Meagan Biello Announces Primary Challenge in House District 22

February 21, 2014 14:48 pm

by Nathan · 49 comments

Wasting no time, Meagan Biello, who lost to Representative Sam Moore, has announced her primary challenge in response to Representative Moore’s legislation, HB 1033:

Meagan Biello today condemned Sam Moore’s legislation, H.B. 1033, which would legalize loitering and allow registered sex offenders to go to our schools.

Said Biello, “Sam Moore has gone to a new extreme by proposing legislation that would endanger our families and our children. As a parent, this is unacceptable coming from our State Representative. Our elected leaders and our government have a Constitutional responsibility to keep us safe, especially our children. His desire to pass a law that will protect potential criminals while putting our kids in harms way is inexcusable, and I won’t let it stand.”

“I simply cannot stand for this kind of extreme behavior coming from our Representative. I am announcing my campaign to run for State House District 22 because we cannot have a Representative who will push policies that jeopardize the safety of our children. We need a leader we can trust to do what’s best for our community and who will fight to keep our families safe,” continued Biello.

Feel free to discuss in the comments.

dsean February 21, 2014 at 3:07 pm

FWIW, the bill “doesn’t allow sex offenders to go to our schools.” It eliminates loitering as an offense, including the specific loitering offense that applies to sex offender registrants. Registrants would still be prohibited from working or living near schools under 42-1-16.

If you’re going to run against a specific proposal, at least be honest about what the proposal does.

griftdrift February 21, 2014 at 3:28 pm

So as long as they don’t live or work nearby they can still saunter up to the playground chain link fence and hang out?

Yeah. Pretty sure that’s not going to sell any better.

dsean February 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

I agree that the roll-out should have been better and this entire episode smacks of Moore’s political naivety. But yes, why should all sex offender registrants, the overwhelming majority of whom have never committed an offense against a child, be barred from standing in a park, library, or churchyard? If a sex offender, or any other person for that matter, is at a school or day care, that person can be instructed to leave an then arrested for trespass if they refuse. They can be given a trespass warning and then arrested if they come back. There are other laws to deal with the supposed danger that people are positing exists that Moore’s bill doesn’t impact in the slightest.

griftdrift February 21, 2014 at 4:13 pm

And here’s your problem. There’s probably very good reason to revisit the registry laws. Doesn’t matter now. Because Moore screwed up and in such an arrogant boneheaded way, no one will touch that type of reform for years.

After all, how long would it take for an opponent to label them the next Sam Moore?

I don’t think his intentions were as noble as you think. I think he suffers from true believerism and doesn’t understand downstream consequences and probably doesn’t give a dern.

But even if I’m wrong, he irreparably damaged even the barest scintilla of worthiness in EITHER of his boneheaded bills.

dsean February 21, 2014 at 4:32 pm

And sadly, I agree with you on your last point – he’s ended the possibility of any reforms he’s seeking. I hope it’s not irreparable, but it will certainly take a long time.

I don’t know Moore and don’t know if he’s arrogant, naive, or idiotic. Could even be all 3. But I do find the sensationalism here to be ridiculous.

bgsmallz February 21, 2014 at 4:42 pm

It is sad that his reform campaign ended so early…I was really looking forward to the next bill that would allow our kids to carry on the school playground so that they can defend themselves from the pedophiles.

Mike Hassinger February 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

+10 to bgsmallz for teh funny.

Doctor Strangelove February 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Yep, this. When you take eighteen steps back, maybe there’s a scintilla of worthiness, as Grift so aptly said. But even Moore’s comments don’t exactly lend credence to the idea that he knows of them- hell, he used the word “creepy” when talking about his own bill.

So basically you have an inept idiot that rebuffed help from other Republicans, making public comments that undermine any iota of truth in his bills, just digging himself into a deeper hole.

Not even Olivia Pope could spin this crap.

seenbetrdayz February 21, 2014 at 9:31 pm

“And here’s your problem. There’s probably very good reason to revisit the registry laws. Doesn’t matter now. Because Moore screwed up and in such an arrogant boneheaded way, no one will touch that type of reform for years.

