Atlanta TEA Party Co-founder To File Ethics Complaint Against Senator Don Balfour

Political Activist and TEA Party leader Debbie  Dooley has called a press conference for 4:00pm today to announce that she will be filing additional ethics charges against Don Balfour.  Balfour chairs the Senate Rules Committee and has been under fire for documented abuses of the per diem and mileage reimbursements which he has claimed on expense reports. Each report contains a signed affidavit claiming the expenses are true and correct.

Balfour has claimed mileage for driving from his Snellville home to the Capitol and back for 173 days in 2011 alone, despite not even being in the state during many of those days, and despite the fact that he maintains a $2,100 per month condominium in Atlanta paid for out of his campaign treasury.

Balfour also has made it clear that he stays in the Atlanta condo when in session, justifying the expense to Jim Walls with “It’s not easy to get a place for four months, especially a nice place…I’ve stayed at terrible places. I’m not going to do that again.”  Walls is a former Atlanta Journnal-Constitution editor.  He uncovered Balfour’s transgressions and documented them in excruciating detail at his website, Atlanta Unfiltered.

Balfour already has one ethics complaint pending with the Senate ethics committee.  The committee met earlier this month, only to vote during the meeting that they do not have jurisdiction because the alligations against Balfour do not meet the scope they are allowed to address under Georgia code 45-10-90.

This code does specify that Senators may address issues of Conflict of Interest and Improper Conduct.  Ethics committee members have somehow decided Balfour’s continued filing of false expense claims does not meet the definition of either.  From the code section:

(4) “Conflict of interest” means an individual has multiple interests and uses his or her official position to exploit, in some way, his or her position for his or her own direct, unique, pecuniary, and personal benefit.

(6) “Improper conduct” means a member of the General Assembly:

(A) Engages in conduct that is a conflict of interest;

(B) Engages in conduct that is an abuse of official power; or

(C) Illegally uses an employee in a political campaign.

Let’s break this one down, and let’s hope the Senators are paying attention.

Don Balfour is head of the Senate Rules Committee.  Among the duties of the Rules Committee is to have oversight of legislators’ expense reports, as found in Georgia Code Section 28-1-8(e):

(e) The Senate Rules Committee shall designate an audit subcommittee to examine and review, not less than once every two months, legislative expenditures, including all vouchers submitted by members of the Senate, as provided for in this Code section, for which the members have received payment. The subcommittee is authorized to issue reports of its examination and review. The House Information and Audits Committee shall examine and review, not less than once every two months, legislative expenditures, including all vouchers submitted by members of the House of Representatives, as provided for in this Code section, for which the members have received payment. The committee is authorized to issue reports of its examination and review.

So the Rules committee is required to have a subcommittee to audit expense reports of legislators.  Required because Georgia law has the word “shall” right there at the beginning.  How has Don Balfour treated this legal requirement of his committee?  He’s ignored it.  For years.  As the AJC reported in 2010:

The system, however, is largely self-policed. Say it’s July and a lawmaker needs to drive from his home district to the Capitol for a meeting. If the legislator is a rank-and-file member, he is supposed to first ask his committee chairman to approve the per diem payment. But every lawmaker can get per diem payments for up to seven days a year with no questions asked. Those days are known as a “committee of one days.”

If the lawmaker’s committee chair signs off on the expense, the lawmaker comes to Atlanta and does his business. He then signs a voucher saying he worked that particular day and lists how many miles he drove. The voucher gets submitted to the Legislative Fiscal Office, and the lawmaker gets paid. Committee chairmen said the requests are largely on the “honor” system, although it is a crime to claim unearned expenses.

But Rep. Mike Coan (R-Lawrenceville), chairman of the House Industrial Relations Committee, said he has questioned a colleague’s request before, and the lawmaker withdrew the request. Coan would not name the legislator.

