Your morning jolt: Cash for sleuths and Brooks Brothers

When campaign disclosure reports roll in, the first questions are about income — who gave how much to whom?

Read the details in this morning’s AJC wrap-up.

Then nosy reporters and rival campaigns begin to pick through the spending.

On June 12, the Republican campaign of Nathan Deal dropped $1,180.44 at a Brooks Brothers in Buckhead for “clothing.”

A well-fitted suit for the candidate? Not hardly, said spokesman Harris Blackwood.

The spending was for a collection of short- and long-sleeved, button-down Oxford shirts, which were later embroidered with the Deal campaign logo.

They’ll be worn by Deal and his staffers. “We wanted something that would hold up. We’ve got a long campaign,” Blackwood said.

Deal’s GOP rival John Oxendine, on Jan. 28, paid $2,500 to a private investigator. The item is on Page 36 of his report.

According to its web site, Investigative Consultants International of Alpharetta was founded by T.J. Ward, who conducted an “in-depth investigation into the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, the young Alabama girl who tragically vanished two years ago in Aruba.”

The firm “handles a full range of cases, from corporate fraud and marital infidelity to missing persons and surveillance…

“And through his Internet expertise, T.J. can uncover more about someone in an hour, than old-style detectives could in a month,” the web site says.

Keep in mind that campaigns hire such outfits not only to research the opposition, but to background their own candidate — so as to anticipate future attacks.

My AJC colleague Cameron McWhirter asked Tim Echols, Oxendine’s campaign manager, what Investigative Consultants was tasked with. “Campaigns routinely hire investigators,” was all Echols would say.

One of this week’s down-ticket surprises was state Rep. Rob Teilhet of Smyrna, who was the leading fund-raiser in the race to replace Thurbert Baker as attorney general.

Teilhet raised $203,569 and has $181,524 on hand. Former Dougherty County prosecutor Ken Hodges raised $128,280 and has $120,334 on hand.

Republican Sam Olens, the chairman of the Cobb County Commission, doesn’t yet have any primary opposition. He raised $185,959, and has $175,143 on hand.

All three drew heavily from the legal community. The politically astute Barnes Law Group, which is dominated by a certain former governor, gave $3,000 each to both Teilhet and Hodges.

But Teilhet got additional contributions totaling $3,500 from two attorneys within that particular firm. Neither of them named Barnes.

Late last night, Rick Blalock sent an e-mail our way to announce that the shake-up in Lisa Borders’ campaign for mayor of Atlanta wasn’t limited to the departure of campaign manager Verna Cleveland.

Wrote Blalock:

This is to inform you that effective today, I am an no longer the communications manager for the Lisa Borders for Mayor campaign, also known as “Borders for Atlanta.”

I know there have been many news-media inquiries regarding several recent high-level resignations from the campaign. I cannot address those issues, as I am no longer affiliated with Borders for Atlanta.

A related item: This afternoon, the Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council AFL-CIO will endorse state Sen. Kasim Reed in the Atlanta mayoral race.

The New York Times today has an analysis of 5,274 transportation projects that says large metropolitan areas, including metro Atlanta, aren’t getting their share of stimulus money — which is instead being steered to rural areas:

…[T]he 100 largest metropolitan areas are getting less than half the money from the biggest pot of transportation stimulus money. In many cases, they have lost a tug of war with state lawmakers that urban advocates say could hurt the nation’s economic engines.

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s

  • Two Georgia Guardsmen killed in Afghanistan.
  • Gwinnett libraries to close two days a week.
  • Formal investigation recommended in CRCT cheating scandal.
  • Atlanta embraces Facebook faster than any other major metropolitan area.
  • Fire station reopens after city of Atlanta furloughs end.
  • DeKalb police lieutenant arrested on child cruelty charges.
  • Some opinion:

  • Your Luckovich fix.
  • Kyle Wingfield says real health change is “fire” power.
  • Fulton County D.A. warns that our gang problem is growing.
  • Hillel Y. Levin argues that the U.S. Supreme Court ducked the main issue in firefighter case.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • Atlanta Unfiltered: Cagle’s supporters give back $517K to the lieutenant governor’s campaign.
  • MDJ: City council bans smoking on Marietta Square.
  • And beyond:

  • WP: Mexico accused of torture in its drug war.
  • CQ: Panetta admits CIA misled Congress on “significant actions.”
  • NYT: Murdoch papers reportedly pay to settle cell phone hacking cases in Britain.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    8 comments Add your comment

    Ga Values

    July 9th, 2009
    9:48 am

    I wore Brooks shirts for years but they only sell trash now. Last time I was in their store about all they had was Pimp Duds.


