Kasim Reed presses on the racial divide; Mary Norwood declares she’s not ‘the mayor’s protege’

It wasn’t the final, final exchange – that happens tomorrow on V-103/WAOK at 8 a.m. Monday morning. (Yours truly will be one of the interrogators.)

However, WSB-TV’s Sunday night debate between the two runoff candidates for mayor of Atlanta was indeed the last televised affair – and resulted in some testy exchanges between Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed.

The set-to last only 30 minutes. Anchor John Pruitt, the sole questioner on this Thanksgiving weekend, immediately asked about “the elephant in the room” – i.e., the racial stuff. Pruitt asked how the city could smooth things over after Tuesday’s vote.

Reed had the first crack. Said he:

We can start on election night by deciding that whomever wins – that if Ms. Norwood is fortunate enough to be elected mayor on Dec. 1, I’ve already committed to go to her side — if she would have me there, immediately — so we can begin healing this city. Equally, if I am fortunate enough to be elected mayor by the people of the city of Atlanta on Dec. 1, I would offer a hand to Ms. Norwood and ask her to come and join me as well

It will be vital, no matter which one of us ultimately prevails, that we immediately begin working to heal our city that is the Atlanta way, and to that I am committed.

This was Norwood’s take:

I look at our campaign as having been one of total inclusion. I look at our campaign as one that has been going for two years, where we’ve had tremendous support all across the city. So when people talk about the divide, we have not had that in our campaign.

And I will reach out to all citizens and serve them as I have served them on City Council. That’s why we have such strong grassroots support that transcends every, every division that could possibly be thought of in our city. I have had my campaign stay completely away from anything that could be considered divisive.

Reed was unwilling to let the matter rest. He asked:

In your most recent commercial, you state that some people are trying to divide our city along racial lines. When you say “some,” I just wanted to know, for the record tonight, and for the citizens of Atlanta, who you’re referring to. And would you please cite specific examples, and the individual or group that you’re referring to.

Said Norwood:

Surely you have read the news. Surely you’ve been watching television. And there have been many instances in the past several months where there have been racial decisions that have been brought up. What I have done is never to respond, because my campaign – I had national people come down to Atlanta, and ask me to respond, wanting to fuel the flame of a racial divide

But my campaign has been one of total inclusion. I love wonderful people in this town, and I am so proud to have all of them supporting my campaign. If you need specifics, I can certainly get my staff to give your staff some of the things that have been going on.

Reed’s rebuttal:

We should share specifics with the citizens of Atlanta. When you make a charge in an ad that you send out over the airwaves and you say some people are attempting to divide our city, I think that you should be courageous enough to say who those individuals are.

And if you don’t, you owe the people of Atlanta an apology after the 18 months that we have spent trying to keep a high-minded campaign. In the closing days of the campaign, you have injected an issue without being able to back it up with facts.

Norwood had her own question about her opponent’s advertising:

Mr. Reed, you say you want to clean up the mess at city hall. That’s your latest commercial. But where have you been for the last eight years — when I have fought for audits, fought for audits of the watershed department, of the finance department, forced investigations, demanded reviews of other departments. Where have you been?

Answered Reed:

I’ve actually been getting things done, as opposed to talking about getting things done. You know, you talk about water audits. That’s actually pretty funny. I co-authored the legislation that provided the [city] half a billion dollars in low-interest loans. And you know what john, as a part of that legislation, we demanded audits be included — in terms of the state loaning money to the city of Atlanta. So audits were guaranteed….In debate after debate, you say, ‘I couldn’t get the information, I couldn’t get it done.’…Where have you been, Ms. Norwood?

Norwood’s zinger:

I would say that I’m not the mayor’s protégé, as opposed to my colleague. So I didn’t have – there are things that I was not able to get, Mr. Reed, because I was not the insider, I have been the outsider, fighting for our citizens and fighting for our neighborhoods for years. And I believe we could ask every viewer here and they would say, Mary Norwood is not part of the current regime.

And Reed’s riposte:

And not getting very much done.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

308 comments Add your comment

6th District

November 29th, 2009
9:27 pm

Mary Norwood refused to raise taxes during the worst recession since the great depression. She never voted to furlough police. It was Reed’s mentor, Shirley Franklin who decided to furlough cops. She could have cut other items in the budget for the $8m to keep police on the job, but didn’t.

