The Democratic attack on Mary Norwood

Cover image of Flyer sent by Democratic Party of Georgia declaring Mary Norwood a Republican

Cover image of Flyer sent by Democratic Party of Georgia declaring Mary Norwood a Republican

The first sharp, negative attack of the Atlanta mayoral race hit the mailboxes of voters on Thursday, declaring front-runner Mary Norwood’s Republican past to be “the elephant in the room.”

The flyer, paid for by the state Democratic party, urged voters: ”Vote for Kasim Reed. Vote for Lisa Borders. Vote for Reuben McDaniel.”

Reed and Borders, of course, are mayoral candidates trailing Norwood in the polls. McDaniel is a fresh candidate for the Atlanta school board, apparently added to give the flyer a multi-race dimension required by campaign finance laws governing the Democratic party’s unusual decision to enter the contest.

The dominant image of the mailer can be seen above. Download the entire piece here.

Text includes the following:

Norwood’s campaign is financed by the same Republican money men who funded John McCain’s hate-filled campaign against Barack Obama, and who have given to George Bush, the Republican National Committee, Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Republican Party.

Her television ads try to hide the real facts, but since 1992 Norwood has voted for Republican candidates 70 percent of the time. She was even a delegate to the Republican convention. We can’t trust her as mayor.

Norwood opposed putting police and firefighters back on the streets to protect our community – she didn’t think we could afford it. But she had no problem spending $106,445 from a city council slush fund.

Democratic chairman Jane Kidd said the party had entered the race because Norwood was being duplicitous about her loyalties. After a Sunday debate, a reporter asked Norwood if she had voted for President George W. Bush. Norwood said she couldn’t remember — though a day later an aide said she had not.

The response of the Norwood campaign to the Democratic attack was quick and heavy.

In a TV ad that begins airing today, Norwood acknowledges her attendance at a state GOP convention in 1999 as a delegate, but “disliked it so much” she’s never been to another. “I believe in President Obama’s call for change and accountability,” Norwood says.

See the ad here:

Roman Levit, campaign manager for Norwood, said the “slush fund” spending cited by the Democratic flyer were Norwood’s legitimate expenses “to communicate with constituents.”

And as to the campaign contributions from GOP givers, Levit said “both Lisa Borders and Kasim Reed have collected donations from people who have given money to Republicans including, someone who served as former senator [and 2008 presidential candidate] Fred Thompson’s finance chair and raised Lisa over $250,000 in one fell swoop.”

“Before making false accusations, and authorizing expenditures without executive committee approval, maybe Ms. Kidd should have checked the voter file first and we would have all been spared these false attacks,” said Levit, a former state Democratic party staffer.

The Norwood campaign manager also provided this screen-shot below, which he says came from the “VoteBuilder” program used by the state and national Democratic parties to identify sympathetic voters. It scores Norwood as two-thirds Democratic and one-third Republican — or leaning Democrat:

Mary Norwood_Votebuilder

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.

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185 comments Add your comment

Bert

October 30th, 2009
7:30 am

Her new base: Uncle Toms for Norwood.

embarrased

October 30th, 2009
7:56 am

So this is the democratic party of Georgia’s way of losing again. Paint the white candidate as a Republican to make black people automatically not vote for her. Great strategy (sure). 70% of the time she voted for a republican, please do tell us how and also tell us how this affects our city. (Looks like they made that up). Her top two campaign officials both are/were heavy democratic party staffers. Please do tell? Black people not only get played by the GOP Party but also for years get played by the Democratic Party also.

