ATL mayoral doings: Of gambling, schools for girls and Democratic yard signs

Radio stations V-103 and WAOK this morning had the last broadcast word in the Atlanta mayoral runoff, airing separate 30-minute conversations with both Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood.

The locale was a packed room at the historic Paschal’s Restaurant. Both candidates were preceded by a word from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was in town for a pair of protests against home foreclosures.

Jackson is neutral in the mayor’s race, and likened Atlanta’s contest to the Democratic primary bout between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. “It’s a good thing, so long as it’s civil,” he said.

Not much news was committed by either Reed or Norwood. (Fair warning: The Insider was the invited questioner during the portion with Reed.)

However, both candidates expounded on topics that had gone untouched. For Reed, it was whether gambling and casinos had any place in Atlanta. Said the former state senator:

I’m not in favor of it right now. Primarily, my opposition to gaming has been because of my religious beliefs, but I will share this: I think doing a gaming deal right now would be like selling your house right now. It would be a bad deal. The reason is, the offers the game companies would make to Atlanta right now would be low-ball offers that would not be worth the damage that’s done to our city long-term.

About three to four years ago, the gaming opportunities were so mind-blowing that anyone who’s reasonable would have to consider them. They would have to be back to where they were again for me to consider gaming. I think that we’re better this. I think there are other opportunities that are clearly available for Atlanta.

For Norwood, it was the topic of both charter and single-sex schools:

I have been a strong advocate for charter schools. I’ve been a strong advocate for innovation…I do love people being able to think outside the box and have some different rules….Other cities have many more charter schools than Atlanta does right now, and we have buildings that are vacant.

We need to be very thoughtful about what our resources are, and how we can best educate our children….I’m also a big proponent of single-sex schools. I went to a girls college for two years, and I understand the difference in single-sex education.

One of the more telling sights this at Paschal’s this morning could be found outside. Yard signs for both candidates were scattered up and down the restaurant’s property. But Reed’s signs included this: “Paid for by the Democratic Party of Georgia.”

Apparently to meet multi-candidate requirements that apply to spending, the fine print on the signs also encouraged votes for state Sen. Vincent Fort and state Rep. Kathy Ashe, both of Atlanta.

Neither is on the ballot Tuesday. State lawmakers stand for elections in even years, not odd ones.

The yard signs are a reminder that the state Democratic party remains a significant player in this race for mayor – though we probably won’t know how significant until after the votes are counted.

There are other indications that Reed is closing with a partisan argument. The blog Georgia Liberal has posted a Reed flyer that advertises the state senator’s status as a Democrat and also includes an image of Barack Obama.

On the flip side is the headline: “Mary Norwood isn’t a Democrat.”

If you’re in a position to send a pdf of the flyer, we’d be much obliged.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

141 comments Add your comment

Kasim Fan

November 30th, 2009
1:23 pm

Kasim Reed did excellent in yesterday’s debate. Norwood is out of her league.

Carole

November 30th, 2009
1:25 pm

I don’t see how anyone could vote for Mary Norwood. She’s been on the City Council for 8 years and has accomplished nothing.

Altanta John

November 30th, 2009
1:27 pm

Mary Norwood = Sarah Pailn. Atlanta deserves better.

atlantasfuture

November 30th, 2009
1:28 pm

Let’s end the Corruption a la Bill Campbell.

KASIM REED = 4 MORE YEARS OF TAXES WASTED and THE CITY EXPLOITED.

I voted Shirley FRANKLIN in twice – 2nd time was a MISTAKE.

MARY NORWOOD all the way.

I Love Mary and so does Atlanta

November 30th, 2009
1:28 pm

Go, Mary! Fight, Win, Score! My vote is ready for Mary Norwood tomorrow. ATLANTA NEEDS CHANGE!!!

Jane

November 30th, 2009
1:30 pm

Kasim will win tomorrow. Mary can’t remember if she voted for Bush and Reagan and she can’t remember her record either.

Rick

November 30th, 2009
1:30 pm

Kasim Reed did very good on the debate I thought Norwood was so scare to stand up to Reed and she was caught several time lieing on the debate especially with the robocalls and also with pension deal.

Norwood is just like the republicans

atlantasfuture

November 30th, 2009
1:32 pm

Jim, are you a paid staffer yet on Kasim’s team? You are a disappointment. Outside of lots of hits on this site, you are a disgrace to what journalism experts call Objectivity.

Have fun up in Kennesaw with your HS marching band.

Nash K

November 30th, 2009
1:32 pm

No objective personal can vote for Norwood. She an intellectual lightweight.

