Archive for the ‘T-SPLOST’ Category

Your morning jolt: Mountain vs. tea party strategies in 9th District race

Within 48 hours of landing in a runoff, the 9th District congressional campaigns of Republicans Doug Collins and Martha Zoller found themselves in agreement over what the next three weeks will look like.

They just don’t agree on what to call it.

On Wednesday, the Collins campaign declared itself in a fight against interlopers – Alaskan ex-governors, celebrities from D.C. and such. By which it meant Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain. All have endorsed Zoller, a former radio talk show host, and were joined today by another GOP presidential candidate, Rick Santorum.

Call Collins approach a North Georgia mountain strategy that could require much input from former U.S. senator and governor Zell Miller, whose grandson Bryan Miller is running the Collins campaign.

Meanwhile, the Zoller campaign on Thursday fully embraced as precursor the tea party victory of Ted Cruz in Texas, who beat Gov. Rick Perry’s choice in the Republican race to replace Kay Bailey Hutchison in …

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Shirley Franklin: Transportation issues belong on Nathan Deal’s shoulders

Former Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin was conspicuously silent during the debate over the transportation sales tax, but she’s ready to talk about the impact of its defeat. Below is a portion of a post she’s written for her website, Blogging While Blue:

It doesn’t mean metro Atlantans will never support alternative transportation funding models in the future.

It doesn’t mean the State of Georgia is off the hook for leading the development, planning and funding a metro Atlanta comprehensive transportation and environmental plan. Or that the Governor doesn’t have the obligation and responsibility to do everything in his power to invest in a transformative, smart transportation network of trains, rail, buses, roads, bridges, trails, sidewalks and highways. Transit is worthy of state funding in a smart transportation plan.

It doesn’t mean metro Atlanta should play second fiddle in the race for state funding for its needs -to clean the air we breathe or to improve …

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Your morning jolt: Saxby Chambliss wants presidential debate on deficit reduction

U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss and a bipartisan trio of his colleagues are demanding that one of three presidential debates this fall be dedicated to the deficit recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson Commission.

From their letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, via The Hill:

“Specifically, we request that you ask the presidential candidates which of the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform they would adopt as part of their plan to reduce the deficit. As part of this discussion, we believe that it would be essential to engage the candidates in a detailed discussion of their priorities for tax and entitlement reform,” the letter states.

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Part of the problem with the concept of metro Atlanta’s transportation sales tax was that it required you to associate with people you’d rather not. From an editorial in today’s Marietta Daily Journal:

[R]ather than rely on the state or the Atlanta Regional Commission to solve our road …

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Kasim Reed warns against ‘backseat quarterbacking’ on TSPLOST

Various number-crunchers tell us that the one place that treated the TSPLOST favorable in metro area was the city of Atlanta itself, which approved the transportation sales tax by a margin of 58 to 42 percent.

See a quick chart here. Other coverage can be found here. As a whole, Fulton County defeated the measure, 70,488 votes to 66,147. The sales tax also lost in DeKalb County, 61,792 to 57,915.

The city results are good news for Mayor Kasim Reed, who became the loudest voice for the referendum in the final weeks of the campaign – and who stands for re-election next year.

Below is a file from my AJC colleague Jeremiah McWilliams, on Reed and the final moments of last night’s doings:

Speaking at a subdued press conference late Tuesday night at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta, Reed was stoic in defeat.

“I’m here to stick out my chin and take the loss, to accept the loss … but to ask in a respectful way that we really do sit down and not wait six or eight or 10 …

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Nathan Deal’s Plan B: Governor intends to step into transportation vacuum

On Tuesday morning, as metro Atlanta voters hurled an $8 million sales tax campaign into the trash, Gov. Nathan Deal held what aides called his first session with top transportation officials to discuss Plan B.

What voters dismissed was a bottom-up list of $8 billion in road and rail projects created by local elected leaders. (Read the main AJC piece on the TSPLOST vote here.)
The Plan B that staggered out of the governor’s office will be its polar opposite: Dramatically smaller, paid for with shrinking funds, and highly centralized. Projects will be hand-picked by a governor who intends to squeeze every penny available.

And no matter what others might say today, don’t look for a sequel to the TSPLOST referendum. A second vote has no place in the governor’s Plan B.

Instead, Chris Riley, the governor’s chief of staff, said traffic planners in regions across the state will be quickly asked to resubmit lists of road and rail proposals that require state and federal …

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Your morning jolt: A checklist for tonight’s vote

You probably have your own list, but here’s what I’ll be watching tonight as the votes roll in:

– Even if the TSPLOST doesn’t pass in metro Atlanta, will it pass within the city limits? An in-city victory would serve as a measure of Mayor Kasim Reed’s strength one year before a re-election bid. Don’t look for Reed to be in a good mood should the referendum fail, but win or lose, there’s one side benefit to this campaign for the mayor: The business community is sorely obligated to him.

– Will TSPLOST supporters wait until 7 p.m. before assigning blame for the campaign?

– What price will Tim Lee, chairman of the Cobb County Commission, pay for being part of the creative force behind the TSPLOST vote? Outright defeat will have Republican suburban politicians thinking twice before they play nice with Atlanta again.

– Will the question on casino gaming on the GOP ballot receive enough support to cause state Capitol figures to rethink their opposition?

– In the new 9th …

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TSPLOST supporters will party separately on Tuesday

Maybe the following doesn’t mean anything. But at minimum, as they say in politics, the “optics” are poor.

This morning at the state Capitol, the Untie Atlanta campaign handed out flyers inviting one and all to watch-the-vote party on Tuesday night at the Marriott Marquis – starting before the polls close at 5 p.m. The event is being coordinated by the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

But we just received notice that Fast Track Forward, “the diverse 90-member-plus transit coalition,” will host its own election night watch party at the RiRa Irish Pub at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

One might deduce that one wing of the metro TSPLOST effort doesn’t want to party down with the other.

Fast Track Forward is a campaign of the Livable Communities Coalition. Via an asterisk – a sign that someone is aware of how this might look — it’s noted that LCC Director Jim Stokes will put in an early appearance at the Marquis party.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me …

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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 …

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Your weekend jolt: Fulton hopeful could be candidate for prosecution

The good news for Clarence Johnson on Saturday was that Secretary of State Brian Kemp overturned a ruling by an administrative law judge and decided that Johnson is, in fact, a bona fide judicial candidate for Fulton County Superior Court.

The bad news? After Tuesday, he may be a candidate for prosecution.

Johnson is running against incumbent Todd Markle.

Johnson’s candidacy had been challenged on the grounds that, when he filed notice of candidacy, he “swore under oath that he was not a defaulter of any federal or state taxes,” according to Kemp. It turns out that this is not so, that Johnson was making monthly payments to the Internal Revenue Service to erase delinquent taxes.

An administrative judge had ruled that the misstatement was enough to remove Johnson from the ballot. But according to Kemp, the letter of the law says that, because the attorney has entered a payment program to address his debt to the public, he remains qualified for the judgeship.

However, Kemp …

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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 …

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