On Aug. 1, the day after the statewide vote on the transportation sales tax, you won’t find Gov. Nathan Deal crying in his beer.
You’ll find him at Bones restaurant in Buckhead, raising cash at $1,000 a head or more, for his campaign to re-assert the state’s authority to create charter schools in Georgia – even if local systems would rather not. Here’s the invite from BetterGASchools.org.
On that same note, my AJC colleague Wayne Washington has mined one of the most important stats likely to be bandied about in the fight over the November ballot issue, which pits much of the state’s education leadership against the core of the Republican political establishment:
For the first time in 16 years, local governments paid a higher share of the cost of public education that state governments, a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed….
Georgia’s public primary and secondary schools got about 38 percent of their funding from the state, with local government paying about 48 percent. Federal and private sources accounted for the rest, according to the census report, which covers the year 2010.
In an interview with Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) on Monday, a cautious Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the nation needs to re-examine its approach to firearms – but he’s not sure how to go about it.
Listen to the exchange here. Reed not only mentioned last week’s massacre of movie-goers in Aurora, Colo., but the July 29, 1999 shootings by a Buckhead day-trader, which left nine people dead and 13 wounded in Georgia’s worst mass murder. Said Reed:
”We definitely need to make sure it’s a part of the national conversation again. I don’t think that we’re doing enough or talking enough about it. And I remember that shooting, the day trader shooting, I remember it. I was here. And that’s why I immediately increased police support at our theaters [following the Aurora shooting], as did the mayor of Los Angeles, and as did the mayor of New York, and we spoke about it recently. We understand that there are copycats out here. We’re being extra-vigilant.”
Pressed for specifics, the mayor said:
“What I’m going to do is to read the tactics and legislation that works again, because, to be honest, I have not been focused on this myself. So rather than to simply sign on to what other people are talking about, I’m going to read about it myself. But with regard to the issue of whether this needs to be a part of the national conversation—whether we need to take it on—I believe that we need to take it on.”
Something of a brief TSPLOST round-up:
– My AJC colleagues Shannon McCaffery and Ariel Hart have a wrap on the $6.5 million behind the transportation sales tax effort in metro Atlanta.
– You can look at the funding yourself by clicking here.
– House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams, who voted against putting the TSPLOST on the ballot three years ago, reluctantly endorses the effort today in an AJC op-ed.
– In this morning’s Marietta Daily Journal, state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, an opponent of the transportation sales tax, is quoted thusly:
“I can tell you I had a very prominent leader in this region, he’s a friend of mine — I completely disagree with him on this issue — he said, ‘Ed, all I want to do is I want to get a transit (line) outside of Fulton and DeKalb county. I don’t care how big it is or what it looks like, then we’ve got the regional governance, then all the counties — Cobb, Cherokee — are all brought in, are all funding the same system,’” Setzler shared, adding, “Friends, that is not a win-win for us.”
– The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at some figures generated by opponents of the transportation sales tax.
Larry Peterson of the Savannah Morning News today has an account of how much personal money is going into the four-way Republican contest to face down U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta. Writes Peterson:
[Rick Allen] loaned his campaign for next Tuesday’s primary $150,000 more, raising his total in the pot to $250,000.
State Rep. [Lee] Anderson of Grovetown has anted up $178,000. And the other two Republicans, Augusta attorney Wright McLeod and Dublin lawyer Maria Sheffield, have loaned their campaigns at least $100,000.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider