Your morning jolt: Gay marriage in the ATL race for mayor, and another video from Andy Young

Some significant messages are zipping around Atlanta, trying to penetrate the tryptophan haze that’s about to descend on the mayoral race.

The first concerns gay marriage and Mary Norwood. The second is an avalanche of videotaped endorsements about to appear on former mayor Andrew Young’s Facebook page.

A third is from state Rep. Ralph Long (D-Atlanta), he of the sign-stealing video.

Douglas Brooks is an Atlanta attorney, parent of two, and member of the gay community, upset at the state Democratic Party’s opposition to Mary Norwood, an advocate of marriage equality.

Georgia Equality, the state’s largest gay rights organization, has declared its neutrality in the contest. The state Democratic party, by declaring Norwood a Republican, has all but endorsed Kasim Reed – who favors civil unions, but can’t take that one step further toward gay marriage.

Atlanta’s Stonewall Democrats have also endorsed Reed.

Read Brooks’ entire message of frustration here, but these are a few paragraphs of a flyer circulating in the the Sixth District, where a council position is still at stake:

Kasim Reed’s anti-marriage equality position is not only an insult to the thousands of tax-paying gay and lesbian Atlantans, his position represents a step backwards for a city which is currently led by Shirley Franklin, who favors marriage equality. Like many of you, we are disappointed in this year’s race, and not just for Senator Reed’s position, the party’s intervention, and the lock step support from party faithful.

The Democratic Party of Georgia asks gays and lesbians to compromise on marriage equality in voting for Reed this year, while doing nothing elsewhere to improve the discriminatory treatment we feel from state government. No member of the Democratic caucus has introduced legislation to repeal the 2004 anti-marriage equality amendment; nor to create a parallel structure of civil unions, nor domestic partnerships, nor any other advance.

Is it any wonder gays and lesbians are – for the first time in memory – ignoring the party’s candidate endorsement to support the pro marriage equality, Mary Norwood?

Andy Young was one of Kasim Reed’s earliest supporters, and has stepped into social media in a large way on behalf of the younger man.

Young’s office sent, on Tuesday evening, a polished video that’s about to appear on the former U.N. ambassador’s Facebook page. It has the look of material likely to become part of a TV ad in the final days. See it here:

You’ll remember that Reed broke through the clutter of the Nov. 3 round of voting by declaring himself the only true Democrat in the contest.

But this video aims at undercutting Norwood’s support in Buckhead. It begins and ends with an endorsement from state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, a Republican from Sandy Springs.

Other figures in the video: Home run king Henry Aaron, former Gov. Roy Barnes, and Mayor Shirley Franklin.

Finally, on his Facebook page, state Rep. Ralph Long has published a substantial defense of his video of a man removing Norwood signs from Martin Luther King Drive.

WXIA ran the video, which Long says shows a field office for Kasim Reed paying the man for the signs. The Rev. Mitzi Bickers says the man told Reed campaigners that Long paid him.

Writes Long:

I am saddened that a Pastor, a Reverend who we all know uses her Church resources for political activities, would blatantly lie on television and to the people of Atlanta. She knows that she and her hired guns have been taking down Mary Norwood signs and intimidating and harassing Mary Norwood supporters, including myself, throughout this campaign.

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198 comments Add your comment

Angry Taxpayer

November 25th, 2009
7:08 am

Politics as Usual!

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

November 25th, 2009
7:47 am

“Ceteris Paribus,” Ralph Long is “satanic” and did, in fact, concoct the “stolen signs” scheme. Meet him. Speak with him yourself. “Try” his spirit.

We can know how much money, for “consulting,” “Able” Mable got from the Roman Catholic carpetbagging Bush-cousin, Norwood: How much did she pay Ralph Long?

Caveat emptor, Atlanta.

The Real Politico

November 25th, 2009
7:49 am

The facts are the facts: Reed qualified, Norwood a joke.

