Archive for November, 2009

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 …

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Woof, beep! Replace Uga with a bulldog robot, says PETA

While it sounds like something Georgia Tech might suggest, Tim Bryant with WGAU (1340AM) in Athens just posted this:

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals has a suggestion for the University of Georgia, which is looking for a replacement for Uga VII, the Georgia Bulldog mascot who died last Thursday in Savannah:

PETA says the University should use what it calls an “animatronic dog,” or use a person in a costume. PETA has sent its suggestion via e-mail to University of Georgia Athletic Director Damon Evans. The PETA e-mail follows…

In the wake of the untimely death of the University of Georgia’s (UGA) bulldog mascot, Uga VII, PETA has asked the school’s athletic director, Damon M. Evans, to replace the mascot with an animatronic dog–or to rely solely on a costumed mascot–instead of using another real bulldog. Bulldogs are prone to breathing difficulties, hip dysplasia, heart disorders, and other congenital ailments, and acquiring a dog from a breeder perpetuates the animal …

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Sonny Perdue’s power points on water strategy

Did you miss that Monday meeting of Gov. Sonny Perdue’s task force on the state’s water crisis? So did I. The mayor’s race got in the way.

But click here to see the governor’s Power Point presentation.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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A virtual press conference for ATL runoff candidates

One of the last political events in the city of Atlanta before turkey fever kicks in will happen at the Capitol City Club at 4:30 p.m. today.

The Committee for a Better Atlanta will host a gathering of candidates in all the city’s undecided races, from mayor on down.

It’s a semi-private affair, but organizers are attempting to draw the city’s blogging community into the session by hosting a virtual press conference, conducted via Twitter and such. Hash tag is #atlmayor.

Click here for the info. Give it a try and see how it works.

The CBA is a collection of business leaders who weigh in on city issues. It’s been around for more than a decade – it was started by former mayor Sam Massell and Metro Chamber president Sam Williams.

CBA rated mayoral candidates earlier in the campaign, giving top marks to Lisa Borders, who was eliminated in the Nov. 3 vote.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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Your morning jolt: Lou Dobbs considers a White House run

Break out the mariachi band. This from

Former CNN host Lou Dobbs fueled already rampant speculation about his political future Monday, sending the clearest signals yet that he’s mulling a bid for president—and leaving third-party political operatives salivating over the possibility of a celebrity recruit for the 2012 campaign.

Less than two weeks after announcing his departure from the cable network—and following a series of interviews in which Dobbs encouraged speculation about his political plans—the anchorman known to fans as “Mr. Independent” finally made his presidential ambitions explicit on former Sen. Fred Thompson’s radio show Monday.

Asked if he might make a run at the White House in 2012, Dobbs answered flatly: “Yes is the answer.”

“I’m going to be talking some more with some folks who want me to listen in the next few weeks,” Dobbs told Thompson. “Right now I’m fortunate to have a number of wonderful options.”

The story behind the video shot by …

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Watch Sunday’s Norwood/Reed debate on GPB

Did you miss the Atlanta Press Club debate between mayoral candidates Mary Norwood and Kasim Reed on Sunday night?

The video has been posted on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s web site. See it here.

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

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Ralph Long and a video of yard-sign theft

The crazy season has arrived a few days early.

State Rep. Ralph Long of Atlanta, the only elected official now supporting mayoral candidate Mary Norwood, has handed to WXIA a video recording that he says shows someone removing Norwood yard signs – then handing them to a Kasim Reed field office for what appears to be payment.

Long told the TV station that his car was pounded on and he was chased by another vehicle after the African-American lawmaker, armed with a video camera, showed himself to Reed supporters

Here’s the teaser to its 6 p.m. broadcast offered by the TV station.

Long isn’t identified on the video by name, but the WXIA web site does make use of his name. The signs were allegedly removed at the Adamsville natatorium on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, an early voting location. Long allegedly followed the man removing the sign to a shopping center at Linhurst and MLK.

Paul Crawley says that, afterwards, a “shaken” Long came straight to the TV station.

“And frankly, …

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Your morning jolt: Ground and air attacks in the ATL race for mayor

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. …

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ATL mayoral candidate Mary Norwood says her African-American supporters ‘have been threatened’

A contentious exchange on race relations marked the beginning of Saturday evening’s debate between Atlanta mayoral candidates Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood on WAGA-TV.

Fox 5’s Diedra Dukes opened up the topic by asking Reed whether the mayoral campaign had divided the city by black and white.

Reed responded optimistically:

“I think that the city has made outstanding progress. I think that we both received support both from white citizens and from black citizens. My support in the white community has actually been growing significantly.

“Elections are tough. But I think now that the campaign is down to two individuals, you will see more support that is cross-racial. And I think that is important. Both Ms. Norwood and myself are working toward the best Atlanta – the Atlanta that Dr. [Martin Luther] King talked about.

“I think that we have both conducted ourselves in a way that makes the citizens of Atlanta proud. And as long as we don’t get bogged down in trying to win an …

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Kathy Cox and the Republican dilemma

Last week, former state lawmaker Roger Hines of Kennesaw became the second Republican to announce a 2010 primary challenge to state School Superintendent Kathy Cox.

His campaign slogan — “We can do better” — isn’t the catchy phrase likely to make Gov. Sonny Perdue smile.

The retired high school teacher enters the race with the support of a dozen or so GOP legislators, including Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock, so it is not to be taken lightly. Richard Woods of Tifton, also an educator, is the other GOP candidate.

“Education in Georgia is too important to get caught up in party politics,” Rogers said in Hines’ defense. But serious primary challenges to incumbents are rare, and they always mean something.

Officially, Hines is running against the lack of progress in Georgia schools under both Cox and Perdue and the “testing mania” that he says has killed the joy of teaching. The state Department of Education, Hines said, “has become a data …

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