R.W. Allen’s Guaranteed Money Pits

IMG_4374Owners like to use a contract delivery method called “Design Build” when they don’t know what the heck they are building, don’t want to take the time to design it before bidding it out, or have a site with too many unknown conditions.  Since they don’t know these things they put a fig leaf of protection against unlimited costs called a “Guaranteed Maximum Price” or GMP. Even in commercial or industrial construction, supposedly knowledgeable in cost controls and with fewer unknowns, GMP contracts are a challenge to administer, because the assumptions the contractor gives in quoting a GMP generally last only days or weeks. Owners would be better off with a pure cost-plus contract with great controls, but the owner’s internal politics command at least a fiction of a fixed price.

Imagine trying to catch a butterfly in a windstorm – that is how elusive the “guarantee” becomes.

In government there is no better money-hemorrhaging device than these contracts, hence perhaps GMP should automatically be understood by citizens as being “Guaranteed Money Pit.”

The City of Augusta, Georgia loves to squander money using GMP contracts, having thoroughly embarrassed itself with the things. Augusta  built a $30 million Convention Center across land the city didn’t own and then had to pay for it with Kitchen Equipment added by change order to a “guaranteed” price,  spent about $50 million on a Municipal Building Remodeling that was supposed to cost $20 million mostly covered by another GMP contract, and built houses in the Laney Walker district with maximum-price, not to exceed contracts that never were adjusted to actual cost.

There were only three finalists selected by Augusta for the Old Green Street Library remodeling, and two of the three had “Allen” in their name. The low bidder who didn’t have “Allen” in its name and who bid on the whole project in its bid, with a Guaranteed Price for all of the work, somehow didn’t get the award. RW Allen, LLC was awarded the work on a piecemeal basis, destroying any figment of a guarantee in this writer’s estimation.

John Allen, nephew and contributor to Congressman Richard W. Allen, is a principal in the Allen-Batchelor firm, which was also on the finalist listing.

District 8 Wayne Guilfoyle said it best “if all three firms are proposing this project the following including the proper scope, met the required schedule and fully capable of completing the RFP why are we selecting the highest bidder?” Then later Commissioner Guilfoyle said “So we’re approving something we don’t have a clue, only a partial.

It must be nice to be R.W. Allen LLC and to have Augusta push you into a yet another money pit where nothing is guaranteed but more profits.


Mother (of) Goofs – The Convention Center that Rick Built

This is the Convention Center that Rick built.
Conference Harrison Bldg

This is the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Center that Rick built.

This is equipment the partnership deal said would be paid for by
Tilting Kettles
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Administrator who worked with Rick to bill the city for

That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the lawyer who looked in vain for the city commission-executed PARTNERSHIP CHANGE
Augusta Attorney Andrew McKenzie
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Architect paid to prevent contracting snafus
who got excluded from reviewing the purchase for which
That lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the land right Augusta found it had under its Convention Center after
Air Rights?
That Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have stopped
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the Manager/owners parcel value for which Augusta was forced to trade the equipment to use its own building
That empty land right Augusta found it had after
That Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have stopped
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

These are the $8250 in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 campaign contributions from the Center Manager/Owner
Rick got after buying

That equipment value it became necessary to trade for
That empty land rights Augusta found it had after
That the Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have noted
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

This is the rival donkey in Congress grinning like a mule eating briars

That Rick got those campaign contributions from the Center Manager/Owner seeing
That equipment value it became necessary to trade for
That land right Augusta found it had after
That Architect noted his exclusion from the purchase review that might have noted
That which the lawyer found no partnership change to allow
That Administrator to work with Rick to bill the city for
That kitchen equipment that was going to be the cost of
That Center Manager/Owner
That had the parcel
That lay under the Convention Center that Rick built.

Rick, You Forgot to Call

In 2012 when you made a run for the Republican nomination for the 12th Congressional seat, the radio talker Austin Rhodes immediately attacked you for a long-ago donation to the infamous Champ Walker, a Democrat. I called in that day to defend you, recalling your teen years as a Republican.

