David Ralston calls on Senate to end ‘little experiment’

House Speaker David Ralston just called on the state Senate to resolve a fight over leadership that has paralyzed the chamber and jeopardized agreements over several major issues facing the Legislature in its final three business days.

Twice Ralston called on the Senate to end its “experiment” of sidelining Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who is formally the presiding officer of the chamber.

Ralston spoke after the Legislature adjourned a day early for the week, to try and reach an agreement over a tax overhaul bill.

This afternoon, the Senate was adjourned for three hours while Republicans tried to sort out an attempt to restore Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s authority over the Senate – removed by the GOP caucus in a coup last November.

Here’s what Ralston told reporters:

”I have tried this session to avoid meddling in the business of the Senate. But we have come perilously close to their little experiment over there harming the people of Georgia.

“I’m at a point where I think I have to say that they need to resolve their leadership issues – and they need to do it quickly, or the people of Georgia are going to be the ones that suffer. Not just the insiders around this Capitol.”

Ralston was asked if he had a preference. Right now, Senate President pro tem Tommie Williams chairs a Committee on Assignments that rules the chamber. The speaker replied:

“That’s their business. But the choice is – we can’t have 36 different leaders or however many they have on any particular day. I think the people of Georgia voted in November in the race for lieutenant governor.

“I’m not telling them who to pick. I’m just saying that when their leadership divisions and their internal problems over leadership get in the way of important issues, then I think I have an obligation – not only to this House but the state of Georgia – to say they need to fix their problems.

“They have the right to do an experiment, but I think that it’s time the experiment ends.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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64 comments Add your comment

Rabbit

March 31st, 2011
6:19 pm

The Speaker’s right, but the motives of the instigators of the experiment are far from pure. The LG gave up the high ground by swimming in the power cesspool a few years ago. The instiagators are exploiting this. His indiscretions would and did not hurt Georgia, the ends sought by the instigators will hurt our state — perhaps irreparably — and enrich a select few.

ga female

March 31st, 2011
6:32 pm

Roy Barnes and Carol Porter should have been elected and we would not have this mess. Dwight Brown would be going to trial and Pat Head wouldn’t be sulking about Judge Flourney throwing out his Grand Jury indictment.

KILJOY

March 31st, 2011
6:33 pm

Did Ralston speak out when the big guys Mark Taylors power’s were removed? Or, is he just another partisan hack who can’t find a partner with whom to make a back room deal to help his friends and supporters raid the state’s shrinking coffers?

I hope gridlock rules the day and the good ole boys get the hell out of town before they really hurt this state.

Angus

March 31st, 2011
6:35 pm

Sounds just like APS. Maybe SACS should put them on probation and threaten their accreditation.

Will we have to ask the Feds to take over a dysfunctional legislature?

ANGRY AS HELL

March 31st, 2011
6:38 pm

Senate Republicans are lost and wandering in the wilderness of their own chamber. They can’t figure out from day-to-day who should speak on what issues. What ARE they thinking about over there? The Speaker is absolutely correct. It’s time to put our big boy pants on and knock off all this power grabbing. If you ask informed voters of this state who’s in charge of the House, they’d know what to say: David Ralston If you asked them that same question about the Senate, none of them would have a clue. Republican governance in the state Senate is a joke and is embarrassing. GROW UP, YOU IDIOTS !!

ScienceTeacher671

March 31st, 2011
6:49 pm

@Republican governance in the state Senate is a joke and is embarrassing. GROW UP, YOU IDIOTS !!

ScienceTeacher671

March 31st, 2011
6:50 pm

@ANGRY AS HELL – I thought it would bear repeating.

My Two Cents

March 31st, 2011
7:03 pm

These same fools will be asking for your votes. Make permanent notes of their behaviors and boot ‘em out!

big hair

March 31st, 2011
7:39 pm

Kiljoy … to be fair to the Speaker, he wasn’t in that position when Taylor’s powers were stripped. And, that wasn’t intra-party, so it didn’t have the same effect.

I’m not a fan of many of those folks in the Senate, so I’m really ambivalent about their little power struggle.I do care when the people’s business is adversely impacted by their little power plays. (That said, there are a few whom I’ve seen try to do good work … Butch Miller comes to mind.)

I have been very pleasantly surprised with the Speaker and the Governor’s willingness to listen and be thoughtful and deliberate in their policy-making. Very much a breath of fresh air after Richardson and Perdue.

