The unlikely partnership behind TSPLOST opposition

Colleen Kiernan couldn’t remember the exact day the alliance was formed. But it was over lunch, and definitely in the spring, said the director of the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club.

“Right around Earth Day,” Kiernan said, using a marker that probably never occurred to her partner, Debbie Dooley, a founder of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots.

At table that day, the two women from opposite ends of the political spectrum quickly discovered they had something in common. “Conservatives and Republicans are not the only voters that distrust their elected officials. There is a lot of distrust among Democrats as well,” Dooley said.

If the transportation sales tax in metro Atlanta scrapes through on Tuesday, the partnership between Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, and their last-minute efforts, will get much of the credit.

If the measure fails, victors raising their hands will range from Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, a Republican from Woodstock, to John Evans, the DeKalb County NAACP president who confronted Reed last week — however ineptly.

But the crux of this disparate opposition has been the partnership between the Sierra Club, one of the few environmental groups to stand against the sales tax referendum, and a tea party movement unafraid of forming temporary friendships.

Differences were supposed to make even a short-term alliance ineffective. The Sierra Club opposes the TSPLOST because its $6.2 billion spending package doesn’t include enough rail. Tea partyists have denounced the same package for including too much emphasis on rail.

But suspicion of cronyism and back-room deals has served as an effective, non-ideological glue for both sides. And by sticking together, the two groups have permitted right and left wings to communicate and coordinate in a way that otherwise would have been unlikely. For instance, state Sen. Vincent Fort, a liberal Atlanta Democrat, recently wanted a tea party presence at an anti-TSLOST event he was organizing He called an old ally, Sierra Club lobbyist Neil Herring, who completed the connection. Problem solved.

On Friday, the Sierra Club and Atlanta Tea Party Patriots held a news conference at the state Capitol – but not for a final push against the TSPLOST. They were much too confident for that.
They were there to talk about Plan B — what should be done beginning Wednesday, should the transportation sales tax be defeated. Leaders of the two groups picked out the areas – pipe dreams in some cases, common sense in others — where they will continue to agree. Among them:

— Consolidate the three current, complicated taxes on motor fuel into a single tax dedicated solely to transportation. A portion of a state tax on gasoline, worth about $175 million a year, currently goes into the state’s general fund. Additionally, some of the tax on gasoline is applied per gallon pumped. The two groups say gasoline taxes should be fixed to the price. Prognosis: Dim, given that this would likely be condemned as a tax increase.

— Rather than the current, proposed system of 12 regional tax districts, shift toward a system built on smaller agreements between pairs of counties. Prognosis: Interesting, but unlikely. And it would aggravate metro Atlanta’s basic political weakness – the fact that the region is already divided into too many separate and uncooperative fiefdoms. Should the TSPLOST fail on Tuesday, reaction from the state Capitol is likely to be directed toward more top-down planning, not less.

— Make members of the state transportation board more accountable by reducing their six-year terms to one year. Currently, DOT board members are elected by lawmakers, who cast secret ballots. The groups would have these votes cast in public. Prognosis: Needed, but unlikely to pass muster among state lawmakers who don’t want a governor or House speaker to know who isn’t following orders.

— Reform the operation of MARTA, and increase its funding. Shift revenue – about $300 million — generated by the current hotel/motel tax in Atlanta toward the transit agency rather than a new Falcons stadium. Prognosis: Impractical, given that a deal is likely to be struck with the football franchise before the Legislature meets in January.

But there was also agreement on an idea long overdue. Decades ago, when MARTA was created by the Legislature, white state lawmakers suspicious of rising black political power in Atlanta imposed a restriction on how the transit agency could use funds generated by a sales tax levied on Fulton and DeKalb counties. Only 50 percent could be used for operations. The rest must be used on capital improvements.

The restriction has been temporarily lifted, but that holiday will soon expire. Many Republicans want that restriction to remain – or at least want to exact a large price for lifting it permanently. That isn’t a tea party position, however.

“That may be a position of Republican legislators, but Republicans believe in local control,” Dooley said. “The voters in Fulton and Dekalb pay that tax. The state has no skin in the game. What are they doing, telling the voters that pay that tax what they can do with the money?”

Prognosis: Logical, and perhaps even possible.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

114 comments Add your comment

Proud Voter

July 28th, 2012
12:04 pm

I’m glad they have united. It’s difficult to work against splintered groups for a good cause. I am for t-splost, even with its imperfections. It will be much easier for me to vote against anyone who is against bettering the state of Georgia. I will be able to avoid the tunnel-vision of those who only pretend to be supportive of the economy in Georgia. Yes, I’m glad these factions have united because I don’t want to be a part of any of them. I prefer to continue to work for the improvement of Georgia and do all I can to bring it into the twenty-first century and not get bogged down in errors of the past.

Attack Dog

July 28th, 2012
12:25 pm

No to TSPLOST until the outliner counties, particularly Gwinnett, Cobb and Clayton have paid as much taxes for public transit, adjusted for inflation, that Fulton and Dekalb have paid over the past 40-years.

Todd

July 28th, 2012
12:34 pm

As it stands I love seeing who is where on this issue and can vote against those who do not hold the same view I do. I am hearing Debbie Dooley is out soon from some wired Tea drinkers.

Cyril

July 28th, 2012
12:37 pm

I have to say I almost did a spit take when I read the Sierra Club/Tea Party “Plan B” on Friday. Not because it was 2 groups that you wouldn’t expect to see working together, but because it was down right laughable what they were putting forward as a Plan B. It’d be one thing if they had some authority to get these things done, but they don’t. And the likelihood of the state legislature giving up their control over much of what Sierra Tea (sounds like a real product, so my apologies if I’m trademark infringing there) is pretty much nil. Nice to see Jim reporting it and talking about realities because it is time for people to get real about this vote.

Proud Voter II

July 28th, 2012
12:44 pm

I’m glad they have united, too!!

Nationwide, in similar tax referendums and in other ways, we are seeing the left and the right rejecting the “mainstream”. So then it is no surprise that the Sierra Club, Tea Party, and NAACP would stand opposed to the potential for more long-term environmental and social harm to our community — harm via poorly planned development, regressive taxation, and long-time, endemic potentials for public corruption, waste, and fraud.

To me, such unity could be evidence of some real and broad-based change. And we might just see some entirely new community leaders rising out of this tide!

Auntie Christ

July 28th, 2012
12:47 pm

Don’t expect any change in the formula for MARTA’s revenue allocation, or control over MARTA’s funds. The legislators from outside of Fulton and DeKalb will continue to restrict MARTA’s control over their own funds, forcing MARTA to contend with higher fuel and operating costs by cutting back on service and/or raising fares. Since MARTA’s main ridership is the area’s poor, there is no fear of repercussion from any powerful political bloc, so this strangulation of MARTA has no down side. The upside is the white power structure can point to MARTA’s “incompetent” leadership as the rationale for it’s continued starvation and their control over the purse. (Off topic, but germane: The same tactic will be used to defund the public schools of DeKalb and Fulton in favor of the charter schools, if the charter school amendment is passed. The state will control the money going to these counties, directing funds to charters, and the poor neighborhoods will get stiffed just like their parents are stiffed on MARTA).