Jasmine Young

November 30th, 2009
1:34 pm

Jesse Jackson is not neutral in this race.

atlantasfuture

November 30th, 2009
1:36 pm

KASIM, where is your dignity and ethics? Any 38 year old paid $1 Million by a law firm has his HANDS IN TOO MANY POCKETS.

EVEN LISA BORDERS SAID SO: “Today I call upon Mr. REED to make the same promises I challenged him to make on Friday morning. “I call upon Mr. Reed to make the following promise: that he will not allow any city business to be contracted with or performed by Holland and Knight or any client that he has personally represented; that he will allow any existing contract to expire by its own terms; that he will not continue to employ his brother Tracy Reed in the Mayor’s Office or in City Hall, and; that he will follow my lead and promise to introduce legislation to further strengthen our ethics rules by making such conflicts of interest permanently illegal.”

I Love Mary and so does Atlanta

November 30th, 2009
1:37 pm

MARYNORWOOD MARYNORWOOD MARYNORWOOD MARYNORWOOD MARYNORWOOD

Get used to it.

Go, Mary!!!!!

atlantasfuture

November 30th, 2009
1:38 pm

THE INSIDERS BETTER START SHREDDING THEIR DOCUMENTS… THESE DEALS AND THEIR LINED POCKETS ARE YEARS IN THE MAKING.

NO BID SOLUTIONS ARE OUT

MARY NORWOOD IS IN!

Red Clay

November 30th, 2009
1:40 pm

I wanted to support Mary, but had to come to terms with the fact that she’s an airhead. Kasim is what’s best for the city.

AH

November 30th, 2009
1:42 pm

Although I don’t agree with Jim on his writing all the time and I know sometimes people have attacked him through out this election for being biased, I just wanted to say thanks Jim. You gave us all something to blog about, even the staffers from both campaigns.

I dread the end of the election season as much as I dread the end of football season.

Mary Mary

November 30th, 2009
1:45 pm

Did Mary really disclose her tax returns? Has anyone seen them????

I hate liars.

Bloggist Formerly Known as RJ

November 30th, 2009
1:46 pm

@Kasim Fan

We’re electing a mayor, not a Debate Team coach. Slick, polished responses– no doubt “focus group” tested– are not part of the job qualifications.

Vote Norwood and let Reed go back to using his panache in the courtroom fighting for big corporations.

Rick

November 30th, 2009
1:51 pm

Reed would bring change in the city hall by get rid of Norwood she is disgrace to Atlanta.

We need a demoncrate not a make believe republican

Vote for Reed

So True

November 30th, 2009
1:51 pm

Mary will win, nobody wants that crony Reed…every voter knows he’s the same old “behind the scenes” crook in the making like the last few mayors. Atlanta wants CHANGE! Not 4 more years of Franklin’s Reed!

Interesting....

November 30th, 2009
1:53 pm

NO BID SOLUTIONS ARE OUT????

Mary “No Bid One Call” Norwood is the only one who pads her pockets with taxpayer and campaign money.

Mary is the only one personally gaining from her work at City Hall and running for mayor.

Important Voter

November 30th, 2009
2:01 pm

I love how these Reed campaign volunteers are clogging up the comments section. LEARN GRAMMAR! You make your candidate look dumb. And, no one will read all your copy + paste comments. There’s no depth to any argument y’all make.

VOTE NORWOOD! Her campaign can use grammar! :-)

Dave

November 30th, 2009
2:05 pm

Kasim Reed = Kanye West
Mary Norwood = Taylor Swift

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

November 30th, 2009
2:08 pm

Galloway must be hating to see this election come to an end as it has lined up his pockets up well I’m sure. His objectivity in this race has hardly been apparent. He may as well just post Kasim’s entire website on here for everyone.

Undecided until last night

November 30th, 2009
2:15 pm

I voted for Lisa Borders initially. I think she was the best candidate, but unfortunately, that’s become a non issue.

Mary Norwood’s performance last night was beyond pathetic. I initially was on the fence, and was leaning heavily towards her. However, given her aweful performance in last night’s and previous debates, I cannot in good faith vote for her. She lacks the ability to effectively communicate and she becomes easily and visibly shaken under pressure. I’m still amazed at how she got so far in the election. She lacks presence and poise and has deplorable communication skills. Someone should have really worked with her prior to last night’s debate. She couldn’t even pronounce divisive appropriately! She’s clearly not ready to be on the national or global stage as The City’s next Mayor.

Neither candidate was my original choice, but Mary Norwood is defintiely not the person I want representing me as Mayor. Atlanta is a world city and we need someone who can effectively represent us on a local, national and international level.

AH

November 30th, 2009
2:18 pm

I’m sticking solidly by my original candidate.

Clark Howard for Mayor.

