Moore Makes Mark With Bills Way Off The Mark

February 24, 2014 10:00 am

by Charlie · 40 comments

This week’s Courier Herald Column:

Friday morning in the Georgia House of Representatives didn’t exactly go according to script. Freshman Sam Moore saw to that, though not the way he probably would have hoped.

Moore, elected to fill the unexpired term of the late Representative Calvin Hill, only won a runoff for the seat earlier this month.  He wasted little time in authoring bills that reflect his campaign rhetoric and libertarian philosophy, and filed two of those late last week.

The first bill proposes eliminating Georgia’s statutes that make loitering and prowling crimes, and would strip language from Georgia code that prohibits convicted sex offenders from hanging around schools and other places where children gather.  The second bill would allow citizens to “use deadly force against law enforcement officers who attempt violent entry into home without first knocking and announcing identity and purpose…”

The problem was made worse by Friday’s news headlines.  Moore answered a question from his local Cherokee Tribune newspaper about repealing the section of the loitering law that allowed predators to go near places where children congregate with “I’m O.K. with that.”

In less than 24 hours, a newly minted Representative offered bills that would allow child molesters to hang around schools, and people to shoot police officers.  The reaction was swift and harsh.

At the start of Friday’s business in the House, most members of leadership  including Majority Leader Larry O’Neil, Rules Chairman John Meadows (who indicated that he held the ability to keep any legislation ever proposed by Moore from reaching the House floor – and he likely would do that.), and GOP Caucus Chairman Matt Hatchett led off a group of roughly a dozen members who wanted to make sure that the bill neither reflected the values of the Republican party, nor the House or state as a whole.

As with any good firestorm, supporters of Moore from the Campaign for Liberty and the Tea Party chose to support their man, but decided to blame the House Leadership and “GOP establishment” for this spectacle.  They began circulating donations made from GOP leadership to Moore’s opponent as proof that somehow there was a conspiracy to make Moore introduce really bad legislation.

In life, sometimes people can mess up all on their own, without the aid of a conspiracy.  And sometimes, looking at all the available evidence, rather than just what you want to see, will help determine the real truth.

Members of House leadership were not the only ones to speak unvarnished truths about Moore’s legislation.  Fellow Republican freshman from Cherokee County Scot Turner, also a member of the House’s conservative/libertarian wing known for being independent of House Leadership, implored his colleagues from the well, saying “I beg of you…this is not what Liberty looks like.”

Another ally who has been bold in challenging leadership is Freshman John Pezold.  While others were speaking, he sent out a statement reading in part “…If Mr. Moore’s mission was to come down to the state Capitol and alienate his colleagues by staking out positions that no one in their right mind could agree with, he can now hang a mission accomplished banner behind him because he has done just that.”

Pezold and Turner, along with other members who have generally attempted to institute reforms within the GOP caucus, were upset enough to communicate concern that their efforts will be marginalized in the future, as it will be easy to paint them with the same brush as Moore.  Given their background, it’s illogical and irrational to include them in a leadership conspiracy to make Rep. Moore look bad.

Moore, for his part, told the waiting press outside the House Chambers Friday afternoon that he was just inexperienced, and that if leadership had just offered assistance then his bills would have achieved their intentions without being worded so horrifically wrong.

Which brings up the final piece of evidence as who is and who isn’t dealing in good faith in this episode.  For Moore to claim that Leadership should have worked with him, one would have to believe that Moore would even be willing to work with leadership.  Instead, Moore sent out an email on Friday morning urging support for a bill which would “nullify Obamacare”.  It contained the following:

“…Before the bill was even filed, our sources at the Capitol in Atlanta told us that “leadership” in the General Assembly and the Governor’s office were scheming to kill the bill.

“You see, many politicians don’t want to take a bold stand on anything that might be considered “controversial,” especially during an election year.

“These politicians would much rather pass meaningless resolutions and half-measures that they can “sell” to unsuspecting constituents back home.

“And really, if they can buy votes by spending your tax dollars in their districts, all the better from their point-of-view.

“Don’t be fooled by the excuses and explanations these politicians will try to make!”

These are not the words of someone who would solicit nor accept the help of leadership.  These are the words of someone not trying to reform an institution, but trying to burn the place down with everyone in it.

