Morning Reads For Tuesday July 24th

July 24, 2012 6:50 am

by Stefan · 21 comments

Once upon a time, it was your money,

Of stories beyond the economy,

Closer to home,

And don’t forget,

thus culminates the Morning Reads,

complete with my apologies.

 

John Konop July 24, 2012 at 8:05 am

i never understood the concept of punishing a school by takng away scholarships. The NCCA should force the school to give away the same amount of scholaships in non athletic scholarships .

BOTTOM LINE the NCAA needed to senda message that what Penn State did was unexcusable. I cannot recall a lack of blind ethical leadrship on this level at any college. I hope and pray the numerous victims will be able to find some inner peace over this tragic situation.

BTW in my mind, I had already wrote-off any records recorded by Joe after this incident.

saltycracker July 24, 2012 at 9:23 am

Yes, why mess with the scholarships….Penn State should have gotten a 10 year death penalty. More arrests are in order, starting with Mrs. Sandusky. The athletes can go elsewhere.
Richt is already moving in, looking over the players and will probably contact some.

I don’t think Bowden wanted to become the winningest coach this way, but happy for him.

Noway July 24, 2012 at 11:31 am

Can someone tell me who else may face criminal charges in the Sandusky case? Can they charge folks for not turning him in, ie turning a blind eye to the situation? Thanks! The penalties are a damn joke. Lives were horribly and permanently broken.

Daddy Got A Gun July 24, 2012 at 8:39 am

The funding list is pretty interesting. The contribution that struck me was Cox Communications at $250K which is at the top contributors. If we expect the AJC to be objective, Forgetaboutit!

The big funders of TSPLOST are nearly all downtown employers (Suntrust-100K, Coke 187K, Turner-100K, ATT – 100K, Ga Power -100K) and Engineers/Infrastructure firms (CW Mathews-200K, Highway Constructors Assoc – 250K, Siemens-100K, RockTenn-100K, Yancy-250K).

Home Depot which is a Cobb based firm chipped in $150K …. I’ll shop at Lowes for now on. There are fewer individual contributions than what you’d see on a normal Political Campaign.

Once again, based on the contribution list, we can see who will benefit from TSPLOST. Infrastructure firms and downtown employers. Everyone else just gets to pay to make them rich.

wicker July 24, 2012 at 10:01 am

Siemens doesn’t do transportation. W Mathews, Highway Constructors Assoc, RockTenn, Yancy … those are highway construction guys. I thought that highways was what everyone wanted, and the transit projects were the reason for the opposition?

So, you are going to shop at Lowes. Are you also going to stop drinking Coca-Cola? No longer watch Turner? Or use Georgia Power? Oh yes, and it isn’t just Home Depot by the way. It is also the Falcons and the aquarium. Are you going to be a Saints fan?

And as for the downtown employers … are they the enemy? Why? Because they choose to be downtown and not in the suburbs? Would the region somehow be better off if the downtown employers were poor?

And these downtown companies have plenty of employees in Cobb, Gwinnett and elsewhere in the suburbs. They would rather those employees be able to get to work instead of spending hours of their work week in traffic. Guess what … if those employers were to leave the evil, wicked downtown Atlanta for your Cobb, they’d have the same problem. They’d still have plenty of workers from Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, etc. who would still need to fight the same traffic to get there. And yes, those companies want to be able to attract top talent from other areas to work in their downtown offices, and locate more people to this metro area so they can work in their downtown offices, but are having real difficulty doing so because the traffic is so bad.

What you are seeing is employers with a legitimate business need attempting to influence public policy in a manner that benefits them. They aren’t trying to rip off your tax dollars to get rich because they don’t need your tax dollars to get rich … they’re rich already. If you are against that, then you need to go join up with the leftists who oppose Citizens United Supreme Court rulings and want to take all the corporate money out of politics.

If you have a problem, then it is with the particular project list. NOT with the fact that employers don’t want their employees sitting in traffic for 3 hours a day. Or again, maybe you honestly are one of those guys who is upset with the fact that every single downtown employer hasn’t left for the suburbs as punishment for Atlanta electing a Democratic mayor. If that is your motivation, then there is no regional transportation effort that you will ever support.