And if you think any monies from the hotel/motel tax will be going to MARTA instead of Arthur Blank’s new house, you just keep smokin’ that good stuff, it’s hard to come by. Good capitalist legislators and sports franchise owners suddenly get in touch with their socialist side when the owners decide that those 20 year old crappy sky boxes are no longer suitable for their millionaire friends and politicos. We the public will be footing the bill for it while Arthur pockets the profits and mr deal, rogers, cagle et al get the best seats in the house.

Former Tea Partier

July 28th, 2012
12:56 pm

Wake up TEA Partiers! Your so called leaders are only about fame and making a buck off your donations! For them to align with the global warming crowd is a joke with a sad pathetic punch line!

Proud Voter II

July 28th, 2012
12:58 pm

Yes, we simply should have listened when we were told it is Plan A “or the highway”. Why even vote?

Proud Voter II

July 28th, 2012
1:01 pm

It is telling to me that we had a call by the legislature to come up with a T-SPLOST plan to submit to the voters for their approval or rejection. Yet, to voters who choose to reject that plan, the T-SPLOST supporters say that the “opposition” has no alternate plan. But then … when members of the community begin to brainstorm and offer compromises for another transportation plan, T-SPLOST advocates hollar that citizens simply have no authority to do so.

I hope all this does not portend these powers proving that they were right — that is, that the defeat of T-SPLOST will be the end of Atlanta.

Good thing we are still allowed to vote, huh?

n

July 28th, 2012
1:40 pm

A cursory glance at the list of sponsors of the TSPLOST campaign–road builders & planners, real estate developers, construction companies, is enough to convince me to vote against it.
Their almost hysterical non-stop campaign of robocalls, mailings and glossy ads demonstrates clearly that they are fixated on the potentially endless pot of gold that us taxpaying sheep are being bullied into granting them. A blank check for insiders and cronies, to be administers by insiders and cronies.

Refugee

July 28th, 2012
1:42 pm

OT here: Is there any truth to the rumor that Karen Handel will be assuming the Chick Fil-A PR duties?
She is strongly against gay anything and is the quintessential Dixie chick, and she will chow down on those sandwiches like a sow at the trough.

Dan Cathy may well be gearing up for a Jawja Goobernatorial campaign; it worked for another
famous ATL restauranteur, the great Goobernor Lester G. Maddox. It could happen! Cathy and Handel might run as a team. Hand out chicken sandwiches instead of ax handles.

This would be a winning ticket for sure.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 28th, 2012
1:45 pm

The 1st step to Plan “B” is a no vote on Tuesday. According to Friday’s WSB & the Rosetta Stone poll it’s 55% NO and 35% yes but you must vote to be counted.. VOTE NO ON WASTE, GRAFT , & CORRUPTION.

Sage Boucher

July 28th, 2012
1:56 pm

“The voters in Fulton and Dekalb pay that tax. The state has no skin in the game.”

The state of Georgia would collapse without Atlanta; the whole state is supported by its only major city. I have no skin in your game — I don’t use highways, ever. *I don’t even own a car.* So why should I support your driving, 82% of which is one person-one car, and incredibly wasteful?

IMHO, those who use highways should pay a toll for using it, that goes to the construction and maintenance of those highways. That way, those who use the highways will pay for their use, rather than people who don’t. In other words, it’s like your not wanting to pay for MARTA because you never use it, except it’s people not wanting to pay for your asphalt because we never use it. Which is much more fair. Vote NO!

YeahRight

July 28th, 2012
1:56 pm

To do what this temporary alliance proposes would require a state constitutional amendment (maybe more than one), and lots of legal dancing. Not impossible – but highly unlikely.

Do you really think this proposal would fly? Sure, it would be nice, at least it sounds nice – but to put up an ethereal straw man ‘Plan B’ against an existing ‘Plan A’ appears to be only a ruse to get people to vote down the latter.

How about this? Pass Plan A right now and let’s get started doing something constructive with transportation… and then work to get this proposed ‘Plan B’ implemented over the next 10 years? That way we could replace the current Plan A with something better when Plan A expires!

Come on SierraTea. That would work! Support the current plan NOW, and then support all those nifty proposals to replace the current TSPLOST when it runs out in 10 years?

Somehow I think that will fall on deaf ears (or eyes…).

J Kilgore

July 28th, 2012
2:04 pm

Supporters are naive to think that throwing another $ 1.9 Billion a year of cash into the black hole operating under the disguise of a Department of Transportation is going to solve anything. GDOT cannot manage their $ 2.5 to $ 3.0 Billion annual budget now, imagine the waste, fraud and abuse if you up the annual “funds available” to $ 4.9 Billion. The Chamber of Lies has spent $ 10 Million trying to convince Georgians that we are 49th in the country in transportation spending and that they are a savior with a “jobs plan”, neither of which is even close to be true, and they are STILL losing. Until the Legislators put their “Big Boy” pants on and deal with the REAL problem, which GDOT, the voters should reject ANY plan. And, if after T SPLOST is rejected, the legislators REFUSE to deal with GDOT, then we should immediately start replacing THEM.

Angel Macaroni

July 28th, 2012
2:08 pm

No one with an IQ above room temp. listens to these tea tards. Lest we forget, they nominated a “witch” to run for senate from Delaware.

oldfart

July 28th, 2012
2:17 pm

YeahRight, I’m old and do have a hearing problem but I’ve heard the old “We know the game is crooked but it’s the only game in town” argument more than a few times before.

misterwax

July 28th, 2012
2:17 pm

Vote HELL NO!! on TSPLOST….

Kilgore Trout

July 28th, 2012
2:19 pm

Many possible answers to questions surrounding Atlanta’s T-SPLOST can be found on the web at stateintegrity.org/georgia

YeahRight

July 28th, 2012
2:19 pm

oldfart,
and that’s why we’re in the pickle we’re in right now.

Cyril

July 28th, 2012
2:21 pm

So J. Kilgore, what exactly is the problem with GDOT? I see a lot of people saying they are the problem, that they can’t manage their existing funds, but I don’t see anything that ever backs up that opinion…just a lot of talk and boogey-man big government nonsense.

If you are going to make accusations, come with facts please. Fact, as of just a couple of years ago, the State of Georgia spent less than any other state on transportation than Tennessee. Fact, GDOT is one of the highest rated DOTs in the nation when it comes to on-time, on budget delivery, and they are one of the highest rated in the nation for road maintenance. There’s some facts for you. Where are yours?

Proud Voter

July 28th, 2012
2:27 pm

Hm, I think the whiners will vote against t-splost. They love the “ah ha” moments of I told you nothing will work, everything is bad, they’re all out to get us.

Really? Why would keeping so much money in your region to improve your region with sales tax collected in your region be such a bad thing to build on?