Jamal

November 30th, 2009
2:19 pm

I voted for Lisa Borders and I was very disappointed when she endorsed Kasim Reed, I wish she would have just stayed out of it after her defeat. I said I wasn’t going to vote in the runoff if Lisa wasn’t in it, however over the last few weeks I have saw Mary Norwood over four times in my area and spoken with her twice, sure she doesn’t seem to be the smartest person in the world, but she does come off as being genuine,real, and cares for this city(north/south/and everything inbetween). I will be voting for Mary Norwood this time, people have called her an airhead among other things in this very same comment spot, however I think that it is time for a little mix up at city hall, I voted for Shirley Franklin twice and would vote for her two more times if I could, I think she is/has been a great mayor. The thing that really made me decide to vote for Mary is the fact that she stated she would pick a new police chief from within APD, I think this is a great thing, I have been on the force for 3 years now and it would be nice to have a chief that came up through the ranks here in Atlanta, this is something that would really boost moral within the department, no need for a national search as Kasim said he would do, whats the point in that when you have very well trained/qualified people already on the force that knows this city like the back of their hand, this is the major reason that I will be voting for Mary.

MARY FOR MAYOR

Rick

November 30th, 2009
2:21 pm

Please tuesday come quick so these Norwood supporter would be crying to see Kasim Reed become our mayor

Rick

November 30th, 2009
2:34 pm

Jamal is one of thes blogger is using more then 2 names on here to confuse voters and he also is a Norwood staff

Ira in East Lake

November 30th, 2009
2:35 pm

I voted for Kasim the first time around.

Not sure he’s getting my vote this time though.

I don’t like his race-baiting or the attacks during the debates.

Important Voter

November 30th, 2009
2:38 pm

An elected official is supposed to be a public servant, not a show-face, “above the voter” leader who thinks everyone looks up to them. No, they are supposed to be below the voter, and do the dirty work for the community. An elected official should practice “service leadership.”

Reed has not shown me that he will get down and dirty behind the scenes unless there’s a camera crew around to praise him and dang near EVERY “reverend” (anyone can use that title…I don’t see why people use it as if it makes them look better than the common folk) around behind him getting publicity for their money-making church.

Norwood has been running around town to every mom and pop store, every home, every street corner, and every bar to personally meet AND SPEAK to the voters, without the need for a film crew. I swear she’s either on crack with all that energy, or a true public servant. I like to belive she’s a true public servant who would practice service leadership, and not pompous “country club membership” politics.

She may live next door to a Buckhead Betty, but she ain’t one. Reed’s fancy cars and condos make him more Buckhead Betty than Norwood and her 10+ year old granny Buick. Sometimes the odd ball is the best bet. Norwood is that odd ball…Reed is the continuation of errors.

Logically

November 30th, 2009
2:38 pm

I don’t see how anyone can justify putting Norwood in office.

None of her supporters can make a reasonable case. She has no talent… no merit… and has done NOTHING in the 8 years she has been in City Hall except make excuses.

She doesn’t have the respect of her peers. She doesn’t have the trust of her colleagues.

Besides her claiming to be an outsider and “being in the neighborhoods fighting for the people of Atlanta” what has she done?

Her supporters say she works so hard….but at what? She doesn’t have much of a resume.

I want someone who can build a consensus. Someone who can get Atlanta on the right track with relationships at the state and nationally.

Doesn’t sound like Mary to me.

I Love Mary and so does Atlanta

November 30th, 2009
2:45 pm

City of Atlanta government already has a “consensus”–and we want them out!

Go, Mary!

Thelma Jackson.

November 30th, 2009
2:46 pm

Over the years Atlanta has changed. The New Atlanta now consists of educated and politically aware individuals. In spite of the lies, mud-slinging and race-card games, on tommorrow the majority of Atlanta will vote for the best qualified person MARY NORWOOD.

Rick

November 30th, 2009
2:58 pm

Look who talking Thelma Jackson I wondering if you the lady she paid to show up in her campaign rally. Look how Norwood staff on here using different name to confuse voters just like there boss Norwood confuse dont know how to run a campaign she always saying the other camp or I thought.

Vote for Reed

Important Voter

November 30th, 2009
3:08 pm

@Rick…your writing show lack of a proper education. Reed would appreciate it if you distanced his name from your run-on sentences, irregular pronoun usage, and disrespect for lexical cohesion. No one will support a man who’s marketing material is YOU and your writing skills. Wait…Aren’t you [the false] “Gay Voter” from a week ago who lost all hope in life because Mary didn’t vote on that day of the consensus? Another Reed crook bites the dust! Stay tuned for the illegible rants of Rick (a.k.a Gay Voter, a.k.a Reed this and that, etc.)

