Jerry Keen

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.


  1. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    Good point being made across the state now and in the media that Reed has the potential to seriously damage GOP chances for holding offices that it took us many, many years to win. That is unacceptable and if Reed wanted to “take one for the party” to show his loyalty, he would drop out now or in the very near future. I suspect he would have a much brighter future in the GA Republican party in a behind the scenes role if he did that. My opinion is he will have no role whatsoever if he stays in the race much longer.

    As for Jerry Keen, he is doing a very good job at the Majority Leader in the House. However, there is no way he can have the authority or status at LT Gov in a Senate dominated by the President Pro Temp as he has right now being the partner of the Speaker of the House.

    As a barometer, watch during the next session, the school funding reform bill Jerry will get through the House. If it passes the Senate, I see that as a green light for Jerry. If it doesnt, chalk it up to the long knives in the Senate slicing and dicing his chances. It would be a clear message that Jerry is considered a pretender to the throne and should be the writing on the wall for his chances.

  2. Silence says:

    UW2005, there you go again with that twisted logic and reasoning that applies sometimes, and sometimes it doesn’t. Do I hear you saying that the Senate is dominated by the President Pro Tem, so the LG won’t have much power anyway?

    Now, I challenge someone to rationalize to me how Reed is going to hurt other Republicans on the ticket. Not from the standpoint of a political operative. Explain to me why, when a voter gets to the polls, they will look at Ralph’s name and go, “Eww, stinky, I think I’ll vote Democrat this time…”

    Now, Bill, don’t interpret that as me being sold out for Ralph. I too, am getting sick of the whole Reed scandal. Who am I voting for? Remains to be seen. As an operative, it turns my nose. As an average voter? I haven’t even paid attention to this stuff.

    Do you folks realize something? Me, Erick, Bull, Decaturguy, Bobby, Rebel, landman, Melb, all of us…we’re in an echo chamber. That’s right, an echo chamber, where we all (or so it seems) eats, drinks, and breathes this giant chess game we call politics. I do. But, over the weekend, while I was at the Georgia game, I took the liberty of asking around. The average voter doesn’t know about the Reed scandal, nor do they care. They barely know that Tom DeLay has been indicted. Once again I remind you: to count on the corporate intelligence of the voting electorate is a habit of extreme error.

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Silence…did you ask your fellow Dawg-football game attenedees if they were registered to VOTE?

    You see, you presume that “Average-Joe Bob” on the street or in the stands of a football game even votes to start with.

    Only 50% of the population in this state is even registered to vote, and of that, perhaps 50% can be relied upon to know the value of their voting registration and vote with any frequency.

    So, of the quantity of your “fellow football fans” you asked on Saturday whether they knew who Ralph was, on average, 50% of them wouldn’t know because 50% of them don’t even care enough to register to vote to take part. People tend not to care about news that doesn’t affect them.

  4. Bill Simon says:

    As far as what would an average voter do when they got to the polls, I think you’re looking at close to 20% of the turnout that is independent of any true party affiliation.

    These average people do pay attention to the world around them, and, because they hold no allegiance to the principles of either major party, they tend to vote based on their emotions.

    Emotions about a candidate, or their party, carry far more weight than logic in the decision-making process. Ever took a multiple-choice test? (I mean, before you got to UGA where you had a choice of bottled or draft).

    If it gets down to the General Election, and the only thing that has a big impression stamped on people’s psyche is that “Ralph Reed did this” and “Ralph Reed did that” and “Ralph Reed and Jack Abram-cough and Tom DeLay and Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney are ALL in the same political party, then I don’t know who these other candidates are on this ballot, but that Republican Party looks like a bunch of yahoos I don’t want in government, so, I’ll vote against this one…..and this one….and, this one…what’s this “I” next to their name?..oh, nevermind, I’m STILL voting against anyone with an “R” next to their name…”, well, that is how the elections of Republicans up-and-down the ballot can be lost.

  5. kspencer says:

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. For most of the voters, this is “so what” time in terms of politics and elections.

    If Ralph can get himself clear of the stuff by February, all the noise right now won’t mean a thing. On the other hand, if he hasn’t cleared it by then, the constant background noise of the preceding months will add to the weight people give it. Think of it as subliminal advertising on CC’s part.