Oh, yeah, I forgot. If the idea to really to something for our great state doesn’t come from a special interest group (most of which are mentioned in this article), then it must be bad.

Wrong again.

T-splost is not the answer to all of Georgia’s transportations ills and corruptions of the past, but it is an answer to helping Georgia get out of the transportation mess it currently has.

If any of you naysayers think for one minute that business and industry will continue to want to do business in Georgia just because it’s a pretty state, think again. In my opinion,you naysayers want Georgia’s economy to be bad just so you can have more “ah ha” moments at the expense of all of Georgia’s citizenry.

Kilgore Trout

July 28th, 2012
2:28 pm

This article tells me that the T-SPLOST referendum will not untie Atlanta as its marketing strategists had hoped.

It is UNITING Atlanta against the long-time inefficiencies of public corruption by special interests, and against government unaccountability.

Last Man Standing

July 28th, 2012
2:34 pm

Cyril:

. . . and exactly how long have you been employed by GDOT?

oldfart

July 28th, 2012
2:38 pm

Georgia ranks 18th in total motor fuel tax rates. How does that translate to being 49th in transportation spending?

afraid

July 28th, 2012
2:39 pm

Beware of tree huggers, civil rights leaders, and anti-tax and anti-corruption activists … Vote YES!!

Cyril

July 28th, 2012
2:40 pm

@ LMS, I’m not, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Read up on them, stay engaged, and you might learn some facts too. Sad how much easier it is post hearsay and conjecture than fact.

afraid

July 28th, 2012
2:42 pm

Beware of conservatives, liberals, and necrotizing fasciitis … Vote YES!!

oldfart

July 28th, 2012
2:42 pm

Why can’t GDOT be mandated to spend the motor fuel tax proportionally to the region or even better, the congressional district in which the tax is collected? Why does it have to be a special sales tax even on groceries to be spent by region?

Cyril

July 28th, 2012
2:46 pm

@ Oldfart, quick google search pulled up what you are probably referring to. You are correct, though by my count 1 on total gas tax. Either way, I your point is valid except that not all of that money comes back to transportation. In fact, a good percentage does not. (This is what the Sierra Tea group refers to in one of their proposals even.) Rather, a significant amount of it is sent to state and local general funds to be used as they please. One last point to that, is that most states have additional means of collecting funds for transportation. While GA has the tolls on GA 400 & I-85, that is small change compared to a lot of states.

Cyril

July 28th, 2012
2:46 pm

sorry, meant 1 off on gas tax.

afraid

July 28th, 2012
2:50 pm

Oldfart, this is because it is better for Atlanta’s typical commuters to utilize a disproportionately tax on people who don’t fuel cars. (I use a car, don’t you?) … VOTE Yes!!

afraid

July 28th, 2012
2:51 pm

“disproportionate” tax, I mean. (Fear makes me make mistakes.) Sorry.

Cyril

July 28th, 2012
2:57 pm

@ Old Fart, “Why can’t GDOT be mandated to spend the motor fuel tax proportionally to the region or even better, the congressional district in which the tax is collected?”
This I may be incorrect on, but my understanding is they are required by state law to distribute the money equally among all congressional districts. In paper it makes sense, but then you think of how much more the Atlanta area likely collects because of tourists, conventioners, etc., and it probably would be better for Atlanta if it were based on how much is collected in a region versus an equal share across the state. This is a legislative issue (I think), and I’m surprised to not see the Sierra Tea group pointing to it. But then maybe they did, and Jim just didn’t report on it. Dunno.

yuzeyurbrane

July 28th, 2012
3:10 pm

I am all for cutting Artie Blank’s corporate welfare project (i.e. new stadium) off at the knees and transferring the funds saved to transportation. Why do you say it is impossible? The Governor has to give approval for tax subsidies to go forward and I don’t recall the legislature ever voting to approve new stadium. So political pressure on Deal and/or a lawsuit seem to be called for.

Kris

July 28th, 2012
3:23 pm

I read some of the boondoggle projects (just bits and ices here and there is NOTHING to HELP TRAFFIC…Line a few pockets yes it will. VOTE NO! For those tat want it LET THEM PAY.

No company should be exempt from the tax.

Nip this scam in the bud.
Hello to the GDOT posters and all of the crookedz deal/reed cronies.

There is a cure for greed and corruption.
Vote NO tsp-LOST.

Kilgore Trout

July 28th, 2012
3:32 pm

Hold it, Yeah Right!! (and Cyril):

The article above DOES NOT say that this is any plan B. The fraction of the T-SPLOST opposition described above (the local Sierra Club and Tea Party) is only listing what they would agree on in any Plan B. All they are doing is participating in OUR civics, and in a proactive way. And its about time!! Metrowide, we have been learning for months that T-SPLOST promoters do not welcome participation by naysayers. So your attitudes are a bit worn. And I welcome theirs!

Furthermore, what the “Sierra Tea Club” suggests on is by no means a reason for me to alter my own personal finding that this July 31st T-SPLOST is so unworthy of my “yes” vote. In other words, their suggestions and the details of this T-SPLOST are two very different things.

findog

July 28th, 2012
3:49 pm

The GOP cannot fix the rate of taxation because that would be a tax increase
So we have to put up with TSPLOST
Here is an idea:
What is the current maintenance budget for the DOT
What is the required budget for maintenance
Delta is required revenue
What is the current budget for expansion over next ten years
What is the cost to expand the 85% most overcrowded roads
What is the cost to improve the remaining 15%
Delta 1 is required revenue that should not be able to be manipulated by politicians
Delta 2 what has been lost in the past to waste fraud and abuse
Increase the fuel tax formula to maintain our roads and improve the top 85 percent
As the top 85 percent are improved the politicians can then take care of the last 15 percent

oldfart

July 28th, 2012
3:50 pm

Yep, GDOT is proposing and already building a projected $10 Billion in Lexus lanes and siphoning off huge chunks of motor fuel tax receipts to pay the initial costs with decades before their initial outlays are covered. In a public hearing and an open (turned to closed) Republican meeting GDOT representatives admitted that the Lexus lanes do not help alleviate overall congestion. Since it will not generate sufficient revenue to warrant shunting monies from say, some of the valid projects included in this sales tax proposal I’m left wondering about their motives.

I’m 100% in favor of all motor fuel tax money go 100% to transportation but the state’s portion that is not currently amounts to 3.03 cents per gallon. Local county and city SPLOSTS should not be allowed a ride on the multiple taxes already applied to motor fuels.

And yes logic would have one believe that the districts where the most motor fuel tax is collected are the one’s utilizing the roads the most and need a proportional amount of spending. Logic has never applied to Georgia state politics and this is how we end up with 4 lanes to Bainbridge with a 24 hour average daily traffic of 250 vehicles. If it takes a Constitutional amendment then so be it. We need the money to be spent where it is most needed.

I am also in full agreement with the parties above that the method used to select the Transportation Board has to be changed. The current method is classic backroom political dealing and as opaque as a bridge abutment.

