Jason Carter on mayor’s race: ‘Keisha is not Kasim Reed’

Atlanta Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms was endorsed by state Rep. Pat Gardner, former state Sen. Jason Carter, state Sen. Elena Parent, state Rep. David Dreyer and former state Rep. Kathy Ashe. (AJC/Greg Bluestein)

In remarks on Thursday, Democrat Jason Carter invoked his delicate relationship with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to explain his support for Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms.

The mayor and Carter have had a strained history that was tested during the former state senator’s 2014 gubernatorial bid. He acknowledged their past differences while addressing the backlash Bottoms has faced for her close ties to Reed.

I have also heard that she is too close with the current Mayor.  Let me say this: the current Mayor and I do not always see eye to eye.  But Keisha is not Kasim Reed and the idea that she is somehow a weak puppet is offensive to me. 

Sometimes it seems that people have taken the most superficial aspects of Keisha, and made judgments without looking at the facts. 

He had this to add on the implication that because she’s close to Reed she’s also tainted by the federal corruption probe into City Hall:

Like many of you, I have been embarrassed and disappointed by the federal indictments in the current City Hall corruption scandal. 

But I have also been embarrassed and disappointed at the number of people who are willing to assume—with no evidence whatsoever—that Keisha is somehow complicit herself.  There is literally no evidence—none—that Keisha has been involved in any the activities that are rightfully being investigated.

You can read his entire remarks below.

Insider’s note: This item was ripped and expanded from the Morning Jolt

You’ll find more on PoliticallyGeorgia.com, including these stories:

Bottoms begins to distance herself from Reed in Atlanta mayoral race

Georgia Democrats divided over party’s role in hunt for mayor

Of ‘thugs’ and ‘coded language’ Atlanta mayoral candidates clash in GPB debate

Metro Atlanta’s LGBT voters flex muscle, see power grow in new ways

With Atlanta mayor vote, a fabled bipartisan alliance comes to an end

A closer look at the big-name endorsements in the Atlanta mayor’s race

Atlanta mayoral hopefuls call for transparency. How do they measure up?

Carter’s full remarks:

Some of my best friends in politics—and some of my best friends in the world—are on the other side of this race.  And I respect them. 

But let me tell you why I support Keisha Lance Bottoms.

At this moment in our country’s history, I wake up almost every day and I look at the news, and I can’t believe what is going on. 

Every day, I feel like we are fighting for what it means to be an American. Every day, I feel like something I cherish is under attack. 

And at this moment in our country’s history, in these battles that we fight every day, the Mayor of Atlanta’s voice is just too important to put it at risk. 

The Mayor of Atlanta really is the “crown jewel” – it is the most important progressive voice in Georgia, it is the most important progressive voice in the South and it is one of the most important voices in this country. 

This election is bigger than just our City.  In this age of Donald Trump, this election matters in the battles that we fight every day—that’s why you see national leaders like Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren begging the people of this city to elect the right candidate. 

I live in Candler Park, and I love my neighborhood and I love my kids’ public school.  If I thought Keisha wouldn’t treat my neighborhood right, I wouldn’t vote for her.  She will be there to fight for our neighborhoods. 

But she will also be there—every time—to stand up for our values, to represent us every day, to stand up to the President and others on the broader issues that we care about:  climate change, discrimination, healthcare, education, welcoming immigrants, avoiding division, the impact of destructive tax giveaways to the rich can have on our poorest citizens. 

On these issues, Keisha will never have divided loyalties. 

I know this because I have seen it with my own eyes.   When I ran for governor, we were fighting to expand Medicaid and provide healthcare for 687,000 Georgians.  Keisha stood with me and advocated for those 687,000 people.  Her opponent refused. 

Again, Keisha will never have divided loyalties—and she will always stand with us.

Let me say a word about “corruption.” Like many of you, I have been embarrassed and disappointed by the federal indictments in the current City Hall corruption scandal. 

But I have also been embarrassed and disappointed at the number of people who are willing to assume—with no evidence whatsoever—that Keisha is somehow complicit herself.  There is literally no evidence—none—that Keisha has been involved in any the activities that are rightfully being investigated. 

Almost every day I beg politicians in Washington to make choices based on actual facts.  We have to do that here too.

