Friday, August 10, 2007

I hope that our Voter ID law will enforced as strictly as our ethics laws.

For the sake of our voters, if not our legislators:

Sen. Don Balfour (R-Snellville), chairman of the powerful Rules Committee and one of his chamber's top money-raisers, has been late filing 34 times since 1998, which is how far back Ethics Commission records go. . . .

Balfour has paid more than $1,700 in late fees since 1998. In at least one case, his disclosure was nearly two years late.

Balfour, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992, is one of the chamber's top money-raisers. He reported taking in more than $400,000 in the most recent election cycle, which ended last year. And he raised $196,000 from January through June 30 of this year.

The senator has filed his reports on time since late last year, and he said he has been late at times because he wanted to make sure he gave the state the correct information.

"I didn't forget [to file]," he said. "I am sitting here trying to get it right."

He also noted that he had no opposition for re-election last year.

"If I don't have an opponent, who cares if it is a week late?" Balfour said.

Hey, Senator Balfour? I care if you break the law.

It's galling. Even as Republicans deprive Georgians of their right to vote if they fail to cut through ridiculous Republican regulatory red tape, they themselves cannot be bothered to file their campaign finance reports on time, and worse, say "who cares?" if they don't.