Who you going to believe—me or your lying eyes?

If you want to know a person’s true character, pay attention to what they do not what they say. A person’s actions tell the real story of their values, their principles and their truth. Today’s Atlanta Journal Constitution story on Atlanta City Council members who received transportation campaign funds challenges the core principles public servants take the oath to honor.

The story is one of the most interesting of this local campaign season. The Citizens for Better Transportation 2016 was funded to advocate successfully for passage of the city’s T-SPLOST. Businesses large and small heeded the Mayor’s call for funding that ponied up $1.2 million. The Committee was established by a respectable Georgia lawyer, Robert Highsmith, who has close political ties to the Mayor and to the Georgia Republican Party. Highsmith served as the Committee’s treasurer. The Committee relied on seasoned campaign staff including the mayor’s brother, Tracy Reed, to manage the campaign. The referendum passed and all was well except instead of spending all of the $1.2 million, the team spent less than it raised. Now the integrity test is what do you do with the funds that were not spent. Should the Committee adhere to the law and return the funds on a prorated basis to the donors, donate to an IRS approved charity or create a slush fund? It seems as if the Committee decided on the latter.

Integrity is what you do, when no one is watching. The Committee decided the donors wouldn’t care if they returned the funds back to them. After all, big corporations have more than enough money to spare in the robust economy City Hall has created. And there aren’t any worthy charities that are struggling to fund their social or educational services for the sick, unemployed, students short of college funds or seniors in need of help to pay their utility bills. I guess the homeless are all sheltered and the hungry can do without a meal for the night. The Westside Future Fund must be fully funded. So is United Way of Greater Atlanta and Hosea Feed the Hungry. All the children who want to attend early learning centers and schools must be accounted for. Grady Hospital must have all the money they need for indigent patients and the Atlanta Police Foundation has funded all the houses necessary for police and firefighters.

According to today’s AJC, the Committee decided it was best to use the extra $700,000 for political campaigns and not the needs of Atlanta’s residents. That may be a moral dilemma but choosing to fill out the required state disclosure form in a way that indicates there were no remaining funds, is a question of character.

This case is similar to the actions of Councilmember Michael Julian Bond whom I have known for many years and I am an admirer of his parents and grandparents.

Bond accepted a contribution for the maximum amount allowable by the law from the Committee, and is rumored to be receiving additional financial help in the form of anonymous mailers and other campaign services. This shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone who’s paying attention, since Bond accepted $12,800 from a city contractor that has been ensnared in the ongoing federal corruption probe, and before that he racked up 300 ethics violations for which he promised to pay a $45,000 fine — the largest in Georgia history!

Bond has yet to make the first payment…and if he’s able to hold onto his council post, I wonder if the Citizens for Better Transportation committee can find a legal justification for covering his debt.

You decide. Is it a mere oversight and a lapse in judgement? Or is it an intentional illegal act to gain power and influence no matter the law?

It all reminds me of the punchline from comedian Richard Pryor’s joke about him getting caught cheating on his wife and he says, “baby who you going to believe—me or your lying eyes?”

Comments

  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    I agree with you. A lot of effort and money is being expended to elect a new Mayor who will provide political tail cover to His Dishonor after he leaves City Hall.

  2. Don’t be a coward

  3. I don’t know what is sadder- the fact that your candidate is so weak that you have to rely on on a shrill has been to to be your mouthpiece or that the fact that Shirley Franklin is so desperate to remain relevant that she would back a convicted criminal for public office. To me being indignant about being caught in a lie and decrying negative campaigning when that is what you have been doing all along is cowardly and hypocritical. Shirley Franklin hired Adam Smith as well as an alcoholic for police chief. It’s sad that she is ruining her already tarnished legacy. It makes one wonder who is actually the candidate. This lying criminal is the only person foolish enough to let her near their campaign and I can see why. Negative attention is still attention right? She’s using that poor man to get in the spotlight again after leaving office in sham

  4. Your husband embezzled from Richard Pryor you coward

  5. You are a lying hypocritical coward

  6. Everyone in your family has criminal ties and you try to be all high and mighty. You are a liar and a hypocrite. You hired Adam Smith and your daughter was married was married to a known drug dealer that you gave police protection while you tried to steal airport contracts to your ex husband and son to justify their drug income. You should know a lot about the FBI and what they do. Just because people don’t say it to your face don’t forget that you are a lying disgrace. You abused your position to protect criminals and now you are endorsing one. You are a sad pathetic liar and everyone knows it

  7. Your husband stole from Richard Pryor

  8. Everyone remembers that you tried to fight at the fire station

  9. What do you know about ethics when everyone around you is a criminal

  10. You and this blog is a joke. What can you say about ethics when you hired Adam Smith? These contractors you criticize all contributed to your campaign and you gave them all contracts. It’s only a matter of time before you too are implicated and endorsing a criminal is not a good look.

  11. Rob Lovee says:

    You keep deleting my comments but that only proves that you have a lot to hide. Be honest for a change

  12. Rob Lovee says:

    What are you afraid of ? The truth? Tell the truth about your criminal life.

  13. Rob Lovee says:

    You hired Adam Smith hypocrite

  14. Rob Lovee says:

    Keep deleting my comments coward

  15. Rob Lovee says:

    Deleting my comments proves that you are guilty liar

  16. Rob Lovee says:

    If you are really about integrity you will tell the truth about your lies and let my comments stay. But you are a lying coward and hypocrite and you don’t want to face the truth

  17. Rob Lovee says:

    You only want to hear from people who agree with you. That’s not leadership! Nobody wants your endorsement but a convicted criminal. Your star has fallen

  18. Rob Lovee says:

    David Franklin embezzled from Richard Pryor and that’s why he died broke. You sat there and did nothing but spend that stolen money. Your whole family are crooks. That’s why you are endorsing one. Birds of a feather flock together

  19. Rob Lovee says:

    You hired Adam Smith

  20. Rob Lovee says:

    It’s almost like you want to get caught. I’d that why you chose this quote?

  21. Rob Lovee says:

    Deleting my comments only proves your guilt

  22. Rob Lovee says:

    Don’t hide from the truth

  23. Rob Lovee says:

    You can dish it out but can’t take it?

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