Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.


Why on Earth would the “Ethics Commission” be in need of a standard of…ethics?

by PV

Rumors have it that the fix may be in for one Respondent at today’s meeting of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission* in downtown Atlanta.

Here’s a link to the Meeting Agenda.

On Page 2 of this Agenda is a series of Case Numbers dealing with “Karen Handel.” Four total, to be precise. She is the “Respondent” referenced to above.

With the prefix number of “2010”, they appear to all be cases filed during the 2010 election cycle in which Handel was running for governor.

As you may be aware of, Handel has not announced yet that she is seeking the U.S. Senate race, but she has confided in some folks that she will enter that race.

The “fix” that may be in for Handel is that one of the five Commissioners who will sit in judgement today of whether the allegations against her warrant an investigation by the AG’s office…is actually working on getting his own candidate for the U.S. Senate race in 2014.

That Commissioner is named Heath Garrett. As most everyone knows who has met him, Heath Garrett is likely one of THE nicest guys you’ll ever meet, in Georgia, or anywhere else. That is a fact to recognize.

He’s also in the top tier of Georgia-based political consultants who is always more than ready, willing, and able to sell-out his Republican street cred for money (good money, mind you, but he’ll trade Republican principles for money just about any day of the week, and twice on Sundays).

AND…parallel to the concept of Garrett actively recruiting a candidate for the U.S. Senate race is this ever-so-slightly-too-convenient-case of Garrett sharing office space, and being really good buddies, with the person who is currently the chief strategist for Phil Gingrey’s U.S. Senate run: Chip Lake of Glendale Strategies.

Click here for address for Garrett’s company
Click her for the address for Chip Lake’s company

Both have the address of:
57 Waddell Street
Marietta, GA 30060

And, for those of you unfamiliar with downtown Marietta, this is a pretty podunk-sized building…so, yeah, they know each other.

Now, is all this relevant to anything? Well, yeah, it kinda is. Because, again, Garrett currently sits on the f/k/a ‘Ethics Commission’ and has, not only a 1/5th vote, but can also engage via Q&A to try and mislead the other 4 commissioners into a direction that would be more advantageous to him (and his money-making interests) and worse for someone like Karen Handel who may oppose both his own potential client (whoever it may be) AND a potential opponent to his current office pal-mate’s current candidate for U.S. Senate (Chip Lake’s candidate Phil Gingrey).

Now, golly, wouldn’t it be swell IF the f/k/a ‘Ethics Commission’ actually, itself, had a set of standards in which to operate that stated in a rule (or, be still our beating heart, in an actual law) that the people who sit on the “ethics” Commission cannot be actively involved in POLITICS FOR MONEY???

That way, Heath Garrett (again, nicest guy you ever want to meet) would not have to face this dilemma he will face today because he would not be sitting on this commission now!

But, nahhhh…that concept would make TOO much sense to the yahoos who sit on the Georgia State House Ethics Committee…and who have proclaimed over and over and over…and, yes, OVER to PV that “Look, where would it end if we banned conflicts of interest? No one would be able to serve in the government if we did that! What a silly, silly, silly idea you have, PV.”

So, in conclusion…will Heath Garrett have the integrity to completely recuse himself from…well, quite frankly, ALL these cases dealing with Handel…as well as these other cases dealing with groups like Tea Party Patriots (groups that were a part of the effort to beat the T-SPLOST down last year…which just happened to be the ballot initiative Heath Garrett was working in favor of…and missed-out on a big win bonus because of Tea Party-related groups)?

Gosh, don’t things like “ethics in government” just suck? If we could just…you know….trust our political “leaders,” life would be so much more happier and more carefree. (Sigh…Calgon, take us away for our bubble-bath…)

—————————————————————–
* Just as an FYI to those of you who may be kinda new to Georgia politics as to what this 7-word “commission” is all about (i.e., “Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission”).

See, for nearly 25 years prior to 2010, the name of this entity was “Georgia State Ethics Commission.” Four words. Just four of the simplest words that explain everything in 2 seconds or less. AND, a title dreamed-up by the Democrats, of all people.

In the Legislative Session of 2010, newbie Speaker of The House David Ralston hit upon an idea: “This concept of ‘Ethics’ is just too mean-sounding. I’m going to change the name of this commission to this big-ass, more complicated, more-wordy name and specifically insert the word ‘Government’, ’cause people like me do not know that ‘state government’ was ALREADY a part of this ‘commission.'”

Thus the reason why we have the current name of “Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission”…because a Republican thought that ‘bureaucra-cizing ‘ the commission name would trivialize the entity, apparently.

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