Your morning jolt: One-third of early voters supported TSPLOST, says poll

Only a third of early metro Atlanta voters supported the transportation sales tax, according to the firm that conducted a general poll for Channel 2 Action News last week.

Rosetta Stone Communications, a GOP-oriented political service firm, last night polled 656 randomly selected early voters in the 10-county TSPLOST district. Support was measured at 32 percent.

As of last Thursday, 123,870 early votes had been cast – we should have updated numbers that include Friday’s ballots by sometime this morning.

Last week, Kevin Ross and Paul Benacke, Strategists for the Untie Atlanta campaign said that, while discouraging, recent polls don’t measure the new voters their campaign has driven to the polls. Wrote the pair:

The campaign sampled 5,991 out of the 33,551 absentee voters and we are winning 57 percent to 43 percent; furthermore, the campaign sampled 5,681 out of the 71,298 early voters and we are winning 53 percent to 47 percent.

The Rosetta Stone findings would appear to contradict that.

“The math is simple, and the results are clear” said John Garst of Rosetta Stone. “The TSPLOST was badly defeated in the early voting period.”

Margin of error for the automated Rosetta Stone poll was placed at +/- 3.8 percentage points.

In an AJC survey released Sunday, 51 percent of likely voters said they would reject the 1 percent sales tax.

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No doubt the timing of this piece of news below is aimed at Tuesday balloting. From Jim Burress and WABE (90.1FM):

In a letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder, Ga NAACP chapter president Edward DuBose says the Georgia Department of Transportation engages in “willful” acts of discrimination against African-American and other minority-owned businesses.

DuBose says G-DOT’s own internal audit confirms the charges, and asks for the Department of Justice to investigate.

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Then again, the Newnan Times-Herald brings word of an opposing position: The group 100 Black Men of Atlanta has endorsed the TSPLOST.

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You know that this is a “have-to” – not a “want to” for the White House. From the New York Times:

Former President Bill Clinton is set to play a central part in the Democratic convention, aides said, and will formally place President Obama’s name into nomination by delivering a prime-time speech designed to present a forceful economic argument for why Mr. Obama deserves to win a second term.

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In additional excerpts released by ABC News from its overseas interview with Mitt Romney, the GOP presidential candidate was unable to say whether he ever paid a lower tax rate than the 13.9 percent he paid in 2010. Via the Los Angeles Times:

“I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look, but my view is I’ve paid all the taxes required by law,” Romney [said].

Romney’s 13.9% rate falls far below rates typically applied to those with incomes approaching the $20.1 million he made in 2010.

“I know that I pay a very substantial amount of taxes, and every year since the beginning of my career so far as I can recall,” he later added.

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Voters in northeast Georgia today will find this message from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on their home answering machines:

”If you agree that it’s time our elected officials stop talking at us and start listening to us, then I hope you’ll join me in supporting Martha Zoller for Congress. Martha’s running against the establishment, but with all of our support, she can win. Martha has been fighting for conservative causes for years. In addition to being pro-life and a firm defender of our Constitution, including our second amendment rights, Martha is a strong fiscal conservative…..”

Now, maybe it’s not a big deal, but in her message, Palin mispronounces the 9th District candidate’s name. The former radio talk show host’s name rhymes with “collar.” Palin pronounced it “Z-owe-ller.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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234 comments Add your comment

Ga Values VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 30th, 2012
9:16 am

I’m 1st & the name says it all..

Bill from Atlanta

July 30th, 2012
9:21 am

Concur with you Ga Values…let the splost go down in flames!!

Out by the Pond

July 30th, 2012
9:31 am

I have some sad news for the Tsplost supporters. I was polled about my position and knowing that it was the pro people calling I lied and told them I supported the tax. Childish action, but they called me.

the cat

July 30th, 2012
9:32 am

Why would former President Clinton’s speech at the convention be deemed a have to instead of a want to? Clinton remains popular and remember during his term was the era of peace and prosperity for all. Then the republicans ruined it all.

Cutty

July 30th, 2012
9:34 am

I voted no as well, but for different reasons. Why should MARTA get the shaft by the state, while I have to subsidize the suburbanites commute into the city via GRTA? Those buses clog downtown streets during rush hour and someone thought it acceptable for me to help pay for it. Hell no. When MARTA gets the same respect then we can talk.

Astropig

July 30th, 2012
9:35 am

T-Splost is lost up here in NW Georgia also. The only people that seem to support it are the ones that will ladle the gravy and the paid hacks that are on a retainer to make it happen. It might get a percentage or two higher in our region,but if it breaks 40% statewide, I’ll be astonished.

