Dooley Comes Out Against Charter Amendment

I’m not sure if this the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots changing their stance and the charter school amendment from “neutral” to “opposed” or if it’s just Debbie Dooley expressing her personal opinion. I’ll try to find out.

UPDATE, 11:56 AM: I received this statement from Julianne Thompson, Chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots:

The Atlanta Tea Party has been neutral on the issue (of the charter school amendment) and has provided both sides equally, but due to the constant attacks by some, because we have not endorsed it, we are publicly stating our concerns with the amendment and why we cannot come out in support of it. We remain committed to school choice, vouchers, charter schools, and educational savings accounts.

WSB’s Lori Geary says the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots have changed their position:


  1. Bob Loblaw says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, your education policy specialist, the one and only, Debbie “Cliff Notes” Dooley. Is she using her phone-a-friend chance, here? “Someone just asked me what QBE means! Help!”

    At least this will keep her busy until Election Day. Hilarious that Miss Anti-Establishment is huddling up with the Educrats.

    More of the same doubletalk! Where’s your lawsuit on T-SPLOST, Debbie? You believe in the Constitution, right?

      • Bob Loblaw says:

        My record is a lot better than that. I don’t really care what happens on this one. If the people want to create a different public school system, let ’em. If they don’t, then that’s fine, too. I’m not leaving it up to state government to educate my children. My wife wouldn’t let me :).

        I’m interested to see what you’re afraid of. Where’s your T-SPLOST Constitutional challenge? Aren’t you TEA Party people strict constitutionalists?

  2. Three Jack says:

    As I have suggested before, the Tea Party at all levels should avoid endorsing candidates and working for/against specific legislation. When advocacy groups start messing around in the weeds, they usually end up being less effective on the very issues they were founded upon.

  3. troutbum70 says:

    Strange that they or she is coming out against this since they were neutral on the E-Splost for Gwinnett County. Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look like a movement where they’ll go where ever the wind is blowing them if it looks like a good deed for them in the end.

  4. troutbum70 says:

    I think the more serious issue here is why Buzz only got a B+ from the NRA? Did you step on Charlton Heston’s grave or something? haha Was the grader a UGA fan?

  5. southernpol says:

    “We are publicly stating our concerns with the amendment and why we cannot come out in support of it.”

    Ok, so what are their concerns? Why can’t they support it?

  6. The Republic Stands says:

    Having the local school board vote on whether a charter school can come into a county or not is ludicrous.
    Why would they, they lose children and money!
    Come on people – we have accepted lower then average grades for way too long! The public school system is broken – competition is a great solution.
    This is about our children (not teachers certainly not the N.E.A.) our children really are the future leaders of our Country- they must be well educated and able to compete globally!

  7. Doug Deal says:

    Just a couple of questions. Did the Atlanta Tea Party membership vote on this or was this a decison by Dooley and Thompson. If there was a vote, when was it taken and what was the count?

      • debbie0040 says:

        Doug, contrary to what has been reported, the vast majority of tea parties in Georgia, do not support this amendment .

        Harry, absolutely not. Not one dime. Now why don ‘t you ask that question of the supporters that are going around the state and see what the answer is?

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          So you’re making new friends in the Education establishment, Debbie? You really have a penchant for strange bedfellows.

          I believe that she’s not on the take, here, Harry. Her finger is in these high winds outside and she’s excited about being on TV.

        • Doug Deal says:


          I was just wondering how the endorsement of the No side came into being. Did some general membership vote on it, was it a decision of an executive committee or was it a decision of one or two leaders? If it came down to some kind of vote, what were the totals? Was there opposition and if so who lead it? What kinds of discussions over the issue were conducted to reach this consensus?

          I am not trying to make light of the endorsement, but these things are important to know if one wants to get a clear picture of how it came about.

  8. girl with a gun says:

    My problem with this “solution” is it will help very few. All of our schools are preforming poorly. Why not just give ALL schools more flexibility to decide what works best for the kids in their community? Not all are preparing for college so the schools should have the option to offer training and classes that suit the kids in their area; whatever that might be.
    Most, not all, charter schools preform better because the parents who are involved in their childs education get their child in the charter school. It becomes very political and the well connected seem to get in while the rest fall through the cracks.
    I am voting no.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Got any evidence that “well connected” kids seem to get into charter schools? Where are the cracks they’re falling through and where do they land? You say “all” of GA schools are performing poorly but you reject change to wrestle some authority from the grasp of those you say are failing us. You’re suggestion for all schools to have flexibility to decide what works best is what some might call anarchy. I’m sure that Clayton County thought they were doing just that before SACS figured out that it was the only school system in decades that couldn’t meet basic minimums.

