Your morning jolt: Of Ronald Reagan and dirty tricks

Ronald Reagan would have wanted you to vote for the transportation sales tax.

That’s the message in a Citizens for Transportation Mobility mailer that targeted (presumably) Republican voters in metro Atlanta over the weekend. Says the staff at Untie Atlanta:

reagantransit

The year was 1983. America’s economy was struggling to get growing again after years of high unemployment.

President Ronald Reagan knew that, in order to build that shining city on a hill and create new jobs, America needed to improve its transportation infrastructure. He signed into law an increase in gasoline taxes, saying that “this is an investment in tomorrow that we must make today.”

***
Pressed by anti-sales tax sentiment and the possibility of being drawn into a GOP runoff, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee cut loose with a glossy mailer aimed directly at his strongest challenger, former Cobb commission chairman Bill Byrne.

byrneattack

The flyer reminds voters that in 2008, Byrne – who had run an unsuccessful campaign for governor – had packed up and moved to Polk County, where he attempted a run for county commission. During a residency hearing, Byrne was quoted as saying this:

”The last thing I wanted to do is live in Cobb County, let alone serve in Cobb County. I want to make damn sure Cobb County doesn’t move to Polk County. I live in Polk, I love this county and want to make sure that we preserve and protect this quality of life, and make sure Cobb County doesn’t move here.”

Byrne had gone so far as to set up a campaign committee, but Polk election officials ultimately determined he wasn’t a resident of their county, and thus disallowed his candidacy. Byrne sends a note that includes this sidestep:

“I have never run for office in Polk County and at our forum on Wednesday evening, I will ask Tim Lee to let me know if I won or lost!!! If the election was held today, there would not be a run-off and his consultants told him if he didn’t go negative and slow down my momentum, he would lose outright. Why would an incumbent Commission Chairman, with over $250,000 for his re-election have to go negative in the last two weeks?”

***
One of several dozen political strategists living in Fulton County notes that, two weeks before a primary in which he faces two opponents, Tax Commissioner Arthur Ferdinand felt the need to send to thousands and thousands of residents a letter – on official stationery – explaining how new car license plates can be obtained.

Here’s some background on the contest from my AJC colleague Johnny Edwards.

***
Earlier this month, a Republican candidate for chairman of the Cherokee County school board found herself the object of some underhandedness. From Rebecca Johnston and the Cherokee Tribune:

For School Board chair candidate and current School Board Vice Chair Janet Read, a couple of robo-calls that went out to voters have her calling for answers.

The first, which is said to have gone out from a phone number identified as one belonging to Grassroots Conservatives of Cherokee leader Bill Dewrell, told those receiving the call to contact Read at the Cherokee County School District offices.

The latest, though, not only gave Read’s home phone number for those who might want to contact her, but also appeared to originate from Read’s home phone. The call was so inflammatory that Read called for extra patrols at her home.

However, the political signs in Read’s front yard and that of her neighbor were torn down, neighbors said, and thrown in the street where they were run over repeatedly.

Somebody apparently thinks turnabout is fair play. Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers on Sunday posted the following on via Facebook:

Today, my opponent’s campaign sunk to a new low. We have received calls this afternoon confirming that my opponent’s campaign is making robo-calls against me and claiming to be from Grassroots Conservatives. They have even pirated the cell phone number of innocent 3rd party to make these calls. Bill Dewrell is now taking the extraordinary step to call voters and alert them to the Brandon Beach phone call scam.

Spokesman Bernie Tokarz denied that the Beach campaign had any involvement. The campaign had engaged in robo-calling voters this weekend, Tokarz said – but the Beach message was an endorsement by former Braves pitcher John Smoltz. And it would have been foolish to step on that message, he said.

***
Secretary of State Brian Kemp this morning passed judgment on several candidacy challenges. Two candidates were dismissed – both in state House contests. All other candidacies were upheld.

Anne Taylor of Mableton, a candidate in the Democratic primary, did not meet the necessary residency requirements, Kemp said. State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, D-Austell, now has no opposition. Taylor’s name will remain on the ballot, but votes for her won’t be counted.