Eh, give it about a week. Charlie or some other FFP will have some routine editorial about how the GOP needs to reach out to minority groups who are disproportionately targeted by our criminal justice system, including but not limited to a 16 y/o who has sex with his 15 y/o girlfriend and had his entire life screwed up. Everyone will ponder and wonder why no one has the guts to step up and initiate reforms, and ultimately nothing will be done about it. So, yes, in a way you’re right, no one will touch this type of reform for years, but that’s been going on long before Sam Moore came onto the scene.

Doug Deal February 22, 2014 at 12:53 pm

The is the point that extreme libertarians don’t seem to grasp. They still think he is right.

debbie0040 February 21, 2014 at 8:49 pm

Meagan Biello got beat once and she will get beat again. She is a Democrat and only running as a Republican. I still support Sam and think he had good intentions and will work to see he is re-elected because this has been blown out of proportion.

Let’s look at who contributed to Meagan’s campaign against Sam and why they went after Sam.

Contributors to the Democrats race (Meagan)
State Rep. Barry Flemming – $500
Speaker David Ralston – $1,300
State Rep. John Meadows – $1,300
State Rep. Larry O’Neal – $1,300
State Rep. Terry England – $1,300
State Rep. Richard Smith – $1,300
State Rep. Matt Hatchett – $1,300
State Rep. R.M. Channell – $1,000
State Rep. Butch Parrish – $500
State Rep. Mark Hamilton – $1,300
State Rep. Jay Powell – $1,000
State Rep. Penny Houston – $1,300
State Rep. Michael Dudgeon – $500
State Rep. Amy Carter – $1,000
State Rep. Jason Shaw – $250
State Rep. Jay Roberts – $1,300

Charlie February 21, 2014 at 8:59 pm

You didn’t have to go after Sam because someone with power wanted him gone. I’d suggest you back away from the keyboard for a bit and go talk to the other TEA Party legislators and ask them how badly they were embarassed by the two bills offered by Rep Moore.

Don’t make the mistake of making this argument into what it is not. Moore rebuffed help or advice on these bills and is now playing CYA with the crapstorm he caused all by himself (well, maybe an assist by Charles Gregory).

Don’t try to play the establishment vs outsider game here. Make a few phone calls and you’ll see it’s much bigger than that.

Doug Deal February 22, 2014 at 12:56 pm

This type of thing could cost the Republicans the Senate race. We need less of poorly socialized misfits being an embarrassment and tainting otherwise noble causes, not Moore.

debbie0040 February 21, 2014 at 9:28 pm

There is a double standard going on because leadership wants Sam gone and anyone that is not a rubber stamp. Sam’s intentions were good and the bills were not written right and that would have come out in committee and changed. I support Charles Gregory as well.

I seem to remember that bills were introduced in 2010 that would decriminalize child prostitution and you did not hear the same uproar over that. Also, how about the ethics bill in its original form that would require everyone that wanted to talk to an elected official about an issue pending before them even on a local level be required to pay a 300.00 fine and register as a lobbyist. I am investigating to see if there are even more such mistakes or outright asinine legislation similar to this.

If Sam’s mistakes are to be used as a campaign issue and fodder then shouldn’t everyone else’s be as well?

Charlie February 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm

I’ve talked to a lot of legislators today Debbie. Many of whom aren’t exactly in the group of Ralston loyalists. Each one was embarrassed, as they should be.

MORE importantly, each has said that Sam (like Charles Gregory on the Gun Bill) aren’t attempting at all to work with anyone. It’s a “I’m going to do this and you have to support me” attitude.

I’d suggest you look at the video of Scot Turner’s speech, not exactly in the list above, if you need a name to go with whom I’m talking about. There are many others that fit this description.

To try to blame this on Ralston/leadership is embarrassing. Please stop.

debbie0040 February 22, 2014 at 6:37 am

Charlie, there is a double standard. Where was the outcry over the bill introduced in 2010 that would legalize child prostitution? Or other similar bills? I will continue to point out the double standard of the reaction

The outcry was planned. The same political consultant works for Speaker Ralston, Moore’s opponent and the GA GOP.