A Political Demographer

October 30th, 2009
8:03 am

Ms. Kidd:
I have been a registered Democrat in Georgia for 15 years. Before that, I was a registered Democrat in the great state of Maryland- the ONLY state to vote for McGovern and the heart of the Democratic Party of this country. I was raised on politics at the knee of my mother who worked on all the “Kennedy boys” campaigns and dragged herself to the rotunda to see the body of President Kennedy though she was 9 months pregnant with me. My first experience in the voting process was waiting 3 hours in the voting line with my mother for the 1972 presidential campaign where she violated the election law telling everyone in line not to vote for “that crook Nixon”. I have voted in every election since I was 18 and proudly call myself a “bleeding heart liberal”. I am pro-choice, pro-health-care reform, support gay rights and gay marriage, and believe that a great society like ours should welcome those who come in our borders seeking the better life that my grandparents found when they arrived in Ellis Island in the early 19th century.
Why am I telling you this? Because for this first time ever; I am ashamed of my party. I’ve been disappointed, I’ve been angry, but never before have I been so shamed by the actions of the party to which that I have been so loyal. Your attack on Mary Norwood is slanderous, salacious, and gratuitous. I am not only supporting Mary Norwood, I am working for her campaign. I have known and worked with Mary for 9 years. She is progressive, hardworking, fair, and embraces the principles that the Democratic Party claims to follow. She is open minded, supports gay rights and works tirelessly for each of her constituents and is tenacious in solving the problems of our city. She also ran the campaign of a DEMOCRAT Jabari Simama when he ran for Atlanta City Council. She supported both Emory McClinton for the GDOT board and Joanne McClinton for state representative. Both are Democrats. She has continuously supported Democratic U.S. Congressman John Lewis, an American hero. She voted for Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, and President Barack Obama. You failed to mention all of this in your flyer. You did however mention that she is “funded by John McCain’s money men”. Have you checked Lisa Border’s contributions? You see the name of Tom Bell on the list – a leading Republican in Georgia who donated to John McCain and donated to the Republican National Party. Ms. Borders has cashed his checks with ease. I’m certain we would find some Republican contributors for Mr. Reed’s campaign as well.
What is the point of this? One month ago a very nice young man knocked on my door representing the Democratic Party of Georgia and asked for a donation. I expressed concern that I had heard rumors that the Democratic Party was funding Kasim Reed’s campaign. He assured me that because the Atlanta mayor’s race was non-partisan, that the party would not get involved. He stated that “we are interested in promoting Democrats in statewide elections”. I gave him a donation. Did he lie to me or did you lie to him?
Roman Levit, Mary Norwood’s campaign manager, said it best when he asked, “Why does Jane Kidd want to drive away a person who supports marriage equality, a person who is pro-choice, who supports health care reform, who is a progressive on the issues that matter to Democrats? Why is she trying to drive her away instead of embracing her?” Why indeed, Ms. Kidd? Perhaps we should look at your list of contributors?
Until you as the Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Georgia apologizes for this action, you will not receive one more dime from me. I will also disavow myself from your organization. I am a proud Democrat, but I will not say that I am a member of the Georgia Democratic Party. It’s hard to believe that an organization that supported Jim Martin, one of the most decent, honest people in the state, has stooped so low and acted so indecently.
Regina Brewer

P.S. Oh, and by the way – I want my donation back.

Lisa Lisa

October 30th, 2009
8:06 am

Is this the same Mary Norwood who was asked if she voted for Bush and responded “I don’t remember”?

A Political Demographer

October 30th, 2009
8:09 am

Atlantans Should Vote For The Person, Not The Party
By Andre Walker

In December of 2004, I was elected to Georgia’s state Democratic committee.

Often, at state committee meetings, I hear people repeat the refrain that we need to elect more Democrats. That is, after all, the main purpose of Georgia’s Democratic Party. Sometimes, however, my Party seems to get sidetracked from that purpose resulting in pundits across the state wondering what in the heck were the Democrats thinking.

On the eve of Atlanta’s 2009 mayoral election, there are a lot of people scratching their heads about the state Democratic Party’s decision to inject partisanship into a nonpartisan race.

For those not familiar, there’s been a lot of talk about the party affiliation of Atlanta City Council member Mary Norwood. Her opponents have accused her of not being a Democrat. They say Atlanta is a Democratic city, and imply that only Democrats should hold the mayor’s office. They say Norwood, having admitted to voting for both Democrats and Republicans, is not Democratic enough for Atlanta.

