On Monday, the Georgia GOP again plunged deeply into the legislative record of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, launching an ad that assailed her vote against a sex offender crackdown as “too extreme for Georgia.”
The 30-second spot targets her opposition to a 2008 bill that reinstated a range of restrictions that limited offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of a broad range of places where children gather, including schools, churches, community swimming pools and bus stops.
The Republican measure was pushed as a public safety necessity to safeguard children, and was designed to answer a 2007 Georgia Supreme Court ruling that struck down even broader restrictions that were hailed as the toughest in the nation. The lead author was David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, who is now the House speaker.
The measure faced stiff opposition from some Democrats and civil liberties groups who argued it was too onerous. The locations of school bus stops, for instance, change from year to year. Ultimately, the legislation drove many offenders to desolate areas where few services were available. At one point, a tent city of homeless sex offenders was discovered in the woods behind a Marietta office park.