Rick

November 30th, 2009
3:09 pm

Norwood is only showing up in the black neighborhood that why when the election over you would not see her in the black area she only using black people for votes. Norwood staff on here saying Reed is just like Shirley Franklin how would Reed is like Shirley which he work for the state not the city. Norwood is worse then Shirley

Mark

November 30th, 2009
3:11 pm

Rick Please go back to school and learn to read and write.

Important Voter

November 30th, 2009
3:17 pm

“Norwood is worse than Shirley.” Rick, let’s analyze that argument you just made. The Hon. Shirley Franklin’s campaign for mayor was twice managed by your “God”, Kasim Reed. So, in fact, your “man” installed Shirley into office twice. Yet you admit that Shirley is not up to par (that’s English for “performing well”) by stating that Norwood is “worse than Shirley.” If Shirley is not a good mayor in your opinion, why would you support the man who twice helped to put her in office? You make no sense. You’re only helping the Norwood campaign by a) writing like a 3rd grader and b) contradicting your own stance.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

November 30th, 2009
3:18 pm

People like Rick are all staff members for Kasim Reed and it reflects in the way they speak and type.

Roekest

November 30th, 2009
3:22 pm

MESSAGE TO KASIM REED SUPPORTERS:

Please, please, please, PLEASE learn proper grammar. Reading your posts is as painful as dental surgery without the Novocain. See what I did there? I properly constructed a sentence. Do you know what a sentence is???

Rick

November 30th, 2009
3:24 pm

I am in no way affiliated with the Reed campaign. I am simply an ardent supporter. It saddens me the way you all mock my writing style on these comment threads. English is not my first language and it is sometimes difficult for me to write my thoughts. Just because I don’t articulate my opinions well (Mary Norwood doesn’t either) it doesn’t give anyone the right to make fun of me.

Glad I do no live in Atlanta

November 30th, 2009
3:25 pm

Title says it all.

Atticus Finch

November 30th, 2009
3:27 pm

I’m glad you don’t either, though I’m pretty sure you benefit from our prosperity. Now get off our blogs!

Signed
Angry Gay White Atlantan

P.S. Kasim Reed for Mayor!

Michael

November 30th, 2009
3:30 pm

Jim, you are so biased. Why don’t you just get a job with the Reed campaign, eventhough you probably are already being paid by Kasim the thug anyway. You are a disgrace to journalism, which is probably why you have a job with the AJC.

Important Voter

November 30th, 2009
3:31 pm

YAY! I’m so proud of you, Rick, for constructing a sentence. Now if only you refrain from bashing Norwood and making fun of her, then the world shall do unto you what you do unto others. But, I am very proud that you wrote a sentence using periods :-)

The Mayor After Norwood

November 30th, 2009
3:33 pm

They both promise changes in crime, but I think we all know that a promise from a politician is a statement of what will NOT happen. Interestingly enough,

Reed = Insider
Norwood = Commerce

The reason Norwood is not an insider is because powers that be WANT Norwood to not be an insider. Watch how many investigations into the past 10 years come out of Norwood in office.

She will clean up the mess.

Atticus Finch

November 30th, 2009
3:34 pm

@Michael

Can you please explain how Kasim Reed is a thug? Is that the new code word for that God-awful word our Southern ancestors used to describe my darker brother and sisters? You know the n word that rhymes with bigger…I am tired of you people trying to bash this man.

There is nothing about him that even remotely resembles a “thug”. He is one of the most accomplished state legislators in the metro area.

Rick

November 30th, 2009
3:36 pm

Why do you think you are important? Has Mary Norwood promised you something too?

Intown lib

November 30th, 2009
3:39 pm

So now it’s unethical to be a good and successful lawyer who gets paid alot? Whaa?

I’m highly educated, white, and live in the 6th District. I’m voting for Reed AGAIN tomorrow.

Rick

November 30th, 2009
3:40 pm

Rick

November 30th, 2009
3:24 pm
I am in no way affiliated with the Reed campaign. I am simply an ardent supporter. It saddens me the way you all mock my writing style on these comment threads. English is not my first language and it is sometimes difficult for me to write my thoughts. Just because I don’t articulate my opinions well (Mary Norwood doesn’t either) it doesn’t give anyone the right to make fun of me.

Look I knew Norwood staff would use my name to attack me I was once a undecided voter I was leaning toward Norwood that why I am going to vote for Reed because how Norwood staff on here bashing voters on here.

Norwood staff it a done deal Reed is going to win,
I just seen the polls that the undecided voters was for Borders they are going towards Reed.

Norwood staff on here are disgrace and they act like fools on here.

Norwood win I am moving from Atlanta with the rest of the white supporters for Reed