Lawmakers don’t have to submit receipts to justify the $173 expense or keep a mileage log or even document the mileage driven. But once a month, the Fiscal Office produces a report detailing how much each lawmaker was paid in travel and expenses. In the House, the report goes to Rep. Chuck Sims (R-Ambrose), the chairman of the Committee on Information and Audits. In the Senate, it goes to Balfour, the Rules Committee chairman.

Sims said he checks the report each month, as required by state law. If anything looks unusual or raises a red flag, he’ll alert the speaker. Balfour said he looks it over.

But state law says that the Senate Rules Committee must have an audits subcommittee “to examine and review, not less than once every two months, legislative expenditures, including all vouchers submitted by members of the Senate, as provided for in this Code section, for which the members have received payment. The subcommittee is authorized to issue reports of its examination and review.”

No such subcommittee exists.  (emphasis added)

No such subcommittee exists? It’s required by Georgia Law. The person charged with setting up this subcommittee is the Committee Chair.  The one who claims more committee of one days than any other Senator.  The one who is then also charged with ensuring that no one abuses this system.  The one who has signed claims for mileage for years when he clearly isn’t driving those miles.

And the Senate ethics committee wants us to believe that this scenario doesn’t rise to abuse of power and/or conflict of interest?

The Senate continues to prove why a legislative body is incapable of policing itself with respect to abuses of power and ethical transgressions.

They also continue to prove that a “Committee On Assignments” is powerless.  Every Senator who sits on that Committee individually is responsible for Don Balfour remaining as Rules Chair.  He has violated Georgia Law with respect to his own expenses and with regard to requirements of his Committee duties for years, yet remains in place, unquestioned.

Given that the Republican caucus created this abomination of unaccountable power, each member also remains culpable.

The party faithful will gather in Columbus tomorrow.  Any Senator who attends needs to be asked to go on record as to the above definitions, facts that are in evidence, and what their stand on a course of action should be.

We are a party of elephants, not ostriches.  Our leaders should not be allowed to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that evidence has not been presented to prove this case.  Continuing to try to quietly dispose of this problem should not be allowed.  Republicans own this problem, and Republicans must be held accountable in dealing with it.

Republicans can send a message this weekend.  They can also do so when qualifying begins in less than 2 weeks.  And not just against Don Balfour.  Every Republican Senator must be made to own this problem until it is dealt with.

62 comments

  1. debbie0040 says:

    Atlanta Tea Party will also be renewing our call for term limits for committee chairman in both chambers.

  2. Andre says:

    Humor me here for second.

    We all agree that the Georgia General Assembly is fertile soil for corruption to take root.

    Part of that may be a result of the legislature being a part-time body, where members make only $17,341.68 annually or $47.51 per day.

    If the salaries of state legislators were raised to $50K a year, I wonder if the need to pad the paycheck would gradually go away.

      • Bridget says:

        I’m with Andre and Baker about having a discussion about it. The “good” state legislators use this as a launching point for higher (better paid) offices. Scroll down PP to see folks coming in, making relationships, and then being hired somewhere else.

        To be able to leave your regular job during session, you basically have to be in business for yourself. And while the entrepreneurial spirit is mostly a good trait to have, the side effect is the “wheelin’ and dealin’, in-it-only-for-yourself” mindset.

        • Three Jack says:

          Call me old fashioned, but it’s supposed to be about public service, not about personal enrichment. If people find they cannot afford to serve, then don’t seek re-election.

          If time away from the regular job is an issue, then let’s convene the legislature every other year and cut the pay to a flat $10,000 per term.

            • Andre says:

              I would also add that you can’t pay a state lawmaker less than a Fulton County school bus driver, then get upset when the state lawmaker looks for ways to pad their paycheck.

              State legislators make $17,341.68 annually or $47.51 per day. A Fulton County school bus driver made $26,943.55 in 2011, according to open.georgia.gov.

              State legislators are debating and voting on issues of statewide concern, but state legislators are making less than a school bus driver. There are custodians in Fulton County who make more money than state lawmakers.

