Senator Warnock tours military and research complexes, meets with Cupid
|As he pushes infrastructure plans across Georgia, U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Georgia, toured Cobb County’s military and research complex at Dobbins Air Reserve Base last week. In addition to the base, Warnock’s visit included stops at the adjoining Lockheed Martin plant and the Georgia Tech Research Institute.
Warnock’s visit to the area follows the controversy regarding the ill-advised vote led by Cobb Chair Lisa Cupid to approve a developer’s request to construct condos within the no fly zone of Dobbins, which could jeopardize the area.
Warnock did not publicly voice an opinion against Cupid on the fiery subject, but his visit and comments were timely and did not go unnoticed by those around Cobb. Those who understand the political tea leaves say his comments support positions taken by Dobbins, the business community, and others that placing the base in harms way is not a good idea nor the promised leadership Cupid peddled when she ran for the top seat in Cobb.
Speaking about Dobbins and Lockheed, Warnock said, “We here in Georgia should take a great deal of pride in the fact that those planes, that equipment is also made right here in Georgia, producing Georgia jobs.
Controversy continues to swirl from critics and supporters of Cupid regarding the recent vote she championed which showed poor leadership on the part of the Chair and could hurt Dobbins’ chances of surviving future rounds of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) review. We all recall how angered Cupid became when she attacked the Cobb Chamber leadership after they appeared before the commission to pled the case for Dobbins and asked her to reconsider the subject. Unwilling to admit her mistake, look beyond her nose, or course correct on the issue, Cupid dug in her heels and refused to revisit the subject. Many wonder if Cupid’s attitude improved during her conversation with Warnock and if she was able to accept constructive criticism and advice from the Senator on the subject of Dobbins and base closures.
Warnock said he was “continually in conversation with the secretary of the Air Force” to avoid that outcome, however, those who understand the process say the Senator does not have control over decisions on base closures. He said, “Dobbins Air Force Base, as well as our other military assets across the state, play an important role in our national defense. There is institutional knowledge there among the personnel there that I think makes its own case for its continuation. So, we’re fighting not only for its continuation, but that it might be strengthened and expanded. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens.”
Many felt his comments were directed at Cupid and two members of her board who voted 3-2 to allow the development to move forward. Some suggest that Warnock was censuring Cupid’s actions and questioning her leadership on Dobbins without specifically calling Cupid out. They wonder if Cupid is willing to take the constructive feedback being offered on this subject from Warnock, someone outside of the Cobb bubble that may allow her to feel less intimidated .
After his visit at Dobbins and surrounding areas, Warnock visited with the Cobb Commission. Many suggest that the visit would include an honest conversation while others suggest it needed to include a “wake up’ message to Cupid and company to urge them to think about Dobbins and abandon the promises they may have made to the developer’s lawyer and their zoning savant, Garvis Sams.
Warnock’s visit was the latest stop in his “Jobs for Georgia” tour where he is advocating for the infrastructure bill proposed by President Joe Biden. The bill is supported by Democrats and a few Republican senators.