House GOP leader: ‘My goal is to end Fulton County’

When the Legislature passed new maps for the state House and Senate last year, Republicans gave themselves extra slices of certain counties.

Earlier this month, House Speaker pro tem Jan Jones of Milton bluntly explained the merits of the tactic to a group of north Fulton voters. From Neighbor Newspapers:

In January, according to Jones, there will be a north Fulton majority in both the House delegation and the Senate delegation.

Which means, “we can cut Fulton County down to size until we get Milton County,” she said.

“My goal is that we reduce the thumbprint … of Fulton County on your lives and your pocketbooks such that in a very few years, Atlanta and south Fulton will not fight us on recreating Milton County because Fulton County will be insignificant,” she said. “We will begin that process next year.”

Jones said she actually thinks splitting Fulton into three counties would be in the best interest of all citizens.

“My goal is not to re-create Milton County. My goal is to end Fulton County and bring government closer to the people,” she said. “But it will take convincing.”

Jones’ comments, reported last week, are only now circulating within the city of Atlanta. They explain the motives behind HB 1052, which would have given the power to appoint two of three Fulton County representatives on the MARTA board to municipalities in north Fulton, said state Rep. Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta.

“The strategy is to chip away at any power that Fulton County has. One of the greatest powers the county has is the appointment of representatives to the MARTA board,” Taylor said.

Taylor has invited Jones to a town hall meeting in his neck of the woods – on any Saturday in the next two months — “so that my consituents and others not in north Fulton may have the benefit of your views.”

***
Over in the editorial department, my AJC colleague Kyle Wingfield reports this bit of news:

Multiple GOP districts last month voted to propose that a ballot question about ethics reform be put to voters in July’s Republican primary. This and other potential ballot questions will be weighed tomorrow as the party begins its annual two-day convention in Columbus.

A question about ethics reform is a slam dunk at the ballot box, if opinion polling is any sign. In a statewide poll before this year’s legislative session, 82 percent of self-identified Republicans said they supported a cap on gifts from lobbyists to legislators — the central plank in this year’s stymied ethics reform bills.

***
The New York Times has two articles worth your time today. The first is about groundwork being laid for a $10 million Republican effort to redefine President Barack Obama in harsh terms:

A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the “super PAC” era and attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from….

“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade. Mr. Ricketts is increasingly putting his fortune to work in conservative politics.

Then there’s this one:

A new study released by the Brookings Institution argues that Mitt Romney’s Mormon religion is unlikely to hurt him at the polls in November.

The researchers based the conclusion on an experiment in which people were asked whether they planned to vote for Mr. Romney or Mr. Obama. Some of the respondents were first given information about Mr. Romney’s religion – and in some cases, quite detailed information – while others were given none. Those who received the information first were no less likely to support Mr. Romney.

***
Over at the Savannah Morning News, Larry Peterson has this on the Republican race to challenge U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta:

A 12th Congressional District hopeful is ducking an opponent’s claims that he broke federal election law.

Rick Allen says Wright McLeod didn’t fully report expenditures, took donations larger than allowed and stole campaign donor information.

***
Members of the executive and state committees of the Democratic party on Wednesday received this note from Russell Edwards:

”While I intended to stay on board as the Treasurer to help finalize a budget and provide information to Committee members until my replacement was elected, the situation has changed due to circumstances beyond my control.

“My access to the Party’s financial information was terminated last Monday, effectively cutting off my ability to perform my duties. After unsuccessfully attempting to reinstate my access to perform my job for the State Committee, I am left with no choice but to resign immediately.”

The party’s April financial report is due on Monday, which will give everyone a peek at the party’s financial situation.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

177 comments Add your comment

td

May 17th, 2012
10:05 am

I posted this comment on Kyle’s blog about so called ethics reform:

totally disagree with Kyle and most of my fellow conservatives on this issue. What a politician takes from a lobbyist or a constituent is between that politician and the people the voters of his/her district/county or state. All I ask for is fast and full disclosure that is available to the voters to view (according to Kyle we have this now). If the voters of politician think it is OK for their representative to go to a Falcons game for free or take a trip to Europe on a lobbyist dime then so be it. The voters get exactly what they vote for and they need to take responsibility for their own votes.

rodney

May 17th, 2012
10:10 am

Looks like he got a beef with the southside. Can’t we all just get along.

We you needed Atlanta to prosper, but now?

May 17th, 2012
10:17 am

Sad times and I’m a Republican.

sally

May 17th, 2012
10:19 am

OK. But while we are at it, let’s get rid of Dekalb County too. When you misuse the power given to you by the voters, you lose it. One way or the other.

Look before I leap...