HL

March 31st, 2011
7:40 pm

So I guess they didn’t have a chance to discuss GA’s high unemployment rate?

cs

March 31st, 2011
7:42 pm

I dont think Ralston was voted for any position in the senate or statewide, so who the $%^& is he?

cs

March 31st, 2011
8:13 pm

—– Original Message —–

To: jan.jones@house.ga.gov ( Speaker Pro Tem)
Cc: david.ralston@house.ga.gov (Speaker)
Sent: Thursday, March 31, 2011 6:57 PM
Subject: tax increases

Sort of Honorable Rep. Jones,

I was reading a quote from you in the AJC. It says, “We’re trying to make accommodations for Georgians,” she said. “Not special interests, but Georgians.”

Did you really say this? If so, you dont consider business and agriculture as special interests? Clearly, if you are no smarter than this, I question the general IQ of the Republican majority who put you in charge of anything.

If you want to make accomodations for all Georgians, then eliminate all sales taxes and fuel taxes. Otherwise, quit making a fool of yourself and those of us who, up until now anyways, have supported Republican candidates across the board.

We left the democrats for such idiocy, we can always go back!

Disrespectfully yours,

Silent Jay

March 31st, 2011
8:18 pm

Ralston could always eat the Senate.

The problem is with the "committee on assignments"

March 31st, 2011
8:21 pm

Yes, we, the Senate is a joke. It’s embarrassing. Here is who runs the Senate in Georgia: David Shafer, Chip Rogers, Greg Goggans, Tommie Williams, Bill Cowsert, & Cecil Staton, there are a few more, but those are the guys calling the shots. EGO maniacs who want all the power and were embarrassed today that Senator Hooks tried to introduce the resolution that would move the points of personal privileges but also could of opened up more rules changes that they couldn’t have accepted (Lt. Govs power taken back). I truly wish the general public could see how Senator Hooks and others were treated today in the Rules committee. Not only was Sen. Hooks’ resolution voted down, but Senator Balfour spoke to members on the committee in a very rude and unprofessional way. I’ve lost all respect for him and the members of the committee on assignments. I can’t wait until the day you are all voted out and treated like regular humans. I hope someone treats you the way you have treated your fellow colleagues. There was also a personal threat made by Tommie Williams (I don’t even respect you enough to call you a Senator) to Senator Hooks telling him he would have repercussions for introducing his resolution. A personal attack and threat was made with a finger pointed to him. TOMMIE WILLIAMS: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??!!!!! You are pathetic.

DON BALFOUR: I also don’t respect you enough to call you a Senator. You owe the entire rules committee (along with everyone present) an apology. Especially Senator Henson. Your tone and words were so disrespectful and unprofessional. Again I ask YOU: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??? Why would you think it is appropriate to talk to anyone the way you did today?!! You are a joke and I hope your poor wife realizes one day what a monster you have turned into. I do hope she is paying attention and has taken into consideration the fact that you abuse your power and have had a sexual relationship with a lobbyist..We all know it. There are even pictures to prove it. Again I ask….WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? And you actually stand behind those “republican christian values??!!” WOW, that’s all I can say..

I honestly wish Speaker Ralston had the power to get involved and get rid of the comm on assignments…Someone needs to intervene!! WE are begging you..

Last Man Standing

March 31st, 2011
8:28 pm

ga female:

No, Roy Barnes shouldn’t have been elected. If he “should have been” he would have been.

cs

March 31st, 2011
8:53 pm

Speaker Ralston needs to control the tax and spend loons in his own house. Not to mention the new tax creating one’s like himself. Democrats are looking better all the time.

Debbie

March 31st, 2011
8:57 pm

Things were set up better when Mark Taylor was Lt. Governor. Lt. Governor Cagle set up an empire for himself in the Senate the past four years and I for one was glad the empire came to an end. No one person should have that power as it led to abuse….

Here’s hoping Ralston has primary opposition next year and Sen. Rogers and company prevail..

Centrist

March 31st, 2011
8:59 pm

I believe there were legitimate reasons for Democrat and Republican caucuses to limit powers of over-zealous bargaining Lt. Governors. Maybe the current one has learned his lesson and the curbs can be ratcheted back – but this is just an insider decision. If the badly cobbled tax bill gets waylaid – no great loss until it gets better scrutiny instead of patchwork fixes later.

Debbie

March 31st, 2011
9:00 pm

Ralston is a joke. He is a Republican Speaker of the House and he is pushing a tax reform plan that raises taxes on the middle class. Do you know how disgusting that is? I sure hope someone runs against Ralston next year.

Alex

March 31st, 2011
9:27 pm

Which idiot should I start? Tommie Williams…wanna be leader of the Senate…NEVER! This guy is just not very smart. Gets re-elected because he hails from a district with people even more ignorant than he. Keeps saying he is serving his last term (for past three terms). Well, it is time for this low IQ man to go home and stop hurting this state.