Kilgore Trout

July 28th, 2012
3:55 pm

So if anyone assumed that Atlanta’s left and its right could not agree on a transportation agenda — the Sierra Club and the Tea Party is proving those people wrong. To show common ground along such lines is a strategically sensible gesture to make. Thus, the hope for a more equitable and effective transportation solution is more clearly on the horizon.

Much thanks to these two women and their supporters!

findog

July 28th, 2012
4:12 pm

Cyrill,
How about the widening of Sonny’s State Route 3 while east-west traffic north of Atlanta’s 285 is nearly nonexistent
How about the third lane on I-75 from Macon to Valdosta while GA-400 is nearly impassable in North Fulton during rush four
How about Tom Moreland getting his brother in law to buy the farm right in front of the GA-316 extension just before being funded when he was DOT Commissioner

Bob Loblaw

July 28th, 2012
4:20 pm

To sum up, we’ve got:
1. Two Constitutional ballot questions;
2. Laws already on the books that allow for some of these proposals (Cliff’s notes, anyone?);
3. A blank check to MARTA, paid for by who knows, to “get up to date” (whatever that means);
4. Leave MARTA to itself for all financial operations controlled by Fulton and DeKalb governments with no budgetary influence at the State level (bend over again, Fulton Taxpayers);
5. The rest of the ARC telling what its local legislation should look like; and
6. A suggestion to have hotel/motel taxes pay for transportation. How many local elections will that take? There’s 10 counties. I’ll let someone else count the cities.

Just vote for the T-SPLOST. It’s a lot better than this crap.

Debbie Dooley knows less about transportation than the dog that just ran across my yard. The Sierra Club can’t pass anything in Georgia.

oldfart

July 28th, 2012
4:38 pm

Funny that constitutional thing comes up when this proposal is on very shaky Constitutional ground itself. There is nothing in the state Constitution allowing for regional taxation. The constitutionally mandated districts are only statewide, county and city.

Bob Loblaw

July 28th, 2012
4:52 pm

@Oldfart:

You are correct, counselor. However, the Constitution does not expressly prohibit such districts. Esteemed constitutional attorneys that Bob Loblaw has consulted with believe this will permit regional taxing authority.

Yet Bob Loblaw paid attention in law school! I don’t do latin, but the translation is to “express one is to exclude the other.” Since existing taxing authorities gain such power via the Georgia Constitution, a good argument could be made as you posit.

ank

July 28th, 2012
5:02 pm

personally, i’ll enjoy all these folks voting no rotting in traffic. I drive reverse commute anyway

Mr. KnowitAll

July 28th, 2012
5:08 pm

What is obvious to a wide cross section of diverse groups and people is this TIA is a bad idea and the project list is a blatant scam perpetrated on the hapless taxpayers.

Once TSPLOST loses, the politicians had better realize constituents are awake and pi$$ed and have the organization and muscle to force them to start reforming the DOT, stop skimming from the gas tax, and fix problems with the money they already get.

If not…these same diverse groups will get together and kick their crony arses out of office.

VOTE YES!

July 28th, 2012
5:17 pm

If you vote No you will guarantee a higher gas tax and tolls. That will take more out of your pocket than a 1% sales tax!!! And you wont have any control on where the money goes or how it is tracked.

VOTE YES!

July 28th, 2012
5:18 pm

FACT: GDOT #1 in Nation in finishing project under budget. #2 in finishing on schedule.

http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP20-24(37)A(01)_FR.pdf

VOTE YES!

July 28th, 2012
5:21 pm

Does Debbie Dooley have ANY experience in transportation or transit???

Maybe she can cure cancer too since she’s not a doctor either. What a joke.

oldfart

July 28th, 2012
5:27 pm

Do you have ANY experience in transportation? I suspect you might. GDOT or C.W. Mathews?

And we’ve already been over this, we get the tolls regardless of this vote’s outcome.

hiram

July 28th, 2012
5:27 pm

Just a little review for those singing the praises for Georgia’s highly respectable politicians:

24/7 Wall St.: America’s Most Miserable States

According to Barrett, states with stagnant political environments often encourage corruption. Governments with high levels of corruption tend to have a political party — either the Democrats or Republicans — in power for a long time. The states that have had a “machine” in place for a long time often tend to be the most corrupt. Machines tend to want to protect themselves.

These are America’s most corrupt states.

1. Georgia

• Overall grade: F (49)
• Public access to information: F
• Legislative accountability: F
• Political financing: F
• Ethics enforcement agencies: F

Georgia has the worst levels of corruption risk and lack of accountability of any state in the country. The state scored a D or worse in 12 of the 14 categories. The state’s biggest problem is the absence of a strong ethics enforcement agency. Republican governor Sonny Perdue managed to get an ethics bill through the legislature, but by the time it passed, his proposals to ban gifts to state workers and clearly define appropriate campaign spending had been stripped out. According to State Integrity reporter Jim Walls, while Georgia has provisions to prevent certain kinds of corruption in campaign finance and lobbying, the state is full of unaddressed loopholes and lax enforcement. “About 2,000 Georgia officials, including one in five sitting legislators, have failed to pay penalties for filing their disclosures late, or not at all,” he said.

http://bottomline.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/03/27/10812551-states-with-the-most-lax-anti-corruption-laws

VOTE YES!

July 28th, 2012
5:31 pm

@oldfart. No we don’t get tolls. There are no tolls in the project list! Where do they come from???

I do not work for either of those companies. Why is it that if someone has a different opinion they MUST be getting paid for having said opinion?

VOTE YES!

July 28th, 2012
5:32 pm

@hiram. Even more reason to pass this law. It has more oversight than any other options. Citizen Review Panel, annual audits by independent auditors, etc.

hiram

July 28th, 2012
5:33 pm

LATE & NON-FILERS INDIVIDUAL DETAIL

PERDUE , SONNY
Filing Office: Secretary of State
Report Type: Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report
12-31-2007 Not Filed $75.00

PERDUE , SONNY
Filing Office: State Ethics Commission
Report Type: Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report
06-30-2008 Not Filed $75.00

PERDUE , SONNY
Filing Office: State Ethics Commission
Report Type: Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report
12-31-2008 Not Filed $75.00

PERDUE , SONNY
Filing Office: State Ethics Commission
Report Type: Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report
06-30-2009 Not Filed $75.00

Total Outstanding: $300.00

VOTE YES!

July 28th, 2012
5:34 pm

@oldfart. Who do you work for, Exxon or Mobile? Or maybe for the toll building manufacturers. Or maybe you’re married to Debbie Dooley.

findog

July 28th, 2012
5:39 pm

VY, tolls are from lexus lanes
A yes votes gives the state legislature a 10-year pass to do nothing, like the last six years it took to get to this point
A no vote forces them to do their job
Where are the accountability republican’s when it come to the state legislature?

hiram

July 28th, 2012
5:40 pm

VOTE YES!
July 28th, 2012
5:32 pm

“@hiram. Even more reason to pass this law. It has more oversight than any other options. Citizen Review Panel, annual audits by independent auditors, etc.”