Keisha is committed to rooting out corruption.  Read her ethics proposals—she is talking about drastic action—not just to root-out the corruption that the federal investigators have found, but to eliminate even the appearance of corruption in contracting and elsewhere.  Not one of her campaign contributors will get a city contract without independent vetting. 

That’s far more than her opponent has proposed.  And she will do it.  Given the names that she has been called, the accusations that she has endured—with no evidence at all (imagine that for a minute!)—she will tackle this. 

She will restore the transparency and accountability that this city needs. 

I have also heard that she is too close with the current Mayor.  Let me say this: the current Mayor and I do not always seen eye to eye.  But Keisha is not Kasim Reed and the idea that she is somehow a weak puppet is offensive to me. 

Sometimes it seems that people have taken the most superficial aspects of Keisha, and made judgments without looking at the facts. 

Talk to her.  Read her story.  See how she has faced adversity in her life, see where she has been and where she is today.  And decide for yourself if you think she is her own person.  Again, I urge you to make your choices based on actual facts.

In conclusion, this election is important to all of us.  The Mayor of Atlanta is important not just in our neighborhoods, but in our country and in our world.  Keisha has proven to be the right leader for these times.  And I hope you will join me in supporting her. 

Reader Comments 1

22 comments
Shar1
Shar1

Bottoms is not Reed.  She is Reed in a dress.


She's not "a weak puppet".  She's a stupid weak puppet.


She has no accomplishments, no track record, no space between her and Reed's crony corruption.  Reed said that she'd continue his policies, and he funneled the dirty money he's so adept at getting into her coffers, promoted her to the corrupt bag men who pay him off to be sure that gets done.  Those supporting Bottoms want to maintain the sleazy status quo.


She also has so little local support that she's has to call in people from New Jersey (another sinkhole of corruption) and California to make her case.


Cathy Woollard was right.  Atlanta needs a complete break from the corruption, retributionary politics and bad judgement of the Reed era.  No to Bottoms.

AJCkrtk
AJCkrtk

For me, this election is about transparency. I agree that I have seen no evidence that Keisha Lance Bottoms is corrupt, and while I am not happy about her close relationship with Reed, that is not the deciding factor for me. The deciding factor for me is that Lance Bottoms is not transparent.

She promised on Tuesday night to immediately make her tax returns public. Instead she posted a copy of unsigned, redacted, incomplete tax returns for 2015. With that she is not only failing to be transparent, it breaks a promise she repeated two days before.

She has published a 10 point ethics plan and #4 is that candidates should publish the tax returns for the previous 5 years at least 70 days before the election date. She has not done this. Her opponent has published her last 9 years of returns. Lance Bottoms' time to publish her tax returns is running out - the election is Tuesday. (NOTE: the tax returns would go far to allow voters to confirm that she is not corrupt).

Lance Bottoms has filed campaign disclosures that are so woefully incomplete and non-transparent that we can't even determine who she is paying what or what they are doing. "The head of the state’s ethics commission said on Wednesday that his agency was investigating Atlanta mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms’ failure to report exactly who has been paid by her campaign.

Bottoms’ campaign disclosures lists several lump sum payments of $5,000 or more to “campaign staff.” The payments total more than $180,000. According to state law anyone receiving more than $100 should be identified in the reports."

She says she will amend the disclosures -- her time is running out. The election is Tuesday. (Proper disclosures are required to allow voters to judge corruption).

As Cathy Woolard said best: “I feel like the lack of transparency at City Hall has crushed the spirit of our city and I feel like we need a clean break with this administration and a new start here with a fresh set of players."


jfb3
jfb3

I can't help thinking Mayor Reed needs Ms. Bottoms to replace him so she can keep his "dirty laundry" covered up.

Click Clack
Click Clack

And I also graduated from Douglass High and lived in Adamsville under the watchful eye of Democrat Mayors, and watched my community erode!


Click Clack
Click Clack

These comments by Jason Carter are absurd, and reveal why I as Black Man, who has always voted Democrat, did not this past national election cycle. These so-called "National Democrats", like Kasim, Kamala, Jason (wants to be), are completely focused on their national agenda and have forgotten that politics LOCAL! These people are just career politicians and have absolutely no vested interest in serving "under served communities". We are simply supposed to vote for them or "face the wrath of Trump". 

