Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal to meet with metro GOP lawmakers on T-SPLOST

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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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

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19 comments Add your comment

Cutty

August 16th, 2011
9:27 am

Where is Fayette County?

DannyX

August 16th, 2011
9:39 am

We now see why Reed tagged along with Governor Deal as the token Democrat on those trips to Washington.

Gov Deal went out begging for deficit expanding, jobs killing federal pork dollars with Reed at his side. Now Reed gets paid back with the one cent sales tax loot. Atlanta did better than a Maynard Jackson airport vendor.

Make sure all you “no new taxes” Republicans vote for the Atlanta windfall. Vote yes on this Republican plan to raise your taxes during a recession.

Break your own pledge! Vote YES. Do it for Atlanta.

A Conservative Voice

August 16th, 2011
9:44 am

Manipulation – that’s what our government does best. Gov. Deal, leave the damn vote where it was.

td

August 16th, 2011
9:51 am

I for one will be voting not to have more public transportation by raising my taxes. Deal is showing his old Democratic roots on this issue and needs to be slapped down by the voters.

Lynn

August 16th, 2011
10:04 am

We need good public transportation in the Metro area. I intend to vote for a 1-cent — come on, folks! One penny! — tax for public transportation. If Atlanta — and the rest of the Metro Area — wants to move forward economically, we have to deal with traffic congestion. Building more roads and adding more lanes to already clogged highways doesn’t ease congestion; it causes more congestion. Something has to give.

mum

August 16th, 2011
10:09 am

If you had to deal with metro Atlanta traffic every day you’d be happy to hear that they’re finally talking about doing something about traffic. What is needed is expanding MARTA along the highways and get some of the cars off the road. People seem to forget that Metro Atlanta is the engine that drives the state, however much you want to bash it, so you’re all feeding at the trough of those taxpayers. No major international city operates without good transportation, especially a good rail system.

My only problem with this is that the money will be wasted and they’ll come back for more when the costs run over…as usual…because thy have to keep their contributors happy and pay them back for their campaign funding. Whatever the party, once they taste power, they all become liars and thieves.

Pompano

August 16th, 2011
10:20 am

This transporation tax is just one big boob-doogle for the politically connected. Only a fraction of any funds collected will actually be used for projects. Here in Gwinnett they have included a $94 million slush-fund by adding $95 million for a ‘feasibility study’ for light-rail. These studies typically cost less than $1 mil.

This is payback from Charlotte Nash to the man pulling her strings – Wayne Hill. Interesting enough, Wayne has assumed a position of “Consultant” for one of the largest Contractors in the state so that they can funnel his share of the transpostation tax shakedown.

And with Lamar Willis on the ARC, how much is this slime-bucket skimming off for himself. How can a guy who setup a fake scholarship fund and stole money intended for students be trusted to sit on a committee that gets to dole out billions in contracts?

The T-Splost is intended to create one big cookie-jar to accomodate all the vultures.

findog

August 16th, 2011
10:23 am

td, I agree about the vote but this whole charade but it was set before Deal and is based on Grover Norquist not letting any taxes being imposed – no matter the benefit

Fred

August 16th, 2011
10:29 am

On your Politifact link: The Attorney General’s office also typically claims that it is not subject to the open records and open meetings act due to attorney client privilege. It is very convenient that those laws apply to just about everyone in state government except the group that wrote the law (the legislature), the guy that signed the law (the governor), and the guy that interprets the law (the A.G.). Apparently, it is much easier to impose openness on others than on yourself.

double

August 16th, 2011
10:30 am

When Deal was democrat he had no ethics problems.1c to alleviate some of this conjestion a bargain.

voter

August 16th, 2011
10:43 am

if you can’t win on the merits, just change the rules or CHEAT!!!!

Republicans learned how to do this by watching the Democrats for over a century.

Ga Values

August 16th, 2011
10:48 am

Looks like about $1 Billion of thei taxpayer rip off is going to MARTA. Wouldn’t it be nice if they would fix the mismanagement of MARTA before throwing more of our money away on this corrupt group. The only real question is how mush Reed, The Maynard Jackson Family and Deal are going to skim off the top & the the botton.

Ga Values

August 16th, 2011
10:51 am

Should be:

. The only real question is how much Reed, The Maynard Jackson Family and Deal are going to skim off the top & the the botton.

DannyX

August 16th, 2011
1:19 pm

” The only real question is how much Reed, The Maynard Jackson Family and Deal are going to skim off the top & the the botton.”

(Keep trying there bud, you might get it right.)

Other than that point well taken. Here we have Republicans asking voters to feed these machines. As Ga Values points out, Republicans came up with a very flawed plan, again. How is this payback? Republicans want us to stuff the Atlanta political machine with huge amounts of money.

Ga Values says it much better than me, but what kind of Republican tax and spend scheme is this? Did you see the Atlanta project list? Republicans are shoving money down the throats of Atlanta residents!

We must stop the crazy Republicans.

Lisa

August 16th, 2011
1:28 pm

Deal is a crook.

Lisa

August 16th, 2011
1:44 pm

Cobb County Transit (CCT) is virtually useless for actually getting around in Smyrna. Unless your destination is on Atlanta Rd. or South Cobb Dr. I wouldn’t give another SPLOST penny for CCT, that’s for sure.

A Conservative Voice

August 16th, 2011
1:49 pm

@Lynn

August 16th, 2011
10:04 am
We need good public transportation in the Metro area. I intend to vote for a 1-cent — come on, folks!

And Lynn, which GDOT department do you work for?

Angry Milton Resident

August 18th, 2011
1:39 pm

Supporting a tax increase on the worse recession of our time? Huh? You call yourself a fiscally conservative republican?

Referendums are for a pure democracy rather than a republic. As our representatives, YOU need to vote and take the consequences of your choice, not assuage your guilt by laying it at the feet of “the people.”

I cannot wait to see the fraud as there was in the prior two Cobb SPLOST initiatives. Blank votes? Voting machines in GA that have no auditing capabilities? But “the people” voted for it. Yea, right.

Angry Milton Resident

August 18th, 2011
1:42 pm

Jan Jones, how many of your constituents have you polled on this? I don’t remember receiving a phone call or survey card asking our opinion. You are convinced that your constituents fully support a tax increase during these times when we can barely put food on the table?