And those aren’t my words.  Those are from one of his colleagues, someone trying to reform the institution, who knows Sam Moore just made his job a lot harder.

Allowing predators near playgrounds and declaring open season on police officers is a swift 1-2 punch to Rep. Moore’s political career, but he delivered the combination himself.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Harkins February 24, 2014 at 11:02 am

Charlie, looking forward to your analysis of the thousands of dollars the legislators listed below spent to defeat Sam Moore before he got into office. Do you think they wanted to work with him even if he introduced ZERO bills? Do you think Republican leadership has any desire to work to nullify Obamacare? No. They will do nothing this session to stop it. And by the time 2015 rolls around, Obamacare will be 10 months stronger in Georgia. The idea that Republican leadership wants to work with “Tea Party” or “Liberty”-types is not being honest with yourself. There is no “reform” planned or happening. Get real. They want them dead before they even get in office. And those who get in office get whipped on to the big government Republican team quickly.

Supporters of Moore’s opponent in the primary:

State Sen. Jeff Mullis – $500
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

Three Jack February 24, 2014 at 11:16 am

If Moore would have simply said, “I wasn’t aware that my bill would allow scumbag convicted pedophiles to hangout in areas where children play”, then this story would have died by Friday afternoon. Instead he said that he was OK with such a scenario.

It doesn’t matter who contributed to who when an elected official makes such a naive statement as Moore did. He f’d up! He is suffering the consequences of his own ignorance which as a libertarian leaning GOPer he should take responsibility for instead of trying to blame others.

Loren February 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm

I don’t think Moore could fairly say “I wasn’t aware my bill would allow pedophiles near playgrounds,” because that’s not an accident of the bill; it’s a FEATURE.

OCGA § 42-1-15 and § 42-1-16 are the statutes that specifically deal with limitations on sex offenders, and Rep. Moore’s bill explicitly repeals the provisions dealing with loitering by sex offenders. (The general loitering statute, which the bill also repeals, is OCGA 16-11-36.)

Moore’s specific intent to repeal sex offenders laws is expressly stated in the bill summary: “to amend Chapter 1 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to penal institutions, so as to repeal certain prohibitions against sexual offenders loitering in certain locations.”

http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20132014/140353.pdf

John Konop February 24, 2014 at 11:18 am

Larry,

In fairness Sam Moore was blasting the legislator publically when he ran…..He was clear about wanting to burn the house down in so many words…The truth is this was a special election, low turn out and rotten weather….did not look like voters were listening….Now we will find out in a high turn out election if Cherokee wants Sam….

Charlie February 24, 2014 at 11:23 am

My analysis is the 900+ words that precede your comment.

My response is that it’s very easy to scour the internet and pass along cut and pastes of facts that you believe prove your point.

Explain to me the equal vigor that liberty Republicans Turner and Pezold criticized these bills. Explain to me the email that went out Friday morning that Rep Moore sent out raising money (during session no less) to challenge “leadership”.

You many not like leadership, and you may hate everyone on that fundraising list. That doesn’t make the fact that Sam Moore came here to burn this house down any different. And Sam Moore recklessly introducing legislation (and then, as I type this, attempt to blame everyone he so openly and publicly despises) doesn’t make it the people that didn’t want him here’s fault he did that.

He’s clueless and reckless, and his speech just now proves that.

Larry Harkins February 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

Three Jack — I’ve seen no one denying Mr. Moore’s fast push was not smart. But Mr. Harper said this: “For Moore to claim that Leadership should have worked with him, one would have to believe that Moore would even be willing to work with leadership. ” How could you expect leadership to work with you when they just got finished spending $20k to deafet you in a run-off?

Charlie February 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

Wait. He said “no one would help me”

Now it’s turned to “how could he expect”.

Words matter, and his are hollow. and, frankly, lies.

Three Jack February 24, 2014 at 11:30 am

Larry,

Exactly! You make my point, why would Moore use a lack of support from leadership when he campaigned as an outsider opposed to the very leaders he now wants us to believe are at fault for his mistake (as a side note, I supported Moore because of his libertarian minded approach to government, needless to say I am disappointed).