Democrat Richie Smith’s candidacy for House District 151 was also dismissed. Republican incumbent Gerald Greene of Cuthbert, Ga., now faces no opposition.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at U.S. Rep. Paul Broun’s statement that, when the U.S. Constitution was first implemented, only three crimes were considered felonies.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

61 comments Add your comment

GaBlue

July 23rd, 2012
11:34 am

Arthur Ferdinand is the highest paid official in the State of Georgia. Yes, you read that right. He collects TWO PAYCHECKS for doing one job, and makes nearly three times what Gov. Deal makes. A county official. When the law changed to compensate our Tax Commissioner with a salary instead of a percentage of what he collects, he was “grandfathered” in, and now collects both. (An honorable man would decline one or the other, don’t you think? If you want to knock down that kind of dough, take your skills to the private sector!)

If that weren’t bad enough, he’s making the most of opportunities to pick up property at low low prices — opportunities HE creates by selling off tax liens to third parties, stripping homeowners of their homes because, gee, oops… they never got any notices in the mail from the county, and gee, oops… many of those records simply can’t be located.

If you live in Fulton County, you have ONE way to toss this triple dipper out: Pick up a Democratic Primary Ballot between now and the 31st. (No, you’re not locked in, if you do that!) Seriously. This guy needs to go.

Centrist

July 23rd, 2012
11:37 am

This blog (not listed under the “Opinion” section like Wingfield’s) leads off by highlighting the bogus Reagan endorsement for TSPLOST, and Tim Lee’s attack on Bill Byrne. These are merely liberal selective endorsements.

The AJC has a screaming headline saying Governor Deal admits ethics violations leaving out the operative word “Technical”, but has this buried near the end of the article: “The violations were considered technical in nature.”

Gross bias.

jgalloway

July 23rd, 2012
11:45 am

Dear Centrist:

You remind me of the story Woody Allen used to tell about two elderly ladies in a restaurant:

First Lady: “The food here is terrible.”

Second Lady: “And the portions are so small.”

Auntie Christ

July 23rd, 2012
11:52 am

“President Ronald Reagan knew that, in order to build that shining city on a hill and create new jobs, America needed to improve its transportation infrastructure. ”

New Flash for repubs: President Barrack Obama knew that, in order to build that shining city on a hill and create new jobs, America needed to improve its transportation infrastructure.

But, since Obama is a democrat, and repubs must make sure America stagnates for their own political gain, they told us the stimulus package was ‘gummint over reach.’ Our good ole boys didn’t want any part of that stinking gummint money.

These same good ole boys are getting a taste of their own poison now too. They were silent when our President was slandered as secretly muslim terrorist, a foreign agent, a man bent upon the destruction of America, whose health care plan would implement death panels, who has a secret socialist agenda. They remained silent or defended as ‘free speech’ the talk of assassination of the President by the crazies comprising 10-15% of their constituency, but now yelp like wounded dogs when these same crazies use character assassination and dirty tricks in these primaries. If you are going to raise rabid pit bulls, don’t feign surprise when they turn on you.

Centrist

July 23rd, 2012
11:58 am

Dear jgalloway,

I don’t eat the pink slime pablum you put out, only the occasional real meat you offer.

Wilbur

July 23rd, 2012
12:00 pm

So…because Regan supported a tax once we should all support the misbegotten TSPLOST? TSPLOST is a sales tax…likely as good a means as any to raise funds for roads. The problem is two fold.
1. The project list- this is not about transportation but about pusing pet priorities. If the Mayor would have been more concerned about traffic and less about his development projects, we might have gotten a better list of projects.
2. The competence of the government – our experience is not good with any of these entities bringing in projects on time and on budget. Deal’s eleventh hour jail house conversion on the GA 400 tolls is too little too late for me. I don’t trust these folks to do what they said they would do.
Now we need traffic imporovement and it will take a tax increase or tolls to fund it. But, TSPLOSt is a monstrosity that off purpose.

honested

July 23rd, 2012
12:06 pm

Forget ‘ray-gun’ I want to know where the major deities stand on the TSPLOST!

