Your morning jolt: Kasim Reed slams DeKalb NAACP chief over TSPLOST

A fascinating and heated non-debate over the TSPLOST, between Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the president of the DeKalb County NAACP, took place this morning via radio station V-103 and its large African-American audience.

DeKalb has the highest concentration of Democratic voters in Georgia, and is crucial to the formula for passage next week of the transportation sales tax in metro Atlanta. But John Evans, who heads up the DeKalb NAACP chapter, has come out against the TSPLOST, saying it doesn’t do enough for south DeKalb.

Evans and Reed appeared back-to-back on V-103’s “Frank and Wanda Show” to discuss the issue. Evans was first, and said:

“Everybody has a reason they don’t want to pay the tax. They may not all be related to transportation. There are those in these outlying counties who want no part of transportation where we’re going to be bringing black folk and others to their communities. They don’t want it. And so they’ll have their reason for voting.

“The NAACP’s reason for not wanting it is, they have been promising us rail for 20 years, and have not paid the price to do it….They’ve had county commissioners who would support it in Fulton, and wouldn’t support it in DeKalb…They think we’re the weakest folk in the game, and so they think they can get away with it. And when can get certain blacks to fold into that thesis, they think they can influence all of black folk, everywhere….

“First of all, they’re talking about 200,000 jobs. That’s the biggest lie I ever heard. I want a list. That’s an estimate. Even at that, if you’re not secure in contracts in writing, and we may have to end up taking them to court….We can’t afford to play this mealy mouth stuff, accepting everything that the system says.

“When they had the roundtable, they had 21 people. Four of them were black. None of them supported us. None…they tried to buy us off by saying, ‘Okay, you said you wanted rail. We’ll give you $225 million to come up with some jive bus system.’ That’s not it.”

By the time he rolled into the studio, the mayor of Atlanta was plenty steamed. Reed laid into Evans:

”I was listening to that funny fellow you had before I was on. I think he ought to say that to me. When I saw him in the hall, all he did was walk up and shake my hand, and ask me how I was doing. If he’s going to get on the radio and make those kinds of false statements, talk that trash to the people of Atlanta, he ought to do it while we’re both sitting here on ‘V’.

“….That’s what a man would do. This man just got on the radio, said all these false things, used the name of the south DeKalb NAACP, talked about whether I was on the roundtable, talked about this being a rich man’s game. How many people has he ever employed? How many businesses has he brought to the city of Atlanta?….

“He talks that talk because he doesn’t have any responsibility. He doesn’t have a job to do. He doesn’t have to deliver for people every single day. He doesn’t have to look into the eyes of mothers who are trying to get jobs for their kids. He doesn’t have to look at them. He runs around, all day, God knows what he does, talking this talk. Comes on the radio, and then smiles at me in the hall. [To the already departed Evans] Please come on ‘V’ with me…

“MARTA’s getting $600 million in investments. I don’t know how he believes that $600 million is a small amount of money. It’s the biggest investment in MARTA that MARTA has had in 20 years that’s not from the federal government…

“Did you know that right now, folks in Clayton County can’t get on a bus and get into the heart of the city? That’s 1960s, 1970s stuff. If I live in Clayton County, and I’m a working person, I can’t get on public transit and get into downtown or Buckhead or east Atlanta or Cobb or Gwinnett from home? You know what that means? That means I have to take extraordinary steps just to keep a job, just to keep a roof over my head.

“Do you know who put the $225 million in for the south DeKalb line in at all? I did. I did….

“If you all walked out of your front door right now, and put a for sale sign out on your home, you’d be lucky if you broke even. Most of us would have to take a loss. That’s the environment we’re in right now. And John Evans, or whatever the fellow’s name is, see, he doesn’t have to go recruit businesses into Georgia, or recruit businesses into the city of Atlanta.

“The reason I’m working on this is because I sit in those meetings, and we’re losing businesses coming to our town that used to say yes without me even showing up…..

The exchange also caught the ear of political watcher Rob Redding, who filed this.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s statements on job losses in Georgia and metro Atlanta.

***
Late Tuesday, we reported here that state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, chairman of the House Ethics Committee, had issued a list of 85 House candidate who had signed a pledge to support $100 cap on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers. Of those 85, Wilkinson identified 49 who he said stood in violation of some aspect of the state’s campaign finance laws.

