Your morning jolt: Last-minute numbers in the ATL race for mayor

When local reporters where composing their final stories on campaign finances and the Atlanta mayoral race, the campaign of front-runner Mary Norwood released a summary that disclosed how much she had raised and how much she had spent – but did not identify individual donors or expenditures.

See the AJC article here.

But all of Norwood’s information is now on display on the city of Atlanta web site.

Opposing campaigns – Kasim Reed, in particular – are focusing this morning on an Oct. 9 payment to former state Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas for “consulting services.” The grassroots activist endorsed Norwood on Oct. 23.

But it’s also worth looking at some of Norwood’s contributors:

– The Atlanta Taxicab Industry Association: $2,000;

– Renee Glover, head of the Atlanta Housing Authority: $300;

– Individuals associated with Stephens Rock & Dirt of Oakwood, Ga.; $4,000;

– The Rev. Jasper Williams of Salem Baptist Church, $500;

– Author and former newspaper columnist Rick Allen of Big Sky, Mont.; $1,000;

– Turner Broadcasting System, $1,000;

– Former U.S. senator Sam Nunn, $200;

– Bill Dunaway, mayor of Marietta, $200;

– Airtran Airways, $2,000;

– And John Wieland of John Wieland Homes, $2,400.

You can examine the final disclosure reports by Kasim Reed and Lisa Borders here and here.

Reed is the only mayoral candidate thus far who has reported last-minute money collected: $1,000 from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732; and $1,000 from attorney Daniel Turner.

Over four years, MARTA – like dozens of other U.S. transit authorities – engaged in 19 lend-lease agreements involving its rolling stock. These aggressive tax shelters have long been under IRS scrutiny. Infrastructure was leased to large corporations, which then leased them back to authorities. The companies got big tax breaks, and the transit agencies got an increased cash flow.

One of the most vociferous critics of these agreements has been state Rep. Jill Chambers (R-Atlanta), who chairs the MARTA oversight committee for the Legislature. She has a meeting scheduled with MARTA officials scheduled for next week.

“Meeting” may be the wrong word. Let’s say “confrontation.”

But just in time, at least for MARTA’s sake, the state auditor has issued a report on the agency’s lend-lease activity. Read the entire report here, but this is the gist:

Although MARTA had a potential liability for millions of dollars in fees and penalties, the LILO agreements that have been terminated or remediated to date have actually netted MARTA a profit of approximately $15 million. As of the end of October 2009, through negotiations with its equity investors, we confirmed that MARTA had successfully terminated two LILO agreements and remediated a third LILO agreement which represented 66% of MARTA’s total potential exposure of the nineteen LILOs agreements. The two agreements that were terminated have completely eliminated all future obligations of MARTA, where as the remediated agreement removed the risk of future unwinding triggers, but the lease agreement remains.


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

  • Watch today’s election, minute by minute.
  • Franklin says she’s voting for Reed.
  • DOT changes course on I-75/I-575 toll proposal.
  • Appraiser, law firm in Gwinnett land deals linked.
  • Gingrey doubts GOP can stop health care bill, but vows to try.
  • PSC: Buses carrying Morehouse band may have operated illegally.
  • Clayton County schools can keep accreditation.
  • East Point mayoral candidate hit by car while campaigning.
  • Judge clears way for Hindu temple foreclosure.
  • New leadership for DeKalb County recorders court pending.
  • Oxendine levies huge fine for delaying health insurance payments on claims.
  • Charges dropped after police testimony found “less than candid.”
  • Ole Miss may drop fight song if fans don’t stop chant.
  • Some opinion:

  • Capitol comments: Two Georgia congressmen tackle health care.
  • Funds for nuclear reprocessing sit idle as energy needs grow.
  • Let’s save programs that save our kids.
  • Charter schools under false attack.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • InsiderAdvantage: Political odd couple Kucinich and Westmoreland remain skeptical About TARP.
  • And beyond:

  • LAT: Jerry Brown’s spokesman resigns after secretly taping reporters’ calls.
  • WP: Maine set to vote on gay marriage.
  • WSJ: Suicide toll fuels worry that army is strained.
  • 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.

    27 comments Add your comment


    November 3rd, 2009
    10:19 am

    Jumbo G is riddled with white guilt. Listen, it is not about race it is about competence. Don’t be a fool like Jumbo G. Vote Norwood.