That certainly qualifies for flawed logic. But, unfortunately, it gets worse.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution political insider Jim Galloway reported that Georgia’s Democratic Party chief recently decided to carry a little water for mayoral candidates Lisa Borders and Kasim Reed. Galloway quotes state Democratic Party chair Jane Kidd as saying, “The person that’s going to be mayor of Atlanta should reflect the Democratic nature of Atlanta. As far as we’re concerned, Mary Norwood’s a Republican. We’re concerned that she’s not being truthful about her party affiliation. She’s not saying what she is. We think that she should be called out on that.”

As many wise individuals have queried before, who is this we?

We, the state Democratic committee, are the highest authority of Georgia’s Democratic Party. We, the state Democratic committee, didn’t vote to endorse a candidate in Atlanta’s municipal election. We, the state Democratic committee, didn’t authorize Jane Kidd to spend money on campaign literature calling Lisa Borders and Kasim Reed “authentic Democrats.” As far as this state committee member is concerned, there is no “we.” There is only Jane Kidd speaking on behalf of herself.

Atlantans have an important choice before them on November 3rd. Atlanta voters should weigh their choices carefully. And they should elect a mayor who can effectively lead Atlanta with no regard to that candidate’s party affiliation.

Andre Walker, who runs the site Blog for Georgia, is a member of the state Democratic committee from Fulton County.

Dave Chappel

October 30th, 2009
8:15 am

Why are party allegiances even part of the Mayoral race?

Atlanta is basically a backwoods hamlet at this point, with any ideas of party line votes being an absolute outlier to anything that actually happens.

Truth be told

October 30th, 2009
8:17 am

Once again, the Georgia Democratic Party shooting itself in the foot. Mary has been a champion for neighborhoods and working people in Atlanta. I thought that’s what the Dem’s stood for – apparently instead they stand for corporate special interests.

Wow, Just Wow

October 30th, 2009
8:21 am

@Embarressed. You are ABSOLUTLEY RIGHT. Tom Bell is one of the biggest republican fundraisers in the country and he’s supporting Borders in a HUGE way– to the point of talking into getting back into the race. Does that make her a republican? Or an “Uncle Tom” as Bert would say. C’mon! Stop with the crap and get on the issues.

Informed Citizen

October 30th, 2009
8:21 am

And the issues are????? Hopefully the people of Atlanta are smart enough to vote based on issues, not party affiliation or race.

Not embarrassed

October 30th, 2009
8:22 am

To Embarrassed: And you’re the puppet for the Republican Party. It’s all politics-one party bashes the other; All politicians lie, lie, lie. But that’s the american Way. By the way,
I believe you’re still bitter from the sweet victory of Mr. President Obama…YOUR president and Mine

Dan Deacon

October 30th, 2009
8:23 am

Sounds like the black democrats have become racist by trying to get voters to only vote democrat (basically the only democrap candidates are black which suggest racism because Mrs. Norwood is white).

Get a life and watch Mrs. Norwood take the mayoral position in Atlanta. Then comply with the changes in mismanagement, theft, unethical behavior and a disgrace the current city government is in due to heathens that don’t understand the citizens of Atlanta will not stand around while all the mismanagment is happening.

BamaFan

October 30th, 2009
8:29 am

I am African American and I believe that this city should be run by the most effective leader and from the looks of things, it really seems like Mrs. norwood has a plan to expose the lack of financial resposibility in this city and get it turned around once and for all. For once, people shold think about the importance of our city and not playing the race card all the time. The is the best city in the south and we need to keep it that way.

Truth be told

October 30th, 2009
8:29 am

Jane Kidd should RESIGN or be FIRED before Tuesday to make amends for this outrage.

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

October 30th, 2009
8:32 am

Wow- between Shirley’s comments and the Dems’ mailer, Norwood’s being defined by her enemies. And they’re my enemies, too. Just what did the Democrats do with 130 years controlling every office that mattered in this state? Was Georgia some bastion of progressive action and innovation? No!! I have said for many years the the State of Georgia should change its motto to: “Thank God for Mississippi, or we’d be last in everything.”

