Your morning jolt: Linking the APS cheating scandal to the transit tax vote

The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal has produced one of those odd unions between Republican conservatives and Democratic liberals.

Members of both factions are calling for the head of Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber, one of many business leaders who supported ousted superintendent Beverly Hall throughout the investigation.

On Monday evening, state Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta) upped the ante with a protest in downtown Atlanta – to argue that Williams’ defense of Hall will reflect on next year’s regional penny sales tax for rail and road projects.

At one point, in an e-mail, a Chamber executive suggested that the findings of an early investigation should be “finessed” past then-Gov. Sonny Perdue.

Williams is also treasurer of Citizens for Transportation Mobility, and will have a major hand in fund-raising for the campaign.

Williams has been out there defending himself. He gave two TV interviews last Friday – one to Channel 2 Action News. Williams told Richard Belcher:

”I think we all were duped….All of the signs that an external observer could look at were, ‘Things look good here.’ So, yeah, we were shocked – and angry, really.”

More from Williams:

“We’ll take our share of the blame, too. We should have kicked the door down, in retrospect.”

***
In their report on the CRCT cheating scandal, former attorney general Mike Bowers and former DeKalb prosecutor Bob Wilson named 178 educators who they said were engaged in changing test scores.

But many more will escape, they admitted. “There’s probably two to three times what we named. But we didn’t have enough to feel comfortable naming them,” Bowers told 11Alive News:

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That Marietta Daily Journal trio of pundits – Otis Brumby, Bill Kinney and Joe Kirby – say Cobb County’s proposed property tax increase is likely to pass today with a narrow 3-2 vote by the commission.

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Over at Suwanee Patch, Steve Burns says the Gwinnett County school system is out to eliminate classroom textbooks, in favor of a shift toward e-books:

The current textbook model “is not working,” school system Chief Financial Officer Rick Cost said. He noted that the system has not funded texbook adoption in the past three years for budget reasons; it normally would run $25-30 million annually.

***
On Monday, Secretary of State Brian Kemp certified the July 19 vote that put state Rep. David Lucas and Macon city council president Miriam Paris in an Aug. 16 runoff for the vacant state Senate seat of Robert Brown, the former Democratic leader in the chamber.

Brown came in third in a bid to oust incumbent Mayor Robert Reichert. Reichert and former major Jack Ellis are also in an Aug. 16 runoff.

***
U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Erick Erickson of AM750 and 95.5FM News/Talk WSB square off over the Gang of Six plan for reducing the federal deficit in this piece by Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News:

Much of the piece is devoted to Chambliss’ 2014 re-election bid. The killer quote: “If people want someone who’s not willing to address the issues, they don’t need to vote for me,” Chambliss said.

***
In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing today on the FairTax, whose chief advocate now is U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville. Former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will be the lead-off witness. Live-video streaming is to begin on the committee’s web site at 10 a.m. – but right now, the federal web site doesn’t appear to be working.

***
Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) has posted an interview with Atlanta family law attorney Randy Kessler, who says New York’s decision to allow gay marriages will create some messy divorce cases in Georgia.

***
ABC News is reporting that the Aug. 13 Ames Iowa straw poll will not include two potential GOP candidates for president – Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Alaksan governor Sarah Palin. But the contest will include both Georgian candidates:

The final ballot will include: [Mitt] Romney, [Jon] Huntsman, Gingrich, [Michele] Bachmann, [Tim] Pawlenty, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Thad McCotter. And the Iowa GOP confirms that write-in votes will be allowed and they will tally those votes by name.

***
In case you missed it, Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker had a Monday column on GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain and his struggles with his comments on Muslims – and whether he would exclude them from administration positions. It included this:

I sat down with Cain recently and offered him an opportunity to clarify his position. After half an hour or so, he eventually acknowledged the error of his comments while offering the usual litany of explanations. He also correctly recognized that no matter what he says, those who want to demagogue this issue will continue, and the evidence bears him out.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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29 comments Add your comment

Hun

July 26th, 2011
9:30 am

Welcome back! We missed ya!

deegee

July 26th, 2011
9:52 am

“Cobb County’s proposed property tax increase is likely to pass today with a narrow 3-2 vote by the commission.” PRICELESS

RetiredSoldier

July 26th, 2011
9:53 am

No comment Jim on last night’s dueling speeches? I was proud of the Speaker, he was clear in his position and showed the President was no longer a player in the debt talks.

