Just a couple of points. The Senate had an ethics complaint on Balfour and basically punted. Some of them will, no doubt, say they knew outside authorities would look into it. That’s not true though. Josh McKoon, a Republican from Columbus, requested the Attorney General look into the matter.
McKoon was the only State Senator to take this issue seriously on the Ethics Committee. McKoon opposed the settlement agreement the Senate Ethics Committee came up with — a settlement that was a slap on the wrist of $5,000.00.
Back in the mid-2000’s, the Republicans in Washington had become indisputably corrupt. Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, and more were all implicated in corruption scandals. The GOP failed to hold their own accountable and the voters beat the hell out of them in 2006, deservedly so.
To this day there are Republicans who complain about 2006 and those members of their party who had no problem with the voter smack down. “Oh, did the nation really deserve Nancy Pelosi?” they sarcastically say. As a partisan, obviously I’d prefer someone other than Pelosi. But as an American, if the GOP won’t hold themselves accountable and clean their own house, the voters will do so and have every right to do so.
The same applies here in Georgia. If the Republicans will not govern themselves, the people will govern them. Deservedly so.
What Don Balfour did was inexcusable. What the State Senate Republicans did in response was also inexcusable. Good for Josh McKoon for standing up and saying no.