David Ralston, the speaker of the Georgia House, is 10 times or 100 times the leader that his predecessor was. He is smart and level-headed, which may not sound like high praise until you remember how rare that latter trait can be among state leadership.
All of which makes this deeply disappointing:
House Speaker David Ralston and his family spent part of Thanksgiving week in Europe on a $17,000 economic development mission paid for by lobbyists interested in building a high-speed train line between Atlanta and Chattanooga.
Commonwealth Research Associates, a D.C.-based consulting firm, paid for the trip, which also included Ralston’s chief of staff Spiro Amburn and his spouse, to Germany and the Netherlands the week of Nov. 21-27, according to records filed with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, formerly known as the State Ethics Commission.
The trip was the most expensive single expenditure reported by a lobbyist