Am I reading too much into this? Both the AJC and Capitol Impact have discussed the poll that showed Reed damaging the GOP. We’ve discovered that the poll was commissioned by the House GOP Caucus — or at least sources (now more than one) have told us that much.
What I find interesting is that immediately after discussing the poll in both the AJC and Insider Advantage, Jerry Keen’s legislative agenda for the 2006 General Assembly is discussed. According to the AJC
Let’s strip the bark off this sexual predator bill House Republicans are constructing for January. Current law says child molesters can’t live within 1,000 feet of children. The new bill also would prohibit molesters from working within 1,000 feet of children.
Very little real estate in Georgia fits the requirements of this bill. Without actually using the word, this measure is about banishment.
House Majority Leader Jerry Keen, the bill’s chief sponsor, doesn’t contradict the interpretation: “The real intent is to take these people and — once they’re convicted — keep them in jail as long as we can. And when they get out, electronically monitor them for the rest of their life. Restrict where they can live, restrict where they can work. And if that becomes too inconvenient for them, hopefully they’ll move to another state.”
According to Capitol Impact, which started discussing the poll in light of the Keen rumor,
Keen is pushing for passage of a constitutional amendment that would implement a statewide sales tax to replace local property taxes that pay for education. While that measure would be popular with many property owners, it will also draw opposition from local school officials and teachers’ groups who think the amendment would reduce local control of education.
Keen also is sponsoring legislation that would greatly increase the criminal penalties for convicted sex offenders and child molesters, in some cases tripling the minimum prison sentences for these offenses.