This loitering bill was enacted in the 1930s to harass African Americans and Sam tried to have it removed from law. There were mistakes made as there have been by other legislators in regard to other pieces of legislation and there was no public call for a lynching like there is with Sam.

debbie0040 February 22, 2014 at 7:08 am

Charlie, a member of Speaker Ralston’s leadership team (Committee chairman) introduced the 2010 bill that would legalize child prostitution. Please show me where Speaker Ralston threw him under the bus like he is with Sam. Show me where other House members speaking out against Sam responded in like manner.

Charlie February 22, 2014 at 8:56 am

Debbie, this is ridiculous.

The 2010 bill didn’t “legalize” prostitution. It was designed to give safe harbor so an underage prostitute could get help and get out from under a pimp. Even still, there was outrage. I remember it well because we covered it in depth here.

Claiming outrage is manufactured by leadership is jumping into full tilt conspiracy crazy town. Go talk to Scot Turner. Better yet, go talk to John Pezold. These aren’t guys exactly known for carrying the water of the Speaker. Both are heavily involved in working with and promoting the Liberty movement. Pezold was still shaking when I talked to him leaving the Capitol Friday from being so pissed. There was nothing manufactured about it.

You’re going out on the wrong limb on this one, and I’d very strongly suggest you take a deep breath and regroup, because on this one you have very much backed the wrong horse.

Napoleon February 24, 2014 at 11:41 am

^ Hear is where we also watch the largest, most active Tea Party organization in Georgia become irrelevant and provide the left with more ammo to hit every other tea party organization in Georgia.

seenbetrdayz February 22, 2014 at 7:25 am

Can someone check the temp. in hell? ’cause I find myself agreeing with Debbie.

John Konop February 22, 2014 at 8:28 am

As someone who lives in Cherokee County let me try to clear up some of the claims as I understand it…..

1) Meagan ran on a conservative platform. Just google and you will see……

2) Numerous people from all sides of the political spectrum were not supportive of the extreme views of Moore ie why he is in the news….

3) Moore makes points that people are concerned about ie. government control…..but he just takes it to a level that is way to extreme for must of us as demonstrated in the comments via the PP postings… Cherokee voters are seeing it……

4) Debbie Dooley is a friend of mine……we do not always agree on issues like must my friends….but she is willing to debate and change her opinion on issues based on more information…Seen, you can say want, it is a free country….but the left hand remark about Debbie was uncalled for in my opinion….

Finally, Sam Moore situation demonstrates why I look at issues from a pragmatic view point first and not by ideology first….Many people are confused by my comments, articles…..because I do not fall into a nice little talking point box… many candidates use buzz words over real policy…..I am a constitutional candidate, government control ….as you see from this details do matter….We voters need to ask about policy more!

seenbetrdayz February 22, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Wasn’t intended as an insult. I agree specifically with her comments about double-standards.

I believe the term Charlie likes to use (or perhaps misuse) is “grandstanding.” I wasn’t aware that merely introducing a bill is considered “grandstanding.”

However, I would like to know what term applies when dozens of GOP leaders mosey on down to the well of the House and each unloads in a pseudo-offended fashion onto a freshman legislator, vowing such vitriolic nonsense as “his career is over” or “he’ll never pass legislation again.” I think that is a much better example of grandstanding. Of course, Charlie will never see it that way, because of the double-standard. But in this case, I think Sam is gonna come out of this as being ‘naive’ while the GOP leadership comes across as a bunch of ***hol— I mean, bullies.

John Konop February 22, 2014 at 4:12 pm


This is a no win situation created by Moore…the sad part is the issues are being drownded out by his ill thought out legislation……details do matter….

seenbetrdayz February 22, 2014 at 5:44 pm

With all due respect John, I didn’t exactly see GOP legislators scrambling to initiate criminal justice reforms before this transpired. I don’t agree with the bill as written (though I thought that’s what amendments are for?), but everyone’s talking as if the Gold Dome was on the verge of some breakthrough legislation and Sam just killed the only chance to change anything for a thousand years. —Hardly the case.

