Archive for the ‘T-SPLOST’ Category

Georgia’s own 52-minute video on the ‘Agenda 21′ conspiracy

You think we’re done with people captured on video while listening to private groupthink? Ah, think again.

Mitt Romney wasn’t the first, and obviously won’t be the last.

Bryan Long of Better Georgia, a progressive group, sends the following 52-minute video of a session held at the Capitol for Republican state senators last month on Agenda 21, the alleged United Nations-driven conspiracy to harness private property through rezoning and planned-use ordinances passed by local governments.

The session was held Oct. 11. We have not checked their accounts, but we’re told that several senators claimed their per diem for attending the session. Long said his group delayed release of the video to avoid the media clutter of the presidential campaign. Watch it here:

Agenda 21 Full Video from Bryan Long on Vimeo.

The October meeting was called by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock. In the foreground of the video, you can also see state Sens. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, and …

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Your daily jolt: Georgia Chamber leader says right, left ganging up on business

Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday that defeat of this summer’s transportation sales tax is proof that extremists on the left and right are ganging up against business, says Larry Peterson over at the Savannah Morning News:

His remarks were part of a wide-ranging overview of the programs, goals and concerns of the chamber, Georgia’s largest business group.

“It used to be,” Clark said in reference to state government, “ … we could stand in the background and whisper and nudge our friends and we could move the business agenda along.

“But the world’s changed. It’s not like that any more. We have folks on both ends of the political spectrum that are anti-business.”

Clark cited a recent group of regional referendums on proposed penny sales taxes for transportation projects. Voters in most of the state, including Chatham County, rejected them.

To be clear, business types have often accused those on the political left …

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Your morning jolt: Apply charter campaign restrictions to governor, Dems say

Suddenly, the hottest debate in Georgia is over who can say what about charter schools and the November ballot issue.

We told you yesterday about the Glenn Delk lawsuit against the state’s 180 school districts, demanding that a Fulton County judge order public school officials into silence – at least during school hours. See the lawsuit here.

The court petition leans a great deal on a letter of guidance issued by Attorney General Sam Olens to state School Superintendent John Barge last week, reminding those same school systems that public resources aren’t to be used on either side of the argument. Barge, for instance, removed notice of his opposition to the charter school amendment.

Democrats have now demanded that Olens apply the same measure to Gov. Nathan Deal, an advocate of the proposed constitutional amendment to give the state another avenue through which to create charter schools – over the objections of local systems.

From a letter sent to Olens by Mike …

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Your morning jolt: Grover Norquist, hospitals battle over bed tax extension

Three months out from the January session of the Legislature, some very specific lines in the sand are already being drawn.

Last week, to little fanfare, anti-tax guru Grover Norquist, president of the Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform, sent a letter to Republican state lawmakers requiring them to oppose any extension of a hospital bed tax that was passed in 2010 and is set to expire next June.

The tax was used to plug a multi-million dollar hole in the state’s Medicaid budget.

Read Norquist’s letter in its entirety here.

Voting to extend the bed tax, Norquist declared, would violate the anti-tax pledge that many of those state lawmakers have signed. Norquist tied the bed tax to this summer’s transportation sales tax vote:

Voters made known their opposition to tax increases just six weeks ago when they soundly defeated the T-SPLOST at the polls. This is an affirmation of the public’s general distaste for higher taxes, and rightly so: Georgia’s tax code is …

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A letter from ‘Republicans for Doug Stoner’

The most important state Senate race in Georgia is the November contest between Democratic incumbent Doug Stoner of Smyrna and Republican challenger Hunter Hill of Atlanta.

A GOP win could give Republicans a super-majority in the chamber, allowing them to pass proposed changes to the state Constitution without Democratic interference.

But this weekend, residents of the newly configured District 6 (GOP-heavy Buckhead was inserted into the territory, which had been dominated by Cobb County), received a letter of endorsement from nine prominent, business-oriented Republicans:

Rob Garcia, president and COO of the Bank of North Georgia; Bob Prillaman, retired senior vice president of Caraustar Industries and former CEO of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce; Jim Rhoden, chairman and principal of the Futren Corp.; Barry Teague , managing partner of Walton Communities; Bob Voyles, principal and CEO of Seven Oaks Co.; Sam Williams, president of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce; …

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Your morning jolt: Independent group backs Tim Lee in Cobb

Spending in Republican runoff for Cobb County commission chairman has been an uneven affair.