Ethics & Character

November 25th, 2009
8:01 am

It is very interesting that those who support Mr. Reed can so easily try to “cover” and explain away allegations of improper, and possibly illegal, behaviors (back taxes, theft, bigotry, discrimination) and seem not to give the pattern of behavior any thought whatsoever. In comparison, accusations against Mary Norwood are slight attempts to discredit her record in government (most of the time to be proven inaccurate attacks), not for any kind of improper behaviors. It seems a telling scenario that gives insight into the true character and content of Mr. Reed and his camp. I do not know if Mr. Reed personally knew about, or condoned, any sign stealing, but to surround yourself with that kind of people speaks to what type of administration he might if elected. I would rather have someone in office that has ethics and morals and believes that a public official, especially a Mayor, should rise above the crowd. For a change, it would be nice to not have a Mayor in Atlanta embroiled in some type of ethics scandal, questions into improper contract bidding, favors to friends/family, and instead to have someone that actually cares about the city instead of their own pocket or political aspirations. Mary Norwood is that person. Mary Norwood NEEDS to be the next mayor of Atlanta.


November 25th, 2009
8:07 am

Facts are facts: Reed dishonest and unqualified to be mayor. Mary Norwood honest, ethical, and qualified to be mayor of Atlanta.


November 25th, 2009
8:12 am

Norwood’s campaign lost their only chance to win this race (during the general election) and now they’re just desperate.


November 25th, 2009
8:15 am

Wait a minute I though it was evil to be associated with any Republicans? Even the hint of Norwood associating with “THOSE” people set off a fire storm of criticism. Now Reed cuts commercials with a Buckhead Republican and that shows he can work with other? What’s that word…… hypocrisy.

George H.

November 25th, 2009
8:17 am

Surprisingly enough, Mary Norwood’s campaign is in shambles. She has Ralph Long going around making up stories and looking like a fool in the media on her behalf and now she’s been forced to make baseless attacks in the eleventh hour.


November 25th, 2009
8:20 am

The last thing Mary Norwood is is desperate. She is very excited, energized, and encouraged by her many of thousands of citizen endorsements. I would say that the Reed camp are the desperate ones: stealing signs, making false attacks, covering up, ignoring press inquiries – these are the signs of desperation!

Atlanta Man

November 25th, 2009
8:21 am

What is Ralph Long talking about? He’s a complete mess.

Reed has substantial support in the GLBT community. His record shows that he has stood with our community through his votes, while Norwood disappeared when the time came to put her vote where her mouth was. Our community learned long ago not to vote based on one issue.

AJC Lover

November 25th, 2009
8:22 am

I thought everyone wanted change?


November 25th, 2009
8:22 am

The facts are the facts. Reed will continue to run Atlanta into the ground like the ones before him. Reed and his cronies will suck the last bits of life out of the coty which has been dying under Franklin. You idiots just cant seem to see the light.


November 25th, 2009
8:26 am

Will someone please give Ralph Long a job…he’s losing his mind. Did he really expect anyone to believe that he just happened to have a camera in his car and to be in the perfect position at the perfect time to see a man steal two signs (in broad daylight) out of all the signs in the city? Ralph’s time would be better spent looking through the AJC classifieds for a job. Another one bites the dust.


November 25th, 2009
8:26 am

I love the “Reverends” now coming out of the woodwork to support Reed. They wouldn’t get in this race until they had to choose between a white woman and a black man . A man who pays for ads talking about opening community centers and doesn’t address the biggest fiscal crisis the city has seen this generation is irresponsible and so are his followers.

As a black woman in Atlanta I am offended by the old school black leadership which has decided that any black leader is better than none at all. (Bill Campbell anyone?) It’s fine to preach around Atlanta talking about racial equality and a day when skin color doesn’t matter but they can’t seem to put the best interests of the city above their own racial self interest.

If Kasim Reed wins, this city is sunk.


November 25th, 2009
8:27 am

Folks, take it down a notch. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and be thankful for the right to vote. Shake your neighbor’s hand, share some food, and make sure to smile.

ITP Conservative

November 25th, 2009
8:29 am

Gay marriage in the Mayor’s race – what is next abortion? What type of idiots are wandering the streets around us.

How about: safety & fiscal responsibility first.