Q:What is bright yellow and sleeps 4 ?

A: A GDOT truck !

Ed

July 30th, 2012
9:39 am

Did anyone else notice in the commercials where the seatbelts tie-up the drivers that each car had only one person in it. If everybody carpooled,there would be no need for T-SPLOST. I was amazed that one of the people at the support rally this weekend said “we know that some of the money will be mismanaged, but some of the money will go to ease traffic” and they were serious.

yellowdog

July 30th, 2012
9:43 am

totally agree with the cat; p.s. im voting yes; romney did not say anything new about israel that the prez has not said many times over; its politically the thing to do for all. far as his taxes are concerned, hes lying; just release them and let us get on with the business of who is best qualified to be president; no contest far as im concerned; if bill clinton ran today, he would win hands down. p.s. reverend lowery is also voting yes on tsplost. lets stop this stupidity and move atlanta into the 21st century. otherwise its all for naught. we have heard from everyone important in this city; and the gop nosayer are at it again they have nothing to add to anything but NOOOOOO. we will suffer if tax not approved and stay a second rate place to live.

Marlboro Man

July 30th, 2012
9:44 am

Traffic is killing jobs.

luangtom

July 30th, 2012
9:45 am

With the mismanagement of the current monies by MARTA, why should state-wide tax-payers want to allocate $665-million to them in TSPLOST? Law dictates that they receive no new money for maintenance or current infrastructure, yet their own list of projects include these. C’mon voters, say NO to giving funds to the MARTA to no-where. Why do only 3.6% of all commuters use MARTA now if it is such a good idea? Vote NO…..

Curly Copple

July 30th, 2012
9:45 am

I guess all you dimwits will continue to sit on the freeway in traffic and spend a month of your year in your car. Time that could be spent with your family, friends or something more fun than sitting in traffic. Doesn’t bother me. I live 5 miles from my Midtown job in my Buckhead condo. I don’t do yard work. I don’t sit in traffic. You folks in Cherokee, Cobb, Henry, Gwinnett have your heads up your proverbial rear.

hiram

July 30th, 2012
9:46 am

Video about Rudy Bowen(DOT Board Chairman) from yesterday’s thread, that everyone should watch before voting on tsplost:

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/video?clipId=7081871&autostart=true

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
9:49 am

Marta will not be final authority in money management. They will report to the Georgia Finance Commission. Same for GDOT.

Curly Copple

July 30th, 2012
9:49 am

@Cutty, MARTA is the only mass-transit organization in the country that doesn’t receive state funding. GA is obsessed with roads and it makes no sense. Traffic will never get better until people learn that they need to not rely on their cars so much and get their fat suburbanite butts off of the couch and WALK.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
9:51 am

@ Hiram, that video is over a year old and has nothing to do with TSPLOST.

the cat

July 30th, 2012
9:52 am

Curly-walking would be wonderful if I lived a block or 2 from my office. I guess I could start out at midnight and walk the 9 miles to my office to arrive by 8am but don’t think I will try it. You make no sense at all. Voting NO

td

July 30th, 2012
9:52 am

Curly Copple

July 30th, 2012
9:45 am

If you do not sit in traffic then why do you care?

Marlboro Man

July 30th, 2012
9:53 am

Tolls NO WAY JOSE.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
9:54 am

You all would be the same ones to vote no to invest in an airport in the 1970’s. Thank God you weren’t around. Otherwise we’d be Birmingham right now.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
9:55 am

If you vote ‘no’ you are guaranteeing an increased fuel tax and more tolls. All of which will cost you more than 1% AND will not be monitored by a Citizen Review Panel or independent annual audits.

allen981

July 30th, 2012
9:56 am

I’m voting no in part because my employer told me to vote yes. But more than that, this ill-conceived plan will have zero impact on traffic over the next five years, yet there are dozens of projects that could be completed in 18 months that would have a dramatic impact in key areas.

It also includes some ludicrous plans for trains; there is zero need for a light rail line from Cumberland to downtown.

Oh, and hey Curly, wish I were as smart as you…wait, I am smarter than you. I have a zero minute commute most days, and I live on 3 acres in Sharpsburg. I sit on my deck, listen to the birds chirp, drink a diet Coke, and carry on a full work day right at my house…I’ll slip out for a quick 18 at the golf course 5 minutes away around 10, then come back around 2, have a bit of lunch, and work til 6.

