Your morning jolt: Late numbers in the ATL race for mayor, and a word from Ralph Reed’s ex-spokeswoman

As Election Day closed in, Kasim Reed released documents showing that he has outraised rival Mary Norwood by nearly 2-to-1 in the final weeks of Atlanta mayoral campaign, erasing the advantage Norwood enjoyed at the outset of the runoff.

Together, the candidates have raised — and spent — more than $1.3 million in the final phase of the contest.

Neither candidate has released more than summaries of their financial positions, which means that most voters won’t have a complete picture of their support before casting a ballot.

Reed’s total includes a $52,500 personal loan to his campaign. He had already loaned himself nearly $100,000.

Norwood’s summary can be seen here. Reed’s disclosure can be found here.

The basics on Norwood:

– Amount raised since October: $467,329;

– Total contributions: $1,975,048;

– Total spent since October: $566,204;

– Total expenditures to date: $1,908,629;

– Cash on hand: $66,419;

The basics on Reed:

– Amount raised since October: $914,826;

– Personal loan: $52,500.

– Total contributions: $2,553,987;

– Total spent since October: $790,761;

– Total expenditures to date: $2,263,134;

– Cash on hand: $290,853;

My AJC colleague Eric Stirgus has more details here.

This lead paragraph from this morning’s New York Times is typical of the view from outside Georgia:

With the city’s voters heading to the polls on Tuesday, the neck-and-neck runoff for mayor has distilled into a sharp contrast between a self-styled outsider, Mary Norwood, who is appealing to voters who want a change, and the ultimate insider, Kasim Reed, who has amassed scores of endorsements from Atlanta’s political and business elites.

While they wait for the votes to be counted, many Georgians will be watching President Barack Obama’s 8 p.m. speech on Afghanistan. Georgia Public Broadcasting has decided to carry the address on all TV stations.

Phyllis Jenkins Barrow, the longtime Democratic activist and mother of U.S. Rep. John Barrow, has died at age 89, after a long illness. This from the Athens Banner-Herald:

Barrow, an Athens native, was a World War II Women’s Army Corps veteran and an associate professor at the University of Georgia. She was active in county, state and national Democratic organizations, civil rights, and numerous civic and charitable organizations.

“She was a woman of elegance and wisdom,” former Athens-Clarke Mayor Gwen O’Looney said. “She guided not only the Democratic Party, but she was a real mentor for young women in this community.”

The New York Daily News reports that the spokeswoman for Ralph Reed’s 2006 bid for lieutenant governor is writing a semi-scandalous book. The working title is: “My Burning Bush: A Political Memoir of Biblical Proportions.”

By all indications, Lisa Baron won’t be spilling any secrets on the ex-leader of the Christian Coalition. According to the Daily News:

When she met Reed, then a GOP campaign guru, his “movie-star good looks and uncanny ability to articulate conservative thoughts … made me swoon,” she writes. “Ralph’s light blue eyes and tanned, turned-up nose made me forget that he was the poster child of political polarization.”

To the public, he was “a Christian cape-crusader ridding the world of profanity and porn,” says Baron. But “the man I knew” had “a hard-drinking past, a soft spot for the ladies, a taste for the good life and a hunger for power.”

Baron does not claim there was any romance between them, but she does believe Reed “felt an instant connection to my bound-for-hell soul. I made him feel young and he made me feel smart.”

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32 comments Add your comment

Quick Math

December 1st, 2009
9:41 am

Jim, what this says to me is that MARY NORWOOD has fiscal discipline and can GET MORE DONE by spending judiciously.



December 1st, 2009
9:50 am

Is it just me, or does Lisa Baron just made me feel sleazy?

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

December 1st, 2009
9:51 am

Mr. Galloway, that is the view in Atlanta, too, although one would certainly never know it by reading this blog nor the AJC (that is, that Norwood is an outsider to City Hall, while Reed is connected to everyone who has or ever had power there).
It’s about time that Ms. Dewan wrote something that doesn’t read like it came straight from the mouth of the resident Buppy, Cynthia Tucker.