Your kidding, right? Look at my last post. Perdue still hasn’t paid fines dating back 5 years, and who has done anything about it? No one. It is documented that this is THE MOST CORRUPT STATE IN THE COUNTRY – WE’RE NUMBER ONE. Your claims aren’t credible.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 28th, 2012
5:50 pm

Enter your comments here

oldfart

July 28th, 2012
5:52 pm

What is a toll building manufacturer? Why would Exxon or Mobile[sic] be for or against a regional sales tax? Why is Debbie Dooley your strawman?

I will spell it out for you as you keep parroting the company line using toll roads as a scare tactic. While it is true there are no toll roads in the TIA to use their future existence as the result of a no vote is completely disingenuous as we are going to pay for $10 Billion dollars worth of them even if this boondoggle passes.

Back to the Future

July 28th, 2012
5:59 pm

Cybil is correct. 85% of state and federal motor fuel tax funds must be proportioned equally among all congressional districts, except funding for GRIP, the ports, M&O and MARTA (which gets no state funds anyway). The allocation has no basis on where the funds are raised so economic zones like metro Atlanta have funding that is raised here sent elsewhere throughout the state. So someone who travels to metro Atlanta and uses our highway infrastructure has some of their gas taxes sent to Hahira and Hiawasee, which isn’t impacted at all by someone using metro Atlanta roads. So that’s what the Tea Party thinks our rural dominated legislature will pass next year to address metro Atlanta’s transportation funding challenges. Yea. Right.

jj

July 28th, 2012
6:11 pm

The current road problems stemmed from years of siponing funds from the metro area to the rural areas by the state rural politician. They need to be out of the process totally. They need to fix it right and politicians never, ever get it right.

The GA DOT has done a good job (except under the evans tyrany) given the political process they face. GA DOT along with the private sector strategic thinkers can fix this problem if they can get the ploiticians out of it. This needs a regional big picture solution. T-Splost does not do it.

Vote NO

YeahRight

July 28th, 2012
6:30 pm

I still think that we ought to pass the TSPLOST (Plan A)… and then let the SierraTea crowd show that they really are serious and can push through a Plan B, as they have described, to replace Plan A in 10 years. That way we will be doing something, and have it replaced with another thing that will even be better. That beats waiting 8-9 years for anything at all to get done!

See if they are really serious, or just blowing smoke where the moon don’t shine.

I have a hunch that this ‘alliance’ is just one of convenience, and they really are not serious. They need to prove it to me with actions, not just convenient words.

Richie

July 28th, 2012
6:34 pm

Vote Yes or else!!

jj

July 28th, 2012
6:37 pm

Don’t have to wait for 10 years for plan b when Tsplost is voted down. It will be on the ballot again in 2 years.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 28th, 2012
7:08 pm

Vote NO on plan “A” which just lines corrupt cronies pockets not reduces congestion & yes on plan “B” if it actually reduced congestion.

shady

July 28th, 2012
7:17 pm

How come the abortion law, drug testing people all over, and other laws not get put on the ballot. What does TSplost propse to do? What do the people for and against the law have to say. What are the good and bad points aganst. Teach

Ray

July 28th, 2012
7:24 pm

And, the Sierra Club does not support the start of the “Northern Arc” by any name.

The special interest behind this bill were obviously hoping the public could be fooled into supporting this bill by providing a little piece of “eye candy” to each region or district. But, let’s be clear, you are voting for a wish list that the powerful interest, and lobbyists created. These are the people who get their calls answered, within minutes. Once this passes, see how many politicians receive donations of great appreciation. This is big, big money, no matter who you are.

G Mare

July 28th, 2012
8:00 pm

Mailed my absentee ballot 2 weeks ago. NO on tsplost. If it had been on the Dem ballot, probably would have voted for gambling tho. Anybody know why it was only on the R ballot?

GaBlue

July 28th, 2012
8:24 pm

Regressive tax. Look it up.

hiram

July 28th, 2012
8:39 pm

Why a $100 cap?

Public Officials or Group Name:

Rudy Bowen
Chairman State Transportation Board

Lobbyist Name/On Behalf Of:

MOELLERING , DAVID J/
GEORGIA HIGHWAY CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION

Date/Amount/Description

04/29/2012
$1200.00
Georgia Highway Contractors Association
Annual Convention Guest and Speaker
RitzCarlton, Amelia Island, Fl. – 4/26/12 – 4/29/12.

ethics.ga.gov

voted yes

July 28th, 2012
8:57 pm

Too bad. The Sierra Club will never get better. Hot Lanes on the way if Tsplost fails.

I voted yes because this is the closest that we have come to individual respresentation in Georgia, the list of projects is balanced, this will put Georgia in the lead economically in Georgia, the Nation, and the World.

True it is a new path and new paths can be reasons to be afraid. True growth comes when we confront those fears.

Go Georgia! Go Atlanta!

VOTE YES!

July 28th, 2012
9:26 pm

Fact of the matter is a vote no will set this state back at least a decade. Plan B will not be on the ballot in 2 years. It will be 6 at least because of who is up for election in 2 years. GDOT and the state will be forced to up the gas tax and build toll booths/lanes in order to keep up with a depleted infrastructure. This higher gas tax and tolls will cost you more than a 1% sales tax and have ZERO oversight.

It is economic suicide to not vote for this. Bottom line.

Shar

July 28th, 2012
9:28 pm

The extra tax on Georgians due to T-SPLOST is supposed to be justified by an improved ability to move through the Atlanta metro area.

The most optimistic estimates of improvement that I have seen are a 6% decrease in commuter time for SOME north/south commuters in ten years’ time IF no increases in flow rates are taken into account. For the rest of us, there is no appreciable difference.

TSPLOST is not a jobs bill. If I wanted to give away money and get nothing of value back, I’d hand out cash to those people who hold their sad “Will Work For Food” signs while cradling their feet in $400 Nikes. T-SPLOST was designed in backrooms throughout the state to do two things generate huge piles of cash to the well-connected and fund partial or initial projects that can then justify the (minimum) two additional decades of tax justification to keep this slush fund full.

The politicians and business people who colluded on this list were arrogantly confident that they could jam it through by scheduling the vote at the time that voter turnout would be lightest, by pressuring employees of companies that have gotten sweetheart contracts to get out and vote their self-interest, by spreading disinformation like “there is no Plan B” or “no more employers will open in Georgia if it fails” or even the pathetic “we have to do something, so why not this?” and by electioneering on the ballot itself by adding misleading propaganda on the very instrument of the vote.

All of this underhanded arrogance and greed left out one crucial consideration: the T-SPLOST projects needed to deliver transit value to the taxpayers who have to pay for them.

The plan, while excellent at offering limitless opportunities for corruption and for justifications for the thirty years that supporters expect this tax to run, fails, completely, to accomplish any significant improvement at all.

It deserves to fail, completely, at the polls.