John Konop February 22, 2014 at 9:07 pm


Moore had a chance to open up the dialogue in a rational way….instead he got headlines…..but hurt the cause….

debbie0040 February 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Sam will be making a statement this week. Why not wait for his statement?

Three Jack February 24, 2014 at 11:01 am

Why not make the statement prior to filing legislation, Ready, Aim, Fire!

Sam got it mixed up, Ready, Fire, Aim.

griftdrift February 22, 2014 at 8:32 am

There are Democrats in Cherokee County?!

John Konop February 22, 2014 at 8:56 am

Yes……small in numbers but some very active…..but from political friends running campaigns….in fact the politicians do ask for their support based on issues…as you know some issues cross over…ie government control….legalize pot, no knock warrants…..does transcend some on all sides….in a close race every vote counts….

red state February 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

Reading over some of the comments I must say I’m starting to understand why Georgia is in danger of democrats. Republicans look like nut jobs because of poor leadership that comes out of “certain” individuals that I believe has already been mentioned. The party has gone so far off that reasonable Republicans like Biello are being attacked for being REASONABLE (god forbid we elect reasonable people). Our party is in a state of loss let’s face it, instead of uniting and meeting in the middle to compromise and electing candidates that express views from both wings of our party we chose people that embarrass our Republican name. Let’s see how did that work out for us?

If our beloved President Reagan were alive today many of you would crucify him, because what many of you don’t realize is he was loved because he was reasonable. He was not on any extreme but held a middle ground between both sides. Today he would seen as liberal by many in our own party. Reagan raised taxes, created new federal agencies, expanded the size of the federal government, and worked closely with democratic leaders of the house. He may not have always been on the side we wanted but he was a reasonable leader who knew how to compromise. If we want to survive as a party we must stand united. Instead of tearing each other up we should build our party up. You know why? Because the democrats are strong and waiting for the chance to tear us apart. So Debbie the women who disgusted me most with the crazy attacks and comments CHILL OUT! We gave your guy a chance he sucked and now we are gonna move on. We didn’t hurt him he did it all on his own.

I certainly hope when it comes to an important race such as the senate we unite as a party, because if we continue these vicious attacks on each other Michelle Nunn will be our next senator in no time.

Harry February 23, 2014 at 9:46 am

Reagan compromised after he got elected. He got elected on straight talk.

debbie0040 February 23, 2014 at 8:26 pm

I am quite certain Meagan will be rejected twice by voters..

Rick Day February 24, 2014 at 9:48 pm

when you said our Beloved President Reagan I thought “Beloved Fearless Leader”

I got no McLovvin for that dawdling old poot. He destroyed the country by beginning all the deregulation that now allows corporations to control our system of government.

debbie0040 February 23, 2014 at 10:35 am

The way Sam handled the situation was wrong but he had good intentions. So now it is a vicious attack to respond to other vicious attacks? There is a double standard and hypocrisy in the reaction. Sam’s intentions was to remove a law that is used for harassment and was enacted in the 1930s to harass African Americans. He had good intentions, just like many others that have introduced laws that have unintended consequences. There was not the same orchestrated reaction.

Was anyone calling for Speaker Ralston and others to step down when they introduced an ethics bill that would require citizens to have to register as lobbyists and pay 300.00 to talk to their elected officials? It was changed after public outcry but Sam’s bill was not given that chance.There have been other similar bills but not the same reaction as they were given a chance to change it. There is a list being compiled of those bills…. The same political consultant does work for David Ralston , the GA GOP and Meagan Biello.

Meagan will lose once again. I would imagine she won’t be the only other challenger. She is strongly backed by the education establishment in Cherokee, including Democrats that have said pretty nasty things about Republicans and conservatives.

Considering David Ralston’s past strongly defending child molesters, I am amazed by his response….

John Konop February 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm


The Democrats have made no secrete they want to run their own candidate in Cherokee County via not being happy with Moore, Meagan Biello, Nate Cochran or Jeff Duncan via platform. I am friendly with some of the key members….The Democrats do have some key areas of support that could swing a tight election….

In all due respect, the local Democrats do not like any of the candidates from what I heard…Moore did appeal to some democrats on his anti government ie war on drugs, liberty……in fairness based on issues you should appeal to all people in my opinion….As you have done ie via transportation, education, Braves, energy policy…..I think this not being a special election….most Democrats will vote in their own primary.

In full disclosure I supported and helped Jeff Duncan……no secrete in Cherokee County…..

debbie0040 February 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I liked Jeff Duncan as well but he did not make runoff so it was either Meagan or Sam.

griftdrift February 23, 2014 at 12:37 pm

I thought the Tea Party is non-partisan.

Rick Day February 24, 2014 at 9:51 pm

why did he handle it wrong? It did not matter how milquetoast that bill was written, the powers that be NEVER EVER allow a freshman the time of a hearing, much less a vote or passage.

There is an old saying: unless it involves children with heroin, all PR is good PR. I’m glad that Gregory and Moore have the old farts all pearl clutching.

Plus it is always a pleasure to watch the GOP eat their young.

debbie0040 February 23, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Speaker of the House David Ralston strongly defended child molesters in court prior to becoming Speaker and in fact tried to paint the child as the instigator of sex. This same Speaker took to the House floor and roundly condemned Moore and condemned child molesters and told the press, “That bill chooses to stand with sex offenders and pedophiles, and that is something I can’t fathom.” Well, he could sure fathom it when he was defending child molesters and trying to help them escape justice… He was elected Speaker by House members. where is their outrage?!topic/

Contact: Vicki Pierce
August 5, 1998

After reviewing past records of Republican Attorney General candidates, mothers
interested in protecting children from child abuse and sexual exploitation,
have found that state Senator David Ralston has a career record of legally
protecting child molesters and abusers, and has argued in the courts against
legislation which protects Georgia’s children. Ralston promises to defend our
values and improve our juvenile courts, yet his past actions have made him an
adversary to children’s advocates trying to change child abuse judiciary laws
during the 1998 Legislative session.

In Dayton v. State of Georgia, Ralston argued that a 63-year-old man convicted
of 2 counts of aggravated child molestation, oral sodomy and 1 count of regular
child molestation of a 13-year-old girl, his step-grandchild, should be found
innocent. Ralston argued against the use of the Child Hearsay Statute and
claimed that the child initiated the sex and wanted it. In Hyatt v. State,
Ralston represented a father convicted of sodomizing his 7-year-old son, saying
that the 7-year-old was not competent to testify. This is the precisely the
reason that the Child Hearsay Statute is so necessary for the protection of
children against Father’s Rights litigators such as Ralston — that children
are not considered credible witnesses, that youngest of our society virtually
have no protection from child predators due to their youth and inability to
successfully verbalize under cross-examination.

In Chastain v. State, Ralston again advocated to overturn an aggravated sodomy
and child molestation case against a father of an 11-year-old girl. Ralston
wanted to interview the child as to what she believed to be molestation, trying
to say that the child consented to it. The child had previously been caught in
bed with an uncle and Ralston tried to show that she was sexual and initiated
the acts.

In Schuler v. State, Ralston represented a teacher in a cruelty to children
charge with 21 counts of simple battery. Schuler had told a child “to go the
bathroom and beat off.” Luckily, Ralston lost this case. Then there’s Weaver
v. Chester where Ralston tried to help a dead-beat dad from paying child
support. He lost that one, as well. There are so many others so onerous and
numerous to list in a short release.

Last fall, when Sen. Joe Burton was conducting Senate hearings on Sen. Bills
71-75 before the Senate Special Judiciary Committee, Sen. David Ralston was a
virtual ghost, even though his name was on the Bills. We, the mothers
testifying before this committee, got no support from him. When trying to get
community leaders to testify before this committee, I was asked by many why
these bills weren’t being heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the
Special Judiciary Committee wasn’t as strong, that there was something wrong
with this situation, especially since Ralston was on the Judiciary Committee.
I never got an answer to the question or why Ralston balked at helping us; but,
after looking up his legal record, I now have the answers.

