Shaw Blackmon, Heath Clark, Robert Dickey, Dale Washburn and the other Republicans in the Georgia House have a choice to make. Will they do the right thing or cost themselves their majority in the House of Representatives? That question will be on the minds of Republican delegates as they head to Savannah later this week for their convention.
Amanda Mosher has filed a complaint with the Georgia Bar Association against House Speaker David Ralston. It is the opening salvo in a fight the Republicans hoped would go away. Democrats will turn this into a campaign issue in 2020.
On Jan. 24, 2005, Mrs. Mosher was driving her car when another driver collided into the rear of her vehicle. She writes, “My daughter Haley was ejected from the car upon impact, still strapped into her car seat, and died two hours later. My husband Joey died en route to the hospital. My family was destroyed, my son was left without a father, and my life was changed forever. While my son Joshua and I sustained physical injuries, those wounds could not hold a candle to the emotional anguish we suffered for the next eight years, seven months, and fifteen days while … David E. Ralston, Esq. wrongfully delayed trial and resolution of the case.”
Eight years after Mrs. Mosher’s 24-year-old husband and 4-year-old daughter died, the man who took their lives got two years of probation. If you think Mrs. Mosher will not be appearing in ads against Republicans in 2020 for their refusal to remove David Ralston, you are delusional. She will not be alone.
I have reviewed more than 200 pages of documents provided by a former FBI agent who poured time and effort into the matter. He found a contempt citation against Ralston for repeatedly refusing to respond to discovery requests. The documents paint the picture of a man who monetized delays and continuances. At least one of Ralston’s clients admitted he expected he could get Ralston to perpetually delay his case. Ralston did not just drag out criminal cases, but civil cases, too.
The Republicans have only maintained their hold on the Georgia House by a handful of seats. Whoever wins in 2020 will control drawing the lines for state legislative and congressional districts for the next decade. Do the Republicans want to gamble on the ads with victims? What about the victim who, at 14, had to perform indecent acts on an older man? What about the woman who was beaten by her boyfriend whose case went on for years as her memory went foggy? These are the stories that penetrate an over saturated media market. These are the stories that provide compelling news stories.
When Republicans convene in Savannah this week, they have the chance to pass resolutions calling on Ralston to go. But it should not just be them. Just about every single one of our local representatives has defended Ralston and stood with him. Blackmon, Clark, Dickey and Washburn have refused to sign a pending resolution in the House for Ralston’s ouster. If you are a Republican, what do you think about these men making excusing for Ralston and jeopardizing their majority? If you are a human, what do you think about Republicans protecting a man who had denied justice to so many?
Justice will come. The only question is if it will be for Ralston at the hands of the Republican House members or the Republicans at the hands of the voters.