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Ralston Should Go

The Republican Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, David Ralston, needs to set an example of how Conservatives should behave in office – and because of past actions David Ralston, the current Speaker, needs to step down from his position.  And at 9 Republican grassroots meetings in March 9 counties including Coweta, Cherokee, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Bartow, Fayette and Camden passed official resolutions saying so.

For those not following the story, Speaker Ralston has been using his position as a legislator to delay trials, to the detriment of the victims.  The AJC has been uncovering more and more stories of people who were injured and, because of the time lapse due to Ralston’s actions are quickly losing their chance for justice.  Here are just a few examples:

  • A DUI case from 2008 that has received 17 court date extensions over 10 years;
  • A rape/child molestation case involving a 14-year old girl that has received 8 court date extensions over more than 5 years;
  • An enticing a child for indecent purposes case from 2009 that has received 14 court date extensions;
  • A domestic violence case in which the battered wife has been unable to have a trial for more than 5 years;

In fact, in the past two years, the Speaker has used his legislative privilege to delay justice in at least 21 court cases in four North Georgia counties through 57 separate court date extensions, 81.7 percent of which were granted for dates outside of the legislative session.

We in the 98th District are proud that our Representative, David Clark, has stepped up and authored a resolution (HR 328) encouraging the Speaker to give that very important position to someone else.  As Republicans, I believe we must show that we are willing to stand up and speak out when our own get caught up in activities that do not uphold our core values. Our Republican members need to be examples and role models.

Representative Clark certainly did not take this action lightly – in fact, he with the Speaker privately and could not get answers to specific questions on this issue. He is really putting everything on the line to stand up for the people who have been hurt by Rep. Ralston’s actions. Fortunately, several other House members have been principled enough to join him.  But Rep. Clark is now facing childish behavior from many Republican House members who would rather stand with a bully than stand on principle.  But just like he did when he was on active duty in the middle east, David is not backing down.  In five years he wants to be able to look back and tell people that he was willing to take a stand for those that could not fight for themselves.

And there will be more of these tragic stories to come.  Rep. Clark has had people contact him explaining how Ralston’s tactics have enabled those accused of crimes to live free and avoid their day in court.  One man even stated that everyone knew that if you didn’t want to be convicted, just pay Ralston $20,000 and your case would never go to court.  The AJC is now investigating even more cases of abuse.

One more word before I go – Ralston is now saying he will take no new clients until these old cases are closed out and he promises to be a good Speaker in the future.  Many conservative representatives are using this a reason to excuse his behavior.  But most of us know he is ONLY changing this practice because he got caught.  If the AJC hadn’t uncovered this, it would be business as usual.  And we have to wonder – how many other things are there that have not been discovered?

What can you do?

Please take just a minute and call or, even easier, email some of the Republican Representative at the State House. If enough of us do this I promise it will have an effect!  This is a House Resolution, so it was not affected by Crossover day.  A Resolution only has to pass one chamber, so if the House Leadership lets it come up for a vote then it could pass in the next few weeks.

Below is the basic contact info for the current Republican House Members.  Members who are supporting the resolution, as of this writing, are Kevin Cooke, David Stover, Jeff Jones, Sheri Gilligan, Ken Pullin, and Karen Mathiak.  But David needs 91 to join him!

Fist Name Last Name Phone Email
Mandi Ballinger 404.656.7153 mandi.ballinger@house.ga.gov
Timothy Barr 404.656.0298 timothy.barr@house.ga.gov
Matt Barton 404.656.0325 matt.barton@house.ga.gov
Dave Belton 404.656.3947 dc.belton@house.ga.gov
Tommy Benton 404.656.5126 tommy.benton@house.ga.gov
Shaw Blackmon 404.463.7853 shaw.blackmon@house.ga.gov
Josh Bonner 404.656.0254 josh.bonner@house.ga.gov
Jon Burns 404.656.5052 jon.burns@house.ga.gov
Michael Caldwell 404.656.0152 michael.caldwell@house.ga.gov
Wes Cantrell 404.656.0152 wes.cantrell@house.ga.gov
Kasey Carpenter 404.656.1803 kasey.carpenter@house.ga.gov
John Carson 404.656.0287 john.carson@house.ga.gov
Mike Cheokas 404.656.0152 mike.cheokas@house.ga.gov
David Clark 404.656.0298 david.clark@house.ga.gov

