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.
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.
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 ajc.com:
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.
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:
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.
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