By Greg Bluestein and Kristi E. Swartz - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Politics makes strange, if fleeting, bedfellows. But now a fling between tea party loyalists and green groups suddenly has the makings of a permanent union.
Emboldened by wins over business leaders and the state’s most powerful utility, the odd allies formed the Green Tea Coalition this month with plans to unite behind other common causes. Organizers envision the group shaping policy in next year’s legislative session and the political season that follows.
The partnership was born two years ago in the fight against the T-SPLOST plan and energized last month by a win that forced Georgia Power to significantly expand its solar energy plans. But, with Tea Party usually taking a conservative stance and green groups typically supporting a leftist agenda, the most vexing challenge may be withstanding internal divisions that have undone other such partnerships. ...
There’s no guarantee that Green Tea will claim another victory or even survive the year. But with Georgia’s GOP hierarchy wary of upsetting tea party supporters, some analysts advise not to count the upstart out. ...
“It’s a potentially creative way to get things done,” said Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political scientist. “Maybe it’s one way to break through these partisan lockdowns that frustrate us so much.”
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