(Author of the bill)

Heath Clark 404.656.0213 heath.clark@house.ga.gov
J Collins 404.656.1803 j.collins@house.ga.gov
Kevin Cooke 404.656.0188 kevin.cooke@house.ga.gov

Co-Sponsor

Sharon Cooper 404.656.5069 sharon.cooper@house.ga.gov
John Corbett 404.656.0213 john.corbett@house.ga.gov
Katie Dempsey 404.463-2248 katie.dempsey@house.ga.gov
Robert Dickey 404.463.2246 robert.dickey@house.ga.gov
Matt Dollar 404.463.7853 matt.dollar@house.ga.gov
Matt Dubnik 404.656.0213 matt.dubnik@house.ga.gov
Emory Dunahoo, Jr. 404.656.0152 emory.dunahoo@house.ga.gov
Chuck Efstration 404.656.5105 chuck.efstration@house.ga.gov
Ginny Ehrhart 404.656.0152 ginny.ehrhart@house.ga.gov
Terry England 404.463.2245 terry.england@house.ga.gov
Chris Erwin 404.656.0188 chris.erwin@house.ga.gov
Barry Fleming 404.656.5125 barry.fleming@house.ga.gov
Houston Gaines 404.656.0325 houston.gaines@house.ga.gov
Matthew Gambill 404.656.0254 matthew.gambill@house.ga.gov
Sheri Gilligan 404.656.0325 sheri.gilligan@house.ga.gov

Co-Sponsor

Micah Gravley 404.463.8143 micah.gravley@house.ga.gov
Gerald Greene 404.656.5105 gerald.greene@house.ga.gov
Joseph Gullett 404.656.0177 joseph.gullett@house.ga.gov
Matt Gurtler 404.656.0188 matt.gurtler@house.ga.gov
Brett Harrell 404.656.5103 brett.harrell@house.ga.gov
Matt Hatchett 404.656.5025 matt.hatchett@house.ga.gov
Lee Hawkins 404.656.7855 lee.hawkins@house.ga.gov
Dewayne Hill 404.656.0325 dewayne.hill@house.ga.gov
Bill Hitchens 404.463.7855 bill.hitchens@house.ga.gov
Don Hogan 404.656.0177 don.hogan@house.ga.gov
Susan Holmes 404.656.5132 susan.holmes@house.ga.gov
Penny Houston 404.463.2248 penny.houston@house.ga.gov
Rick Jasperse 404.656.5943 rick.jasperse@house.ga.gov
Jan Jones 404.656.5072 jan.jones@house.ga.gov
Jeff Jones 404.656.0178 jeff.jones@house.ga.gov

Co-Sponser

Todd Jones 404.656.0213 todd.jones@house.ga.gov
Trey Kelley 404.656.5024 trey.kelley@house.ga.gov
Tom Kirby 404.656.0177 tom.kirby@house.ga.gov
David Knight 404.463.2248 david.knight@house.ga.gov
John LaHood 404.656.0177 john.lahood@house.ga.gov
Dominic Lariccia 404.651.7737 dominic.lariccia@house.ga.gov
Jodi Lott 404.651.7737 jodi.lott@house.ga.gov
Eddie Lumsden 404.656.5087 eddie.lumsden@house.ga.gov
Chuck Martin 404.656.5064 chuck.martin@house.ga.gov
Karen Mathiak 404.656.0298 karen.mathiak@house.ga.gov
Danny Mathis 404.656.0152 danny.mathis@house.ga.gov
Tom McCall 404.656.5099 tom.mccall@house.ga.gov
Steven Meeks 404.656.0177 steven.meeks@house.ga.gov
Martin Momtahan 404.656.0177 martin.momtahan@house.ga.gov
Colton Moore 404.656.0325 colton.moore@house.ga.gov
Greg Morris 404.656.5115 greg.morris@house.ga.gov
Marc Morris 404.656.0298 mark.morris@house.ga.gov
Mark Newton 404.656.0254 mark.newton@house.ga.gov
Randy Nix 404.656.5146 randy.nix@house.ga.gov
Butch Parrish 404.463.2246 larry.parrish@house.ga.gov
Don Parsons 404.656.7853 don.parsons@house.ga.gov
Jesse Petrea 404.657.1803 jesse.petrea@house.ga.gov
Clay Pirkle 404.656.0188 clay.pirkle@house.ga.gov
Alan Powell 404.463.3793 alan.powell@house.ga.gov
Jay Powell 404.656.5141 jay.powell@house.ga.gov
Jimmy Pruett 404.656.5143 jimmy.pruett@house.ga.gov
Ken Pullin 404.656.0188 ken.pullin@house.ga.gov