Then Brad Owens of the Augusta Today group wrote a City Stink piece questioning added overhead charges on RW Allen LLC’s partial bill to Augusta for the Tee Center y’all were building. The contract said those costs were capped. You were incensed and maybe with justification because it wasn’t the final bill.

You and I had a lot of discussions during the 2012 primary season, but there is one worthy of recounting. We reminisced about our frequent childhood gatherings at Uncle Land and Aunt Carols’. I told you that, despite having created constructionaudits.com, I stayed out of Augusta because RW Allen had such a presence there that your company was unavoidable. A warning was that RWA operated in a cloistered environment of Augusta for decades, building complacency. Rising to executive status as you did meant not really knowing what was in the contracts RWA signed, but those would become campaign issues. We talked about the one Augusta project that my firm did at Reid Church, where RWA was contractor, doing an admirable job under tough circumstances. Finally, we got to how the epidemic of financial corruption decimating my retirement savings forced me to use Augusta as a lab to see if the old skills were still good enough to produce.

After 2 years of stunning results, that question has been answered.

Before that call concluded, this was said and is still meant. You are a very fine man, Rick Allen, and America and Georgia need fine men to step forward. There was an offer to work with you to develop positions that the people truly need, not the old tired Republican Party rhetoric. Finally there was an offer to prepare you for greater things -a run for the US Senate.

The words of warning remain the same. You have long alliances with people in whom you trust, but the people don’t. There is a record of commitments in those RWA contracts that you are oblivious to, but the two Johns, Stone and Barrow, won’t be. You have major contributors with interests in the Augusta Tee Center scam that the Augusta Chronicle can’t hide much longer. You are tied to banking in a state that was and is the epicenter of global bank fraud decimating responsible people. Perhaps the entire 12th is reluctant to yield representation and their children’s futures to the Augusta bluebloods, perhaps the most aggressively greedy plutocrats on earth
My promise was to help you understand and rectify those things. We last talked just before the Tee Center budget meeting in February of last year. You said the political future was undecided. You were going to call before launching another run at the 12th. That call never came.

Good luck Rick. You are going to need it.

Short Sheeted via Term Sheet

Public Thrown for Loss in (nearly)Free Falcons Stadium?
By Al Gray
The author, Al M. Gray is President of Cost Recovery Works, Inc., a provider of Cost Avoidance and Cost Recovery for America’s leading companies, businesses and governments desiring Superior Returns.
Georgia Dome to be Torn Down for new Falcons Stadium
About two months ago, a “term sheet” was signed by the Georgia World Congress Center and the Atlanta Falcons to build a new retractable-roofed stadium for their pro football team. After the travails that followed the notorious Augusta Tee Center Term Sheet, the mere mention of that phrase was enough to raise eyebrows.
The thought came to mind “What if……?” What if it was a one-sided deal against the public? What if the consultants’ reports were not analyzed? What if the cost to the taxpayer was a whole lot greater than advertised? What if the legalese meant huge opportunities for cost-shifts to the public? What if media was silent because of the team owner’s position on the board of the Atlanta newspaper’s parent company?
The deal was too huge and the possibilities too big to ignore, so this author performed a month long investigation on the reported stadium costs versus what the documents showed. The report that came from this effort is the inaugural article in agraynation.com, the multimedia blog born out of the Augusta Project, that work being a year-long series of investigations and articles that appeared in City Stink and the Augusta reform Facebook pages.
The Falcons say they are paying $700 million of the $1.2 billion cost.
Are they really? Or is this another prank of being short sheeted via term sheet? Will the weary public think it is turning in to a warm comfy bed, only to find all openings denied?
Most of the cost is all ours.
There is a big rush to get this deal approved ASAP.
Stay tuned.