According to the Marietta Daily Journal, incumbent Tim Lee has raised $56, 455 since Aug. 1, while challenger – and former commission chairman – Bill Byrne estimates his take at between $6,000 and $7,000.

The disparity may actually be a bit larger. This weekend, the Insider answering machine in Kennesaw was chockfull of messages on behalf of Lee (none from Byrne), including this attack:

”Something stinks. Bill Byrne, the candidate, wants you to think he’s a fiscal conservative. His record is the opposite. Bill Byrne cost Cobb taxpayers over $80 million in the failed Bedminster composting boondoggle. And then he tried to hide this from the public with an Enron-style accounting gimmick….”

The message was paid for by Cobb 2012, an independent committee whose officers are chairperson Ashley Jenkins and treasurer Bryan Tyson, an Atlanta attorney. According to its most recent …

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Your morning jolt: Manure flies in 12th District race for Congress

In the Republican runoff to face down U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Augusta, state lawmaker and farmer Lee Anderson has created a manure storm with final-round TV ad accusing businessman Rick Allen of spreading, um, lies about him:

A quick transcript:

Narrator: Watch out. Rick Allen’s brought out the manure spreader. Allen’s lying, waging a negative campaign to distort Lee Anderson’s record. A wealthy government contractor, Rick Allen doesn’t want you to know he gave thousands to liberal Democrats, thousands more to support Obama’s failed stimulus, and even Democrat John Barrow.

Lee Anderson, the proven conservative who’s cut taxes, slashed spending and balanced budgets. Conservative. Republican. Lee Anderson for Congress.

The Augusta Chronicle takes up some of the charges that Anderson has made, on TV as well as through direct mail:

The mailer, which features “Rick Allen’s Democrat Dream Team” with photos of Charles “Champ” Walker, Barrow and President …

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Your morning jolt: Sam Olens wins speaking role at GOP convention

Attorney General Sam Olens, Mitt Romney’s top elected supporter in the state, was rewarded this morning with a speaking role at this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

His will be the most prominent Georgia face at the four-day launching of the fall presidential campaign. Olens was one of five convention speakers announced by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. Apparently intended to advertise the diversity of the GOP, they include:

Attorney General Sam Olens at the state Capitol in February. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

Attorney General Sam Olens at the state Capitol in February. Jason Getz, jgetz@ajc.com.

– Pam Bondi, Florida’s first female attorney general;

– Ted Cruz, who was Texas’ first Hispanic solicitor general. Cruz just won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Consider this a nod to tea party enthusiasts;

– Luis Fortuño, the first Republican elected governor of Puerto Rico since 1969;

– And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the first U.S. governor to beat a recall election.

Olens is identified as the former chairman of the Cobb County …

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Moody’s awards metro Atlanta a ‘credit negative’ for TSPLOST failure

The note that arrived from Moody’s is pretty self-explanatory. The defeat of the transportation sales tax vote in metro Atlanta and eight other regions of the state won’t result in an immediate downgrading of credit – but could result in one when the state or local governments go bond-shopping in the future.

Moody’s was especially tough on metro Atlanta. Here’s the notice the rating firm sent:

In our Credit Outlook released today, Moody’s announced that voter rejection of a 1% Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (T-SPLOST) in nine of 12 regions of the State of Georgia is a credit negative for those areas…, especially for Atlanta because of the city’s position as an economic hub, which could be hurt by the area’s current condition of infrastructure.

The Atlanta region needs major upgrades to its dated and limited transit system and congested roadways to maintain its long-term position as an influential economic center. The region will now be challenged to …

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Dysfunction chic: Metro Atlanta eyes Europe as a model

Hold off on those archery lessons. The overwhelming defeat of the transportation sales tax doesn’t mean metro Atlanta is about to make a rapid descent into some unwashed, dystopian future.

Civilization will still function, as will the lights and plumbing. Only our goals have changed.

On Monday we were still a region that would occasionally overlook racial and financial divides in order to do a little business and make a little money as the economic engine of the South. But on Tuesday, we adopted a new ambition.

We set our sights on becoming a miniature version of Europe. We’re aiming for dysfunction chic.

This is a thought that belongs wholly to Steve Anthony, a lecturer on political science at Georgia State University and longtime aide to the late House speaker Tom Murphy. But it feels right enough to pass along.

“Consider a relatively large geographic area, made up of many governments, each with a different political culture and, in some cases, heritage,” Anthony wrote …

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