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Ethics reform for dummies, Part 1: Lobbyist gifts

Ethics reform for dummies, Part 1: Lobbyist gifts
March 26, 2013 --

March 26, 2013 — To Georgia legislators: As you struggle toward a compromise on ethics “reform,” here are five suggestions that would REALLY help to restore Georgians’ faith in government.
1) Limit lobbyist gifts to $25 per day, with a limit of four per year. That allows them to buy you a meal and a beer, but not the bottles of wine that really drive up the cost up of these $100 meals. And no gifts for spouses. Pay for those yourselves. Suck it up.

House panel backs relaxed lobbyist rules, trims fee to $25

House panel backs relaxed lobbyist rules, trims fee to $25
February 7, 2013 --

Feb. 7, 2013 — In response to activists’ complaints about possible infringement of free speech, a House panel voted today to relax proposed registration requirements for lobbyists and to reduce their annual fee from $300 to $25.

Money issues still swirl around proposed juvenile code rewrite

March 26, 2012 --

By JIM WALLS Wildly divergent estimates of the pricetag for Georgia’s proposed juvenile code continue to swirl around the Capitol as lawmakers return for their last three days of 2012. The 246-page bill has cleared the House and is expected to come before the full Senate this week, possibly Tuesday, with only minor changes. Gov. […]

Feb. 23

February 23, 2012 --

DFCS acknowledges wrongdoing in child’s death Group: APS scandal cost taxpayers $10 million Court clerks’ passport profit examined Defense: Cobb DA outsourced prosecution to Glock Advocates seek lobbyist spending bill Bill would allow charging legal fees for Open Records requests Dozens of day care providers overcharging the state Dunwoody probes city council leak Wilcox Co. […]

Feb. 14

February 14, 2012 --

Muscogee prison investigation finds gross misconduct, abuse, sexual relationships Infection rate too high in 7 Georgia hospitals Line between megachurch and Eddie Long’s estate is murky PARKatlanta writing fraudulent tickets Lobbyist handouts not fully disclosed Atlanta Housing Authority commissioners investigated Construction industry unaffected by illegal immigration law More APS educators barred from classroom Advocates push […]

Feb. 7

February 7, 2012 --

Diverted funds aid Perdue projects Corporal punishment legal in Georgia schools Karen Handel resigns from Komen after Planned Parenthood flap 9 protests filed over airport vending contracts Columbus senator backs bill to cap lobbyist gifts at $100 High court: Atlanta violated Open Meetings law ‘People still suffering’ four years after Imperial Sugar disaster Fulton tax […]

The curious case of the underwater condo

The curious case of the underwater condo
December 21, 2011 --

Four years ago, a lobbyist and a state senator completed a casual real estate deal at an iconic Atlanta-area restaurant. No money appeared to change hands, suggesting a gift worth tens of thousands of dollars, and the senator did not disclose he had acquired a condo in the deal. Both parties now say the paperwork was incorrect. The circumstances illustrate the frequently close relationships between the lobbyists and the lobbied and underscore the importance of fully understanding the information conveyed in public records.

Did taxpayers fund Ralston’s Europe trip?

ICE High Speed Train
December 12, 2011 --

The funds used to fly House Speaker David Ralston’s family to Europe last Thanksgiving were not taxpayers’ dollars — but, quite possibly, they used to be. Chris Brady, the lobbyist who paid for the $17,279 trip, is also a Georgia DOT subcontractor whose firm has pocketed at least $458,000 since 2007 as part of a team studying a possible high-speed Atlanta-to-Chattanooga transit line.

Dec. 2

December 2, 2011 --

Lobbyist to lead Georgia’s top environmental agency Sociology professor cleared once before of UGA punishment Savannah State settlement: Personal fouls Unemployment bill may violate federal law

Sept. 9

September 9, 2011 --

Police accused of conducting illegal, humiliating strip searches Chatham Co. lobbyist still representing LNG firm Cobb EMC ordered back to court over ex-CEO’s compensation Ethics chief arrives amid makeover Savannah film audit leads to wider probe More fish dying on Ogeechee

July 5

July 5, 2011 --

Investigation: APS superintendent knew or should have known of cheating Ga. lawmakers defend lobbyist dollars ATL’s watershed nominee at issue in alleged retaliatory firings ‘Rollback rate’ could mean surprise tax increase

May 7

May 7, 2011 --

Reservoir lobbyist’s memo blasts proposed Lanier study Feds investigating Alpharetta mosque decision Opinion: Secrecy still ‘Job 1’ for Cobb school board