Cokefloat

July 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

Centrist: your bias is demonstrating its lack of objectivity: “and Tim Lee’s attack on Bill Byrne. These are merely liberal selective endorsements.”

IF I were a Bill Byrne supporter (and so far that has never happened), I’d have to get real concerned about that statement. First: it was during a hearing so I’d assume it was a verbatim quotation from minutes. And second: man, that sure doesn’t sound like somebody who loves Cobb County and wants to help lead it forward, to represent ALL the citizens, not just his own supporters. And third: even worse, it sounds like a bitter narrow-minded person… and we have all too many of those already elected in this area, state and country.

Marlboro Man

July 23rd, 2012
12:12 pm

Who knew Centrist would have reacted like a child ? Must have hurt his feelings.

Reagan was good at raising taxes and having his supporters not realize it.

Marlboro Man

July 23rd, 2012
12:13 pm

Untie the knot. Traffic is killing jobs.

Cokefloat

July 23rd, 2012
12:16 pm

Wilbur: a little clarity please. “If the Mayor would have been more concerned about traffic and less about his development projects, we might have gotten a better list of projects.” Why separate traffic concerns from development projects? After all, a new venue hoping to create a lot of business is also going to create — traffic. People going to and from work, people shopping or attending events, people living there. And people living there will create schools, which also increase traffic. I am retired now, don’t drive nearly as much as I did up until April 2000 — but back then, I hated my daily commutes. And now, because I don’t drive a lot, I no longer know the shortcuts and the usual bottlenecks, so it’s far worse. I find myself no longer going to my favorite spots because, frankly, I don’t want to face the traffic. Wonder if anyone else is like me?

Auntie Christ

July 23rd, 2012
12:18 pm

jgalloway July 23rd, 2012 11:45 am Irony is lost on centrist. He thinks it is someone from Eye ron or Eye rock or one of those other countries where they ride camels and wait expectantly greet us as liberators.

Cokefloat

July 23rd, 2012
12:19 pm

Marlboro Man: Me! I did; I knew he would. “Who knew Centrist would have reacted like a child?”

Angel Macaroni

July 23rd, 2012
12:20 pm

The 1983 TEFRA was the largest peacetime tax increase in US history. Reagan was a phony who claimed military service during WW II, when all he did was making training films in Beverly Hills.

Centrist

July 23rd, 2012
12:26 pm

When you click on the AJC, in addition to seeing your computer/router/proxy IP address – the following 10 trackers capture information about you this morning:

Brightcove

Didit Blizzard

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Floodlight

Facebook Connect

Ominture

Quantcast

Right Media

Visual Revenue

Yahoo! Overture

There are ways to see and block such trackers – do your own research.

Auntie Christ

July 23rd, 2012
12:31 pm

Gosh who knew! centrist isn’t just a media critic ala howard kurtz, an expert in the nuances of Ga electoral politics, a monitor of political blogs, but he’s an IT guy too. This is indeed a Renaissance Man, give him respect!

Sophie's Choice

July 23rd, 2012
12:40 pm

Centrist & other GOPublican apologists: had any Democrat official admitted to FIFTY-THREE “technical” ethics violations, you’d be baying for his head on a platter. But Gov. “Let’s Make A…” Deal pleads to these violations ONLY after he guts the Ethics Commission & then stacks it with his appointees, and somehow, you’re convinced it isn’t terribly important? Because the violations were “technical”, right? Methinks you, like most of your ilk, tend to gag at a gnat & swallow a camel when it comes to GOP shenanigans vs. those from the Dems.

Carol

July 23rd, 2012
12:44 pm

Centrist, you sound like someone who wakes up each morning with great anticipation about what Jim has written that you can immediately write a comment about how biased it is.

Why don’t you either comments on the topics directly or just stop reading Jim’s colums? I rarely go to Fox or Drudge to read their blogs. I know it’s going to be biased and it takes way to much energy discussing issues with people you know you’re not going to to make headway with.

