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Tea Party plans lawsuit against Cobb Braves stadium deal | News

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Tea Party plans lawsuit against Cobb Braves stadium deal

COBB COUNTY, Ga. - They said they might and now they say they will.

A group of Cobb County activists, some from the Tea Party, confirmed Thursday they plan a lawsuit over the recent Atlanta Braves stadium move.

"Legal action is the goal," Tea Party activist Bill Simon told 11 Alive News.

"Right now myself and several others are conducting some heavy duty research on finding the basis for filing that lawsuit," he added.

Simon said they're looking at three legal questions: whether general funds can be used to pay off revenue bonds, whether a special tax district can be created to help fund the project, and whether Cobb County should have advertised and held public hearings before the quick November 26th vote.

The county did hold three last minute public comment hearings, two of them only a day before the commission vote.

Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee, who helped negotiate the Braves deal, declined to respond to the possibility of a lawsuit.

But he told 11 Alive News he plans a new transparency campaign to post all future developments on the county's website in a few weeks.

"As new material gets developed, gets completed, we'll make that information available," Lee promised.

Tea Party activist Simon called it too little, too late.

"The fact that he is now going to become transparent is about as laughable as Barack Obama telling everyone we're going to start reading legislation before we vote on it," Simon added.

Meanwhile, a new Atlanta Magazine article is raising questions about Chairman Lee's consulting work for TenCate, a company that makes, among other things, artificial turf for athletic fields.

Lee told 11 Alive he's always been open about his TenCate work and that it has nothing to do with the new stadium deal.

"There's been absolutely zero conversation between anyone about anything as relates to what product or process or procedure is going to be done in terms of dealing with that," Lee said.

He said the turf and similar stadium decisions will be up to the Braves organization.

Also this week, the Weather Channel hinted it might leave Cobb County if it doesn't get some tax breaks on its new expansion plans.

Chairman Lee said he doesn't fear a stampede of similar requests, which he said are handled on a case-by-case basis.

"We turn down a whole lot more than what we grant and I think our record shows that and I think our success shows it as well," he added.