The base principle of liberty seeking individuals is self responsibility. I suggest Mo0re accept this basic tenant of the philosophy he purports to espouse or find another hobby.

Larry Harkins February 24, 2014 at 11:24 am

John and Three Jack — then let’s get rid of the idea that Republican leadership has any interest in pushing “tea party” or “liberty” ideas. Did they not move up the primary to May 20 to try and neutralize the “tea party” vote?

Charlie February 24, 2014 at 11:26 am

There’s a button under each of these comments that say “reply”.

Given your use of logic and apparent difficulty with comprehension, I’m guessing this feature may be confusing too.

As for your point, now you’re flinging monkey dust into the air and are no longer worth the time to debate.

The primary was moved by a Federal Judge, with a consent order to keep the runoff from July 4th week. But given you seem to be able to find a conspiracy wherever you look, I’m guessing you have to see one here too.

Have a great day.

Ken February 24, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Larry,

Let’s not conflate allowing pedophiles to hang around playgrounds with the idea of lower tax rates, smaller government and individual freedom. One can oppose exposing children to those who expose themselves to children and still support a smaller, less intrusive government. I hope you can understand the difference.

Larry Harkins February 24, 2014 at 11:32 am

Charlie — liberty Republicans who claim to want to fight Obamacare don’t vote for bills that “Increase funds for Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) contractual services for new members enrolled due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (PPACA).” That’s right in HB 744. Get real. If you’ve ever sat in caucus meetings/orientation/whatever you want to call it (as I have), you know Republican leadership pushes “family” and other similar words over and over again. Virtually ever “liberty Republican” is on the Republican plantation and lives in fear of making leadership mad. But still, nothing they claim to believe in goes anywhere. In fact, leadership schedules elections to dilute their core vote.

Charlie February 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

You’ve clearly never met John Pezold or Scot Turner. If I wasn’t prepared to discount anything else you said, this paragraph is enough to do that.

I would wish you a nice life, but you seem to have chosen a path that will continue to lead toward many days of bitterness and delusion. May you enjoy your trip in relative peace.

Larry Harkins February 24, 2014 at 11:39 am

Comedian on our hands here. Actually quite grateful I don’t have to hang around and buddy up to politicians any more in my life. I can’t imagine anything more “bitter” than hanging out at the Gold Dome.

LeeWD February 24, 2014 at 12:16 pm

Gotta love it when columns practically write themselves.

debbie0040 February 24, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I have talked to Scot Turner and know Scot Turner. After the politically motivated lynching was put in motion by the Speaker, many were afraid not to get up and disassociate themselves with the bill.

I don’t believe Police Officers should be able to break the door down without identifying themselves as police officers. This puts the police officer at risk as well as citizens. There are many cases that police officers went to the wrong house and terrorized law abiding citizens and even killed their family pet without facing repercussions from it.. I don’t believe in no knock warrants, unless law enforcement that goes to the wrong house faces criminal charges for breaking in the wrong house. .

I don’t support removing requirements from showing ID at schools and playgrounds.

I believe that the entire thing was handled badly by both sides, but is is living in a fantasy world to suggest the Speaker was innocent in this whole process. I also think Rep.Moore was not thinking clearly about the ramifications of the bill and reacted poorly. Two days prior, he and Rep. Charles Gregory exchanged heated words in the House chamber over a gun bill. David Ralston runs the House like a dictatorship and he seeks to marginalize those that oppose him.

Rep. Bobby Franklin introduced many pieces of legislation that many considered crackpot or harmful to Republicans. In 2011 he introduced a bill to abolish the Georgia Department of Human Services, abolish drivers licenses. Where was the same outcry then? Why wasn’t there outcry from House Members over the original version of the ethics bill that would require citizens to pay 300.00 and register as a lobbyist to talk to their local and State officials about issues pending before them? Did the House members think it wasn’t a bad idea?