Guest Column: Lee Anderson Hardly a Leader

Originally posted on CityStink
Friday, August 24, 2012
Augusta, GA
By Jeffery Sexton
Al M. Gray, President of Cost Recovery Works, Inc. contributed multidisciplinary review techniques in support of this article.
My attention was drawn to this comment from Lawton Sack, Chairman of GA-GOP’s 12th District:
Rep. Lee Anderson was elected as our Republican nominee for GA-12 on Tuesday night. There already seems to be an air of defeat permeating this race against Barrow. Some people are publicly and privately saying that Lee cannot beat Barrow. I have had some tell me that they will be voting for Barrow instead of Lee. I believe strongly and sincerely that Lee can win this election, and I cannot and will not give up without a fight. I have lived under Barrow for almost 8 years, and I am tired of his duplicity and his non-leadership. Barrow is not the right answer for GA-12. I kindly ask that each of you, our Republican leaders and activists in GA-12, to please not add any fuel to the pessimism. If you choose not to support our nominee, that is your right and prerogative. I simply ask that you please not make the battle more difficult for those that choose to fight on.–Lawton Sack, GA-12 GAGOP Chair
Now, as y’all probably know, I’ve spent a good amount of time over the past four years – since Anderson was first elected to the Georgia General Assembly in 2008 – watching the Georgia General Assembly quite closely. And honestly, Anderson’s name was never a factor in my conversations with fairly high ranking sources in the Assembly, no matter the issue. But I decided to use the power of LEGIS to do some research into Rep Anderson’s “leadership”, and here’s what I found:
Per his biography page, as of the 2011-2012 session of the Assembly, Rep Anderson’s highest ranking position is as the third ranking official (Secretary) of the Intragovernmental Affairs committee. He has no other leadership positions in the Assembly – meaning Speaker Ralston and the other genuine leaders in the Ga House of Representatives don’t consider the man a leader at all, else he would be given more prominent positions, particularly given the turnover of the last couple of years.
But let’s also look at his legislative record, shall we?
Rep Anderson has had his name attached to 40 bills in the 2009-2010 session, his Freshman term. Of those bills:
  • 15 were statewide House legislation
  • 2 were local legislation dealing with the City of Harlem and Columbia County
  • 2 were Senate bills that he was the House sponsor of (SB 6 and SB 456)
  • 16 were various commendation resolutions
  • 2 were resolutions supporting development of Ga’s energy resourcese
  • 1 was a resolution honorting China Day at the Capitol
  • 1 was a resolution recognizing Burn Week
  • 1 was a resolution creating the House Study Committee on Property Law Modernization and Standardization
Of those 40 pieces of legislation, Rep Anderson himself introduced just 1/4 of them – 7 bills (HB 196HB 440HB 453HB 630HB 723HB 975, and HB 1253) and 3 commending resolutions (HR 1656HR 1766HR 1940).
Of the 7 bills Rep Anderson introduced himself, 4 (HB 440, HB 453, HB 630, HB 723) became law – though half of those were the 2 pieces of local legislation he had introduced. Of the rest of the House bills that Rep Anderson co-sponsored, only 4 became law: HB 93HB 156HB 529HB 1206. Of these four, Anderson was the primary co-sponsor on half of them.
For comparison purposes on the numbers above, there were nearly 6100 pieces of legislation introduced in that session, with 1527 of them being House Bills, 552 Senate Bills, 2340 House Resolutions, and the remainder of them Senate Resolutions.
In Rep Anderson’s sophomore term, the 2011-2012 session, here is the breakdown of his 55 total bills:
  • 38 were commendation resolutions
  • 7 were statewide House legislation
  • 5 were local redistricting bills
  • 1 was a local bill to provide term limits for the Columbia County Board of Commissioners
  • 1 was a resolution supporting the modernization of the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (HR 381)
  • 1 was a resolution urging the US Dept of Labor to repeal certain proposed policies (HR 1561)
  • 1 was a resolution urging the US Dept of Community Affairs to adopt amendments to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (HR 1948)
  • 1 was a dedication resolution
Of these 55 pieces of legislation, Rep Anderson introduced just 2 of the bills (HB 1179 and HB 1180, both redistricting bills regarding Lincoln County) himself, though he introduced 34 of the commendation resolutions himself.
All of Rep Anderson’s redistricting bills became law, as did his bill term limiting Columbia County Commissioners and 5 (HB 198HB 274HB 280HB 485HB 928) of his 7 Statewide bills.
For comparison with the above numbers, there were 5423 total pieces of legislation introduced in the 2011-2012 session, with 1311 of them being House Bills, 2201 of them being House Resolutions, 540 were Senate Bills, and the remainder were Senate Resolutions.
Thus, as Rep Anderson’s record clearly shows, he is hardly a leader – he has not held any position of any real importance on any major committee, and while he has had a few bills passed, 2/3 (4 of 6) of the bills he had passed that he had introduced himself were local legislation of no statewide importance.
I’ll leave it to the reader to interpret the benefit/detriment of the bills that did get passed with his name on them for themselves.
For anyone who would like to look at exactly what I have looked at on their own, please feel free to go to LEGIS. To find Rep Anderson’s information, simply use the Session drop down box to search for either the 2009-2010 Regular Session or the 2011-2012 Regular Session, then for the Member drop down select “Anderson, Lee”. All of what I have now shown will come up for you to look at the legislation at your leisure.***
Jeffery Sexton