@Atlanta Man

November 25th, 2009
8:33 am

The LGBT community supports MARY NORWOOD overwhelmingly and most could care less about Reed. 1. Ask Kasim Reed how he feels about his openly gay brother. 2. Again, folks, do some fact checking before spouting false info from the Reed camp: The domestic partnership vote in 2006 was part of a consent agenda that was agreed to by all council members prior to. An item can only be on consent agenda if EVERYONE on the council agrees to the item and agrees there needs no discussion of that item – read the meeting minutes, instead of listening and believing false info from Reed. 3. Look at the recent LGBT events: Norwood had over 400 citizen supporters last week at Amsterdam Cafe; Reed had less than 100 in attendance at his event at Einsteins (and most of those were straight politicians and staffers).

The LGBT community overwhelmingly supports Mary Norwood because we know where she truly stands and has for over 30 years!

Ethics & Character

November 25th, 2009
8:39 am

@ITP Conservative: you are so right! Although equality for all is very important, the real issues in this race should be fiscal accountability, public safety, ethics, and a great vision for bringing Atlanta back to some positive levels in comparisons with other large US cities. These are the issues where Mary Norwood truly stands out!

Raquel Morris

November 25th, 2009
8:45 am

Reed can produce a polished video since he has all kinds of money to throw at a campaign of smoke and mirrors. I wonder if he paid his canvassers yesterday?

Every person in the video today are tomorrow’s losers. Each person in the video, from fired Governor Roy Barnes to Shirley “I Love the Police Chief” Franklin, is symbolic of what has gone wrong in our city and state.

With all of those celebrity endorsements of Kasim Reed, why is it that Mary Norwood still stands “tall”, along with her thousands of community endorsements across the city? The people are not impressed by the glitz and glamour that Reed is offering. They see right through it, and all of his Machine endorsements.


November 25th, 2009
8:46 am

ITP Conservative, it goes something like this: If you asked a candidate if they supported interracial marriage equality, and they said they weren’t sure, it sorta wouldn’t make a bit of difference whether they could personally affect the matter once in office. A snub is a snub is a snub, and Reed snubbed Atlanta’s LGBT community.

Bloggist Formerly Known as RJ

November 25th, 2009
8:48 am

@Frustrated, I could not agree with you more. God help Atlanta if Reed wins.


November 25th, 2009
8:49 am


Mail Piece.

Creative loafing has had it up for a day now.

You posted ALL of the GA Democratic negative mailers about Norwood within HOURS.

Norwood mails a piece on Reed and all of a sudden you don’t posses the technology to upload it?



November 25th, 2009
8:51 am

Facts are facts and Reed is a tax cheat, thats’ the most important fact. Why vote for another politician that chooses to be a tax cheat. Reed could have some wonderful plans but if all taxpayers chose to follow Reed’s example, the city would be broke.

Atlanta Eagle patrons file federal lawsuit against city

November 25th, 2009
8:53 am

If the Police support Reed, then I am firmly against him. APD needs to be reorganized. This taxpayer is tierd of paying out lawsuits because of inept management! MARY NORWOOD on DECEMBER 1!!!


November 25th, 2009
8:54 am

I am sad people have taken their focus off the real issues.

Mary Norwood is all talk
Mary Norwood is desperate
Mary Norwood has done NOTHING in her 8 years at city hall except pass the buck and make excuses
Mary Norwood will not be able to make tough decisions on complex issues because she doesn’t understand the issues (have you seen any of the debates)
Mary Norwood has NO leadership in the city government she has worked for in 8 years
Mary Norwood votes 70% of the time in Republican primaries but claims to be Independent
Mary Norwood has said she supports gay marriage but walked out on the one time she could have went on record for the LGBT community for her own political career
Mary Norwood in not a skilled orator. That matters if you are on a national stage representing out international city
Mary Norwood is out of touch with technology and is failing with social media….the future is now!
Mary Norwood said she would call retired officers from the 90s to fix the technology issue with 911 instead of getting the best and latest technology and expertise. She would call her unqualified friends to fix it
Mary Norwood says she didn’t have the information she needed as a reason she has done nothing in 8 years in her current role
Mary Norwood has NO support from the current council. No one she works with is openly supporting her and endorsing her.
Mary Norwood is the least qualified person to take the city forward
Mary Norwood has run a horrible campaign and has become desperate
Mary Norwood has a bunch of idiots on the blogs pretending to be regular supporters but are staffers
Mary Norwood says she is the candidate of change, yet has done NOTHING in her 8 years at city hall
Mary Norwood is all smoke and mirrors. If you are really looking for the person who can do the best job for the city, she shouldn’t even show up on the list.


