While examining the Atlanta mayoral race yesterday, I picked up a call from a friend who was more interested in the Republican contest for governor.
The topics merged when I was told that state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine had figured out a way to neutralize many of the Democratic votes that come out of the city year after year after year.
It’s very simple. You pave over them, by building another interstate through Atlanta’s east side, roughly parallel with the current Downtown Connector.
Manuel’s Tavern, of course, would deserve its own exit.
With a laser pointer, Oxendine explains his thinking in a video on his campaign web site, at about the 4:30-minute mark:
Says the Ox:
”One thing we’ve got to address is the [Downtown] Connector. Everyone agrees the Connector is beyond capacity.
“You cannot widen the Connector. Some people say we should double-stack it. Some people say we should tunnel under it.
“I think we should study and look at the possibilities of actually doing a parallel connector.
“If you look here at the map, you can actually see we could build a connector — a parallel connector — running from the 400/85 corridors, going through this area…
“This area,” according to Oxendine’s laser point, is most of east Atlanta. But to continue:
…cross over I-20, let people come into Turner field or Downtown Atlanta and also go down here to 285, to swing into the back door of the Hartsfield airport.
Now, that is going to be very controversial. There are a lot of people living in some of those areas.
This is something that, we’re simply saying, we need to sit down and honestly look at it. We to explore and see how feasible is this. DOT did studies on this decades ago, and it was mothballed.
But such a new connector, Oxendine said, would have the advantage of giving North Georgia access to the state’s largest airport without a messy trip through downtown Atlanta.
On another topic, the Associated Press is reporting that Thurbert Baker has a new deadline:
Georgia’s attorney general has until Oct. 10 to file a written response to an appeal by the lawyers for Troy Davis.
This latest action by a U.S. district judge signals it could be several months before the high-profile death row inmate gets a court hearing on his claims of innocence.
Since being convicted of killing a Savannah police officer in 1991, several witnesses have recanted testimony in the Davis-case. Earlier this month, the US Supreme Court ordered a federal court in Savannah to hear the Davis claim of innocence.
A couple years ago, Baker got crossways with many African-American leaders when he insisted that his legal duties wouldn’t allow him to drop his pursuit of appeals against Genarlow Wilson, who was sent to prison for, as a 17-year-old, engaging in consensual oral sex with a 15-year-old girl.
One wonders if Baker will be under similar pressure in this case.
While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
‘Black agenda’ memo stirs mayor race. Nearly six in 10 Georgia banks are in the red. GOP candidate for governor finishing 1,000-mile trek to Capitol. AARP Georgia to hold town hall on health reform. Ga. Power cleared to shift funds to bottom line. Social services workers face furloughs. Women mugged near Georgia Tech campus. City replaces ‘Marin’ Luther King sign. Troy Davis case treads new legal ground.
Your Luckovich fix. Jim Wooten begs: Please don’t come tax my co-cola. Two small businessmen worry — but disagree.
From elsewhere in Georgia:
Access North Georgia: Deal addresses ethics complaint again.
WP: Obama keeps Bush’s search policy for travelers. NYT: Abuse issue puts the CIA and Justice Department at odds. WSJ: Reversal on Senate succession stirs a Massachusetts storm.
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