If Mary had been mayor, there never would have been furloughs.

All machine cronies are contributing to and endorsing Reed because he will protect their vested interests at City Hall and leave the city broke.

Kasim Reed will be 8 more years of Campbell / Franklin. We’ve had enough. Time to try something new.

Time up

November 29th, 2009
9:28 pm

Enter your comments here

Time up

November 29th, 2009
9:30 pm

Reed is dishonest and unethical. He is driven by ambition and doesn’t give a darn about the citizens, except when he wants to trick them into voting for him.

Vote for Reed and say goodbye for 4 years while your neighborhood spirals downward. Just like Franklin and Campbell.

Truth be told

November 29th, 2009
9:31 pm

Reed didn’t even live in the city until about a year ago.

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:32 pm

Kasim Reed won that (and every other) debate.

Mary was visibly nervous and didn’t answer ANY of the questions. She doesn’t understand the issues. She is way out of her league.

How can someone with no concrete results that has been in CIty Hall for 8 years = Change?

NewDayAtl

November 29th, 2009
9:32 pm

Reed got his ” clock cleaned” by Mary Norwood.

Mary Norwood has it RIGHT. Reed is just part of the current regime. MORE OF THE SAME… Franklin part 2.

A New day for all of us in Atlanta begins on December 1st.

VOTE Norwood !!!

bronco

November 29th, 2009
9:33 pm

Kasim is pulling the JJ trick. Now he’s pulled out the old RACIAL card from under his sleeve and he gonna play it. Norwood is winning over his buddies and is going to mow Kasim grass in the election. Just watch Kasim will pull out another RACIAL card from under his hat and try to show whitey a thing or two, but it won’t work. The blacks of Atlanta are realizing they have a mind of their own and they will use it to vote for Mary.

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:34 pm

It’s also funny that you Norwood people keep spreading lies. That isn’t going to make up for the fact that she has been part of the problem.

Reed HAS lived in Atlanta. His Senate district is SW Atlanta and the only time he didn’t live in Atlanta since elementary school was when he was away at college.

Mary Norwood is a joke. so are her supporters on Jim’s Blog.

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:36 pm

YOU GUYS ARE NUTS!!!

Jimbo, please cut the instant commenting out and go back to the moderated blog. These people are bananas.

Angry Taxpayer

November 29th, 2009
9:37 pm

She kicked his arse! I frankly did not know she had it in her. Go Mary!

BabyI'mBlack!..

November 29th, 2009
9:38 pm

This Black Man Say’s..
REED IS A DOUCHE BAG..
& THE STATUS QUO’S FAVORITE SON !!!!!

@OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:39 pm

His senate district is included parts of Southwest Atlanta and unincorporated Fulton. He just moved into the city about a year ago.

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:41 pm

Not true.

Anyone who saw that debate and says Mary won is funny. You clearly are on here just talking…trying to save face.

So, Cascade isn’t the city of Atlanta?

@OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:43 pm

Not all of it, no. It ends just north of I-285 and then picks up again down near Kimberly Road.

@OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:43 pm

Enter your comments here

You better "Think"

November 29th, 2009
9:43 pm

OMG just live up to the truth. Kasim came across as the bully that he is.

Stop pointing fingers and fix my water bill!

Jim, do you live in the City? Is your water bill correct? Does your water meter lid fit?

Those are the questions that need to be answered. Mary addressed, when she could a touch of what’s going on with the bulk of what needs to be talked about.

Hope all of ya’ll who supporting Kasim don’t have any water problems. Or any other City issues for that matter.

VOTE MARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:45 pm

That’s funny. I live off Cascade and I can vote.

Angry Taxpayer

November 29th, 2009
9:45 pm

No Kasim has lived just outside the City limits until recently when he decided to run for Mayor. His experience with City services (other than being on the transition team for Franklin and leading the search effort for Chief Pennington) is very limited. True also of his relationship with voters. They do not know him and he has to have people push them to the polls because he lacks that relationship.

While I do not like the campaign he has run – before this I respected him and depending upon how he deals with Tuesday night might once again. But there is no question Mary cleaned up on him in the debate. Maybe it was a factor of low expectations given that Mary is a 30-year business owner and Kasim is a lawyer – but regardless she absolutely hit the button and he got confused at one point as he looked through his paperwork.

