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Lawmaker travels for ethics reform
A Georgia legislator is traveling around the state to bring awareness to what he considers an important issue on Tuesday's primary ballots in all 159 counties.

Sen. Joshua McKoon, R-Columbus, accompanied by representatives from Common Cause Georgia, a citizens watchdog group, stopped in the courtyard of the Glynn County Courthouse Thursday to urge Republican and Democratic voters to pay close attention to a nonbinding referendum on their ballots.

The straw poll question, one of several on the ballot, addresses gifts given the men and women who make Georgia's laws.

"We're promoting an advisory question asking voters if they favor capping lobbyist gifts to legislators," McKoon said. "There are so many things people have to vote for, and this is the best way to get the voters to take notice."

McKoon and others who support ethics reform were part of a 14-city tour across the state to highlight the straw ballot question. Brunswick was its last stop.

His goal was to bring attention to what he considers an untrustworthy culture at the Capitol in Atlanta.

"I think that regardless of political ideology, both sides see (the government) as broken," McKoon said. "This may not be the total solution, but it is what is already happening and it needs to be stopped."

State Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Waverly, greeted the Ethics Express in Brunswick and said he supports its cause.

"It's the right thing to do and most voters look at gifts as a bribe," Spencer said. "Let's get rid of the bribes. There are other ways to build a relationship."

Spencer will face Adam Jacobson of Woodbine in Tuesday's Republican primary.

The nonbinding question will appear as the second question on each ballot, just after the partisan offices and before the nonpartisan races.

The results of the vote will be important in January when the 2013 General Assembly convenes.

McKoon said he and other supporting senators and representatives plan to take the issue and voting results to the floor of their respective chambers.



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