Georgia officialdom is getting very nervous about next year’s votes for regional tax districts to pay for better transportation in the state.
Half of the state’s mayors and other city officials think the ballot issues are doomed, according to an annual survey conducted by the Georgia Municipal Association.
In 2010, one-third of mayors polled thought the measure – just adopted by the Legislature – had a chance. That’s now down to 19 percent. Says the GMA:
There was no region in the state where more city officials thought the regional transportation tax would pass than not pass, compared to three regions in 2010. Only two regions had a higher percentage of city officials responding “Don’t Know” than “No.”
The region with the highest percentage of city officials that thought the regional transportation tax would pass is the Atlanta Regional Commission at just over 30%. Not one city official from the Three Rivers region thought the tax would pass.
See the entire report here. The survey was emailed to 2450 mayors, council members, managers and clerks. GMA received 609 responses for a response rate of 25 percent.
At the tail end of an interview with Gov. Nathan Deal about the impact of HB 87, Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) asked if an attempt would be made in this summer’s special session of the Legislature to resolve the constitutional dilemma over charter schools in Georgia.
Deal said it’s unlikely. “I do not expect that at this point,” the governor said – though the matter’s still under discussion.
This is the story that everyone in the state Capitol is talking about today. From my AJC colleagues Aaron Gould Sheinin and James Salzer:
The head of the state ethics commission said it was no coincidence that she is being pushed from her job while pursuing an investigation into Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign.
In an email obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Stacey Kalberman, the commission’s executive secretary, linked the decision to eliminate her assistant’s job and deeply cut her own salary to their requests for subpoenas against the governor’s campaign.
She also revealed in that email to Patrick Millsaps, chairman of the ethics commission, that the state attorney general’s office reviewed their work and that the FBI offered to assist in the ethics investigation.
On Thursday, when he wasn’t wondering out loud whether Georgia’s reputation was suffering as a result of the new illegal immigration law, former Gov. Sonny Perdue was pumping his new GOP presidential candidate, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty:
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell asked Perdue to back up her network’s reports that Callista Gingrich’s clout in the campaign was one reason for the resignation of Gingrich’s staff last week. Perdue declined, but said this:
”A presidential primary campaign is a grueling marathon that requires absolute focus not only of the candidate, but his or her spouse as well. It requires sacrifice on both parts – and I have no inside knowledge of how the campaign staff felt about that.”
The Gingriches’ vacation habits, however, were another matter:
”Certainly the Mediterranean visit …demonstrated the lack of focus and the lack of commitment there, that concerned me to a great degree.”
The former Georgia governor said he wasn’t worried that Pawlenty is only polling in the single digits now:
”I am convinced that the more that the American people, Republican primary voters, learn and see of Tim Pawlenty, they will gain the respect that I have for him.”
Shirley Franklin’s Blogging While Blue has a poll indicating that a special local option sales tax for school construction scheduled to come up for a vote in the city of Atlanta and the counties of Fulton and DeKalb, stands a good chance of passing – despite the fact that many think passage could make voters less inclined to vote for the transportation sales tax next year:
Voters in Fulton and Dekalb county overwhelmingly support continuing the SPLOST for education for another five years. In DeKalb County, which includes the city of Decatur and part of the city of Atlanta, 80% of the voters surveyed say they support continuing the tax.
Voters in Fulton County, which includes the city of Atlanta, are almost as supportive with 73% saying they support the tax. A clear majority of voters, who are opposed to other sales tax referendums, support the SPLOST tax for education.
U.S. Reps. Tom Graves (R-Ranger), Jack Kingston (R-Savannah) and Phil Gingrey (R-Marietta) have provided three of 26 House signatures on a letter addressed to Barack Obama, asking him to put his real signature on the recently passed Patriot Act, rather than the autopen version used while the president was in France. From the letter:
Mr. President, it is clear that assigning a surrogate the responsibility of signing bills passed by Congress is a debatable issue, and could be challenged in court. That being the case, our request is that, out of an abundance of caution, you affix your signature to S. 990 by personally re-signing the enrolled bill. … Furthermore, we ask that you commit to ending the practice of using an autopen to sign bills passed by Congress.
Today’s AJC Politifact Georgia looks at Baltimore Raven linebacker Ray Lewis’ claim that a continued NFL lockout would result in an increase in crime.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider