Your morning jolt: Georgia Democrats discover power of the word ‘no’

Like Republicans in Washington, Democrats in the state Capitol may have just learned of the power behind the word “no.”

Similarly, Georgia Republicans may have just experienced the first consequence of their plan to render the Democratic opposition irrelevant in the state.

Removal of Democrats from the political equation on Wednesday resulted in a GOP paralyzed by a clash between its two dominant factions – a tea party opposed to new taxes under any circumstance, and business interests who see slow-moving disaster in Georgia’s stubborn failure to invest in its own infrastructure.

By now, you know of Gov. Nathan Deal’s announcement late Wednesday that he – and leaders of the state Capitol – have abandoned efforts to shift the vote of next year’s regional transportation sales tax vote from the July primary to the November general election.

Look for business leaders and political strategists today to express confidence that the shift can be accomplished when the Legislature reconvenes in January. Even if it isn’t, they’ll say, they can work with the July date.

But make no mistake. The collapse of the T-SPLOST effort in the Capitol on Wednesday amounted to a vote of no confidence in the referendums’ fortunes next year – and a demonstration of the fragility of the coalition behind the campaign.

The Democratic boycott was one ingredient – a consequence of mixing the no-quarter process of redistricting with transportation policy legislation. Republican efforts to assume control of local legislation in Democratically controlled counties such as Fulton sparked such anger that even Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed – an intense advocate of increased transportation funding — dared not intervene.

“It would be a bitter irony for Democrats and African-Americans to help Republicans pass a TSPLOST change when they have treated us so brutally in the redistricting process,” Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, said from the Senate floor on Wednesday. “It is unfathomable that Republicans can work to destroy African-American voting strength and then ask us to pass this.”

Republicans likewise were hesitant to cross tea partyists, who declared victory early Wednesday when the governor agreed to their demand that all SPLOST votes – regardless of purpose – require a November general election vote.

Atlanta Tea Party Patriots – the most active group of its kind in the Capitol — declared an even greater victory later in the day when the entire deal collapsed. Members credited Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, with advocating their position during Republican internal debates.

In an e-mail this morning, they, too, predicted a larger fight in January – but with some unsettling language that harkens back to the 1970s:

The pro T-SPLOST MARTA Republicans will be back when the Legislature convenes in January to push for the date change. We will oppose it unless they also add the mandate that all future SPLOST votes be held in the general election, beginning in 2011. We understand that there are many local SPLOSTs that will be expiring in 2013 and we believe the “renewal” of those should be held in the general election.

One thing that tea partyists and Democrats need to keep in mind, however, is that “no” only prevents. It doesn’t construct. And ultimately, voters become as impatient with stagnation as they do with taxes or power grabs.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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68 comments Add your comment

Oh Intown Writer...

August 25th, 2011
9:36 am

Live by the sword
Die by the sword

ProgressivePeach

August 25th, 2011
9:37 am

“MARTA Republicans.” Oh boy, the dog whistles are going off.

Tiberius

August 25th, 2011
9:39 am

This is why you do not put other issues inot the mix during a redistricting special session.

Centrist

August 25th, 2011
9:52 am

This blog today is just total B.S.

The Black Caucus Democrats who wouldn’t go along with moving the vote got nothing in return for their blackmail.

The vote will probably be moved during the 2012 legislative session.

Galloway claiming “Georgia’s stubborn failure to invest in its own infrastructure” is left wing rhetoric in support for new, added taxes. Past and current taxes have been used for infrastructure – but politicians priorities to buy votes often divert needed infrastructure for other vote buying bureaucracy programs. Instead of just layering new taxes, voters might demand better priorities.

ragnar danneskjold

August 25th, 2011
9:54 am

A little government stagnation is a good thing. In fact, a lot of government stagnation is a good thing. They cannot continue to screw up the economy if they are paralyzed.

