Corruption in Atlanta: The Georgia Swamp

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Throws Lavish Party

With only days left in his mayoral seat, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed (D) threw an extravagant party for a select few of the city’s employees. At this lavish event, Reed showered his guests with more than half a million dollars in bonuses and gifts given during a “holiday party” at Atlanta City Hall. This gross negligence has left taxpayers furious, unions wanting justice, and city council members wondering if what the ex-mayor did was even legal. Let us take a look at the bill. $350,000 in bonuses went to his senior staff. $42,500 in checks went to his security detail (that’s a fancy way of saying his friends). $36,000 went to whoever's names were drawn out of a hat. $31,000 went to the winners of a lip sync contest, and an ugly sweater contest.

Corruption Gets Ignored

Although signification amounts of money, it is less of a big deal than it appears at first, as the Atlanta budget is $2 billion. This would mean these "bonuses" only account for 0.025% of the budget. Reed's actions indeed appear illegal, corrupt, and many think this should be rectified. Especially noteworthy is the $67,000 in holiday party raffles and contests.

Unfortunately, because it is such a small percentage of the budget, it will get ignored. The magic secret to getting away with corruption is making sure that the value is low enough that it is not worth the time for lawyers to pursue. However, Reed's actions do not reflect well on Georgia Democrats. Atlanta city council president, Felicia Moore, spoke on the matter: “It just reminded me of someone having money and throwing it in the air and letting everyone catch it. It’s just unconscionable.”

Reeds Spokesman Releases Statement

The official statement from Reed’s spokesman: “At the end of Mayor Reed’s term, the City of Atlanta was on it’s best financial footing in 40 years. Atlanta has benefited from eight consecutive balanced budgets, zero property tax increases, zero water rate increases, nine consecutive credit rating increases, more than $200 million in cash reserves and a 37% reduction in crime.”

He went on to say, “As a result, Mayor Reed awarded performance bonuses to members of his cabinet and senior team. These bonuses were appropriate, and Mayor Reed believes that the individuals who received bonuses were worthy of them based upon their contributions to the city of Atlanta’s unprecedented growth and fiscal stability.”

Words Do Not Excuse The Actions

The city having a healthy bank account does not give any city leader an excuse to go above the heads of the city council and other governing boards. It is almost ironic that a Democrat would be ‘making it rain’ using taxpayer money at a party when there has been a clear record of them doing the same thing in office. Reed's actions in Atlanta is just one example of the corruption in our government. As we can see, the corruption exists at all levels from federal positions to local offices.

Landon Jordon / Writer

I am a father, moderate Libertarian and ordained Christian minister. My life has been a whirl of excitement but I’m proud of the fact that I've never been to a Kid Rock concert.
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  1. I'm guessing your from Atlanta? I appreciate your thoughts on the matter. what I need is more of a background on this mayor. Although it may be fiscally irresponsible, I hate to call the guy corrupt over a one time event. I guess thankfully its coming to an end, and lets hope the state votes Red. The accomplishments spelled out in the formal statement will be hard to ignore for any voter.




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