ETHICS in Georgia State Government The Center for Public Integrity (CPI) recently ranked the 50 States according to an Ethics in Government scorecard. Their 2012 rankings are based on a 14-point grading system, which includes categories like Public Access to Information, Internal Auditing, Political Financing, Lobby Disclosure and ten others. Georgia ranked 50th - dead last. In other words, according to CPI’s analysis, We have the #1Most Corrupt STATE Government in the U.S.
Georgia received failing grades in 12 of the 14 categories, with an overall F Grade. In reviewing their findings, CPI highlighted these areas of concern: 1. 658 State workers accepted Lobby Gratuities in last 2 years. 2. No State Vendor has been fined in the last 12 years for failing to disclose such gifts. 3. Approximately 2000 Georgia Officials, including 20%+ of sitting Legislators, have failed to pay penalties for filing their disclosures late - or NOT AT ALL. 4. Disclosures are rarely, if ever audited, therefore the existing State Ethics laws have no teeth. In the July 31st, 2012 Georgia Primary, both the Democratic and Republican Ballots included a Ballot Question regarding the ethics of our Legislators. While the language differed slightly between the two parties, the fundamental question was: Do you favor ending the current practice of permitting unlimited gifts from Lobbyists to State Legislators?
Both parties OVERWHELMINGLY supported ending (Democrats) or capping (Republicans) Lobbyists gifts to Legislators. Democrats voted 73% to end the practice, and Republicans voted 87% to cap gifts at $100 per year.
The message to our Legislature should be clear: It is time to clean this problem up OR the Voters of Georgia will do it for you.
IT IS THE MISSION OF WAKE UP GEORGIA to bring this and other ETHICAL issues to the forefront of the Voting Public, and help them secure enactment of ethical changes and oversight at the State Legislature.
WE will use the CPI State Rankings in the future as our measure of positive change in the ethics of Georgia State Government.