer March 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm

“…they walk the talk.”

Yes, but it makes them SO boring.

saltycracker March 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Ethics:
Eliminate tax deductions by third parties (businesses, lobbyists, non-profits, individuals) for any entertainment/meals of public workers. Shoot, make ‘em file a 1099.

Public worker expense reports need clear approval guidelines and all expenses for travel/events over $500 in total per occurence should be posted on a state web site. All and any expenses paid for by sources other than the employee and not expensed must be logged in on the employees expense report.

Elected official’s entertainments are probably no worse than the taxpayer borne expenses by public workers for travel to first class locations to attend conferences and educational meetings, recreation included. “Justification” is out of control and the web posting is a public check and balance.

All public worker must be included as the oversight of sorting out e.g. the fireman from the purchasing fire chief or the teacher from the administrator is too cumbersome.

Part two of abating the problem is term limits.
The longer in office the greater the assumption of privilege.

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