Transportation Policy

Tea Party, NAACP, Sierra Club Teamed Up to Kill Atlanta Transportation Tax

$7.2 billion measure failed with 63 percent voting no.

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It was the Davids versus the Goliaths. On one side of a $7.2 billion referendum aimed at unsnarling Atlanta's traffic stood the two most powerful men in Georgia, and an unlikely pair to boot: Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a Democrat.

On the other side stood the little guys: Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots and Colleen Kiernan from the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club. Despite seemingly dueling ideologies, they found common cause to lobby against a 1-cent-on-the-dollar tax to pay for 157 traffic-friendly projects in the metro area over 10 years.

Also on that side was local NAACP president John Evans – another unlikely partner, especially for the tea party, which some critics have seen as anti-minority and anti-immigrant.