Carol

July 23rd, 2012
12:46 pm

Sophie your 12:40 comment:

Well said!

td

July 23rd, 2012
12:52 pm

Auntie Christ

July 23rd, 2012
11:52 am

If Obama would have used the $800 billion stimulus package to build roads and infrastructure instead of paying off government workers unions then I think a lot more conservative leaning independents would not be so critical (I would have been anyway).

DannyX

July 23rd, 2012
12:54 pm

“If Obama would have used the $800 billion stimulus package to build roads and infrastructure instead of paying off government workers unions then I think a lot more conservative leaning independents would not be so critical..”

How much did Obama spend paying off government union workers td?

simplythetruth

July 23rd, 2012
12:57 pm

The Chipster seems to always be involved in so many “cotroversies”. Funny how he seems to feel that he is the victim each time. Now, after a genuine robocall attack occurs on a sitting school board member, Rogers claims he is a victim too. Given his track record, would it be too difficult to believe that his own camp invented this one? Just askin…

findog

July 23rd, 2012
12:58 pm

Ok,
Only Grover Norquist may say what tax President might have mistakenly approved
All taxes are bad per the GOP party platform
Must be scoundrel democrats trying to tarnish the Gipper’s image

Don’t be fooled, Just Vote NO!

BTW, nice of Nathan to admit to his ethics crimes against humanity

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 23rd, 2012
1:00 pm

$600,000,000.00 taxpayer rip off on the Waste/beltline why not spend the money on reducing congestion rather than lining Reed’s corrupt cronies pockets? That’s $600 million or nearly 10% of the total doing NOTHING to reduce congestion.

td

July 23rd, 2012
1:00 pm

DannyX

July 23rd, 2012
12:54 pm

And tell us again how many of those “Shovel ready” projects were completed with his stimulus?

yellowdog

July 23rd, 2012
1:03 pm

so true about nathan deal; gutting ethics commission, etc. and what has he done lately since the punishing immigration bill and abortion law……..these small gummint people – upstanding knee jerk right wing republican that he is. What did he ever do as a congressman all those years? does anything jump out at you? ZMiller, who used to be a fine upstanding democrat, really, says he thinks “nathan is doing a good job…..” what?????? who are these people. I would have to say zell was a great governor. he stood for the people until he switched his allegiance; p.s i like the comment that reagan was good at raising taxes and convincing his party he wasnt………..good one!

td

July 23rd, 2012
1:04 pm

findog

July 23rd, 2012
12:58 pm

Not true. If the legislature wants to increase a tax in one area and can cut a tax an equal amount in another area then Grover does not have a problem with this. The whole concept is that our overall taxes should not be increased.

TiredOfIt

July 23rd, 2012
1:05 pm

And tell us again how many of those “Shovel ready” projects were completed with his stimulus?

This is not a quiz, use the Google.

td

July 23rd, 2012
1:06 pm

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 23rd, 2012
1:00 pm

And how is building MARTA to Cumberland mall going to reduce any traffic congestion in Cobb County?

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 23rd, 2012
1:07 pm

“People are sick of semantic games that lead to extending and increasing taxes. They are also weary of giving a 16% increase in sales taxes to a government that rewards insiders, routinely circumvents transparency, skirts ethics laws, and funds pork projects for the well-connected from existing revenues while putting necessities like transportation infrastructure and trauma care to voters as referendums.

This isn’t how Republicans campaign, but after 10 years, it is clearly how we govern. Voting yes will merely reward a lack of leadership and enable a continuance of this system.

The hysterical cries that “there is no plan B” are insufficient to pass this bill. Instead, it is more of a reason to vote against current incumbents. Leadership is about contingency planning. There is always, and must always, be a plan B. Any leader who says otherwise is either lying, or not qualified to be a leader.