G Mare

July 28th, 2012
9:39 pm

Voted yes, I voted NO because I am a senior citizen on a fixed income & simply can not afford to pay another penny on everything I buy, not to mention that I have never & will never trust a politician to spend our money wisely. Ergo, when I get a chance to vote on a tax, I will vote NO. Okay, I did vote yes on the last Splost in Cobb County only to find that $$ was spent on widening sidewalks that were seldom used. “Fool me once…”.

hiram

July 28th, 2012
10:07 pm

This is the guy we’re supposed to trust?

Georgia Transportation Official Gets Camera Shy When Asked Simple Question

http://www.pixiq.com/article/georgia-transportation-official-gets-camera-shy

Dan Miller

July 28th, 2012
10:30 pm

Just one example of the pockets of corruption that TSPLOST will hold from our beloved Georgia representatives in charge. GA received $97 million from the FED for the people suffering from the housing debacle. GA kept the money and said it was going to use it to create jobs. which is what GA homeowners really needed. Sound familiar?? Wnat we really NEED is TSPLOST The AJC needs to investigate and track the $97 million to where the money really went. Do you think it went into some friendly business pockets? Also investigate how many jobs actually resulted and what the employees got paid. Then you will have a clue how your tax money will be handled with TSPLOST. It may be too late for the TSPLOST vote on Tuesday but vote NO until you get answers to the $97 million. Crooks are crooks, no matter how they dress!

Kris (voted NO)

July 28th, 2012
11:47 pm

I think the Federal auditors should do a top to bottom audit of the states finances for the last 15 to 20 years to find out if all TAX money was used properly (Probably not). As well as GDOT, Board of regents etc, and all dealings of the present and past governors’ DEAL and Sonny and barnyard.
This should be done in a timely manner.

Just the few of the taxes and the $$$ collected by the state that was not used as it should.

Super speeder fines (Ruse to help trauma centers).
Gasoline tax. Distributed where collected. Not to be used for pet projects. (cheep asphalt and pocket change).
Old tire disposal.

97 million returned to the state from the federal gov’t in the foreclosure SCAM.

To name a few
The phrase “crime doesn’t pay” would probably more accurately be stated as “crime can pay quite well, at least until you get caught.
There is a cure for greed and corruption. Vote the crooks out.

Vote NO tsp-LOST.

Buckhead Boy

July 29th, 2012
3:52 am

Suggest that Plan B is to deny a driver’s license to those older than 68 years of age and younger than 21 to reduce highway congestion and enhance safety, and watch the dynamics of this referendum change overnight. And, that might be even less absurd than many of the points made above, pro and con!

Jeff

July 29th, 2012
7:13 am

FTR: Atlanta is NOT the only ‘major city’ in Ga. Look to your east. Directly on I-20 even. At the Savannah River. There sits a city of 200K+ people. Not exactly a ’small town’ – and yet without NEAR the problems of ATL.

BrakePad

July 29th, 2012
8:27 am

I am voting YES, reluctantly. Beats a combination of toll lanes, higher gas taxes at the pump and more federal borrowing (and lack of oversight.) Teacher’s union love the TSPLOST debate diversion and would much rather hav folks focus on the bad traffic getting to the school, than the poor education received our kids do manage to get there. The ARC should create a lottery to fund MARTA to shore up what TSPLOST only begins to address. Vote YES.

Mike(I Voted YES)

July 29th, 2012
8:38 am

I voted YES because unliek the TEA PARTY, I am for an econimic stimulus! I cant say no to 200,000 jobs and this recession has hit minorties the hardest. We cant afford to say NO to $3 billion in business that will be available for minority businesses. Marta will recieve $600 million if the TIA passes. If we vote NO, Cobb County, Gwinnett, Cherokee, et. will never pay anything into Marta. The passage of this referendum would ensure for the first time ever that revenues from the region would support Fulton and Dekalb’s residents’ investment in MARTA. The only way to get them to pay at all is to pass the TIA!!!!

Super Delegate

July 29th, 2012
8:54 am

Vote YES and be commited to ATLANTA’s future! Our quality of life is what this all about. This is about connecting us to everywhere we want to go. Rarely do we get to vote yes to something that benifits everyone! This is that rare opportunity! VOTE YES for the TIA!!! Be the change you want to see, don’t live in the past!

Its About the Future

July 29th, 2012
8:57 am

VOTE YES!!! I did!!!!

Chris Sanchez

July 29th, 2012
8:58 am

Folks in the metro Atlanta area are not against paying for projects that improve traffic congestion. What we are against is handing over $7 Billion to politicians for a plan that has no hope of relieving congestion, half of which is not intended to relieve congestion in the first place. I imagine that much money could really impact our traffic woes if it were all spent to do so.

There is a complete lack of trust in our politicians, underscored by Gov. Purdue extending the GA 400 toll, and it is the fault of the politicians. So seeing there is insufficient support to pass TSPLOST in recent polls, Gov. Deal decides that seventeen months from now the GA 400 toll will go away to try and get some support for TSPLOST (I may be a doubting Thomas but I will believe it when I see it with my own eyes!). Frankly it is insulting! Had he been bold and done so quickly after taking office he may have had some influence on this and other issues. However, the voters see Deal’s actions for what they are.

If economic development is an issue that needs funding, then propose it and lets have that debate. Don’t try to hide it in this TSPLOST nonsense. A glaring omission is the opinion from Chris Leinberger of the Brookings Institution who admitted that the goal of the transit is economic development and NOT relieving traffic congestion. We already know how Mr. Jackson feels about spending more money on transit so I will not go down that rabbit hole. Fortunately, the current project list is not stacked enough towards those whose support the transit spending to earn their vote. See, there is a bright spot in this and it is coming on July 31 with a big NO vote!

Change GEORGIA's History (VOTE YES)

July 29th, 2012
9:01 am

Say NO to MORE TOLLS and HIGHER GAS TAXES! VOTE YES FOR THE TSPLOST!!!!

Debbie Dooley

July 29th, 2012
9:07 am

Everyone should know that Bob frequently posts on Peach Pundit and always defends the Governor and House members. Most feel he actually is a paid employee of either Gov. Deal or House Leadership.

Bob wrote;
“Debbie Dooley knows less about transportation than the dog that just ran across my yard. The Sierra Club can’t pass anything in Georgia.”

Hey Bob, and Vote yes, I know as much about transportation as the GA DOT Planning Director Gov. Deal just appointed – Toby Carr.. Toby is a political crony of Gov. Deal’s and has had NO transportation experience. His employer have either been political related or involved with installing flooring.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 29th, 2012
9:09 am

ONE OF THE MOST FREQUENTLY HEARD ARGUMENTS made on TSPLOST’s behalf in recent days was “It’s not the perfect project list, but …” That’s hardly a ringing endorsement. In fact, it’s like saying that of one’s future bride that, “She’s not the wife I had hoped for, but …”

And we suspect that by Tuesday evening it will be abundantly clear that this was not the transportation fix that Cobb residents wanted and is not a tax they want to pay … and pay … and pay.

