Archive for the ‘Jesse Spikes’ Category

The elimination of a woman in the middle

Lisa Borders concedes defeat in the Atlanta mayoral race

Lisa Borders concedes defeat in the Atlanta mayoral race. Elissa Eubanks/AJC

When the issue of race poked its inevitable nose into the Atlanta mayoral contest, Lisa Borders — without fanfare or elaboration — declared herself a woman in the middle.

“I have never had the luxury of being black or white. I have always been part of the entire city,” she said in late August.

It was a remarkable admission, little remarked upon, for the woman once presumed to be the natural successor to Shirley Franklin — the perfect fit for a city whose demographics have begun to resemble the chocolate-and-vanilla swirl of Jello pudding.

But elections are often a celebration of polarities. People in the middle are the people left out. And as Tuesday’s returns ground to a finish, Borders became one of the first certainties of the evening.

The Rev. Joe Lowery, the Civil Rights octogenarian, had wondered a few weeks ago whether eight years of Franklin had feminized the office of mayor beyond the claim …

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Lisa Borders raises last-minute cash in ATL mayor’s race

If last-minute cash is any measure, don’t count Lisa Borders out of tonight’s Atlanta mayoral calculations.

Earlier this morning, we said that, among the mayoral candidates, Kasim Reed had filed the only 48-hour report, which records last-minute contributions over $1,000. He reported two $1,000 contributions — $1,000 from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 732; and $1,000 from attorney Daniel Turner.

We now have the same report for Lisa Borders – though it still hasn’t been posted on the city of Atlanta web site. On Sunday and Monday, Borders raised a total $28,400 in her fight to claw her way into a runoff. Of that, $8,000 is a personal loan. (Reed has loaned himself close to $100,000.) See the Borders report here.

Among the donors: Vernon Jordan, the former civil rights leader-turned-investment banker. He gave $1,000 just yesterday. Jordan sits on the board of Howard University with Reed.

Editor’s note: Given the impending Atlanta mayoral election, instant commenting has …

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A word from ‘the least radical candidate’ on the ATL mayor’s race

State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R-Atlanta) sent out an e-mail to friends this morning:

Now this is funny – at least to me.

My friend Mary Norwood spent this weekend in the Atlanta mayoral race promoting her Democratic Party credentials and explaining away why she occasionally voted in the Republican primaries in recent years at her Buckhead Atlanta residence.

Lindsey cites an article from Atlanta Progressive News in which Norwood and her campaign explain:

In 2004, Norwood voted in the Republican Primary and the Republican Primary Run-off; this race included US House and legislature seats.

According to Norwood’s campaign manager Roman Levit, Norwood picked up a Republican ballot because in her State House district there was a competitive race between three or four Republicans and there was no Democrat in the race [the seat that State Rep. Ed Lindsey (R) holds], so she voted for the least radical candidate.

Lindsey continues:

In case you are wondering, I honestly take no offense – …

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Your morning jolt: Last-minute numbers in the ATL race for mayor

When local reporters where composing their final stories on campaign finances and the Atlanta mayoral race, the campaign of front-runner Mary Norwood released a summary that disclosed how much she had raised and how much she had spent – but did not identify individual donors or expenditures.

See the AJC article here.

But all of Norwood’s information is now on display on the city of Atlanta web site.

Opposing campaigns – Kasim Reed, in particular – are focusing this morning on an Oct. 9 payment to former state Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas for “consulting services.” The grassroots activist endorsed Norwood on Oct. 23.

But it’s also worth looking at some of Norwood’s contributors:

– The Atlanta Taxicab Industry Association: $2,000;

– Renee Glover, head of the Atlanta Housing Authority: $300;

– Individuals associated with Stephens Rock & Dirt of Oakwood, Ga.; $4,000;

– The Rev. Jasper Williams of Salem Baptist Church, $500;

– Author and former newspaper columnist Rick Allen of Big …

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Shirley Franklin says she’ll vote for Kasim Reed in ATL race for mayor

This just posted by CNN:

In an exclusive interview, Mayor Shirley Franklin told CNN’s Don Lemon that she plans to vote for former Georgia state lawmaker Kasim Reed in Tuesday’s election.

“Is that an official endorsement?” asked Lemon.

“That’s just telling you the truth,” Franklin responded. “I’m going to vote for him. I think he has the best set of skills. He has really been there to do some tough things over the state. He has Republican and Democratic support. . . . even though there are other candidates who have obviously some strengths, I think, through it all, he has the best chance of working in the region and the state.”