From the President all we got was more Bush bashing, this situation is not my fault and more finger pointing. What a way to lead!

deegee

July 26th, 2011
9:54 am

“Live-video streaming is to begin on the committee’s web site at 10 a.m. – but right now, the federal web site doesn’t appear to be working.” TRULY PRICELESS

n

July 26th, 2011
10:07 am

Reagan raised taxes.

RetiredSoldier

July 26th, 2011
10:17 am

N-

I knew it! Our current crisis is all Reagan’s and Bush’s fault. Thanks for clearing that up. Whew, I feel so much better now.

A Conservative Voice

July 26th, 2011
10:21 am

@Hun

July 26th, 2011
9:30 am
Welcome back! We missed ya!

How could you tell he was gone? Some things are just un-explainable……..

Beth Merkleson

July 26th, 2011
10:23 am

I’m more of a legislator than Erik Erickson is a journalist

double

July 26th, 2011
10:28 am

I was surprised Bone-head did not add a few tears.We need to trade the debt ceiling for a mandated balanced budget.

RetiredSoldier

July 26th, 2011
10:32 am

Double-

Interesting, I’ve never seen Obama cry, only those suffering under his policies. Agree with you on the mandated balanced budget. Guess the democrats still want that blank check.

atler8

July 26th, 2011
10:53 am

RetiredSoldier… re: Your “I was proud of the Speaker.”
In case you haven’t noticed it, Boehner’s right flank of republican tea partiers was not proud of him. They rejected his plan again.
Boehner is between a rock and a hard place in dealing with a totally fractured republican cadre in the House. Many of the 79 freshman reps are tea party types who would rather scuttle any agreement than compromise ONE IOTA with the Democrats & Obama.
So, contrary to your statement, it’s really Boehner who is no longer a real player in the debt talks.
To back what I have said here, did you see that S&P responded to Boehner’s plan & speech by noting that it felt that if Boehner’s plan were put in place, it would still lead to a debt downgrade for the U.S.
Don’t take my word for it though, look up all of what I have said for yourself. You may not like it, RS, but facts are facts.

Road Scholar

July 26th, 2011
10:58 am

Jim, just because Sen Vincent Fort calls for Sam Williams head is NOT an indication of the Demos concurrence, nor of repub’s desires.

For the Pres Obama haters, didn’t Boehmer beg for the President’s input (multiple times) and now, when given, he says no thanks? Boehmer is only interested in compromise, if the opposition completely agrees with his views!

Road Scholar

July 26th, 2011
11:01 am

PS Under Boehmer’s plan he takes low hanging fruit first, then wants to have another bipartisan committee to come up with possible cuts. How is this different fro the Gang of Six?

DannyX

July 26th, 2011
11:01 am

Wow, things sure can change fast. A few short weeks ago this blog would get flooded with a bunch of wild, crazy Tea Party types when Jim would mention Cain in a blog. Post after post claiming the Republicans found their new savior. Of course us liberals were right here enjoying the show, sane enough to know the Cain freak show would be over soon. Good times, good times.

Now nothing.

Lol, Cain thought he could talk all crazy to the general public like he does at his tea bag rallies. Earth to Cain….The rest of the country is not nuts Herman.

And Jim, speaking of crazy, why no Newt in your blog? We need a crazy Newt story.

double

July 26th, 2011
11:03 am

Interesting.Never thought you would admit(you knew it all reagan&bushe’s fault).I do not feel a blank check will hurt as much as lowered credit rating,or default.I agree with you we need smaller,less government.the fewer thieves hopefully the less stolen.A blank check with mandated balanced budget would stop this raising debt ceiling problem.If we get lowered credit rating or default.Who will buy or debt? At what interest rate? Talk about cranking up printing Fed. will be working overtime.

double

July 26th, 2011
11:04 am

Frederick Douglass

July 26th, 2011
11:06 am

Republicans and their puppet masters, namely the Tea Party, are content with taking down the country, just so they can prop one of their idiots up in the White House. I wonder how long “We the people” are going to stand by and permit this travesty to continue.

Hmm...

July 26th, 2011
11:11 am

The elephant in the room that has not been addressed is the legal liability of all involved (the APS, individual teachers and administrators, cover-up conspirators like Sam Williams and John Rice of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce) in a class-action civil suit brought by the parents and the kids, because while test scores indicated little Dontavious and Shakee’lia were on their way to the Ga Tech Advanced Physics program, now that the truth is out seems like they are destined to a life of ‘bustin caps and takin naps’. Someone must pay, the lawyers will say, but when? Is justice on the way?