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 . 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. Georgia law states a child has to be 16 to consent to sex, so Ralston was going after the children that were molested and went way beyond simply defending a client.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/alt.law-enforcement/dYyFpuVBGcQ
And there is this from a Mothers group NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR FAMILY COURT JUSTICE in 1998 :”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.”

griftdrift February 24, 2014 at 12:31 pm

Was it “handled poorly by both sides” or a “lynching”. Lynchings aren’t usually two sided affairs.

debbie0040 February 24, 2014 at 12:47 pm

The lynching was on the part of the Ralston regime. Rep. Sam Moore handled it very poorly and did not fully understand the ramifications of removing the ID requirement for schools and play grounds. He did not fully understand the environment he was in and though he could do it on his own without having experience to do so.
I think Rep. Moore was looking at this provision and believing real child molesters that are a danger to children would be wearing an ankle bracelet for the rest of their lives and could be traced as being at school yards and playgrounds by law enforcement.

2-1-14.
The Sexual Offender Registration Board shall determine the likelihood that a
sexual offender will engage in another crime against a victim who is a minor or a
dangerous sexual offense.
A sexual offender shall be placed into Level I risk assessment classification, Level
II risk assessment classification, or sexually dangerous predator classification
based upon the board’s assessment criteria and information obtained and reviewed
by the board.
Any sexually dangerous predator shall be required to wear an electronic
monitoring system that shall have, at a minimum:
(1) The capacity to locate and record the location of a sexually
dangerous predator by a link to a global positioning satellite system;
(2) The capacity to timely report or record a sexually dangerous
predator’s presence near or within a crime scene or in a prohibited area or the
sexually dangerous predator’s departure from specific geographic locations; and
(3) An alarm that is automatically activated and broadcasts the
sexually dangerous predator’s location if the global positioning satellite monitor is
removed or tampered with by anyone other than a law enforcement official
designated to maintain and remove or replace the equipment.
Such electronic monitoring system shall be worn by a sexually dangerous
predator for the remainder of his or her natural life.

griftdrift February 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Lot of suppositions. But I digress. So, Debbie, what is plan B to deal with Ralston and his cohorts?

debbie0040 February 24, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Speaker Ralston has a primary opponent recruited by activists in his district. Best way to handle it is for activists statewide to help support the activists in Ralston’s district… Many tea party activists have begun to engage in elections now. Their legal status allows that to happen. Atlanta Tea Party has always been able to engage because our legal status is a LLC corporation. Tea Party Patriots recently formed a PAC to focus on Federal elections..

gcp February 24, 2014 at 1:57 pm

debbie0040
The purpose of “no-knock” is to give a slight advantage to police so as to minimize a suspect’s ability to arm himself and subsequently kill or injure an officer, to prevent evidence destruction and to reduce a suspect’s ability to hide or escape. Officers deal with some violent individuals as evidenced by the number of officers killed during home entries; Sherry Lyons (APD) Wade Barrett (Dekalb) Gilner and Reeves (Cobb) and many more. And by the way the officers I know do announce their presence as they enter with a no-knock. Of course officers sometimes go to the wrong house but its rare compared to the total number of search warrants conducted. And yes officers are already subject to criminal and civil charges if they violate the law while conducting a search warrant. While Moore’s legislation has created a lot of controversy it also unfortunately created a lot of misinformation and hyperbole.

debbie0040 February 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Do officers face criminal charges if they go to the wrong house by mistake and terrorize the residents? I have had a problem with no knock warrants long before Rep. Moore’s bill. This is not new for me. I have read news reports of law enforcement going to the wrong houses and terrorizing the family and killing their beloved family pet, Those officers should have faced criminal charges.. There is much power with no knock warrants so there should be great responsibility as well to make sure it is served on the right house.

gcp February 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm

debbie0040
All three officers in the Katherine Johnson incident went to prison and the family got a multimillion dollar settlement. Any aggrieved citizen is free to pursue criminal and/or civil charges if they feel they were wronged by law enforcement.

seenbetrdayz February 25, 2014 at 10:43 am

Kind of hard to do that when you’re sort of, um, dead.

Three Jack February 24, 2014 at 12:55 pm

Blaming Ralston for this is akin to Arod blaming the needle for his PED addiction.

debbie0040 February 24, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Rep. Moore’s statement

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/georgia-lawmaker-apologizes-for-bill-scrapping-sex/ndZkq/

Three Jack, my point is that it is a double standard. There have been many other pieces of legislation that were very similar as far as being controversial that the Speaker did not take the same action. This was a political lynch job because Rep. Sam Moore confronts the Speaker.

Three Jack February 24, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Debbie,

“Political lynch job”, really?

Here is how you and all others should handle the Moore mess. He authored the bills, he introduced the bills, he defended the bills…it is his responsibility, not Ralston or anybody else. Trying to divert attention from the matter at hand will not help Moore, it only serves to make him look even more naive and helpless.

Ken February 24, 2014 at 2:13 pm

Debbie,
All conservatives understand the Law of Unintended Consequences, especially applied to law-making. Either Rep. Moore was woefully ignorant of that or he was rushing to write this bill without getting feedback from anyone who could see what his own eyes missed.

And I say “was woefully ignorant” because he has now stepped all in it and if he doesn’t understand it now, he is beyond all hope. In addition, his blanket opposition to no-knock warrants could cost the lives of law enforcement officers who were merely doing their jobs. That is more than a “silly” mistake.

debbie0040 February 24, 2014 at 5:28 pm

Ken, I oppose no-knock warrants unless there are changes to levy criminal penalties or substantial punishment for law enforcement entering the wrong house-even if by mistake. There have been far too many cases of law enforcement entering the wrong house and terrorizing the family, shooting the family pet and even killing an elderly woman that thought drug dealers were knocking down her door.

Three Jack February 24, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Posted by the Libertarian Party Georgia – “This past Friday..one of the liberty guys got in a little trouble with the big government GOP here in Georgia….they did not like his idea that the police state needs a reason to ask us for our papers…they also did not like that he is not playing by their rules ( which have helped limit our freedoms) …. I would like to say thanks to Sam Moore for taking a stand…many people like to sit on the sidelines and throw rocks and not get dirty….Sam took a shot at increasing liberty…and what happens…that big government gop comes out to save the children ( oh for the children)…if the voters fail for the dirty tricks they are using..then we are in trouble…and we will continue down this road of good ole boy big government politics here….Also if anyone here that is fighting for smaller government I am here to help..just call and ask…” Doug Craig chairman of the Libertarian party…770-861-5855

Sorry LP, I don’t think such a cavalier attitude toward children will help. If you want to “continue down this road of good ole boy big government politics”, keep putting forth insane legislation then defending the insanity.

ieee February 24, 2014 at 2:51 pm

There is no law in Georgia that restricts people listed on a Sex Offender Registry (SOR) from going to schools, parks, daycares, or anywhere else. The law states that it is illegal to “loiter” at those locations and “loiter” has a specific legal definition that means more than simply presence.

I am listed on a SOR and because they are immoral and un-American, I go out of my way to be around children simply and only because the Registries exist. But also because I live a completely normal life. The SOR do not protect anyone but they do increase crime and anti-social behavior. I work very hard to do everything legally possible to retaliate for the simple existence of the Registries every day. And it is very amazing what a person can do when he/she directs effort at it.

Lastly, if the SORs were actually for “public safety”, “protecting children”, or those other lies, these big governments would have created many other Registries well over a decade ago. But they didn’t. The main purpose of the Registries is to harass families. And that’s why this is a war.

John Konop February 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm

IEEE,

Do you understand why parents like myself want to protect our kids against sexual predators which from what I read has no cure?

I also understand that 2 teenagers having an inaprobiate relationship should not be out in the above category. Also if the teenager obvious miss-represented age and it was clear the other party had no idea and if someone urinated outside…….

I get that sexual predators are mentally ill…..with that said, it is an injustice to let them loose on society….

ieee February 25, 2014 at 11:31 am

Of course I understand that. I have a lot of children and not only did I want to protect them from “sexual predators” when they were kids, I did successfully protect them. And I will add that I did it without ever worrying about consulting a list of “bad guys” given to me by big government. It was really easy – I assumed that anyone could be a sexual predator, which ironically, is exactly what you must do if you actually want to protect your children, and once you do that, you have no need for a big government list.

That said, I’m not sure how you imagine that this bill would have endangered anyone. People listed on Sex Offender Registries (SORs) can go to schools, but cannot “loiter” there. Is it legal for everyone else to loiter there? Are people who are not listed on an SOR allowed into schools to just wander wherever they like? So this bill would have made it legal for anyone to loiter at schools, including SOR listed people?

