Mayor Reed Continues Pattern of Vicious Attacks
(APN) ATLANTA — Joe Beasley, John Evans, Vincent Fort, William Perry, Common Cause, Tim Franzen, Occupy Atlanta: what do these people and organizations have in common? They have all been the focal points, at different times, of vicious, public attacks by Kasim Reed as Mayor of Atlanta.
Reed is so used to being the darling of Atlanta’s corporate media establishment that he appears to be taken aback when someone dares to question him.
Reed continues in his pattern of unleashing vicious attacks on citizens and public figures who do not agree with him, with his most recent episode of going on WVEE-FM radio and attacking John Evans, Chairman of the DeKalb County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Among other things, Reed said that Evans “must not be a very good reader,” according to Rob Redding of the Redding News Review. Reed also referred to Evans as “that funny fellow.”
[Editorial note: Imagine for one minute if 2009 Mayoral candidate Mary Norwood went on the radio and called Evans “that funny fellow” and questioned his reading abilities.]
Evans had just finished taping an interview with WVEE radio and was leaving the studio when Reed came into the studio.
”I was listening to that funny fellow you had before I was on. I think he ought to say that to me. When I saw him in the hall, all he did was walk up and shake my hand, and ask me how I was doing. If he’s going to get on the radio and make those kinds of false statements, talk that trash to the people of Atlanta, he ought to do it while we’re both sitting here on ‘V,’” Reed said, according to a transcript posted on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Political Insider blog.
“That’s what a man would do. This man just got on the radio, said all these false things, used the name of the south DeKalb NAACP, talked about whether I was on the roundtable, talked about this being a rich man’s game. How many people has he ever employed? How many businesses has he brought to the City of Atlanta?” Reed said.
“He talks that talk because he doesn’t have any responsibility. He doesn’t have a job to do… He runs around, all day, God knows what he does, talking this talk,” Reed said.
“John Evans, or whatever the fellow’s name is, see, he doesn’t have to go recruit businesses into Georgia, or recruit businesses into the City of Atlanta,” Reed said.
Recently, Reed also attacked State Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta), saying “I don’t know what planet my friend is living on,” in a debate on Fox 5 TV news.
Previously, Reed also attacked William Perry of Common Cause Georgia for arguing that the City of Atlanta should enact pay-to-play legislation because of what Perry, correctly, noted is widespread public perception of corruption in the procurement of city contracts, particularly contracts for concessions at the airport.
During the debate at the City Council over the most recent round of airport contracts, Reed created an exhibit for Council Members attacking Perry and CCG.
Reed’s office apparently used taxpayer dollars to create about ten pre-printed poster boards, which were placed upon easels outside of the Council Chambers, attacking CCG and pay-to-play legislation.
In remarks to the Council, Reed said, “By continuing to go on with this [debate], the only thing we’re going to do is to open ourselves up to unfettered attacks by people who do not know what they’re talking about, or people who certainly don’t have clean hands, like Common Cause, which it does not have clean hands.”
“Common Cause has been bashing the City of Atlanta for the last two weeks. They’ve been talking about Pay-to-play reform,” Reed said.
“Common Cause has an Executive Director [William Perry] who ran for the City Council against Carla Smith (District 1) in 2001 and he took campaign contributions of more than 250 dollars. He then ran for the School Board against Kwanza Hall in 2002, and he took more than 250 dollars,” Reed said.
“But he stands outside in the hallway and talks like he is so pious, so noble. When he was trying to get your job, he did the same thing that we all did, he took legal, ethical campaign contributions. And now in order to build his political career, he stands out here and talks like he is without stain,” Reed said.
“The level of hypocrisy is stunning, I’m sick of it… but for God’s sakes, Common Cause, which has driven the media inquiries on this, has so much stain on them that it stinks,” Reed said.
“It’s a selfish reaction,” Tim Franzen of Occupy Atlanta told Atlanta Progressive News, in regards to Reed’s pattern of attacks. “Pure ego – that’s dangerous, for the Mayor of the New York of the South. We can’t afford a mayor like that, a hothead, with no sense of diplomacy.”
Franzen recalls a particularly heated day during Occupy Atlanta’s public dispute with Reed over the group’s erstwhile occupation of the park.
Franzen says his group is working on finding out how much the City spent on police shows of force, surveillance, undercover surveillance, and evicting people from the park; but he believes the figure is easily upwards of one million dollars.
“One hundred thousand dollars was the Mayor’s estimate for just one night. We had helicopters every day, those are two thousand bucks an hour. Four big nights of eviction attempts that involved helicopters, mobile command units, mounted police, SWAT, full riot gear police, working around the clock. You had the overtime and all that,” Franzen said.
“What I experienced the day we got into it in his mobile command center, what upset me more than anything was his attack on Joe Beasley [Southeastern Director of Rainbow/PUSH Coalition]. He was talking like a junkyard dog, but acting a spoiled child. Kasim Reed is very aware of Joe Beasley’s legacy. To see him have no respect at all. It’s one thing to disagree – you’re the mayor – there’s no room for someone’s who’s the mayor to go after someone like John Evans, whose activism dates back to the 1950’s,” Franzen said.
“At one point in that meeting, I threatened to get up and leave – I looked him dead in the eyes with all of his staff there, and said, if he wasn’t able to manage his behavior I’m simply going to walk out. This is a man with an anger management issue,” Franzen said.
“When he loses his temper, he no longer qualifies to be a Mayor. That’s one of the quintessential characteristics of a Mayor or head of state or leader, is the ability to communicate with people you’re upset with, with some degree of humility and diplomacy. When he’s backed up into a corner, he acts like a spoiled brat,” Franzen said.
“You should have humility towards your elders,” Franzen added.
“The way he eyeballed me, it was like, wow, this is our Mayor. It’s the worst common denominator with this guy when it comes to personal relationships. I’m shocked he’s gotten as far as he has in politics,” Franzen said.
“John Evans is someone, he’s a hero, he’s stood the test of time, and while we all make mistakes in life, nonetheless John is someone who has his eyes on the prize, he’s a seasoned veteran,” Beasley said in defense of Evans.
“A rookie like Kasim cannot even analyze someone like John Evans. John is in the big league of life, and he’s a pro. Kasim is still out playing in the saddle,” Beasley said.
“He’s not even on an even keel to comment on John Evans. He doesn’t understand the real world – he’s in a world of make believe. He think he’s a capitalist. He may have a few dollars in the market. If he really understood capitalism, he’s really still just a commodity that’s being used by the capitalists to their gain,” Beasley said.
Beasley has abandoned previous efforts to recall Reed, which he launched after the Occupy Atlanta debacle. However, Beasley hopes someone will run against Reed in 2013.
“Someone should run because we’ve got someone with a Napoleon complex,” Beasley said.