Lack of courage
Last week on these pages we editorialized on the fact that the Georgia legislature refused to consider numerous bills that would limit the legislators from accepting gifts from lobbyists. On top of that, there has been a report by the Center for Public and Global Integrity, both national groups that champion government reform, that ranks Georgia last in the nation in dealing with transparency and laws on public corruption.
This ranking was based on the presence, lack of or strength of laws on public corruption and government openness with the public. Of course some state officials were shocked that the state was rated dead last and questioned the criteria used by this group in their findings.
It’s a safe bet nobody in Georgia appreciates having our state receive such a black eye, especially from an outside group, but if the old shoe fits, wear it. Instead of complaining about the report, we should clean up our act. Politicians constantly speak of the need for transparency and often use it as a rallying cry during campaign speeches. We would like to see our local legislators lead the way in seeing that, in fact, that happens.