And a really funny thing about big government and their supporters is that you just have to say “sex offender” and they all lose their little minds. Is anyone worried about people who shoot people “loitering” at schools? Apparently they are not dangerous. How about people who push drugs? I guess loitering keeps them in close contact with their customers.

And you do realize that people do not go to schools to molest children, right? Nearly all children that are molested are molested by people with whom they have some sort of relationship. We don’t really have much to worry about with child molesters visiting schools, but we likely do have something to worry about with career criminals. But our big governments are not so worried about them.

The “loitering” law and the ridiculous freak out that people had about this bill make even less sense when applied to anywhere else besides schools, for example, parks. It makes no sense there at all.

I’ve got bad news for you too. The SORs, and especially the tag-along, idiotic laws that they have enabled and promoted, are not protecting anyone. People who are listed on the SORs are around children all time, just in the course of normal life. And anyone who is listed on an SOR that actually wants to spend more time around children, just does it. Don’t be so naive to believe the propaganda of big government that anyone is being “monitored”.

Lastly, we are not talking about “sexual predators”, we are talking about people listed on the SORs. I would be surprised if a significant percentage of those people are “mentally ill”. I fully expect that most of them are just like anyone else who has committed any crime – they have simply done something that we cannot allow them to do and all they have to do is not do it.

John Konop February 26, 2014 at 6:54 am

IEEE,

From reading your comment you seem to down pay sexual predators…I agree the term has been widen to include people who should not be in the group. Yet real sexual predators are a danger to society. If Moore had been about setting the target correctly he woud of seen support….No rational person I know wants to take the heat off real predators….it seems you and Moore, want to open the flood gate rather than fix the problem….

ieee February 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

There is no “heat” on predators. There is no monitoring of predators. Don’t be naive.

The Sex Offender Registries are a harassment system that is negligibly beneficial. But they are a lot worse than merely nearly worthless. They bring a huge host of problems, not the least of which is that they are counterproductive. Experts have never supported them. The Registries are truly idiotic social policy. Politicians and other people that have something to gain from them do.

If the Registries were actually for public safety, a hundred other types would have been created well over a decade ago. Or do you really think that people who shoot other people on purpose with guns are less dangerous than a person who may ATTEMPT to groom your child (something you can easily and trivially thwart, btw)? How about people who beat children? Are they less dangerous than “groomers”? Or how about less dangerous than “flashers”? The list goes on and on.

debbie0040 February 24, 2014 at 5:30 pm

SAM MOORE’S SPEECH from this morning concering H.B 1033.

My name is Sam Moore, and I am the sponsor of H.B. 1033.

It is unfortunate that the language in this bill has been used by my political opponents to cause fear in Georgia’s families. What happened last Friday did not move us forward as a State, and certainly did not move us forward as a Party. But first, I would like to apologize for any embarrassment this bill may have caused the members of the Cherokee, Fulton, and Forsyth delegations, the members of the Georgia State House, the people of the State of Georgia, and especially my supporters and the voters of District 22. Although my intent was pure, and my mistakes were honest, I am ultimately responsible for all my actions.

Please allow me to explain them. During my time here, I was never mentored on the legislative process, and certainly not mentored by House Leadership. For example, I only found out about the rules book after dropping legislation. I found out that Crossover Day was fast approaching, and that Bills introduced after Crossover Day would be basically dead on arrival. Therefore, I started dropping bills as fast as Legislative Council could draft them. I was afraid that if my bills were dropped after Crossover Day, then they would not be vetted in the Committee process. I wanted my legislation vetted in Committee so I could start the conversation, learn from the process, improve my legislation with sage feedback, and push my legislation ‘for real’ the following year after I had learned the system. However, I had no idea that anyone other than assigned Committee members would be looking at the legislation I dropped. That is why I didn’t question the controversial language that Legislative Council included. That was obviously a mistake. Had I reached out to other members, this mistake could have been avoided. If I had known that the media would be looking at my legislation, I probably wouldn’t have dropped any of my bills without additional consultation. In hindsight, this rookie mistake was silly. I am mature enough to admit that. At the time though, I believed that I was fulfilling a campaign promise to hit the ground running.