Debbie Dooley

July 29th, 2012
9:12 am

As for as jobs creation, the AJC Truth-o-meter rated the claim of the pro tax groups that 200,000 jobs would be created as FALSE..

Bob Loblaw

July 29th, 2012
9:24 am

That’s right! Debbie Dooley knows job creation, too!

Bob Loblaw is offended that ou would think he is a state employee. Unlike you, Bob Loblaw is a job creator. I’ve signed the front side of a paycheck, unlike you.

Bob Loblaw

July 29th, 2012
9:31 am

Also, why you continually attack Mr. Carr with names like “crony” is beyond me. He has served as the Executive of the State Republican Party, has been a policy advisor to elected officials and has most recently served as, wait, here it comes: Transportation Policy Advisor to the Governor. So someone who has served public officials and earned their trust is a “crony”? You basically just insulted everyone who has a career in government. And you’re so freaking clueless about how government works that you should be humiliated that I have to continually break out “American Government 101″ on you to show how your “policies” (And I use that term ever so lightly) are either unlawful, conflict with law, already law or otherwise just plain pathethic.

A Conservative Voice

July 29th, 2012
9:33 am

I’ll say it again……”You can’t trust politicians to do what they say they’re gonna do”. Also, you don’t vote to raise taxes in a recession…..Also, I would never vote to give any more money to MARTA, a bottomless pit that just keeps getting deeper. TSPLOST, you’re GOING DOWN.

Debbie Dooley

July 29th, 2012
9:34 am

Bob, what I find amazing is that the same elected officials that condemned the Obama Administration for the Stimulus Bill and, plan to raise taxes to pay for it are now touting the same thing on a state level to spur economic development and create jobs, President Obama called the Stimulus Bill an investment, too.

The GOP elected officials and Republicans that support T-SPLOST should stop being hypocrites. I guess they support massive government spending and tax increases as long as it is not the Democrats that propose them.

Debbie Dooley

July 29th, 2012
9:39 am

Bob, I know how government works. You just don’t like it because I disagree with you. I love it when you are losing an argument and result to insults and start throwing a temper tantrum like a spolied child..You are so predictable..

hiram

July 29th, 2012
9:43 am

This is all about trust. How can you trust politicians who refuse to limit the amount of bribes they receive from lobbyists? The number one issue in Georgia is a corrupt politicians, and the most important vote you cast, will be the one that removes them from the office.

Bob Loblaw

July 29th, 2012
9:45 am

Now your political attacks are weak. You just finished your absolutely irrelevant event with your liberal do-nothings in the Sierra Club where you agreed to raise other taxes to fund transportation. So, I guess you’ll raise only the taxes that you think should be raised? How is a supporter of T-SPLOST a hypocrite and how on Earth do you break out Obama and the Stimulus bill in the same conversation? Stop the doubletalk! I’m shocked that you didn’t wiggle the word “Pelosi” in that statement. Go get another cup of coffee. Bob Loblaw is off to church. I need to pray for this country and for wisdom to be dispensed upon the likes of you.

Debbie Dooley

July 29th, 2012
9:57 am

We agreed to combine the tax and adjust the way gas taxes are collected. We did not say the tax rate would stay the same. the rate could be adjusted so it is not a tax increase but we believe all gas tax revenue should go for transportation needs.

We believe that the people that use the resource should be the one to pay for maintenance and operations of the resource and that funding for transporation needs should come from a variety of consumption based user fees – not just one

You criticize us for working with Sierra Club, yet you think it is ok for Gov. Deal to work with Mayor Reed. Once again, Bob, your hypocrisy is showing.

hiram

July 29th, 2012
9:59 am

I lost all respect for the Sierra Club over their open borders advocacy, which contradicts everything they stand for. It seems that everyone is for sale to the highest bidder.

honested

July 29th, 2012
10:17 am

Well with this development, I’m sure Ms. Dooley will get behind a new T-SPLOST with the region being all of North Georgia and having a horizon of at least 20 years.
That way there will be enough money to build an interconnected inter-city rail system and make a REAL dent in the traffic.
I’m sure Ms. Dooley will corral her hordes into full and unquestioned support.
Right Debbie?

honested

July 29th, 2012
10:27 am

hiram,
The SC discusses issues with all contributing participants (at least they are supposed to) and sometimes a decision occurs that defies logic. ‘Open Borders’ may well be one where the CA input
was given a bit too much heft.
Yet it isn’t really a reason to throw out the whole baby.
By the way, the ‘highest bidder’ guy has been gone for nearly two years.

middle of the road

July 29th, 2012
10:29 am

To all you “yes” people – Georgia will not die if the vote NO people win. I think you have an inflated sense of how important Atlanta is. Smart money is going other places (Caterpillar), where the crime is not as bad and the schools are better. Let Atlanta rot in its own cesspool of crime and poverty. People want to live in the suburbs, so that is where businesses should relocate. SPRAWL IS GOOD!

mehlman rings twice

July 29th, 2012
10:32 am

Just because Ronald Reagan signed a transportation bill in 1983 doesn’t convince me to vote yes on this measure. His judgement was questionable anyway. Later that same year, Reagan also sent 250 marines to their deaths on that Beirut tarmac.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 29th, 2012
10:42 am

$600,000,000.00 for the waste/belt line that is a jobs bill alright because it won’t reduce congestion. Only problem is the created jobs will be for Deal & Reed’s corrupt cronies.

GaBlue

July 29th, 2012
10:44 am

I saw Ms. Dooley on the television a little while ago. While there are valid points on both sides of this impending vote, I was struck by the irony of her statement:

“Conservatives and Republicans are not the only ones who don’t trust our government.”

Um… Hello? In Georgia, the conservatives and Republicans RUN our government. Y’all don’t trust the people Y’ALL got elected? Lord have mercy, maybe people need to start paying attention for a change instead of just trusting and poking the screen for whichever candidate has an R by his nor her name!!!

We have the government we deserve.

honested

July 29th, 2012
10:53 am

Ms. Dooley, I’m waiting for a response.

Proud Voter

July 29th, 2012
11:53 am

I really don’t give a tinker’s dime what Reagan or Bush or Perdue or Barnes or anybody else has DONE. It’s over. Ka-put. Gone. Did ya’ll like it because you’re the ones who voted them into office.

What I do care about is today and what I can do for tomorrow for my region of my state. T-splost will at least give my region a chance to improve itself. All business and industry including agriculture need better roads and bridges. Whining and pointing fingers never improved any system. This local tax money left in my region at least gives my region a fighting chance to improve itself. Thank the good Lord none of you naysayers were around when the first idea of interstate travel came up in the political conversation. You’d probably vote against it because that would bring too many “dang furiners” into our schools and churches.

We need to approach this problem like adults. NO, the t-splost is not perfect, but it’s so much better than the alternative: same ol’ same ol’.

