Posted: 9:49 am Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Polls show Cobb County voters want Braves closer, but don’t want to pay for the move 

By Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

With a primary vote only days away, a pair of polls commissioned by an anonymous group of Atlanta business interests has found that voters in the northern half of Cobb County – who are about to weigh in on two county commission races – like the idea of the Braves moving closer.

But they have no interest in paying taxes to move the team across the Chattahoochee River.

Your daily jolt on politics from the AJC's Political insider blogThe polls were handed to us by Rick Dent of Lincoln Park Strategies, who would only describe the people behind them as having “regional economic development interests.”

One poll examines the opinions of 400 voters in District 1, which covers the county’s northwest quandrant. Commissioner Helen Goreham, who supported the Braves incentive package, is not running for re-election.

In a separate survey, another 400 voters were tapped in District 3, which covers northeast Cobb. There, incumbent Commissioner JoAnn Birrell has two opponents in a GOP primary – Michael Opitz and Joseph Pond. Which means a runoff is possible.

braves2Click the links to find the questions and toplines for District 1 and District 3. And the crosstabs for District 1 and District 3.

Results of the two polls are roughly the same, but we’ll concentrate on the results in District 1 (northwest Cobb) for the sake of time and space:

– 85 percent declared themselves very satisfied or satisfied with their community.

– 84 percent have paid some or a lot of attention to the news about the Atlanta Braves.

– 59 percent strongly or moderately support the Braves decision to move the team to Cobb. More (68 percent) if you don’t support the tea party. Less (55 percent) if you do.

– But on the question of taxes, the bottom drops out. Thirty percent strongly or moderately support the use of public monies to help finance the Braves move. Sixty-four percent oppose.

– And yet, 57 percent view the Braves deal as a fait accompli.

braves1– Seventy-two percent would oppose a one-cent sales tax to fund a rapid-bus link between Kennesaw State University and midtown Atlanta that would help transport Braves fans to the new stadium.

– Fifty-three percent want more public hearings. And 39 percent think the county commission hasn’t been upfront about the true public costs of the Braves move. Only 13 percent believe the county commission has been transparent and open about the process.

The polls were not candidate specific. So it’s tough to say whether Birrell, the northeast Cobb incumbent, is in any trouble.

The methodology of the two polls appears strong. The voice interviews were conducted from April 29 to May 1, 2014 by landline and cell phone. In each, the margin of error is 4.8% at the 95% confidence level.

***

Ray Boyd has maxed out to Sam Snider, the high school wrestling coach who is challenging House Speaker David Ralston in a bitter north Georgia Republican primary fight.

The wealthy real estate executive is barred by state law from giving him any more cash.

But as an incentive to boost attendance at an Ellijay press conference on Saturday, Boyd offered $5,000 to one person who came. He did. Glen Snider, father of the candidate for state representative, won an impromptu raffle.

On Monday, Helen Snider gave $2,500 to her son’s House campaign, according to this contribution report.

Perhaps out of enthusiasm, perhaps out of ignorance, some good people may be doing things they ought not to up in north Georgia. And if we had a state ethics commission worthy of the name, they would be looking into things like this.

***

Kingston-Perdue parachute mailer frontRipped via ripcord: Republican Jack Kingston has another eye-catching mailer hitting rival David Perdue in the Senate race for his “golden parachute” received as he left failing North Carolina textile manufacturer Pillowtex.

This is the apparent sequel to Kingston’s Common Core mailer. We might need to sic Politifact on this line: “Now David Perdue wants to run the country.” Ask Johnny Isakson or Saxby Chambliss sometime if they think they run the country.

As for Pillowtex, Perdue was on WGAU (1340am) with Tim Bryant and Martha Zoller this morning. Here’s what he said about the criticism:

“These people making these attacks have never really run a public business, a big business. They knew this company was already in bankruptcy when I was called out there to help. They don’t remind anybody of that. So I went out there to help. We found some things that were missed during the bankruptcy, that could not be solved. The investors didn’t just didn’t have the money to solve a large pension liability, so there was no way to go.”

***

Branko Radulovacki had a traumatic experience driving home from a middle Georgia campaign event on Monday evening with his campaign manager Elliott Smith.

The Democratic candidate for Senate, who goes by Dr. Rad, said his manager wasn’t speeding, didn’t violate any rules of the road and hadn’t been drinking when he was pulled over by a campus police officer in Milledgeville. His apparent crime, Radulovacki said, was “driving while black.” Here’s what Radulovacki told his supporters:

“That phrase — “driving while black” — had come up at our children’s high school as part of a discussion of racism. Honestly, as a white male, I didn’t take it seriously. But I do now.

The officer asked us both for driver’s licenses — even though I wasn’t driving. He pulled Elliott out of the car for a breathalyzer — which read .00, as he told the officer it would. When the policeman ran Elliott’s license, he told us it was suspended. Elliott produced paperwork proving that was incorrect. The police officer took his license anyway….

