Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bidness group 'endorses' Lisa Borders for mayor

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 4:44 PM

lisa borders

It shouldn't be shocking news to anybody, including her opponents, that Council President Lisa Borders has received the highest candidate evaluation score from the Committee for a Better Atlanta.

As a protege of uber-developer Tom Cousins, Borders is certainly the favorite of Atlanta business community. But the Metro Atlanta Chamber decided a while back to keep its favoritism at arm's length by creating the CBA to rate candidates by how they score on a questionnaire and in a face-to-face interview.

Today those scores were released (PDF) and, no surprise, Borders came out on top, with a 95 percent. Frankly, the only real surprise was that state Sen. Kasim Reed scored so closely behind her, with a 93.

For the Council president's race, Council members Ceasar Mitchell and Clair Muller tied with 92.

In other races, Alex Wan was deemed the best candidate in District 6, Keisha Lance Bottoms topped the field in District 11, Michael Bond got the nod for Post 1 at-large and Amir Farokhi and Aaron Watson tied for Post 2 at-large.

I don't mean to sound overly dismissive of the CBA's ranking process, but it should be recognized for what it is: namely, a clever way for the city's leading business group to boost certain candidates without sullying its hands with direct endorsements (or violating federal tax law, since it's a non-profit group).

The complicated scoring system notwithstanding, any process that uses essay questions and oral interviews to evaluate candidates can't avoid a certain level of subjectivity.

What am I trying to say? Merely that it was a foregone conclusion that Lisa Borders would get the high score, however those numbers needed to add up. And that's OK because most folks will look on this result for what it is: a de facto endorsement from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

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