Go Mary!

Not so fast

November 29th, 2009
9:46 pm

All the Kasim bashing is unfounded. He’s a smart guy who has a great record. He’s qualified and will be a great mayor.

a downtown dweller

November 29th, 2009
9:46 pm

How perfectly put….

“Mary Norwood has it RIGHT. Reed is just part of the current regime. MORE OF THE SAME… Franklin part 2.

A New day for all of us in Atlanta begins on December 1st.

A VOTE for Norwood is a vote for ATLANTA!

From a downtown dweller…in the thick of the hood.

You better "Think"

November 29th, 2009
9:47 pm

Yeah…how Cascade and Camp Creek get cut up in the middle of Unincorporated Fulton County and East Point? Do the math. Mary Norwood did not have nothing to do with that!

That was YOUR MAYOR, Shirley Franklin…who supports Kasim Reed…..Yuk!!!!!!!!!

Clay

November 29th, 2009
9:48 pm

One thing that was clear from tonight’s debate is that Mary Norwood doesn’t have the intellectual wherewithal to be the mayor of an international city.

Kasim Rules

November 29th, 2009
9:48 pm

Kasim will win the election easily—African Americans will unite and vote for the candidate who will look after our interests!!! With endorsements from all the prominent african-americans in atlanta, including nique and J. Lowery, Kasim’s election is guaranteed! Vote Kasim!

Mary Atl

November 29th, 2009
9:50 pm

Quite honestly, Norwood reminded me of Sarah Palin tonight. She’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. In her commercials she implies that “someone” is attempting to divide the city, but when Reed called her out on it, she wouldn’t name who it or provide specific examples.

Not so fast

November 29th, 2009
9:50 pm

Why do you think Mary would be a great mayor? Name one thing she has accomplished as a city councilwoman. One thing she can hang her hat on….

Can’t do it, huh?

Any parent can see it

November 29th, 2009
9:50 pm

Any parent on here can see OMG for what they are.

Caught red handed on the lie that Kasim has always lived in Atlanta except for college, just like the child who is caught red handed with their hand in the cookie jar, OMG keeps sticking to the lie, sticking to the lie, sticking to the lie, sticking to the lie hoping the crumbs will go away.

First Mitzi Bickers. Then the blogger who claimed they didn’t steal Stephanie Ramage’s words, even after Stephanie Ramage, herself a Reed supporter busted them, and now OMG.

Is there something about Reed’s personality that just attracts pathological liars?

What were Mary's people watching

November 29th, 2009
9:50 pm

What in the world were Mary supporters watching. Did you people not get the fact that Mary took nearly $100,000 of campaign contribution money and paid it to herself (oh, her company). She used her campaign to profit financially. Moreover, this is the same woman who voted to over turn ethics requirements, and when the Mayor vetoed the resolution, calling it a huge step backwards in ethical standards, Mary said she made a mistake and wasn’t thinking when she voted. Mary also signed a paper that pledged millions of dollars to build a NASCAR hall of fame and when asked why she signed something without knowing where the money was coming from, she said she made a mistake and thought she was signing something that simply said she loved NASCAR. Really?

These are FACTS not opinion. Also, Mary accepted a $2,000 contribution from a developer merely 2 months before she voted in favor of a resolution that put millions in the pocket of that same developer. Again, more facts!!

Mary supporters are not doing their due diligence on their candidate. But I am, and that is why I will not be voting for her.

Mary Atl

November 29th, 2009
9:51 pm

BTW Kasim Rules is a Norwood staffer if you haven’t already figured that out.

atlantasfuture

November 29th, 2009
9:51 pm

MARY NORWOOD will bring Accountability to Atlanta. Where did all of our tax money go these last few years while Franklin was running the place?

A Budget Surplus in 2005 and a Tax Refund in 2006 and a 42% Tax Increase in 2009…. We Were Fed Dog Meal.

Kasim Reed is 4 more years of Franklin / Campbell

BabyI'mBlack!..

