Gov. Nathan Deal will meet this morning with House Republicans from metro Atlanta to advocate the shift of next year’s regional transportation sales tax vote from the July primary to the November general election.
The 11 a.m. meeting was prompted by House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones of Alpharetta, the top-ranking leader among Atlanta area lawmakers.
“The governor thinks we should move it to November to allow as many people to vote,” said Brian Robinson, spokesman for the governor.
On Monday evening, Deal held a reception at the Governor’s Mansion for legislators, who began a special redistricting session that morning. Shifting the T-SPLOST vote was a topic of conversation.
A semi-final list of metro Atlanta projects that would be funded by a penny sales tax was completed Monday.
With today’s push, and his decision to make the T-SPLOST vote a topic for the special session, Deal is wading deeper into the metro Atlanta transportation issue than his Republican predecessor.
Deal’s decision, and his partnership with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, is generating some heat among some Republicans. Steve Brown, a member of the Fayette County Commission, copied us on a letter-to-the-editor taking the governor and others in the Capitol to task. Here’s a portion:
It appears as though our Republican elected officials at the state level are willing to permit Democrat Mayor Reed and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce to rule the roost when it comes to issues involving Metropolitan Atlanta.
Mayor Reed and the leadership of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce did not appear on our election ballots last November, so why are running the show from behind the scenes?
The Metro Chamber recently supported illegal immigration, opposing HB 87. That is Un-American.
In addition, the Metro Chamber began controlling the Atlanta Public Schools behind the scenes, covering the tracks of the disgraced superintendent. That is dishonest.
After the county and municipal representatives in our ten-county region elected the members to serve on the RTR Executive Committee, Speaker of the House Ralston, at the urging of the Metro Chamber, realigned the committee and added Atlanta Mayor Reed. That is dictatorial.
House and Senate district maps were made public on Friday, but gauging which lawmakers have been saved and which ones have not is made difficult by the fact that many of the districts on both maps have been re-numbered.
Democrats in the Capitol can help you with half the problem. Click here for your own guide to which incumbent House members occupy which new districts.
A Fulton County grand jury has hit the Atlanta Public Schools system with a subpoena demanding documents associated with the CRCT scandal. Here’s the clip from Mark Winne with Channel 2 Action News:
11Alive News is reporting that an ethics investigation into Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign has resumed. From the TV station’s web site:
“The commission is actively looking at it, and it’s a top priority for us,” said Kevin Abernethy, an Ethics Commission member appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle…..
Abernethy says members of the commission communicated last week with Deal’s attorney about documents needed to advance the investigation. He says Deal’s attorney agreed to provide documents without a subpoena.
The issuance of subpoenas was a sticking point in June, coinciding with the budget cuts that stalled the investigation originally. Abernethy says he expects Deal’s attorney to fully cooperate.
Over at Fox5 Atlanta, Dale Russell has a long interview with Steve Diamond, the Californian who bought a plot of land in Habersham County from Gov. Nathan Deal last week. Diamond, who owns a chain of adult video stores, plans a large pawn shop on the property.
The Fox5 report indicates the purchase required a lengthy period of negotiations. Diamond says at one point, he picked up the phone and got through to Deal, then a congressman. “[Deal]said, ‘My son-in-law is handling that,’ and more or less cut me short,” Diamond said.
Purely by coincidence, the AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes up the question of whether Gov. Nathan Deal was within his rights to bar the above-mentioned Dale Russell and his Fox5 colleagues from a recent news conference.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider