Your morning jolt: Democratic party’s entry into ATL mayoral race drawing mixed reviews

The decision by state Democratic party chairman Jane Kidd to jump into the Atlanta mayor’s race against front-runner Mary Norwood is drawing mixed reviews this morning.

Kidd declared that Norwood was a “duplicitous” Republican, and Atlanta was a Democratic town. Mailers saying so could be in the hands of voters as early as today.

We’d appreciate a PDF of the flyer, if someone with a scanner would be so kind.

Amy Morton of Georgia Women Vote, a Democratic activist armed with a blog, took Kidd’s side, with her headline: “No More Mrs. Nice Party.”

But Blog for Democracy has taken the opposite tack:

The Mayor of Atlanta is a term limited position – so the DPG has known for 8 years that Shirley Franklin, one of the highest ranking Democrats in the state and most visible in the nation, would be replaced. For 8 years, the DPG did diddly, or not much visibly, to build a farm team in order to have a viable Democratic candidate run for this seat….

The DPG wants Atlanta Democrats to believe that we can’t fare well under Mary Norwood’s leadership because Norwood isn’t a strong enough Democrat. Norwood consistently “describes herself as neither red nor blue, but short and purple”. When you examine the Votebuilder system, the system that the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Democratic National Committee uses to identify likely Democratic voters, it lists Mary Norwood as a “Leaning Democrat”.

The DNC uses a proprietary algorithm to allot “partisan” points to every registered voter. According to the Votebuilder system, Mary Norwood has a total of 150 points – Democratic points = 100 (66.7%) and Republican points = 50 (33.3%). Hmmm, not a strong enough Democrat or not a strong enough Republican?

Then there’s this from Sid Cottingham, a Democratic blogger down in Coffee County:

I just don’t understand the motive, the role, the reason for the party feeling it had to get involved, and I don’t feel as if I am missing anything because I live in the Other Georgia 210 miles south of Atlanta.

Roman Levit, Norwood’s campaign manager, served two years as a staffer for the state Democratic party, from 2000 to 2002. Irony of ironies, Levit says he was one of the first to approach Kidd about running for party chairman.

Getting less attention is another decision by Democrats to target a self-declared independent in a downstate House race: Rusty Kidd of Milledgeville, son of the flamboyant state senator, Culver Kidd. (Not sure if there’s any relation between the Milledgeville Kidds and Jane Kidd, the party chairman.)

This is a special election to fill the House seat of Bobby Parham, now a member of the state DOT board.

Travis Fain of the Macon Telegraph’s Lucid Idiocy has the full-color flyers that are paid for by the House caucus. Labeling declares them to be “a project of the Democratic Party of Georgia.”

One set of mailers take aim at Kidd’s business, Quick Loans, Fain writes:

and obviously cast him as a payday lender. Kidd says he charges 5 percent interest on a 30 day loan, not 600 percent like some of the payday lenders “that we ran out of Georgia.”

It’s actually the other fliers that are more fun, though. They focus on Kidd’s role in a classic Georgia political scandal: The Daufuskie 5.

In 1995 five state legislators and a handful of lobbyists headed to the South Carolina island for a golf junket, and someone paid four strippers to tag along.

The following, as described by the New York Times, is what happens when your current job doesn’t allow you to blow things up:

In an apparent effort to infuse the dry work of government with a dash of manly brio, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently issued aveto statement that contained a message — and not a nice message — that some interpret as a put-down of the bill’s author.

The message can be seen only by a careful reading of the printed version of the veto statement. By taking the first letter of each line, beginning with the third line, two words emerge: The first is obscene; the second is “you.”

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:

  • Congressmen urge governors to work faster on tri-state water feud.
  • State defends plan to improve psychiatric hospitals.
  • DOT board adds former Lumpkin commissioner.
  • Atlanta’s vacant office space could take years to fill.
  • With finish line near, ATL mayoral race gets rough.
  • Borders charges former rival with shakedown.
  • Norwood ads to dominate before mayoral election.
  • Maynard Jackson’s daughter endorses Reed in mayor’s race.
  • Sandy Springs mayoral race has crowded field.
  • Bond votes splits Marietta council.
  • Gwinnett DA mulling charges against court reporters.
  • Atlanta city council may seek changes in Delta lease.
  • Gays divided over APD’s inclusion in pride parade.
  • John Lewis and ex-segregationist to get award.
  • King historic district gets new parcel.
  • Some opinion:

  • Kyle Wingfield says that, in close call, Mary Norwood will get his vote.
  • While Jay Bookman leans toward Kasim Reed.
  • GI Bill beginning to look like an IOU to many vets.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • Southern Political Report: Any political machine can come to an end.
  • And beyond:

  • NYT: U.S. speeds aid to Pakistan to fight Taliban.
  • WSJ: Note to self: Order lots of coffee N.J. governor’s race.
  • WP: Obama in Dover as fallen troops arrive home.
  • Editor’s note: Given the impending Atlanta mayoral election, instant commenting has been closed on the Political Insider blog. Readers are invited to submit comments on all posts, which will be published as soon as possible after review.

