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Powerless Ethics Commission looks to lawmakers


Enforcers of Georgia’s ethics laws are stuck in limbo, if not outright paralysis — a legacy of the Glenn Richardson years at the state Legislature.

They’re waiting to see whether new leadership under the Gold Dome cares enough to set things right.

In 2009, on Richardson’s watch, the Georgia House struck a couple words in the Ethics in Government Act to effectively strip the State Ethics Commission of its rule-making power. The state Senate and Gov. Sonny Perdue went along with the change.

Perdue made it clear at the time that he believed the House language did not necessarily undermine the commission’s old rules. But what about amending those regulations or creating new ones?

“It appears that we don’t have authority to do anything,” executive secretary Stacey Kalberman said.

Click here to read my full column in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution.





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4 Responses to “Powerless Ethics Commission looks to lawmakers”

  1. tom watson says:

    Their ethics legislation last year was a let-down. Hey, maybe they’ll do better this time!!

  2. CommonCauseGA says:

    The Ethics Commission has its one hand of rulemaking power tied behind its back, and its other hand of budgetary power also tied behind its back. This is not legislative commitment to ethics enforcement- it’s a way to take power from the public interest.

  3. Inman Park says:

    In my lifetime (64 years) Georgia politics has been dominated by back room dealing by shady politicians whose idea of “political ethics” is less than enlightened. This was true when Democrats dominated the state house, and it is true today under Republican leadership. I am mystified as to why Georgians in political office default to the lowest common denominator in their actions. What is it about our elected leaders? Depressing, to say the least!

  4. Confused says:

    Maybe I am not smart as the state workers at the Ethics Commission. But why do you need Rule making authority to develop forms? If the law requires something new or different then the bureaucracy just has to change the form based on the law. As we are Georgia – all election and campaign finance forms still have to be approved by the DOJ. But it does not take a Rule to change a form that is based on a law. Rule making authority is used when you want to push the limits of the law and make your own rules up that are not covered under the law. Sounds like the new ethics chief is posturing trying to get more power. Bureaucrats are more dangerous at times than politicians.