Byrne: Lee a mirror image of Obama
by Jon Gillooly
July 08, 2012 01:59 AM | 5041 views | 21 21 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former county chairman Bill Byrne <br> Photo by Laura Moon
Former county chairman Bill Byrne
Photo by Laura Moon
slideshow
MARIETTA — Former county chairman Bill Byrne has run a campaign seeking to define incumbent Tim Lee as representing the liberal interests of Atlanta over the conservative leadership he wants to see in Cobb County.

“I sincerely believe Tim Lee is a mirror image of Barack Obama and that Obama’s policies have placed this country in peril, and the voters are going to have to make a decision as to which direction our country is going to go,” Byrne said in a Friday interview. “Tim Lee has done the same thing in Cobb County,

furloughing public safety and increasing their taxes by 16 percent and their water bills by 12 percent and then authoring a TSPLOST proposal that benefits the city of Atlanta, not Cobb County, and with his commitment to the Chamber of Commerce versus Cobb County residents, the voters are going to have to determine what direction our future is going to be, and I sincerely believe that if they reelect Tim Lee we’re going to become a mirror image of Gwinnett County, and we are watching them implode as we speak because of the political turmoil that is going on there.”

Byrne said voters need not take his word for it. Just look at Lee’s record in word and deed from raising property taxes to Lee’s reference that opponents of the TSPLOST were spoiled brats and racists.

“I sincerely believe that if the TSPLOST passes and that rail line happens — we don’t bring Cobb County to Atlanta we bring Atlanta to Cobb County — and that is going to dramatically change our future,” Byrne said.

Byrne agrees that the establishment is backing Lee. Just look at the names on the host committee for Lee’s recent fundraiser, including Chamber CEO David Connell, Atlanta Regional Commission Chairman Tad Leithead, Cumberland Community Improvement board member Connie Engel, former Cobb EMC board member Johnny Gresham, lobbyists Michael Paris and Chuck Clay and banker Clark Hungerford.

“All of those people have self serving interests, and they believe that Tim Lee can best serve their business interests by going the regional approach, and they clearly like the way he’s doing business,” Byrne said. “I am just the opposite. I’ve said this before, my opponents are far bigger than Tim Lee. They begin with the Governor, Gov. Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, you have the Speaker of the House David Ralston, you have our own Attorney General Sam Olens, and you have the Secretary of State (Brian Kemp). Those are the five most powerful Republicans in the state of Georgia, all proponents and fundraisers for the passage of this TSPLOST, and I’m their lone enemy in Cobb County. Then you add on to that the Chambers of Commerce plural, and the two CIDs, and all of the people you’ve just mentioned, which are all tied to those people or those groups, and the battle is between all of them and me. They know that if I prevail they’re all out, and there would be radical changes in the way Cobb County does business, and they will not be welcome, and they know it, and this is a very, very major period of time for them, because as they see it their financial future is tied to this election.”

In a recent letter to the editor, Richard Hodges of east Cobb described the Byrne campaign as “advocating a narrow and arrogant provincialism” compared to Lee’s “courageous and visionary leadership throughout the region.”

Asked about those comments, Byrne said he hadn’t read the letter, but “I would say he’s probably very accurate. I might not have used the exact terminology. Tim has been convinced that Cobb County’s future is tied to the future of the region, and that Cobb’s best interests are to focus on regional issues as being more important than county issues. And I am just the reverse. I believe that county government has to take care of Cobb County first, and we are the economic leaders of our region, and the rest of the region can follow us, so I think that analysis is very clear. We’re either going to grow as the region determines we’re going to grow or Cobb County is going to grow as Cobb County people decide we’re going to grow. There’s a complete difference of philosophy and policies, and (the letter writer) is pretty close to defining the difference. I don’t think I would have used the word ‘arrogant,’ I would use the word ‘concern,’ concern for Cobb County’s future, rather than concern for the region’s future.”

After campaigning all year, Byrne said he is more excited than ever over the countdown to election day.

“It isn’t until after the July 4th holiday when voters begin to pay attention,” he said. “So we’re going into this and we passionately believe — in Cobb County, anyway — that we’re going to be able to defeat this TSPLOST, and I personally believe if the TSPLOST fails, Tim Lee fails. If it wins, he wins. And I think both are going to fail, and we’re getting all kinds of encouragement from people literally coming out of the woodwork wanting to know what they can do to help. The one thing Tim Lee cannot do is hide his track record, and people either know about it or are finding out about it, and they don’t like it.”
Comments
(21)
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privatizing bad idea
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July 18, 2012
Funny how he wont mention privativing now or on his web site, that was he big spill in march in triple flip flop add. He wants to privatize county Parks, Dot and Water depts so he can feather his nest and the nests of his good ole buddies at C.W Mathews and Tippins contracting. Just look at his occupation he wants the seat to swing business his way, is that not a conflict of interest? Cant believe this idiot is at it again he made a mess of it as chairman before. Give some new blood a chance. I am not for anymore taxes so get rid of Lee and Byrne they had their chance.
Looks like
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July 09, 2012
Desperation on the part of Bill Byrne. If he is so well liked how come he could not find anyone to walk with him in the Marietta Parade.

I guess folks are not too concerned about restoring his version of the past.
I would be thrilled
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July 09, 2012
if Bill Byrne wins,it would be the best thing to happen in Cobb in a long time. Great record, properous time when he was chair, and a man of integrity....
God Help Us!!!!
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July 09, 2012
You call a great record, properous time and a man of integrity:

Making Cobb the laughing stock of the nation with the family values resolution.

