Rev. Joseph Lowery laments divisive TSPLOST politics, plans to vote yes

11:32 PM, Jul 28, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Rev. Joseph Lowery says he has been conflicted by the politics surrounding the one cent transportation tax vote.

"It's a real divided community," the 90 year old co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference said. "I'm like the fellow who says half of his friends and half are against it--  and he's for his friends."

Lowery has watched leaders of the African American community campaign against each other over T-SPLOST.  

Some like state Senator Vincent Fort, (D-Atlanta) spent Saturday canvassing for votes against the one-cent tax, which would raise billions for transportation projects.  Fort and others say the spending packages shortchanges their constituents.

Others, like US Congressman John Lewis and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed have rallied in favor of the tax -- saying it will keep Atlanta competitive and moving.

Lowery said he made his decision on the T-SPLOST "very recently. Maybe just five minutes ago," he said outside Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was receiving an award Saturday.

Reverend Lowery says he had been among the undecided voters both sides now want to reach.

"It's a sharply divided issue. And there are good arguments on both sides," Lowery said. "I wish they'd exempted food and medicine from the sales tax. But they didn't. I wish there was a 'Plan B.'  But there isn't."

So Rev. Lowery says his will be a yes vote -- on a divisive sales tax referendum. 

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