Dumb and Dumber

August 25th, 2011
9:55 am

The transit vote is poorly conceived and executed by the Georgia GOP and deserves to go down to defeat. It prolongs the “balkanization” of Georgia transit providers and is really just another attempt to transfer tax revenues from the city to the suburbs. It may take longer for intown projects (beltline and streetcar) to get built, but so be it. At least the Beltline has a TAD and as traffic in the burbs gets worse and worse, intown living will get more attractive, especially if Kasim Reed quits playing the lapdog to Nathan Deal and focuses on crime, parks, etc., it will get even better.

If you want to live in the burbs, enjoy your car. I live near my job and can take MARTA if I want to. The suburbs remind me of that old joke — what is the quickest way to get to Alabama from Little Five Points? Answer: 20 miles in any direction. Once you are outside 285 its all Alabama.

Centrist

August 25th, 2011
10:02 am

And the TEA Party demands to move SPLOST votes to much greater participated November elections is certainly logical. Only devious plotting politicians put elections at times they think low turnout will favor their desires. The TEA Party is exposing that tactic for what is.

Guy Incognito

August 25th, 2011
10:06 am

Dumb and Dumber

When the riots break out in da ATL………..those who riot will not know that you are a nice lib. They’ll take you out for your skin color.

Enjoy your ITP experience!

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

August 25th, 2011
10:08 am

Where is Eugene Talmadge when you need him.

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

August 25th, 2011
10:09 am

Where is Eugene Talmadge when you need him?

honested

August 25th, 2011
10:18 am

Dumb and Dumber

Truer words may never have been blogged. It seems we are under the thumb of those who will accept nothing other than rolling back time and hoping for a different result.

We have the extremely deluded that moved to the mountains (great idea, when we already have a water problem, increase the population at the top of the watershed) whining about dredging up the ‘northern arc’ nonsense.

Soon we can add the ‘imaginary milton county’ to the Alabama scenario!

You just can’t make this stuff up.

KBJ

August 25th, 2011
10:19 am

YOU HAVE 4000 LINE UP FOR FREE DENTAL CARE IN WOODSTOCK, BUT GEORGIA POLITICIANS SAY NO TO REFORMED HEALTH CARE BILL FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA AND OK FOR THE POLITICANS TO USE THE (FREE) HEALTH CARE(AMERICANS PAY FOR THEM TO USE). THE CITIZENS ARE SICK IF SAY NO TO ANY REFORMED HEALTH CARE BILL, BUT POLITICANS PIMP THE PUBLIC BECAUSE THEY ARE THE WELL FARE RECIPIENTS OFF US AMERICANS

atler8

August 25th, 2011
10:25 am

Guy Incognito…
Don’t be so smug & self-assured. I live in the ‘burbs myslf & get around a bit. And from what I’ve seen, the rioting that you predict will be happening OTP too!
I guess that you haven’t paid attention over the years as the trend has developed that more & more of the daily round of crime stories in the news are happening outside the City of Atlanta. It’s not just a city thing anymore.
When I was new here in 1979 there was a double murder near downtown Decatur. The shock waves, that a crime of that nature could happen outside Atlanta proper, were tremendous & longlasting. Today such an occurrence in the suburbs would not be that unusual.

Jon

August 25th, 2011
10:26 am

The TSPLOST will fail and you can keep the clock running on the amount of time where the legislature has failed to address transportation.

PirateOnPtree

August 25th, 2011
10:28 am

@Guy Incognito

Are you stupid? Riots in Atlanta?

You suburbanites are so far removed from reality that you actually think this kind of thing will happen in civil society? What this shows me is that you have no civility of your own, that you would be willing to turn and fight black people in the streets yourself if there were an excuse. Suburban rednecks are the reason we can’t have nice things in this state.

honested

August 25th, 2011
10:29 am

Ahh the power of no. Good for the GA Democrats, lock us out, don’t expect any help.

I wonder if the leadership of the GeorgiaObstrutionistParty and their subgroup the ToolsEnablingAristocrats realize the degree of focus it places on them to DO Something improving the lives, educational conditions and business conditions here in Georgia?

