Lobbyist Who Paid For Ralston & Family’s European Trip Receives Ethics Complaint From Common Cause

Lori Geary of WSB-TV led off their 6PM newscast with a report that Common Cause Georgia, an non-partisan ethics watchdog which claims Republican Bob Irvin as its chair, has filed an ethics complaint against James Christopher Brady, a Virginia based lobbyist who took Speaker David Ralston and his family to experience the European rail network over Thanksgiving.

According to Common Cause, Brady was not a registered lobbyist in Georgia when he took Ralston and his family to Europe or at any time in 2010, and did not disclose the trip as required by the required January 5th, 2011 deadline.

Georgia ethics law puts the burden of disclosure on the lobbyist. Thus, had Brady never registered and disclosed the trip later in 2011, it is unlikely this trip would have ever been reported. Common Cause believes this incident demonstrates a fundamental flaw in the system, and that disclosure requirements are not enough.

“We believe, and have proposed, that lobbyist gifts of this size to officials, their family, and their staff, should be banned,” said William Perry, CCGA Executive Director in a press release. “Opponents of our proposed ban say that large gifts like this should be permitted, as long as they are disclosed. Even that argument, however, only works if lobbyists obey the disclosure laws, which Brady clearly appears not to have done.”

If found guilty, Brady faces penalties of up to $2,000 per violation, and could be banned from lobbying in Georgia for up to one year.


    • The past chair was a McCain elector and the current chair was the last guy who could credibly make the case that “these guys are former Democrats” in a statewide GOP primary.

      The great thing about the right is how they do their own parody, thus saving us time on stuff like this since I was literally about to add the same comment as our Forsyth county (or wherever the hell 30097 is) friend from above in jest.

  1. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    Chris, The predictability of these people comments always crack me up. Satirizing these folk’s comments, reactionary simpletons as I call them, is always entertaining, but the trick is to act fast, very fast; because they are always standing by and ready to “protect freedom”, one word at a time.

    But the “left” also needs to realize that Bill is part of the far, far, far, right-wing. He is part of the crowd that uses talk show entertainers as their primary news source and probably uses “humanevents.com” to fill in the gaps. Their idols are the likes of Bachman, Palin, Broun, Limbaugh, Beck….. These people lack the ability to think for themselves ,and are so far to the right, everything else is liberal.

    For some reason, otherwise insignificant people, like Broun and the Birthers, are often put in the spotlight by the media, to show how “crazy the “right” is.” Realize these people don’t aren’t good representatives of the right, and make the rest of us look bad.

    • KD_fiscal conservative says:

      They can’t, atleast publicly, these people probably make up ~40+% of the GOP voters. You can’t piss off the base. On the other hand, they are turning off moderate and independent voters, we are going to see the net effects of that next election.

        • B Balz says:

          I concur.

          More segments of the US population are engaged in the pol process than any other time. Through better public understanding of activism, advocacy, and the ease of involvement afforded by blogs and social media, we are able to communicate to lawmakers quickly and accurately.

          smartvote.com, many other sites, puts individuals in touch with information that was previously tough to run down. Advocacy groups automate opinions feedback to pols from Constituents. The net result? Now, more than ever before, our representatives are hearing from informed and deeply concerned citizens.

          The key is to make sure that each representative is actually voting to support the majority of their Constituents, most of the time. Or as the Gipper would say, “Trust, but verify” only not in an enemy sort of way…

          The next two years are critical for the GOP in terms of the next four years, after 2012. If we see the gridlock, doddering about, Fauntleroy of business as usual, losing POTUS will be the least of anyone’s worryies.

          In the next six years the financial burdens we face will either bury the American experiment as we know it or the genius of our system coupled with intelligent, adults-in-the-room DECISION MAKING will resolve our self-made dilemmas.

  2. KD_fiscal conservative says:

    “If we see the gridlock, doddering about, Fauntleroy of business as usual, losing POTUS will be the least of anyone’s worryies.”

    I’m concerned about the exact same thing. All I hear is Republicans complaining about how horrible the Democrats are, that worked last cycle but now the public sees that Republicans have some power. The average voter is far more responsive to tangible “evidence” of what the legislators have done. If the Republicans aren’t able to show voters that, it will impossible to make serious gains next election.

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