See the list here. We’ve already heard from two of those candidates. One is Doreen Williams of Conyers, a Democrat in the race for District 92. Another is Republican David Hopper of Augusta, a candidate in District 125. Both are requesting a correction and apology from Wilkinson.

***
The Marietta Daily Journal today reports that Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers and his GOP primary challenger, Brandon Beach, have both been hit with ethics complaints. The complaint against Rogers appears to be the more serious, and focuses on a supposedly independent committee – set up by the Senate Republican caucus — spending tens of thousands of dollars to assist in the re-election of Senate Republican incumbents.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

375 comments Add your comment

DannyX

July 25th, 2012
10:44 am

Of course Reed is a hysterical supporter of TSPLOST! He got everything he wanted. Problem is he got a little too greedy. Mayor Reed, how about you give up your Beltline funding so south DeKalb can get its long awaited rail service? I didn’t think so.

That $225 million you supposedly put in for glorified bus service into south DeKalb is insulting. How about buses for the Beltline and rail into south Dekalb? No again?

GET HIM KASIM!

July 25th, 2012
10:59 am

If Georgia refuses to invest in its future, it’s children will have to pay the real price with a less-vibrant economy meaning less jobs, lower wages, and a lower standard of living. This bill flawed but it will always be. There will be no “better bill” in two, or three years and this work is already long overdue. Time to buck up and invest in the future.

Hillarious

July 25th, 2012
11:00 am

I thought Reed was going to be a different kind of mayor. He is not. And, he is a jerk, as well. He and others are scrambling, thinking it will help this TSPLOST. It won’t. I’d be willing to bet it is defeated more than 70/30. Street cars/trolleys in downtown Atlanta! Unreal!

Whatever

July 25th, 2012
11:01 am

TiredOfStupidity

July 25th, 2012
11:03 am

How convenient also that, according to WSB radio, Chip Rogers is leading a group of Republican senators in an effort to “fix” the list of transportation projects if voters strike it down. You can bet his list would include a road-heavy solution (and maybe more ethically questionable practices). 20-lane highways in Atlanta? Hell, why not? That way more of us can crowd the freeways and bask in traffic misery when they AGAIN fill up in only a few short years.

And I’m sorry that some of you feel the Beltline is a waste of money, but many of us actually live in the central city you all call home when others ask, not 35 miles away in far-flung corners of adjacent counties. Connectivity for us in the core of the city is also important. That our transit system is so abysmally underdeveloped shouldn’t prompt a no vote to improvements that will one day benefit you. If everyone in need of transit voted against TSPLOST for that reason, we’d never make any advancents. Get real, and get creative on the local level. Pressure your local/state representatives on transit issues even after this vote.

PMC

July 25th, 2012
11:04 am

I like Kasim Reed more and more every day. Finally a guy with convictions that actually cares about what he’s doing.

Carolyn

July 25th, 2012
11:05 am

Good for Reed to stand up for this. I’ll be curious to see what happens at the pools. I think we all agree something must be done….we’ll see if the voters think this is the best step!

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 25th, 2012
11:05 am

The $600,000,000.00 taxpayer ripoff Beltline will NOT reduce congestion it is simply a gift to Reed’s corrupt cronies. VOTE NO EARLY & OFTEN

P.S plan “B” will start the day TSPLOST is defeated. We need a Plan that reduces congestion not lines the pockets of the politically connected.

Carolyn

July 25th, 2012
11:06 am

Sorry…the above should have said POLLS not polls (the power of proof reading!!!)

PMC

July 25th, 2012
11:06 am

The abysmal situation of our public transit system and roads alike should make you mad, it should make you want to do something about it. It’s a freaking penny on each purchase for 10 years… geez.

I vote Yes

July 25th, 2012
11:06 am

Hilarious…the beltline and trolleys are already in process. i live in south fulton and we don’t have rail either past the airport, but i’m not jumping up and down about that because i know this is about the good of the region.

PMC

July 25th, 2012
11:07 am

There is no plan, ever, that will not line the pockets of the politically connected. It doesn’t exist.

Either you’re moving forward or you’re stuck in the 70’s/

sdapolinsky

July 25th, 2012
11:10 am

Kudos to the mayor. Would like to see rail expanded, but some form of public transportation is better than nothing. I resent Evans fostering a black-white feud; there may be a rich/poor problem, but not a race issue.