May 17th, 2012
10:20 am

So, no matter how crooked a rep is, as long as his constituents continue to send him back to the Gold Dome, it’s ok?

No matter that said crook can enact or promote legislation that far exceeds the boundaries of his district under corrupt circumstances and cost the taxpayers millions where they have no direct say in electing him?

Caveat Emptor – that is your solution to ethics reform?

LawDawg

May 17th, 2012
10:20 am

Good. Anyone who has interacted with Fulton County or City of Atlanta government know it cannot possibly get worse. I deal with Clerk’s Offices nearly everyday, and unlike every other county, Fulton seems to employ only brain damaged toddlers. It is really, really pathetic.

Here is hoping that if it become three counties at least one or two will elect moderately competent individuals who can begin fixing the government.

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
10:21 am

@ td – As you may have noticed, I dropped in on that Kyle Winfield blog this morning (I only do that maybe quarterly since I usually agree with him), and totally agreed with him today. You and I (politely) diverge some issues – in the past mostly about religion, womens’ rights, and taxes.

rodney

May 17th, 2012
10:22 am

Next, he’s going to put a gate around Milton and only let those inside who know the secret handshake. Never trust a man named Jan.

We you needed Atlanta to prosper, but now?

May 17th, 2012
10:22 am

When you needed Atlanta… typo!

It appears I cant type and walk this morning!
*Maybe that law that passed on Texting and walking has solid ground. LOL!

double

May 17th, 2012
10:23 am

Caps will result in more under table Deals.

JP

May 17th, 2012
10:26 am

@rodney – Jan is a woman. FYI.

Truth

May 17th, 2012
10:26 am

Let the racist white folk have what they want and give S. Fulton the airport.

Centrist

May 17th, 2012
10:27 am

@ td – As you may have noticed, I dropped in on that Kyle Winfield blog this morning (I only do that maybe quarterly since I usually agree with him), and totally agreed with him today. You and I (politely) diverge some issues – in the past mostly about religion, womens’ rights, and taxes.

Double Zero Eight

May 17th, 2012
10:27 am

The last thing Georgia needs is another county.
Let North Fulton be annexed by Forsyth County
if they are determined to leave Fulton.

We already have too many school systems. superintendents,
sheriffs, police chiefs and fire chiefs. What a waste of taxpayers
money!

Ron Burgundy

May 17th, 2012
10:30 am

Fulton county govt is an absolute joke. Anyone ever been to the fulton county govt court building? Talk about a travesty?

Ron Burgundy

May 17th, 2012
10:31 am

I went to the fulton county building on central ave recently and ask a security guy on the way in where the possessory office was and gave him the T400 number and he pointed to the opposite directiom. Guy did not know where a main office was.

The people in wage garnishment are pointless. An old lady who knows nothing and moves like a snail.

Not true

May 17th, 2012
10:33 am

@td -

The reality is that things are not openly disclosed. The trip to Europe that you speak of wasn’t disclosed until media found out about it and looked into it.

DannyX

May 17th, 2012
10:36 am

“whatever liberal issue (think T-SPLOST)/candidate (think Beach) they push creates even more backlash.”

That is a bit strange Centrist. You say those are liberal issues yet TSPLOST is a Republican initiative, and candidate Beach is a Republican.

rodney

May 17th, 2012
10:37 am

jp,

Oops! My bad. Although, I still stand behind the premise that you should never trust a man named Jan.

Roekest

May 17th, 2012
10:37 am

Why should the tax burden of South Fulton be on the shoulders of many of those who live in North Fulton?

Tardy for the Tea Party

May 17th, 2012
10:38 am

Sad, short-sighted, pathetic little Jan Jones. When will these small-minded people learn that without Atlanta, Georgia is basically Mississippi.

sansho1

May 17th, 2012
10:39 am

I’ve had business at the Fulton County courthouse for a decade, and have found the employees there to be generally helpful. There are exceptions (the probate court clerk desk is chief among them), but overall I like it there.

Bobby

May 17th, 2012
10:39 am

Legislators and government officials should be banned from accepting any gifts, including meals from lobbyists. There is no way such gifts do not affect legislation.

Rhett Butler

May 17th, 2012
10:42 am

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Danny O

May 17th, 2012
10:43 am

Re: hostility to Fulton County:

All these small government types sure seem to be fans of more government. They create more cities, and then they get all uptight when the company they contract with to run the city sends them a big bill.

Mark my words: If Milton County is ever brought back from the dead, it won’t be two years before a bunch of folks in North Fulton start whining about how poorly run it is, or how they’re paying too much for the services they receive.

Parade of Knuckleheads

May 17th, 2012
10:43 am

Georgia already has 159 counties,
more than any state except for Texas.