Debbie Dooley

August 25th, 2011
10:30 am

There are Fulton County legislators like Rep. Jan Jones, Rep. Ed Lindsey that think it is acceptible for the tax payers to continue to subsidize MARTA, expand it and have the taxpayers continue to subsidize it in even greater amounts, even though it has lost 441.5 million dollars since 2009. They are considered MARTA Republicans.

I have no clue who Eugene Talmadge is, nor was I around Georgia in the 1970’s .

honested

August 25th, 2011
10:31 am

debbie dooley

Shorten the post, ‘no clue’ sums it up.

Debbie Dooley

August 25th, 2011
10:32 am

Guy, your racist comments are out of line…

ByteMe

August 25th, 2011
10:43 am

There are Fulton County legislators like Rep. Jan Jones, Rep. Ed Lindsey that think it is acceptible for the tax payers to continue to subsidize MARTA

Outside of Fulton and Dekalb residents and shoppers, which taxpayers do you imagine subsidize the largest non-state-supported public transportation system?

Debbie Dooley

August 25th, 2011
10:47 am

Byteme, That is what is being asked if this T-SPLOST passes. I don’t have issues with mass transit. I have issues with the funding method. If MARTA wants to expand into counties outside the 285 Perimeter and the taxpayers don’t pay for it, I don’t have a problem with it at all. More power to them…

jd

August 25th, 2011
10:47 am

So, Republicans must either become “progressives” to solve infrastructure problems — or see this state retreat from its position as the leader of the South in terms of economic and social growth. The Georgia of the 21st century will become known as a “through” state — You go through Hartsfield to attend meetings. You go through Savannah to ship your goods. You go through the state to get to Florida.

AJC

August 25th, 2011
10:48 am

Wow HonestEd. You are a great example of the “new civility” promoted by Democrats. If your liberal friends are as nasty tempered as you, it’s no wonder they get redistricted.

DagnyT

August 25th, 2011
10:50 am

I appreciate the TEA party’s efforts. I am a Cobb County resident who voted in our SPLOST vote in March and saw it pass by less than 80 votes. They threatened our libraries and what happened after the SPLOST passed…they cut the libraries anyway. SPLOT votes should be in line with a general election. Thank you TEA party for pushing that issue and for acting on behalf of the people.

Debbie Dooley

August 25th, 2011
10:59 am

honested, in answer to your comment, “I wonder if the leadership of the GeorgiaObstrutionistParty and their subgroup the ToolsEnablingAristocrats realize the degree of focus it places on them to DO Something improving the lives, educational conditions and business conditions here in Georgia?”

We are working on that by working to defeat President Obama and his failed policies that have destroyed our economy…

jd

August 25th, 2011
11:01 am

@ Debbie Dooley – the economy was destroyed prior to Obama.

JD

August 25th, 2011
11:03 am

So, this is essentially a debate between intelligent and successful GOP establishment members and intolerant trailer trash Tea Partiers.

The big loser: Georgia.

I suggest the Tea Party stop listening to the radio and start reading the NYT’s annual poll of what CEOs look for when prospecting new business. The top of the list is Education and Infrastructure. Taxes ranked 8th this year, but usually do not make the top ten. You are not going to get better schools, roads, rail, energy, or healthcare buy cutting spending…you will only get them by raising government revenues (I will give you a hint about how that is not accomplished: cutting taxes).

honested

August 25th, 2011
11:06 am

ajc,

Well thank you!
Reality is reality, and pretending the ToolsEnablingAristocrats agenda will solve any of our myriad problems just ain’t reality.
Marta should have been expanded 50 miles in all directions 20 years ago to prevent the pointless daily morning and afternoon gridlocks on every major interstate artery. The notion that people prefer to waste an extra couple of hours daily to avoid a minor tax increase ain’t reality either, but it could potentially be considered madness.
‘Nasty tempered’, no just tired of being expected to pretend failure is success.