11th Hour for the 12th District

GOP About to be Reformed, One Way or Another
Originally posted by CityStink
Tuesday,August 21, 2012
Augusta, GA
By Al Gray
The author, Al M. Gray is President of Cost Recovery Works, Inc., a provider of Cost Avoidance and Cost Recovery for America’s leading companies, businesses and governments desiring Superior Returns.
A perfect storm has struck the ossified, corrupt political power structure in Augusta, the CSRA, and Georgia. The first harbinger of the maelstrom emerged a year ago when Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver attempted to bring a publicly funded baseball stadium to the riverfront, prompting the formation of a loose coalition of Augustans, area residents, and former citizens.  This is Augusta Today.
The opening pitch for that stadium by Mayor Deke was in the dirt.
Then came the Laney Walker Overlay debacle, where the Mayor was eager to run all over city ordinances and the constitutional property rights of the poorest people to get on the cover of Southern Living.
After that has been a blizzard of revelations, sourced in the city’s own documents, that shows a pattern of deception, mismanagement, incompetence, and probably rampant fraud centered in Augusta’s contracts.
Then along came TSPLOST, supposedly a regional collaboration, which instead has blown the CSRA apart and separated it from the 75% of the state that rejected the tax.
Augusta is a renegade government that endangers its citizens. In the parlance of former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, this is a known known. Things will never be the same again in Augusta and beyond.
The Republican Party in the 12th Congressional District of Georgia is in the midst of reform, too.
This spring the Liberty Movement seized control of the Richmond County GOP convention. They nearly did it at the district convention.
The Columbia County GOP is in pure turmoil from years of shenanigans, deposed chairmen, party establishment ruin, and is totally irrelevant.
A core cadre of GOP legislators named Barbara Sims, Ben Harbin, Lee Anderson, Bill Jackson, and Tom McCall joined together behind beleaguered Nathan Deal to foist TSPLOST, the largest tax increase in Georgia history, on the voters.  The GOP havens Columbia County and Lincoln County rejected them and it.
This same cadre of GOP legislators is wrapped all up in the ASU name change to GRU fiasco. Deal’s Board of Regents Chairman Ben Tarbutton has contributed to Lee Anderson’s congressional campaign and Sims has been supportive of the detested Georgia Regents University name.
John Barrow, the last blue dog Democrat in the South, looms with a war chest that will probably exceed $2 million. Barrow has shown a streak of independence from the Obama Administration and his voting record in terms of fiscal conservatism is on a par with GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan. His office has rock solid constituent service.
Reform is about to be visited upon the GOP.  The party establishment hates it, but now knows it stands before an avalanche of public revulsion, anger, and determination.  TSPLOST is about to be stopped cold. CSRA politicos will find themselves in a totally untenable position if they don’t reverse course and join this action.