November 29th, 2009
9:52 pm

” vote for the candidate who will look after our interests!!!

when Is The Last Time We Had A Mayor That Looked Out
For “Our Interest” , In The Words Of Richard Pryor KNEEGROW PLEASE !!!!!
Reed & His Illk DON’T Give A DAMN About Your Black Azz ((Watch & See !!!!!!!!

Time's up

November 29th, 2009
9:52 pm

The mayor actually tried to annex his house and when that didn’t work, he moved into the city. The parts of south Fulton that got caught up in it, and were annexed, have been neglected by the city and Kasim, ever since.

Kasim also pushed the incorporation of Chattahoochee Hill County where a bunch of Franklin cronies live outside the mess they’ve made of the city. Reed received major campaign donations from the developers down there.

Kasim is a classic ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ politician. Atlanta can’t afford that style of politics anymore. We’re broke from this bunch.

SaraSippley

November 29th, 2009
9:53 pm

Its is amazing how Mary Norwood does not answer questions directly or at all. I think she is terrible for Atlanta and I hope and pray Mr Reed wins Tuesday. I can’t believe she has been paying herself all of this time and she has gotten paid as a Councilmember too. She is a complete circle of city funds to herself, through her office, campaign and payroll. Have Mercy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please Jim ask her to give up her taxes immediately and respond to this mess of how much she has profited. I will be listening tomorrow. I want to know!

Collin J

November 29th, 2009
9:53 pm

Why hasn’t Mary Norwood released her personal income tax information? So much for being transparent. She’s been in the City Council for 8 years and can’t point to one solid achievement. She’s part of the problem.

You better "Think"

November 29th, 2009
9:53 pm

I agree with you Not so fast, but just not as the “59th Mayor of the City of Atlanta”

Maybe he should go back and represent some other “corporations” in some discrimination law suits like he did when he represented Cracker Barrel “aganist” the little employees that won.

Oh yeah by the way, trying to bash Mary Norwood..but….used her company!!!!!!!!

Go figure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I live in the ATL as well, black, and guess who I have voted for….Mary Norwood!!!!!!!

MAKE THAT CHANGE MARY!!!!!!!

Old Georgia

November 29th, 2009
9:54 pm

White people come t Mary Norwood all the way!

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:54 pm

Anyone who can say Mary is capable of representing our city on the national stage hasn’t been outside of Georgia.

Mary is an inarticulate bumbling fool, who has done NOTHING for the city in the 8 years she has been on payroll except pay her robo-call company.

If you think she can woo CEOs to move their companies to the city limits, tackle the city finances, fix the pension problem (that she created) and be taken seriously by the state is misguided at best.

To think, even Mary’s colleagues in the City Council are endorsing Sen Reed. Want to know why?

…they have worked with her and don’t respect her. She should do like Palin and write a book…. leave the government work to those who are competent.

atlantasfuture

November 29th, 2009
9:56 pm

@Clay Atlanta Can’t be an International City when it Goes Bankrupt if Kasim gets in Office.

Mary NORWOOD will turn the city around…. let the people speak on Tuesday. And that’s from all sides of the A-T-L

You better "Think"

November 29th, 2009
9:56 pm

Maybe everyone on this post and beyond can start a pay my taxes fund for Kasim for his 2010 taxes.

Oops….that was the tax folks fault!!!!! Not my fault says Mr. Reed.

That’s how you plan on running the City?

concerned

November 29th, 2009
9:56 pm

I am very concerned regarding the outcome of Tuesday’s election. Dr. King said that he hoped for the day when we would be judged by the content of our character; not the color of our skin. By content I will take poetic license and believe that he would also include qualifications, education and competentcy. Kasim Reed is an example of what Dr. King envisioned. He is a highly educated man with both a bachelor and Juris Doctor. He has served diligently in both the Georgia House and Senate (some would even say brilliantly). He has sacrificed his personal life and career to serve our community and he is a dedicated public servant.

Mary Norwood, on the other hand, has served for eight years on the City Council and could not even muster enough support from her colleagues to chair a committee. She complains about not having access to city books and defames with apparent impunity the character of the fine men and women who serve our city every day. It has been apparent (to this neutral observer) that Ms. Norwood is lacking; she lacks the ability to build consensus, she lacks the ability to be a leader and lacks sound logic and reasoning skills.

What has also been apparent is the media’s interest in making this an issue of black and white. Shame on you AJC and Channels 2, 5 and 11, for turning this most serious decision into racial polarization.