Audrey in Georgia

December 1st, 2009
10:12 am

If you are on the city council for 8 long years, shouldn’t you be an “insider” rather than an “outsider”?
Also, if you visited the neighborhoods where none of the other politicians dared to go, then did the problems of the neighborhoods get better after your visit?

The Late Maynord Jackson

December 1st, 2009
10:23 am

It’s good to see the Jackson Machine and Out Of State interest put their money where their mouth is. Cast your bread on the water and it will multiply and come back to you. VOTE REED EARLY AND OFTEN… The future of the Jackson Machine rides with YOUR VOTE.

Chris Murphy, Atlanta, GA

December 1st, 2009
10:25 am

I guess, Audrey, you need a lesson in civics: City Council is a legislative body, meaning they provide oversight and vote on legislation (laws, ordinances, budgets, etc.). The mayor is the executive, and has the power order departments and personnel to act. The Council has for years been left to be a body of beggars: they have to beg the executive to act on constituent requests. If a Council member takes on the mayor, that member will not get their requests fulfilled.

The question you should ask, Audrey, is why a common citizen cannot call a city office and have an action taken. Why does it take a Council member to push a request?

But here’s a better question, Audrey: why would anyone trust the endorsement of a mayor who cannot even provide 911 service? That’s right, Audrey (and I guess the AJC has decided to not spook the citizens by reporting just how incredibly dreadful that ’system’ is), you cannot count on even getting a response by dialing 911 on a phone. 2009, Atlanta, GA.


December 1st, 2009
10:34 am

Exactly how many city jobs and contracts did Reed offer for donations to his campaign? I am sure he sold his soul to the devil to ensure he would win the election. What a joke. Another idiot to continue drivein Atlanta bankrupt.

Quick Math

December 1st, 2009
10:35 am

Chris, unfortunately ‘Audrey’ is some black woman at Kasim Reed’s office using a ‘white’ name to spread LIES.

We are ALL for MARY NORWOOD – black, white, southside, nothside and the gay side.


December 1st, 2009
10:48 am

It looks like the Atlanta Black Bourgeoise has this election all wrapped up. Their pockets are about to get richer, while the working class folks continue to get ignored and neglected. If you aren’t Black, rich, or connected, Atlanta is not for you. Enjoy popping your bottles at Compound, Velvet Room, and Luckie Lounge tonight!


December 1st, 2009
11:04 am

KASIM REED = CAMPBELL Same story, different year.