If it walks like a duck........

July 25th, 2012
11:10 am

Looks like Kasim got some of that stash. This is nothing but a payoff to the beltway crowd. Typical Atlanta politics. The answer and my vote is NO!

VoiceOfReason

July 25th, 2012
11:11 am

Vote NO! Street cars and trolleys is the solution? What year is this? Creating random over budget construction projects isn’t going to save your job Kasim! No new taxes!!!

Big t

July 25th, 2012
11:12 am

VOTE NO for TSPLOST
Vote Yes on TERM LIMITS
Vote early and often….

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 25th, 2012
11:12 am

Jim, when you post something about Reed it sure sturs up his interns, guess they hope to get a jucy no bid contract at the airport/beltline.

DannyX

July 25th, 2012
11:13 am

A big welcome to all the Mayor Reed Sock Puppets!

I’m jumping up and down because I love reading the comments from the sock puppet brigade.

heartofdarkness

July 25th, 2012
11:13 am

MSTC

July 25th, 2012
11:13 am

There are few projects on the list that will alleviate traffic – you even have proponets of this that say this will not necessarily relieve traffic congestion. Also, why are we giving more money to MARTA? They should not receive anymore funding until they can turn a profit. Any rational person who really researchs how the money will be spent will vote NO to TSPOST!!

gm

July 25th, 2012
11:14 am

I can see where both men are comming from, Reed is living in 21st century when will ga backwoods residents get it? doing nothing keeps Atlanta in the 20th century.

I agree with John where is the rail comming in dekalb? more buses will make more traffic in Dekalb”””’

Mike

July 25th, 2012
11:14 am

PMC, that “10 years” will last a lifetime my friend.

Ben Taylor

July 25th, 2012
11:15 am

The people who are mad about the lack of this or that in the projects list for the TSPLOST are the same people who wouldn’t let these projects get started when they should have…20 years ago. We are 20 years late, so we have to pay the price for that. Is it a perfect list? No, but you got to start somewhere. We are WAY behind.

MikeyH

July 25th, 2012
11:16 am

Hey Mr. Evans,

We already have “black folk” here in the outlying areas and we still don’t want rail or more buses if it means more corrupt politicians getting rich (like “rich” Democrats AND Republicans) at all levels of government only to come back in a few years and ask for more.

Aquagirl

July 25th, 2012
11:17 am

A “jive bus system?” How did I overlook that in the project list?

Beck

July 25th, 2012
11:17 am

I think I may be in a filter. I’m getting duplicate comment posts, but I’m not up yet.

Please help.

Ben Taylor

July 25th, 2012
11:17 am

MARTA isn’t supposed to turn a profit. It’s a public transit entity–i.e., a public good–with significant restrictions from the state on how it can spend revenue from services. It was designed to never turn a profit, but now people complain that it does exactly what it was designed to do. This is backwards, “let’s-not-move-forward” logic.

massachusetts refugee

July 25th, 2012
11:18 am

vote no. i did.

VoiceOfReason

July 25th, 2012
11:18 am

@PMC it is 10 years of an additional penny on every dollar you spend. Idiot. VOTE NO!!

fedup

July 25th, 2012
11:18 am

Had it with all the lies told by all government folks……..local, state, federal. You are not getting one cent of any more money from my hands EVER. You have lost my trust and faith and will vote against every tax increase put forward. T-Splost should be defeated and will be defeated. Figure out how to run GA and Fed DOT with money you have.

DEATH to the T-SPLOST!

July 25th, 2012
11:19 am

I really miss Shirley Franklin. Heck, I’m starting to miss Bill Campbell. There is a TAD in place to pay for the Beltline. Saying we have to vote for a new tax for the Beltline is one of the 10 Ten Lies the proponents want you to believe.

RL

July 25th, 2012
11:19 am

The Beltline is fine for the ATL, but the taxpayer should not be on the hook to build it. Let the developers finance the construction. They are the folks that will be making the most off of the project. Really, no different than one of the professional sports teams wanting the taxpayer to build their stadium. Another huge waste of money is the stupid trolley from Centennial Park to Auburn Ave. Again, the taxpayer should not have to pay for this joke. Lets see, who would benefit from this? Of course, the answer is nobody. You in town folks need to find some other way to fund your pet projects. The taxpayers in Gwinnett, N. Fulton, Cobb, Fayette, Henry don’t want any part of it.

