Sam Moore Withdraws HB 1033 and Addresses the House

February 25, 2014 7:30 am

by Jon Richards · 22 comments

State Rep. Sam Moore bowed to reality on Monday, and withdrew House Bill 1033, which proposed reforming loitering laws, and loosening restrictions on sex offenders going near places children congregate.

He took to the well of the House to respond to the controversy that developed Friday after word got out about his bill. He began by offering an apology to his fellow legislators, the people of Georgia, and residents of House District 22, which he represents.

He explained that he dropped the bills in a hurry, knowing that Legislative Day 30, known as Crossover Day, was fast approaching. He understood bills dropped after Crossover Day, especially in the second year of the legislative session, would not receive much consideration, if any at all.

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.

Rep. Moore apparently wasn’t aware of this website, which lists every bill beginning on the day it is dropped into its chamber’s hopper. His fellow legislators, the press and citizens refer to it regularly to learn about new bills.

He continued:

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.

The time to ask for feedback on an upcoming bill is while it is being drafted. Once it is dropped, it is too late. There is no evidence Rep. Moore discussed the bill with anyone other than Legislative Counsel prior to dropping the bill. Legislative Counsel doesn’t give political advice.

Moore concluded his speech with these words:

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.

‘Political opponents’ is an interesting choice of words. Rep. Moore used the phrase several times during his speech. When I looked at his website just now, it says he’s a Republican. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to the members of the Democratic caucus in his speech.

From what I have learned about Sam Moore, he’s not the type to go along to get along. And that’s good. But, legislating is a team sport. His choice of words indicates he may be on a very small team. Unless he is willing to reach out to other members of the legislature, his ideas for reform–some of which very much deserve consideration–won’t get very far.

Doctor Strangelove February 25, 2014 at 8:32 am

Yeah, no second chances for you, sir. Because frankly if those are your excuses, I question your intelligence even more. You, a publicly-elected official are SHOCKED that individuals in the media looked at those bills that you dropped? Do you honestly live under a rock? Hell, national media covers bills- just look at Arizona. This really isn’t a hard concept. And you think that it’s a “campaign promise” to drop poorly-worded and incredibly offensive bills? Are you daft?

We all make mistakes, that’s for damn sure. But when your mistakes stem from stupidity, and your apology comes only after being forced by every intelligent individual- Democrat, Republican, and Independent- to eat so much crow that you explode a la Monty Python, I’m not buying it.

Good riddance to a bad legislator.

Rick Day February 25, 2014 at 8:46 am

Wait, I have a better idea. Lets un-elect all the other Republicans, Democrats and independents (wait, there are no indies!) and elect more men and women like Moore.

He is not the problem. The statusquo’s reaction is what is my problem. Blog monkeys like Dr Strangeshill are no doubt sock accounts for the preservation of the Elite. If not, they inadvertantly act as apologists for a stable and well monopolized apple cart.

Time to kick some carts. Y’all doing this wrong. And that you can’t see it, is incredibly disturbing to me. Both were sound bills needing tweaking. I see the Republican leadership getting their pound of flesh from Moore after all that money donated by THEM, to his opponent.

Please oh PLEASE convince me that the leadership would have worked with Moore on mentorship and I’ll convince you to buy an ocean full of salt.

Charlie: I know your well laid out position of ‘it it not the fault of leadership’ because the dome is a workplace full of, um, politics. All I can say is “them ducks sure do quack.”

seenbetrdayz February 25, 2014 at 9:02 am

But think of the poor apples!

Mike Hassinger February 25, 2014 at 9:38 am

Correction, I believe State Rep. Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville is still an independent.

Doctor Strangelove February 25, 2014 at 11:05 am

So THAT’S what the I means.

Doug Deal February 25, 2014 at 10:08 am

If it actually matter, I would accept his apology. I think what he did was deserving of strong criticism, but sounds like he learned a lesson. He didn’t seem to double down like many of his supporters would have l liked him to and he is now probably classified by them as one of the 99.999% of Republicans that are RINOS. Also, Jon, people have political opponents in their own party, this is not a shocking statement. Just look at the Republicans in the US House (or Senate).

I would like to add that the leadership was worthy of criticism as well and we will be left wanting for their apology. There is criticism and there is gratuitous pummeling and they crossed the line. Sometimes there is no good guy in a conflict.

drjay February 25, 2014 at 10:27 am

yeah but that doesn’t mean we still can’t pick one side and demagogue the other side as mortal enemies!!!

