No Free UGA Football for Lawmakers - Good or Bad?

Some legislators acknowledge the freebies can look bad, but they say the state's new ethics law will make it harder to mingle with constituents.

Georgia legislators who want to sit in the president's suite above the hedges at Sanford Stadium next year will have to pay their own way, thanks to ethics legislation signed by Gov. Nathan Deal last week.

The law forbids elected officials from receiving gifts or event tickets exceeding $75. University System of Georgia lobbyists gave state and local lawmakers more than $14,000 in football tickets in 2012, the Athens Banner-Herald reports.

The paper quotes state Sen. Bill Cowsert, whose district includes Athens, saying the football games have been a good way for him to mingle with his constitutents.

I think it’s really going to change things," Cowsert is quoted saying of the new ethics law. "I think it’s going to make it tougher for the university to develop good relationships with the legislative body, especially with some of us being newer to the Legislature."

What do you think? Will taking legislators' football tickets reduce conflicts of interest? Or will it make it harder for elected officials to do their jobs? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Elizabeth May 17, 2013 at 02:16 PM
By definition, the word "constituent" means part of a "constituency". A constituency is defined as "A body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body." While the other people sitting in the president's box may be voters, they probably do not represent John Q. and Jane Q. Public.
North Georgia Weather May 17, 2013 at 02:17 PM
You mean you all don't sit in the President's Suite? ;-)
North Georgia Weather May 17, 2013 at 02:24 PM
Elizabeth... he knows what he means. He means "now I can't spend Saturday's hob-nobbing with people with money", and enjoying all perks that go along with it. Personally, I don't think they ought to receive ANY tickets to ANYTHING.
Margaret May 17, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Sounds to me like the voters in his district (which includes Athens) need to remember his attitude come election day. He's not interested in "John Q. public", but only those he can shake down to line his pockets. Most liKely he's one that believes that Corporations are "People" too!
bobby black May 20, 2013 at 03:40 PM
I guess they will have to buy their 50 yard line tickets for a dollar apiece now. The ones Joe Fan can't buy at any price.


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