Archive for the ‘Atlanta mayor's race’ Category

The people behind Jimmy Carter’s letter on Israel

Last month, while much of the world was distracted by the holidays, former President Jimmy Carter issued what he called “an open letter to the Jewish community.”

In four paragraphs, Carter expressed his hopes for the state of Israel. He ended the letter with a fifth paragraph that the world quickly came to call an apology.

“We must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel,” the former president said. “I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so.”

The statement might be better termed a confession. Al Het refers to the Yom Kippur prayer recited by a supplicant who begs God to forgive a sin.

In the weeks since, the abrupt nature of the Carter statement has led many to speculate about its purpose and the former president’s motives.

What very few know is that this first step toward reconciliation was the private initiative of several influential members of Atlanta’s Jewish community, whose ties to Carter date three decades and more. …

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Your morning jolt: Kasim Reed to make a Capitol appearance, with Ralph Long at his side

One day after a return to the state Senate, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed will walk across the street again this morning for a visit to the state House – with considerably more pomp.

Reed, who served in both chambers during 12 years in the Legislature, will be escorted by a formal House committee of escort that might as well be waving olive branches. That’s how loaded down with symbolism they’ll be.

House Speaker David Ralston has asked that state Rep. Calvin Smyre (D-Columbus), who ran against him in the formal House vote for speaker, accompany the mayor.

And Reed has asked that the escort party include state Rep. Ralph Long, a Democrat who last year had the honor of being the only elected official to support Mary Norwood in the Atlanta mayoral contest.

After his address to the House, Reed goes to the Atlanta Press Club, where he’ll outline the basics of his administration.

Not enough has been made of House Speaker David Ralston’s appearance in the Senate on Wednesday – the first …

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Kasim Reed to host $500-a-head debt retirement party for Lisa Borders

Within the last hour, former Atlanta mayoral candidate Lisa Borders sent the following message via Twitter:

Join Mayor Reed and I @ the 191 Club on 1/28/10 from 5:30-7:30 for a debt retirement reception, minimum contribution of $500 at reception.

Which argues well for graceful exits. Borders endorsed Reed in the December runoff, and served as Reed as a co-chairman of his transition team.

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Familiar ground: Exit of black candidate could mean a white mayor of New Orleans

While Kasim Reed was being sworn in as mayor of Atlanta, residents of New Orleans were digesting the likelihood of a February mayoral election in which race will be a dominant topic.

This from Monday’s Times-Picayune:

With his sudden exit Saturday from the New Orleans mayoral race, state Sen. Ed Murray sent shock waves through the local political establishment and gave rise to the prospect of a showdown between two white candidates for the top job at City Hall, a scenario unthinkable before Hurricane Katrina.

The departure of Murray, the leading black candidate, brings the field of major contenders in the Feb. 6 primary to six. Recent polls have showed Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu with a substantial lead, followed by wealthy businessman and former gubernatorial candidate John Georges; both are white. Murray had been running a distant third….

In a statement issued Sunday, Murray said his decision rested in part on a desire to avoid what appeared to be shaping up to be an “extremely …

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Kasim Reed and a ‘culture of customer service’

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is sworn in by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, using a Bible held by his parents, June and Sylvia Reed. Bob Andres/AJC

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is sworn in by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein, using a Bible held by his parents, June and Sylvia Reed.

Some may balk at the suggestion, but at least a bit of the content within today’s inauguration of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed may owe something to Gov. Sonny Perdue.

If nothing else, similar themes resonate. You’ll recall that after he was elected in 2002, Perdue put great emphasis on state government as a “customer service” provider.

