Governor Nathan Deal is offering an explanation as to why his staff contacted the head of Georgia's ethics commission. Holly LaBerge claims that Deal's top aides pressured her to end an investigation into Deal's 2010 campaign.
People in Cobb County got their chance Monday to weigh in on the proposed new Atlanta Braves stadium in their backyards. Meanwhile, watchdogs and taxpayer groups are mobilizing to slow the process of approving public money for the project. Three Cobb County commissioners had separate town halls to gather public input ahead of a vote scheduled Tuesday evening. But one watchdog group is pushing for more: a public referendum.
The ethics watchdog group Common Cause Georgia is going outside of Metro Atlanta to raise concerns about a proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium. The football team and the city will pay to build the billion-dollar facility. But the state will own it.
When Georgians visit Atlanta and stay overnight in a hotel, they spend a few cents on a new Falcons football stadium through a hotel-motel tax. One watchdog group says people shouldn’t have to spend any more money on a new stadium.
A coalition pushing for ethics reform in Georgia says 50 of the 130 state legislators elected Tuesday support a $100 cap on lobbyists’ gifts to lawmakers. The groups say that’s the strongest level of support since they started their campaign.
The state legislature will wrap up the special redistricting session this week. Watchdog groups say the process has been somewhat more transparent this time. But the groups are still pushing for an independent redistricting commission.
The state’s ethics commission unveiled a plan Friday to overhaul the way it operates. Commissioners said they want to contract with a private attorney to handle regulatory and compliance questions from candidates, officials and the public. The commission also would hire a second auditor and the two would handle complaints and investigations, with legal help from the state attorney general’s office.
Lawmakers will be gathering in August for a special session to re-draw legislative maps. High attendance at recent public hearings suggests voters are watching the process closely. Indeed, some Georgians are still simmering over how districts were drawn in the past.
A member of the newly-formed Georgia Alliance for Ethics Reform has filed a complaint against the lobbyist who took House Speaker David Ralston and members of his family and staff to Europe during the Thanksgiving holiday.