November 25th, 2009
8:54 am

When Roy Barnes endorses someone, that should really be the end of the story. Who would want his endorsement?


November 25th, 2009
8:58 am

Hey ITP:

The point is, both of these candidates are courting the gay vote in a big way. We represent a pretty big chunk of voters intown, and we will get out and vote. That said, the only true barometer as to how these two candidates feel about our community and will address issues (both gay and straight issues) that face us is to know how they feel about the rights we would like to obtain someday. So far, Reed has told us he wants our support but does not want to support us… Personally I am tired of that attitude. Mary may not be perfect, but she will serve this city of 1/2 million people honestly. And that will be a nice change of pace.

Have a nice holiday ITP.


November 25th, 2009
8:58 am

We need a Mayor who will over see the city and keep up with Budget, This city needs to move forward, this race should not be about the GAY, BLACK OR WHITE COMMUNITY, THE IN COMING MAYOR SHOULD OVER SEE ALL THE COMMUNITIES IN THE CITY BECAUSE WE ALL PAY TAXES. Reed and Norwood should focus on the city, because which ever one became Mayor has a lot of work to do. Oh by the way IF FRANKILIN CLOSED ALL THE REC. CENTERS FOR THE YOUTH, HOW DID REED FINE MONEY TO OPEN THEM?

The incoming Mayor should not kiss up the Gay, Black or White, If you got to kiss up Then you don’t need to be Mayor. The Mayor needs to take care of the whole CITY OF ATLANTA.

what's up y'all !

November 25th, 2009
9:00 am

hey, i really like mary norwood. i really like kasim reed. so confused.!

Oh Please

November 25th, 2009
9:03 am

PMG siad:
“Mary Norwood in not a skilled orator. That matters if you are on a national stage representing out international city”

Have you LISTENED to Reed? He sounds like an in articulate preacher. And I am sick of black preachers running the show. This is not a theocracy. This city is not your momma’s church!

“Mary Norwood has a bunch of idiots on the blogs pretending to be regular supporters but are staffers”

Where is your proof of this? Or are you just another Reed supporter lying your way through the day? That’s SO Shirley Franklin.

Everything you said is a bunch of subjective junk. You have nothing on Mary Norwood but your hate for white people. It’s attitudes like yours that are destroying this city. Go back to Ohio.

Parker Ruby

November 25th, 2009
9:05 am


OMG!! Is that you, Charity Woods? Will you be featured (again) in Kasim’s next commercial?


November 25th, 2009
9:10 am

This is one native Atlantan who will stay home on election day. Both of these “candidates” are a complete joke and incapable of running the city (just as Franklin before them). Atlanta will continue to decline rapidly. On election day all blacks will vote for Reed, all whites for Norwood; outcome depends on which group turns out to vote. Hope you all enjoy your new “mayor”.

Vicious Truth

November 25th, 2009
9:17 am

I know the REAL Kasim Reed…I lived in his district when he was a state representative and later as a state senator. He doesn’t have the temperment to be mayor. He’s too thinned skinned and vendictive (ala Bill Campbell). I can’t say that he has done anything for his district – in a state that is nearly famous for passing out largess to bands for uniforms, parks for fields and other goodies. Reed has completely ignored his district.

Reed stood by while the republican state legislators wrote laws that adversely impacted his district. It’s funny, now those same guys are now lauding him for being a compromiser. He also took money for his mayoral campaign from the republican architect of the most damaging legislation – the Schaffer Amendment.

When his district needed legislation written to seek cityhood he deliberately screwed up the language. It forced a one year delay, time enough for him to carry water for Shirley Franklin and seek to annex the Sandtown Community and Fulton Industrial Boulevard. Fortunately, it didn’t work. They were able to take a few subdivisions but not enough to save the city from its pending financial crisis. It did manage to annex the home he lived in at the time in Guilford Forest, a coincidence?