With respect to the 12th district race, the path to reform is either going to be aboard a bullet train or it is going to occur on an even greater scale over 2 years. The former will come with a Rick Allen victory. The later will come with a Lee Anderson victory.
Some might see Allen’s alliances with the mavens of Morris Communications, the Augusta blueblood elites, the Copenhaver-Russell administration, and his own ties to the party establishment all the way to Washington, DC as diametrically opposed to reform. It won’t work that way. Precisely because of those alliances and the many contracts that his business has had with government, Rick Allen will have absolutely no choice but to embrace openness and reform. There simply will be no way to dodge questions. Instead of reform activists having to laboriously go through open records requests, questions will have to be quickly answered and issues resolved. The key to taking Augusta from worst to first lies in its contracting. Rick Allen knows this. Rick Allen will bring the reformers to the table because John Barrow will force him to.
Beyond the things that will force the issue, there is the knowledge that Rick Allen has the intelligence, openness, curiosity, financial background and moral code to bring back the rule of law, the Constitution, and fiscal responsibility to government. He knows the score with far better acumen than most. He knows that the people who send him to Washington won’t be those connected folks.
It was said that only Nixon could have gone to China. Maybe only Allen can visit reform on Augusta.
Reform will come in slower, broader, plainer, and yet more spectacular style if Lee Anderson is the GOP nominee. Then the party will be pinned hopelessly to a candidate with a record hostile to the hurting, threatened, middle class. Barrow will pounce all over it. Anderson went along to get along in the most unethical state government in America. He has pushed sales taxes on groceries, both with the ridiculous GREAT “tax reform” of the disgraced Georgia Speaker Glenn Richardson and with TSPLOST. Anderson’s TSPLOST did away with home rule, subverting Columbia Countians votes to those of welfare statists in neighboring Augusta.. His subservience to Nathan Deal brings its own baggage. Then, there is the matter of his willingness to read and comprehend legislation.  It just isn’t there. Neither is there substantial debating skill.
Lee is relying on four things to sweep him into office after Tuesday, while he disappears into a cocoon of silence.
  1. One is Obamaphobia.
  2. Two is the promise of $950,000 of Republican Congressional Campaign Committee funds to unseat John Barrow.
  3. Three is that voters uninformed of his record are drawn to vote for “the nice man with the tractor.”
  4. Four is that folks don’t notice that the discredited Georgia establishment is behind him.
It might happen. Obamaphobia very well may mean an Anderson seat in Congress. That would be the sum of all fears for the GOP. It would mean that the party openly supported a known-to-be flawed candidate into the US House of Representatives, one who might deliver more embarrassment and bad policy than a John Deere tractor can haul.
Reform now, GOP. You can pay a nominal price now or a capitol one later.
Tractor pulls are dangerous.***
Al Gray

Hank Johnson Could Get Some Company in Congress with Lee Anderson

Originally posted on CityStink
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Augusta, GA
By The Outsider