    For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    45 comments Add your comment

    AH

    October 29th, 2009
    10:07 am

    Let’s all pause a moment to thank Jim for putting these stories out in such a timely manner. This is what makes the political season so much fun.

    Thanks Jim

    Krooked Kaseem

    October 29th, 2009
    10:15 am

    Please take a look at the facts and see why Kasim should not be mayor. http://www.notkasim.blospot.com

    DW

    October 29th, 2009
    10:19 am

    This is a NON-PARTISAN RACE! Who CARES what party the winner belongs to? He or she will still have to deal with a Republican governor and state legislature, as well as a Democratic President and Congress.

    PoliticOracle

    October 29th, 2009
    10:31 am

    Party matters! There are congressional seats and Democratic presidential primaries to be run from Atlanta. Obama won Georgia because of Atlanta. Kasim Reed has been a tireless worker for the Democratic Party. If affiliation doesn’t matter, why are y’all so up in arms about it. The fact that Norwood couldn’t recall who she voted for in presidential elections when asked about itm is scary. Not because she could possibly be a Republican, but because she wasn’t totally forthright and honest about.

    Jackalope

    October 29th, 2009
    10:35 am

    Hey, Georgia Democratic Party – smart move pissing off the next Mayor of Atlanta (sarcasm).

    PoliticOracle

    October 29th, 2009
    10:49 am

    @Jackalope

    What are we betting that Norwood won’t win the general? I’ll bet you she won’t crack 40%. I’ll also bet you Reed will get 5%-10% higher than he’s been polling.

    crazy democrat

    October 29th, 2009
    10:51 am

    What is going on? Jane Kidd has nothing better to do? Where is your Lt. Governor candidate? Where is your U.S. Senator candidate against Johnny Isakson? Who in the hell woke your lazy behind up? You are a joke. Will you give all of the state republican legislators a pass like you did in 2008 without any opposition? When will you do anything that makes sense. You and that no account Executive Director Matt don’t know your roles. Ms. Kiddy you need to tend to things you have control over. Stop delving into local politics. I can’t take you anymore. When does your position come up for election?

    Ira in East Lake

    October 29th, 2009
    10:53 am

    Political Oracle – not for nothing but Obama did not win Georgia…

    Real GaDem

    October 29th, 2009
    10:59 am

    “Obama won Georgia because of Atlanta.”

    Um…. what channel were YOU watching that night?

    Politic

    October 29th, 2009
    11:00 am

    Jane Kidd has done nothing for democrats in Georgia. Obama got whipped in the state of Ga at the end of the day, Martin got beat by about 20% in the Senate seat against Chambliss, the State Legislature continues to gain more Repubs than Democratic seats, and for our race of Governor we’re having to bring back in a former Governor as our leading candidate that got beat before. With Baker running for Governor, and Thurmond running for Lt. Gov probably, we can also count both of those positions as going to Repubs also. Who almight Jane Kidd do we have gearing up to face Sen. Isakson in a few years…no one

    Politico

    October 29th, 2009
    11:10 am

    A dumb move that smells of desperation. The fact is the “republican” label has been used quite effectively against any candidate who wasn’t “black enough” in the Atlanta mayoral races– meaning they had too much northside support. The GOP label has been slapped on Borders, Pitts, Lomax and Arrington. It’s an old, tired trick that has had some success in the past. This time it’s a little different. None of those candidates actually had 70% of the white vote, as Norwood does, coupled with 20% of the black vote.

    A Political Demographer

    October 29th, 2009
    11:13 am

    What are the legalities regarding the State Party’s spending money in support of and in collaboration with a Reed campaign, in excess of $2,400? People do go to jail for political money laundering. Where exactly did the money for a mailer come from? When were the transfers made? Certainly the money didn’t come from JJ dinners. Galloway, Stirgus, Bennett: get the story.

    Jackalope

    October 29th, 2009
    11:29 am

    @PoliticOracle: Um. I agree with all of those statements. Norwood will probably get 45% or so and of course Kasim will continue to rise as the GA DNC attacks Norwood and Lisa plummets. We’ll do a dinner bet for the run off.

