Archive for the ‘TSPLOST’ Category

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 added …

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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 Evans, the …

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Your morning jolt: Karen Handel to head up GOP recruitment effort

In another sign that she’s not about to disappear from the political scene, former Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel was named Thursday as co-chair of a GOP program to recruit 150 women – and elect at least half – for state-level office across the country.

Leading the venture with Handel will be Kerry Healey, the former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. They’ve got their work cut out for them. The Huffington Post, noting Handel’s appointment, turned up these numbers:

The Center for Woman American Women and Politics at Rutgers Univerity indicates that Democrats represent the majority of women state legislators in the country. The center’s statistics show that women make up 428 out of 1,971 state senators nationwide, with 265 being Democrats and 151 being Republicans, and one independent. Women hold 1,321 out of 5,411 state House seats nationally, with 791 being Democrats and 524 being Republicans, along with four progressives and two independents. To date, …

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Which has better odds: TSPLOST passage, or an engaged mayor?

Note to DeKalb County NAACP President John Evans:

If you want to throw Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed off-stride, even briefly, don’t accuse him of selling out south DeKalb in the TSPLOST package. Don’t suggest that he’s been colluding behind closed doors with business leaders.

Instead, ask him about his love life. Which happened this morning on Q100’s “The Bert Show.” The question: “Which has a better chance of happening…T-SPLOST passing or being engaged by the end of your first term?” Listen below:

The above photo is by the AJC’s Vino Wong.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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Your morning jolt: ‘Extreme liberal groups want you to vote no’ on TSPLOST

At least in targeted Republican areas, the Untie Atlanta campaign will rely on the late President Ronald Reagan to do its campaigning through Monday, with this TV ad:

Robocalls and mailers bearing Reagan’s name are arriving at Republican households as well. But the most interesting message that supporters of the transportation sales tax are now pushing toward GOP voters is one that makes hay of the Sierra Club’s opposition. Never mind that tea party thing.

Here’s the robocall that was placed on the Insider family’s voicemail by Citizens for Transportation Mobility:

”On July 31, you have a chance to vote yes on the transportation referendum. Extreme liberal groups want you to vote no. Their plan is to stop people from driving cars by raising gas taxes and putting tolls on our roads. Please vote yes for our fair transportation tax, and to stop more toll roads and higher gas taxes. Vote yes for TSPLOST, the citizens’ transportation plan.”

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Anti-tax forces don’t have much …

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Get ready for that Tuesday night miracle

Prepare for a miracle next week. And we’re not talking about the transportation sales tax. Not exactly.

At midnight, as Tuesday turns to Wednesday, a layer of fairy dust will fall across Georgia, and your state government will suddenly become a model of competency and efficiency.

That’s because the contest for the transportation sales tax – win or lose – will come to an end that day. In its place, a new, November ballot campaign will rise up, aimed at restoring the state Capitol’s authority to compel local systems to accept public charter schools.

Georgia Republicans have been looking forward to this new fight. The TSPLOST argument has been uncomfortable, splitting two crucial GOP constituencies – its business wing and its anti-tax base. Little else unites the GOP, on a state or national level, like the belief that our educational bureaucracy is a Gordian knot that requires a swift, sharp sword.

You think that, 24 hours after the last vote on the transportation sales tax is …

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

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

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

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

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

“The NAACP’s reason …

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Statewide sales tax campaign raises $2.1 million

The Georgia Transportation Alliance, the outfit responsible for the transportation sales tax campaign in the 11 non-metro Atlanta regions across the state, reports raising $2.1 million in a report out today. The GTA has roughly $521,000 to spend in the last week – not a great deal of money when you consider the vast geography.

By comparison, the metro Atlanta campaign for the sales tax raised $6.5 million. The imbalance is striking. One-third the amount to cover 149 counties.

The GTA, backed by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, is having some problems loading the information on the website of what was formerly known as the State Ethics Commission.
However, they’ve sent us their info, for your inspection:

For the cover page, click here;

For the summary page, click here;

For contributions, click here;

And for expenditures, click here.

Have at it.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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

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Your morning jolt: State’s share of Georgia school costs down to 38 percent

On Aug. 1, the day after the statewide vote on the transportation sales tax, you won’t find Gov. Nathan Deal crying in his beer.

You’ll find him at Bones restaurant in Buckhead, raising cash at $1,000 a head or more, for his campaign to re-assert the state’s authority to create charter schools in Georgia – even if local systems would rather not. Here’s the invite from BetterGASchools.org.

On that same note, my AJC colleague Wayne Washington has mined one of the most important stats likely to be bandied about in the fight over the November ballot issue, which pits much of the state’s education leadership against the core of the Republican political establishment:

For the first time in 16 years, local governments paid a higher share of the cost of public education that state governments, a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau showed….

Georgia’s public primary and secondary schools got about 38 percent of their funding from the state, with local government paying about 48 …

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Your morning jolt: Of Ronald Reagan and dirty tricks

Ronald Reagan would have wanted you to vote for the transportation sales tax.

That’s the message in a Citizens for Transportation Mobility mailer that targeted (presumably) Republican voters in metro Atlanta over the weekend. Says the staff at Untie Atlanta:

reagantransit

The year was 1983. America’s economy was struggling to get growing again after years of high unemployment.

President Ronald Reagan knew that, in order to build that shining city on a hill and create new jobs, America needed to improve its transportation infrastructure. He signed into law an increase in gasoline taxes, saying that “this is an investment in tomorrow that we must make today.”

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Pressed by anti-sales tax sentiment and the possibility of being drawn into a GOP runoff, Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee cut loose with a glossy mailer aimed directly at his strongest challenger, former Cobb commission chairman Bill Byrne.

byrneattack

The flyer reminds voters that in 2008, Byrne – who had run an unsuccessful campaign …

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