Next, Chip Rogers….a man looking and living through soundbites that will propell him to his next higher public office. Never mind, he cannot pay his bills or is totally against public education – not because of the failure of public schools – he just does not want his uppity kids having to associate with the riff-raff…..i.e. – an egocentric, snob! This guy cannot pay his loans and honor his debts. Why would one want him for the current job – let alone the next higher office.

Jan Jones….another elitist who wants charter schools everywhere with no place for the low achieving children. Deep down…probably favors segregation – maybe not racial, but keep the children of John’s Creek and Dunwoody away from the South Fulton riff-raff dumbasses. Yep, she is really looking out for all of Georgia’s children. And with respect to takes….low and UPPER income earners seem to win under the new plan…the middle class loses. Sounds like a plan Tommie, Chip and Jan would love. Tax cuts for them all!!

double

March 31st, 2011
9:28 pm

Ralston has not set a good example from just before,and after elected speaker.I had confidence in him which is waning fast.

John Yossarian

March 31st, 2011
9:29 pm

Debbie Dooley is a joke. Here is hoping that some people are not beholden to tea party-special interest groups that talk big game on fair and flat consumption taxes, but when the time is right they fold.

The Senate Republican Caucus is shameful except Mullis and Butterworth.

MaggieT

March 31st, 2011
9:42 pm

Butterworth is the biggest joke of all. His home county didn’t even vote for him. Must be a reason. When Fibrowatt tried to build on Lake Hartwell Butterworth lied and played both sides against the middle. No respect for Butterworth from me.

Buckhead Resident

March 31st, 2011
9:42 pm

Don’t know how Jan Jones got into this conversation.

She is probably the smartest and most pragmatic conservative under the Gold Dome today.

Diehard

March 31st, 2011
9:44 pm

Maybe its time Georgia follow Nebraska and have a unicameral legislature. If Gov. Deal is serious about cutting the size of state government, let’s just cut out the State Senate. . . . the people’s House is enough legislature for all of us.

cs

March 31st, 2011
9:49 pm

Don’t know how Jan Jones got into this conversation.

She is probably the smartest and most pragmatic conservative under the Gold Dome today.

We in deep dodo then. She aint even sure what a “special interest” is. Hint for the kook, its the ones who have lobbyist slinging gifts and such your way.

cs

March 31st, 2011
9:51 pm

there is nothing fair or flat about a consumption tax. it is what it is, a further redistribution of wealth from the bottom up.

Serious Robuck

March 31st, 2011
9:55 pm

Last Man, are you enjoying be governed by your fellow Republicans? Do you find them appropriately focused on jobs creation? I think they’re pretty damn impressive, don’t you? I mean, could we ask for a more serious legislature who could be more dedicated to the common well-being of all Georgians? I think not. This is the perfect crowd to govern us, don’t you think?

eatmotacos

March 31st, 2011
9:57 pm

They are an assemblage of hillbillies, enjoying the good life, courtesy of the lobbiest of the day , and ultimately the state’s taxpayers. The voters have elected a group of cads, many of whom are broke, and view political office as their vehicle to fame and fortune. The last thing on their minds is honoring the lies they told the voters to steal their votes. I would place the “Real Deal” at the top of this heap.

Thomas

March 31st, 2011
9:59 pm

Common Sense has departed the Georgia State Senate!

Serious Robuck

March 31st, 2011
10:00 pm

cs, you’re absolutely right!!! But you’re not a lobbyist, so forget being right. It doesn’t matter in Georgia. Money talks. Nothing else.

If there’s anything this General Assembly cares about, IT IS NOT THE LITTLE GUY.

mike

March 31st, 2011
10:12 pm

I can understand Ralston wanting to end this mess. He does not want to take the time since it would probably interfere with his next trip funded by lobbyist.

The problem is with the "committee on assignments"

March 31st, 2011
11:14 pm

@Alex—- you must be an insider because you are absolutely CORRECT! Couldn’t of said it better myself…Just wish their 2 year term was almost up.