Franklin singled out Reed’s work in helping Atlanta deal with its water shortage issues, adding that “there are reasons to support each of the candidates” – but added that she has previously said she does not think Atlanta City Councilwoman Mary Norwood has the skills to be Atlanta’s chief executive.

Reed acted as Franklin’s campaign manager during her …

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State GOP denies funding anti-Norwood robocall

The state Republican party says it had no hand in a robocall that went to GOP voters over the weekend, chastising Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood – not for her alleged Republican proclivities, but for her denial of them.

It was clearly an attempt to envelope Norwood in a kind of pincer movement. State Democrats last week accused her of closet Republicanism.

“Attention, Republican voters. This is a Republican action alert. Mayoral candidate Mary Norwood has viciously attacked Republicans, and reaffirmed her support for Barack Obama,” the automated phone call said.

It was a poorly targeted attack. The calls went to Republicans throughout much of north Georgia, we’re hearing – apparently generating enough of a buzz to prompt this statement from state GOP chairman Sue Everhart:

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Your morning jolt: We’ve entered the 48-hour zone for political hijinks

Just because you can’t or won’t prove that you’ve created a charitable foundation, just because you’ve been fined $25,000 for failing to properly register that charity – none of that deprives you of bragging rights.

At-large Atlanta City Councilman Lamar Willis, running for a third term, is touting his claim that he’s given away $100,000 in scholarships on a flyer sent to voters over the weekend:


One unspoken consequence of the state Democratic party’s entry into the Atlanta mayoral race: It may have cost front-runner Mary Norwood any chance she had of striking an alliance with candidates left out of a run-off – if there is one.

Based on their statements in Sunday’s AJC/WSB debate, in which they accused Norwood of misleading voters on her party identification, it seems unlikely that Kasim Reed, Lisa Borders or Jesse Spikes would endorse Norwood.

Evidence of where the Rev. Mitzi Bickers, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, stands in the mayor’s race, as captured by a reader …

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Closing arguments: Mary Norwood pilfers from Obama, but Kasim Reed is Reaganesque

A final word on tonight’s AJC/WSB debate of the Atlanta mayoral candidates:

The closing statements were the usual fare – no news, but one of the weirdest transpositions, between fervent Democrat Kasim Reed and alleged Republican Mary Norwood.

Norwood, despite that flyer declaring she hobnobs with Limbaugh, Bush and Palin, pilfered the speechifying of Barack Obama:

“I represent change and hope and a new direction for this city,” she declared.

While Reed was actually Reaganesque. “What I will be is a mayor that stands and delivers for you,” he said. “I still believe that Atlanta is a city on a hill….”

This is why you’ve gotta love politics.

Editor’s note: Given the impending Atlanta mayoral election, instant commenting has been closed on the Political Insider blog. Readers are invited to submit comments on all posts, which will be published as soon as possible after review.

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Candidate-on-candidate jabs in the ATL mayoral debate

In candidate-on-candidate questioning, Atlanta attorney Jesse Spikes had one of the sharpest jabs at Mary Norwood of the entire evening.

“You’ve been on the council now for eight years. And never once in all those eight years has anyone asked you to lead a single council committee,” he noted. “Isn’t that a damning indictment of your leadership abilities by those people who work with you?”

Said Norwood:

“I realized that the committee system at council – the chairman has no power. The chairman has no ability to withhold legislation from reaching the floor. I am so interested in the multiplicity of issues across the state, that I spent my eight years working for specific results in communities.”

Norwood and Reed also exchanged pleasantries. Reed asked Norwood about her expenditures — some of which, he said, were reimbursements for money that went to her robo-call company.

Reed accused her of violating city procurement rules. Norwood responded by waving the report from the city …

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Jesse Spikes of City Hall: ‘When I get somebody on the phone, they’re not very nice’

Bureaucracy – in particular, the city’s malfunctioning police department and an irresponsive water department – was also a hot topic in tonight’s Atlanta mayoral debate sponsored by the AJC and WSB.

“I know when I get somebody on the phone, they’re not very nice to me,” said Jesse Spikes, the Atlanta attorney.

Norwood promised zero-based budgeting . Borders promised a “Commissioner Fix-It” who would track complaints. She modified an old Newt Gingrich line. “If UPS can track a package, we can track a concern,” she said.

Borders admitted there are some city employees who aren’t doing their jobs, and said unions would help her identify the miscreants.

Borders said that, when it came to customer service, the grade that the city’s water department should receive “is probably an ‘F’. We’ve got to take that division apart.”

Said Reed: “The number of misbillings that we have…is simply too high, and it’s been confirmed by our own audits.”

Reed also called for a “return to the day where …

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