Some of ya’ll need to stop, move over, but get out of the way so Georgia can do something positive for itself. The rest of the United States is looking at this vote very carefully because they are seeing Georgia on the brink of setting a nationwide trend in transportation progress. Why don’t we choose to be leaders in our nation in something else besides tunel vision? It’s time.

DannyX

July 29th, 2012
12:00 pm

“NO, the t-splost is not perfect, but it’s so much better than the alternative”

Congratulations Proud Voter, that is the 1,000th time you have repeated your “NO, the t-splost is not perfect,” phrase. Talk about tunnel vision and same ol’ same ol’.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 29th, 2012
12:01 pm

Proud Voter

July 29th, 2012
11:53 am

Double time on Sunday???

honested

July 29th, 2012
12:59 pm

I certainly hope that with the new ‘alliance’ it suggests the teawhatevers have come to accept simple, factual information, like global warming and the appropriate sharing of the costs of civilization.

Who knew, there may be hope for the lowest common denominator yet.

Proud Voter

July 29th, 2012
1:37 pm

Yes, and this makes the 1001 statement of “it’s not perfect but we’ve got to do something.” I don’t want to see Georgia slide any lower into the last place in the U.S. business and industry will consider expanding because we’re too short-sighted to improve ourselves. I’ve not read one good reason in any of these blogs as to why t-splost is so bad, and I have read far too many lies and other misleading statements about how bad it is. Mostly what I’ve read is just from angry misled people who will always vote against change.

This is a bi-partisan effort to help Georgia limp into the twenty-first century. Nothing like t-splost has ever been done before. It’s a very simple creation to solve some mighty complex transportation problems. This is why the rest of the nation is watching this very closely. Many states have already contacted the creators of this innovative way to fund transportation and are planning its implementation in their own states. And ya’ll want to continue to argue about “they done us wrong” over issues that aren’t even issues in this vote?

Danny X and GA Values, we are miles apart in our idealogy, and from the attitudes and opinions ya’ll have offered here, I am thankful for that. I still believe in the American Dream for anything that now exists began as an idea. I strongly feel the idea of t-splost can help Georgia, particularly my region. I cannot say no to something that offers so many jobs and so much finanacial expenditure in my region. I cannot turn a blind eye as others obviously are to the possibility of more jobs and an improved economy in my region. I cannot.

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 29th, 2012
1:45 pm

Proud Voter

July 29th, 2012
1:37 pm

I’d try to cash your check before wed. don’t think the tsplost is going to pass…TOO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH THE PROJECTS & TOO MANY CROOKS WITH THEIR HANDS OUT.

Proud Voter

July 29th, 2012
1:58 pm

I don’t bow to special interest groups as you seem to do GA Values (for you seem to back the tea party, sierra club, etc., of this original article). My check will be good the day before and the day after July 31st. I hope t-splost will pass so that I will be able to earn more money in my region by more job opportunities and the incresed economy brought about by the t-splost. If you aren’t open to compromise for the improvement of all and are only interested in your own selfish aims, then you probably don’t need to be a part of the t-splost process. None of the t-splost is about bettering only a few citizens, but bettering it for all so that the industry and business folks will see Georgia as a progressive state who wants to work not only within itself to improve but who wants to be a part of the twenty-first century improved economy of the U.S. This t-splost is only the first step for Georgia for when it is implemented, many more positive events will happen for Georgia. I doubt very seriously that you will turn up your nose at an improved economy or are you that stubborn?

Well, we’ll just have to see.

DannyX

July 29th, 2012
2:52 pm

Proud Voter @ 1:37 said…”I’ve not read one good reason in any of these blogs as to why t-splost is so bad, and I have read far too many lies and other misleading statements about how bad it is.”

You need to start reading, there are posts from hundreds of people that spell out the reasons why they don’t support TSPLOST.

Here a few of the reasons I don’t support it.

From a very local standpoint I don’t like the fact that I would be paying a 2 cent sales tax for transportation. It wouldn’t be so bad if the project list didn’t basically ignore the county I live in, DeKalb. The I-20 bus service is insulting. The Clifton corridor rail project is at the extreme west side of the county and mainly benefits Atlanta. In the mean time Atlanta scored big time with the Beltline that isn’t a regional project at all. In fact the Beltline already had a funding mechanism in place but Mayor Reed got greedy. Here’s a plan, I-20 gets the rail, the Beltline gets the buses, which probably makes more sense.

When it comes down to it the project list isn’t going to do anything to relieve traffic. The car happy suburbs need new freeways/toll roads, but this plan doesn’t fund them. One of the reasons is because the developers were allowed to develop every last inch of Cobb and Gwinnett counties, there is no place left to build them. Interchange upgrades and new freeway lanes will do nothing. Places like Dallas are using a combination of rail and new toll roads to relieve traffic, this plan offers none of that in the suburbs.

Nobody can answer the “big if.” What happens if all the projects that are on the list don’t get the matching federal funds that are required? Can a project be cancelled? If so who gets to decide? What happens to the money that was budgeted for a project if it gets cancelled? What happens if a project goes over budget. Does it get cancelled? How is the shortfall made up? The new nuclear power plants are already facing $700 billion in cost overruns, surprising no one! Of course there will be overruns, some significant.

Our politicians cannot be trusted. PERIOD! Democrat or Republican. Our politicians simply don’t have the trust of the people. Everywhere you look they are up to no good. I have absolutely no confidence that they can be trusted with 7 billion dollars. Come back after they get serious with sensible ethics laws and strict enforcement, until then forget it. Some may say that TSPLOST includes policing measures to keep it honest, well look around, start with the Georgia Ethics commission and you will find that it is a useless joke, manipulated, underfunded and staffed by yes men. Look at the Georgia Public Service Commission totally dominated by big dollar lobbies and big dollar donations given to them by the utility companies. We are supposed to trust these same people keep things on the up and up? Laugh.

And finally the state needs to fix the funding system for transportation. Metro-Atlanta is being ripped off. If the state really wants to do something about transportation in metro-Atlanta they need to stop sending 35% of metro Atlanta’s gas tax revenue to other parts of the state. This entitlement program is a big reason we are in the mess we are in. Now we are being asked to pay more to make up for it, insulting. Listening to people from other parts say “why should we pay to help Atlanta out of their transportation nightmare” is hilarious, how about you give up your entitlement!

There are many, many reasons to oppose TSPLOST, open your eyes.

Is this the Get Schooled blog?

July 29th, 2012
2:53 pm

Re: GCAE, GAE, CCAE etc. …

I always chuckle when teachers’ union officials describe their local groups as being “affiliated” with the National Education Association. As if it’s a vague, proximity thing.

They ARE the National Education Association representatives in their localities. There are no others. And 100% of their members ARE therefore also dues-paying members of the NEA and thus fund the union’s liberal Democrat politics.

Which explains the coyness.

The amount of money the NEA and its local chapters spend on politics ranges upwards of $450 million per year, by the way. Read more about that here: http://goo.gl/CR089

Unions aren’t only about militancy in the workplace.

Slip

July 29th, 2012
3:22 pm

Yes to TSPLOST. YES to a great city.