One of the topics that has come up lately in the Presidential debates is entitlement reform. This blog post has perhaps a different take on the issue. What about entitlement reform for our elected officials? Previously, I've talked about some ethical issues with campaign finance and lobbyist gifts. But what about those of our elected officials who are asleep on the job? Literally. (See included image that I received of Commissioner Stan Wise sleeping during a hearing.)
Statewide officials in Georgia are paid six figure salaries and are provided a taxpayer-paid for vehicle to commute back and forth to work (yes, Mr. Wise even uses one to commute back and forth from Marietta... Chuck Eaton has declined this benefit). They are expected to work a minimum of 40 hours a week, have 12 holidays throughout the year as well as other benefits, and should answer to the taxpayers who put them into office. Meanwhile, 4 out of 5 of the Public Service Commissioners (Tim Echols not included) receive a majority of their campaign contributions from the executives, lobbyists, and attorneys for the utilities that they are charged with regulating.
So far this election cycle, the incumbent in the district 5 seat was unable to debate his primary opponent at the Atlanta Press Club debate due to eye surgery, has refused the APC debate October 21st, didn't respond to the Sierra Club of Georgia's questionnaire, didn't respond to the League of Women Voters of Georgia "2012 Georgia Voter Guide" questions, and has generally been unavailable to anyone but campaign contributors. Perhaps he believes he is now entitled to the position he has held for 18 years now. But voters should certainly question why a public official in the stature of this office refuses to make himself available to the public - especially with the number of questionable situations that have come to light over the years.
You can find my answers to the 2012 Georgia Voter Guide here: http://c3.thevoterguide.org/v/ajc12/race-detail.do?id=10666194
Do you believe elected officials are entitled to the positions they hold? Or is it perhaps better to vote in change from time to time?
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