Daddy Got A Gun July 24, 2012 at 10:40 am

Siemens does more than you think. They do generators (hey-thats on the list), escalators (hey-thats on the list), trains (hey-thats on the list). Here is a link to their train page.
http://www.mobility.siemens.com/mobility/global/en/Pages/siemens-mobility.aspx

Actually, I LOVE LOWES. They got better quality stuff in a nice clean building. I do buy at HD occasionally but now I have an incentive not too. I guess I should stop drinking Coke. The only thing holding me back is that Pepsi is just as bad politically ( I remember the CFO giving the US the finger a couple years back – she’s CEO now I think)

I’m curious. Don’t you find it odd that a big stockholder of Home Depot is getting a $400M sweet heart deal while Home Depot is pushing for Atlantans to pay more in taxes, while they are exempt from those same taxes? Home Depot’s position is …. we want $400M of taxpayer money AND we want everyone to pay $10B in higher taxes. Nice Guys!

You are kidding yourself if you think any of those companies are funding this tax increase for community spirit reasons. There is a BIG Payday for them if this passes. Payday may not be on this list but it’ll come in other forms. AT&T will get a big wireless contract from the city. Cox got a BIG tax break in the sales tax exceptions that just passed this Legislative session. Georgia Power will increase its sale by selling power for the expanded MARTA network. Suntrust will get some big bond placements from the state and city.

With the exception of Home Depot, there aren’t any other retailers on the list. I suspect that they know that when you take 1% out of consumers pockets, you reduce the consumer’s income which means they buy less in your stores. The argument that this will increase jobs is BOGUS. TSPLOST picks winners in the economy (infrastructure companies and government employees) and losers (consumers and business that rely on them).

wicker July 24, 2012 at 11:06 am

Community spirit reasons? No. So that their employees won’t sit hours in traffic? Yes.
I am curious … you think that these companies want their employees to be negatively impacted by traffic? Or that they don’t have a legitimate business need in their not being?

Also, if Coca-Cola has a moneymaking interest in this passing, you didn’t identify what it was. More soda sales to construction workers? Turner? Why are they in on it?

TSPLOST may pick winners and losers, but because of the traffic, everyone is a loser. You may oppose the projects, you may oppose the funding mechanism, but don’t claim that having your employees spend 15-20 hours a week in traffic is something that employers want or wouldn’t make an effort to avoid.

As far as retailers … most of their employees are local. Not that many people spend 2 hours driving from Gwinnett to downtown to be a cashier at a downtown mall. That person is far more likely to live next to the mall in an apartment or – gasp! – take MARTA to and from work. Blank’s support for T-SPLOST likely has more to do with his ownership of the Falcons.

Daddy Got A Gun July 24, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Blank’s payoff for supporting TSPLOST is the $400M.

As you pointed out, Coke’s interest is hard to figure out, other than helping a minority mayor with a pet project helps their rep in the minority community. Turner support is likely due to the legacy of Ted who want’s everyone on public transit so his limousine isn’t slowed down going to his climate change fundraiser.

smvaughn July 24, 2012 at 10:26 am

Skepticism about the support of construction firms who will be paid directly with the money raised by the tax is one thing. But the other “downtown employers” you take so much umbrage with are not directly benefiting from the tax in such a manner. So that begs the question, why do you have so much vitriol towards job creators like Suntrust, Coke, & Turner who are located in the city? You obviously think it’s self-evident, but it ain’t.

David Staples July 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Keep in mind that $100k GA Power donation was just for this reporting period to one organization. That’s not taking into account these:

$7,500 – Citizens for Better Transportation – Region 2 GA
$25,000 – Citizens for Progress
$250,000 – Citizens for Transportation Mobility, Inc. (12/3o/2011)
$7,500 (x3) – Georgia Transportation Alliance
$15,000 – Georgia Transportation Alliance

And then of course there’s the $200,000 donation to the Georgia Power Company State Employee PAC so that they can then turn around and donate to campaigns with it appearing to be from employees. And of course there’s numerous donations to the Georgia Republican Party for $5,000 a piece.

