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28 March 2012

Ethics Reform is Dead. Yes, It's Dead.

The scathing indictment of both the Democrat and Republican parties authored by retired Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigative reporter Jim Walls did little to move Georgia lawmakers toward passing comprehensive ethics reform.

Legislators from both parties agree that comprehensive ethics reform ain't gonna happen during the 2012 legislative session.

"Ethics reform is dead. Yes it's dead," said state Senator Steve Henson (D - Tucker).

"There's opposition to seeing comprehensive ethics reform move forward," said state Senator Josh McKoon (R - Columbus).

These two lawmakers, along with state Representative Tommy Smith (R - Nicholls), have pushed ethics reform all this session. At each turn, however, Henson, McKoon, and Nicholls have all met brick walls.

With the pronounced death of ethics reform, from my vantage point, the 2012 legislative session is a failure. Georgia remains a high risk for corruption. And it is only a matter of time before we see lawmakers of both parties hauled off to jail for abusing the public trust.