Tag Archives: Tea Party

A parallel state school system that we have no control over. —Christie Davis

A local middle school teacher spelled out problems with the charter school referendum: no local control over creation or operation of the charter schools it would authorize; money siphoned off from existing local schools; and charter schools actually perform worse than traditional public schools anyway.

Christie Davis, a teacher at Hahira Middle School, speaking at the Lowndes County Tea Party monthly meeting Thursday, pointed out it’s not just the preamble to the referendum that’s misleading. The actual wording of the referendum is also misleading:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?

She remarked:

It sounds very good that we should say yes. It’s very misleading. And the reason why it’s misleading is totally purposeful. It says something about local communities. We already have that right in our local community, our local boards, to go ahead and implement a charter school, if we see the need. However, they put it in there so that voters that don’t really know what’s going on think they’re helping our local schools by voting yes. However, by voting yes, it will be funding a parallel state school system that we have no control over.

Here’s the video:

A parallel state school system that we have no control over. —Christie Davis
Video by John S. Quarterman for LAKE, the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange,
Valdosta, Lowndes County, Georgia, 27 September 2012.
Thanks to Diane Cox, President, Lowndes County Tea Party, for the invitation.

She also got into the financial aspects:

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WSJ misunderstands why T-SPLOST was defeated

Inaccurate labelling is the reason T-SPLOST was defeated, along with Atlanta is not all of Georgia, but the Wall Street Journal doesn’t understand that.

Cameron McWhirter wrote for the Wall Street Journal 1 August 2012, Tea Party Ties Up Tax to Ease Atlanta Traffic

ATLANTA—Money and heavyweight endorsements don’t secure an election — especially when you propose higher taxes in a deeply conservative state with a robust tea-party movement.

A plan for a transportation sales tax was endorsed by Georgia’s Republican governor and the Democratic mayor of the state’s largest city. It was backed by the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and the area’s top businesses. It was pushed by top political consultants funded by more than $8 million in corporate and other donations.

Those against the plan were a loose coalition of tea-party activists, some environmentalists and a local branch of the NAACP. Their total raised? About $15,000.

But David slew Goliath.

That’s lazy reporting. Those “some environmentalists” included the Georgia Sierra Club, an organization which reportedly has more members than the state Democratic Party. And that’s just in Atlanta.

Opponents in our region included Democrat Ashley Paulk, who was on the T-SPLOST executive committee and is the current Chairman of the Lowndes County Commission, Democrat Gretchen Quarterman, who is the Chairman of the Lowndes County Democratic Party (LCDP) and is running for Chairman of the Lowndes County Commission, as well as Nolen Cox, Chairman of the Lowndes County Republican Party (LCRP), and Roy Taylor, LRCP First Vice Chair and well-known Tea Party activist, along with a wide range of other opponents.

Look at the difference between that Region 11 T-SPLOST vote map and this map of the Atlanta Metro T-SPLOST vote. Atlanta metro is clearly centered around Atlanta. Region 11 isn’t an economic region: the vote was split right down the middle between No on the east and west and Yes in between.

Region 11 throws together three population centers: Lowndes, Tift, and Ware Counties, with their largest cities Valdosta, Tifton, and Waycross. Lowndes and Tift are at least connected by I-75, and they and most of the ones around them voted against (Ben Hill, Turner, Berrien, Cook, Lanier, Echols, and Brooks). Ware County and all the counties east of it (Pierce, Brantley, and Charlton) voted against. In between there’s a complete barrier of counties that voted for T-SPLOST (Irwin, Coffee, Bacon, Atkinson, and Clinch). Those No counties completely separate the eastern Ware County group from the western Lowndes-Tift group.

The perception around here is that T-SPLOST was made up to affect metro Atlanta, and the rest of the regions were Continue reading

Yes we can make a transportation Plan B after voting down T-SPLOST

Politifact Georgia's Terry Lawler examined a T-SPLOST supporter's assertion that there can be no Plan B if voters reject T-SPLOST July 31st and found that claim mostly false. I don't think he went far enough: we can change the legislature in this election, and a new legislature can come up with an entirely different plan.

PolitiFact Georgia read the state House of Representatives bill that was passed in 2010 to allow the referendum. In the last one-third of House Bill 277, there is a sentence that confirms that point.

"If more than one-half of the votes cast throughout the entire special district are in favor of levying the tax, then the tax shall be levied as provided in this article; otherwise the tax shall not be levied and the question of levying the tax shall not again be submitted to the voters of the special district until after 24 months immediately following the month in which the election was held."

That's only what the T-SPLOST enabling legislation says. The legislature could come up with a completely different plan. How about a Plan B like the ones proposed by the Georgia Sierra Club and the Atlanta Tea Party? How about we let the state gas tax automatic increases happen and use that to fund real transportation projects like busses and trains and airports?


Sierra Club and Tea Party have produced Plan B for T-SPLOST

Yes, there is a Plan B for T-SPLOST. Two of them, actually, and they are in agreement on several major points.

David Pendered wrote for the Saporta Report yesterday, Called to produce their Plan B, groups detail their alternatives to proposed 1 percent transportation sales tax

Two organized opponents of the proposed 1 percent transportation sales tax said Thursday they are baffled by the allegation by tax advocates that the opponents have not offered an alternative to the tax.

The Sierra Club issued its alternative in writing in April, and members of the Atlanta Tea Party have voiced a consistent set of alternatives since October.

“We have common ground on this issue. There some things we don’t agree on, but we agree that this tax has got to be stopped,” said Debbie Dooley, a co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party.

Both the Atlanta Tea Party and Sierra Club responded Thursday to a request from SaportaReport.com to provide their alternatives to the referendum. The request came after the campaign for the sales tax challenged them Wednesday to release their solution to relieve traffic congestion, in lieu of the transportation sales tax.

The article includes details of each of their responses, plus this handy list.

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Public criticism —Leigh Touchton

Leigh Touchton posted a comment with a report from last night’s Valdosta City Council meeting:
I won’t stay to the end in the future because if they are going to make public attacks on citizens and then go into Executive session so they don’t have to hear a rebuttal, then I don’t care to listen to their bombast. Yost apparently thinks your public criticism of the activists not staying (and also the Tea Party left right after one of their members read from the Bible about how laws and regulation are a sin–I had difficulty keeping from laughing out loud—we’re in a recession because laws and regulation were thrown away and banks made a video called Banks Gone Wild…but I digress)…apparently Yost thinks your criticism of people not staying is something he can use to good effect to nullify the need to publicly address citizen complaints. Here’s his position, distilled:
“You won’t stay to the end, I’m offended. You called our important work boring, I’m offended. (much redness of face, some veins popping out) You come in here and talk to us like that then I’m not going to address your complaints, I’m offended.”
Well I’m offended that a grown man elected to represent Valdosta acts like that.

Let me go back and educate the gentle readers out there who haven’t

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