Concern

March 31st, 2011
11:35 pm

The reason that Cagle was sideline in the first place is that when he controls the Senate nothing in the legislative year get passed. This again was Cagle and his Friends tring to disrupt the session again. CAgle should just go play with one of his many girlfriends and let the real statemen handle the peoples business. Does anyone else beside me have a problem that the Governor, the Lt. Governor, and the Speaker are all from Gainesville?

yuzeyurbrane

March 31st, 2011
11:46 pm

People who vote against their own self-interest have always intrigued me. Are politicians simply empty vessels whom they fill with their own hopes? Among these are middle class people who vote Republican and then are amazed that the people they elect act like—-Republicans. As W said in an intimate gathering at the Reynolds Plantations, his supporters are “the haves and the have mores.” What makes middle class people think Republicans understand them or even care about them…after they get their votes? Do they hold some fantasy that they will be invited to their country club? I don’t know. Instead, let’s just continue the ideological rush back to the 19th century when there was only a very small middle class. Argentina here we come.

cs

March 31st, 2011
11:48 pm

Here’s one for the bs meter……O’Neal said lawmakers are working on several complex issues he believes will result in virtually every taxpayer paying the same or getting a tax cut from the plan.

Instead of worrying about the Senate, here’s another House goober Ralston needs to get a leash or gag on his mouth for making moronic statements. These are smart people? Chit!

Alabama Communist

March 31st, 2011
11:51 pm

More Breaking News On House Speaker comments!!!!!!!!

When press by the media on what experiments the Senate was doing! The House Speaker said! ” From my sources within the Republican Tea Party, they claim that the Senate leader had a brain transplant and it fail when he was ask his name by other Senators in a floor debate..”

tom

April 1st, 2011
12:10 am

Ralston is a joke. He rode into his position talking about how he would cleanup the cozy relationships and the free handouts. Well, he has had his hand out since he took office.

Rabbit

April 1st, 2011
1:00 am

The Speaker is in the HOUSE. The former Speaker was a problem. Remember Glen? Today, the problems are not so critical in the House and Ralston gets some credit for bringing normalcy there. The place of focus should neon the renegades in the Senate who count among them a power grabbing actor who wants to go to DC. Beware of those who would use our states their stepping stone.let’s hope this internecine struggle wastes the session. There’s nothing worth voting for in the pipeline anyway.

smart dawg

April 1st, 2011
1:30 am

concern @ 11:35,
I have problems with your credibility.
David Ralston’s hometown is Ellijay. He has lived in Blue Ridge for the last 29-30 years. He does not live in Gainesville.
But you talk like an authority.

td's friend

April 1st, 2011
4:43 am

So much back stabbing going on. Why

SouthGATeacher

April 1st, 2011
5:51 am

Hey Alex, I hail from that so-called ignorant district that Tommie Williams represents. We are not all ignorant. I have never voted for the man. He is reelected because nobody runs against him! The man is made of money. He tries to pass himself off as this upstanding, Christian, yet he threatens other congressional members. What a joke he is! He runs that district. I can’t stand him. As for education, he’s not stupid. He plays that good ole boy attitude of awww shucks and goodness gracious my Lord…give me a break. He is as sneaky as wolf in a chicken pen. Alex we want him out as much as you do!

Jezel

April 1st, 2011
6:30 am

Never re-elect an incumbent. As if experience some how makes a positive difference in the law making business. Observe what Washington D.C. has done for this country and what the General Assembly of Ga. has so much trouble doing…representing their constituents.

Debbie

April 1st, 2011
6:37 am

John Yossarian , Tell me , who do you work for in GOP leadership?

The bill is not a Fair Tax for states. Your boss tried to sell this bill that raised taxes on the middle class as Fair Tax hoping gullible people would fall for the talking points without actually reading the bill. The GOP House leadership also put things in the bill for farmers, the tobacco lobby, cable, etc in hopes of squelching opposition to the bill. Did not quite work out as planned did it? People actually read the bill and did not take their word for it.

Logic 05

April 1st, 2011
7:06 am

Apparently, many on this blog have forgotten how badly the Democrats screwed things up when they were in charge.

Ole Roy Barnes

April 1st, 2011
7:09 am

If you morons would have voted for me, this would not have happened.
I would have given teachers the pay and respect they deserve, lower taxes, increased spending, expand the GBI/Crime Lab, re-pave every road in Georgia, reduce class size, win the lawsuit regarding Lake Lanier, cure cancer and give every Georgian a check for $1,000.

Jezel

April 1st, 2011
7:20 am

Ole Roy…Had you not criticized teachers as you did several years ago…you probably would have been re-elected. What were you thinking? Your political advisers really steered you wrong.

The Centrist

April 1st, 2011
7:36 am

Last Man Standing is absolutely correct. Barnes wasn’t elected because the majority who voted said Deal and the Republicans know how best to run the State. Two thing are for sure, (1) that conservative voting majority cannot blame the liberals for this mess and (2) whether they call themselves Republicans or Democrats, they are for the most part still pre-1956 Southern.

Buzz G

April 1st, 2011
7:47 am

I read the comments on this blog and I wonder just how far man has come since the days he lived in trees.