During last fall’s campaigns for both Roswell and Alpharetta City Council and mayor offices, every single candidate expressed opposition to the TSPLOST. Now that the vote nears and the governor and speaker are in full campaign mode to support it, these same candidates, now officeholders, are refusing to take a public position.
One candidate, after representing her opposition as a candidate and her neutrality as an officeholder, was overheard at a private function urging everyone to vote for the TSPLOST.
It seems the lure of the honey pot of new tax money is incredibly strong.
It also seems that Brian Kemp, the Secretary of State, has joined the pro-TSPLOST campaign. Legally, the SOS has authority over ballot language and even though the specific language for the TSPLOST issue is specified in HB277 as:
( ) YES
( ) NO
Shall _______ County's transportation system and the transportation network in this region and the state be improved by providing for a 1 percent special district transportation sales and use tax for the purpose of transportation projects and programs for a period of ten years?'
SOS Kemp felt the need to insert the following preamble above the HB277-specified ballot language:
“Provides for local transportation projects to create jobs and reduce traffic congestion with citizen oversight.”
I certainly wouldn’t question his right to do that under the law, but I can sure question his ethics in doing so. The claim that it creates jobs is very questionable and has been knocked down by Politifact. The claim that it reduces traffic congestion is ludicrous on its face. As for citizen oversight, a quick reading of HB277 leads one to understand that the Citizen Review Panel is a politically appointed body with no enforcement power and cannot review projects until they are completed. “Oversight” is nowhere in sight.
Fellow citizens, I believe it’s time to send our elected officials at all levels a clear message that we expect them to work in our best interest, and to "do the right thing" once elected.
I hope you will join me in voting this monstrosity down.