By Coley Ward
This billboard is located at the corner of North Avenue and Northside Drive, just a few hundred yards from Creative Loafing Atlanta headquarters.
The New Orleans mayoral election is this month and it looks like somebody is trying to rally support for current mayor Ray Nagin. More than 40,000 evacuees relocated to Georgia after Katrina, the AJC reported last week (registration required). Most of them came to the Atlanta area and many are still here and will be voting in the New Orleans mayoral race via absentee ballot.
The small type in the lower righthand corner of the billboard says it was paid for by Ben Edwards. Who is Edwards, you ask?
Bill Rouselle, a consultant to the Nagin campaign, says he doesn't have any idea.
"We appreciate whatever he has done, but we don't know who it is," Rouselle says.
Ben, are you out there?
By Scott Henry
With state Sen. Sam Zamarripa's surprise announcement Tuesday that he's not running for re-election comes the inevitable shuffling of district seats as local politicians and hopefuls begin jumping into races. Veteran Rep. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, was first out of the gate, declaring her candidacy for Zamarripa's Senate post.
Elected in 2002, Sam Zam, an investment banker, says he is stepping aside to devote more time to business endeavors, with a focus on bringing Chinese investment to Georgia.
Other senators who are not seeking re-election include:
People keep asking me what's going to happen to Air Loaf, as well as Air America in Atlanta, once the sale of 1690 WWAA goes through. The answer is I don't know yet, because I haven't gotten a chance to call the new owner.
A few weeks ago, we (CL) ran an article on the pending sale. I purposely steered clear of that article because, as a host on the station, I have a conflict of interest (I'm the editor of Creative Loafing, too). But Alyssa Abkowitz's story was consistent with what I know about the deal.
The surprising thing to me is that we didn't get a huge amount of response to that story. I constantly run into people who listen to Air Atlanta. Is there much interest out there in keeping Air America going here in Atlanta? If so, what could be done about it?
Cynthia McKinney's Democratic primary opponent headlines this week's Air Loaf and, boy, we should have a lot to talk about. I think it'll be his first broadcast appearance since McKinney's alleged assault of a Capitol police officer.
Last week, I began the show by railing on McKinney. The phones immediately lit up with McKinney defenders. I just think she's a very ineffective representative, and this latest brouhaha involving her imperious behavior played into Republican hands by giving the mainstream media an easy way to
drive more significant (but less theatrical) GOP scandals off the front pages.
Anyway, DeKalb Commissioner Hank Johnson headlines the show in the first hour. He's a two-term county commissioner representing south and east DeKalb. It'll be interesting to see if he seems like he has the juice to truly challenge McKinney.
We're going to try to get McKinney on the show as well, but I'm not optimistic. She generally doesn't do interviews with local media.
Also on the show: Susan Booth, the outspoken director of the Alliance Theatre; and Christina Alvarez, the ACLU attorney who's representing South Asian convenience store owners who say they were discriminated against in a federal sting operation.
Listen in 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday on 1690 Air Atlanta. Call in your
comments at 404-633-1690.
Sorry that we're running a bit late on posting Air Loaf recordings. Here's the March 25 show, which featured an interview with Shyam Reddy, the Democratic secretary of state candidate who's been surprising folks with how much money he's raising.
I was very impressed with Reddy. Sugg also wrote a column about him. He's not the only interesting newcomer in the crowded Democratic field, though. Another is Bosnia/Afghan/Iraq Army vet Scott Holcomb, whom Doug Monroe wrote about last fall.
Reddy was on in the second hour (segments 5-8) -- although I'm told the disc was screwy and didn't capture the last segment.
In the first hour, I interviewed David Goldberg, a former AJC editorialist now with SmartGrowth America, and the Rev. Timothy McDonald of First Iconium Baptist Church. The good reverend came on to preview the April 1 Southern Regional March for Peace and Justice.
Early next week, we'll try to get up both last week's show AND this weekend's show.
Listen to the March 25 Air Loaf:
By Coley Ward
Why anyone running for public office would solicit an endorsement from one of the most ridiculed public officials in American history is up for debate, but that's what Republican Secretary of State candidate Karen Handel did.
Recently, Handel received an endorsement from former Vice President Dan Quayle. That's the same Quayle who attacked the television character Murphy Brown for promoting single parenthood. The same Quayle who famously misspelled the word "potato" in front of an elementary school class. The same Quayle who once sagely stated, "I have made good judgments in the past. I have made good judgments in the future."
Today, the campaign manager for Handel's opponent in the Republican primary, Sen. Bill Stephens (R-Canton), took the opportunity to belittle the Quayle endorsement in the political newsletter Insider Advantage:
"In a Georgia election or a spelling bee, I'll take Congressmen Deal, Norwood and Westmoreland and 100 state legislators over Dan Quayle any day. At least all of Bill's endorsers can spell 'potato.'"
Now Handel's camp is accusing the Stephens camp of failing to show the proper respect toward a former vice president:
"While I've gotten used to the Stephens attacks, I'm shocked and disappointed that he would stoop to this. The vice president and Marilyn are dedicated public servants and true conservative leaders. What the Clinton-Gore campaign -- and the media -- said about them was unfair and disrespectful, and it's just as bad today. Frankly, I expected better from Bill Stephens."
What do you think? Is criticizing Quayle going too far? Or is it every American's birthright?
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