Thursday, March 22, 2012

Georgia Corruption Risk Scorecard

The table for Georgia from the Center for Public Integrity web site did embed so well (formatting issues), so I replicated it below.

Yes, I realize that these are measurements of “corruption risk,” as opposed to measurements of actual corruption, but they should give citizens pause nonetheless. 

Overall Grade
F (49%)
Rank among 50 states
Public Access to information
Political Financial
Executive Accountability
Legislative Accountability
Judicial Accountability
State Budget Process
State Civil Service Management
Internal Auditing
Lobbying Disclosure
State Pension Fund Management
Ethics Enforcement Agencies
State insurance Commissions

Georgia’s ethics laws are loaded with loopholes and are poorly enforced, yielding one of the nation’s worst scores on the State Integrity Index. Read more from SII State Reporter Jim Walls.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Unified Government Loses In Stiles Case - Again

Readers may remember that, back in May of last year, Judge T. Penn McWhorter issued a partial interlocutory injunction in Clarke County Superior Court against the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County in the Stiles Apartments parking case (a ruling in which he went to great lengths to rip City Hall’s conduct eight ways from Sunday).

The partial injunction did not deal with the crux of the matter, ownership of the those parking spaces located in front of Stiles Apartments on South Lumpkin Street over which Stiles originally filed suit in December 2010, but rather with things that City Hall had done, or was threatening to do, while the matter was making its way through the courts.

The Unified Government appealed the case, which given its nature went straight to the Georgia Supreme Court rather than the Court of Appeals.  The Supremes have issued their ruling, unanimously upholding the Superior Court’s partial injunction.

Without all of the legalese and citations, cutting straight to the point they affirmed the judgment for Stiles on two main points:

1)  1) “ACC may yet prevail on its claim that the agreement intended for all or part of the parking area to be used by the public at large. However, for the purposes of deciding whether to grant the interlocutory injunction, the trial court accepted the evidence supporting the construction of the agreement as argued by Stiles Apartments. As there is evidence authorizing the grant of interlocutory injunctive relief, the trial court did not manifestly abuse its discretion.”

     2) “ACC also raises the defenses of laches, waiver, and the statute of limitations. However, a review of the record shows that these issues were not ruled on by the trial court. Therefore, they may not be raised on appeal.”

So, the Unified Government has spent yet another pot of taxpayer money (probably, like in the original Superior Court proceedings, on outside counsel) on yet another losing legal battle, so that it can further pursue its losing strategy in the Stiles case.  The folks down at City Hall should be paying very close attention to this; I assure you that some of we citizens surely are.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Georgia GOP Will Be Strong Presence At Convention

Read the column here (04 March 2012).

Great minds think alike:

There are two reasons why I focused on the GOP side of the presidential preference primary: 1) I am a Republican and am far more familiar with the minutia of this stuff on my side of the aisle (though anyone can look this information up for either party) and 2) the fact that, since Obama is for all intents and purposes unopposed on the Democratic side, the elephants are where all the action is.

For what it is worth, I partook of that action and cast my early ballot last Wednesday.

The three states that have more delegates allotted that Georgia are California with 172 delegates, Texas with 155, and New York with 95.

According to national GOP Rule 13(a)(5), states casting a majority of their 2008 electoral votes for the Republican candidate receive 4.5 + 0.60 × the jurisdiction's total 2012 electoral votes. The resulting math for Georgia is:
4.5 + (0.60 X 16 [2 Senators and 14 Representatives] =
4.5 + 9.6 = 14.1 (by rule rounded up to next higher whole number = 15)

See Rule 13, “Membership in Convention,” of the Rules of the Republican Party:

See Rule 7.3, “Election of National Convention Delegates,” of the Rules of the Georgia Republican Party:

See Republican Detailed Delegate Allocation (this is a great web site, so play around with it):

For the bit about “unpledged” delegates, see O.C.G.A. 21-2-197:

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