Moore’s overall score of 25 out of 100 was the lowest of Georgia’s state Senators and Representatives by a considerable margin and earned the controversial lawmaker a label of “unsatisfactory” from the pro-business group.
Cherokee County’s other legislators all got an A+ in the list released this week.
The Macedonia Republican, who is running for re-election against two challengers, didn’t seem fazed by the poor marks.
“If the Georgia Chamber wants to ding me for voting against state spending increases, reducing water rights of private property owners and using our tax money to subsidize companies that don’t bring jobs to District 22, then so be it,” Moore said in an email Wednesday. “I answer to the voters of District 22, not the Georgia Chamber.”
The chamber graded the lawmakers based on how they voted on several bills from the 2014 legislative session the organization considered the most important to Georgia’s economic success in the future, the chamber said in a news release. The seven bills the organization focused on for the rating furthered economic development, legal reform, business and industry, environment and energy, and education, according to the chamber.
Local banker Dennis Burnette, a former member of the Georgia Chamber board, said the organization’s opinion can affect lawmakers in an important place: their campaign coffers. He said leaders in the business community and political action committees are likely to consider where the chamber stands before donating — or not donating — to lawmakers during their re-election bids.
“You’ve got to follow all the money,” said Burnette, also a member of the Atlanta Regional Commission. “What they’re trying to do with the scorecard is hold people accountable to the wishes the business community. There’s nothing evil about that; there’s not an unlimited supply of money, so you tend to allocate it where you feel it would do the most good.”
But the Georgia Chamber’s opinion of Moore might not have much of an effect on his campaign funding for the May 20 primary, as he has said he refuses money from businesses and political action committees.
Moore is running against Meagan Biello, a Cherokee school teacher, and Woodstock pastor Wes Cantrell for the District 22 seat. The district includes large parts of Cherokee and Forsyth counties, along with a small piece of Fulton.
Moore is the only Cherokee lawmaker facing opposition in the primary.
Though it might not have much of an effect on their campaigns either, Cherokee County’s other legislators were among the vast majority of members of the Senate and House who received passing grades in the chamber’s review.
Georgia Chamber President and CEO Chris Clark said the organization commends lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for providing broad support for pro-business legislation in 2014.
“General Assembly members’ overwhelming support for pro-business measures as reflected in this year’s scorecard prove that our Georgia lawmakers recognize the importance of passing job creation and economic development measures,” Clark said in the news release.
Sens. Bruce Thompson (R-White) and John Albers (R-Alpharetta) were the only legislators representing parts of Cherokee County to not receive a perfect score, because they didn’t vote on all of the bills the chamber considered the most important. They still received an A+.
Moore either voted no or didn’t vote on six of the seven bills the Georgia Chamber’s review focused on. The votes he missed were before he took office Feb. 11, after beating out Biello in a runoff Feb. 4.
Generally, the lawmaker may have different ideas of how the state government can foster economic growth than the chamber.
“The government doesn’t create jobs; the government destroys them,” Moore said during a recent forum. “At best it’s neutral.”