Co-Sponsor

David Ralston 404.656.5020 david.ralston@house.ga.gov
Bert Reeves 404.651.7737 bert.reeves@house.ga.gov
Trey Rhodes 404.656.5099 trey.rhodes@house.ga.gov
Bonnie Rich 404.656.0254 bonnie.rich@house.ga.gov
Jason Ridley 404.656.0325 jason.ridley@house.ga.gov
Terry Rogers 404.651.7737 terry.rogers@house.ga.gov
Dale Rutledge 404.656.0254 dale.rutledge@house.ga.gov
Ed Rynders 404.656.6801 ed.rynders@house.ga.gov
Steven Sainz 404.656.0177 steven.sainz@house.ga.gov
Mitchell Scoggins 404.656.0325 mitchell.scoggins@house.ga.gov
Ed Setzler 404.656.7857 ed.setzler@house.ga.gov
Deborah Silcox 404.656.3949 deborah.silcox@house.ga.gov
Lynn Smith 404.656.7149 lynn.smith@house.ga.gov
Richard Smith 404.656.6831 richard.smith@house.ga.gov
Vance Smith 404.656.0254 vance.smith@house.ga.gov
Ron Stephens 404.656.5115 ron.stephens@house.ga.gov
David Stover 404.656.0177 david.stover@house.ga.gov

Co-Sponsor

Jan Tankersley 404.656.7855 jan.tankersley@house.ga.gov
Kevin Tanner 404.656.9210 kevin.tanner@house.ga.gov
Steve Tarvin 404.463.3793 steve.tarvin@house.ga.gov
Darlene Taylor 404.656.0109 darlene.taylor@house.ga.gov
Scot Turner 404.656.0152 scot.turner@house.ga.gov
Dale Washburn 404.656.0152 dale.washburn@house.ga.gov
Sam Watson 404.463.2246 sam.watson@house.ga.gov
Andy Welch 404.656.5912 andy.welch@house.ga.gov
Bill Werkheiser 404.463.7857 william.werkheiser@house.ga.gov
Marcus Wiedower 404.656.0325 marcus.wiedower@house.ga.gov
Noel Williams 404.656.0254 noel.williams@house.ga.gov
Rick Williams 404.656.0287 rick.williams@house.ga.gov
Bruce Williamson 404.656.5024 bruce.williamson@house.ga.gov

 

I have sent emails specifically to the Representatives that I know.  While each one was different, by way of example, here is the email I sent to Representative Tim Barr:

Tim:

While you are not my Representative, I have had the pleasure of speaking with you several times and based on those conversations and your work in the House I am confident that you are a man of integrity.

So I am asking that you please help my Representative, David Clark, and join him as a sponsor of his resolution 328 to encourage David Ralston to resign his role as Speaker.

As Republicans, I believe we must show that we are willing to stand up and speak out when our own get caught up in activities that do not uphold our core values. Our Republican members should be examples and role models.

David Clark met with the Speaker privately and could not get answers to specific questions on this issue. He is really putting everything on the line to stand up for the people who have been hurt by Rep. Ralston’s actions. Fortunately, several other House members have been principled enough to join him, and I hope that you will consider helping him out in this effort as well.

Sincerely,

David Hancock
Suwanee, GA