The Atlanta TEA Party sent out this note about the investigation of Senator Don Balfour by his peers in the state senate:
The Senate Ethics Committee met yesterday afternoon to hear 16 ethics complaints against Sen. Balfour for claiming per-diem and mileage
re-imbursement for Rules Committee work at the Capitol. Sen. Balfour was out of town during the time of the submitted expense reports. We had tea party activists Linda Fowler and Ed Painter come all the way from Murray County to be at the hearing. We were greeted with four Georgia Capitol Police guarding the door and the windows facing the hall-way were papered up so we could not see inside after the door was shut. We went in for the first 5 minutes then were asked to leave when the committee went into executive session. They met for a total of 2 hours but ended the meeting without making a determination. We feel certain they are continuing the investigation and we thank them for that .
We are preparing another complaint that includes more detail that we will submit next week. We are also going to contact Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard and Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter and ask them to open a criminal investigation. If you live in Fulton or Gwinnett, please contact them as well. (The expense reports were signed in Fulton and one in Gwinnett)
Sen. Balfour is the third most powerful Senator in the Georgia Senate and has much power and responsibility as rules chairman. The Committee on Assignments appointed Sen. Balfour as Senate Rules Chairman and they can remove him as Rules Chairman. We hold this Senate Committee responsible, in part, for Sen. Balfour’s actions because they have not removed him.
I expect the pressure from the Atlanta TEA Party, and perhaps even other conservative groups around the state, on the Committee on Assignments to strip Sen. Balfour of his chairmanship will grow as we head to the July 31st primary. Of the seven Committee on Assignments members, at least one is being challenged: Majority Whip Cecil Staton by Spencer Price, an Upson County medical doctor backed by Georgia Right-To-Life. Two more have rumored primary opposition: Majority Leader Chip Rogers and Majority Caucus Chairman Bill Cowsert.