YeSun

August 25th, 2011
11:06 am

TSPLOST is a bad idea. Before voting for a tax increase, we should demand and get a clean report of how much gas tax GA collects, and how it is used. How many times have you drove by a road construction site and see three people working and a dozen or more people standing or sitting around? Politicians and transporation board don’t care about the waste because they benefit from vote buying through these work projects and make lucrative personal connections with these contractors. The contractors will donate generously to political campaigns and/or offer lucrative position that do not require real work to family and friends of these politicians and board members. If you dig in, it’s never about us not paying enough taxes. Rather it is wasteful spending by a small group of people who are not held accountable…ever.

GaBlue

August 25th, 2011
11:07 am

“The Black Caucus Democrats who wouldn’t go along with moving the vote got nothing in return for their blackmail.”

Just as Democrats consistently get nothing in return for cooperating with Republican overlords either — here or in Washington. Are they starting to learn? Hmmm…

Boneshaquitalofonda

August 25th, 2011
11:17 am

Dumb and Dumber
August 25th, 2011
9:55 am
Once you are outside 285 its all Alabama.

And once you’re inside 285 it’s all Zimbabwe.

marty marty

August 25th, 2011
11:18 am

A T-SPLOT is a tax. I thought the GOP didn’t want to raise taxes anywhere? Can’t get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy…..but they want the general public to do a T-SPLOT. REMEMBER A T-SPLOT IS A TAX. We want no more taxes!

DannyX

August 25th, 2011
11:37 am

Debbie Dooley, what third world country did the Tea Party steal their transportation plan from?

Georgia favorite Rick Perry and Texas brutally condemned land and raised taxes to tackle big city transportation problems. (He also gobbled down the stimulus money he hates.)

Why doesn’t the Tea Party focus on the drain of metro tax dollars? Why does Georgia have an entitlement to 35% of all tax dollars generated by metro Atlanta? Maybe the area could start fixing some of it’s massive infrastructure problems. How about we reduce the entitlement to 25%.

It’s time to cut the cord.

ByteMe

August 25th, 2011
11:38 am

I don’t have issues with mass transit. I have issues with the funding method. If MARTA wants to expand into counties outside the 285 Perimeter and the taxpayers don’t pay for it, I don’t have a problem with it at all.

But what if taxpayers in those counties decide that’s what they want to do? Why is your “no taxes ever” ideology somehow more important than the rest of us? Oh, that’s right, because you can, just like Sadie Fields did for years and years, much to our detriment.

Big Hat

August 25th, 2011
11:42 am

I am an anti-christ, I am an anarchist, Don’t know what I want but I know how to get it, I wanna destroy the passer by cos I wanna BE anarchy! ….GO TEA PARTY

Bobby Brown

August 25th, 2011
11:43 am

Hell to the No!

juanita driggs

August 25th, 2011
11:59 am

This is yet more proof that the whole district-by-district SPLOST legislation was dead on arrival from the day it passed as most lawmakers probably knew. The SPLOST from our district may not pass no matter what date it falls on. Why? Because it was/is too complicated and unworkable from the get-go. The better way should have been to change the state gasoline tax law whereby a few cents from every gallon of gas sold at ALL pumps around the states could be diverted to transportation/traffic relief projects, not just highways and roads. Then divvy up where those funds would best be used around the state in “rationale” ways. Of course that requires wisdom combined with political courage…two qualities sorely lacking among our state “leaders”.

honested

August 25th, 2011
12:06 pm

j.driggs

Raising the gas tax to a reasonable level and using a pittance of it for transit problems would have WORKED, and proved the philosophy of the ToolsEnablingAristocrats as false.
Functionality comes in a far second to ideology.

Your Whining is Pathetic

August 25th, 2011
12:07 pm

What is so wrong with the citizens voting for it instead of (all) crooked politicians? The excuse that liberals have for being against this is flat out wrong. Maybe if democrats would get off their butt and vote you could quit your whining. It’s about time citizens of all race, creed, and gender got out and voted. It’s the only fair way your voice can be heard.