mary's is unethical and not too bright

December 1st, 2009
11:28 am

Mary’s Poor Ethical Decisions and Judgment: Irresponsible Leadership
Mary has displayed poor ethical leadership. She voted to establish ethical standards for elected public officials such as herself and then afterwards voted to repeal those same standards, to allow herself, other elected officials and certain employees to receive unethical gifts, meals and ticket prohibited by law. She also signed a document that supported the irresponsible spending of millions of city funds. Mary has acknowledged the nature of her actions: she admitted to each action as being a mistake. But she only tried to rectify each “mistake” after being highly criticized.
On March 10, 2002 Mary Norwood voted for ordinance 02-O-0377, an ordinance that strengthened the ethical standards of City Council Members and other public officials, by disallowing elected officials such as Mary from receiving tickets, gifts and other items of value from people doing business with the city.[1]
HOWEVER, On May 15, 2006, Mary voted in favor of an ordinance that repealed the established ethical standards she had helped establish by vote, just 4 years prior. The new “unethical” standards Mary supported granted appointed and elected officials, and 8,000 city employees, the right to accept free meals up to $75 and tickets up to $100 from people doing business with the city,[2] in direct violation of the law.[3] Moreover, the new ordinance did not establish any reporting requirements or restriction on the source of gifts.[4]
Mayor Franklin immediately vetoed the ordinance, stating that “we cannot accomplish anything… if we lose public trust…in order for the city to move forward, we have to have the public trust.”[5]
When asked why she had voted in favor of an ordinance that attempted to overrule the city’s ethical standard, one that she helped establish, Mary stated:
“My reason is I was completely distracted. I made a mistake. I should have voted against it.”[6]
Mary’s “completely distracted” excuse for attempting to overturn the city’s established ethical code, which she had voted for, isn’t the only time she irresponsibly supported questionable actions.
In the same year, 2006, Mary signed a letter to NASCAR, a letter that committed $62 million dollars of city’s backed funds to build a NASCAR hall of fame. The letter did not mention any time line for repayment of the funds or any other common sense details that one would want to see before signing. When asked why she signed such a letter (she had her staffer sign the letter), Mary stated that:
“I thought I just signed a letter that said ‘I love NASCAR.’”[7]
This is a very poor excuse for several reasons. First, why would you have your staffer sign a letter, which clearly committed millions of dollars of city funds? Second, why would you endorse city fund expenditures without understanding the details involved in the transaction? Third, would a strong, accountable leader do such a thing?
[1] See copy “Amending the Code of Ordinance of the Cit of Atlanta so as to Delete Chapter 2, Article VII, Division 2 Standards of Conduct in its Entirety and Replace it with New Standards of Conduct; and for Other Purposes. Substitute Ordinance as Amended by Atlanta City Council. Ordinance 02-O-0377. (Copy on file); see also Resolution Urging the Atlanta City Council to Sustain the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance 06-0-0980. May 18, 2006. City of Atlanta Board of Ethics
[2] Mayor Keeps Vow to Nix Council’s Ok of Freebies.” May 19, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution
[3] Mary voted in favor of this ordinance despite the fact that the city ethics board had established a long standing rule that city officials accepting tickets is “unethical.” And the City Council had already made it illegal to accept these types of tickets. Ord. No. 2002-27, § 1, 4-10-02; Our opinion; These Gluttons Deserve Punishment; Mayor’s Veto of Freebies Ordinance Shouldn’t Let City Council Members Off the Hook for their Foolish Decision.” May 19, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution: see also FAO Gifts of Tickets to Athletic and Entertainment Events, at
[4] Resolution Urging the Atlanta City Council to Sustain the Mayor’s Veto of Ordinance 06-0-0980. May 18, 2006. City of Atlanta Board of Ethics.
[5] Id.
[6] Our opinion; These Gluttons Deserve Punishment; Mayor’s Veto of Freebies Ordinance Shouldn’t Let City Council Members Off the Hook for their Foolish Decision.” May 19, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution.
[7] “ NASCAR Hall of Fame: Mayor Boosts Bid Without Funds in Hand. March 3, 2006. Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Mary has used over $100,000 of her campaign contributions to pay herself and her own company for the past 8 years. She is Illegal and unethical. It is all listed in all of her campaign disclosure reports since 2001, Why is AJC not writing about this? Jim Galloway get on this now! Bad journalism:
Expenditure Date Amount Campaigning for:
One Call Web 1/21/2009 $396.78 mayor
One Call Web 1/21/2009 $230.04 mayor
One Call Web 1/21/2009 $158.28 mayor
One Call Web 2/3/2009 $126.12 mayor
One Call Web 2/3/2009 $124.32 mayor
One Call Web 3/4/2009 $124.32 mayor
One Call Web 3/10/2009 $505.20 mayor
One Call Web 4/2/2009 $124.32 mayor
One Call Web 4/2/2009 $505.20 mayor
One Call Web 4/8/2009 $1,364.52 mayor
One Call Web 4/9/2009 $197.82 mayor
One Call Web 4/24/2009 $555.90 mayor
One Call Web 7/15/2009 $187.90 mayor
One Call Web 2/20/2008 $15,874.82 city council
One Call Web 4/3/2008 $1,364.52 mayor
One Call Web 8/11/2008 $1,053.90 mayor
One Call Web Aug-08 $3,002.40 mayor
One Call Web 9/26/2008 $4,797.96 mayor
One Call Web 10/30/2008 $1,327.68 mayor
One Call Web 11/11/2008 $2,263.62 mayor
One Call Web 8/16/2007 $521.40 city council
One Call Web 10/24/2007 $4,593.24 city council
One Call Web 11/28/2007 $327.70 city council
One Call Web 7/10/2006 $2,312.60 city council
One Call Web 5/4/2005 $2,952.60 city council
One Call Web 6/9/2005 $2,920.50 city council
One Call Web 9/8/2005 $978.00 city council
One Call Web 9/8/2005 $2,801.90 city council
One Call Web 9/8/2005 $793.70 city council
One Call Web 9/20/2005 $3,066.60 city council
One Call Web 9/26/2005 $391.10 city council
One Call Web 10/18/2005 $4,242.70 city council
One Call Web 6/5/2001 $5,155.08 city council
One Call Web 6/12/2001 $5,155.08 city council
One Call Web 6/26/2001 $243.27 city council
One Call Web 9/5/2001 $10,200.00 city council
One Call Web 10/30/2001 $5,680 city council
One Call Web 12/21/2001 $4,242.64 city council
Expenditure Date Amount Purpose
Mary Norwood 2/28/2009 $2,000 “outreach”
Mary Norwood 6/30/2006 $1,211.15 Amex reimbursement
Mary Norwood 9/7/2005 $200.00 food
Mary Norwood 9/7/2005 $300.00 “senior outreach”
Mary Norwood 11/7/2005 $7,000.00 loan repayment
Mary Norwood 12/9/2005 $1,100.00 community events
Mary Norwood 11/14/2001 $5,000.00 loan repayment
Total Mary Paid Herself: $16,811


