The “Georgia Tea Party” has announced its opposition to T-SPLOST in what might be another hit for the massive transportation tax proposal. I say “might be” because I can no longer keep up with the proliferation of groups claiming the “Tea Party” mantle, so I don’t know if this is a large organization able to turn out hundreds of volunteers, or a couple weirdos in their parents’ basement with an internet connection and a working knowledge of HTML.
The best I could come up with was “an organic political movement whose membership is largely rank-and-file Republican.” I counted the “rank-and-file” as one word. Then I offered to draw some Venn diagrams to further explain. But that doesn’t do the job of helping citizens, elected officials and reporters tell who has credibility within the movement, and thus speaks for thousands of voters, and who is just a self-appointed leader without followers.
In any case, the Marietta-based Georgia Tea Party’s leaders are opposing TSPLOST:
“We are opposed to the TSPLOST in principle because we don’t believe that nine other counties and the city of Atlanta have the right to impose a tax increase on the citizens of Cobb County,” said J.D. Van Brink, who chairs the group’s board. “We believe that the law itself is fundamentally flawed and needs to be repealed.”
The Marietta Daily Journal has been reporting extensively on public opposition in Cobb County, which seems to center on the high percentage of Cobb’s share that would go to a single transit project.
This highlights the fundamental problem with moving the vote in order to draw more Democratic voters into the pool in order to pass TSPLOST in Metro Atlanta. The more you rely on Democratic voters and voters from Inside the Perimeter, the greater bargaining position their elected officials will have, and the more the project list will tilt toward transit and ITP improvements. When this happens, you accelerate the rate at which suburbanites decide that while transportation needs are pressing, they’d rather pass on the penny.