    Kevrock/Smarty Jones

    October 29th, 2009
    11:30 am

    Now if Norwood actually wins…when will the RACE CARD be used that fraud happend to the African-Americans? Within hours? Mintues?

    Politico

    October 29th, 2009
    11:32 am

    @A Political Demographer It’s called an “independent expenditure” and is completely legal as long as they do not coordinate efforts with any specific campaign. In other words, they have to do it on their own with the help of a campaign that might benefit.

    PoliticOracle

    October 29th, 2009
    11:36 am

    @Ira

    My name is PoliticOracle and I am well of aware of what transpired in the 2008 Presidential elections. OBAMA WON GEORGIA IN THE PRIMARIES. This win helped him to pass Hilary Clinton in the delgate count, secure the Democratic nomination and ultimately win the Presidency. So he did win in Georgia and Atlanta played a critical role in that win.

    I will be more specific next time.

    A Political Demographer

    October 29th, 2009
    11:45 am

    RIght. It’s called an “independent expenditure” and is completely legal AS LONG AS they do not coordinate efforts with any specific campaign. In other words, they have to do it on their own with the help of a campaign that might benefit. I understand all that. I reiterate: Galloway, Stirgus, Bennett: get the story.

    Steve

    October 29th, 2009
    11:46 am

    Politico, you’re history is right, but you’re numbers are off. What makes Norwood unique is her %-age of black votes in the poll. Most “Northside” candidates in the past haven’t gotten 30% of the black vote. Most get as least 70% of the white votes. The DPG attack might help knock Norwood’s black vote down to 20% or below. If that happens, it will be anybody’s race in the runoff.

    Joe Blow Politico

    October 29th, 2009
    11:52 am

    Kasim Reed is the only candidate in the race that has a comprehensive plan to reduce crime in our city. His proposal to focus on our youth by opening up our rec centers is exactly the kind of plan that we need to turn this city around. Kasim Reed for mayor!!

    ATL42

    October 29th, 2009
    11:58 am

    Considering Atlanta’s strained relationship with the state leadership, it would be nice to have a mayor that has experience working with the capital. Kasim Reed has spent the last 11 years in the state legislature working across party lines and negotiating deals that would help all Georgians. We need that kind of talent in Atlanta. Kasim Reed for mayor!!

    Ryno

    October 29th, 2009
    12:03 pm

    PoliticOracle – Ummm, McCain carried Georgia with 58%?

    Kevrock/Smarty Jones It’s already being used. When Mayor Franklin says that a Norwood victory would be “very different” than what Atlanta has seen in along time – what do you think she means?

    I appreciate Mr. Reed’s committment to hiring new police officers and increasing the force – but I’ve yet to hear him explain how he expects to pay for it?

    Real GaDem

    October 29th, 2009
    12:06 pm

    Politic, at 11:00, I agree. We (actually they, since they’re not listening to me) keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Helloooo? It’s a sad, sorry lot down there at GDP HQ. There ARE promising, talented Democrats with brains and vision in this state, but they can’t get the support of their own party due to the internal get-nowhere-fast party politics and backstsabbing. J.K. should step down, IMO. The problem — as with coyotes when you take one out — is that another just like it moves immediately into the space.

    Truth be told

    October 29th, 2009
    12:09 pm

    This looks like a really good recipe for turning white Atlanta Democrats into Republicans. Let’s face it, if Mary were black, none of this would be happening. Mary is more populist and grass-roots than either Borders or Reed, who are getting their support from the corporate business interests.

    Shame on Jane Kidd and the Democrat party.

    ugaaccountant

    October 29th, 2009
    12:10 pm

    Who is a republican supposed to vote for in this election? Is it Norwood? I see Lisa Borders wants to raise taxes so she certainly can’t be republican.

    kuhfdg

    October 29th, 2009
    12:14 pm

    if you are a dubious republican, does that make you a democrat??

    Say It Aint So

    October 29th, 2009
    12:20 pm

    Yes nobody wants Mary Norwood in office because shes going to get rid of all the waist and illegal spending thats been going on for years in Atlanta. They really dont want their practices out.

    Shame on them. You go Mary. And congradulations on not spending all your money. You know how to be cost efficient dont you?

    GA boy

    October 29th, 2009
    12:21 pm

    Kasim Reed is the only candidate in the race that has a comprehensive plan to reduce crime in our city. His proposal to focus on our youth by opening the recreation centers is exactly the kind of plan that we need to turn our city around. Kasim Reed for mayor!!

