Another Opinion Of Georgia’s “F”

March 30, 2012 17:11 pm

by Buzz Brockway · 4 comments

Charlie posted Jim Walls rebuttal so here’s Rick Thompson’s article that was rebutted.

In 1999, Georgia ranked 33rd and received an F. In 2006, Georgia ranked sixth and in 2009 Georgia ranked seventh with a B. Georgia was able to better its position by passing laws based on CPI’s survey results and comments. Fast forward to the present. Georgia has apparently fallen from seventh to 50th.

How is this possible? Did Georgia pass laws that removed reporting requirements or weakened enforcement procedures? No. In 2010 and 2011, Georgia passed legislation to require more disclosure and higher penalties. What changed was how CPI conducted the survey or who it used or did not use to answer the questions.

Here’s another other article showing it’s not just some in Georgia who question the CPI report.

If we’re going to talk more about ethics on this site in the coming days we at least ought to have some context to that discussion. I welcome the discussion and plan to be a part of it.

ryanhawk March 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

The rankings in question here are best used to pique our curiosity and prompt further examination. An ordinal ranking can be of some interest, but who cares, really, how Georgia compares to other corrupt states?

We clearly have serious issues here: legislators sleeping with lobbyists; leadership taking fabulous vacations; leadership accepting perks from companies then granting them subsidies and tax breaks; toothless transparency rules etc… ad nauseum. And what about those committee chairs who are extremely well paid part time employees of the companies/industries they are supposedly regulating? And those overly generous pensions? And the routine revolving door from elected office to government employment?

I believe that most legislators are hard working honest people. I just don’t know why they put up with the minority that makes them all look bad. On that note… I’m heading out for some “music therapy”.

greencracker March 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Intelligent life found on the internet: “The rankings in question here are best used to pique our curiosity and prompt further examination.”

The report is admirably set up for that, at this map: http://www.stateintegrity.org/your_state . Might as well start at the start, click on Georgia, click on the category “public access to information” and expand questions 1-4.

We see that Georgia law says we have a right to documents.
Then, that there is no agency/body, besides the law, that guarantees access or monitors compliance.

Well, click on another state.

New Jersey happens to have an open records commission that is supposed to help you get documents if you think you’re being stonewalled.

South Dakota, second from the bottom, has no such commission, though they have something similar for open meetings.

Wyoming, third from the bottom, has the same setup as us, you have to sue if you’re being stonewalled.

Virginia has a FOIA* Advisory Board that will tell you if you are right or if the state agency denying access is right. The report opines that this board is toothless and routinely ignored.

Anyway, look at that, 10 minutes with this report and several policy ideas. What could be more delightful?

(This means Va’s Freedom of Information Act. It is not a reference to the federal law of the same name. Ours is called GORA, Georgia Open Records Act.)

greencracker March 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Also, Ga’s alleged fall from 7 to 50: “How is this possible? Did Georgia pass laws that removed reporting requirements or weakened enforcement procedures? No.”

No … CPI changed their survey from like 40 questions to 300 questions. It’s a different, much broader survey than last time.

Cassandra March 31, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Terrible PR piece, regardless of veracity, as it is picked up on folks not ‘frum heah’ who make decisions about moving here. New business development is forced to play defense when poor perceptions on ethical governance is coupled with traffic, air quality, and water issues.

On the other hand, business owners in White Plains might say, “How could it be worse?”

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