Well those scare politics no longer work on us "simple minded po black folk" (as I scratch while I'm not itching). Jason sit down and shut up!


jj494
jj494

Bottoms is pure corruption, she cant even pay her own water bill let alone run a city. Vote Norwood

GA Ag Back
GA Ag Back

I am a proud Georgia Democrat and I live in Atlanta. Jason Carter's opinions always have value to me. I tend to find out who he is supporting and then vote for the other Democrat in that race.

MugofJoe
MugofJoe

You need to learn how to evaluate candidates on your own. If you just 'follow ' someone else's lead, then your casting his/her vote twice.

Jason Carter is wrong that Keisha Lance Bottoms won't hurt his children's APS schools. I just sat through the Educational Town Hall and Lance Bottoms, who had refused to support the APS Educational Agenda, decided to pander to this group of ardent educational activists. In the next breath, she told the audience she didn't support one of the Agenda items. It is pretty clear she didn't bother to read the Agenda or she wouldn't have made this mistake.

Her children attend private school so why should she care about APS? Also, her actions in her own family by not enrolling her children in her neighborhood schools, shows she embraces an economic caste system for herself and children. Rather than work to support her neighborhood schools, she lays,to a kid them.

Please, stop following others and find YOUR issues and voice.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Bottoms is to be Mayor to provide tail end coverage for Reed after he leaves office.

Angela.....
Angela.....

w̟o̟r̟k̟ o̟p̟p̟e̟r̟t̟u̟n̟i̟t̟y̟: s̟t̟a̟r̟t̟ y̟o̟u̟r̟ w̟o̟r̟k̟ a̟t̟ h̟o̟m̟e̟ r̟i̟g̟h̟t̟ n̟o̟w̟. s̟p̟e̟n̟d̟ m̟o̟r̟e̟ t̟i̟m̟e̟ w̟i̟t̟h̟ y̟o̟u̟r̟ f̟a̟m̟i̟l̟y̟ a̟n̟d̟ e̟a̟r̟n̟. s̟t̟a̟r̟t̟ b̟r̟i̟n̟g̟i̟n̟g̟ 85u̟s̟d̟/­­­h̟r̟ j̟u̟s̟t̟ o̟n̟ a̟ l̟a̟p̟t̟o̟p̟. v̟e̟r̟y̟ e̟a̟s̟y̟ w̟a̟y̟ t̟o̟ m̟a̟k̟e̟ y̟o̟u̟r̟ l̟i̟f̟e̟ h̟a̟p̟p̟y̟ a̟n̟d̟ e̟a̟r̟n̟i̟n̟g̟ c̟o̟n̟t̟i̟n̟u̟o̟u̟s̟l̟y̟.l̟a̟s̟t̟ w̟e̟e̟k̟ m̟y̟ c̟h̟e̟c̟k̟ w̟a̟s̟ 24551u̟s̟d̟ p̟o̟p̟ o̟v̟e̟r̟ h̟e̟r̟e̟ t̟h̟i̟s̟ s̟i̟t̟e̟ ..

        ░A░M░A░Z░I░N░G░ ░J░O░B░S░

°°°°°°http://ow.ly/pqaC30fgvnI 

Davidricardo
Davidricardo

How about the Martha's Vineyard house purchased at $500K discount from a person who manages some of Atlanta's pension money? Is that a good place to start?


MugofJoe
MugofJoe

Vote Lance Bottoms for Continued Corruption.

Vote Norwood for a Clean Break.

Davidricardo
Davidricardo

How about the payments that her campaign made to a business that shares the same PO Box with E. R. Mitchell. Is that a good place to start?


Babycat
Babycat

Why Jason Carter would back Bottoms is beyond me.  She will do Reed's bidding at every turn and ensure that he and his family are enriched with shady contracts with the city.

EdGraham
EdGraham

Why should we care what a has-been politician like Jason Carter thinks or says?  The only reason the AJC reports everything he does is because he's Jimmy's grandson.

GA Ag Back
GA Ag Back

@EdGraham He was the Democratic nominee during the last gubernatorial election in Georgia. It is odd that you care enough to comment on this story but are not informed enough to know why Jason Carter's opinion matters. Is there nothing better you could be doing right now? 

MugofJoe
MugofJoe

Running for office just makes Jason Carter a politician. It doesn't elevate his opinion above others' informed judgment.

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  1. […] for support. She has the backing of disparate factions of the Democratic Party, including Reed and Jason Carter, the party’s 2014 gubernatorial nominee. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, a potential 2020 nominee, is […]

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