Bobby

May 17th, 2012
10:44 am

The problem with Fulton County is they have indeed misused their power as has Dekalb to a lesser extent. What you are seeing is a revolt when one group abuses their power. Just as in the past whites abuses power when they were in control, blacks were no better controling abuse when they came to power. The result is cities splitting off from the counties and the distrust of people against county governments. I will say that in Dekalb the government itself – courts, sanitation, car tags, etc is run very efficiently. The CEO’s office in Dekalb, not so much.

Tom

May 17th, 2012
10:44 am

Listen to the Ed Klein interview with Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Enlightening stuff.

LMAO

May 17th, 2012
10:47 am

N Fulton was paid for by Fulton Industrial Blvd in South Fulton and the bigots know that. Sandy Spring owes its existence to FIB. Its simple you cant control the commission so you gerrymand your self a majority in the legislature. What balls Jan Jones (I know shes a “lady”) to announce it to world. Its high time our legislature come under investigation for crimes against the people of Georgia. Idiots go ahead and kill Fulton and Atlanta you think they are planning to tax you to death through the state now just wait. The influence of the people in Fulton can make OWS look like a Sunday picnic.
For the dum arses who think S Fulton dont pay its share. READ THE COUNTYS BUDGET DOCUMENTS.
You guys will fall for anything.

DannyX

May 17th, 2012
10:49 am

I wonder if the same folks up in north Fulton are going to fight to form their own state? All the things they accuse Fulton County of is happening at the state level too.

Transportation for example, the state of Georgia is totally incompetent. You think MARTA is bad? The state DOT is broke, incompetent, and now dominated by cronyism.

Unfair taxation? 35% of all gas tax revenue the state collects is siphoned off to other parts of the state. The method in which the state divides federal transportation is just as bad.

When do we create the new US state of Milton?

Danny O

May 17th, 2012
10:54 am

@ Roekest:

Why is Milton no more? Because Fulton bailed it out when it was on the brink of bankruptcy. Your taxes won’t be any lower if Milton is formed. The only difference is that you’re anti-community ire will be be bouncing around in a new echo chamber that is smaller and further north.

MRJ

May 17th, 2012
10:54 am

Atlanta is vital to Georgia’s prosperity, obviously. But why do we keep pretending that South Fulton and South Atlanta are the reasons for Atlanta’s success? Would the Braves be better off on the north side? Of course. Would travels around Hartsfield generate more tourism if it upgraded from College Park? Yep. I once worked around Peachtree Center, and frequently tourists would stop me and ask if there were nicer parts of the city. They are sold a bill of goods that simply doesn’t deliver.

Be honest, race is the undercurrent and nobody will talk about it. But it is on both sides. Why else would we invest millions in Auburn Avenue, an area the huge majority of tourists have only limited or single-visit interest in? It is a self-affirmation by Atlanta leaders that downtown is still the draw. How many thousands of people a week are dissuaded from spending money at Turner because any MARTA trip goes through Underground? So why direct it through such an awful place? Wake up, folks, your blind loyalty to declining areas is killing us all.

Contractor

May 17th, 2012
10:55 am

Truth,

The residents of South Fulton and the elected government there could not run an airport. It would get run down and expire just like College Park, Forrest Park, Clayton County, and the rest of southwest Fulton County. Those districts are just proven that they can not handle the responsibility due to the crime rates and run down towns they occupy. Statistics prove my entire point.

Truth

May 17th, 2012
10:56 am

South Fulton has the corporate headquarters of Chick-Fli-A and Delta. In addition, there are numerous industrial parks and the WORLDS BUSIEST AIRPORT. N. Fulton ain’t supporting ISH when it comes to South Fulton. Mitch Skandalakis started that nonsense to get elected and you dummies who fell for it took it for face value without ever looking into it. He even had people thinking S. Fulton got trash removal for free.

Marlboro Man

May 17th, 2012
10:59 am

Good luck with the constitutional amendment Miltonheads.

JP

May 17th, 2012
10:59 am

@MRJ – Well said.

Phil Lunney

May 17th, 2012
10:59 am

As a resident of North Fulton (Roswell, GA), I have a few questions:
1) Atlanta and Fulton County rescued Milton County and assumed their debt after the Civil War, with the accumulated interest, how will Milton repay that debt.
2) Milton County will need a new Board of Education. Will they buy the existing schools from the FCBOE? They will need to create a whole new school system bureaucracy.
3) Who will own the parks in the new county?

Ron Burgundy

May 17th, 2012
11:00 am

Has anyone ever noticed the lack of diversity in the Fulton buildings?

