Scintilla Of Political Acumen
There was a link on facebook to a story about T-SPLOST, To avoid campaign blame game, regional transportation sales tax proponents need another miracle. (The spell check suggestions for T-SPLOST: T-LOST, SPLOSH) The story, and the reaction, was typical of much of this debate.
Some people say that the intown people are being taken for granted. Others say that the money is not going to be divided up properly. This translates as, my people did not get what we told them that they want. Some say MARTA is shown favoritism, while others say MARTA is left out. And the OTP crowd yawns, and wonders what everyone is talking about.
The truth is, the proposal is badly flawed It tries to make everyone happy, and fails. It is sausage factory politics at it’s most rancid. The product was not refrigerated, and will be rotten long before the expiration date.
The people working for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed did not like the “blame” article. They asked to write a reply, and the bloglady gave them some space. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s team disagrees with Saporta’s column was the result. If this is the best the pro T-SPLOST people can do, then the measure should be defeated.
Mayor Reed began working on the transportation referendum initiative as a state senator and then continued tirelessly advocating for passage of House Bill 277 during his first year in office. Anyone with a scintilla of political acumen knows that achieving enough bipartisan support in the Georgia General Assembly to pass the measure was a Herculean task.
Over the next two years, he served as the chairman of the Regional Transit Committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission and worked hard to sustain a minimum of 50 percent of funding for rail. The elected leaders put aside partisan politics, whittled down a $23 billion project wish list to $6 billion, and then unanimously approved it – a signature moment for the region.
Yet, for weeks, we have read stories that tear apart the work and the effort that went into getting the metropolitan Atlanta region to this point around the transportation initiative. Ms. Saporta’s column is simply the latest attempt to throw stones at an effort that would create jobs, keep our region competitive and safeguard Atlanta’s position as the leading city in the Southeast.
I am confident our voters will continue to educate themselves, not be misled by deliberately negative stories and go to the polls on July 31.
The phrase that caught PG’s eye was “scintilla of political acumen”. This campaign is not going to be decided by policy wonks. It will be decided by the brothers in Lithonia, and the bubbas in Cumming. (The spell check suggestion for bubbas is Barabbas.) When you throw phrases like “scintilla of political acumen” at this crowd, they think you are talking over their heads. And they are correct. Both OTP and ITP feel they are being taken advantage of by this proposal.
Then there is this sentence: “Ms. Saporta’s column is simply the latest attempt to throw stones at an effort that would create jobs, keep our region competitive and safeguard Atlanta’s position as the leading city in the Southeast.” Yea, kill the messenger. When someone tells the uncomfortable truth, complain about the truth teller.
PG is the type of person who would ordinarily support a proposal like T-SPLOST. He began to turn against it the day he received a phone call from a supporter. The lady read from a script, throwing out claims about how many jobs would be created by T-SPLOST. The BS detector started to buzz, and gets louder every day.
The transportation needs of the region are immense. This proposal is poorly conceived. The well funded marketing campaign has been arrogant and tone deaf. If Coca Cola had been sold like this, we would all drink Pepsi today. One wonders if the same idiots who are running the ad campaign, in support of T-SPLOST, are the same people who created the project list. T-SPLOST is in trouble, and not even a miracle might be able to help. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress.