Balfour Petitions Caucus For Reinstatement; Not A Good Move For Caucus

December 19, 2013 17:16 pm

by Charlie · 8 comments

To the GOP Senate Caucus:

Don Balfour was found “not guilty” today on criminal charges.  He won’t be going to jail.  That is settled.

His position with the Senate GOP caucus now hangs in the balance.  His suspension as a Senator expired with the not guilty verdict.  The question at hand is whether Don Balfour is a Republican in good standing.

Don Balfour’s defense is that he was too absent mindedly negligent to be held criminally liable.  That’s a fine standard to set for the caucus.

Ignored in the trial was the fact that Balfour was made publicly aware of these charges in 2010.  He did nothing about them until new Senate leadership made it clear they would no longer shield him from what was coming.  In fact, he has already been fined $5,000 by the Senate for violating Senate rules.

Balfour argued that he shouldn’t have even been tried by a jury of commoners.  He made it clear he needed to be judged by his actual peers.  That puts your judgment squarely into play.

Arguments that this was just over a few dollars and clerical errors are misdirection.  This is “I’ve been doing the same thing for 20 years and they keep re-electing me” Don Balfour.

It should not be lost on you that at this same time the State Ethics Commission has hired an outside attorney to act as a Receiver.  We are a state that has declared it’s Ethics process bankrupt.

At a minimum, the GOP caucus needs to have a face to face meeting before declaring Balfour one of your club.  He has abused his power.  He has abused the taxpayers money.  And he can’t even tell a judge and jury how much his private employer pays him.

This is a critical point of determining where GOP Senate standards lie.  Please spend the appropriate amount of time and debate before you try to pretend this never happened.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

peachpundit (@peachpundit) December 19, 2013 at 5:16 pm

New post: Balfour Petitions Caucus For Reinstatement; Not A Good Move For Caucus http://t.co/FoeNyhuBTb #gapol

Thomas Adams (@GeorgiaCRE) December 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Balfour Petitions Caucus For Reinstatement; Not A Good Move For Caucus http://t.co/PsqXXjqfFk

sonofliberty December 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Charlie! Will you give it a rest! You have lost all credibility when it comes to the Senator. We have been subjected to your bias and hatred for the man for too long now. He was found not guilty by a jury of his peers; its time for you to let it go.

Mid Georgia Retiree December 20, 2013 at 8:27 am

On the contrary, Charlie is absolutely right about this situation. The Caucus needs to think long and hard about how they treat Sen. Balfour. Even though he was found not guilty of CRIMINAL CHARGES, there is still the matter of his ETHICAL conduct, which is an embarrassment for those of us who want to see a better Republican party. Turning their heads on this matter will only give the Democrats and their mainstream media PR writers more ammunition in the 2014 state elections. I for one want to see the Caucus send a positive message to the voters of our state. Ignoring Mr. Balfour’s actions is not a positive message.

Dave Bearse December 21, 2013 at 1:43 am

The 2010 Gubernatorial election demonstrated the ammunition is ineffective.

It’s a caucus thing. Most of them will be telling people privately that they disapproved, yet the outcome tells a different story.

Michael Silver December 20, 2013 at 8:40 am

They thought long and hard, about 1 minute. Balfour is back into caucus and in a leadership position.

According to AJC: “Balfour was also restored to committee leadership positions, including the chairmanship of the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee.”
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/breakin…-guilty/ncPpL/

Its timely to compare Balfour’s treatment/forgiveness and what happened to Preston Smith a couple years ago.

“In retribution for my refusal to go along with the Lt. Governor and the rest of the Senate Republicans and vote for a tax increase, my role as chairman was stripped away from me by the Lt. Governor, Majority Leader, President Pro Tem and Senate Republican leadership. I take the well today with a heavy heart – not because of a loss of any position, but rather because of what is happening in State Government and its larger implication for the legacy of our Republican party and the posterity of our state.”

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2010/04/12/preston-smith-on-prostitutes-pimps-and-puppets-in-the-senate/

I wish Preston Smith would run for Lt Governor as a way to cleanup the Senate.

Dave Bearse December 21, 2013 at 2:18 am

Sans someone testifying that Balfour told them he did it on purpose, the case was circumstantial, which would require an especially effective prosecution to obtain a conviction.

The same high standard as to intent is why Guantanamo is still a prison. Of course legal = ethical in Georgia, so Don needn’t worry. He’ll be Chairman of a prominent committee after re-election. (The fact that the jury foreman thought prosecution for a few thousand was a joke in a state where tar and feathers are in order should a legislator suggest legislator’s pay be increased, speaks for itself.)

And speaking of ethics, anyone else notice that the guy that responsible for cutting the ethics commission executive director’s pay and firing the deputy director job, when they proposed subpoenas to investigate Deal’s campaign violation, isn’t in the papers? The fact that Patrick Milsaps went from the Ethics Commission Chairman to the Gingrich Presidential campaign Deputy Counsel is all the circumstantial evidence needed to know that Milsaps shouldn’t have been appointed to the Ethics Commission in the first place.

benevolus December 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Good thing he was able to pay back what he owed or Kingston might have him sweeping the Capitol floor.

Oh wait, no he wouldn’t, Balfour’s not poor.