When home invasions and break ins started in his district where was he? He was authoring bills to help Atlanta with the Beltline. I ask anyone who is a supporter or not to find more than two bills that he authored that did anything to help his district.

I know the REAL Kasim Reed and it’s been all about Kasim Reed. If he wins or not his next venture will be to replace Congressman John Lewis – again it’s been all about Kasim Reed.

I’m gonna start a fire storm. Here’s something some of you may know, Atlanta is “color struck” as my momma would say. Atlanta black and white has a fear a dark skinned blacks. Kasim Reed is a couple of shades too dark to be Mayor of Atlanta. Funny thing, early on he had a bill board along I-75/85 that was obviously “Photoshop”.

If Ambassador Young wants to be honest, then he should ask those that lived in his district. We know the REAL Kasim Reed.


November 25th, 2009
9:18 am

Hey, all. Here’s a thought: instead of trying to do nothing but slander and spread attacks on each other’s candidate, why not post why you are supporting your own candidate. The attacks on each other do absolutely nothing to help your argument, only incites the opposing side to defend and then attack back.

To those undecided, please do NOT base your information and decision on anything in these blogs as these are purely the opinion of the writer – instead visit each candidate’s website and read about them; watch video of the debates, read the facts from each side, then you have the info to make your own decision about who should be the next mayor of Atlanta (and for the other races to be voted on as well.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. And be thankful that we all get to vote, express our opinions, and have a say in who helps to run our government.

West Park Hill Resident

November 25th, 2009
9:20 am

Mary Norwood is the most honest politician I have meant…Gay Marriage has not really a message here but nice support. I want financial responsonsibilty, fire and police and neighborhood support. Kasim has yet to be in my community along many of the city. He is wanting Parks when we need much more…Know? And who cares who he knows…I want someone like Mary who will take my call unlike Shirley!

Signs disappear for many reasons…espcially weather, mowers, lanw care. etc……. careless issue. WE need a new begininning that unites the city like Mary!


November 25th, 2009
9:22 am



Raquel Morris

November 25th, 2009
9:23 am

@Vicious Truth-

I remember Kasim Reed’s early campaign photos, and was quite surprised at how different he looked once I met him in person. It’s hilarious, and sad. You’re so right about Atlanta being color-struck.


November 25th, 2009
9:24 am



The Late Maynord Jackson

November 25th, 2009
9:26 am

This time next week, we will all know that Kasim Reed is the next mayor of Atlanta. The facts are simple that will be good for the friends and family. Atlanta is fine as it is and we might just get Pennington back, he was there to help the Machine when we need him. . VOTE Kasim Reed EARLY & OFTEN.


November 25th, 2009
9:27 am

It appears as if the state democratic party is saying that the gay folks have to take the back seat to black folks.


November 25th, 2009
9:27 am

This is what makes Atlanta and America a terrible city and country. RACISM is a disease. It’s like cancer, heart disease,it’s never ending. Listen to all of you this, white that, gay that..The bottom line is we need to learn to live together and love each other. Because remember the common demnominator in life is “Death”. Death has no color, no sexual prefrence or political party. These comments are awful. Frankly, I’m tired of it all..Have a nice Thanksgiving and thank god you are alive, whether you are gay, black or white!

The White Devils You Say!

November 25th, 2009
9:27 am

The fact is that Kassim Reed is a liar, crook, hypocrite twit, who is a part of the CORRUPT and INEPT political machine that has run this city since the crook and incompetent Maynard Jackson was elected mayor in 1973. Mary Norwood is the outsider here. She is also COMPETENT. She is also not a hypocrite on gay issues as is this jerk Reed who has decided to eat his cake and have it too on issues like gay marriage. Senator Reed, do us all a favor and please crawl back under your rock.


November 25th, 2009
9:28 am

I really don’t think it matters who wins. I’ve been in Atlanta for over 30 years and the local government here has always sucked. Bill Campbell was the most obvious loser, but none of the mayors I’ve known were saints. The police department is a mess. Water works is a mess. Sewer and sanitation-mess. Property taxes-outrageous. Cleaning up this city will require much much more than just a new mayor. I don’t think it’ll ever happen.