Doug Deal February 25, 2014 at 10:29 am

Indeed. I would never suggest something as Buzz killing as that. Down with the infidels!!!

Michael Silver February 25, 2014 at 10:39 am

Rather than shoot the guy, we should look at the work Legislative Counsel puts out. We have citizen-legislators and they come all walks of life. Legislative Counsel is supposed to be their legal guide and advocate. In this case, Legislative Counsel failed Rep. Moore.

This failure isn’t the first time. Over the years, I seen gun bills get mucked up after Legislative Counsel review. Sometimes its so bad, that their language does the opposite of what was requested.

Jason February 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm

This is misleading. LegCounsel drafts a bill on the instructions of the legislator. Once they’re finished, they present the measure to the legislator for them to file.

If I recall, and correct me if I’m wrong, Moore has said that he spent time reviewing the finished bill before dropping it in the hopper. He may have also received a note explaining what the bill does, though only he has access to that memo, if there is one.

Now, there may be problems with LegCounsel, but I don’t think this is one of those instances, based on Moore’s comments.

Chris Huttman February 25, 2014 at 1:07 pm

I think he means to say all Georgia legislation should be written in crayons on kids menus and if it’s more complicated than that it doesn’t need to be a law!

Doug Deal February 25, 2014 at 3:05 pm

How about pictographs like they use on some fast food cash registers? Just put a buster symbol over things that are illegal and a green check mark on things that are allowed.

ieee February 25, 2014 at 11:32 am

I’m not sure that I understand the basis of the ridiculous “freak out” about this bill. Maybe someone can explain it? Because I am lazy, as a way of sort-of explaining my confusion, I am copying a comment that I made on another PeachPundit thread. Feel free to skip it if you need to save a minute:

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.

Bert Loftman February 25, 2014 at 11:43 am

Sam Moore is attacked because he does not go along with the RINO leadership.
http://watchdogwire.com/blog/2014/02/24/anatomy-of-a-political-shaming/

Mrs. Adam Kornstein February 25, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Didn’t he drop a new bill today that would eliminate fluoride in the public drinking water?

I don’t think his “apology” means what you think it means. Someone should check to see if his fingers were crossed behind his back when he did it.

When’s his birthday, I’d like to buy him a new tinfoil hat to wear, his current one is shorting out.

ieee February 25, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Why should he have apologized? Was he trying to make “loitering” legal? So anyone could just hang out anywhere they like at any time? That is the only issue I could possibly see with it.

General Jack D. Ripper February 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm

Do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mrs. Adam Kornstein? Children’s ice cream!…You know when fluoridation began?…1946. 1946, Mrs. Adam Kornstein. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It’s incredibly obvious, isn’t it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual, and certainly without any choice. That’s the way your hard-core Commie works.

oscardagrch February 26, 2014 at 8:52 am

PP needs a “like” button for comments like this brilliant piece of work….man I love that movie.

Lea Thrace February 26, 2014 at 12:13 pm

It truly is a masterpiece comment. My tin-foil hat is off to you General!

Charles4Truth February 25, 2014 at 11:37 pm

Could this be a over zealous rep who had no senior leadership to help with the unknown and or watching out for the newbie?? Just may BE!!!

What does it tell you when the Republican party fights the Tea Party harder than they fight the Democratic Party???

Lo Mein February 27, 2014 at 12:36 am

It tells me the LiberTEA Movement is winning, Charles. Not today — not tomorrow — but the trend is obvious and inevitable. The RINOs and good ol’ boys pull these kind of desperate stunts — and everyone knows that’s what they did — because they’re realizing that they’re backed into a little corner of a cage.

They’ve already lost. They just haven’t left yet.

Soon, baby.

CadeThacker February 27, 2014 at 8:26 am

Jon – this has to be the silliest comment I have ever read on a political blog [grin] And that is saying something:

‘Political opponents’ is an interesting choice of words. Rep. Moore used the phrase several times during his speech. When I looked at his website just now, it says he’s a Republican. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to the members of the Democratic caucus in his speech.

I guess somebody forgot to tell Chip Rogers and Casey Cagle they were on the same team. A political enemy is anybody who doesn’t like the power you collected and tries to take it from you or preempt you from gathering more. Just watch House of Cards hahaha. Party structure is just a way to somewhat organize the chaos and control the minions under the Dome.
:D

Oh yeah, and don’t forget McKoon and Balfour, they are on the same team right?

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