In these difficult economic times, the Atlanta mayoral race is helping political operatives cover the rent.
According to my AJC colleague Cameron McWhirter, the most recent campaign finance reports show that campaign managers are making a pretty penny helping bosses pitch the city’s financial recovery to voters.
Lisa Borders’ campaign manager, Stacey Abrams, a state representative from Atlanta, brought in $33,281.55 in compensation, reimbursement and retainer, according to July-through-September financial reports.
Letetia Jackson, a political consultant from Dothan, Ala., earned $28,888.95 as Jesse Spikes campaign manager. Spikes is, and has been, in single digits since the outset. And Jackson is no longer employed by Spikes.
Tharon Johnson, former state senator Kasim Reed’s campaign manager, earned $27,000. The least costly campaign manager was front-runner Mary Norwood’s Roman Levit, who earned $13,163.88. Norwood didn’t hire him until August.
That kind of frugality allowed Norwood to declare herself, as of Oct. 1, the candidate with the most cash on hand for the final drive: $620,594.
It also should be noted that we may not be seeing all the compensation. Staffers on many campaigns agree to delayed payment and bonus clauses – so much for getting a candidate in the runoff, another lump sum for victory – that won’t be seen until the final disclosure at year’s end.
Here’s the latest Lisa Borders ad, released by her campaign yesterday evening:
“We know something isn’t working, but promises won’t fix Atlanta. I’ve been where you are – a struggling mom, a small business owner, and a victim of a home invasion. Atlanta needs a mayor with a vision and experience to fix what’s broken – someone who can do the math.”
Last week, Borders issued a challenge to rival Kasim Reed. She demanded that Reed to commit to a City Hall absent of relatives on the payroll, and that the law firm where he works, Holland & Knight, will not get any city contracts.
Challenge accepted, sort of.
Reed said Monday he won’t hire any relatives. His brother, Tracey, is already employed in the city’s Office of Contract Compliance.
As for Holland & Knight, Reed says if elected he’ll review the lobbying contract the firm has with the city and all others that exceed $500,000.
Reed still seemed steamed about the issue, accusing Borders of “mudslinging.”
“I didn’t start this conversation, but as long as Ms. Borders wants to have it, I’ll continue it,” he said at a news conference.
Borders says she’ll won’t hire any relatives and won’t offer any contracts to her former employer, the development firm of Cousins Properties.
If that car-crash of a campaign cartoon was designed to earn attention for John Oxendine, the GOP candidate for governor, it worked.
As of this morning, the YouTube cartoon – given the general-election title of “The Ox vs. King Roy the Rat” — had earned 48,811 views since its unveiling last week.
Travis Fain of the Macon Telegraph’s Lucid Idiocy even counted up the number of times the narrator says “the Rat” in four minutes: 14.
But a total 474 critics rated the four-minute spot an average 1.5 stars out of five. Which is possibly why commenting has been turned off.
While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
Couch resigns as environmental protection director. Mistress cut out of will. Hank Johnson endorses Reed for mayor. Atlanta to hire 50 new cops with federal funds. Metro Atlanta gears up for census. DeKalb County police to get subsidy to buy homes. McKinney fined $6,000 for campaign fund violations. Gwinnett County library board schedules special meeting. GSU president gets official welcome. Deadline nears for flood income assistance. Sandy Springs to give Scientology a yes or no.
Put MARTA under state control now. You’ll never use this math again. Pro & Con: Should local public safety units enforce immigration laws?
From elsewhere in Georgia:
WP: Clear majority now supports public option plan, according to poll. NYT: As the commander-in-chief deliberates on Afghanistan, frustration builds within the ranks. WSJ: Opinion on the battle for Pakistan.
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