Here is a model of for grass roots groups can mount a campaign against local and state establishment schemes for debt-laden projects that enrich special interests paid for by years of higher taxes.
The Atlanta Times-Herlad reports,
“Another tax won’t help your traffic jam” is the tag line of the Transportation Leadership Coalition [TLC].
The one-percent sales tax, popularly known as TSPLOST — for Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax — would last for 10 years, if approved. The sales tax will apply to most purchases, including groceries, but not to gasoline. . . .
The all-volunteer Transportation Leadership Coalition operates the website www.traffictruth.net . . . .
The group is up against well-organized and well-funded public relations campaigns.
“We’re up against at least an $8 million campaign,” [Claire] Bartlett said. And one of the advertising agencies working on the pro-TSPLOST campaign is the same one that came up with the “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas” advertising campaign. . . .
There are two major pro-TSPLOST campaigns, both of which are associated with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce.
In the Atlanta region, there is the UntieAtlanta.com site, paid for by Citizens for Transportation Mobility, and the TransformmetroAtlanta.com site, put together by the Metro Atlanta Voter Education Network (MAVEN).
In the rest of the state, there is ConnectGeorgia2012.com . Information on the homepage says the site is paid for by Doug Callaway, president of the Georgia Transportation Alliance. . . .
Members of the TLC have been paying close attention to what the pro-TSPLOST groups are saying.
Some have heard representatives from the Atlanta region and MARTA talking about funding MARTA maintenance and operations with TSLOST proceeds, Bartlett said, “when that is clearly outside of the bounds” of what is laid out in the law.