Hank Johnson was elected to the the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, representing Georgia’s 4th congressional district, replacing Cynthia McKinney. Those were certainly big shoes to fill when it came to bringing embarrassment to the state of Georgia. McKinney provided an endless supply of gaffes and outrageous statements during her 12 years in Congress for late night comedy shows. But Hank Johnson has not disappointed.
In an infamous U.S. Armed Services committee hearing in March 2010, Johnson expressed his concern to Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, regarding a military installation on the Pacific island of Guam, a U.S. territory. Johnson said, “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize,” to which Admiral Willard replied, “We don’t anticipate that.”
The video of Congressman  Johnson voicing his concerns about Guam tipping over received extensive airplay on just about every radio show, and late night comedy show imaginable, from Leno to Jon Stewart to Stephen Colbert. It still pops up today, more than two years later, as a reminder of some of the crazy things that can pop out of the mouths of members of Congress.
This upcoming January, Hank Johnson might be getting some company in Washington, DC from a fellow Georgian if state representative Lee Anderson makes it past Tuesday’s runoff and is successful in defeating current 12th district congressman John Barrow. Who can forget when  Anderson was asked about The Federal Reserve in a debate earlier this year and appeared absolutely clueless. Anderson seemed to think it was something like a rainy day fund, responding with: “We must build our reserves even stronger than what it is now…on the federal level,” and he went on to say that the legislature “building back our reserves up now.”
Anderson was not asked at that debate about his thoughts on Guam, and since he has refused to participate in any debates with his GOP challenger before Tuesday’s runoff and is refusing to go on radio shows and speak to the media in general, we wont be able to ask him . But we have to wonder what his response would be. Would Anderson even know what Guam is? Would he know that it is an island in the Pacific and territory of the United States? What’s Anderson’s position on Guam tipping over?
Based on Anderson’s performance in prior debates, the writers for the late night comedy shows are probably crossing their fingers that the Grovetown hay farmer wins the runoff this Tuesday. Along with fellow Georgian Hank Johnson, the jokes would write themselves and Stephen Colbert and Saturday Night Live would have an endless supply of material. Someone else who probably has their fingers crossed for Lee Anderson this Tuesday night is Congressman John Barrow.***

Furor Over University Name a Gift for Lee Anderson?