The following was one of Reed’s more effective phrasings from his first brief speech as mayor — perhaps a nod of the head to run-off rival Mary Norwood:

“I want to acknowledge that the city government has a responsibility to its citizens to perform the business of government in an open, ethical and professional manner. We must also create a culture of customer service that competes with the service quality of those companies that call Atlanta home…

“Whether it’s taking care of that pothole on your street …

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Your morning jolt: Karen Handel throws cold water on Atlanta mayoral challenge

The Office of Inspector General under Secretary of State Karen Handel last night threw some cold water on charges pushed by Mary Norwood supporters, who claim that about 1,300 voters cast illegal ballots in the Dec. 1 runoff for mayor of Atlanta:

Based on preliminary findings, we believe that the original list provided by Citizens for Fair Atlanta Elections is not a list of voters who actually cast a ballot in the Atlanta mayoral election. Rather, it appears to have been created or pooled from a larger list of registered voters.

From this list, approximately 40 voters do not appear to have valid residence addresses. The Inspector General’s Office will continue its investigation to determine the eligibility status of these voters. We are forwarding these preliminary investigative findings to the Fulton County Board of Elections and Registration as it conducts its own investigation into this matter.”

Kasim Reed has been declared mayor-elect, by a margin of 715 votes. A recount

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Shirley Franklin, Andrew Young host a Christmas fund-raiser for Roy Barnes

With the race for mayor of Atlanta over, the players are moving to the next one. Below is the invite for a Dec. 14 fund-raiser for former Gov. Roy Barnes, hosted by Mayor Shirley Franklin and former mayor Andrew Young.

The name of mayor-elect Kasim Reed is missing.

But you’ll notice a good number other regulars on the host list, plus some prominent members of the African-American clergy, including Bishop Eddie Long and the Rev. Jasper Williams:

barnesinvite

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Mary Norwood drums up cash for a recount

Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood, now officially the second-place finisher in Tuesday’s vote, apparently is hurting for money to finance a recount. This e-mail arrived last night:

Where we stand: This race is not over. Out of over 84,000 votes cast, there are just over 700 votes separating me and Kasim Reed. Unfortunately, because our opponent raised almost twice as much as we did, in order to meet all of our Get Out The Vote expenses we had to spend every dollar we raised during the runoff. Since we are within 1% of each other, there will be an automatic recount.

While we fight through the recount we need to keep the campaign operational and meet the expenses that come with a recount. This will be a costly process. We are still operational with very few paid staff and dozens of volunteers who are ready to fight for
what’s right and fight until the last legitimate vote is counted.

If we can raise another $30,000 we will be able to deploy a 100%, full force effort to make …

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Keep your yard signs up, says Mary Norwood

Sounds like someone may be doing some due diligence, just in case a courtroom is in the offing. Following are the last few Tweets from Mary Norwood, who has yet to concede defeat in the Atlanta mayoral contest:

One hour ago: “We are in a recount. Keep your Mary Norwood signs in your yard. Thank you!!”

One hour ago: “Atlanta, if you voted a provisional ballot, we need to hear from you. Email me your Name /Address / Phone/email…”

Two hours ago: “Atlanta, we have asked for a Recount of the Votes. Stand United Atlanta!”

Four hours ago: “Atlanta, if you voted with a provisional ballot, we want to know about you! Call my office at 404-Mayor-09 or send…..”

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Atlanta opts for change, but not revolution

In the end, Atlanta declared for change. But the city turned its back on revolution.

Reaching beyond City Hall, voters on Tuesday picked 40-year-old former state senator Kasim Reed as the 59th mayor of Atlanta.

The caveats of a razor-thin margin apply. A recount of the runoff is in the offing.

Mary Norwood, the diminutive councilwoman who threatened to engineer the greatest shake-up City Hall had seen in three decades, refused to concede defeat.

But as midnight approached, boosted by a surprisingly strong turnout in a post-Thanksgiving runoff, Reed declared himself the fourth consecutive African-American to hold the city’s top office.

Race was never a point directly addressed by the candidate, except to deny its importance – but the fact was of great concern to more than a few black voters, not to mention many members of the media who had their eyes on Atlanta’s changing population.

The 11-year lawmaker and attorney was backed by a phalanx of civic leaders, civil rights …

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