Fishing To WEAKEN Georgia’s Last Place Ethics Laws

HB 875 is about to be presented to the House to Agree. It’s about hunting and fishing licenses. Buried in the conf report are provisions that shield ethics violations from the public.Even if the member is found guilty.

 

Find your house rep now and stop this bill.

26 comments

  1. greencracker says:

    HB 875 conference committee says:

    The Commission formerly called the Ethics Commission may seal any investigation records that found no violation or only technical violation

    Same Commission must seal notices of legislators who are late at filing for 30 days after said lateness. And may also waive late fines.

    Same Commission may also waive late fees levied on lobbyists for being late on getting their badge or listing their clients or whatever.

    There is no funding mechanism to true up the cash that may be thus lost. Not sure if ethics would klll their cash flow, but there you go.

    It also says the DNR shall not give out the contact information of its hunting/fishing license holders. The intent there is to prevent marketers from getting said info and marketing hunting and fishing gear.

  2. Baker says:

    From Andre: In the Senate: Bulloch of the 11th; Balfour of the 9th; and Mullis of the 53rd
    In the House: Knight of the 126th, McCall of the 30th, and Wilkinson of the 52nd.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Wait…The Georgia Legislature still has ethics left to be watered down?

      I guess you learn something new everyday.

    • Charlie says:

      I’m elated the House killed it.

      I’m incredibly pissed at the conference members who tried to slip this into the bill to begin with. Specifically, your ethics committee chairman who was on the Conference Committee, and – wait for it – Don Balfour.

      I’ll try to compose myself by next week to discuss in greater detail.

      • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

        Wow! It looks as if Don Balfour is really doing all that he can to gain a reputation as one of this state’s most upstanding citizens.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Buzz, I hope that I can assume that you wisely voted against it, but in all honesty, there likely won’t be many kudos coming for a provision that should have never been written in the first place.

      The state government is found to be last in the union in ethics and their answer is to shield ethics violations from the public with a provision sneakily buried deep at the last minute in a seemingly harmless and unrelated bill that deals with fishing and hunting licenses? Seriously? Really?

      Instead of making even the most minimal attempts to clean up their act, the legislature’s answer is to hide all official written records of their brazen and seemingly shameless repeated ethics violations.

      No one is blaming you personally, Buzz, but can you see why people might not be all that happy, regardless of whether the bill passed or not?

      • No I didn’t vote for it because there just wasn’t time to determine if there was a reasonable reason for it or not.

        My problem is it seems we’re to the point in politics where nobody can propose an idea because they’ll be shouted down by one side or the other.

        • CobbGOPer says:

          “My problem is it seems we’re to the point in politics where nobody can propose an idea because they’ll be shouted down by one side or the other.”

          That’s because government in this country is not about serving anymore, it’s about acquiring power. You don’t gain power by compromise.

        • CobbGOPer says:

          As I’ve said in another thread:

          “The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those who do not have it.” – George Bernard Shaw

          Not that I’m saying you don’t have it…

  3. Charlie says:

    Now that it’s (almost) the light of day, let me be clear about the above.

    The House is not to blame. They are to be credited for responding when this was caught. Specifically Buzz and a few of his peers responded quickly when alerted. Many votes were changed as the voting process took place, which isn’t long. That’s how quickly this came up and went away.

    For thos unfamiliar with Sine Die, there are many, many bills stacked on the calendar. Conference Committees work throughout the Capitol to bring these bills to the floor. Most members never see what is in the final conference draft. They rely on the conferees to represent honestly what was done to settle difference between the version they have passed previously which they presumably have read. The conferees in this case did a gross injustice to their peers in the Senate who are now on record as to having supported this bill, as well as to those in the House who almost did.

    Buzz and his peers deserve much credit for stopping this bill. It was moments from passing.

      • ted in bed says:

        The 40 day session is fine. Can you imagine the amount of thievery Balfour could accomplish if he was at the Capitol longer? He’d probably sell Georgia to the Creeks as long as they agree to hence forth to call him Chief Wompom (a vague reference to the Yazoo land scandal)

        If I was a Rep, I would view what the conference committee had tried to be a massive breach of faith and trust. In a fair world, each one of those members would be punished severely. Luckly for them, fair isn’t an operating imperative under the gold dome.

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