Ga Values

October 30th, 2009
8:34 am

Why does the Georgia Democratic Party hate white people?

Krooked Kasim

October 30th, 2009
8:34 am

Looks like some antics Kasim’s friends under the Gold Dome have cooked up.

http://notkasim.blogspot.com

Mike

October 30th, 2009
8:34 am

She voted for Ross Perot (Independent) and Bill Clinton (Democrat)????

IamME

October 30th, 2009
8:35 am

Registered Democrat in Georgia? When did Georgia start registering for parties?

Yes, this ad is tasteless. But getting to another subject on hand… it’s amazing how The AJC is so bias. They’re almost equivalent to Fox. Throughout the Presidential race, and now this race, it is very obvious what side they are leaning towards.

Ernie W.

October 30th, 2009
8:36 am

I’m a black man who has been a beliver in what I believe Mary Norwood will do for the city of Atlanta.

I don’t expect that she will be able to turn around the sorry state of affairs the city now finds itself, but she will present a positive good start in accomplishing that goal.

Is the downward spiral toward mediocrity and crime the responsibility of the evil Republicans, or was it caused by the do-gooder Democrats who have occupied the city government for the past thirty years?

Remember the money wasted on the stupid jingle to advertise Atlanta as a place to live and do business?

Oh, that must have been directed by the evil Republicans.

As a native Atlantan I recognize the same old tired divisive political antics of the do-gooder Democrats, and so should all of the citizens who will vote in this upcoming election.

If we follow the trend of the past thirty years, we will get the same results.

Mary, you go girl!

matt

October 30th, 2009
8:38 am

I’m a registered Democrat, but will switch based on this racist attack on Mary Norwood. This kind of campaigning is going to cause the GA Democratic party to lose voters.

Not embarrassed

October 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Good luck to the mayoral candidates. Change is good. May the better woman or man win. Let’s vote to make Atlanta better and definitely safer.
By the way, I attended school with Kasim Reed (Westwood) I was in the 8th grade he was a senior, he always wanted to make a world a beter place. He was very poised,articulate,and professional back then. I’ve never seen a high school student wear suits to school everyday. He was different from any high school student I had ever met. He said he was going into politics oneday; he has came accomplished alot within 20 yrs. Good lick to Ms Norwood, Mr Reed, and Ms Borders. I think either 3 will do well for the City.

oh me

October 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Democrats. White Haters. Racism.

Same thing.

mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm, Barack the LIAR Obama

October 30th, 2009
8:42 am

Not so hidden message, don’t vote for “whitey”

JTK

October 30th, 2009
8:43 am

Sounds like a racist attack to me! The Democrats simply want a black mayor to continue the “legacy” in Atlanta.

James

October 30th, 2009
8:43 am

A white lady in temple Ga got beat up yesterday by a black man for campaigning. Didn’t even make news. They are trying to play the race game in Carroll County and Atl.

Bobby

October 30th, 2009
8:45 am

I’m a liberal Democrat but the Georgia Democratic Party has no intelligence and even I have some Republicans I’m willing to support. The State Democrats are trying their hardest to alienate more voters using character assasinations instead of sticking to the facts of the case.

Grob Hahn

October 30th, 2009
8:48 am

Americans are getting VERY tired of race-based politics. If you vote on race alone, you deserve the crooks you are likely to get. Is the city better off now than it was under Campbell?
Grobbbbbbbbbbbb

truth b known

October 30th, 2009
8:48 am

Can you imagine listening to this Norwood broad for four years? Not me, no way.

Corky

October 30th, 2009
8:49 am

Ms. Kidd, we’re not stupid. Fear tactics didn’t work in the 08 presidential race and it won’t work in this race. If injecting party into a non partisan race and using boogyman style fear tactics is the best Ga. Dems can do then I’m declaring myself an Independant.

Pdawg

October 30th, 2009
8:51 am

Hey BamaFan….what part of Africa were you born in and how old were you when you made it to the USA?