      Konop: what in that post is worthy of agreement? I get the whole “everybody ain’t going to college” thing and alternatives need to be available. But some kids need a chance to get a different education and if their parents aren’t very wealthy, this may be that only chance. Local school systems have been shutting doors in the faces of charter schools for years–that’s why we’re voting at the polls. The locals have pushed their way into a jam by being obstinate towards the charters. Now they may get their worst nightmare.

  9. Ken says:

    I’ll simply state that as someone who supports – and has been a part of the TEA Party movement – it concerns me to see the TEA Party become involved in non-core issues. This is not a core issue and perhaps the best response would have been, “We are not involved because it is not a part of our mission.”

    Every non-essential issue does not gain support for the TEA Party, it reduces support.

    • Bob Loblaw says:

      Right on. Which is exactly why it will crash and burn. There are more Tea Parties than counties in GA. They are going to be shooting at each other and crossfire will happen. Here, the educrats have basically co-opted TEA party folks, here, without them knowing it. Its hilarious to assume that TEA Party folks in GA aren’t also fed up with horrible schools. All this boils down to is Debbie looked across the field and saw former opponents from transportation and she figures that if they support it, then she has to be against it, so let’s get all gussied up have a press conference.

      • Lea Thrace says:

        Dude. What is your deal with Debbie? It is getting to personal levels of attack around here lately. I do not agree with her on 99% of the issues either but I don’t see that as any reason to attack her. You have plenty of reasonable arguments against her positions. Stick to those. People are more likely to take that to heart.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          I’m not attacking her personally. She’s a public figure who pulls no punches and attacks everyone personally. She says the Governor is a crook, the entire Senate Ethics Committee are crooks and GDOT is full of crooks. She’s threatened to sue Mayor Reed. She’s already responding to Harry today, in her first full day of campaigning against Amendment 1 by inferring that supporters of the Amendment are on the take financially. Her response to my, um, ridicule of her sudden interest in school choice was responded to with, yeah, a personal attack on me.

          What’s my deal with Debbie? She’s an easy quote for the media and reckless with her words. She promises a lawsuit in the name of the Constitution and then when the violation she swore she would take down in court isn’t in her backyard, backs off. She says she’s going to run against Balfour, but then some clown (wait, sorry, a fellow TEA Party leader) qualifies, raises $10,000 and gets blown away when they could have had him on the ropes and then she says she’s moving out of the district so she can’t run next time.

          Now she’s bowing to the education establishment that is entrenched as any entity in the very government that the TEA Party is working to take back. The educrats, whether or not they work in good faith, are producing results that place our State at the bottom of everything education. TEA Party principles of low taxes, limited government and other conservative/populist issues are why 10,000+ people rallied in the cold rain at the Capitol several years ago. I don’t think these same people are being well-served by a leader that’s taking them off subject.

          • debbie0040 says:

            Bob, you are telling outright lies about what I have said. You attacked me and I responded. Please provide proof of your unfounded allegations of what I said. You are the one that consistently attacks me personally.

            I was asked if we were getting paid and I said no and told Harry to ask the same question of the supporters. Yes there are some supporters getting paid to travel the state and promote the charter amendment. It is all in the disclosures.

            Some supporters of the charter amendment were saying this was the education establishment/liberals against conservatives and they touted the tea parties that supported the amendment and basically said this was a tea party issue. They made it seem that all tea parties supported the amendment

            We were attacked for siting on the sidelines and being neutral. Both Julianne and I reluctantly came to the decision that we need to list the reasons we could not support nor endorse the amendment, which was done yesterday.

            Limited government is a tea party value and please Bob, don’t pretend you are a tea party activist. The botom line is that you don’t like the fact we hold your boss and others accountable for their actions.

