May 31, 2012

Georgia Tea Partiers And Progressives Unite To Demand Lobbying Reforms

Georgia's voters want lobbying reform.

In July, Georgia’s Democratic and Republican Party voters will get a chance to tell their respective political parties that there needs to be lobbying reform.

Ballots for both parties will ask “questions about limiting the value of meals, tickets and other gifts lobbyists give to state legislators. The questions are nonbinding but will give policymakers insight into how voters feel about the issue.”

The Athens Banner-Herald and the Georgia Newspaper Partnership conducted a poll of Georgia voters last December asking them about lobbying reform. Here’s the key result:

Seventy-two percent of Georgia voters polled by the Banner-Herald and the Georgia Newspaper Partnership in December supported a cap on the value of lobbyist gifts, including 82 percent of Republicans. When asked whether gifts compromised lawmakers’ integrity, 73 percent said they do.

It appears that vast majority of Georgians of every political stripe want to see lobbyists’ gifts limited. Although there is currently no cap on the value of lobbyist gifts, grassroots activists are demanding reform. The progressive Common Cause group has teamed up with the Georgia Tea Party Patriots to demand that legislators pledge to take action on capping lobbyist gifts. 13 lawmakers or major challengers have signed this pledge.