Therefore, my political inexperience and my rookie exuberance resulted in the now-famous H.B. 1033. My niece was there as a page that day. She was shoved aside and almost knocked down by the media horde trying to ask questions as I escorted her out of the Chamber. If you want to know why I appeared upset that day, now you know. The media had been called in to cover the story earlier that morning. I had no idea of this. Despite the media onslaught, I received no significant advice from the members of this body, and certainly not from House Leadership on how to deal with the media. Since then, I have received hundreds of angry emails, texts, and phone calls. Some quite threatening. So to my political opponents: touché. You must see me as an actual threat. Based on what happened last Friday, I request that anyone who has an issue with any bill from any member…please give that member a chance to act to remove the bill before going to the media or signing up to go to the Well against it.

A chance that I was not given.

Aside from that however, there are two things that could have been done to avoid this controversy in the first place. One is that I should have asked for more advice on drafting and dropping legislation. In hindsight, I certainly should have known better. I again apologize for this obvious oversight. Lesson certainly learned. Two is that House Leadership should have mentored a Freshman Representative who came in halfway through Session. Not a single member reached out to me on H.B. 1033 prior to signing up to speak at the Well last Friday. Those who spoke publicly aired what should have been a quiet, private, constructive conversation the night before. Again, this controversy could have been avoided with proactive communication. The following Saturday, a senior member finally reached out to mentor me. He convinced me to reboot my approach, and I took his advice. Although this member also spoke against my bill at the Well, he took the time to reach out. For that I am grateful. I then asked this honorable gentleman to find a mentor for me for the remainder of this Session and beyond. Someone outside of my current delegation, with a different ideology, and with solid experience. He graciously agreed. To prevent others from making similar mistakes, I plan to immediately drop a bill forcing the Speaker to assign a mentor to all incoming freshmen. Just kidding.

I would, however, like to start a conversation around a mentor program designed to help new State House members navigate both written and unwritten rules. Please see me if you are interested in helping out. I am a passionate, driven person. But if you believe that I need to slow down, just mention a number to me: 1033. I have politely declined all advice to use this speech to rouse my political opponents. Instead, I would rather this be the first step of a second chance. Please allow me to take it, and please take it with me.
Thank you for your time.
I yield the Well.
Respectfully,

Jas February 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Thanks for that. I needed a good laugh today.

Lo Mein February 25, 2014 at 11:52 pm

This is just asinine. If Charlie, or Ralston, or anyone else, actually believes that ANYONE in the Georgia General Assembly would deliberately drop a bill that allows sex offenders to hang out around schools, then they’re bigger idiots than I already knew them to be.

A very new freshman legislator trusted the lawyers in Legal Counsel to return to him a bill that did what he asked them to make it do. He learned a hard lesson — that you don’t trust lawyers under the Gold Dome. Including the biggest lawyer-defender of child molesters in Georgia, Speaker Ralston.

Lesson learned. In the next election, Moore will do what he did the first time he ran — he’ll win, the same way he overwhelmingly won before. And more than likely, the child-molester-defending lawyer from Blue Ridge will be overwhelmingly defeated as well, by a home-grown high school coach from Ellijay. The good ol’ boys’ money just ain’t no good any more, now that people have woken up to their dictatorial and hypocritical actions.

And what is this crap about people like Scot Turner and John Pezold being “liberty Republicans”? I call BS. Because I called the actual leaders AND many of the workers down in the political trenches of the liberty Republican movement in Georgia, and they laughed at the claim. But of course, consider the source — Charlie has always been too busy playing sycophant to the establishment, while pretending to “challenge” them all the while, to get out and discover who the actual lovers of liberty in this State really are. That’s why, every chance he gets, he sides with those establishment buddies against those in the Liberty Movement — much like that other useful-idiot-to-the-establishment, Jason Pye.

Rant over.

ieee February 26, 2014 at 11:55 am

Moore is just going to have to learn to fight for liberty for everyone except for “sex offenders” who completed their legal sentences decades ago. He can be just another immoral, un-American idiot like the rest of the politicians.

MattMD February 26, 2014 at 6:23 pm

This column so full of histrionics that it is downright embarrassing.