But after all, I’m sure the money came from investors, not ratepayers… surely Stan Wise didn’t approve of rate increases for Georgia Power and help guarantee a 12 percent profit to pay for things like the 70+ lobbyists that helped pass SB 31 or to pay for all these donations we see filed with the Campaign Finance Commission… right? :-/

Bob Loblaw July 24, 2012 at 9:08 am

This is the most diverse and interesting set of morning reads I can remember seeing. Excellent work.

Calypso July 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

I agree. Thanks for all the links, Stefan.

Stefan July 24, 2012 at 10:23 am

you are welcome – the meter and rhyme were the hard parts.

Calypso July 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

I love the lilt of iambic pentameter in the morning. (with apologies to Robert Duvall)

saltycracker July 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Good catch – you got a Bob Marley t-shirt don’t you ?

Calypso July 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Close, Jacob Marley.

CobbGOPer July 24, 2012 at 10:44 am

I LOL’d.

Rambler1414 July 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Transportation tax foes’ number-crunching flawed

“The claim is so simplistic that it may overstate and understate the cost at the same time.
Brown’s claim is wrong on various levels. It earns a False.”

http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2012/jul/24/steve-brown/Transportation-tax-foes-number-crunching-flawed/

Daddy Got A Gun July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Color me surprised that Politifact would come out and decree that the claims of the TSPLOST foes are false. I mean they are impartial right? Sort of! Other than the FACT that the company that own Poltifact is one of the BIGGEST financiers of the pro-TSPLOST Campaign.

Politifact is being clever by half with how they way they spun their numbers to push their employers agenda.

“Brown’s calculation uses a single day of boardings. A more fair one would count the boardings over the next few decades.”

Politifact’s Error = If you are going to consider a longer period for the average boardings, you need to also use the same period for the total cost. Politifact needs to add in the unfunded O&M, Capital Replacement costs over the same period as their average boardings.

“Factor in those future boardings, and the cost for transit to keep a car off the road could be lower than $5 or greater than $13 per day.”

Politifact’s Error: Nice slight of hand there boys. Notice how Brown is talking about a total over 10 years and Politifact switches the measurement period to “per day”. Did you notice how they pulled “$5 or greater than $13 per day” out of their arses without any backup?

“Even then, such a calculation ignores crucial factors that planners consider when they perform a cost-benefit analysis of transit, such as more commerce and less air pollution, said Robert Cervero, a professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley. “Any numbers based on anything less than a full benefit and cost accounting is, in my view, mostly ideologically driven and propaganda,” Cervero said.”

Politifact Error: No S**t Sherlock. Brown’s calculation was a ballpark and an illustration of the costs associated with one car. I’m waiting to see the ProTSPLOST folks produce a cost benefit report. So far, they haven’t proved anything, other than the world will end on Aug 1.

Did you catch the best part of the Politifact article “Decades of research also shows that neither transit nor more highway lanes end gridlock, either”? So we are spending at least $2.4 Billion on a plan that won’t end gridlock, and won’t untie atlanta? Huh? TSPLOST won’t untie Atlanta?

I rate Politifact to be a bunch of cheap paid for hacks doing the bidding of their corporate masters.

Stefan July 24, 2012 at 2:53 pm

1) politifact is owned by the Tampa bay times, and the poynter institute owns the times. Ajc has a business relationship with them, but does not own it.
2) ajc has no particular love for downtown. Their offices are in Dunwoody and have exactly zero downtown employees when the legislature isn’t in session.
3) cox’s growth is partly dependent on Atlanta’s growth; that likely accounts for their support.
4) politifact is generally weak, but not because of bias, just incompetence.

analogkid July 24, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Can’t believe no one has commented on the Galloway piece Stefan linked to above…

If you think Rep. Hatfield is an embarrassment, you’re right. However, you might be surprised to find yourself hoping he survives the primary after watching the accompanying video.

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