Senate Ethics Committee To Meet May 2nd

Senator John Crosby (R-Tifton), Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, has notified members there will be a meeting of the committee at 1pm on the 2nd of May in room 307 of the Coverdell Legislative Office Building.

While no agenda was provided, we do know that the committee has before them a complaint against Senator Don Balfour (R-I’m Bulletproof).  Balfour has returned $800 to the taxpayers of the tens of thousands he has billed taxpayers for over 120 Committee of One” days where he drew per diem and mileage reimbursements on days when the Senate was not in session.  His reimbursement requests do not include the stated reason or description of business conducted as required by reimbursement rules –as noted by Jim Walls of Atlanta Unfiltered.

Since 2003, Balfour’s campaign has reimbursed him for $17,030 of expenses without disclosing the end recipient of the money and, frequently, without listing the nature of the expense. State law requires disclosure of those details so regulators and the public can assess whether the expenditures were legitimate.

Don Balfour is clearly annoyed with the questions being asked of him by the press and the public.  He wants to be able to say he’s paid some money back and that should be the end of it.

The questions for the members of the ethics committee is this:  Are you willing to allow Balfour to paper over this with a token reimbursement, made only after there was a call for him to be removed as Rules Chairman?  Or are you going to finally penalize Don Balfour for his routine practice of willfully ignoring Georgia law with respect to his reimbursements that appears to have continued even after Wall’s initial press reports made his practices public?

Each of you will be standing for re-election this year.  The Don Balfour problem is now your problem, and the evidence is clear.  Please choose your remedy carefully.

20 comments

  1. Calypso says:

    ‘Senate’ and ‘ethics’ should never be used in the same sentence. Oxymoronic (emphasis on moronic). Possibility of spontaneous combustion of intelligent minds.

    ‘Ethics’ and ‘Don Balfour’ should never be used within 64 miles of one another, lest the same unpleasantness occur.

  2. CobbGOPer says:

    “Are you willing to allow Balfour to paper over this with a token reimbursement, made only after there was a call for him to be removed as Rules Chairman? ”

    Of course they are. They want to pass legislation next year, and until Balfour is no longer Rules chairman they’ll do as little as possible about it so as not to jeopardize any future legislative initiatives they might have.

    The problem is, looking at the Ethics Committee roster, the only one that might have a primary challenge is Josh McKoon. Yes that Josh McKoon, the lone Senator to introduce and sponsor ethics reform legislation this session (the bill that among other things would cap lobbyist gifts at $100). Seems some local jackwagons aren’t keen on him or something, I don’t know all the details only that he could face a primary challenge by people unhappy with him – though I believe for reasons other than the ethics reform push.

    Unless of course someone steps up to try and take out Jack Murphy (who might as well be Don Balfour, Jr.).

  3. caroline says:

    Why on earth would the ethics committee be meeting? We’ve already established that here in GA there is nothing that you could do that would be an ethics violation.

  4. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Does Balfour even have any opposition in either the primary or the general election?

    • Calypso says:

      Debbie Dooley says she hopes to have someone lined up soon. I’m sending him/her a check if so.

      Keep in mind Balfour has 3/4 million dollars in his campaign account.

      • jim2011 says:

        Keep in mind, Balfour represents 1/56th of the State (there are 56 State Senators). So, a Senator having $750k in his campaign account is the equivalent of a candidate for Governor or US Senator having $42 million ($750k x 56). That’s the level of advertising he can finance against a potential opponent.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          In other words, for any potential opponent it’s like bringing a wooden stick to a gunfight.

  5. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    This is just a clever way for Balfour to collect yet another per diem and mileage reimbursement.

  6. Bull Moose says:

    Well, everyone start bombarding the members of the Committee and tell them to get serious with Balfour. The man has been falsifying expense reports for years and it’s time that they get tough. He’s stolen enough of the taxpayers money. He needs to reimburse every last penny w/ interest at a minimum.

  7. truth says:

    Not only does he need to reimburse every last penny with interest. He needs to be stripped of his chairmanship. The voters in his district then need to send this crook home. Doubt he will even have a challenger, however. I am certain most voters in his district either don’t know about his shenanigans or don’ t care.

  8. Dave Bearse says:

    We don’t know the end recipients of $17,030 in reimbursements, and in many cases the purpose, and we don’t know which $800 in per diem or mileage was reimbursed.

    So why is a committee meeting necessary when it’s all so transparent?

  9. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Wait! Did I miss something? I thought there was a joint committee that heard ethics complaints. And the Senate and House Ethics committees simply dealt with legislation. Or has this changed?

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