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Common Cause: Most top candidates back limits on lobbyist gifts


Most major candidates for governor back a limit on lobbyists’ gifts to legislators and on inter-campaign cash transfers, a new survey shows.

Common Cause Georgia asked all 400 or so candidates for state office to take a stand on two key ethics reforms that the Legislature never got to consider this year:

  • A $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to any public officer, and
  • A limit of $10,000 on the total that a candidate may give to other candidates, political parties or political action committees within an election cycle. (Unopposed candidates frequently pass on much larger amounts.)

Supporting both measures were Republicans Jeff Chapman, Nathan Deal, Karen Handel, Eric Johnson and David Putnam, as well as Democrats Roy Barnes, Carl Camon, DuBose Porter and David Poythress.

Handel and Porter said they would go a step further and support a $25 gift ban, while Johnson said, “There is no ethics bill too strong that I won’t sign.”

Democrat Thurbert Baker, Libertarian John Monds and Republican John Oxendine were among those not responding to the survey.

“It looks like from this list here, that unless Oxendine is the new governor, that the new governor will be somebody who stands behind these reforms,” said Bill Bozarth, director of Common Cause Georgia.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who presides over the state Senate, also did not answer the survey questions. His likely Democratic opponent, Carol Porter, said she supports both limitations.

Responses were spottier among those running for the Legislature. After next week’s primary, director Bill Bozarth said, Common Cause will continue to push for responses from candidates who remain on the ballot. Check out how all the candidates responded.

Both restrictions were a part of House Bill 920, sponsored by Rep. Wendell Willard and co-signed by 40 other lawmakers from both major parties. The bill was held in committee this year, while both chambers passed another ethics bill authored by House Speaker David Ralston.





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One Response to “Common Cause: Most top candidates back limits on lobbyist gifts”

  1. Bill Bozarth says:

    We hope that all candidates for public office will strongly consider pledging their support for significant ethics reform in 2011. We’ll keep posting responses till “the last dog dies.”