Georgia’s children deserve better than this, than just another Republican
hypocrite in the AG’s office, who will not protect them in the courts.
Integrity in Attorney’s General office is essential in upholding laws designed
to prosecute child abusers, and that is why the mothers of Give Us Back Our
Children and the National Alliance for Family Court Justice are endorsing and
voting for Kip Klein.

John Konop February 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm

In fairness to the speaker, his job is to represent his client. No matter the crime American citizens deserve their day in court with 100 present effort by thier attorney. If not the legal system becomes scared….A lawyer arguing a case using the law, is not the same as his job as a legislator. I have never met nor spoken to the speaker, and have no political connection with him. I would make the same comment regardlees to friendship, party……BTW I would think Sam Moore would be outraged about your comment being he is a major advocate of personal rights especially regarding this issue ie his legislation he is proposing…..

debbie0040 February 23, 2014 at 8:21 pm

David Ralston made the following statement to the press: “That bill chooses to stand with sex offenders and pedophiles, and that is something I can’t fathom.” He clearly can fathom it for money and was being hypocritical when he said it and his statement makes his defense of child molesters fair game. He went far beyond defending his CLIENTS (plural). Defending your client is not claiming the 11 and 13 year old children initiated sex nor that since the 11 year had sex with her uncle(Molestation) she was sexually active and consented to having sex with her father.

And there is this :”Last fall, when Sen. Joe Burton was conducting Senate hearings on Sen. Bills
71-75 before the Senate Special Judiciary Committee, Sen. David Ralston was a
virtual ghost, even though his name was on the Bills. We, the mothers
testifying before this committee, got no support from him. When trying to get
community leaders to testify before this committee, I was asked by many why
these bills weren’t being heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the
Special Judiciary Committee wasn’t as strong, that there was something wrong
with this situation, especially since Ralston was on the Judiciary Committee.
I never got an answer to the question or why Ralston balked at helping us; but,
after looking up his legal record, I now have the answers.”

debbie0040 February 23, 2014 at 8:35 pm

BTW, the law states a 11 and 13 year aren’t old enough to consent to sex so he was not going by the law..

Rick Day February 24, 2014 at 9:45 pm

an attorney is not required to take a case, especially if they find it morally repugnant, do they?

The hypocrisy demonstrated on this whole issue smells worse than burnt pigs ears.

debbie0040 February 25, 2014 at 7:29 am

@Rick, it wasn’t just one case, apparently it was multiple cases. Attorneys have the right to refuse to take cases. According to the press release from the Mother’s group, at the same time as he was defending child molesters, he was not helping anti sex offender legislation go through committee.

John Konop February 25, 2014 at 9:28 am


In all due respect your logic of using a “scarlet letter” for lawyers who represent the accused helps undermines the system and our constitution. A key element was to free our self from kangaroo court system via our history.

As a executive my decisions are based on best ROI for my investors…..not how I personally feel about people….A lawyer who respects the legal system should do the same, represent their clients best interest regardless to how they feel about the situation. I think we should throw away the key on sexual predators……I also believe they deserve their day in court. And we have issues in the law with the definition and application of the laws….

red state February 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Your right John. Finally someone with some sense. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. John Adams defended the British in the Boston massacre but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a patriot.

Reasonable Republican February 25, 2014 at 9:30 am

If you read the comment, you realize she didn’t write it. Having heard her speak that is not her voice that you hear, but a speechwriter. Since Ralston is a supporter from the primary race on, it is not surprising that he would relish the chance to put in a plug for “his candidate” after all he’s already done monies in the past, this is just another money deal.

seenbetrdayz February 25, 2014 at 9:47 am

If I’ve learned nothing else from politics, it is that if you want to really know what’s going on, follow the money.

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