Cramming a prototype composting facility down taxpayers throats at a cost of over $28 million dollars. (and it never made one dime of revenue)

Losing any chance of an Olympic Venue because of the family values resolution.

Having protesters standing on the corners on the square with signs reading "Thank God for AIDS"

Making David Hankerson the highest paid person in County Government by creating an unneeded job.

Then after claiming he was a changed person, steps right up and starts a smear campaign against other contenders.

Maybe you need to stay home on election days from now on, its clear you are too uniformed to cast a ballot.

anonymous
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July 09, 2012
Thank You Mrs. Byrne. He wasn't reason for prosperous times, but he did play big part on how we are here now.
dustoff
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July 09, 2012
Byrne stated a few months ago that he had mellowed out and was a new person.

This article shows him just as he is an arrogant, abusive, my way or else type of person, just what Cobb County does not need for the next 4 years.

He did more to hurt Cobb in 8 years than was done to improve it since Barrett retired.

Vote for anyone except this jerk!!!
GoodScout
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July 09, 2012
Trying to smear your opponent by comparing him to the president? Wow, that's the visionary leadership Cobb needs yet again.

Bill, just go full-codger and start screaming "Lee loves the blacks! He's just like that black president and loves the ones in Atlanta too!" Then start saying space aliens are taking over.

Your time has passed, Bill. Your regressive attitude stalled Cobb's chances for growth in the '90s -- why would we ever put you in charge again?
Not again
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July 08, 2012
All I can think to say is Bedminster and Olympics. Do we want to go back to the that crazy time?
guts to stand up
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July 08, 2012
I'll be honest that I don't know why so many people don't like Bill Byrne. I wasn't here in the 90s and I don't care about what it was like then...that was then and this is now. That Byrne will stand up so forcefully to the interests that are counterproductive to individualism, freedom from higher taxes, less spending and all the other conservative values that many posers claim to espouse in Cobb is a testament to his leadership abilities. I like that he reminds us, Cobb is the regional leader, the most successful of any of the nine counties, so why aren't we leading and why has Lee put Cobb's nose firmly in the backside of the Atlanta mayor and assorted snuffies? Way to go Bill...we are looking forward, not back, and you are making the most sense of any of the candidates...Savage is right there with you. Too bad there's no VP pick for commission chair. And oh yeah, what's Chuck Clay, former head of the Republican party, doing supporting a tax and spend rino like Tim Lee?
History Lesson
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July 09, 2012
Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Burns past record IS important.
JustOneSec
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July 08, 2012
Once again, the property taxes were not increased. The millage rate was increased. With property values continuing to sag, that increase does not automatically mean a tax increase.
SG68
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July 09, 2012
@ JustOneSec

Six of one half a dozen of the other.

Property taxes are increased in one of two ways.

Increased assessments

or

Increased millage rate.

For example:

$200,000 FMV x .40 x .02875 (2010 millage rate) = $2300

$190,000 FMV x .40 x .03026 (2011 millage rate) = $2299.76

So even if your property value assessment dropped 5 percent your taxes would remain the same.

If your assesment stayed the same, as mine did, your taxes would increase.

My taxes increased by $163 or a 5.3 % increase.

Not a big deal, but still a tax increase.
Taxed Enough
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July 10, 2012
So what happens when property values rebound? We get a double whammy. Higher milage rate and extra higher taxes due to rising values.

Why don't you do everyone a favor and stop your double talking? When milage rates go up so do your property taxes. Why do you think they raise the milage rate? To increase your taxes - that's why.

You must be a renter and have no clue regarding property taxes.
anonymous
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July 08, 2012
Look at most of county problems and many can be traced back to Byrne and his bad record as chairman. He tried to privatize many operations before and it failed miserably. Costs tripled beyond contracted rates; he sold equipment of from DOT, that is sorely needed now; is responsible for compost facility and loss of 20 million on it. He wasn't the answer then and certainly isn't the answer now.
VFP42
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July 08, 2012
This crackpot is running for local government? I feel sure there is a Silver Alert somewhere for him, probably in Florida or Arizona
Pericles
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July 08, 2012
Electing Bill Byrne would be a major step backward for Cobb County. There is no wisdom in speaking and acting as if Cobb County is an island in our region. That's just the kind of behavior that cost Cobb County the opportunity to host Olympic events in 1996 (remember who was Chairman then?). Byrne's attempt to paint the business community as the enemy is the worst kind of demagoguery. Businesses provide jobs, which is something Cobb County desperately needs.
JR in Mableton
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July 08, 2012
How about Mr. Byrne's track record? What is conservative about the county's composting facility? How much money did the tax payers waste on that?!?
rjsnh
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July 08, 2012
I was going to vote for Byrne but his slam on our President has cost him my vote and a few others I know of...Byrne, for all his assets, has never been able to keep his foot out of his mouth. Lee will not get my vote either...for the record.
I16East
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July 08, 2012
I think the Part time resident from Polk county is the best man for Cobb.

Any one would be better than Tim.

Gov. Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Speaker of the

House David Ralston and Mayor Matthews, these

individuals should be replaced.(VOTED FROM OFFICE).
Oh please!
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July 08, 2012
Just what Cobb does not need! Angry, tart tongued Bill Byrne! He is behind, and so has to resort to name-calling!! I don't remember anything, but being embarrase from the last time he led Cobb.
Same Old Byrne
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July 08, 2012
Anyone but divisive, egotistical ,bully ,bedminister boon dongle Byrne. He has once again lied, says he has changed from last term, does not sound like it to me. Please do NOT vote for this has been,
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