              In Fulton County, custodian Edward T. Knox made $36,303.66 in 2011 for pushing a broom and mopping a floor. That is more than double the annual salary of Georgia’s lawmakers.

              All I’m saying is we get what we pay for. We are paying legislators less than what we pay janitors and bus drivers. There’s something wrong with that, especially considering that lawmakers have a greater impact on our everyday lives than janitors do and bus drivers do.

              We should at least consider giving members of the Georgia General Assembly a raise.

              $50K multiplied 236 times amounts to $11,800,000. $11.8 million out of a $39.4 billion budget. 2.99% of the state budget to give legislators a raise. That’s not too bad. It should at least be considered, and debated on its merits.

              • Doug Deal says:

                Maybe leverage this new found Internet thing the kids have been talking about and let legislators work from home. Hold committee meetings online in the evening through streaming video (open to the public) and have the legislature meet officially in general session one day a week over the course of 40 weeks. Suddenly almost anyone could serve in the legislature.

                It has the added benefit of making life tougher for lobbyists and harder for representatives and senators to lead a double life.

              • Three Jack says:

                I would rather have a Fulton County bus driver representing me than most of the lawmakers currently in office.

                And Andre you are wrong about the driver making more. The bus driver works about 240 days a year (guessing here) which means he/she is paid $112.26 per day. Our legislators receive $600 per day (including salary and per diem). Multiply that x 240 = $144,000 annually.

                If they want a raise, introduce legislation and let’s see how that goes over.

                • Three Jack says:

                  One other thought….the GOP convention should put forth a resolution to be placed on the ballot in November giving voters 3 options — 1> Stick w/current legislative calendar w/raises for all legislators, 2> Become a full time legislature with salaries quadrupled, 3> Do like Texas where the legislature meets every other year and pay decreases accordingly.

                  • Three Jack says:

                    Texas legislators make $600 per month/$7200 annually. This increases by $150 per day when in session as they receive per diem. Every odd year they are in session for up to 140 days. Sounds good to me except no need for 140 days, maybe 60 tops.

                • Andre says:

                  I would stick to my original calculation, Three Jack, modified to include per diem.

                  Legislators’ jobs do not end when the gavel comes down sine die.

                  There’s always constituent services, community meetings, and the like that make serving in the legislature a full time job.

                  $24,000 divided by 365 days comes out to $65.75 a day.

                  We, the taxpayers, are paying legislators $65.75 a day to represent us.

                  I can make that same amount of money flipping burgers at McDs.

                  I agree. Public service should not be about personal profit. But public service does not mean working for pennies.

                  • Three Jack says:

                    They are paid for 40 days Andre, whatever they do on the other 325 is their own business.

              • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                Yes! I agree that we should give our state legislators a big fat raise…..You know, because they’ve done so much to “deserve” it.

                (EXTREME sarcasm, btw)

            • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

              “Successful companies recruit and retain quality talent. WHY are we not doing this with the people managing our state??”

              Though there are some exceptions, it’s probably because there are seemingly nothing but a deep pool of really big idiots and big fat crooks to choose from, that’s why.

              Get rid of one crook and there are seemingly ten more crooks happily waiting in line to replace him.

              This isn’t private business, this is politics, which by its very nature doesn’t always attract choirboys and upstanding family men if you haven’t noticed.

              The only reason why most of these guys are even in the State Legislature is because they aren’t skilled-enough as crooks to make it to the next level of politicking, graft and payola in Washington, D.C.

              We could raise their salaries to a million dollars a year and they would still be taking payoffs under the table and sleeping with lobbyists (literally) and escorts because that’s what politicians do at EVERY level if they have the opportunity to do because it often takes someone who doesn’t have any qualms about having to lie, cheat, steal and be cutthroat (as well as slither) on a consistent basis to survive in a political climate which is often filled with liars, cheaters, cutthroats, pickpockets, raiders, backstabbers and sociopathic snakes.

              • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                Sorry, I forgot to include sharks, vultures and the all-important common thief in that list. My bad.

                I have to remember to be “all-inclusive”.

              • Bridget says:

                I can tell you’re a thought leader; an innovator; a producer. Your copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People is probably torn to shreds by constant use.

                • Calypso says:

                  Every other now and then someone wee-wees in LDIG’s Cheerios and we have to deal with him like this for a few days.

                • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                  You’re right……I was WAAAAAY out of line in my description of what is well known to be one of the most corrupt (and inept) state legislatures in the nation.

                  With “friends” like Don Balfour, Chip Rogers and the boys in the Georgia Legislature, who needs enemies?

                  The Last Democrat in Georgia and the Georgia Legislature: Best Friends Forever…

            • cheapseats says:

              In successful companies, the talent is chosen carefully by matching skill sets and experience with the job requirements.

              The method by which we choose our legislative “talent” is to put it in front of a large group of people who pay no attention whatsoever to the actual job requirements but just spend 4.3 seconds looking at which party the candidate is supposed to be representing. Some of the voters will spend an extra 3 seconds to see which side of some single issue the candidate says they support.

              Can you imagine selecting a corporate officer this way? Your company would last about a month.

              • Sorta like those ballots you get when you own a few shares of a company. How many shareholders really know who they’re voting for?

                I got in some trouble when I said this as Gwinnett GOP Chairman but I’m much more interested in educating voters that registering new ones.

                • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

                  Buzz, you’ve got a great point as not only do many voters not really know who they’re voting for, but many voters can’t even write their own name or properly fill out a ballot.

                  It may not be the politicially correct thing to say in this super PC age and would likely never happen in a million years, but I can more than see the point of many Conservatives who would like the voting franchise to at least be restricted to only people who own property.

                  • benevolus says:

                    You have got to be kidding.
                    We already fought that war.
                    Anyway, if that’s what many conservatives feel, then they have no courage or any more worthiness to vote than non-landholders.
                    Given the choice to try to make people better voters or just restrict voting, you would choose restrict voting?
                    So, women are OK to vote? What, have they proven themselves responsible enough or something? How about African-Americans? Are they worthy or is it just not worth fighting that battle again? What is it about property owners that separates them from other citizens and makes them more worthy? If you don’t let non-property owners vote, then you can’t tax them either, right?

          • CobbGOPer says:

            The Texas legislature is part-time and meets once every two years. They seem to be getting along swimmingly, and even managed to eliminate their state income tax. We don’t need these guys in session every year. Once every two years for say 60-80 days sounds about right. Keep the pay the same.

            That or we introduce term limits. Not term limits on Chairmen, term limits on everyone. You get five terms and you’re out. 10 years at the public trough should be enough for anyone, institutional memory be damned.

            However, I understand the flip-side: the bureaucracy has no term limits. True; this just means we need to clean out the bureaucracy too.

            • taylor says:

              I’m sure that the fact that the TX legislature meets only once every two years has no relationship to the lack of a state income tax.

              And do you believe that we should limit state agency employees (or at least managers) to 10 years? Teachers too?

              • CobbGOPer says:

                I’m just saying those guys meet once every two years, and they’ve already managed to reform their tax system to the point that they’ve eliminated their state income tax. I’m saying they’re more efficient than our legislators, who meet every single year and yet continue to tell us citizens that “tax reform is complicated and takes a long time.” No, they just don’t want to change it because it gives them power and influence, and keeps the lobbyist goodies flowing in a way that a reformed, simplified tax system would not allow.

                As for state agency employees, I honestly don’t know yet what the best solution would be. I do know that the bureaucratic system contributes to our problems, and needs reform. You can’t tell me that we shouldn’t fire almost everyone at the GDOT right now, because honestly we probably should. But I admit I don’t have a solution for the bureaucracy right now.

