Mayor Reed raises more than $446,000; Expenses include $12,000 birthday bash, $11,000 in travel

By David Pendered

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has raised more than $446,000 this year and has just over $1 million in cash in his campaign account, according to his recent campaign disclosure report.

Kasim Reed, Atlanta mayor

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has raised more in contributions this year than Georgia’s top three statewide officials, according to campaign finance reports.

Ten contributors named the City of Atlanta as their employer. They include the city’s newly appointed chief operating officer; two commissioners and a former commissioner; and the mayor’s two communications officers. The CEO of the Atlanta Beltline contributed, as did a project manager with the city’s development arm, Invest Atlanta.

Major expenses reported this year include a birthday party/fundraiser in June that cost more than $12,000; almost $14,000 for two fundraising consultants; more than $11,000 for official travel; and $981 to three florists for constituent recognition.

In comparison, the mayor has raised more cash this year than the combined total of Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston. Those three statewide officers raised a total of $354,055, according to a tally of figures contained in their campaign disclosure reports.

Reed’s next election is in 2013, if he seeks reelection as Atlanta’s mayor.

Click here for a link to all of the mayor’s financial reports filed with Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission.

Many of the mayor’s donors made sizable contributions.

Almost half the cash – $212,500 – came in the form of 85 donations in the amount of $2,500. An additional sum of $48,000 came through 24 donations of $2,000, according to a tally of figures listed in the report.

More than $75,000 came from outside Georgia. Donors listed addresses in states including Virginia, Illinois, Florida, North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

The donor list includes Atlanta leaders including:

  • The Atlanta Housing Authority’s senior vice president;
  • The owner of the Atlanta Falcons;
  • A top campaign consultant for the recent transportation sales tax;
  • The city’s former COO;
  • The president of Mother Nature Network.

The 10 donors who named the city as their employer contributed a total of about $6,350. The list includes, in addition to the previously mentioned officials:

  • Atlanta’s chief lobbyist;
  • Councilperson Keisha Lance Bottoms.

One $500 contribution was attributed to a man who reported being unemployed.

Expenses were below $92,000 for the reporting period. Major expenses include:

  • About $12,150 for expenses billed on dates in June and described individually as a fundraising event and birthday celebration. Reed’s birthday is in June. The Mandarin Hotel in Buckhead received $7,718 for the venue. One payment for $2,500.80 had this entry: “Post birthday reception FandB” (possibly “food and beverage”);
  • About $13,900 for two fundraising consultants – Fawn Dickinson ($9,000) and Amelia Bower ($4,836);
  • About $2,100 for three business meetings with campaign consultants. Fees were once to AMLI Old Fourth Ward, and twice to the W Hotel in Downtown Atlanta;
  • $5,000 for campaign contributions to Atlanta Councilwoman Bottoms ($2,500); Richmond, Va. Mayor Dwight Jones, a noted supporter of President Obama who’s running for reelection in November ($1,500); and Court of Appeals Judge Yvette Miller, who was appointed by then Gov. Roy Barnes ($1,000).;
  • About $11,400 for “Official business travel,” including a limo in Las Vegas for a speech for Martin Luther King Jr. Day ($173.23); The Palace Hotel in San Francisco for the inauguration of Mayor Ed Lee, the city’s first Asian American mayor ($884.12); and about $5,500 to Delta for air fare.

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

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