Vicious Truth

November 25th, 2009
9:29 am

In knowing REAL Kasim Reed you have to know as a candidate Kasim Reed has the ability to raise mad money for all over the country. What has he done with all the campaign money? Look it up for yourself on the Georgia state website under the campaign disclosures. Reed has given more than $100k over the years to the Democratic Party of Georgia or it’s subordinate organizations.

That’s why the Democratic Party of Georgia stuck it’s ugly head in this race along with the top Democratics in the state – QUID PRO QUO.

As Neal Boortz says you need to look it up for yourself and not take my word for it.

I know the REAL Kasim Reed.

Bloggist Formerly Known as RJ

November 25th, 2009
9:38 am


Good idea. As has been famously said, “Facts are stubborn things.” So, here are a couple of factoids to get the ball rolling:

Kasim Reed likes to extol his leadership in the Georgia Legislature. Let’s look at a couple of recent votes he made:

HB 2: Citizenship Status Verification of Government Assistance Recipients.

Vote to adopt a conference report that prevents taxpayer funds going to illegal immigrants by imposing penalties on local governments that fail to verify citizenship status of its employees, contract workers and recipients of government assistance.

Reed voted NO.

SB 86: Requiring Proof of Citizenship for Voter Registration

Vote to concur with House amendments and pass a bill that requires individuals to present satisfactory evidence of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote beginning January 1, 2010.

Reed voted NO.

(Source: Project Vote Smart)

Reed voted to allow tax dollars to continue to flow to those here illegally, and also prevented verification of citizenship status in order to vote. Anyone want to defend those positions?


November 25th, 2009
9:41 am


Your shenanigans aren’t working and neither are Mary Norwood’s. Reed’s argument against Mary’s Republicanism was based on her dishonesty about her affiliation. To attend a convention and serve as an elected delegate is evidence that goes beyond a person coming to observe. Voting delegates help to advance the vision of the party and assure that Republicans are elected. I enjoy bi-partisinship, but we must all be honest about out affiliations.

Reed has proven that he has the respect of many leaders from across the professional and political spectrum and this will bode well for our city.

What’s hypocritical is, Norwood’s attempt to try and fool everyone by pretending she couldn’t remember who she voted for. From her dishonesty about her party affiliation to her “conveniently” forgetting who she voted for in past presidential elections, all the false information she has spread about water meters and city finances – Norwood has proven herself to be a very dishonest person.

I am proud the I supported KASIM REED FOR MAYOR OF ATLANTA!


November 25th, 2009
9:44 am

Maybe one day the aggrieved parties under the “big tent” will realize the Democrats have no intention of giving them what they want, unless of course politicians are made more powerful in the process. Unfortunately, Democrat party positions rely on fostering and inflaming grievances, promoting entitlement, keeping the “promise land” just out of reach while creating the illusion that more government intervention will get us closer. Of course they then blame the”promise lands” elusive nature on any convenient republicrat. Heck, if it wasn’t for their Republicrat boogie men and their voting victims, the Democrats would be obsolete.

This Congress and President should end the excuses for many who have been trained to loath anything conservative and trust Democrats.


November 25th, 2009
9:47 am

I’m a gay progressive, yet I don’t trust Reed. It’s more the same with Reed. Norwood would be a breath of fresh air for this city. This city needs the fiscally conservative/socially liberal slant that Norwood would bring. It would also balance out the corruption that has filled up much (not all) of City Council.

Tim Cairl

November 25th, 2009
9:48 am

Beyond me why anyone would put their trust in Norwood who walked on the Domestic Partnership vote, and deny Reed, the man who went to bat against the Gay Marriage Amendment in 2004. If Marriage Equality is your SINGLE ISSUE, then Reed has already proven his commitment and not just on the marriage issue, Mary has only words and false promises to get your vote.


November 25th, 2009
9:49 am

To Eric – property taxes are LOW here, hence our city doesn’t pave streets, repair sidewalks, hire police…I live in Grant Park. Trash everywhere. Pot holes. Police arriving 45 min after you call them. I’d gladly pay higher property taxes if it meant a cleaner, safer, 21st century city that worked.

You get what you pay for.