Travis Bowden of Snellville, one of the two candidates challenging Senator Don Balfour (SD-9) in the Republican Primary in July, issued a statement calling on the leadership of the Georgia Senate to remove Sen. Balfour from Rules:
Snellville, GA – Republican businessman and State Senate Candidate Travis Bowden calls on the Georgia State Senate Committee on Assignments to remove Senator Don Balfour from his position as Chairman of the Rules Committee for violating Georgia Code Section 28-1-8(e). This section of Georgia Law calls for the Georgia Senate Rules Committee to establish an audits Subcommittee to review expenses incurred by legislators.
Don Balfour is Chairman on the Senate’s Rules Committee, a group of Senators that decides which bills can be voted on by the Georgia Senate. Balfour has recently come under scrutiny by the media and the Senate Ethics Committee for violating Georgia Reimbursement laws. There are several instances of Balfour filing expenses for regular Georgia State Senate business when he was out of town.
“Senator Balfour has been Rules Committee Chairman for ten years, but he has never created the Subcommittee that will review legislative expenses,” Bowden said. “It’s suspicious that Senator Balfour would submit these false reports knowing they would not be audited. Since Senator Balfour has violated Georgia law, the Senate itself is out of order and our taxpayer dollars are being spent without any kind of oversight. We need to stop Don Balfour from writing himself a blank check with our money.”
The power to appoint Senate Committee Chairmen is held by a Committee on Assignments composed of 8 Republicans: Senators Bill Cowsert, Greg Goggans, Jeff Mullis, Chip Rogers, David Shafer, Cecil Station, Renee Unterman and Tommie Williams. Several of these legislators are in leadership positions in the State Senate.
“I have contacted each member of the Senate Committee on Assignments and asked them to remove Don Balfour from his position as Chairman of the Senate Rules Committee,” Bowden said. “It is the duty of the eight members of the Senate Committee on Assignments to make a change. I call on every citizen of Georgia to contact these legislators and encourage them to remove Don Balfour from his Committee and end Senator Balfour’s blank check reimbursement requests.”
Travis Bowden is a Snellville businessman and has served as a member of the Gwinnett County Republican Party Board of Directors and currently serves as the Chairman and Founder of the Gwinnett County Young Republicans organization.
Bowden is challenging Don Balfour in the 2012 Republican Primary for Georgia’s State Senate District 9, an area in southeast Gwinnett County that includes parts of Snellville, Lilburn, Loganville, Grayson and Dacula. The 2012 Republican Primary Election will be held on July 31.
As noted on Friday, the Senate Ethics Committee found that there was “substantial cause” in the Balfour complaint to move forward.