    As to Reed’s situation’s impact on the rest of the races, I’m going to again say it depends on whether it’s cleared or not. I figure that the Democrats are going to have a major “clean up the corruption” plank in 2006 at the national level, and they’ll try to leverage that for state-wide elections as well. It will be hard to do that directly as most of the politicians (on both sides) are relatively clean. But if Ralph is still in the running then there’s a sticky patch for the Dem plank. Depending on candidate it’s good for anywhere from 2 to 10 percent. The voters may not decide to swap party, but they may throw up their hands and stay home over it.

    That is, I admit, an analysis done with bias. I don’t like Ralph Reed. I came to despise him years ago while he still was top dog in the Christian Coalition – when I read his book on taking power and came to ask myself, “This is Christian behavior?” However, I’ve tried to keep personal opinion out of it and look at it solely on a strategic level. And the fact is he carries baggage from the national level, baggage that’s getting air time. If he can’t shed that baggage before most of the potential voters start paying attention, he’ll have to work harder to overcome the handicap. Not saying he can’t, just that it’s going to be harder.


  6. Silence says:

    Kirk makes a convincing argument. I tend to agree that if this stuff disappears by Feburary, the emotion that the people will vote upon will be driven by Ralph’s massive media campaign.

    Bill, you make the assumption that I failed to ask them FIRST if they vote. I did ask them that, before even broaching the other subject.

    I spoke with a friend who works on the Hill this morning…tremors of a possible Democratic call for a Cheney impeachment make this situation even more interesting.

  7. Bill Simon says:

    What exactly does “cleared” mean? There’s nothing “clear” about hypocrisy.

    Silence, kudos for axing your drunken fellows if they were voters are not. Still, your little survey is yet another “echo chamber” unless your sample was at least 32 people in size.

  8. stephaniemills21 says:

    Do you people really think that Reed’s problems will end when the news coverage ends. THINK TV ADS. That is where this will be fun, especially with all of the headlines that the press has provided. Cagle will use them to his advantage in the primary and if Reed wins (which I hope he does), the Dem candidate will use them and so will every other Dem candidate. Pictures of Reed and Perdue, Reed and State Legislators, etc, etc.

  9. Silence says:

    CC has to have money to do that. I highly doubt he’ll have enough cash to overwhelm Reed in a media campaign.

  10. Romegaguy says:

    I would be willing to bet… wait I cant do that no matter the efforts of Ralph to assist Americans in that area…. so instead let me say that 1) Casey will have more than enough money to define himself AND his opponent in the primary and 2) we will probably see ads from either the Little Guy or from Mr. Uberliberal (the Dems running for Lt Gov) explaining to voters why they are the best candidate to fight the “ethically challenged GOP” in the November elections (I am guessing at their words, not neccessarily my own). Heck, maybe Cathy or Mark will join in on the pounding, too.

    Back to the poll by the House caucus.. couldnt it be the poll was commissioned to see if the charges leveled by certain state senators a month or so ago (as well as part of the general convential wisdom of most of us) about Ralph bringing down the GOP ticket in the General election next year have any validity?

  11. buzzbrockway says:

    “Back to the poll by the House caucus.. couldnt it be the poll was commissioned to see if the charges leveled by certain state senators a month or so ago (as well as part of the general convential wisdom of most of us) about Ralph bringing down the GOP ticket in the General election next year have any validity?”


    I think Romegaguy has got it.

    Now the question is: Does the data suggest that Reed is a drag or more importantly, does the House GOP Caucus think it did?

  12. Silence says:

    RomeGaGuy makes a good point. That makes alot of sense, although I thikn the question is, as Buzz put it, does the data actually say that, or is it just that people THINK that’s what the data says?

  13. Bill Simon says:

    Since I’ve yet to witness “data” talking in public, I’d venture to guess it is what people think the data says. That is, ASSUMING the data is correct. Polls can be manipulated in so many ways, either deliberately, or by by the very incompetence of the person running the poll.

  14. Bull Moose says:

    Umm… The average voter knows that the mess in Washington DC sounds corrupt and that the Republicans are in charge. They know that Ralph Reed and Tom DeLay have something to do about it.

    I would guess that the average voter is going to vote against the Republicans or simply not vote.

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