    November 3rd, 2009
    10:23 am

    I cant wait to cast my vote for Mary Norwood……the new Mayor of Atlanta!!!!!

    Lisa the Liar!

    November 3rd, 2009
    10:23 am

    So why hasn’t anyone mentioned that Glenn Thomas did not come up on Mary’s disclosure??? It just kills me to see Lisa Borders make up false stories to dafame people. She knows Glenn didn’t ask her for payment for his endorsement; this is the type of mayor she would be…I was a Lisa Borders supporter, but I voted for Mary Norwood because I don’t like liars!

    Ira in East Lake

    November 3rd, 2009
    10:59 am

    Voted for Reed.

    Was nice to see Mary paid Able Mable $1,500.00. I didn’t realize her suppport would be that cheap, but times are tough right?

    Ms. B. Boop (That Original Gal Named Betsy)

    November 3rd, 2009
    11:02 am

    LTL, you sound bitter. Try having your coffee with sugar, dear. It’s better for your sour disposition. Siding with that worm Norwood…clearly, you don’t have the city’s best interests at heart. Lisa is smart, determined, and has the relationships necessary to move this city forward, not backward. A vote for Norwood is a vote for turning Peachtree back into a cobblestone road with us taking “jitneys” here and there. It’s 2009 darling. We don’t need a 1959-style mayor.



    November 3rd, 2009
    11:03 am

    If you want more of the Bill Campbell, Shirley Franklin regimes…vote for Reed or Borders… to clean up the city, go for Norwood…
    Franklin’s bashing of Norwood is because she knows that Mary is the only candidate who will go in and clean up the mess and ‘out’ Franklin’s sorry state of affairs and money management…the others will continue to cover it up…NORWOOD, NORWOOD, NORWOOD…show the world and respect for Atlanta by voting for NORWOOD…


    November 3rd, 2009
    11:07 am

    Why do you only point out the contributions to Norwood? You know, TBS gave Reed a grand as well, right?

    That you single out Norwood really makes you look biased.

    Grant Park

    November 3rd, 2009
    11:08 am

    Mary Norwood!

    Mary NorWEAK

    November 3rd, 2009
    11:25 am

    Sorry Norwood, you’re not strong enough to handle this city. Is this another Sarah Palin? Weak woman!


    November 3rd, 2009
    11:26 am

    Lisa is angry because Glenn Thomas is not supporting her;Glenn worked at City Hall…he knows Lisa inside/out…she’s in Shirley’s corner.

    mmmm, mmmm, mmmmm, Barack the LIAR Obama

    November 3rd, 2009
    11:47 am

    Let’s talk about BROKEN campaign promises and bringing change to Washington
    • the White House is NOT for sale (well, maybe for rent)
    • Transparency
    • bipartisan support
    • close Gitmo
    • Timmy the TAX CHEAT Geitner
    • ACORN
    • bring the boys home from Iraq, no wait send them to Afganistan
    • find Osama bin Laden
    • NO lobbyist on the White House staff
    • all bills put on line so the public can read them first
    • no tax increase for anyone making less than $250K
    • and on, and on, and on……let’s say it again, mmm, mmm, mmm Barack the LIAR Obama


    November 3rd, 2009
    11:53 am

    Why is this article pointing out Norwood? What not headline the article with another candidates? Seems like a hunt to me. To me its seems all the black candidates are ganging up on Norwood. Now if they tables were turned and the candidates were white except for one black would that be racist?


    November 3rd, 2009
    11:56 am

    Turn out is CRAZY high right now in the North. And BELOW average in the South. Mary’s ending the night with a 20 point lead, but I still think there will be a run off.


    November 3rd, 2009
    12:02 pm

    You point out that Airtran and the Cab association donated to Norwood – well, they also donated to Borders… and those were the first two I checked!


    November 3rd, 2009
    12:23 pm

    If Mary Norwood wins in a runoff, or avoids one all together, Kasim Reed and Lisa Borders can thank Mayor Franklin, and the State Democratic Party. Not to mention their own last minute partisan appeals.