            • Bob Loblaw says:

              The Law Firm of Bob Loblaw is 100% owned by Bob Loblaw. Nobody on this planet is my boss. My wife would be the closest thing, but her admonitions are always for my good.

              If you support school choice and charter schools then you should vote yes, because your new Educrat buddies have been the wall that citizens who are petitioning their government for establishment of charter schools can’t scale. You’re new bedfellows are not for charter schools, nor school choice. So to claim that you are for both while standing with the establishment is quite the straddle.

              Your rationale for not being able to remain neutral–that you were being attacked, is weak.

              Where’s your T-SPLOST suit?

              I hope you do keep speaking out and I’m glad to hear that I inspire you.

              I think you ought to answer the questions @Ken and @Doug Deal pose, above. I think you may have yelled “charge” and taken off running without anyone behind you this time.

              “We’re going streaking through the quad and to the gymnasium!”

      • debbie0040 says:

        Bob, I support school choice and charter schools and said that at the press conference. I stated there is an issue with the education system that needs to be fixed. The issue is about control and expansion of centralized government.

        Bob, If you think your constant attacks will make me stop speaking out, then think again as they inspire me to do even more…

        • DeKalb Inside Out says:

          As a well respected voice of the opposition to this Amendment, I was hoping you could speak intelligently about the plan to fix traditional schools.

          If not state charters, what’s the plan? The people in place at traditional schools who can make changes are the ones that profit the most from the status quo.

          Aside from believing in free markets, the inability to fix traditional schools from the inside is one of the biggest reasons I’m advocating for this amendment.

    • Charlie says:

      Spot on Ken, and by the time Debbie learns this lesson it will likely be too late.

      At some point there will have to be a decision if promoting herself is more important than the mission of the group she helped found. The behavior over this one demonstrates someone is playing checkers while the rest of the folks are playing chess.

      T-SPLOST was a step forward for the Tea Party in Georgia. The bahavior over this one is two steps back.

      Disappointing, because the potential to change things is being squandered.

      • debbie0040 says:

        I am insulted Charlie that you would think I did this to promote myself. Why on earth why I want to subject myself to the nasty emails and personal attacks thrown my way ? I stand for principle and there were other tea party activists at the press conference yesterday speaking out against the charter amendment. I read a statement from Georgia Insight on the reasons they opposed the amendment. Jack Staver and Angela Bean gave the best presentations against the charter amendment. Nolan and Diane Cox of the Valdosta Tea Party have sent out very good emails opposing the amendment and so have other tea party activists. The tea party and conservatives are divided on this amendment and I made that very clear yesterday.

        I am very disappointed that a few supporters of the charter amendment are resorting to veiled intimidation in order to prevent others from speaking out on the charter amendment. I have heard from so many people, including businessmen and women, that thanked us for taking the stand yesterday as they were afraid to speak out.

          • debbie0040 says:

            I was not referring to you Charlie or Doug, but I have had supporters instruct me that I needed to quit while I was ahead and there are others not even associated with the tea party that are afraid to speak out.

            There are good people on both sides of this issue. You don’t see me attacking you guys because you support it. You don ‘t see opponents attacking people because they support it. You do, however see supporters attack opponents.

            • Doug Deal says:

              I didn’t think you were referring to me, I have been mostly silent on the issue, although I favor it, I was just trying to insert a little humor.

  10. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    I don’t get it.

    The Tea Party opposes the charter amendment because of the state charter commission. But, the amendment doesn’t say anything about the state charter commission. As far as I can tell, the amendment just clarifies the state’s authority to create chartered schools.

  11. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    Thanks Debbie. Please excuse my ignorance and bare with me …

    Amendment 1 is House Resolution 1162

    Nowhere in that Amendment does it mention HB 797. HB 797 is a bill that has already been passed by the House and the Senate and went into affect on July 1st of this year.

    There is, however, a trigger in HB 797 that says “Section 1 of this Act shall become effective on January 1, 2013, only if a Constitutional amendment expressly authorizing the General Assembly to create state charter 431 schools as special schools”

    It seems that opponents are making it sound like we are writing the Commission into the constitution. It also seems like the appropriate time to voice opposition to HB 797 was earlier this year when it was passed. If we don’t like HB 797, shouldn’t we be going after HB 797?

    The argument may be a distinction without a difference, but I’m having a hard time conflating the two.

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