We spent the rest of the drive home talking about race relations and what it’s like to be a person of color in the South. In minority communities, there is profound distrust of a system that permits an officer to confiscate the ID required to vote just before it’s needed — especially if the “violation” isn’t one.”

Radulovacki said in a followup interview that he hopes his experience encourages more dialogue about racial profiling. Already, he said, his inbox and Facebook page has been flooded with similar stories from others.

“Reading about it and hearing about it is one thing,” he said. “But when you’re actually in the car when it happens it really opens your eyes.”

***

In a move that surprises no one, the Sierra Club of Georgia endorsed Democrat Jason Carter in the governor’s race.

The endorsement cited the Deal administration’s Earth Day decision to ease a 25-foot coastal marshland buffer as well as a refusal to partner with a Department of Interior program pushing more offshore wind generators. Mark Woodall, who chairs the local Sierra Club chapter, had this to say:

“Where Gov. Deal and his cronies have stalled or rolled back critical coastal protections, Jason Carter will move Georgia forward. Gov. Deal’s friends in the state Legislature are also playing roulette with aquifers that supply millions of gallons of water for Georgia agriculture and industry. Jason Carter can and will do better for our coast and water resources.”

***

We told you yesterday about a new Phil Gingrey ad, which for the first time in this race revives a 2010 point of attack against Karen Handel: Gay rights.

The Gingrey ad’s narrator asks “will we condone Karen Handel’s vote for YouthPride that promotes teenage homosexuality?”

In the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Nathan Deal took whacks at Handel for supporting gay adoption when she was on the Fulton County Commission. Handel’s campaign said she never supported gay adoption and that emails from her stating otherwise were not actually written by Handel.

A Deal TV ad that year also brought up Fulton County grants to YouthPride. The Atlanta organization provides a social outlet for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning teenagers, and works to prevent teen suicide.

The Handel camp is taking the attack as a compliment. Said Corry Bliss, Handel’s campaign manager:

“Gingrey’s attack is a laughable last-minute smear. But it does show that his campaign has polling data that has Karen either in first or second place.

“Each commissioner chose their own grants, and this was not Karen’s grant. Karen has been clear: she believes marriage is between one man and one woman, and when the Fulton County Commission voted on gay partner benefits, she voted no.”

***

The liberal folks at ThinkProgress captured Karen Handel’s thoughts on the minimum wage the other day in Athens: She does not think it should exist:

***

WSB’s Lori Geary caught up with Michelle Nunn yesterday to prod her about why she’s forgoing the station’s weekend debate between Democratic candidates for Senate. This was Nunn’s answer:

“They are tired of hearing people, you know, politicians debate among themselves and what they want is someone who is going to listen to them.”

***

Here’s a sign that Congress’ Voting Rights Act update, which is backed by Rep. John Lewis, isn’t going to happen this year: Advocacy organizations including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the League of Women Voters and the NAACP are holding a news conference on Thursday to “urge” the recalcitrant U.S. House to act.

They had been quiet for a while, fearing that raising a ruckus would make conservative Republicans dig in. But this bill has been on ice since it was introduced in January, so the silent treatment has not worked.

***

State Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs, up for a life-time job on the federal bench, endured a severe Senate Judiciary Committee grilling on Tuesday for votes he cast while a state lawmaker, on the topics of abortion and the 1956 state flag and its Confederate battle emblem. But all is not lost, according to the Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday that he hopes to schedule a vote soon to confirm [David] Barron and that he will support him. But Reid said he would withhold judgment on Boggs.

Other Democratic senators said Tuesday that they also will withhold judgement on Boggs. But [Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa] predicted that Boggs will survive the confirmation process despite Democratic opposition.

“This is something the White House really wants,” Grassley said.

***

You can count this as the gaffe of the week. Maybe the year. From the New York Times:

For nearly 50 years, John Conyers Jr. has represented Detroit in the House of Representatives. He is the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, a founder of the Congressional Black Caucus and the second-longest-serving member of Congress still holding office.

But now he may be felled by a political mistake fit for an amateur: His petitions for re-election lack enough valid signatures.

The misstep has left politicians and constituents amazed. After all, at this point in his career, Mr. Conyers should be a shoo-in, his campaign machine fine-tuned. He first took office in 1965 during the auto industry’s boom years, long before towering debt and municipal bankruptcy took hold. Many here cannot recall when they were last represented by someone else.

 

 

36 comments
Baumer_1
Baumer_1

Whether this is a bad move or not (it is a bad move), the Braves are moving to Cobb, getting a couple hundred million in public funds for the complex, and there is little to nothing the residents of Cobb county can/will do about it.