Originally posted on CityStink
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Augusta, GA
By The Outsider
Al M. Gray, President of Cost Recovery Works, Inc. contributed multidisciplinary review techniques in support of this article.
With the local outrage over the new name for the new merged university dominating the front page of the daily paper, the evening news, and the talk radio shows, you’d almost have forgotten that there is a run-off in a week for the Georgia 12th congressional district GOP race.
Lee Anderson, who is now in a runoff with Augusta construction contractor Rick Allen for the 12th district GOP nomination,  ought to send Dr. Ricardo Azziz and the Georgia Board of Regents bouquets of flowers.
The furor over the university name change has successfully diverted local attention away from Anderson’s voting record in the state legislature and most importantly his support of T-SPLOST. There was a noticeable backlash against Anderson in his home base of Columbia County in the immediate aftermath of the T-SPLOST vote on July 31st. Despite failing in 75% of the regions throughout Georgia and being soundly rejected by more than 58% of voters in Columbia County, the tax still passed in the CSRA region, largely because of the voters in neighboring Richmond County. That means that Columbia County residents will still be forced into this new tax region despite voting against it.
We heard reports in the days following the T-SPLOST vote that some Lee Anderson signs were being taken down from yards across  Columbia County in protest of his support for the tax and  voting for it in the Georgia General Assembly. But T-SPLOST was not the only tax Anderson supported in the legislature that is disproportionately hitting middle and lower income residents. He also voted in favor of a $500 million hospital bed tax and Georgia Power’s advance billing of $1 billion in profits, hidden as “construction costs,” which lead to double digit rate increases for the average  customer. Voters in Columbia County were finally starting to pay attention to Anderson’s anti middle class voting record, and this presented an opening for Rick Allen in the run-off.
And then came the announcement from the Georgia Board of Regents last week that the name for the new consolidated university in Augusta would be named Georgia Regents University. All Hell broke loose. It’s been dominating the headlines for the entire week and there is no sign that the outrage will die down any time soon. William S Morris III even had a self-penned letter on Sunday’s front page of his Augusta Chronicle newspaper where he announced his resignation from the  board of GHSU over the name flap. Articles on the name controversy on The  Chronicle website have been getting by far the most comments, and callers to local radio talk shows have also been fixated on the name change.  More protests are planned for this week. We’ve noticed here that web searches for the congressional race and T-SPLOST have fallen off considerably in the last week. All of the interest seems to be on the name for the new university.
The timing could not be worse for Rick Allen. A recount request by Wright McLeod last week that yielded one vote had  delayed the inevitable show-down between Anderson and Allen. And during the uncertainty of the recount,  the announcement of the new name of the university came out, and got everyone talking.. Any momentum that Allen could have capitalized on over T-SPLOST seemed to be slipping away with the clock counting down to August 21.
To win the run-off next week, Allen will have to win Columbia County. The furor over T-SPLOST and tying Lee Anderson to it looked like it would be the winning strategy that could deliver victory to Allen. But now the furor has shifted to something else… the name of the new university. Will there still be enough outrage over T-SPLOST in Columbia County next Tuesday to sway the run-off election in Allen’s favor? That remains to be seen.
Allen is already handicapped by a depressed GOP voter turnout in Richmond County because of the Sheriff’s race. All of those republican cross-overs who took a democratic ballot in order to vote for Scott Peebles are not allowed to cross back over to vote in the congressional run-off on August 21st. Anderson did rather poorly in Richmond County in the July 31st general primary, in fact it was his worst showing in all of the counties in the 12th district. Allen could have been able to win Richmond County by a big margin and run up the vote tally and offset Anderson’s advantage in the rural southern counties next Tuesday, but because of the depressed turnout, Allen’s advantage in Richmond County will be negated and thus the largest county in the district will end up having a negligible impact on the race. That means Columbia County will decide this.
If Rick Allen can win Columbia County by the same margin as it rejected T-SPLOST, he will be the candidate facing John Barrow this fall instead of Lee Anderson. But for this to happen, Allen will have to position himself back to his Columbia County roots and distance himself from the political elites in Augusta-Richmond County, who have for the most part forsaken him anyway for the Sheriff’s race and have become more of a political liability. If Allen has any chance for a victory against Anderson, it will be found in Columbia County.
Linking Anderson to the unpopular T-SPLOST appears to be the winning strategy to take Columbia County. The key is to make sure the voters are still as outraged over T-SPLOST next Tuesday as they were a week and a half ago. One way this could be accomplished is to link the red hot outrage over the university name change to the outrage over T-SPLOST. They both have one common denominator: an overbearing state political body out of touch with the wishes of locals.
T-SPLOST failed in Columbia County, but  the Georgia General Assembly engineered the bill in such a way, that their wishes could be outvoted by people in other counties.. and that is exactly what happened. The legislature also sought fit to penalize regions that voted against the tax by withholding a large portion of state transportation matching funds. The voters were not really being given a real choice by the politicians under the Gold Dome in Atlanta. T-SPLOST was more like an act of extortion: vote for it — or else.
Lee Anderson was one of the state legislators who voted in favor of this flawed bill that took local control away from individual counties and gave it to a new regional government. Similarly, the wishes of many local residents and leaders were outvoted by another state body known as the Georgia Board of Regents when it came to naming the new consolidated university in Augusta. The case could be made that an overbearing state government  gave us the hideously flawed T-SPLOST and the extremely unpopular name for the new university abbreviated as GRU. Some can say that  T-SPLOST and the new university name are GRUesome, and Rick Allen would be wise to make that argument and continue to link Lee Anderson to the overbearing and out of touch state government  that gave us both.***

T-SPLOST Beneficiaries Boost Anderson Congressional Campaign

Monday, August 6, 2012
Augusta, GA
From CityStink.net Reports
Al M. Gray, President of Cost Recovery Works, Inc. contributed multidisciplinary review techniques in support of this article.
Analysis of campaign disclosure reports submitted by the Lee Anderson for Congress campaign show an unsurprising result. Anderson, a Republican running for the 12th Congressional District Seat in the Congress of the United States was an early and heavy beneficiary of political donations from area contractors, more specifically paving and site work contractors who stand to gain from the T-Splost bill.
While Anderson was in the Georgia House of Representatives, he voted for House Bill 277, the Transportation Investment Act of 2010, which was quickly dubbed T-Splost.
While voters in Columbia and Lincoln Counties who were former constituents of Anderson’s voted down T-Splost in their respective counties, most were shocked to learn that they had been sold into subservience to the inner city entitlement crowd by Lee Anderson. Because it was a regional vote, Anderson and the gold dome crowd had eliminated home rule on the county level.
It is said that “the path to hell is paved with good intentions,”  but for the pavers the path to riches is a river of cash to Lee Anderson.***

Anderson Paving Contributions

Farmer Lee Anderson Grows Taxes

The Lee Tax Shift
Originally posted on CityStink
Friday, August 3, 2012
Columbia County, GA
By Kurt Huttar


Al M. Gray, President of Cost Recovery Works, Inc. contributed multidisciplinary review techniques in support of this article.
Last Tuesday, July 31, 2012, saw the completion of the biggest tax shift in CSRA and Georgia history with the passage of the 1% sales tax for transportation called T-Splost. Less than two months after Columbia County Representatives Lee Anderson and Ben Harbin voted for $tens of millions in new sales tax exemptions for Delta Airlines,  Delta, Georgia’s  domineering airline, contributed $225,000 used to convince easily-swayed voters to vote themselves a 33%sales tax increase on food.
Perhaps Delta, once notorious for sending passengers on the last leg back to Augusta on buses, wants safer roads on which to transport shafted customers upon whom it foisted an $8 billion tax increase.
Anderson, now a candidate for the 12thCongressional District seat now held by Democrat John Barrow, voted to cut Delta’s sales taxes but voted for these sales tax increases on us in the middle class. Here we find Lee dining with George Bowen, the lobbyist who greased through the fuel tax exemption for Delta and Georgia Power.
Worse is the behavior of Georgia Power Company, who gave $395,000 to deluge us with pro T-Splost propaganda after the same legislation saved them $hundreds of millions. It is noted that said cost savings supposedly are given back to consumers via fuel adjustments to their rates, but how many citizens trust those calculations? This also came after Lee Anderson voted in 2009 for Georgia Power’s advance billing of $1 billion in profits, hidden as “construction costs.” We got double digit rate increases from that, too.
Yes, we voters are now going to have to pay Lee’s 14% T-Splost sales tax increase on those double-digit, advance-profit charges on our power bills.
Here, the Georgia Gang, including former Augusta Chronicle opinion editor, Phil Kent, questioned the rush by Lee Anderson and others to pass the bill.
Lee could not be dissuaded by pleas of “Read the BILL, Lee!”
Anderson, a hay farmer, also voted for a $500 million a year hospital bed tax. How did he make a “No Tax Increase” Pledge with Grover Norguist’s Amercans for Tax Reform and vote for these tax increases? Can we believe his promises?
It was most frustrating for us in Columbia County to only be able to put up a few score “VOTE NO” signs, then go home to find pro-T-Splost mailers in the mailbox.
I had to  drive by scads of “Vote Yes” signs illegally placed in medians and rights of way, like this one:
I had to listen to broadcast appeals funded by these corporations who just got sales tax cuts.
Finally, I got a batch of signs from Augusta County Commissioner Joe Bowles, who courageously fought adoption of this terrible tax.
On August 21, we have chance to just say ‘No!” once again. This time it is a vote against legislators stupidly subordinating our Columbia County votes to those of ignorant and corrupt Augustans. This time it is a vote mindful that this dastardly T-Splost tax begins to be collected January 1.

Just say no to Lee Anderson for Congress.

Lobbyists love him. The middle class groans under the burdens their orgies of money and excess we are left with.
Isn’t it time the people won one?***

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