Roekest

October 30th, 2009
8:56 am

Dems and Shirley (The Queen Dem) thought that as the campaign went on, that Norwood would start to loose support. However, the opposite has happened. Norwood’s numbers have shot up and Reed and Borders are busy tearing each other apart. Now that the final hour is upon us, a fire has been lit under their butts and they seemed to all come together to attack the white democrat. Shameful. Disgusting.

If you all recall, this in-fighting is the same thing Dems did before the Primaries. You had Clintonians on one side and Obamans on the other, flinging eggs and (expletive deleted) at each other. The behavior of Democrats as a whole as of late can be compared to the behavior of high school hooligans who pick on and beat up the “weaker” kids. Grow up for God’s sake!

Laura DeMars

October 30th, 2009
8:56 am

I always thought these city-wide elections were supposed to be non-partisan? I concur with a few remarks already posted; angry and shamed of the Democratic party.

Al Sharpton

October 30th, 2009
8:59 am

The GA Democrats are a bunch of Racst Thugs…go back where you came from under the rock…..Only a complete loser and failure in life would care what the mayors skin color is…No wonder Atlanta is filled with so many poor scumbags….now you know what that way of thinking will do to you..LOL you deserve it!!

Tom

October 30th, 2009
9:00 am

It’s really disgusting that liberal Mary Norwood gets painted as an “evil right winged republican” by the racist democratic party and ajc. I believe that this horible strategy will back fire. I think people that know her and were on the fence about who they might vote for will only be more committed to her. I was undecided until now. I will support Mary Norwood.

Racist

October 30th, 2009
9:00 am

They are breaking her down just because she is white. Totally racist….typical!

Ashamed Democrat

October 30th, 2009
9:01 am

Gross. Why not just hire Bill Campbell to go door-to-door with a sack of cash? Jane Kidd should resign, and the other candidates should stand up with some semblence of honor-integrity and get this race back on track with attention on the issues. Not a bunch of smoke-and-mirrors bs and partisan-based race-baiting. I’m so tired of the crap. The people and communities of this town need leadership. We need help. Not the same old cronyism, deception, and wasting time patting all our buddies on the back while this city declines.
I want to tell my party, once and for all, to GROW UP and leave the racial crap behind. It’s time. It’s PAST time. Sad…

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

October 30th, 2009
9:04 am

Mrs. Regina Brewer Castellano’s complaint is a perfect example of the means by which the power of Rome managed to usurp popular credal consciousness of the Whig Jeffersonian American Revolution, by White, Black, Jew, and Gentile, against King and Pope: by “Annuit Coeptis,” in the “Novus Ordo Seclorem,” for “E Pluribus Unum.”

It is not a coincidence that Norwood’s signs are in the front yards of many of the materially wealthiest (and their wannabe lickspittles) who live in our city, or that she refuses to identify her faith tradition.

In keeping with that alien institution from which we temporarily escaped, by directly receiving in covenant American Exceptionalism, Mary Bush Norwood’s lies are of no consequence to those who do not serve G-d. Her life choices and absence of grace, resulting in her line’s being cut-off for the remainder of Creation, is of no significance TO THOSE WHO KNOW “WHOSE SIDE” SHE’S ON.

Those for whom Mary Bush Norwood’s lies and hypocrisy “don’t matter” – her denied support of her JFK- and MLK-killing cousin, GHWBush (notice the identical chins), and her 9/11-committing cousin George W. Bush, cheated into office by only her co-religionists of the SCOTUS – are the same who know her from the pews of the church she refuses to admit “reared” her.

Why?

In the North, out West, or in Big Oil Houston or Dallas it would mark her as one of the “elite,” perhaps one “connected”… to be feared.

In the South, Blacks (less the 9% RC Blacks who vote GOP) know who ran the slave trade for 2,000 years, and Whites know who really killed Lincoln to ravage their Protestant, Jew-loving, Baptist and Freemason, anti-Roman Catholic, anti-Mormon, Jeffersonian homeland.

So to Mrs. Brewer Castellano: you came from Maryland, Rome’s beachhead in America. John Adams referred to the English king’s inserting your co-religionists there as a primary reason why we should break from England, in his diary in the early 1770’s, Look it up.