Plan B should start with re-directing the 1% of motor fuels sales taxes from the general fund and to transportation projects. It should continue by re-directing Atlanta’s hotel motel tax revenues away from an unneeded new downtown stadium and into downtown transit infrastructure that would serve more of the region than 8 games of pro football annually will. And it must continue with suburban Atlantans and the rest of Georgia understanding that MARTA must be a regional transit system in order to effectively serve its mission. The state must also either support MARTA, which it currently does not, or release fiscal restrictions that prohibit the agency from using fare revenues to pay for ongoing operations and maintenance.

But Plan B will only start with Plan A losing, and even then it will only start with real leadership from the Republican side of the aisle. After all, Democrats cannot be blamed for T-SPLOST’s failure. It is uniquely a Republican solution that will be soundly rejected by Republican voters.

Many Republicans who plan to continue their political careers better have a plan B for transportation very quickly, or everyday Georgians may very well make voting for Democrats their Plan B.”

http://www.peachpundit.com/2012/07/23/reluctantly-no-on-t-splost/#more-45361

DannyX

July 23rd, 2012
1:08 pm

“And tell us again how many of those “Shovel ready” projects were completed with his stimulus?”

td, I did not make any claims about “shovel ready” projects, stop redirecting.

Again, how much did Obama spend paying off government union workers?

findog

July 23rd, 2012
1:09 pm

td @12:52
Exactly, if the stimulus was 100% stimulus, not just 10%, then we’d be up to our elbows in orange cones
Too bad all that money went to balance the Georgia GOP’s budget hole
All them union workers here in the right to work heaven must have twisted the state GOP’s arms so tight they squealed like stuck pigs

GaBlue

July 23rd, 2012
1:10 pm

Seriously? Frigging GROVER?

Why should we give a good gosh darn what “Grover” has a problem with? What the heck has Grover ever done for me except co-opt the allegiance of officials who cash a paycheck to represent me, but kowtow to Grover and legislate on behalf of their billionaire sponsors instead? Buncha crooks!

findog

July 23rd, 2012
1:12 pm

td @1:04
Where is the corresponding cut for TSPLOST?
Is it the Delta and manufacturing giveaway on energy?

findog

July 23rd, 2012
1:15 pm

TiredOfit, there are $68M in Gwinnett County bridges and culverts, all nearly complete
Could have probably gotten another culvert job done if not for the political signs required at every project

ramguy68

July 23rd, 2012
1:15 pm

Wow Centrist discovered a feature of Firefox…..anyone who uses Firefox knows about the trackers……now he acts like it’s a big secret…lol…..do you your own research..baaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa

Marlboro Man

July 23rd, 2012
1:16 pm

Tied up in Traffic ?

td

July 23rd, 2012
1:16 pm

GaBlue

July 23rd, 2012
1:10 pm

“What the heck has Grover ever done for me”

He has probably kept between 5 to 10% of the money you have made over the last 5 years in your pocket instead of in the governments pocket. If you do not like keeping your own money you earned then I guess he did not do anything for you personally.

Weetamoe

July 23rd, 2012
1:17 pm

Just saw Luckovich’s Sunday toon. There he goes again. He has portrayed the Aurora shooter as a bunch of black Chicago thugs.

DannyX

July 23rd, 2012
1:27 pm

Republican governors sure liked the stimulus.

While every single Republican US House and Senator member were going hysterical opposing the stimulus, Republican governors were begging for more. Our own Sonny Perdue fired off a letter to Obama begging for more stimulus dollars, he was representing every single Republican governor as head of the Republican Governors Association. Every single Republican governor signed the letter, including Gov Sanford of South Carolina who previously had said his state would not accept any stimulus dollars. Gov Perry of Texas used the money to save the state’s 6 billion reserve fund.

Btw td, did you cash your stimulus check? Did you take advantage of the stimulus tax breaks?

The Snark

July 23rd, 2012
1:31 pm

I got one of those letter from Ferdinand explaining that I had a choice of two wonderful license plates. But since I have one of those custom license plates you pay an extra $25 for, I threw Mr. Ferdinand’s letter into the trash.

Thus endeth goes fifty cents of taxpayer money.

