In our present economic climate, comparison shopping has become the standard approach to making large purchases. We look at all of our options, weigh whether it is better to go with the “everyone buys it” option or with the upgrade. So why don’t we do this with our state legislative candidates as readily as we do with, say, buying an appliance? In Georgia, where we find ourselves parsed into new districts as we vote in the May 2022 Primaries and it only makes sense to take a look at all of the options on the Primary ballot like we would look at making an purchase that could ultimately affect how we live our lives, delegate our available funds, educate our children, and protect our constitutional rights.
Take the 45th District, for example. This new district has a variety of options that should be compared, but for ease of print, let us comparison shop between just two: “incumbent” Sharon Cooper--so titled for ease of election since she is actually the incumbent of the 43rd District and former Representative for the 41st District, but has elected to run in the new 45th District–and Carminthia Moore, a conservative political analyst who could not be more different from her opponent if one had dreamed her up.
Sharon Cooper, a native Texan, is a veteran Republican who has served in the Georgia State House for a very long time: 27 years. According to her own biography, “In 2002, she was elected Caucus chairman by her Republican colleagues, and in 2004, she was elected Majority Caucus chairman, making her the highest ranking woman in the Georgia House at that time. In 2007, in response to her ever increasing committee responsibilities, Rep. Cooper assumed the role of Caucus chair emeritus. Currently, Rep. Cooper chairs the Health and Human Services Committee, one of the busiest committees in the House. She was also appointed chairman of the Special Committee on Certificate of Need as well as chairman of the Special Committee on Grady Hospital. Rep. Cooper is also a member of the Rules, Judiciary Non-Civil and Regulated Industries committees.”
Despite the fact that her campaign website states “I work hard to represent the residents of our district and all Georgians utilizing common sense and conservative values, ideals, and principles. As your Representative under the Gold Dome, I want to ensure that we enact sound fiscally responsible policies”, she has an indisputable record of having blocked every bill that would protect the medical freedoms of the people of Georgia. Her voting record demonstrates that she is pro-forced vaccinations as a qualification of employment and of school enrollment/attendance.
Cooper co-sponsored HB 615 in 2019, as well, that would have allowed Georgia’s school-aged children to be vaccinated by school staff without the consent of their parents/guardians. It is important to note that this legislation was put forth BEFORE Covid-19 became a concern in the United States and that this bill was co-sponsored with Democrat members of Georgia's House of Representatives. She is in favor of socialized medicine. As evidence of this, Ms. Cooper championed HB 1013, a bill that would socialize mental health treatment by eliminating, particularly, inner city medical freedom by re-writing the existing language “imminent threat” in state law and replacing it with a more subjective term: “reasonable expectation”.
The consequences of the passing of such a language change would be to give the power to the state legislature the power to strip parents of their rights regarding decision making for such concerns as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), gender dysphoria, and the use of Class C drugs to treat children suspected of or determined to suffer from any and all mental illnesses. Class C drugs, by the way, are addictive drugs that, over a prolonged period, have historically led those who took them regularly as children to seek more effective medicative products, including addictive narcotics, fentanyl, opioids, and heroine. Although Cooper can claim to have promoted legislation that supports women’s health, such as access to mammogram screenings, and works to eradicate elder abuse, it seems out of order and more than a little contrary to the platform of her party, then, that as a legislator with a nursing background she would also work diligently to eliminate the medical rights of Georgians to freely choose medical treatments for themselves and their children.
Cooper’s opponent, Carminthia Moore, views legislative actions such as these as being outside of the Republican Party’s moral compass, as well as being, at the very least, governmental overreach. She suggests that because “reasonable expectation” is a subjective term, legislation like HB 1013 can be used to give government officials the authority to force sterilize children, forcefully vaccinate anyone who objects to being vaccinated, forcefully incarcerate in mental facilities for indeterminate amounts of time, gender reassignment surgery, and forcefully medicate to calm any objections one might have for being forcibly treated against one’s will under the suspicion of mental illness.
