Archive for the ‘Atlanta mayor's race’ Category

Kasim Reed on re-election: ‘I worry about someone who’s 20 or 30 and has 40 friends’

On Sunday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was on Melissa Harris-Perry’s MSNBC program that focuses on African-American politics. The topic was redistricting, but Reed turned the conversation toward the need for Democrats to focus on down-ticket contests – and make use of the party’s advantage with young people.

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Said Reed, who is up for re-election this year:

“I don’t worry about somebody who’s 50 or 60 running against me for mayor. I worry about somebody that’s 20 or 30 with 40 friends that can get out and knock on [5,000 and 10,000] and 15,000 doors. That’s really the path forward for us. And folks like me that have opportunities have to build our staffs with young people.

“The COO for the city of Atlanta is 36 years old. My chief of staff’s 43 years old. My city attorney’s 45 years old. I’ve got a senior advisor who’s 30. We’ve got to live this.”

As soon as my walker gets out …

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Barack Obama, Kasim Reed, and the ‘Don’t Panic’ button

After President Barack Obama’s all-important jobs speech Thursday, drop in on CNN about 9 p.m.

You’re likely to see Kasim Reed in a conversation with Piers Morgan, driving home the points that Obama didn’t. Or couldn’t.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Oh, you’ll see the mayor of Atlanta chide Obama — or rather, the people around him — and offer some gentle counsel. “I think the most important thing for the president to remember is that folks elect you to win for them,” Reed said in an interview Wednesday.

The mayor offered these bullet points of advice to the White House:

– Don’t be afraid to brag. “I believe that the White House retreated a bit from the extraordinary things that they’ve done, and frankly got a little exhausted from explaining,” Reed said. Saving the auto industry, creating 2.4 million jobs, extending health care to millions and such.

– “Then you have to explain to people what you’re going to do for them in …

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Your morning jolt: An outsider’s view of the APS cheating scandal

We don’t usually begin the day with video, but ever since the days of Henry Grady, Atlanta has always been more than sensitive when it comes to how outsiders perceive the Southern metropolis.

The Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal is drawing attention from every quarter. Here’s the heartburn that ABC News gave the Metro Chamber last night:

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State Rep. Ralph Long, D-Atlanta, on Wednesday held a news conference at the state Capitol to blame the APS mess on Mayor Kasim Reed, who as a state senator backed legislation that – Long maintains — strengthened the hand of the Atlanta school superintendent at the expense of the board of education.

Reed says the legislation was necessary to attract top-flight talent for the job of superintendent, and said human beings rather than legislation were to be blamed for the cheating scandal. Long and Reed have a history of disagreement stemming from the 2009 race for mayor.
The video from Aaron Diamant at Channel 2 Action News:

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Your morning jolt: Newt Gingrich confirms debt of more than $1 million

Former U.S. House speaker and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich will report raising $2 million in the second quarter of this year.

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich during an Independence Day parade in Clear Lake, Iowa. Daniel Acker/The New York Times

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich during an Independence Day parade in Clear Lake, Iowa. Daniel Acker/The New York Times

The problem is that he spent $3 million.

Politico.com reports this morning that Gingrich ended June with $225,000 in his treasury:

Gingrich supporters acknowledge that his debt represents a serious financial challenge, though they note that the Republican has paid down about 10 percent of $1.2 million in invoices since June 9, when most of his senior political staff resigned.

In a campaign season that has already identified federal solvency as the defining issue among GOP primary voters, Gingrich’s debt now becomes his largest obstacle to a serious candidacy. Moreover, contributors give candidates money to raise future hell – not to pay for hell already raised.

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Herman Cain may still be mad at Jon Stewart for …

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A census speeds Atlanta toward racially neutral ground

The home where Coretta Scott King raised her four children after the assassination of her husband is still neat and tidy. The yard even has a splash of begonias.

But opposite 234 Sunset Avenue, within what was once the most famous middle-class black neighborhood in America, is a row of frame houses sporting “for rent” signs outside nearly every other door.

And if you travel just a hundred yards north on Sunset, across Joseph E. Boone Boulevard, you enter — quite literally — a kind of no man’s land.

Tract 23 is ground zero in the depopulation of black Atlanta, a place where plywood windows are all the rage. In 2000, census takers counted roughly 2,700 people in the neighborhood. Last spring, the U.S. Census Bureau tallied 1,476. That’s a 45 percent decrease.