    July 9th, 2009
    9:56 am

    Teilhet’s disclosure is probably the most interesting news of the reporting period – the race for AG is an unsung one, but determines everything from who goes to jail (Genarlow Wilson, anyone? Thanks, Thurbert — ) to whether an elected official gets to keep their job if they decide they also want to defend us in court (Robbin Shipp, anyone? Thanks again, Thurbert –). We love us some Teilhet.

    Chris Broe

    July 9th, 2009
    1:10 pm

    Luckovich stinks today. Slow news day. They stem-celled sperm. This will prevent stem-cellmates from ever having sex again. McNamara died. He debunked the domino theory. He exposed the nonsense of the “fight them there not here” theory. He scorned the “or the terrorists win” theory. He condemned the “nation-building” theory, and of course, the theory that any pre-emptive military action is just. War that isn’t a defensive response to an attack in progress is unjust. Period. You simply can’t invent a war simply because the economy stinks, or you’re afraid of the wild hysteria coming from the CIA/FBI and their uber-wunderkinder’s intel fantasies. (Or because the Saudis want the defense contracts, but then I repeat myself). Yes, the saudis corrupt our CIA to invent intel. (See Ike’s MIC). If JFK had listened to these spitting emoticons during the Cuban Missile Crisis, then we’d all be radioactive ashes with half-lives of 40 thousand F’n years, man.

    News out of Afghanistan resembles the stage in the life cycle of a war that’s about to explode. There’s always new exotic words to learn in these turning points in news stories about to get worse. Read the last few days of the Afghan War. See what I mean, Verne? New, obscure, unpronouncable and unspellable names, places and groups.

    But look how quiet it is. Too quiet. Last time it was this quiet, the movie “Howard the Duck” was released. Not good, folks, not good at all.

    Surf’s up!


    July 9th, 2009
    3:41 pm

    Sorry Sonny steers the money to non-metro Atlanta areas.Business as usual for Sonny and his henchmen.Put the money where it does no good for the commuter.


    July 9th, 2009
    4:49 pm

    Ken Hodges’ P.R. flak is crowing in The Daily Report that a $150 contribution from his close friend Thurbert Baker is tantamount to a political endorsement from Baker. In reality, a $150 contribution from a close friend does NOT say endorsement, the small size perhaps implies something else entirely. Further, Hodges law firm, the Baudino Law Group, contributed $12,200 to Thurbert Baker…yet Baker only contributes $150 to Hodges!!! Thurbert and the A.G.’s office is currently having to defend Ken Hodges in a federal prosecutorial misconduct lawsuit, which Hodges currently has appealed to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (Rehberg v. Paulk, Hodges, Perhaps Thurbert is smart enought to steer clear of Hodges’ mess.


    July 9th, 2009
    5:54 pm

    Ox hires a PI. Sure that means he’s going to run a clean non attacking campaign. Does hiring a PI break Reagan’s 11th commandment. Since he is a “Reagan republican” one would assume that he’ll keep it clean. The Ox and Team Ox are a bunch of dirty sleezy folks. He funnels money through Alabama, gets catch, attacks the AJC, then realizes he goofed, so trys to play nice. Team Ox destroys Handel’s Wiki page, then denies it.

    He uses his new born baby as a campaign prop.

    Image the out cry if Handle had spent $1,000 at Talbets. Amazing that Deal gets away with spending $1,000 at Brooks Brothers.

    [...] Galloway yesterday morning reported that James Salzer and Cam McWhirter contacted the Oxendine campaign for clarification about the [...]

    GOP Doc

    July 11th, 2009
    6:30 am

    Do you think Investigative Consultants provided the medical diagnosis on Casey Cagle’s back?