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