Readers Write 4/6

State does abysmal job on transparency

In his critique of the State Integrity Investigation and its low ranking of Georgia, Rick Thompson makes a most elemental mistake: shooting the messenger. Georgia ranked 50th in the country for a reason (“Quality of report, not state, is true failure,” Opinion, March 29). The state is doing an abysmal job delivering transparency and accountability to citizens.

Thompson attacks the methodology of the investigation, but misunderstands its history and findings. The investigation is an unprecedented 50-state analysis of corruption risk. Thompson raps the investigation for using seasoned journalists to gather data, rather than “nonpartisan ethics officers” in each state. Using state employees to answer the 330-question survey was neither feasible nor warranted.

Our research is based on current statutes and rules. Thompson argues that the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission has the statutory vigor to demand “compliance and cooperation.” That might be true, but the current agency is weak in practice.

We stand firmly behind veteran journalist Jim Walls, who did an outstanding job ferreting out the challenges facing Georgia regarding transparency and accountability.

William E. Buzenberg, executive director, The Center for Public Integrity

Why do we put up with good old boys’ ways?

How (and why) are we voters allowing our representatives full power to be the least- honest politicians in all 50 states?

We can’t get them to vote any sort of limits as to how much they receive from lobbyists. They thumb their noses at all of us and are re-elected time after time.

It would appear that the ballot box is the only way open to us, but many of us simply don’t read and refuse to be informed.

It would seem we sort of like the good old boys and condone their naughty ways.

Susan Watson, Atlanta

Supreme Court fails to check bad lawmaking

I think it’s time Supreme Court justices were required to submit to drug testing, too (“Court OKs jail strip searches,” News, April 3). Its recent vote that people can be strip-searched for even minor offenses is way over the line. I predict a lot of beautiful, young girls are going to get pulled over and charged with speeding — whether or not they were.

The decision is almost as bad as the one that ultimately made political action committees possible. Now, big corporations have the financial power to control our government.

The Supreme Court is supposed to be a check on Congress to prevent it from doing anything unconstitutional — but some of its interpretations of the Constitution would horrify the men who wrote it.

Margaret Curtis, Atlanta