Democrats will include ethics question on primary ballot

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Georgia Democratic Party officials have decided to include a referendum question on the party’s primary election ballot that gauges voter support of a limitation on lobbyist gifts to legislators.

The wording for the ballot question, which was finalized Thursday afternoon, will be: “Do you support ending the current practice of permitting unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators?”

The Georgia Republican Party decided last weekend to include a similar referendum question on their primary ballot, but worded it so that it specifies a $100 limit on these gifts: “Do you support ending the current practice of unlimited gifts from lobbyists to state legislators by imposing a $100 cap on such gifts?”

With the question now on both party ballots, the July 31 election will provide an indication of how deeply voters support or oppose the idea of placing a limit on what lobbyists can spend to influence lawmakers.

Georgia is currently one of only three states that still has no limit on what lobbyists can spend for this purpose. Common Cause Georgia and Tea Party Patriots are asking legislative candidates to sign an ethics reform pledge promising their support for a $100 cap on lobbyist gifts.

Democratic Party officials will also include these unofficial, non-binding questions on the July 31 primary ballot:

Should the Georgia Constitution be amended to allow the state to override locally elected school boards’ decisions when it comes to the creation of charter schools in your county or city?

Should Georgia adopt an income tax credit for home energy costs to support the economic security of our families?

Should Georgia reduce sales taxes on ‘Made in Georgia’ products so as to support the growth of small businesses in our state?

The Republican Party will include these additional referendum questions on its primary ballot:

Should Georgia have casino gambling with funds going to education?

Should active duty military personnel who are under the age of 21 be allowed to obtain a Georgia weapons license?

Should Citizens who wish to vote in a primary election be required to register by their political party affiliation at least thirty (30) days prior to such primary election?

Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency?

© 2012 by The Georgia Report

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Tags: Democratic party , lobbyist spending limitation , primary election , referendum question , republican party