MrLiberty

July 26th, 2011
11:17 am

The transit tax is just another wasteful government rathole to pour money down. It doesn’t matter who is helping raise money to promote the cause, VOTE IT DOWN !

And as for Cain, his presidential campaign is over. The incident in Norway shows clearly what the NeoCon mentality promotes and our fragile world doesn’t need. Common sense foreign policy, the dismantling of the empire abroad, sound money, small government, a restoration of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights – these are the things america needs from its next president.

Ron Paul 2012.

GaBlue

July 26th, 2011
11:27 am

“….Randy Kessler, who says New York’s decision to allow gay marriages will create some messy divorce cases in Georgia.”

Because the people of Georgia have grown accustomed to the fact that ALL OUR DIVORCES are NEAT and TIDY! No fusses or musses here among the straight folk! HAHAHA!

Doug

July 26th, 2011
11:29 am

If I were Sam Williams, I would welcome the aprobation of Vincent Fort. To have a Socialist (verging on Communist) like Fort to be against the head of the Chamber of Commerce HAS to be a real badge of honor. I imagine Fort wants to replace Sam with Fellow Traveller Gloria Tinubu.

Big Hat

July 26th, 2011
11:57 am

If Mike Bowers and Bob Wilson say their guilty, then they must be guilty, Guilty, GUILTY! All 178 of ‘em, and so are all the other that are “probably” guilty; if they are probably guilty, then they ARE guilty. We don’t need no stick’n evidence, we don’t need no stick’n trial, we don’t need no stick’n jury, we don’t need no stick’n due process, Hang ‘em high!

double

July 26th, 2011
12:18 pm

Retired S a suggestion has been made.Without a debt ceiling raise the first checks not paid should be house/senate pay.Any funds due these politicans current/retired.

luckysdog

July 26th, 2011
12:19 pm

The city of Atlanta is one fiasco after another and the Atlanta business community just says “hush, hush” here is some more money.

yuzeyurbrane

July 26th, 2011
12:45 pm

Welcome back. Hope you had a nice vacation. You got a lot of mileage out of your Gang of Six column.

Cutty

July 26th, 2011
1:25 pm

Luckysdog- Those tea partiers in Cobb must be livid with a tax increase, while us City folk are living within our means. The irony!

RetiredSoldier

July 26th, 2011
2:05 pm

Neither of the “current plans” will stop the downgrade of our credit. As far as default is concerned if it happems blame Obama and Reid. The House passed a plan, the Senate tabled it. BTW,can you explain to me Obama’s plan? What is he cutting and what exact revenue is he raising? Can’t explain, no one else can either.

Bill Evelyn

July 27th, 2011
8:30 am

Saxby is right. We don’t need to vote for him.

Top School

July 28th, 2011
2:42 am

There are drunken homeless people on the streets of Atlanta that have more ethics than the CURRENT APS BOARD

After they are finished with the SACS ACCREDITATION the Board MEMBERS under former Beverly HALL’S administration need to make a GRACEFUL EXIT. They need to RESIGN and let honest ethical leadership REPAIR the remaining APS DAMAGE that is not currently clear and transparent.

We owe these current APS-Board Members NOT- A- THING…They are not any more worthy to serve than the teachers and administrators we are expecting to leave without incident. With some remaining honor…current APS Board members should stay until SACS is finished with their song and dance. This will settle down the NORTHSIDE FEAR. Other than this contribution…the APS Board should fall-out of the publics eye. As Atlanta citizens we should say Bye Bye, NOW after they’ve patched one of the holes in the APS sinking ship.

There are drunken homeless people on the streets of Atlanta that have more ethics than the CURRENT APS BOARD. The POLITICAL EGOS of this Atlanta Board of Education makes the HELL-ACIOUS sound of long fingernails scratching DOWN an old worn-out APS chalk board on the Southside of Atlanta sound good in comparison.

Heaven forbid YOU COULD NOT FIND a CHALK BOARD ON THE NORTHSIDE. They’ve removed all of them and replaced them with Promethean Boards from their PTA CONTRIBUTIONS.

http://www.TopPublicSchoolCorruptionAtlanta.com