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:
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.
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