Tagged Earnest Smith

Carpe Per Diem

Interested in the actual practice of legislators’ reimbursements and per diem? I recommend this piece on state legislators’ per diem from Walter C. Jones of Morris News Service through our friends over at Online Athens. It covers the multiple philosophies and reimbursement practices of several legislators around the state.

While it’s a common practice for taxpayers to rail against the per diem and expenses reimbursement for state lawmakers, the truth is less troublesome. The common state representative shares a secretary with four other legislators. There are exceptions for committee chairmen and floor leaders, but for most it affects productivity and constituent services. For that reason some per diem is spent for support rather than cover the personal costs of the legislator and up to $7,000 per year can be reimbursed to rank-and-file lawmakers.

Lawmakers like Rep. Craig Gordon, D-Savannah, who spend their entire allotment on aides, say volunteers aren’t reliable and the shared secretary isn’t always available.
“It’s just hard to keep track of all the constituent calls and organize things on a daily basis,” Gordon said, noting that he usually can only hire a college student or retiree for the available sum.

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Teaching Earnest Smith About the First Amendment

State Rep. Earnest Smith wants to pass a law that prohibits people from photoshopping elected officials to make fun of them.

According to Rep. Smith, ““No one has a right to make fun of anyone. You have a right to speak, but no one has a right to disparage another person. It’s not a First Amendment right.”

Some enterprising listener of my radio show has taken up my idea to show Earnest Smith how wrong he is. Whoever it is has created BrayingJackass.com where you can submit your photoshop efforts.