Thanks, Republicans!

July 25th, 2012
11:23 am

This is what happens when you build your modern political party based on the “evil” of government. You get elected. You decide, “Hey, I want to do X.” You need taxes to do X because it is a public service. But, you’ve made all of your voters and constituents think that because you are in the government, you must be a horrible, evil person. Now you can’t do anything because voters don’t trust you. Without trust, the government can’t do anything and the Republican party is based on a distrust–and UNHEALTHY level of distrust–of government. You have no one to blame but yourselves, Republican Party.

C

July 25th, 2012
11:23 am

PMC, it’s not a penny on each purchase. It’s a 1% sales tax increase. If your family spends $60k of their income per year in the Atlanta/metro counties, it’s an increase in taxes of $600 for that year. Plus whatever your family spends the following 9 years. Doesn’t sound like a small amount to me. I’m voting no.

Disrespectful

July 25th, 2012
11:23 am

I am so over black leaders getting on the public airwaves and disrespecting one another simply because they disagree on a topic. Was it really necessary for Reed to call Evans “that funny fellow”? Can they not respectfully disagree? Reed’s behavior was a bit juvenile. The hallway of a radio station was not the place to get into a debate. Good job Mr. Evans for remaining a gentleman and knowing how to pick your battles.

I am also over black politicians getting into office on the back of the black communities but once in office does nothing to support them. Yes Reed you did possibly put $225 million in place for DeKalb but for a bus line? But you ensured that North Dekalb was taken care of the Clifton project “Emory University” will get a rail system. None of this will be beneficial to the South Dekalb community. A bus line to Stone Crest how insulting? How does this decrease traffic? Once again Mr. Evans is correct and not saying false things when he mentioned “There are those in these outlying counties who want no part of transportation where we’re going to be bringing black folk and others to their communities.” And it is politicians like Reed who continue to support this blatant racism because it benefits them and not the black community as a whole.

DannyX

July 25th, 2012
11:24 am

“The people who are mad about the lack of this or that in the projects list for the TSPLOST are the same people who wouldn’t let these projects get started when they should have…20 years ago.”

Not all, far from it. A lot of people in DeKalb are not pleased at all with the project list, DeKalb has helped fund MARTA for the past 40 years. DeKalb gets the insulting glorified bus service, and another project at the far west border that mainly benefits, you guessed it, Atlanta.

South DeKalb rail has been at the top of the list for at least 20 years, only to be passed over again and again. The Beltline project appears out of nowhere and immediately jumps to the front of the line. Again, how about buses for the Beltline and rail for south DeKalb? Sound like a plan?

East Lake Ira

July 25th, 2012
11:25 am

Vote yes and help create the levels of density that will support expanded heavy and light rail projects.

That’s what the Beltline is about, dense walkable living supported by mass transit.

Seems most of the No folks are the same ones that like to play the victim card.

po-po

July 25th, 2012
11:25 am

WHY are we listening to John Evans? He is a CONVICTED FELON, but everyone seems to forget about that from his time as a DeKalb County Commissioner…that should tell you something.

Dr. John Trotter

July 25th, 2012
11:26 am

Always follow the money. Who is getting this $600,000,000? It will not be flushed down a hole. Contacts — big contracts — will be awarded. To whom? Which individuals and which companies will make out like bandits, so to speak? Kasim seems to be pitching a tizzy fit over this matter. Is he just so committed to the little people of the Atlanta area…or to his friends at the Piedmont Driving Club? Me thinks the latter. Do you guys recall how that Kasim toted the water for ole Sam Williams and the Chamber folk about the school system? If it were up to Kasim Reed, apparently Beverly Hall would still be in charge of the Atlanta Public Schools.

Yes, my advice would simply be to follow the money, but by the time the huge contracts will be awarded, it will be too late. Another big government boondoggle mainly profitting the selected few? I don’t know. But, what seems obvious is that John Evans hit a nerve. What’s the old adage? The hit dog hollers.

Big ReD

July 25th, 2012
11:27 am

I voted NO. Let Atlanta traffic back up to Tennessee. Who Cares. Give more money to the state DOT to manage? What a joke.