The Snark

July 23rd, 2012
1:34 pm

td:

Mr. Norquist has never held public office, and does not bear responsibility for the effect of any tax increase or decrease. He does not get the credit or the blame for any taxes I paid or did not pay.

But he sure has made out like a bandit with his “I hate taxes” schtick.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If you don’t want to pay taxes and you think life will be beautiful when govenment is “small enough to drown in the bathtub,” then I have the perfect place for you:

SOMALIA!

Baron Dekalb

July 23rd, 2012
1:37 pm

“What the heck has Grover ever done for me”… Oh, Grover’s been busy hammering in the last nails in the coffin of civic responsibility and a collective committment to working on society’s problems. He’s the best buddy of rich folks like Mitt “15%” Romney, providing ideological ammunition to their sense of entitlement and helping them figure out ways to avoid giving back to the society in which they have built their wealth. He and his ilk have done their best to cut the safety net to shreds and increase the gap separating the wealthy from the poor in this country.

GaBlue

July 23rd, 2012
1:43 pm

td,

You’re full of it. I’m a middle class working stiff who pays my taxes and I don’t mind paying taxes. What I mind is the co-pays and energy costs and all the other bills that increase year after year, my money going into the pockets of big corporations who are making record profits while getting government subsidies and tax loopholes.You know, the “job creators” who aren’t creating jobs but continue to profit from outsourcing and downsizing and squeezing more out of whatever employees are left without increasing their pay.

Grover…. helping ME keeping money in MY pocket? So sorry to disappoint you by not being a freaking MORON, td. I don’t make enough money for Grover to give a darn about me. Sell that line of baloney somewhere else.

Centrist

July 23rd, 2012
1:44 pm

@ Ga Values – More Plan B solutions are regions can put together a better projects list and bring it back to the voters in 2 years – with motor fuel user taxes instead of general sales tax. Transportation should be a higher priority of the state budget that already collects income, real estate, ad valorum, sales, and motor fuel taxes instead of yet a new tax. Increasing the fuel tax would match users to payers, much better than a sales tax. It would also capture revenue from Florida snowbirds, beach-goers, vacationers, Daytona 500, college football fans, and Disney World pass through travelers who clog our roads.

td

July 23rd, 2012
2:02 pm

The Snark

July 23rd, 2012
1:34 pm

There you go again trying to infer that Republicans do not want to pay any taxes. Total Bull. It is about the size and scope of government and if the Federal government or the state government is best suited for jobs.

The Federal government current has confiscated 21% of ever dollar made to run. The state of Georgia gets about 10% of the economy of Georgia and (depending on what county you live in) then there goes another 4 to 8%. This is nearly 40% of all money made in each year goes to the government. How much is enough?

td

July 23rd, 2012
2:13 pm

GaBlue

July 23rd, 2012
1:43 pm

“So sorry to disappoint you by not being a freaking MORON,”

The denial of the money you have been able to keep due to the efforts of Grover is a sign of not being intellectually honest. The Bush and now Obama tax cuts are a direct result of Grover’s efforts. If you are truly middle class then your taxes went down by about 5% (give or take depending on the deductions you were eligible for). Taxes would have been increased for the middle class last year in Georgia if it were not for Grover.

Now you can deny it all you want but the denial would not be the truth. You have directly benefited from Grover’s demands on holding the politicians accountable for their campaign promises.

td

July 23rd, 2012
2:21 pm

Baron Dekalb

July 23rd, 2012
1:37 pm

Romney paid more in taxes last year then you will EVER pay in you life and he gave more to charity last year then you will ever make in your life. His 15% actual taxes made is more then you actually paid last year.

So what is your problem? Sounds like wealth envy to me.

more Reagan

July 23rd, 2012
2:23 pm

Reagan also; issued amnesty to millions of illegals and thought the rich should pay more. Hwcwas he a Republican? Of course in his youth he was a big FDR supporter.

more Reagan

July 23rd, 2012
2:24 pm

TD, we know in total dollar amount the rich pay more. In percentage they don’t and they are paying less each year.