        • NoTeabagging says:

          Consider how many legislators are also lawyers from good ole boy firms.Lawyers and similar professions certainly look after their own. They make allowances for employee/partners to go off the reservation and become ‘public servants’ for the legislative term.

    • bowersville says:

      Can you see it? Senator Huey P. Long and Representative Richard M. Nixon introduce legislation to raise annual salaries by 150% in order to curb pilfering the piggy trough. That’ll work. For an opponent’s flier.

      Didn’t the mafia offer protection for a fee to curb mob violence against the business establishment?

      • Baker says:

        “Didn’t the mafia offer protection for a fee to curb mob violence against the business establishment?” Fair enough. Pretty good analogy actually.

        @ThreeJack- It is supposed to be about public service, but $17,000? I would definitely agree with you on the every other year thing. Unless Savannah slides into the water or Al-Qaeda is running down Peachtree, there is no need for these guys to be meddling every year.

        • sunkawakan says:

          Indeed, it is a protection racket. Problem is, it’s us paying the bill, and them getting the protection.

          Perhaps we should reduce the number of members of both houses by half, and increase their salary by 75%. Perhaps make them work 45 days.

        • Three Jack says:

          Baker, $17,000 for a 40 day session = $425 per day (I know they work more than 40 day but that’s the official requirement). Add the $173 a day per diem and you have a fairly compensated public official — $24,000 for 1/4 of the year.

          Again it is a choice. If a person cannot justify the time necessary for the compensation offered, then don’t seek public office. Do like most of the folks who get tired of serving, call the current governor and request appointment to some bureaucracy where you are sure to receive a six figure income, full benes and no worries about getting fired.

          • Andre says:

            The problem, Three Jack, is that most people cannot justify the time necessary for the compensation offered.

            That’s why we end up with dozens of elections uncontested every year; because the person who might run for office cannot afford the time or money it takes to be a candidate or hold the office should they be elected.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    And now I know why members of the Ethics Committee are ducking and dodging their constituents.

  4. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    Georgia Republicans: Worse than Democrats……Which is pretty [darn] bad.

  5. ted in bed says:

    The acts that Sen. Balfour has been accused of would be a fire-able offense in any company in Georgia. The acts described demonstrate a lack of integrity which companies don’t tolerate. They can’t. The stakes are too high think Enron, Worldcom, etc.

    Its unsettling that the Republicans lead by Sen. Chip Rogers have decided to sweep this issue under the rug and prevent the truth to come out, one way or the other. Frankly, the coverup/inaction suggests guilt by Senator Balfour.

    • Three Jack says:

      GOP Transparency — {from the AJC story linked in Debbie’s post}Senate Ethics Committee Chairman John Crosby, R-Tifton, said ethics complaints are confidential and he could not comment on either of the known complaints against Balfour. Crosby said the committee has a meeting scheduled June 1, but in keeping with Senate rules, it will not be open to the public.

      Criminal charges should be brought against Balfour just like RDA3 a few years ago. Then the public would be able to witness the proceedings. This BS about closed door hearings where the public is supposed to trust the good ol boys to police other good ol boys won’t fly. Open the hearing Sen. Crosby, what are you hiding?

  6. NoTeabagging says:

    Perhaps we’ll soon see a sellout of of pitchforks and torches this at hardware stores, especially Wynnton Hardware in Columbus, this weekend.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Pitchfork: $48.00

      Torch: $50.00

      Angrily holding a blatantly unremorseful politician wholly accountable for his gallingly unethical “actions” while he runs for his political life: PRICELESS

      In the immortal words of the great Al Bundy of “Married With Children” infamy, “LET’S ROCK”.

      • Andre says:

        LDiG, why stop at torches and pitchforks?

        I’ve always felt we should return to public floggings and hangings.

        And while we’re at it, let’s re-commission Ol’ Sparky.

