The race for mayor of Atlanta became quite snippy over the weekend, with each candidate leveling attacks against the other – Kasim Reed by air, Mary Norwood on the ground.
On Friday, the Reed campaign put the following TV ad in circulation:
The script and sourcing for the claims can be found by clicking here.
The two attacks are linked by the Atlanta budget. The basic Reed claim is that Norwood voted against two property tax hikes that resulted in the furlough of Atlanta police and fire fighters.
“Norwood voted to allow police furloughs. Twice. She made Atlanta less safe,” the ad says.
Over the weekend, the Norwood campaign sent an oversized mailer – large enough to draw the attention of voters. (And hard to scan, too, so that part will take a while.)
“Kasim Reed voted to increase the sales tax and repeatedly supported property tax hikes,” the mailer says.
The Norwood attack gets just as personal as the Reed TV ad, accusing Reed of neglecting to pay property taxes. Norwood campaign manager Roman Levit says everything in the mailer is backed up with public documents.
But the claims don’t match with an AJC inquiry into Reed’s taxes, a summary of which can be found here.
With a Thanksgiving weekend approaching, both candidates are attempting to stay in the public eye as much as possible.
This morning, the Reed campaign announced coming endorsements by four Atlanta school board members: Brenda J. Muhammad; Khaatim S. El, Reuben McDaniel and Courtney English. (English and McDaniel were just elected this month.)
The Reed campaign will also be rolling out an endorsement by Hank Aaron, who remains baseball’s home run king to many Georgians. Here’s an idea: Put his voice on a robocall over the weekend. It’s hard to get mad at Hank Aaron for interrupting dinner. The call could become a collectible, too.
The state Supreme Court has ruled that a riding lawn mower is not an automobile. Which may seem obvious, but apparently wasn’t to the legal community.
The ruling means that a ne’er-do-well can’t be charged with car theft, which carries a 10-year term, for boosting a Toro mower.
The majority opinion in the 4-3 case was written by Justice David Nahmias. Says a court summary released this morning:
“The General Assembly may of course expressly define ‘motor vehicle’ more broadly, but we are not at liberty to do so,” the majority opinion says. “For these reasons, we hold that a riding lawn mower is not a ‘motor vehicle’ as that term is used in the motor vehicle theft statute.”
The term motor vehicle “is commonly understood to mean a self-propelled vehicle with wheels that is designed to be used…to transport people or property on roads,” the majority opinion states. And that is how a number of Georgia statutes define the term.
“To be sure, a riding lawn mower is capable of transporting people or property and of driving on the street for short stretches, but that is not what the machine is designed for or how it is normally used…,” the opinion says. Rather, the purpose of a riding lawn mower is to cut grass.
The case stems from the 2006 arrest of Franklin Lloyd Harris, who was charged with stealing a Toro riding lawn mower from the Home Depot Store in Dalton. The Harris’ case has been returned to a lower court for resentencing – but Harris could still end up doing the same 10 years, given his status as a repeat offender, the court noted.
The early filing of bills for next year’s session of the Legislature is well underway. InsiderAdvantage’s Dick Pettys writes that state Rep. Bobby Franklin, a Republican from north Cobb County, doesn’t disappoint:
One of his bills – the self-titled “Right To Travel” bill – appears to do away completely with drivers licenses in Georgia, based on the premise that “licensing of drivers cannot be required of free people because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of an inalienable right.”
But wait. That’s just one example. He also has bills that would exempt Georgia-grown products which are used in Georgia from federal regulation, prohibit the federal government from enforcing any criminal laws in Georgia not specifically provided for in the Constitution, and bar mandatory public health vaccination programs. Among many other similar proposals.
While you ponder the above, consider these items found while perusing this morning’s ajc.com:
Calling 911, but where are police? Too few officers, too many crimes. Glenn Richardson: Private, public stress form a ‘perfect storm.’ Norwood, Reed trade accusations. Norwood attracts grassroots support during council tenure. Reed makes an impact with voters, peers while serving in Statehouse. Pat Swindall fights in court on multiple fronts. Inspector general investigating State Ethics Commission officials. New chief at Georgia Christian Coalition.
Kyle Wingfield says Georgia can’t afford its share of ObamaCare. Let women keep their abortion coverage, says Cynthia Tucker. Bob Barr on the environmental soap opera along US-Mexico border.
And from beyond:
NYT: Dems focus on two senators from Maine in health care strategy. WP: A Tom DeLay aide sideswiped and trapped by the Abramoff scandal. WSJ: Early data suggest suicides are rising.
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