Come here to the New Jerusalem to escape Rome, to enjoy better legitimate opportunity, people and culture, and the weather. Don’t bring Rome with you…it’s un-American…just like Mary Bush Norwood’s lies.

In Georgia, be real. Be honest with yourself and with us. Babylon was Sherman’s and Booth’s “team,” not Atlanta’s and Georgia’s.

Be at home in Atlanta. Try being an American.

ATL STEVE

October 30th, 2009
9:04 am

I want the best candidate in office..I don’t care if the person is purple! It’s embarassing what my party has done on THE EVE OF THE ELECTION…HOW CONVENIENT! At the end of the day, we all want the same thing in this city…better schools, safer streets, fiscal responsibility and for this city to grow! Let’s stop people with the nonsense and do what’s right for everyone and not just a segment of society.

Atlanta_Tiger_Fan

October 30th, 2009
9:09 am

The title of the article should say “Blacks gang up on white woman!” They’re scared to death of having a white mayor of Atlanta and I love it. Good luck Mary!!!

Krooked Kaseem

October 30th, 2009
9:09 am

The Dream Team

October 30th, 2009
9:10 am

Lisa and Kasim, I tried to warn you both the seeds you have sewn will come back to you. You may want to work at treating little people a little better or you will find yourselves in a Mayorial race being beating by an incompetent white woman, garnering 25% of the black vote, winning 50+1 on Election Night Tue Nov 3rd. Good luck to you both. Enjoy political retirement! Kasim will look forward to watching take your seat back from Donzella next year!

KMP

October 30th, 2009
9:13 am

I will now vote for Ms. Norwood.

gary Juster

October 30th, 2009
9:20 am

Ms. Brewer,

Good post but the only state to vote for McGovern in 1972 was Massachusetts. Just wanted to set the record straight.

Gary

Uknown Hinson

October 30th, 2009
9:26 am

I got an idea, lets just vote for a candidate from the Clayton County School Board, I love watching grown ups act like rabbits… Atlanta is heading in the wrong direction and it disturbs me.

Nolefan

October 30th, 2009
9:27 am

Informed Citizen said: “And the issues are????? Hopefully the people of Atlanta are smart enough to vote based on issues, not party affiliation or race.”

That is, by far, the dumbest hope I’ve read so far.

James

October 30th, 2009
9:27 am

Enter your comments here

Craig Johnson

October 30th, 2009
9:28 am

Its best that Mary Norwoood is the next mayor of Atlanta. I think there needs to be some new fresh coat of paint at this time. I think the Campbell, Jackson,and Young era was a good run but its time for a change. I believe that Shirley has done a good job and the best of her abliity. This not about race, this about having the most qualified person for the job. I want Atlanta to be and continue to be a top 10 market period.I like Lisa Borders but its the same thing. Shirley Franklin 8 more years. Kasim Reed? No not at this time. I would vote for Ne Ne Leakes or Kim Zoliack before I put him in office. Thank you and have a god day folks.

Craig Johnson
U.S. Air Force

Ann

October 30th, 2009
9:29 am

Jane Kidd should be fired.

Ricky

October 30th, 2009
9:30 am

To me this isn’t a white or black thing. It is a lack of knowing what is wrong with the city. I am from here and the crime has gotten so bad. As well as finding someone who is honest. I have not met one person in politics that isn’t a liar. And yes Obama, I am talking about you. We didn’t do something great as a country by electing the first half white and half black president. We elected a fool just like we always do. They ought to arrest all of them at captial hill. They all suck. Why don’t you create jobs for the middle class and the people that really want to succeed. Losers on the Hill.

RJ

October 30th, 2009
9:30 am

Would it kill Atlanta, just once, to have a mayor who is crooked and isn’t a complete moron. (Shirley, Bill Campbill, Maynard, etc.)
I don’t know anything about the people running, but I am willing to bet Atlanta will elect the dumbest, least qualified, and biggest crook of the choices.