We, the community collective, know what great things can be accomplished when we reject the efforts of those who would seperate us from our common sense and send us (collectively) to our folly; electing Mary Norwood is just such a folly.

Our City deserves the best person to lead it that we are capable of placing at its helm-that person is Kasim Reed.

Cutty

November 29th, 2009
9:58 pm

@OMG- Cascade runs east and west. Its not NORTH of 285. What are you talking about?

What were Mary's people watching

November 29th, 2009
9:58 pm

What in the world were Mary supporters watching. Did you people not get the fact that Mary took nearly $100,000 of campaign contribution money and paid it to herself (oh, her company). She used her campaign to profit financially. Moreover, this is the same woman who voted to over turn ethics requirements, and when the Mayor vetoed the resolution, calling it a huge step backwards in ethical standards, Mary said she made a mistake and wasn’t thinking when she voted. Mary also signed a paper that pledged millions of dollars to build a NASCAR hall of fame and when asked why she signed something without knowing where the money was coming from, she said she made a mistake and thought she was signing something that simply said she loved NASCAR. Really?

These are FACTS not opinion. Also, Mary accepted a $2,000 contribution from a developer merely 2 months before she voted in favor of a resolution that put millions in the pocket of that same developer. Again, more facts!!

Mary supporters are not doing their due diligence on their candidate. But I am, and that is why I will not be voting for her.

Catherine

November 29th, 2009
9:59 pm

Talk about being outmatched…Mary Norwood got completely destroyed tonight. I can’t vote for her in good conscience. She seems nice enough, but just doesn’t have the presence or leadership skills to be a big city mayor. Making excuses as to why you couldn’t get anything done in the city council isn’t going to convince any rational Atlantan they should vote for you.

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:59 pm

Any calling me a liar doesn’t change the fact that Kasim grew up off Cascade and is my neighbor. He has been for more than a year. AND WHO REALLY CARES?

He is smart and competent. Norwood is not.

OMG

November 29th, 2009
9:59 pm

Any calling me a liar doesn’t change the fact that Kasim grew up off Cascade and is my neighbor. He has been for more than a year. AND WHO REALLY CARES?

He is smart and competent. Norwood is not.

You better "Think"

November 29th, 2009
10:01 pm

Collin J you can get Mary Norwood’s tax information thru open records or go on line thru the City’s website.

Why don’t ya’ll stop this madness that Mary Norwood won’t provide her tax information.

Where have all of ya’ll been these 8 plus years cause you could have gotten it thru the City wbesite and the Ethics Office….

Oh well, next?

Time's up

November 29th, 2009
10:02 pm

Mary is not a member of Franklin’s nod squad on city council, that’s why she was marginalized. When she did pass legislation, Franklin refused to follow it.

But now Mary is about to take the mayor’s office away from the machine cronies, and they are in a full-bore panic. You can bet the shredders are going to be working overtime on Wednesday.

I'm with you concerned

November 29th, 2009
10:03 pm

Concerned you are right on the mark about kasim. I hear ever since his visit to Atlanta when he met Kasim, the Dali Lama was so impressed with Kasim’s sacrifice on behalf of the city that he frequently calls Kasim up for spiritual advice.

The only reason you don’t hear about it, is Kasim is keeping it hush, hush out of respect to his holiness the Dali Lama. That’s how humble Kasim is.

He is a great man, and Atlanta is blessed to have him

You care OMG

November 29th, 2009
10:05 pm

Who cares OMG? You get caught in a bald face lie, and all you can say is who cares?

Why does it not surprise anyone that you are a Kasim groupie?

You better "Think"

November 29th, 2009
10:06 pm

OMG so in order to be smart we all need to come and be your neighbor?

I DON’T THINK SO………………..

Oh only a year? Where did he live before that?

Somebody please help me understand. Kasim Reed was in the Capitol as a State Rep. what would make you want to go from a State Rep. to a Mayor?

From a Eagle to a Pigeon? That ain’t smart!!!!!!

Georgia Preach

November 29th, 2009
10:06 pm

This article shows very clearly that Mary Norwood ran from every question and was unable to keep up with Reed on several levels. She’s the one trying to indirectly inject race into the campaign.