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Accountability: Ethics Reform and a Decision for Unterman

Senator Unterman should call for the removal of Don Balfour as Rules chair or have her reputation tarnished by association.

Senator Renee Unterman (Senate Site | Facebook Page) serves on the Senate's Committee on Assignments and Rules Committee.  She is running unopposed this election cycle for Buford's State Senate District 45.  In addition, she did not have primary opposition.  As such, there has not and will not be a dialogue between the incumbent candidate and challenger.  There will not be an effort to educate the district on why Senator Unterman should be re-elected.  There will also not be a call for new ideas to be considered by the district's voters.  There will be status quo.

Don Balfour would also like to keep the status quo.  His ethics violations demand that Senator Unterman go on record as either supporting this sort of behavior from a Commitee Chair, or call for his removal as Rules Committee Chairman.  

There is an opportunity for Senator Unterman to represent Buford with regards to the recent ethics complaints, integrity issues, and leadership failures with the Georgia State Senate.  While she was not a proponent of the Committee on Assignments, she does serve on it.  

The Committee on Assignments (CoA) sets forth Committee Chairs for the various committees in the Senate.  Therefore, if the CoA decides to leave Don Balfour in place as one of the most influential senators (Rules Chairman); they are lowering the bar for ethics reform, integrity of the Senate, and leaving the door open for powerful lobbies to exert untold influence.

I urge Senator Unterman to call for a meeting of the committee on Assignments, and to have Senators like Don Balfour removed from the leadership ranks, so that our Senator will no longer be linked to such ilk.  

Otherwise, Senator Unterman's record on accountability and ethics is subject to equivocation.  Unterman's integrity and fitness for further duty as our Senator in 2014 start with this position and actions taken (or not taken).

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Andy August 28, 2012 at 03:50 PM
I think it is certainly fair to fault your current elected official for abiding behavior like Balfours'. Too bad Balfour already beat out both of his Republican opponents in the Primary. Now the district will have to vote Democratic if they want a change. But can the democrat, Scott Drake, appeal to conservatives enough to make them vote for the other party. Also -- Balfour seems pretty entrenched in major Atlanta interests -- Congress Center and Dome for two. How would the loss of such an ally in Balfour affect them?
Jack McClure August 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM
You hit on a good point - they would have to find another senator to shower with tickets to events... i mean if you have a condo downtown, what better way to spend your time than going to events for free, right?

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