Ralston to propose complete ban on lobbyist gifts

Aaron Gould Sheinin of the AJC reports that Speaker of the House David Ralston will propose a complete ban on lobbyist giving His proposal comes after a non-binding referendum limiting lobbyist visits to $100 found overwhelming support from primary voters. Ralston had earlier expressed support for the current system rather than the $100 limit which he had labelled a “gimmick.”

This was a shrewd move by the Speaker.

29 comments

  1. chefdavid says:

    Ahh and the key will be the definition of a gift. After the sausage grinding is done we will have a way they can pay for trips and things that are outside the reporting requirements and thus outside of public scrutiny.

  2. Dave Bearse says:

    Good cover for a change yes. It remains to be seen if it’s shrewd if the motivation is legislation that won’t go anywhere in a dysfunctional Senate when trust is at an all time low.

    Six years of inter-chamber bickering gave us TIA / T-SPLOST. “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” Perhaps voters will catch on.

  3. debbie0040 says:

    If it is a ploy, then the House will pass a ban on all gifts(would prefer this) and the Senate will pass a 100 limit and it will go to Conference Committee. If it dies in conference committee then voters will know it was a ploy on both sides.

    I applaud Speaker Ralston for listening to the people. I have heard that he was incensed the GA GOP Executive Committee put the question on the primary ballot because he knew the enormous pressure the vote would bring..True leaders are not afraid to alter their course. We are cautiously optimistic that he is sincere about banning all gifts. Time will tell…

    As far as gift caps and tough ethics reform, if we can’t make legislators see the light, then we can sure make them feel the heat…2014 is right around the corner…

          • rrrrr says:

            But just like taxpayers it can still be “milked”…
            Though it requires a slightly different “process”.

            Free the Modify

            It’s just a case of the MAN holdin’ us down…

            • Bob Loblaw says:

              Bob Loblaw knows the doubletalk that goes on with “ethics”. What does it mean? GA Politicians, their families and PACs have always thought the subject was about fundraising, spending and whether a public duty would conflict with a private financial matter.

              Our venerable firm expects to be researching this matter further. Not shall an officer be bought for a peppercorn! Nor shall a sham of a statue be enacted to prevent that value from gaining value under the law.

              • Calypso says:

                Like a statue in a park that the pigeons crap on?

                Your comments above are spoken like the immortal words of that paragon of obfuscation, Gabby Johnson, in authentic frontier gibberish.

    • I hope when they define groups subject to the gift ban that the Public Service Commissioners are included as well. Elected officials at all levels should be subject to the same rules when it pertains to gifts / ethics reform.

      • Calypso says:

        Good point, particularly state office holders. What about constitutional elected folks, i.e. Labor Commish, Ag Commish? Do you feel that should hold true for county and municipal electeds as well? That is, a state law governing them, or should the county and municipal bodies set their own restrictions?

        • I think at the state level it should apply to any position elected statewide. As for county and municipal offices, I think the state should probably stay out of that. I don’t see a need for spending state dollars for that kind of oversight. Let them enact whatever ethics laws they see fit at their level. Ideally, we wouldn’t need these types of laws… elected officials should have the self restraint necessary to refuse gifts without being told they’re not allowed to accept them. I’ve already said that I wouldn’t accept gifts if elected. Stan Wise can’t exactly say the same, having accepted roughly $14k worth of gifts in just his current term.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          Like Reagan had to say to Mondale, “here we go again”.

          Only Constitutional Amendments can modify the rules for Constitutional Officers. A Constitutional Officer may, as our Governor has, enact executive orders governing such expenditures made for those under his authority.

          Staples! C’mon, man! You’re running for this spot! Where’s your legal eagle? You need Bob Loblaw!

          • Perhaps my public education is showing a bit here, but I thought Constitutional Amendments originated in the General Assembly? I haven’t been involved in politics all that long, so please correct me if I’m wrong. I only got involved at all because I didn’t like the way I saw things heading with our government. I figured the only way to change things would be to get involved. Things won’t change by sitting on the sidelines, crossing my fingers, and hoping for the best. Whatever the course of action is to legally limit the gifts, my opinion still stands – that we should be electing people who refuse any gifts from lobbyists – not because the law says they have to, but because it’s the right thing to do. 🙂

            I’d certainly be willing to meet you for a cup of coffee sometime if you’d like to discuss the issues or procedures. I most likely can’t afford your hourly rate, but I’m always interested in meeting interesting people who know more than I do.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          I mean if Debbie was asking this question, I may refrain from opining. But Calypso? Odysseus withholding the coin for the Ethics bus, is he?

  4. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Exactly. They’ll repeal the definition of a gift; repeal any reporting requirements for gifts since the legal term for gifts will no longer exist, and then impose and unenforceable ban on gifts.

    Wakeup people! It’s the power, money, gifts, and women that is so fun about being a legislator. Do you think that they’re going to give up 25% of their fun?

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      Power, money, gifts and women sounds like a heckuva lot more than just 25% of the fun of a being a legislator, it sounds a lot closer to like 1025% of the fun of being a legislator.

  5. Rick Day says:

    They are going to pass into law a bill they will word as unconstitutional (Citizens United?). Then shrug their shoulders point fingers and blame liberal activist judges.

    Down the road, the can gets kicked.

    Yes, I’m that pessimistic.

  6. seekingtounderstand says:

    As anyone the answer to this question? If the republicans take control of the white house there will not be check and balances.
    The Federal Government will not be investigating Gwinnett County Commissioners or any for that matter. GOP protects their own. We are looking at Obama vs. no accountability for the political class of Ga. Which is the lesser of two evils?

    No matter how cynical you get its impossible to keep up. Lily Tomlin

  7. TheEiger says:

    Are you drunk? Please reread your statement and tell me it makes sense. 1) if republicans win the White House we still may not control the Senate. Or did you just forget about that. 2) the “federal government” that you speak of would not be the Congress but Obama’s attonery general. That would be a Democrat. Details. They tend to get in the way when you have agenda to spout off about.

  8. seekingtounderstand says:

    If we have a republican/Romneys attorney generals office do you think they are going to go after Republicans?
    The only investigations of government corruption that I have seen of elected officals has come from US Attorney Sally Yates.
    Our system needs checks and balances.
    I do not want President Obama to win another term, but you will not have any accountability in Georgia as they protect their own.

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