    Vicious Truth

    October 29th, 2009
    12:39 pm

    Truth be told…Reed sold out his south Fulton district in a ploy to get Atlanta to annex Fulton Industrial Blvd. It didn’t work! The South Fulton Cityhood bill he wrote was full of errors that would have left FIB uncovered and ripe for annexation by Atlanta and its mayoral hopeful Reed. Through out the cityhood fight Reed carried the water for Shirley Franklin completely disregarding the wishes of the constituents he swore to represent. The whole bill almost didn’t pass the house. It was soundly defeated by the people. South Fulton is thrilled he’s running for mayor. Maybe we can get someone to really represent our interest.
    Another example of his forked tongue… Reed commonly worked with the “otherside” on issues that were detrimental to those of us in South Fulton for his own gain. He called it compromising, we called it selling us down the river. Case in point, Rep. Schaffer (sp) wrote legislation that basically made it impossible to collect money in one Fulton Co. special services district and spend it in another. That almost killed South Fulton SSD. We are paying more in taxes today because of that bill. Reed voted against the measure, but turns around and accepted campaign money from Schaffer the man that hurt the people he suppposedly was representing.
    Look into his real estate deals as well. He hasn’t always lived in Atlanta.
    Norwood has out maneveured them all. Look into it. She actually received more votes in the last election than Shirley citywide.
    Go Mary we are pulling for you in South Fulton. Time to clean up the mess in city hall.
    We’ll all do better with the state with good leadership representing us in S Fulton and someone to get the MARTA tax and Grady tax completely off our backs.

    AngryVoter

    October 29th, 2009
    12:49 pm

    Jane Kidd appears to have lost sight of the fact that she works for the party. Jane’s role is to help the party and its candidates, not try to stack the party the way she sees fit but is toxic to the voters.

    If the majority of people who vote Dem in ATL want Norwood, the party should listen to that and work on keeping those people voting Dem. How sad that Kidd, instead, has chosen to tell that large group of voters that the Dem party isn’t for them and that they should look elsewhere. Imagine a business that did that! (Under that thinking: A person shows up at a VW dealership only to be told that he really wants to drive a Toyota and should go look at that dealership. A restaurant has steak and chicken on the menu, but when nobody orders the chicken they dump steak from the menu and go with chicken-only, not realizing people will go down the street to eat instead. Television network cancels highly rated shows figuring if they broadcast “Accidently on Purpose” three hours every night people will eventually watch.)

    No wonder the Dems in GA are in such disarray. Rather than listening to the voters and giving them what they want, leaders like Kidd keep pushing the same rejected bad candidates on us and expect us to vote for them. (Roy Barnes, anyone?)

    Also, what’s the long-term thinking here? If Norwood is the nominee, what happens to the party? It’s split and disfunctional. Good leaders do not set their organizations up for disfunction. Kidd has not just done a disservice to the party, she has failed in fiduciary duty to do the organization she leads no harm.

    Politico

    October 29th, 2009
    1:01 pm

    Steve– I almost agree with you, except neither Pitts, Arrington, nor Lomax got anywhere close to 70% of the white vote. Turn-out will be an issue, but not in the traditional way we think. For the first time, “white northsiders” have a crack at the mayor’s office. Many, many of those folks vote in every election EXCEPT for mayor. This time, I think we can look forward to increased turnout from people who never thought their vote made a difference before. As for Norwood, 20% of the black vote should be enough. Never before has there been TWO blacks candidates splitting that vote like now, leaving Norwood with a strong leg up. One of them should’ve dropped out if they really wanted to stop Norwood.

    Steve

    October 29th, 2009
    1:33 pm

    We’re basically saying the same thing except for the amount of black votes Norwood needs. This is my logic. In a runoff, if Norwood black white split is 20/80 and Reed/Borders is 80/20, then Reed/Borders wins because there’s more black voters than white. I think Mary needs 25% of the black vote to win, because Reed/Borders won’t be able to get 25% of the white vote.

    dgroy

    October 29th, 2009
    1:34 pm

    Why is the Democratic Party suddenly interested in the race…..maybe, perhaps?…….did the AJC get scared that Atlanta voters would actually elect a white mayor? and ask for assistance? Something’s rotten……and it’s not in Denmark!!!!!

    Steve

    October 29th, 2009
    1:37 pm

    Angry, the majority of Dems aren’t supporting Norwood. She’s getting nearly all of the Republican vote (about 20% of the total) and 20-25% of the Democratic vote. Almost all of Reed and Borders supporters are Democrat, so the combination of the two is more than Norwood.