December 1st, 2009
11:29 am


Atlanta is for the black, rich (or more truthfully middle class) and connected. The rest of Georgia is for the white, rich and connected. Yet the same folks who bash Atlanta ceaselessly have no problem with the corruption, cronyism and incompetence in the rest of Georgia. The same people who elected Sonny Perdue, Glenn Richardson, Linda Schrenko, Newt Gingrich, and a whole line of even more corrupt Dixiecrat Democrats before them have the nerve to point the finger at the rest of the state. Transportation is a mess, the schools are horrible, major employers are leaving, Georgia has long been surpassed by Florida and North Carolina, and even South Carolina is gaining on us, so many critical state appointments are filled by cronies, relatives, campaign contributors, and industry lobbyists, the economy outside metro Atlanta has been in a depression that has been going on for decades, especially in the southern part of the state where the schools are REALLY bad, there is no infrastructure and all the major employers have long left and even the farming/agribusiness jobs are gone … is all this because Atlanta has a black mayor? Atlanta gets bashed for trying to raise taxes to pay for public safety during the midst of a historic recession, BUT GWINNETT COUNTY IS TRYING TO DO THE SAME THING TO DEAL WITH THEIR OWN MASSIVE CRIME WAVE? Would Mary Norwood have voted against the Gwinnett tax increase too? Of course not. She votes against the tax increase to hire more officers because this is ATLANTA, who only needs to throw all the Negroes off welfare to be rolling in cash. In Gwinnett County, raising taxes to cover revenue shortfall and provide for public safety and vital services is prudent fiscal management. Right?

And please, enough about how Norwood would represent “all of Atlanta.” For her and her base of support, “all of Atlanta” means Buckhead. It means redirecting tax money and services to the hard working citizens of Buckhead who create jobs and tax revenue and deserve it, and allowing the rest of Atlanta to “take personal responsibility pull itself up by its own bootstraps.” She’s just another Reagan-Bush trickle down tax cut and spend economics type, and proof of that is her desire to build a rail line from Buckhead to the Cobb Galleria.

If you want to elect Mary Norwood, fine. But A) don’t claim that she will represent anyone else but BUCKHEAD, B) don’t claim that you could give two cents about the MAJORITY of people who live in Atlanta, and C) don’t claim that Atlanta is any more corrupt than the political leaders in the rest of the state.


December 1st, 2009
11:30 am

What? No Kasim Reed bloggers on here spewing crap today? Maybe they’re hiding because they smell defeat this evening. GO MARY, GO!


December 1st, 2009
11:54 am

I’m not sure if my vote for mayor should be for CLUELESS or SHADY….