More than half the housing in Tract 23, in an area a stone’s throw from the Georgia World Congress Center, stands vacant.

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2010 figures for growth-hungry Atlanta. …

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Your morning jolt: A test of clout for Georgia Right to Life

The Republican runoff for governor on Aug. 10 will be major test of influence for Georgia’s most aggressive anti-abortion organization.

Georgia Right to Life has already made it clear – in a couple hundred thousand re-election robo-calls – that the group will oppose Karen Handel in favor of Nathan Deal.

And Deal has already indicated that social conservatives are at the heart of his runoff strategy.
So this message from GRTL president Dan Becker is worth noting:

Throughout the state [Tuesday], voters supported an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that said the “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death” and that right should be protected by law.

In all 46 counties where the amendment was presented, it passed overwhelmingly by an amazing 75%! Georgia is the first state in the nation where voters have said “yes” to the personhood question.

The presence of the question was made at the county GOP …

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Of prison camps, secret identities and final words

A pair of taped debates featuring Democratic and Republican candidates for governor – broadcast is tomorrow morning — ate up much of the first day of the last campaign weekend.

Immigration dominated both conversations:

Eric Johnson said Friday that he wanted to round up illegal immigrants in Georgia and he was willing to build prison camps to house them for deportation if elected governor.

“If we have to set up a Guantanamo Bay of Georgia, I would do it,” the Savannah Republican said….

Karen Handel was not present at the GOP forum — because Ray McBerry was. Early this morning, her campaign focused on the identity of the actress in this Nathan Deal attack in this TV ad:

The Handel campaign declared – and the Deal campaign confirmed – that the unnamed woman is Mandy Cronan, daughter-in-law of Deal’s business partner Ken Cronan.

The two own the auto salvage business, Recovery Services, Inc., that became the focus of an investigation by a congressional ethics office – …

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A brief jolt: Kasim Reed to side with Roy Barnes in governor’s race

I’m off-site and air-brushed this morning to tape a pair of debates for governor.

But an e-mail has rolled in from the Democratic campaign of former Gov. Roy Barnes, promising a “major Atlanta political endorsement” at 11 a.m.

The identity of the endorser is a mystery.

But the location is City Hall. The only two participants named are Barnes and Mayor Kasim Reed. And Barnes stepped in to endorse Reed last year at a crucial point in his race for mayor.

The tension is unbearable.

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Your morning jolt: Behind the Sierra Club deadlock over Roy Barnes and DuBose Porter

On Thursday, the Georgia chapter of the Sierra Club issued a list of primary endorsements that included Carol Porter in the Democratic race for lieutenant governor, plus eight Democratic and two GOP state lawmakers.

But the conservation group made no endorsement in the contest for governor – deadlocked between two Democrats, former Gov. Roy Barnes and House Minority Leader DuBose Porter of Dublin.

How do we know? Here are excerpts from a letter penned by Mark Woodall, vice chairman of the group’s executive committee, summing up the dilemma:

It’s unfortunate that the two best environmental office holders we have seen over the last 20 years in Georgia are both running in the Democratic primary for Governor. Here is some history on the record of Roy Barnes and DuBose Porter.

Roy Barnes as Governor gave us some good appointments to the DNR Board, although he didn’t fire EPD Director Harold Reheis.

As Governor, Roy was against the mining of the Okefenokee by DuPont which led …

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Mary Norwood to run for Fulton County chairmanship — as an independent

We knew that former Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood was running for something, given her recent Tweets about Fulton County taxation. But we didn’t expect this.

Former Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood. Elissa Eubanks/AJC

Former Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood. Elissa Eubanks/AJC

Phil Kent, that white-haired Georgia Gangster, reports that, at a Johns Creek GOP event last night, Norwood took to the microphone to announce that she’s running against John Eaves for chairmanship of the Fulton County Commission — as an independent.

Throughout her mayoral campaign, Norwood maintained she was neither blue nor red, but purple – though by the runoff, pressed by Democrat Kasim Reed, she was forced to emphasize her support for Barack Obama in the ‘08 presidential contest. Even so, state Democratic officials declared her a member of the GOP.

The result was that many Republicans were just as miffed. Such are the hazards of life in the middle.

Kent says he had his line ready, and told Norwood that he thought it gratifying that “you now …

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