    Ward

    October 29th, 2009
    1:37 pm

    Because Norwood’s voting record ‘leans Democratic’ it only underlines that this isn’t a ‘nonpartisan’ election, it’s one-party election. The Dems are just arguing who’s more politically (or ethnically?) pure. Yawn.

    Funny how the Democrats made such a fuss about those non-partisan races in North Carolina (which leaned towards the GOP), but have no such problems with this one.

    Roekest

    October 29th, 2009
    1:55 pm

    When I hear Democrats whining about who is or who isn’t Democrat enough, I hear Hitler in the background telling Germany who is and who isn’t Aryan enough….

    Ok, that was a little harsh. But damn! Democrats used to be the “cool” party. Now they remind me of the zealots in the GOP who believed in the Moral Majority. Too far left=BAD….too far right=BAD.

    Atlanta_Tiger_Fan

    October 29th, 2009
    1:56 pm

    It’s all about race to the democratic party and they can’t stomach the idea of a white mayor…well, get used to it because I see it happening. Atlanta residents should be very excited!! The former black mayors haven’t done anything but help their cronies and like their pockets to the expense of the city.

    [...] See the full article from “Atlanta Journal Constitution” [...]

    A Political Demographer

    October 29th, 2009
    3:41 pm

    Here are then numbes from 2001:

    Mayor
    Franklin (actual vote = 50%+)
    white = 28%
    black = 66%
    R2 = .7255
    Pitts (actual vote = 33%)
    white = 53%
    black = 16%
    R2 = .6671

    A Political Demographer

    October 29th, 2009
    3:42 pm

    Here are the numbers from 2001:

    Mayor
    Franklin (actual vote = 50%+)
    white = 28%
    black = 66%
    R2 = .7255
    Pitts (actual vote = 33%)
    white = 53%
    black = 16%
    R2 = .6671

    Keith

    October 29th, 2009
    7:34 pm

    Go Norwood! We all know black leadership does not work. That has been proven. Especially with Atlanta’s mayors and Obama Bin Laden. White folks know what we are doing. Grady was going down the tube, they got rid of the thug and put a white guy in charge and it’s doing much better. So will Atlanta with Norwood. Maybe Atlanta can become a white city again and be as good as it used to be before the thugs ruined it.

    Keith

    October 29th, 2009
    7:35 pm

    Go Norwood! We all know black leadership does not work. That has been proven. Especially with Atlanta’s mayors and Obama Bin Laden. White folks know what we are doing. Grady was going down the tube, they got rid of the moron in charge and put a white guy in charge and it’s doing much better. So will Atlanta with Norwood. Maybe Atlanta can become a white city again and be as good as it used to be before the blacks ruined it.

    Jen

    October 29th, 2009
    8:59 pm

    Atlanta needs Mary now. Vote for Mary and vote for progress. Go Mary Go!

    Tim

    October 29th, 2009
    10:08 pm

    Isn’t it interesting that the AJC decided not to tell us anything about Norwood’s past voting record? They let her build support and waited for her ratings to climb before mentioning it. But with Vernon Jones and Cynthia McKinney, the AJC told us everything negative they could find on them, well before it was almost time to vote. The AJC has allowed people to be misinformed, thinking that Norwood is a Democrat. Of course, she’s a Republican pretending to be an Independent. Republicans always claim to be “independent” when they are trying to get Democratic votes. Since the AJC deliberately failed to report on Norwood’s voting record, she has been able to fool some black voters and progressive whites. Reed and Borders should have attacked Norwood’s Republican record from the very beginning. But white people have successfully used the “race card” phrase, in order to deter blacks from speaking the truth and being aggressive. White people will continue to scream the mythical “race card” as long as black people fall for it. Reed and Borders have spent too much time bashing each other, when they should have been exposing the fraud that is Mary Norwood.

    Deborah

    October 30th, 2009
    8:15 am

    All of this testing of party loyalty could have been avoided had the city’s power elite simply closed ranks with city homeowners who bought into the line that Atlanta was finally safe to live and play in. Crimes were given the brush off just so long as they were only against property, and even students. It’s too bad it took a stray bullet killing that first-generation Spelman student, Jasmine Lynn, to finally get the mayor and police chief’s attention to crime. That is what turns normally Democratic voters in Atlanta neighborhoods into voters who might consider a person branded as a “Republican.”

    [...] which is supposed to be non-partisan. Blog For Democracy first broached the topic. Galloway offered some insight. Peach Pundit commenters debated it all day. Andre Walker, who sits on a party committee, [...]