Please see event link above
A Safer Georgia Legislative Forum
Thursday 1/18 at 6 PM
2720 Mall of Georgia Blvd.
Buford, GA 30518
Join us as we discuss two extremely important legislative initiatives: Marsy’s Law and The Hidden Predator Act. Protecting Georgia families is something we can do together. Take a stand get involved! Joins us Thursday!
The Breakroom: Greek Life, Word Of The Year, Cell Phone Ban
The Breakroom gang joined host Celeste Headlee to weigh in on the week’s news. The panel included comedian Roy Wood, Jr. of “The Daily Show,” former NPR correspondent Kathy Lohr, Georgia State University professor Hector Fernandez, and Republican strategist Julianne Thompson.
As a conservative, I support free-market energy solutions. A diversified energy portfolio of nuclear, fossil fuels, natural gas, wind and solar all work together to ensure the United States is not only energy independent, but also keeps cost more affordable. At the forefront of the most practical and cost-effective forms of energy today is nuclear power.
Through nuclear we have the opportunity to have a reliable energy source of carbon-free power for decades to come. As a consumer and a ratepayer, I want to make sure we take advantage of that energy source, and for that reason I support the completion of Plant Vogtle.
As Georgians we find ourselves in a dilemma without an easy answer. Units 3 and 4 are nearly 50 percent complete. While initially ratepayers were protected with a fixed-price contract, in the end the contractor could not perform. Fortunately that same contract required a guarantee by the parent company, which has made good on that guarantee and is now benefiting ratepayers.
As fiscal conservatives, it would not be the ideal situation to leave several billion dollars in ratepayers’ stranded assets and also lose thousands of jobs. We need to be able to harness that energy source for generations of Georgians to come while at the same time protecting Georgia ratepayers.
This is not a blanket statement. I strongly urge the Public Service Commission, who represents us; to work together to make sure we consumers are protected in this process. The PSC has already enacted mechanisms that cut shareholder profits by hundreds of millions of dollars as construction drifts off schedule. Even more protections are being considered.
We can protect Georgia ratepayers and make sure we have a clean, reliable energy source. Let’s not give up. Let’s keep Georgia moving forward
Julianne Thompson is a conservative activist and a Republican commentator on various news outlets in Georgia and across the United States. She is also a Georgia consumer and ratepayer.
Ethics Reform Will Restore Trust
February 22, 2012
We all know that perception is everything. There is no other place this is more apparent than in politics.
Overspending, overtaxing and the destruction of liberties in this country have led the average resident to question whether there is any such thing as good government. Many people believe the ability of high-dollar special interests to spend unlimited amounts of money on lawmakers who represent them has been the root cause of bad legislation and a serious lack of public trust.
I believe we have some of the best legislators in America leading Georgia. We have supported them, campaigned for them and stood by them, providing the driving force to take them from being the minority party in the General Assembly to having a Republican-controlled House and Senate.
The “we” I speak of is the conservative activist, the base of the Republican Party.
Conservatives throughout Georgia have encouraged legislators to pass two ethics reform bills. These bills offered by Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, and Rep. Tommy Smith, R-Nicholls, put a cap on the amount lobbyists are permitted to spend on legislators.
We strongly believe that passing these bills will go a long way toward restoring public trust. Yet few lawmakers have agreed to take up the mantle of ethics reform.
When we first called for ethics reform, we heard complaints from some legislators that we reached across party lines to form a bipartisan alliance, so we presented a letter to Republican legislators signed by leaders of more than 30 conservative organizations in support of these ethics reform bills.
This letter included signatures from tea party leaders, as well as long-standing social conservative groups. Yet both bills remain stalled, not allowing a floor vote or even a committee hearing.
Georgia is one of only three states in the nation that allow unlimited gifts to be showered on elected officials. A recent AJC poll shows that 82 percent of Republicans support a cap on lobbyist gifts. All of Georgia’s surrounding GOP-controlled states have caps that range from $50 all the way to $0.
Ethics problems were rampant in states such as Alabama and Louisiana, and legislators heard the outcry of the public and enacted ethics reform in their states. Problems in these states reported on in the past year happened before these caps were put in place.
Over the past week, we spoke with state officials who confirm that caps on gifts have made an extraordinary difference in ethics and accountability in their states. Again, we call on Georgia to do the same.
What we keep hearing time and again from some under the Gold Dome is that Georgia has “full disclosure,” which should be enough. Residents are calling foul because they know full disclosure is a myth. Legislators are not required to disclose one dime, only lobbyists are; many never do.
According to a recent AJC story, more than half of the cost of the Wild Hog Supper was not disclosed because several lobbyists formed a group called the “Friends of Agriculture Foundation” to pay the majority of the $16,393 tab. Of that amount, only $7,677 was actually disclosed. This example represents why residents believe they cannot trust government.
There is a way to change that perception. Put the burden on yourselves as leaders. Pass the ethics bills sponsored by McKoon and Smith. It is the right thing to do and it will restore public trust.