For one, at best the county can try renegotiating with the Braves...but anything that came from that would be very marginal. If public funds are taken off the table the whole project will be a no-go. There are plenty of places the Braves can shop around...even outside of Georgia.


Insofar as the county commission is concerned, this will be a non-issue in a couple of weeks and they will all win reelection. Cobb county is too conservative to tell big businesses "no." Worst case scenario, some of the republicans on the commission are replaced by other republicans who want this deal, but won't publicly admit it.

ChessMaster
ChessMaster

I live in Cobb County and like the Braves move. I can see economic development money being used to attract a company and an investment of over $1 billion. Isn't that what it's for? Economic development is complex, and we elect our county officials to manage this effort. It is one reason Cobb taxes are so low in comparison to many other local counties.


As for the transportation issue, the Braves will move some traffic but metro Atlanta has a bigger issue, and I haven't seen any proposed solution that appeals to me. The recent proposal did little to aid anyone and squandered the money. The issue is the fractional control and  the focus on pet projects. Georgia needs to figure out how to manage transportation and that includes an effective bus system. That isn't a Braves issue or an Atlanta issue. It is a Metro issue.

LEcho
LEcho

Why must these state politicians make the rest of us look like we are hypocritical, self-absorbed, egotistical maniacs? It seems like the only requirements for becoming a politician is to be rich (or supported by someone else who is) and not liable for anything you've said or done prior to the current or upcoming election season because <insert a bunch of BS political rhetoric> and you stand for the people.

Andy123
Andy123

Cobb reminds me a lot of Clayton County in the 90's.  It inevitable that the minorities are about to take over the asylum and run it into the ground, so the current white ruling class are mortgaging every dollar they can to take care of their ole boys in the meantime until they get voted out.  Kinda funny because history always repeats itself. 

honested
honested

Of course, the braves could file to operate as a non-profit and use all the proceeds to pay for the palace and the infrastructure improvements necessary.


What a wonderful opportunity for the 'free market' to take over and the 'private industry' pay it's own way to the benefit of those impacted.


I can hardly wait until they make the suggestion.

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

So, it's not just the poor people who want something for nothing?

JaySly
JaySly

racist police in Milledgeville---no surprise---more of the same--its the same all over georgia--driving while black is a crime in this state---im tired of this

findog
findog

Available-

So for Cobb to get the Braves their county taxes have to be reallocated, because there cannot be any new taxes, and those of us who suffer on GA400 for lack of a third lane between North Fulton and Forsyth counties will have to wait a while longer [because Cobb is not going to pay for the Braves interstate infrastructure]

John53
John53

Michelle Nunn is making a fatal mistake avoiding candidate debates.

AvailableName
AvailableName

Everyone here is taking shots at the Cobb folks for not wanting to pay for stuff for the Braves.  I don't live up there but I don't want to pay for Braves stuff either - I'm sure road improvements by GDOT are on the Braves to do list.  The Braves, like the Falcons, like having other people pay for their stuff and are pretty good at getting their stuff free, courtesy of taxpayers.  I imagine that will continue no matter what people in Cobb want.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

Not to worry Dr Rad, we have a state full of TP'ers who will soon come to your aid. They come here and to other blogs every day decrying our loss of freedom, the overreaching gummint, the encroaching police state. I'm sure td, andy, dah centrist, the snake, and all the rest are calling your office now, offering their help in curbing the abuses like you and your campaign manager experienced, as well as putting an end to 'stop and frisk,' disproportional prison sentences, and other injustices. Yessiree, they are all about FREEDOM!

Oops, I just realized your campaign manager is a minority. Never mind, they won't be calling after all. If only your campaign manager were white, they and a fully armed militia would have shown up to tell that cop he can't do things like that.

findog
findog

Typical wing nut Tea Party poll results

Yes give us the Braves and the financial boost

No to paying for it

I guess all the welfare queens in Atlanta should foot the bill for the relocation

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

Of course Cobb Countians want the Braves but don't want to pay for them. It seems that's how it always is for them . . .

DirtyDawg
DirtyDawg

I could care less who the Repug nominee for Senate will be - although a genuinely obvious idiot Wingnut would be pretty helpful - but the spiel that 'Another Goober' Perdue is using of an outsider that just wants to make things work in Washington, is as phony as football bat. If a man as fundamentally good, fair, honest, even statesmanlike - regardless of Party - as Johnny Izakson could be corrupted by the greed and prejudice of the Republican, 'toe the line', manifesto, then a corporate raider like Perdue would be child's play...actually, it would be 'right down his alley'. So you R-folks go ahead...every one of your candidates will ultimately do or say something idiotic. I just hope enough Georgia voters will recognize it and be embarrassed by it - doubtful, I know, but one can hope cause it's time we returned Georgia to its position as leader of the New South instead of the laughing-stock Republican rule has turned us into.

