Balfour Spikes Ethics Resolution

Don Balfour sees no need for ethics reform.  I guess that he sees the fact that an ethics complaint was filed against him this week for billing per diem and mileage expenses that are “questionable” demonstrates that the current system is working.

Among the many items passing through Balfour’s fiefdom of the Senate Rules committee today was a resolution sponsored by Josh McKoon (R-Going to get primaried by the status quo loving establishment) which would have set up an ethics study committee composed of 5 Senators and 4 activists involved in Georgia’s ethics alliance. 

The rules committee, by subsitute, has eliminated citizen input.  They also chose not to name McKoon as one of the Senate appointees.  Instead, Balfour himself will serve on this “study” committee.

Spoiler alert: The study will show that the system works just fine for Don Balfour.


  1. Calypso says:

    “Instead, Balfour himself will serve on this “study” committee.”

    The size of the study committee will also be reduced from 9 members down t0 1.

      • Calypso says:

        I would like to think not, but you are probably right… They are most likely more cognizant of the fact that he is chairman of the rules committee than actually his allies.

        • Dave Bearse says:

          Think not? Dream not is more apt.

          It’s not like Balfour crowned himself Rules Committee Chairman on his own.

          As I recall Cagle, a guy that campaigned on strenghtening ethics laws and rules, sent the Senate ethics bill to Balfour. You can draw your own conclusions.

          Isn’t the Senate split? I’m but a novice observer, not an experience insider, but the circumstances indicate to me he’s likely to have strong support from one faction, or broad support across multiple factions. It’s tough to concoct a senario where Balfour doesn’t have a bunch in his corner..

          It remains to be seen how events cause the “go along to get along” types to respond, and how their responses shake out.

          It’s senior high school civics for the 98% of Georgia voters who live outside Balfour’s district to know that while they have no control regarding Balfour serving in the Senate (who serves at the pleasure of the the 2% within Balfour’s district), the 98% can exercise some control on whether he’s Rules Committee Chairman or not. The 98% do the latter by influencing their Senators to a degree that deprives Balfour of the Chairmanship. It’s not like the GOP Senators have a union where seniority governs, or is it?

          Don’t forget the litany of Balfour legislation as opposition ground beyond the alledged unethical conduct. I may well carry a lifetime grudge concerning Balfour’s SB31 (Vogtle) leislation exempting manfacturers.

          Make no mistake about it. Go along to get along is be no means necessarily unethical. But it’s unquestionably a part of the problem. Remember Glenn “Common Knowledge” Richardson? Depending on how things unfold, it’ll be interesting to see if voters to connect the dots to determine that eliminating Richardson simply eliminated a symptom, not the underlying problem.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    This guy needs to go, but the thing is, once he’s gone, then we have to deal with whichever ‘survivor’ emerges as the new Rules Chairman. And then they’ll have just as much power.

    How exactly do we go about changing the process in the Senate that allows the Rules Committee Chairman to essentially overrule the entire General Assembly?

  3. debbie0040 says:

    Balfour being on the ethics reform study committee is like appointing a fox to oversee protection of the chickens…

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    Can anyone tell me why we bother electing any other members of the General Assembly when apparently the only one that matters is the Senate Rules Committee Chairman? Seems like we could save a metric crapload of taxpayer dollars…

    • Calypso says:

      It’s funny how often one finds ‘metric crapload’ and ‘Don Balfour’ in the same post.

  5. oldman45 says:

    That’s what a lot of people don’t understand about the legislature. The Speaker is akin to God. He assigns you to committees, assigns your parking place, shows you where your office is, approves or denies extra per diem days, assigns your seat on the House floor. No legislation moves without the Speakers approval. It’s the same way in the Senate. Nothing moves unless leadership says so. The way to get something moving is to suck up to leadership. It’s all about power and egos…and a few people have figured out how to use their elected office as a cash cow at the expense of taxpayers. Throw the bums out. Term limits for everyone…two terms and your out…no need for retirement plans…its called public service!

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