Bill Campbell said what?

@andishehnouraee andishehnouraee
At @AtlantaMagazine Atlanta mayors forum, Campbell says he left city better than he found it.

13 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone

I messaged Andisheh late last night. What follows is a dramatization of our e-mail exchangin’.

“Did he really say that?”

He did.

“Really?”

Yep.

“No.”

Yes.

Bill Campbell, right?  As in the Mayor Bill Campbell who was indicted on racketeering and bribery and convicted on tax evasion?”

The very same.

“Really.”

Really.

 

Grifters never change (cont’d)

First came the kickbacks.

Now, the patronage.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s choice to be the state’s mental health ombudsman is dating the governor’s chief spokesman and was chosen without following procedures outlined in state law, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.

Deal named Corinna Magelund to the position earlier this month at a salary $25,000 above what her predecessor made, while also giving Magelund more responsibility. Magelund, who previously served as then-Gov. Sonny Perdue’s scheduler, does not have direct hands-on experience in mental health. Deal’s office said she was not hired because of her relationship with Brian Robinson, Deal’s deputy chief of staff for communications, but for her experience in state government.

You were warned.

Quid pro crock

AT&T is lining up support for its acquisition of T-Mobile from a slew of liberal groups with no obvious interest in telecom deals — except that they’ve received big piles of AT&T’s cash.

In recent weeks, the NAACP, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Education Association have each issued public statements in support of the deal.

The groups all say their public positions have nothing to do with the money they received from AT&T. And AT&T says it supports nonprofit groups because it’s the right thing to do — and not because of any quid pro quo.

Sure.

The fallout has begun, as GLAAD’s president resigned Friday. Unfortunately, the irrelevant organization he led remains.

Faith, freedom and a sleazeball

Four years ago he couldn’t get elected lieutenant governor in his home state. Now Ralph Reed has re-emerged as a GOP power broker, attracting every Republican presidential candidate — except Newt — to his catchphrase-heavy Faith and Freedom Coalition conference. Let’s review his e-mails with convicted influence peddler Jack Abramoff.

Among those e-mails was one from Reed to Abramoff in late 1998: “I need to start humping in corporate accounts! . . . I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts.” Within months, Abramoff hired him to lobby on behalf of the Mississippi Band of Choctaws, who were seeking to prevent competitors from setting up facilities in nearby Alabama.

In 1999, Reed e-mailed Abramoff after submitting a bill for $120,000 and warning that he would need as much as $300,000 more: “We are opening the bomb bays and holding nothing back.”

In 2004, when the casino payments to Reed were disclosed, Reed issued a statement declaring “no direct knowledge of their [Abramoff's law firm's] clients or interests.” In 2005, however, Senate investigators released a 1999 e-mail from Abramoff to Reed explicitly citing the client: “It would be really helpful if you could get me invoices [for services performed] as soon as possible so I can get Choctaw to get us checks ASAP.”

One of the most damaging e-mails was sent by Abramoff to partner Michael Scanlon, complaining about Reed’s billing practices and expenditure claims: “He is a bad version of us! No more money for him.” Scanlon and Abramoff have pleaded guilty to defrauding clients.

Last I checked Reed hasn’t asked anyone’s forgiveness.

Donate to Sarah Palin’s vacay fund

Sarah Palin or no — does anyone really think this is a system worth defending?

The trip appears to be part vacation, part political rally and part reality show. Fuel, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by SarahPAC, Palin’s political committee, which is also soliciting donations online in connection with the journey.

“You can show your support for the Fundamental Restoration of America and the ‘One Nation Tour’ by making a generous donation to SarahPAC today,” reads a message on the SarahPAC Web site.

The arrangement is perfectly legal, campaign-finance experts say. SarahPAC is set up as an unconnected PAC, meaning that the usual restrictions on candidate committees don’t apply. Regular candidate committees, for example, are barred from converting campaign money to personal use.

As a result, unless Palin decides to formally explore a possible presidential run, she is free to spend the money raised by SarahPAC for “any lawful purpose” under federal law, experts said. That means it doesn’t matter whether the trip is a holiday, a political event or something in between.

What’s changed in 60 years

How does a college professor obtain a $500,000 line of credit at Tiffany’s? Or a local sportscaster and her commercial fisherman husband afford a $1.7 million second home?

It wouldn’t have happened without their political careers. We’ve come to accept the public servant as millionaire, despite the example of Harry Truman.

When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an “allowance” and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year. As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.

When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”

I don’t begrudge anyone getting rich. But wealth is not always an option You enter fields like journalism, education and politics knowing they are not lucrative financially. Or at least they shouldn’t be.

Instead politicians follow the path of many religious leaders, living like pimps while reassuring the peasants they are empathetic. But hey, if Jesus was rich, why not them? Note that these prosperity preachers have among the largest congregations in the country.

Blame yourselves.

And Jesus went into the Temple and sent out all who were trading there, overturning the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those trading in doves.