I must have struck a nerve with a letter I sent “Silence on state ethics deafening.” Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming) said “It is my hope that anyone who engages in speaking for or against public officials and/or policy will use facts to support their positions and will avoid lies, fabrications, distortions and deceit. “
Facts are pesky things, so let’s examine those facts. He said that Georgia winning the least ethical state award was not true or factual.
The award was issued from the Center for Public Integrity a U.S.-based non-profit investigative journalism organization based in Washington.
The Center for Public Integrity accepts grants to carry out its work from such groups as the Pew Research Center, the Ford Foundation, and various trusts.
Many different news services reported it, most notably Fox Business News. According to CPI, Georgia failed 12 of 14 categories. Which of their facts would Hamilton like to dispute with “his” facts?
Statements made by Speaker David Ralston (R-Ellijah) at the state GOP convention have been widely reported not by just “one newspaper” but many different newspapers in the state from Marietta to Tifton and Savannah to Columbus. It seems the speaker’s statements were well covered by many in the media.
In the private sector you will be fired if you accept “gifts” that have just the appearance of impropriety. Accepting a $17,000 trip to Europe to “study” public transportation over Thanksgiving as Ralston did doesn’t pass the smell test. How many millions of tax dollars have we already spent on many different public transportation studies? Couldn’t the speaker have just read one of those?
It has also been reported that one in five legislators owe late disclosure reporting fines that still haven’t been paid. Increasing fines for those who never intend to pay in the first place is really working great isn’t it?
At lease I am now happy to report I no longer hear complete silence on state ethics, I’m now hearing crickets.