Your morning jolt: Kasim Reed leads ATL mayoral field in contributions — and in spending, too

Updated at 3:50 p.m.

On Wednesday, the candidates for mayor of Atlanta released their all important, third-quarter financial disclosures with varying degrees of candor.

Former senator Kasim Reed led in fund-raising, both in the three-month period, and – now – in the campaign, with a total $1.4 million raised. But he released only the top sheet of his disclosure form, so we have to wait to examine both his financial backers and the details of his spending.

Councilwoman Mary Norwood released details of her expenditures, but not her contributors. She lagged in this quarter’s fund-raising, but has the most cash on hand to finish the campaign: $620,594.

(The campaign of both Norwood and Reed have since sent us their full reports. See Norwood’s here. Reed’s contributions are here, and his expenses are here.)

Council President Lisa Borders released her entire financial disclosure form, including both contributors and expenditures. We haven’t had the time to look through her donor list. Have a shot at it.

Atlanta attorney Jesse Spikes reported raising $120,172 in the last three months, and a total of $596,091 for the campaign. He reports $44,708 in cash on hand – but his report also includes a $71,000 loan. See the details here.

At first glance, the most telling figures may not be the total amount raised by each of the big three candidates, which is this:

– Reed: $1,411,613;

– Borders: $1,140,210;

– Norwood: $1,334,132.

Or the amount raised since June 30, which is this:

– Reed: $446,087

– Borders: $402,502

– Norwood: $312,379

The three-month spending figures show the true dynamics of the race:

– Reed: $669,149

— Borders: $452,472

– Norwood: $182,164

Reed, with roots in the state Capitol, has never been on a citywide ballot before, and so was forced to spend far more on raising his name ID than his two main rivals, and to stay where he is – third place and climbing.

His greatest rival now is not Borders or Norwood, but time.

Norwood, with her base well-formed and a berth in a post-Thanksgiving run-off all but assured, was able to close her pocketbook and salt money away for the finish.

Regardless of candidates have done in the past, and overlooking investments such as TV time they may have already purchased, here’s how they stand now, at least financially:

– Norwood: $620,594.

– Borders: $233,786

– Reed: $213,124

A keen observer of Councilwoman Mary Norwood’s new TV ad, in which she promises to drive her own ‘98 Buick instead of a city-chauffered SUV, notes that in several frames, the Atlanta mayoral candidate appears to be violating the state’s mandatory seat-belt law.

Now, if she’d drive a beat-up pick-up truck, she wouldn’t have that problem.

Former Georgia senator Max Cleland took a respite from his book tour on Wednesday to campaign for New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine in his re-election bid, which has become a very narrow thing. This from

“Jon Corzine knows firsthand the sacrifices our military families make to serve New Jersey and our country,” said Cleland. “His is a powerful example of how our nation should honor our veterans. I hope all New Jersey military and veteran families support Jon Corzine for Governor. His leadership will provide our troops the support and gratitude they deserve when they come home.”

The actor Christian Campbell has confessed. He’ll be playing Ralph Reed, the former state GOP chairman and ex-head of the Christian Coalition, in Kevin Spacey’s movie, “Casino Jack.”

The move, of course, centers on the storied fall of Jack Abramoff. Reed’s relationship with the Washington lobbyist cost the Georgian the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 2006.

Campbell’s portrait won’t be a loving one. Said the actor: “I’ve always despised Ralph Reed, so to be able to play him was a real treat. A real treat. Yeah, get inside that right-winger.”

We have signs that South Carolina is keeping closer tabs on its governor these days. This from the Associated Press:

A Highway Patrol trooper stopped South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford ’s car for speeding, but let his protective detail driver go without a ticket, an official said Wednesday.

State Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel said he had reviewed a recording of the stop and that the State Law Enforcement Division agent will now be cited.

Keel did not say how fast Sanford’s car was going Tuesday on Interstate 385, a heavily traveled route between Columbia and Greenville, but the recording shows he was going 85 mph. The maximum speed throughout the state is 70 mph.

This from the weekly Dodge County News sounds very familiar and sad, too:

Former Dodge County Sheriff Lawton Douglas pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy and four counts of vote buying in Federal Court in Dublin on Thursday, October 1.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Leon Barfield read the six count indictment to Douglas, Olin Norman Gibson, a.k.a. “Bobo” and Thedy Deneen McLeod, a.k.a. “Deneen Gordon”, charging Douglas and Gibson with two counts of conspiracy and four counts of vote buying each and McLeod with two counts of conspiracy. Gibson and Gordon also pleaded not guilty.