  7. apsmith76 says:

    Sorry, but since when is low compensation a justification for essentially stealing from taxpayers? By this same logic, all of you making this argument should be equally apologetic for minimum wage workers who shoplift from the businesses at which they work (i.e. contribute to shrink), many of whom are perhaps doing so to make ends meet. Does this make shoplifting OK? Um…no.

    Georgia is dead last among the states in ethics. We need to start with caps on gifts and move on to comprehensive ethics reform. Limiting the power of monied interests is key to ensuring our elected officials are working in the people’s interest….and this goes for Republicans AND Democrats.

    I’m a staunch liberal, but this is where mine and the Tea Party’s interests align. GO, DEBBIE!

    • Andre says:

      I agree we need comprehensive ethics reform that includes a cap on gifts, full funding of the State Ethics Commission, and ethics laws that have teeth.

      Still, when custodians make more than lawmakers, giving lawmakers a raise doesn’t seem that out of the ordinary. Someone suggested, earlier in the thread, reducing the number of legislators by half, raising their salary by 75%, and cutting the legislative sessions to one biennial session.

      Anywho, we all agree that Georgia needs to end the culture that leads to corruption in government. We need ethics reform before the paddy wagon backs up to the State Capitol, and carts off several legislators in disgraceful orange jumpsuits and handcuffs.

      • bowersville says:

        Stealing is never right. A moral justification for stealing is an argument for an attorney to make in closing argument to a trial by twelve. As a juror I might buy into it if the school bus driver needed food for his/her children. But as a voter….never. There is no excuse for pilfering the tax payer’s money.

  8. Charlie says:

    For those arguing for raises as a method to curb abuses of power, I would respectfully suggest you look into the changes of per deim rules several years back. It was essentially presented under the same guise, and has now become one of the easisest targets of abuse.

    • sunkawakan says:

      Money is not the issue. It’s the system itself that is the problem, and we are all responsible for what’s in place.

      In my opinion, issues which involve potential theft of public funds should be handled as a criminal complaint, and we’re not seeing much movement on that front.

  9. Dave Bearse says:

    We won’t see if it’ll be go-along-to-get-along business as usual or not until after the General Election, regardless of primary opposition. It’s too fresh for any other conclusion in a one-party state. The 2010 GOP gubenatorial campaign, against the backdrop of the general economy, was most focused on social conservative issues in the primary (with Handel’s railing against a good ‘ol boys getting no traction). Ethics apparently got no bi-partisan traction in the General either. (After all, it’s not only Balfour that’s being doing this for 20 years and is still getting re-elected.)

    I’m not optimistic, but perhaps I’ll be pleasantly surprised with action taken before the 2013 General Assembly session convenes. Failing action by the General Assembly, it falls to Attorney General Olens. (Balfour’s alledged infractions are not a matter for local prosecutors in my opinion. Paul Howard has demonstrated weakness in the face of anything political or difficult anyway—Danny Porter not so much.)

    I presume false swearing is a misdemeanor subject to a two year statute of limitations from the date of the crime. Only the stuff that occurred in 2011, and not years of stuff documented by Jim Walls, will likely be subject to inclusion in a criminal proceeding come Jan 2013. We’ll see, come the end of Jan 2013 if the matter hasn’t been properly adjudicated, if we have in Olens a true public servant or another go-along-to-get-along business as usual officeholder.

    Balfour’s biggest campaign supporters and totals since 1992 per Atlanta Unfiltered: http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2012/02/10/don-balfour-georgias-100-senator/

    •$39,150 Waffle House Inc. & executives
    •$22,200 Blue Cross Blue Shield
    •$20,100 Georgia Hospital Association
    •$19,750 Medical Association of Georgia
    •$19,500 SMS Tax Incentives & executive Charles Asensio
    •$18,400 John D. Stephens (construction)
    •$18,100 Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals
    •$17,900 Aflac
    •$17,050 Home Builders Association of Georgia
    •$16,600 Hospital Corporation of America
    •$16,050 Georgia Association of Realtors
    •$15,050 Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough (lawyers and lobbyists)
    •$14,500 MAG Mutual Insurance
    •$13,750 Aetna Insurance
    •$13,750 United Health Services / Pruitt Corp. (nursing homes)
    •$12,900 United Parcel Service
    •$12,750 Corrections Corporation of America
    •$12,750 Philip Morris
    •$12,350 Georgia Health Care Association (formerly Georgia Nursing Home Association)
    •$12,300 Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Hey, where’s Georgia Power on this list.

