Luxury sweets

Constituents cast skeptical eye upon gifts lavished on legislators

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You don’t suppose legislators’ votes can be bought for a few meals or game tickets, can they?

Regardless, we’re sure fed up to the gills by the appearance that they can.

Besides: If gifts don’t influence lawmakers, then why do lobbyists lavish so many on them?

In the case of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, a newspaper report indicates it has plied powerful legislators with choice luxury-suite tickets to events – particularly members of a joint House-Senate legislative committee that oversees the authority.

And just in time for them to consider whether to approve a debt-limit increase for the authority in order to build a proposed new $1 billion retractable-roof football stadium for the Atlanta Falcons.

As if Atlanta needs more help siphoning sporting and entertainment events from elsewhere around the state.

And as if the 20-year-old Georgia Dome were in desperate need of replacement.

As for the legislators on the oversight committee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

“The panel’s current members have received more than $9,000 worth of gifts since 2010, when key legislation was passed that set the stage for the proposed stadium. Some said they were concerned about accepting gifts as negotiations over a new stadium heated up. Others were unapologetic.”

Nah, gifts don’t influence lawmakers. But by all means, keep ’em coming!

Legislative gifts only erode public confidence in the legislative process and raise cynicism about politics.

Lawmakers would give themselves and their constituents a gift if they would either ban their superfluous perks or have the gumption to decline them.

In many ways, that’s the difference between public service and a ruling class.

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Riverman1 11/26/12 - 08:23 am
Similarity to TEE Center

Remind anyone of the push to build the TEE Center?

Jane18 11/26/12 - 11:41 am
How much does it take........... sell your soul to the devil? It doesn't take too little or too much, because in the end, the soul still belongs to GOD! It does take away the integrity, trust of the people, pride of the family, respectability, etc., from the receiver of these "gifts".

burninater 11/27/12 - 01:48 am
Legislative gifts are

Legislative gifts are endemic, and corruption knows no party.

That said, curious that the ACES didn't print the names and party affiliations like they so often do in corruption stories like this one.

Oh, never mind, got it.

Georgia World Congress Center Legislative Overview Committee members
Sen. Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone
Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta
Sen. Bill Hamrick (who has since left the state senate), R-Carrollton
Sen. Ronald Ramsey, D-Decatur
Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock
Sen. David Shafer, R-Duluth
Rep. Jan Jones, R-Milton
Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta
Rep. Billy Mitchell, D-Stone Mountain
Rep. Butch Parrish, R-Swainsboro
Rep. Jimmy Pruett, R-Eastman
Rep. Donna Sheldon, R-Dacula

Just doing my part to keep it fair and balanced.

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