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Ralston wins speaker vote, Richardson bids emotional farewell

December 17, 2009 --

House Republicans today chose Rep. David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) to replace Glenn Richardson as speaker. And Richardson, who will step down at the end of the month, made an emotional farewell, taking the blame for unspecified failures during his five-year tenure: “Wherever we may have failed, I take full responsibility for those failures. All of ’em. … When you leave here today, you leave all those behind. You leave them on my shoulders as I walk out of here. They’re mine.”

Legislative wannabes ignore disclosure requirement

Legislative wannabes ignore disclosure requirement
November 3, 2009 --

Candidates for the Georgia Legislature must disclose certain info about their personal finances within 15 days of qualifying for office. Apparently, no one explained that to Ron Dodson or Donzella James. Disclosure forms ask for basic information about a candidate’s job, business and real estate holdings and those of their spouses. The general idea is that voters can find out whether a politician’s public and private interests conflict. Legislators this year delined to raise the penalty for not filing, which remains at 75 bucks.

Lisa Borders: Was she lobbying illegally, or ‘only visiting friends’?

Lisa Borders: Was she lobbying illegally, or 'only visiting friends'?
April 10, 2009 --

A state ethics investigation is trying to find out whether Lisa Borders (right), president of the Atlanta City Council, lobbied state legislators on behalf of her employer without registering as a lobbyist. A complaint filed with the State Ethics Commission alleges that Borders, then a vice president of Cousins Properties, lobbied in 2007 for passage […]

ATL schools fight $18 million hit from new TAD bill

ATL schools fight $18 million hit from new TAD bill
March 31, 2009 --

Atlanta Public Schools are fighting changes to a bill that would let Tax Allocation Districts spend school tax money. A state Senate committee last week amended the bill to say a school board that had already approved a TAD would not have to vote on it again. School board chair LaChandra Butler Burks (right) says […]

BeltLine funding bill would circumvent new school board vote

March 28, 2009 --

Legislation assigning $850 million in Atlanta school taxes to the city’s BeltLine project without a vote passed the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. New language inserted in the bill (reproduced below) means the Atlanta Board of Education would not have to reauthorize funds to a Tax Allocation District for the BeltLine. The board’s 2005 vote […]