      Any highly-unethical politician worth his salt gets major campaign contributions from Georgia Power.

      Donnie, babe, what gives?

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          You’ve got a point as Georgia Power is sort of the unofficial, official “sponsor” of the entire Georgia Legislature.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          Heck, I even suggested that Georgia Power and the State Legislature just go ahead and make their unofficial official symbiotic relationship totally official with lighted Georgia Power signs and verbal acknowledgements like “This session of the Georgia General Assembly is brought to you by our “friends” at Georgia Power…Georgia Power, getting the best legislation that money can buy from shameless political wh-res!”

          I also suggested that the Georgia General Assembly just go ahead make their insatiable want for cash and gifts totally official and start advertising and seeking out buyers through a high-profile ad campaign on the airwaves and the on the web, but all to no avail…not yet, anyway.

          “The Georgia General Assembly: Proudly, gleefully and shamelessly prostituting itself (and Georgia Taxpayers) out to the Highest Bidder since 1777.”

          • benevolus says:

            That’s a great idea! Like a sports stadium:
            The AFLAC House Floor.
            The Coca Cola Atrium.
            The KIA Podium.

            • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

              Exactly. And instead of wearing suits and ties, legislators could wear shirts or jerseys or suits with all of their corporate sponsors, sort of like the suits that NASCAR drivers wear.

    • debbie0040 says:

      False swearing is not the only criminal act that may have been committed. Also, Sen. Balfour signed at least one of the expense reports in Gwinnett County.

      I will be filing an supplemental complaint next week with more allegations.

      You guys can help by contacting Clay Cox and encouraging him to run against Sen. Balfour

      • Dave Bearse says:

        I don’t know that encouragement from a Dem would be useful. I do know a few electors in Balfour’s district, not surpringly folks that wouldn’t supporting him anyway. I think I’d best help the cause giving them the ammo to influence neighbors if there’s success in recruiting a primary opponent. Good luck.

  10. saltycracker says:

    For starters:

    Elected positions: Term limits

    Bureaucrats: Overhaul the tax code
    Consolidate/streamline agencies and government divisions e.g. counties/cities
    Fully funded 401k individual pensions (no defined/taxpayer guaranteed payouts for new hires)
    Job evaluations related to public satisfaction

  11. Dave Bearse says:

    Debbie, one small advantage of a Balfour primary opponent is that it should tend to keep Balfour’s three-quarter million dollar campaign chest at home, limiting Balfour gifts to others. (Besides in the current environment, only the desperate should warmly welcome a Balfour contribution.)

    That thought caused me to check on contributions from Balfour to other pols. He’s been generous to his Senate colleagues. Beyond a multitude of significant donations to individual Senators, Balfour chipped in $10k to the Georgia Republican Senatorial Trust. The whopper is nearly $100,000 to the GaGOP. (Whopper perhaps isn’t the right word. That amount after all is but a year’s take in state checks to Balfour.(

    Eric Johnson collected $12k early in the 2010 cycle when Johnson was running for Gov. Deal was beneficiary of $7k+ after the 2010 primary—guess Balfour didn’t want any hurt feelings.
    Some of the MAG contribution to Balfour was effectively returned by a Balfour donation to the MAG PAC. The BB&T PAC also received a four figure contribution.

    Cagle having received $7k+ was interesting. I’ll leave it to you to connect the dots on how 2012 Senate Ethics legislation went directly from the hopper to burial in the Rules Committee.

Comments are closed.