Jefferson1776
Jefferson1776

Sounds like a bunch of republicans,  they want everything but don't want to pay for it.

coj
coj

I hope Dr. Rad and his manager got the cop's badge number and name and publicizes them. This cop is a bad cop and should be outed.

MANGLER
MANGLER

Hmm.  Cobb County.  The same people who wanted more public transportation so "those people" wouldn't be clogging the lanes on 75 and 285, but shot down the bill that would have paid for it.  They strongly support the Gov who refuses to expand medical care for "those people" because they don't want to pay for it.  So it's no surprise that they want the stadium closer so that they won't have to commute into the city where "those people" live, but they don't want to pay for it.

DontTread
DontTread

Communist Party USA also supports Jason Carter (D), Michelle Nunn (D), and Anyone Else (D)....also not a surprise.

NWGAL
NWGAL

Georgia citizens like to form ever smaller new cities with new bureaucracies and do not value cooperation. Functioning regionally just won't fly here unless the Feds force it and then get all the blame.

Baumer_1
Baumer_1

@ChessMaster  


Yes, all of that is an issue with transportation...but GA is not ready to grow up.


The plan, as always, is to wait for the federal government to bail the state out with more transportation funding.


Everyone knows the metro-Atlanta area needs transportation enhancements...but the People either don't want to pay for it or don't trust their representatives in the state government to honestly do the job.


Bill OrvisWhite
Bill OrvisWhite

@John53  

Well, it's a given that Mrs. Nunn is going to beat the Socialists running against her in that joke of a primary.

With that fact out there, Sam's daughter is clueless on all of the issues. A vote for Mrs. Nunn tells anyone with common sense that anyone who supports her is flat-out stuck on stupid. 

Sam's daughter has a lot of good coaches funded only by mean-spirited leftists like George Soros. The truth is that this woman tips to the far left - using Alinsky/Marxist/Fonda strategies. This is one scary candidate folks. The US Senate DOES NOT NEED more Hairy Read support. Amen, Bill 

Andy123
Andy123

@John53

She's making a fatal mistake by even running.   

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@John53 The only means we have to let her know that, is to cast a vote for Dr Rad. We have too many equivocating, issue-dodging, half-hearted Dems supposedly representing us now. To add one more will do little to advance the Democratic agenda.

Andy123
Andy123

@findog

Sounds like the liberal mentality to me.  I want free food, healthcare, prescription drugs, housing and utilities and the people who actually pay net income taxes, unlike myself, better pay for it or I'm going to cry like a baby and call anyone who won't give me a 'free' handout a Tea Bagger!  I want my entitlement and I WANT IT NOW! 

UGAGuy
UGAGuy

@coj  Yes.  A politician said it happened so it certainly must be true.  You have one side of the story and already calling for the cop to be outed.  

honested
honested

@MANGLER  

Just like Grady, where they offload 'those people' but flinch at ponying up their share.

NWGAL
NWGAL

I googled Community Party USA and went to their website to see if they did indeed endorse Nunn and Carter. No evidence of support,not even a mention of their names. I am curious about your source.

Gun Toting Liberal
Gun Toting Liberal

@DontTread  

Is that the same CPUSA that the Blessed Saint Ronnie Raygun, Messiah of the Tea Party applied to join?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DontTread  

Communist Party USA also supports Jason Carter (D), Michelle Nunn (D), and Anyone Else (D)...

Got proof?

honested
honested

@DontTread  

Source?

Of course I'm sure you read the last two remaining CPUSA publications daily.

ChessMaster
ChessMaster

And the people's representatives at the state level have abdicated their responsibility for state transportation issues to an unaccountable DOT Board of Directors that frankly doesn't care if Atlanta chokes on traffic.

honested
honested

@Andy123 @John53 

Yes, she is upending the wrong-wing entitlement mentality which deluded them into thinking they were doing a great job and would remain in power forever.

RoadScholar
RoadScholar

@UGAGuy @coj  The cop took his license, so a report should have been written.... smoking gun?

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@UGAGuy @coj  The cop will deny it happened, so it must not have happened. Here's an idea, we'll have the cops investigate this cop. They do that all the time, and never find any wrongdoing on the part of the cops, so I'm confident that if they investigate this, they will find the cop did no wrong, proving once again that the police are our friends.

Trackbacks

  1. […] thing to be a flip-flopper. A press release from yesterday, riffing off of Handel campaign manager Corry Bliss’ response in this space to Gingrey’s […]

  2. […] H/T to Political Insider. […]

  3. […] A few days ago, we mentioned the experience recounted by Branko Radulovacki, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, of his encounter with a law enforcement officer while driving with an aide. His apparent crime, “Dr. Rad” said, was “driving while black.” Here’s what Radulovacki told his supporters: […]