Danny O

May 17th, 2012
11:01 am

Please don’t fall for this ruse that leaving Fulton county will equate to lower taxes. Power-driven people in North Fulton simply want a fiefdom for which that they don’t have to share control. That’s all it is, pure and simple.

ByteMe

May 17th, 2012
11:02 am

“The world is about to see Jeremiah Wright and understand his influence on Barack Obama for the first time in a big, attention-arresting way,” says the proposal, which was overseen by Fred Davis and commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade.

Waste of their money. We’ve already had enough of Hannity pushing this nonsense. We have had Obama for 3+ years, the hit squads have had more than enough time to dig up dirt and this is the best they can do? And doesn’t it mess with the whole “he’s a muslim” meme the crazy nuts have going?

When the right-wing crazy talk, the independents move away… to the left.

Tea party Nut and some GOP Clown

May 17th, 2012
11:02 am

when you can’t have your way change the rule. you are playing with fire!! The GOP rule book!

Danny O

May 17th, 2012
11:02 am

@Contractor:

You have not provided any statistics.

d

May 17th, 2012
11:04 am

Simple solution – Let’s go back to the pre-merger lines – recreate both Milton and Campbell Counties and send Roswell back to Cobb.

DannyX

May 17th, 2012
11:04 am

“Would the Braves be better off on the north side?”

How is that taxpayer funded fiasco of a minor league stadium in Gwinnett working out? The north can’t even get a minor league operation right, what makes you think anything would be better off in the north?

You then complain about MARTA, the suburbs want no part of rail. There would be no rail to your suburban stadiums. Plenty of car traffic though, you certainly didn’t plan for cars up there, no way, the developers wouldn’t allow it.

windu

May 17th, 2012
11:05 am

“Why should the tax burden of South Fulton be on the shoulders of many of those who live in North Fulton?”

Yeah, and why should the tax burden of the south part of North Fulton be on the shoulders of north North Fulton? And then, why should the tax burden of the east side of north North Fulton be the burden of the west side of north North Fulton? And so on, until your only burden is your house and yard and the 30 feet of street in front of your house. You’re arguing for anarchy ultimately. When your next door neighbor refuses to let the power company run cable across his land to yours and you’re all paying separately for garbage pickup and he turns the street in front of his house into a toll road, maybe you’ll start to get a clue.

Truth

May 17th, 2012
11:06 am

Forest Park and Clayton county are… guess what… CLAYTON COUNTY! Racism is the reason Sandy Springs, Milton, and Johns Creek exist. GIVE THEM THEIR OWN COUNTY SO THEY CAN SHUT UP!!! Native Fulton County residences have heard this nonsense for years. Give the bigots what they want!!!

Contractor

May 17th, 2012
11:06 am

It is Delta and Chick-Fil-A that make South Fulton worth a crap. It’s not South Fulton that makes them worth it. You can’t just simply relocate an airport and Chick-Fil-A would move if they could, because their core values are the exact opposite of what their surroundings stand for and everyone knows that. South Fulton is corrupt, full of crime, poverty, and no one wants to travel there because of the more than likely implications. Say all you want to support South Fulton from 40-50 years ago, but it’s a shadow of its own self and is not nearly as productive as some want to make it, with the exception of Hartsfield.

TomS

May 17th, 2012
11:07 am

Good! I’d like to have my neighbors as incompetents and crooks rather than an entire structure and culture that is so anti-northside. Maybe we could get some attention, integrity, honesty, and responsibility. Just look at the city of Sandy Springs to see how well different races and cultures can work together for the common good. Atlanta will never ever be a genuine community until the race issue is no longer the defining characteristic of every decision.

Danny O

May 17th, 2012
11:08 am

@USMC:

What are you talking about? Why does a report about the comments of a prominent legislator about a controversial issue equate to bias?

N. Fulton Mom

May 17th, 2012
11:09 am

It’s refreshing to hear people like Jan Jones representing the true feelings of the Milton clique: They only care about themselves, and see no point in pretending to care about what’s best for anyone not in their little clique. They want what they want, and what it might cost others simply never was, nor ever will be, a concern of theirs.

They imagine that Milton is an awesome place to live because they’re there. Never mind that it would be nothing but weeds and cow patties if not for the City of Atlanta, Fulton County, and the thriving metro that build up around us. Never mind that their standard of living is derived from economic opportunities afforded them because of the neighborhoods they scorn, and the low-lifes from which they wish to segregate themselves entirely, at the earliest possible moment.

I hope the pastors and ministers of Milton are taking note. “LOVE thy neighbor? Are you kidding? KEEP THAT SCUM AWAY FROM US!”

Nice going, Jan Jones! Honesty is a virtue.