Mayoral candidate Mary Norwood picked up two key endorsements in the upcoming mayoral runoff on Monday -- former mayoral candidate Peter Aman, and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
The state ethics commission says they are investigating the campaign disclosures of mayoral candidate Keisha Lance Bottoms. A review of her latest disclosure report shows information missing about people paid by the campaign.
The disclosure report shows more than $58,000 paid to unspecified "campaign staff."
To Franklin, the omission raises a question about the candidate.
"And kind of the brushing aside, that it was a clerical error -- well, yea, it is a clerical error, but you have responsibility for that," she said.
Tuesday, Bottoms released the following statement calling the claims that her campaign is under investigation misleading:
Reports that the Ethics Commission is "investigating" Keisha Lance Bottom's campaign disclosures are irresponsible and false. The Ethics Commission made an announcement months ago that it would be conducting routine reviews of ALL campaign disclosures in major races. Mary Norwood's disclosures are under the SAME review as Keisha's, and the Ethics Commission has not made ANY finding of wrongdoing in Keisha's reports. On its own, Keisha's campaign has made technical amendments to her filings that are available on-line. And we have hired Rick Thompson, former Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission, to continue to ensure full compliance and transparency in our disclosures.
Franklin's endorsement of Norwood will open some eyes. She cited a number of reasons, but mostly, the endorsement was about ethics and corruption and the current climate at City Hall under one-time Franklin ally Kasim Reed and now the big benefactor of Norwood's opponent, Bottoms.
"We cannot and should not turn a blind eye to corruption and greed," Franklin said.
When Franklin took office 16 years ago, the FBI was investigating her predecessor, Bill Campbell -- who eventually went to federal prison on tax charges.
"I know what it takes to get the FBI out of the city," Franklin said. "I know what it takes to restore public trust in government, in hiring, in budgeting, in contracting, in procurement."
Now, Franklin says guilty pleas from a top official in the Reed Administration and others in a federal corruption probe ought to open some eyes in this election.
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"Some folks say that's not a big deal; it's 'just two or three people,'" Franklin said. "It is a big deal. The moment we say corruption is not a big deal, we lose."
Bottoms also had her own impressive list of runoff endorsements, ranging from dozens of Atlanta clergy to politicians and political heavyweights.
"But at the end of the day, everybody has one vote," Bottoms said last week. "Whether it's a minister or the person cleaning the restaurant when we leave, it's still one vote."
Bottoms announced new staff Monday that includes Vincent Fort's top guy.
In addition to providing his endorsement on Monday, Aman said he would direct Norwood's transition if she wins.