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

  • First-time state unemployment claims up 17 percent in September.
  • Court relieves Oxendine’s father of judicial duties.
  • Water talks, water talks everywhere.
  • Reed tops in donations for quarter; Norwood has most cash.
  • School board incumbents win endorsements.
  • Atlanta to Miami area flights No. 3 in traffic.
  • Fired Clark Atlanta coach plans lawsuit.
  • Gwinnett reconsiders tax hike for core services.
  • On smarts, Atlanta scores a C+.
  • Some opinion:

  • Kyle Wingfield says pension woes will haunt Atlanta’s next mayor.
  • Star quality isn’t enough to govern.
  • My son waits, while hearts are buried.
  • Whoopi wrong: Assaulting a child IS a ‘rape rape.’
  • And from beyond:

  • Newsweek: Political foes join together to oppose sending more troops to Afghanistan.
  • Time: CIA knew about Iran’s secret nuclear plant long before disclosure.
  • WSJ: Japan’s cash incentive for parenthood.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    20 comments Add your comment


    October 8th, 2009
    9:55 am

    So let me get this straight…Norwood has more money to spend than all of the candidates combined and a 10 point lead? Right? Just want to make sure because from the way you write your articles, you’d think the guy with $400,000 less cash and 15 points behind in every poll was winning.

    Deep Pockets

    October 8th, 2009
    10:04 am

    Did some of Kasim’s money that he raised go to pay his fines?


    October 8th, 2009
    10:08 am

    Any consideration of the fact that over a third of Reed’s contributions and donors come from out of state? I guess Mr. Galloway “hasn’t had time to look through [his] donor list either”


    October 8th, 2009
    10:09 am


    Excellent point. There’s no need to create momentum for a candidate who has yet to break 20%, less cash on hand, and not enough time to introduce himself to voters.

    Tom Bell

    October 8th, 2009
    10:12 am

    Seems like the real story is the fact that Lisa Borders and Mary Norwood keep slipping in the polls, despite the money they have on hand.

    Make it rain?

    October 8th, 2009
    10:13 am

    How could Reed possibly have spent $670K and still be in third place with weak name ID? @ATM there might not be enough out-of-state and developer money in the world to get this crook elected.

    APD is City Council's ATM

    October 8th, 2009
    10:17 am

    I’m actually frightened for the safety of our City if we elect someone who has consistently worked to undermine our police force. Most money raised, most money spent. What difference does it make really? We really need a mayor who will keep us secure. My vote is for Kasim.


    October 8th, 2009
    10:25 am

    Looks like Kasim is gaining in the polls while the other candidates continue to not even raise any momentum. Seems like Norwood was able to take adavantage of all the time she had to raise that money while Borders was out of the race and Kasim was in session with the Senate. Looks like her contributors and Border’s support has waned and are not helping them out at all.


    October 8th, 2009
    10:26 am

    @Make it rain: I’d say that a good chunk of Kasim’s out-of-state money went towards paying bloggers and putting up yard signs in foreclosed and abandoned properties around my neighborhood. Shameless.


    October 8th, 2009
    10:29 am

    Campell + Shirley = Kasim

    Mike Smith

    October 8th, 2009
    10:33 am

    What next?

    October 8th, 2009
    10:33 am

    @ Who:

    Borders + Cousins Properties/Big Developers = disaster for Atlanta

    Norwood + Republican support = even bigger disaster for Atlanta

    Who what?

    October 8th, 2009
    10:34 am

    @ Who:

    Borders + Cousins Properties/Big Developers = disaster for Atlanta

    Norwood + Republican support = even bigger disaster for Atlanta


    October 8th, 2009
    10:46 am

    Let me explain this to you folks (who are probably paid Kasim bloggers). He has NO momentum. He has the opposite of momentum. He is in 3rd place. He has the least amount of money to spend. Borders is probably running the worst Mayoral campaign in modern history, so there is a slim chance he’ll get into the run off (if there is one), but he aint beating Norwood in a run off.

    Politics At Its Finest

    October 8th, 2009
    10:51 am

    Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.

    Congrats to Sen Reed.


    October 8th, 2009
    10:53 am

    Reed has taken more money from devolopers than Lisa and Mary combined so you will need to come with something more substantial than that for me to change my vote.

    Oh and by the way, in your equation is “Cousins Properties” being divided by “Big Business?” Moron Reed supporter.


    October 8th, 2009
    10:54 am

    There’s about 6 televised debates airing in the last few weeks, when folks hear the non solid solutions being offered by Borders and Norwood in comparison to the facts and results that Kasim lays out, I’m sure he will keep improving up the polls


    October 8th, 2009
    11:13 am

    @Ria, Who what, and What next: How do the rest of Reed’s bloggers feel about the fact that, despite what you suggest (what he’s sold you?), he has taken more money from developers than Borders and Norwood combined, ouch? The truth shall set you free.


    October 8th, 2009
    11:58 am

    The Reed campaign appears to be on fire! Everything related to the Mayor’s race recently has been focused around Reed’s recent successes. Borders is plummeting like the Dow Jones did in March. She won’t make the run-off.

    Has anyone done a poll within the last couple of weeks? What are the numbers? I assume the only candidate gaining is likely Reed.

    Shin Jasher

    October 9th, 2009
    9:38 am

    Norwood’s disclosures have magically disappeared from the AJC’s Google Docs. Conspiracy?