Next Story

Bill to make ‘upskirting’ a crime advances in Georgia

AJC Watchdog: Former lawmaker’s casino letter not ‘lobbying’


State law prohibits former government officials from lobbying for a year after leaving office , but one recently retired state representative points out there is nothing prohibiting him from consulting on legislation.

In a letter written to casino industry lobbyists last month, former Rep. Rusty Kidd, I-Milledgeville, offered that he had been talking to lawmakers about gathering the votes needed to get a resolution legalizing casino gaming to voters for a statewide referendum.

“I cannot be a lobbyist for one year, but I can still work with corporations such as the gaming industry,” he wrote in the Jan. 13 letter . “I have been in contact with several CEOs and talked with numerous key legislators about what it would take to get 120 votes in the House, 39 votes in the Senate and then ratified by the people.”

In an interview, Kidd said he is a private citizen and free to express his opinions about legalizing casino gambling. According to state law, lobbying requires payment, which Kidd said he isn’t receiving.

Michael Jablonski, an Atlanta attorney and expert on government law, agrees with Kidd’s interpretation of the one-year lobbying ban.

“It does raise some questions that he is doing this very quickly after leaving the Legislature,” he said. “The purpose of the one-year, cooling-off period is to put some distance between a former legislator working on legislation and basically lobbying clients. But it is clearly not a violation.”

The path from lawmaker to lobbyist is a well-worn one in Georgia. What does it say about the political climate in the General Assembly? Read this week’s AJC Watchdog column for more.


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Politics

Supreme Court cancels oral arguments concerning Trump’s travel ban
Supreme Court cancels oral arguments concerning Trump’s travel ban

The U.S. Supreme Court has canceled next month’s oral arguments concerning President Donald Trump’s travel ban, citing the new travel restrictions he issued by proclamation Sunday. The high court isn’t disposing of the case. Rather, it is asking both sides to file briefs by Oct. 5, showing whether the case is now moot, given the new...
Barrow plunges back into politics with Georgia secretary of state bid
Barrow plunges back into politics with Georgia secretary of state bid

Former Georgia Congressman John Barrow, who was the last white Democrat from the Deep South in Congress, will end a three-year absence from politics with a statewide Democratic bid to become secretary of state in 2018. Barrow said in a statement Monday that he refuses to “stand on the sidelines when we face such huge challenges” and vowed...
The Right gives Trump the win in national anthem protests
The Right gives Trump the win in national anthem protests

A roundup of editorials Monday looks at how fans booed the players who did not stand for the anthem, how liberals don’t get Joe and Jane Sixpack and why the players, owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell should be ashamed of themselves. Here are some opinions from the Right. 1. Trump wins when the NFL takes a knee From The Daily Caller:...
Georgia ethics panel will audit candidates in governor’s, mayor’s races
Georgia ethics panel will audit candidates in governor’s, mayor’s races

Candidates for governor in Georgia are often targets of campaign-report-related ethics complaints from political opponents who don’t want them to win the state’s top job. But they’d better keep an even closer eye on their campaign books in 2018. Because the state’s ethics watchdog agency is going to be auditing them. In addition...
Trump is nothing more than a racist provocateur, according to the Left 
Trump is nothing more than a racist provocateur, according to the Left 

A roundup of editorials Monday looks at how President Donald Trump insists on stirring the racial pot, how the player who sparked the protest won the day and how the president holds a “slave master-like obsession” with attacking blacks. Here are some opinions from the Left. 1. Trump keeps fanning racial flames From the Ashbury Park...
More Stories