Don’t waste your money, VOTE NO

GoodGrief

July 25th, 2012
11:28 am

Oh lawd… A penny on the dollar! Compared to the benefits it will bring to the metro area?? It’s a good thing some of you people didn’t represent majority opinions of the last 150 years. We’d still be driving horse and buggies on dirt roads!

Bobby

July 25th, 2012
11:29 am

The Dekalb NAACP has only their oganization’s best interests at heart. Not the residents of South Dekalb county.

woman 1

July 25th, 2012
11:29 am

who cares???

Boortz

July 25th, 2012
11:30 am

It really is a simple vote whether your black white red or yellow. It’s called NO!!!! People any taxes raised to support an issue that should never be asked for any more money from the tax payers is an automatic down vote for me. ESPECIALLY and I MEAN ESPECIALLY Transportation. I was listening to Erick Ericsson last night and he said the DOT finally had a plan in place with an engineer who could do the job. First of all I hate to have to bust the democrats and republicans on this issue but you know what the DOT defrauded all of Georgia. There account is missing tons and when I say tons of money they can’t account for which is well documented SPLOST is certainly not the answer. Before you go in to make a vount in the coming days do your own research…. the people in Georgia will not get what they want in this deal. I am with the fellow who said provide lists of exactly what contracts you have gotten and it seems to be big business that has gotten their way. SPLOST IS LOST is my slogan!!!!!!!!!!!

Marlboro Man

July 25th, 2012
11:36 am

Traffic is killing jobs.

All I'm Saying Is...

July 25th, 2012
11:38 am

Evans was a member of the Dekalb County Commission back in the 70s and 80s and he lost his seat because he was ineffective. He has a soapbox to stand on now but no real responsibilities. Unfortunately, he does not use his ability to get an audience due to his current title to share any thoughtful discourse. If so, he would have commented on how extending MARTA further into South Dekalb or eastward to Stonecrest Mall would be helpful (I’m not saying it would be but that’s a subject that he should chat about).

Instead, he dredged up arguments from the 60s and 70s about some folks not wanting a MARTA bus coming through their neighborhood. Those days are gone because every county now has transportation and traffic issues. Clayton needs bus service, for instance, as those without a car simply can’t get to where the jobs are.

And Atlanta needs a coherent transportation strategy because no business in its right mind is going to relocate here in the future if there is not at least a plan to try and address the issue and the plan has to include all options not just pave, pave, and pave.

TSPLOST is imperfect but it is a start. I wish all the folks complaining about it would spend half as much energy offering alternatives. Unfortunately, when whiners and complainers are challenged to share ideas and solutions, all they have to share is silence.

OneWhoBelieves

July 25th, 2012
11:39 am

I am so glad that we have Kasim Reed as our Mayor. Someone who can disect an issue and bring it to the people plain. People, this is the time to move on fixing our transportation whoas. Fundamentally, we all know that we need to do something about our congestion issues and providing alternative ways to travel is one of those ways. The window on this opportunity is open NOW and WILL NOT be next year or any other time. We have got to take on the responsibility of contributing to the success or our City and region. A penny on the dollar for all that this initiative will provide…where else…where else. Get the facts. Evaluate on the principles and personal affects. VOTE YES! And pick-up all those pennies you have lying around in your car and in your house that you walk over all day!

Don't Tread

July 25th, 2012
11:42 am

“There are those in these outlying counties who want no part of transportation where we’re going to be bringing black folk and others to their communities. They don’t want it. And so they’ll have their reason for voting.”

The NAACP, throwing out the race card on the first deal…whoda thunk it?

Some of us in the “outlying counties” have different reasons to vote NO, Mr. Evans. But you go right ahead and keep on spewing that garbage. I’m normally not a Kasim Reed fan, but good for him for putting Evans in his place.

Rickster

July 25th, 2012
11:43 am

Jim, you forgot to include Evans’ complete title. It should read, “Former disgraced DeKalb Commissioner, convicted felon and DeKalb NAACP President John Evans”

I know it’s a lot to type. So feel free to copy & paste.

Real DJ

July 25th, 2012
11:43 am

Where’s the rail?

After years of the state D.O.T.’s non-stop and, at times, demonstrably corrupt “paved earth” policy coupled with the code word campaigns against MARTA in the original 5 county vote, I don’t see the advantages for more buses on our roads. If there’s not a substantial rail component in this – and there isn’t – forget it.

I live in town and am over being inundated with buses and cars from the outer counties.