Astropig

July 30th, 2012
9:58 am

“If you vote ‘no’ you are guaranteeing an increased fuel tax and more tolls. All of which will cost you more than 1% AND will not be monitored by a Citizen Review Panel or independent annual audits”

But no power on earth can get rid of the unelected wheeler dealers that will administer this thing. We can always vote out the politicians that raise our gas tax or such.

allen981

July 30th, 2012
9:58 am

If you vote no, you are guaranteeing that the politicians will come up with a better plan that includes execution of follow through on funding.

No one voted to invest in the airport, by the way. That was a decision made by the city of Atlanta alone, without the input of any other jurisdiction. And, it wasn’t done in the 70’s; William B. Hartsfield made that happen in the 50s.

the cat

July 30th, 2012
10:00 am

allen981-yup-my employer told me to vote yes too. Still voting NO.

Vote yes-stop drinking the koolaid. Citizen Review Panel-seriously?? LOL

allen981

July 30th, 2012
10:00 am

Here’s another thing that’s wrong with all of this – who says Birmingham isn’t better off????

Great town, great people, great way of life. Bigger/faster/more/larger is not an answer to a better way of life.

Curly Copple

July 30th, 2012
10:01 am

@The Cat, I make plenty of sense. The entire region is screwed up. 9 miles ain’t so bad. It’s the people that live in Acworth or somewhere and work downtown that are really the main problem. Everybody out in the burbs wants to keep doing the same ol thing and doesn’t even want to even entertain the idea of commuter-rail. Commuter rail works fine in San Fran, Chicago, NYC, every large city in Europe, etc. But legislators in GA want to give all state funding to roads. Which not only causes bad traffic but is seriously making a state that has a lot of beautiful country side really ugly.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:02 am

@the cat. Have you read HB 277?

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:03 am

Birmingham has way less job opportunity and financial success is far greater to achieve. It’s fine if you are content with being average.

allen981

July 30th, 2012
10:04 am

And, as far as the airport goes, ask the folks in Memphis, Minneapolis, and Cininnati about the wisdom of their airport investments.

Hubs that were once filled with flights have been shut down by (guess who) Delta. Dozens and dozens of once-active gates sit empty, with no realistic chance of ever being filled again. And the taxpayers are stuck with the bill.

That’s not happening in Birmingham, by the way.

jackie

July 30th, 2012
10:04 am

Oh yeah, yellowdog you are so right! We should definately vote to give the incompetent crooks who run these county, city, and local governments access to billions more of our tax dollars. We don’t have enough pork barrell, brother in law projects going on now. After all look at the wonderful management fiscal management shown by DeKalb, city of Atlanta, APS. etc. I’m sure they will be penny pinching stewards of the windfall tax money and everything would be on the up and up. Considering that there was no input from the general public or from engineers trained in transportation. Instead all these “improvement projects” were selected by politicians and beaureaucrats in order to line their pockets, reward their friends, and buy votes for reelection. I’m sure we can trust them and that they would never come back asking for an extension or increase in the tax in order to complete the projects they were only half compleated when the TSPLOST expired. I sure am looking forward to the major traffic relief that the belt line project will provide for the down town connector.

Don't think so

July 30th, 2012
10:05 am

My neighbor put a sign out in his yard supporting T-splost. He works for the DOT. Drives a new car every two years (DOT perk?).
Look who sits on the board of the new HOT Lane money grab – former DOT employees. Why don’t look into that Jim?

DD

July 30th, 2012
10:05 am

Traffic is not the primary job killer for the Atlanta area and GA it is taxes. This is a tax grab by politicians, public employees and business interest who will benefit at the public teet called TSPLOST. The money will disappear, projects will be mismanaged or never completed. They will ask for further tax increases to fund these projects and most importantly it will not ease the traffic burden. Atlanta is unlike most other metro areas in that it lacks state highways, boulevards etc where traffic signals are synchronized. There are very few non-stop thoroughfares (outside of the major arteries aside from the Istate system) with ramps that allow for ease of exit and entrance. The city grew quickly and without any forethought into solving this issue and now governmental entities and policitians who failed to plan adequately in the first place are preying on the desperate need to provide solutions by offering a magic bullet through public transit systems that no one will ride. Cities like Portland have spent hundreds of millions on public transit and the ridership percentage remains the same and the subsidies pile up. The goal should be to truly ease traffic congestion and not a temporary jobs bill or subsidy for businesses who will benefit.

Johns creek

July 30th, 2012
10:06 am

Why not use the hotel/motel tax to build the belt line instead of a new stadium for the falcons owner?

