by Bill Simon
There were two news stories I saw yesterday that struck me with such a flash of WTF, that my brain would not let me go to sleep tonight until I got this (very short) Vine out of my system.
Story One: This story in the Fulton County Daily Report about people like Zell Miller and a slew of others writing a federal judge to ask for leniency on the sentencing of former Georgia State Representative Tyrone Brooks. To refresh your collective memories, Brooks “…pleaded no contest to fraud charges stemming from allegations that he misappropriated thousands of dollars in corporate charitable funds over two decades.”
Story Two: From the AJC, (PDF link here), this fascinating exposure about our esteemed (sic) Georgia Legislature passing laws that enact certain fees for this, that or the other cause, and all those fees are NOT going into any kind of “designated funds purpose” for which the original law was written.
In the primary example in the AJC article, the father of the kid whose death was the reason for Joshua’s Law being written and passed, remarks that the Georgia General Assembly is “…breaking every law in the book” for NOT using those funds that Joshua’s Law was enacted to collect ON the driver education training courses that were supposed to be offered in Georgia high schools.
So, let me sum this up as cogently as possible: Every single time the Georgia Legislature votes to pass their budget, where the legislators KNOW they are collecting fees for any number of causes enacted by their very own laws, but they knowingly divert those funds for other projects/uses/brass mules….they, like Tyrone Brooks, misappropriated funds collected for one purpose, but used for a completely different purpose.
The only difference is, of course, that the Georgia Legislature is free to continue committing fraud on the Georgia voters, while Tyrone Brooks, unfortunately, has to face a federal judge for sentencing this week.
While I cannot pen a letter quick enough to get to the chambers of U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, I would fully support and encourage the judge to sentence Tyrone Brooks to serve absolutely no prison time at all for his supposed misdeeds…because we have grand larceny, theft, and fraud being committed by far more people, involving far more money in our own Georgia State Legislature than former State Rep. Tyrone Brooks engaged in doing.
Any of you who are either State Reps or State Senators, and you continue to vote for these budgets that divert these funds, know this: You would be committing fraud if you did this in your private life, and you would be lying to people in your private life (“private life” being non-legislative related life) if you engaged in this as well.
As it is, you’re only lying to the voters and your constituents every single time you cast a vote on a budget that diverts these monies (whether it is Joshua’s Law, or the tire scrap fees, or whatever) to some other use besides what the money was stipulated to be collected for.
So…if you’re proud to continue being a known liar, not a problem. Any of you vote on the budget this next session, and 100% of these fees are not being diverted to the O.C.G.A. stipulated purposes, you will be known as a liar and you are someone who willingly participates in a fraud…that anyone else would face jail time for.