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Monday, December 27, 2010

Common Cause's Bill Bozarth to retire in January

If you've read a story about state lawmakers' ethical misdeeds — and there have been many — you've seen the name Bill Bozarth.

The plainspoken executive director of Common Cause's Georgia chapter, a nonprofit organization that holds elected officials accountable and lobbies the Gold Dome for more open and honest government, is retiring in January.


Bozarth has led the organization since June, 2002. In stepping down, he comments that "we have come a long way since I first joined the Common Cause board in the late 1990s. I am proud of our record in giving the people of Georgia a fair and impartial political center they can trust to hold power accountable." Common Cause Georgia has increased its membership and presence in monitoring state and local government in recent years, and is recognized by many observers as the number one watchdog in the state regarding issues of good government.

In recent years, the organization has been a regular participant in debates and public education at both the state and local levels. Its top legislative priorities for 2011 include limiting lobbyist gifts to legislators, outlawing "pay-for-play" (campaign contributions from government contractors), and ensuring objective redistricting.

Filling Bozarth's shoes will be William Perry, a native Atlantan who once worked for former Secretary of State and U.S. Sen. Max Cleland and the League of Conservation Voters' Georgia office. According to Common Cause, Perry also lobbied for the deregulation of local telephone service at the Public Service Commission and raised cash for the University of Georgia. He starts the job — and commenting on politicians' screw-ups — on Jan. 1.

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