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:06 am

@jackie, the projects were chosen from a list that is on GDOT’s master plan. All of which were put on the list by transportation engineers.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:06 am

all of the road projects, that is.

oldfart

July 30th, 2012
10:06 am

Will the Republican leadership get the message if this lousy cop-out bill gets voted down in every “special district”? The TIA is drafted so poorly that the practicing attorneys among their midst will be happy anyway. Even if voted down every county in the state that has to pay 30% rather than 10% on local improvement grants will be challenging the constitutional basis of this monstrosity.

My fervent hope is that at least some good will come of this fiasco and more scrutiny will fall upon prioritization of GDOT projects, selection of DOT board members and selection of legislators that pick those DOT board members in secret. A pipe dream is that scrutiny would also fall on SRTA and its need to exist independent of GDOT especially with failed GDOT Commissioner Gena Evans at the helm.

allen981

July 30th, 2012
10:08 am

Very few people live in Acworth and work downtown. The northern 285 arc from I-75 to I-85 has double the jobs as downtown, yet the T-SPLOST does little to help that area.

Commuter rail is antiquated, cost prohibitive, inefficient (want to turn a 10 minute trip into a 40 minute trip? Take MARTA and wait on a train) and will prove useless as we 1), develop ever more efficient auotmobiles; and 2) increasingly telecommute.

The capital cost of train construction is unrealistic for the value returned. Why not just run a dedicated bus line?

Hmmmmmm

July 30th, 2012
10:09 am

@curly Copple

The legislators most likely give the money to the roads because they have a financial reason…. Nothing is done with any of these politicians without it lining their pockets… It’s delusional to think we have any leaders in office who really care about the good of the people… or our future transportation needs. Just vote NO!! When there are leaders in place that want to lead, and treat our tax money with the respect it demands, then I will consider additional taxes.

the cat

July 30th, 2012
10:10 am

Vote yes-you aren’t helping your team any to bring no voters around to your delusional way of thinking. It all comes down to trust and no one I know trusts anyone on the DOT or Deals’ good ole boys infrastructure who stand to make gazillions off pet projects.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:10 am

All of you that vote ‘no’ I hope you enjoy your Detroit of the South in a about 8 years. Anyone with any brains will relocate from this place and find a city that actually cares about addressing its issues.

Cutty

July 30th, 2012
10:10 am

@ Curly… That’s exactly why I’m voting no. The state gives nothing to MARTA but wants to control its finances. The TSPLOST will then make Fulton/Dekalb residents help pay for suburbanites commute into the city. Unfair to say the least so I voted no.

allen981

July 30th, 2012
10:10 am

This town has not built a major new road in more than 30 years; stop saying it’s all about roads, because that is inherently not the case. GA 400 was the last major project, and it’s already paid for.

What about a northern arc? Nothing would free up traffic like that would – nothing.

Reebok

July 30th, 2012
10:11 am

I’m voting No because in Cobb County, all projects except 2 are road projects…nothing for pedestrians, cyclists, or mass transit. Just keep on paving…which is what got us into this mess. Oh, the 2 projects that aren’t just roads? They are for McCullough airport in Kennesaw. Thanks, that’ll do wonders for my commute.

Curly Copple

July 30th, 2012
10:12 am

@Allen, the fact that you live in a dump like Sharpsburg and drink Diet Coke tells me how bright you are. Most of the metro-area doesn’t and can’t work from home.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:12 am

@the cat. YOU DON”T HAVE TO TRUST GDOT OR MARTA! THEY ARE NOT MANAGING THE MONEY OR THE SCHEDULES!!!

Don’t you understand how the law works? Have you even read it?

jackie

July 30th, 2012
10:12 am

VOTE YES!!!, those projects were cherry picked from a GDOT wish list by, you guessed it, politicians and bureaucrats!!!

The enemy within

July 30th, 2012
10:13 am

So 33.3% of people are clueless. What a shock. Thankfully 66.7% know better than to trust our failed state government and their DOT with more billions. Meanwhile I hear that everyone is going to be getting new plates with their tag renewal. Is this true?? What a complete waste of money. This government needs to be shut down.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:13 am

@Reebok, each county receives 15% from the money collected in that county to do projects like pedestrian improvements, bicycle lanes, etc.

allen981

July 30th, 2012
10:14 am

We care “Vote Yes” which is why we’re voting NO. We care deeply about this area (I’m a native by the way) and do not want to see the region and its citizens saddled with a poorly planned, open- ended fiscal fiasco that would create far more problems than it would solve.

This is a bad plan, pure and simple, that lacks action and accountablility.

I want the best for Atlanta, not the worst.

VOTE YES!!!

July 30th, 2012
10:14 am

@jackie, You are forgetting about the months of public meetings to help shape the list. Did you attend any??