Tea Partiers want the people to have power. They are sick of Rs and Ds in office. Why is that difficult to see?

bill joe

August 25th, 2011
12:12 pm

I vote against any and all SPLOST’s because there is no reason to give any more money to the incompetent slugs in government. Government has proven time and again that it can’t do anything well and can’t stay within budget. I know that we need improved transportation and I’m all for it just as long as it doesn’t depend on government to get it done, over budget, over staffed, and incompetent.

jd

August 25th, 2011
12:16 pm

Bill Joe – -you should examine the outsourced projects that are all over budget – and they were managed by private sector folks — studies show, government does do more with less more ably than businesses

honested

August 25th, 2011
12:23 pm

jd

Again facts come up against mis-informed ideology.
Unfortunately, the ideology is drilled in deep and the facts lose.

Intown

August 25th, 2011
12:30 pm

With Republicans trying to destroy the Georgia Democratic party through the redistricting process, I’m not sure the Dems have any choice but to say no to everything until they can assure themselves a better foothold on even a small amount of power in the future.

country time

August 25th, 2011
12:36 pm

I realize that honested and all the other whining liberals like Galloway don’t really think that the TEA party people are crazy but rather they are scared that the TEA party may succeed in taking over government and doing away the redistribution of wealth that is so important to them. No more disability payments for ADHD, no more tax payer funded studies of why mice chew on electrical wiring, no more congressional junkets paid for by Joe Sixpack and the other payroll tax paying working slobs. No more amnesty for illegal border crossers, round em up and send em back. Yeah those TEA party folks are delusional crack pots; they want government to take in $1.00 and spend $1.00 or less instead of spending $1.55. Maybe the TEA party can get rid of the free cell phones for free loaders, and reduced rate internet for non working parasites. Yes I’m a heartless, non compassionate neanderthal who doesn’t want to support your family or your pet projects because I would rather spend MY money on MY family and MY pet projects.

USMC

August 25th, 2011
12:44 pm

“Georgia Democrats discover power of the word ‘no’”–JIM GALLOWAY

More of the same Left-wing Liberal DRIVEL from JIM GALLOWAY.

Are we surprised? NOT.

Get real, JIM!

Dumb and Dumber

August 25th, 2011
12:45 pm

I knew y’all couldn’t help bringing up the evils of race-mixing that goes on inside ITP. Like I said, once you are OTP,its all Alabama.

honested

August 25th, 2011
12:50 pm

country time,

I feel so enlightened.
But you forgot the largest wastes of money in the last decade, the Iraqi War of Choice and the Afghan Fiasco. What pays for those monstrous wastes of money and the pointless equipment invented to do a job that never should have been attempted?

Just wonderin.

Aaron Burr V. Mexico

August 25th, 2011
12:58 pm

Civility with people that call their opponents traitors and communists is a total waste of time.

DannyX

August 25th, 2011
1:12 pm

“I realize that honested and all the other whining liberals like Galloway don’t really think that the TEA party people are crazy…”

Are you crazy country time, (and Centrist?) Most liberals think the TEA party people are completely nuts. Wacko. Looney Tunes. Oh and Emo. Now remember,

“Countrywide is on your side.”

Debbie Dooley

August 25th, 2011
1:15 pm

Byteme, “But what if taxpayers in those counties decide that’s what they want to do? Why is your “no taxes ever” ideology somehow more important than the rest of us? Oh, that’s right, because you can, just like Sadie Fields did for years and years, much to our detriment.”

The T-SPLOST takes away rights of individual counties to decide if they want the sales tax. It does not have to be passed by each county, just the collective votes of all counties in the region. In other words Gwinnett voters could say no to the tax but if the total votes from other counties is yes, the tax passes. That throws local control out the window..

I could support a sales tax increase under the following conditions:
1. I felt like my elected officials were being fiscally responsible with the tax dollars they are given now.
2.There is a high priority issue that could only be solved with tax increases and there are absolutely no other viable solutions.
3. The projects that the tax revenue would fund were fiscally responsible.