A relative newcomer to running for political office but not to politics is a Georgia native who grew up in the East Cobb district in which she is running. She defines her key campaign messages as being directed toward protecting the People’s constitutional rights, protecting sanctity of life, and protecting parents’ rights regarding educational and medical freedom of choice. She has defined herself as being “… a strong believer in the Founding Principles of our Great Country. Concepts like Checks and Balances, the Bill of Rights, and a government of the People have allowed this great social experiment to become the greatest nation in the world. But somewhere along the way, we allowed the Government to grow to the point that it would be unrecognizable to our Founding Fathers.” She says, “We have eroded the Bill of Rights. We have forgotten that the government is for We the People. I intend to be a constant reminder in the Georgia General Assembly of our responsibility to push back on threats to our Constitutional rights whether those threats are from the Federal Government or the State Government.” She is also
Sharon Cooper has voted AGAINST all pro-life legislation that has been put forth in the legislature or has managed to prevent it from reaching the floor for a vote, including HB481–Protecting the Lives of Unborn Children by Banning Abortions upon Detection of a Heartbeat. She is one of the five Representatives who did not vote in favor of Georgia’s “Heartbeat” Bill. She chose not to vote to allow nonprofit organizations to offer maternity supportive housing to homeless pregnant and new mothers. As well, she held Senate Bill SB456, which would have prohibited chemical abortions from being prescribed via telemedicine, in committee until the last days of session, making it impossible for this bill to be brought to the floor for a vote. Carminthia Moore says of this legislative record that “This violates the core tenet of the Republican Party. We need to know that we have people in the legislature who will stand as warriors on the line when we have Roe vs. Wade coming back to Georgia. I am a Christian, so this [type of voting record] is an affront to God.” She also reminds fellow Georgians that “50% of the Black population [in the United States] has been wiped out since Roe vs. Wade. We are now below the rate of replacement. This is genocide to our race. It is murder. We need all of our leaders to call it what it is: genocide. Abortion is the number one killer of minorities today. This fact sends the message that we aren’t worthy to continue as a race.” Moore defines her pro-life viewpoint as defending the sanctity of life and insists that “Defending life is a fundamental role of government. I believe that life begins at conception and will extend government protections to those still in the womb. We must end the genocide of the unborn. But we must also care for these unwanted children after they are born by investing in our foster care and adoption services. Our responsibility to these children extends beyond their birth.”
In regard to another battleground issue in Georgia, that of school choice and vouchers, Sharon Cooper worked to prevent HB 482 from passing in 2018. According to The American Conservative Union Foundation,”This bill sets up a limited school voucher program that allows parents to use their allotment of education funds as they see fit, including private school tuition. The program initially is capped at 0.25 percent of total student enrollment with slight increases each year. Educational attainment provides substantial economic returns for families and for states, which is illustrated by the ACU Foundation's Family Prosperity Index. ACU supports the expansion of school choice and supported this bill. The House defeated the bill on March 1, 2018, by a vote of 60-102.”
Is it not an established fact that the Republican Party favors school choice? As Mike McShane, author of the Forbes.com article Will It Be Republicans Who Stop School Choice In 2022?, says, ‘“Democrats oppose private school vouchers and other policies that divert taxpayer-funded resources away from the public school system.” But in several deep red states this spring, it is Republicans blocking school choice, not Democrats.’” If Sharon Cooper is truly a Republican, it would stand to reason that she would side with her party rather than with the Democrats on the issue of school choice. This was not at all the case. Carminthia Moore, however, feels that “If dollars follow children, this creates competition. It would eliminate the need for Title I schools, which are almost akin to prisons preps because kids in middle schools [in Georgia] can’t read. Schools are financially incentivized for classifying children as ADHD [Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder]. I want my child to go to a Christian school, so the money should follow my child.”
And last, but certainly not least, one wonders where the money comes from to fund the campaigns of these candidates. Sharon Cooper’s campaign finance records show that over half of the $2 million raised for her campaign are from insurance companies, physicians and medical organizations, and Big Pharma. Perhaps these donations are intended to influence her decisions as Chairwoman of Georgia’s House Health and Human Services Committee or perhaps not. In contrast, Carminthia Moore’s campaign finance record shows that she has raised approximately $16,700 to date. Nearly 90% of her campaign contributions are from individuals rather than from corporations or otherwise.
Of course, the decision is up to the voter, but buyer beware! When any candidate claims to support the viewpoint of their chosen political party, in this case the Republican Party, yet in practice supports the viewpoints and initiatives of the opposing party (the Democrat Party), what kind of representation is that in state government? Is that fence-straddling the reason that we are facing a recession of epic economic and social impact? Is that fence-straddling the reason that illegal immigrants and Ukrainians have priority access to medical care and infant formula under the current administration? Is that fence-straddling the reason that the constitutional rights of Georgians are under constant assault? Is that fence-straddling the reason that the protection of unborn and newborn children has become such a divisive issue in this country, a country whose constitution guarantees at its most basic level the right to life?
This primary season, the most important choice voters in Georgia can make is to choose to vote for a candidate who is most concerned with protecting their constitutional rights, their livelihoods, their medical freedoms, and the lives of Georgia's children.