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Tea party’s stance on SPLOST: Stop gaming the system

POSTED: September 2, 2011 1:00 a.m.

Tom Crawford in his article, "Tea party's T-SPLOST battle brings out anti-tea party forces" made a statement that shows he either does not understand the view which the tea party has taken on this issue, or else he has an agenda he wishes to promote.

His statement, "Tea party members figured that such a move (moving all SPLOST to the general election) would make it easier for them to campaign against the passage of local tax increases" is not only wrong, but ludicrous when you analyze it.

Prior to this statement, he intimates that the tea party's request to move all SPLOST to the general election is to make it easier to campaign against SPLOST tax increases.

If campaigning against taxes is the issue, it would actually be easier in the primary election. Fewer people vote in the primary than the general election, and voters in the primary as a total percentage are often more knowledgeable of the issues, therefore making it easier to fight something in the primary.

The issue the tea party has with the T-SPLOST is moving this particular vote. Studies have been made by the promoters of this SPLOST that indicate the T-SPLOST will fail if it is left in the primary election. The only reason the request to move this vote to the general election is the belief that the chance of it passing is increased. The issue is moving the vote and not a question of fighting taxes.

The tea party is fighting for government to show some integrity. As the local coordinator of Lanier Tea Party Patriots, I can state I have no issue with the people voting on this tax increase. The tea party position in its simplest form is this: Don't move SPLOSTs around just because you think they will pass better in the general election than the primary! Either keep all SPLOST votes in the primary or in the general election, but don't selectively move them around.

The Lanier Tea Party really does not care when Georgia holds the vote. We just want our representatives and lobbyist to be consistent and stop trying to game the system. There is little difference in this tactic of moving the SPLOST vote to get the result desired than what Nancy Pelosi did with the Affordable Health Care Act when she invoked the concept of "deem and pass."

While both Republicans and Democrats have used this tactic, the tea party holds that this is only a method of violating the intent of a representative government. Neither side would use such a tactic unless they feared the bill in question would be defeated by a proper vote. The same is going on here. Fear the T-SPLOST vote will fail instigated the idea to move vote.

The tea party is simply standing on principle and saying stop gaming the system. Either move all SPLOST votes to the general election or leave them all in the primary. Stop attempting to fool the people to get a desired outcome.

Mike Scupin


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