New ads and perimeter protest highlight transportation tax battle

6:25 PM, Jul 13, 2012   |    comments
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  • Photo driving West on I-285 in Cobb County
  • T-SPLOST opponent Dr. Bill Hudson of TrafficTruth.net
  • T-SPLOST supporter Bert Brantley of UntieAtlanta.com
    

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Outspent by millions of dollars, grassroots opponents of the July 31st transportation sales tax vote are planning a publicity stunt for next Saturday morning.

"It's truly David against Goliath," Dr. Bill Hudson told 11Alive News on Friday.

Hudson is one of several T-SPLOST foes hoping hundreds of drivers will join them on Saturday, July 21st, to circle Atlanta's perimeter highway twice with their lights on.

"Starting at 10 o'clock we're gonna have, hopefully, a caravan starting at three different locations on I-285," he said.

What opponents lack in funds, they're making up for with social media.

They're mobilizing what they call the "Lights for Liberty Drive" through a website called TrafficTruth.net.

Transportation tax supporters scoff at the weekend driving protest, claiming it will only help prove their point about how congested Atlanta's roads really are.

"I think if they tried during the morning rush hour to drive around 285 two times, it might take 'em 'til the afternoon rush to finish," said Bert Brantley, spokesman for UntieAtlanta.com.

Like most opponents, Dr. Hudson opposes the tax because he believes the projects it will fund are ineffective or designed to line the pockets of the powerful.

Tax supporters respond by saying, 'show us your list'.

"We've had enough of those 'no's', the naysayers," said Brantley.

"We've got to start having some people say, 'Yes, let's do something about this; let's finally start fixing this mess'," he added.

UntieAtlanta.com released a new TV ad and two new radio spots on Friday pushing for 'yes' votes.

One of the radio ads features former UN Ambassador and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.

But the much poorer opposition still predicts victory.

"I think we have the truth, we have the facts, and we have God on our side," said Hudson.

Well, at least most of the recent public opinion polls seem to be leaning their way.

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