    I was leaning heavily toward Reed. When Mayor Franklin announced that Mary Norwood was unqualified (I am pretty sure the voters get to decide that), I thought that was unfair and unnecessary. When the state democratic party injected partisan politics into a non-partison race, I thought that was outrageous and divisive (I am a lifelong democrat). I started to rethink my position. When Kasim Reed launched his last minute negative ads – Don’t vote for Mary Norwood the Republican, vote for Kasim Reed the Democrat, that sealed it. I am not entirely happy about it, but Mary got my vote.

    James Doyle

    November 3rd, 2009
    12:34 pm

    Mary is the only candidate that has enough class not to talk badly about the other candidates. kasim and Lisa have shown us something very important….they have absolutely no class!!!! I am voting for the classy lady at least she keeps her head down and doesnt trash he opponents. We need a Mayor with class after having trash for last 8 years. Class not trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Old Fourth Ward

    November 3rd, 2009
    12:37 pm

    Mary Norwood!


    November 3rd, 2009
    12:43 pm

    All of the candidates have discussed Atlanta’s fiscal problems, and public safety. Why has no one talked about water? The problem did not go away just because it rained.

    Formerly RJ

    November 3rd, 2009
    12:52 pm

    I fail to understand the rationale for pointing out specific donations to Norwood while only providing links for Reed and Borders. Let me guess: because she’s the front-runner? Poor justification, Mr. Galloway.

    Would also be interesting to know why you point out certain examples. Sen. Nunn gave Norwood $200 when he gave Borders $500. TBS gave both Norwood and Borders the same amount. You point out a Rev. Jasper Williams donated $500 to Norwood, while “Bishop” Eddie Long gave $1000 to Borders. The Atlanta Taxicab Industry gave Norwood $2000 while the same group and the Atlanta Taxicab Drivers gave Borders a combined total of $3000. (United Express Cab gave an additional $500.) I think the trend is obvious.

    What is more relevant is, by my count, Borders received a combined total of $3500 from entities at the airport– Airport Retail Management ($1000), Airtran Airways ($2000), and Hartsfield Hospitality ($500). Reed also got $2000 from Airtran. Both Reed and Borders also received an interesting number of contributions from companies and individuals both out of town and out of state. Curious…

    So, what’s the deal? Try some valid reporting instead of inflamatory guilt by innuendo, pal.

    This Blog Taints Reality

    November 3rd, 2009
    12:52 pm

    This blog is a sham and a shame to Atlanta. Galloway postures and insinuates negative dispersions on the leading candidate, Norwood.

    Thank goodness there are numerous intelligent, critical thinking people in Atlanta who don’t fall for Galloway’s smoke and mirrors diversions of the truth.

    Ms. B. Boop (That Original Gal Named Betsy)

    November 3rd, 2009
    1:03 pm

    Glenn got fired from the city. Aside from his hot minute in the spotlight in the Atlanta Mayor’s race, how does his “endorsement” (whether bought or free) mean anything? Please. I’ve got underpants with better value than that boy.

    Time to Put Jim Out to Pasture

    November 3rd, 2009
    1:06 pm

    This blog is a forum for grouchy old Galloway to spout off his inflammatory rubbish.

    Galloway, simply say you are in Reed’s pocket and go take a nap. STOP falsely defaming good people because you don’t agree with their politics.

    Galloway, your crusade to ruin Norwood re-enforces our convictions to support and vote for Mary Norwood.


    November 3rd, 2009
    1:24 pm


    Where are you gettng your turnout information?


    November 3rd, 2009
    1:40 pm

    Why is my 12:23 comment still awaiting moderation?? THere is nothing inflamatory there.


    November 3rd, 2009
    1:44 pm

    I just read that turnout is actually pretty steady South of I-20, especially in Southwest Atlanta. It’s sporadic all over the city. I tell you Jackalope, your credibility is wearing thin.



    November 3rd, 2009
    2:43 pm

    @James Doyle

    You people are either real stupid or cunning. None of the other candidates have talked “bad” about Norwood. If i’m not mistaken, they simply called her out on her voting record. Since when did it become bad for someone to be a republican? Lisa Borders summed it up best. She said “It goes to truthfulness and transparency,” she said. “The question of whether she’s a Republican or Demcorat doesn’t matter to me, but I think it matters in this race that people be truthful about who they are.”
    Said Reed: “I believe it shows a pattern [by] Miss Norwood of misleading the voters.”


    November 3rd, 2009
    2:45 pm

    These are all legit issues in a conversation on candidates intentions and ideology.