December 1st, 2009
12:06 pm

All campaign workers are out rounding up voters today. duh

The Late Maynord Jackson

December 1st, 2009
12:15 pm

All campaign workers are out voting for dead people today. duh


December 1st, 2009
12:17 pm

All campaign workers are out looking for another job. duh


December 1st, 2009
12:19 pm

DUH! Silly me :-) I’m just at work, contributing to the tax base…

Audrey in Georgia

December 1st, 2009
12:29 pm

Chris, I do not need a lesson in civics, but you obviously have a self-esteem issue.
Why would you refer to yourself as “common”?

Ga Values

December 1st, 2009
12:44 pm

All campaign workers are out at the Pink Pony, spending what’s left. duh


December 1st, 2009
1:05 pm

KASIM REED = CAMPBELL Same story, different year.




December 1st, 2009
1:06 pm



Watchful Eye

December 1st, 2009
1:10 pm

How sad that our great City is being held hostage once again by racism. All one has to do is look at the fiscal problems at City Hall or to our neighbors in Dekalb County, East Point and College Park to see that racism destroys the quality of our communities. It’s time for Atlanta to be rid of racist politics …… Look again at the Jackson “legacy”. I believe the record is clear that “Jackson Securities” and the Jackson Family profit to this day from deals made in the halls at City Hall. It’s time to create a new legacy – one built on the foundation of ethics, trust and vision for ALL the people of Atlanta.

My vote is for Mary Norwood and always will be.


December 1st, 2009
3:20 pm

DW (way at the top) – that’s not Lisa Baron that makes you feel sleazy – it’s Ralph Reed – the biggest sleazeball in a generation!


December 1st, 2009
3:34 pm

It makes me sick that not one media person in the town had the ability to track down that sign stealer and interview him. All we needed to know was right there. Just by finding out who was telling the truth and who was looking directly into a camera and lying.

Galloway, the entire AJC, the local tv news, every single journalist in this town let us down.

You’ve got two candidates saying the other one is a liar. You have a guy out there that can prove exactly who is the scumbag and none of you worthless journalist even try? How about offering the guy a $1000 for an interview?


December 1st, 2009
4:25 pm

That sign story was fishy on all sides and nobody really cares what happened. Ralph Long needs a job and Mitzti Bickers needs to learn how to speak on television. THE END.

Go vote or volunteer.

Raquel Morris

December 1st, 2009
4:38 pm

Mitzi Bickers is a pastor and former President of the Board of Education. Are we really to believe she has trouble with public speaking?

Diane Bryant

December 1st, 2009
6:15 pm

Mitzi Bickers is a crook who illegally use her church and vans to take voters to the polls. She is also the same Mitzi Bickers who origanilly endorsed and hosted a party for Mary Norwood then through Mary under the bus to support Kasim Reed. Now, tell me who in their right mind would worship at her church or trust her as an elected official. What a Snake! Mitzi Bicker’s church should loose their tax exempt status.


December 1st, 2009
6:47 pm

Norwood is the one voice on the city council that has stood up for taxpayers. The status quo in Atlanta, following Maynard Jackson’s lead, and then embezzling Bill Campbell, has been to tax us to death, and then lose the money, with no accounting, and then fail to provide services. I’m sick of never reaching an officer at our local police precinct. 12 years, no one has answered the non-emergency line. Is anyone there? If Norwood can force some changes and accountability, and I think she can, she has my support. Reed is too tight with the people who’ve screwed things up for the past decade. We need a new voice.


December 1st, 2009
8:04 pm

Diane Bryant, what is illegal about taking voters to the polls?

Judith Bliss

December 1st, 2009
8:17 pm

Sorry white folks. Black money has got this in the bag. Maybe next time.

Lilly Bowen

December 1st, 2009
8:28 pm

Jason, it’s only illegal when the black ministers on the South Side are given wads of cash to round up their faithful, pressure them to vote for the “right” candidate lead them by their noses to the polls. Why do you think Kaseem Reed has so much cash to spare in the last week? It’s called “walking around money”. The Tammany Hall Atlanta black powers that be have been operating that way for decades. And been successful.