The Ethics Express, a compilation of odd political bedfellows, including Common Cause Georgia, the League of Women Voters, Georgia Conservatives in Action, and Georgia Tea Party Patriots, have taken to the road, on bus tour supporting a July 31 ballot question, urging ethics reform in Georgia’s State House. The group plans to stop in 14 cities across the state, from Dalton to Valdosta, Columbus to Savannah, and urge Georgia voters to vote “yes” on a plan that will limit gifts from the lobbyists roaming the halls of the State Capitol to $100.
Georgia, the tours participants say, is one of only three states that has no caps on lobbying its legislators. “We have to remove this perceived corruption,” said Elizabeth Poythress, of the league of Women Voters. “We need to start somewhere.”
That “somwhere,” besides the tour’s stops, includes a pledge signed by both incumbent and challenging state legislature candidates, saying they support the cap as part of overall ethics reform in the State House. One of those legislators, State Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus), said that they are out to accomplish at the state level what isn’t being done at the federal level, including the recent defeat(s) of the Disclose Act in the United States Senate. “While we can’t do anything about Washington,” he insisted, “we can get our own house in order.”