One of metro Atlanta's most organized tea party groups has formed a political action committee which it hopes will help block next year's referendum for a 1-cent transportation tax.
Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots tells CL that the group filed paperwork yesterday to create the organization, which is called the Atlanta Patriot PAC.
"We’re going to be raising money, hopefully have radio advertising, and going into counties to educate voters about the T-SPLOST," she says. The PAC will also use email blasts to spread its message — a tactic, she says, which helped defeat a 2010 referendum that would've funded Georgia's trauma care centers with a $10 annual fee on car tags.
The group — which is working with other Georgia tea party groups to spike the regional referendums — is also taking the names of metro Atlanta elected officials who advocate in support of the tax. If passed in metro Atlanta, the measure could raise more than $6.1 billion for new roads and transit projects in the 10-county region.
"How can you be a fiscal conservative when you want to expand something that’s fiscally irresponsible?" says Dooley, referring to the rail lines that earned a place on the list of projects that would be funded by the measure. "I can assure you that tea party activists will hold elected officials accountable who actively campaign for this T-SPLOST."
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