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Ralston dubs Senate ethics reforms ‘more visor than cap’

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At this morning’s annual Eggs and Issues breakfast, House Speaker David Ralston jokingly tweaked the ethics reforms included in the state Senate’s rules, which cap lobbyist gifts at $100, albeit with some exceptions.

“I tease my friend that it was more of a sun visor than a cap that they adopted yesterday,” he stated in a remark directed at Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle.

Cagle used a portion of his remarks to tout the reforms adopted by the Senate.

Post-bantering, Ralston laid out what he thought were a “couple of points that get lost in the discussion,” which included a critique of media coverage.

“What it boils down to is who is going to influence public policy in this debate …Is it going to be influenced by the political class or media elites who make … a clearly erroneous perception of the kind of people in the Georgia House and the Georgia Senate?” he stated, per an AJC report.

“As I told one of my friends in the media two days ago, I’m glad I’m not (Falcons kicker) Matt Bryant. Every time we kind of get ready to do something, they move the goal post.”

Ralston did express optimism that the Senate and House would come together on a deal on “what constitutes real change.”

The speaker long opposed capping lobbyist gifts at $100, expressing approval of the current disclosure system. But in an interview last August, he stated that he’d prefer all-out banning of lobbyist gifts instead of a cap, and most indications are that the House will push forward with such a counter-proposal to gift cap legislation.

-Brandon Howell

  1. [...] David Ralston, speaker of the Georgia House, said the State Senate’s loophole-filled $100 gift restriction is “more of a sun visor th… and hinted his chamber of the legislature will ban ALL gifts from lobbyists instead of limiting [...]

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