Common Cause posts campaign disclosures missing from ATL Web site
UPDATE: Atlanta’s municipal clerk has posted PDF files of 2009 campaign disclosure reports for mayor and council candidates here. You will need Adobe Acrobat to read them. Earlier reports are available here in a searchable format.
Four years ago, Atlanta city government did a nice job making campaign disclosure reports available online for candidates for mayor and City Council.
That was then. Today, a tight budget apparently prevents the city from posting details on the millions of dollars raised by Atlanta candidates in 2009. In fact, the city last posted campaign disclosures from two of the top contenders for mayor, Council President Lisa Borders and member Mary Norwood, at the end of 2005.
Common Cause of Georgia, the good-government advocacy group, is filling the gap. Its Moneywatch site gives voters a chance to examine how candidates are raising their money and from whom.
The disclosures are far from perfect. Volunteers are still entering some contributions into Common Cause’s database manually. And, for now, the group doesn’t have the resources to post details of candidates’ spending, or anything at all for Atlanta Board of Education candidates.
Nevertheless, it’s all we’ve got right now. The Common Cause site tells us:
— Mary Norwood, with a smidge over $1 million in donations, leads the money race for mayor;
— Clair Muller, with $125,000, leads the fund-raising for council president over Caesar Mitchell, with $105,000;
— Newcomers Alex Wan ($51,000), Yolanda Adrean ($50,000), Amir Farohki ($97,000) and Weslee Knapp ($26,000) have the cash to make a splash in City Council races.
The data is also sortable by date, amount and employer, giving voters an opportunity to search on their own. A glance shows quite a few lawyers on the donor lists, as well as elected officials, lobbyists, government contractors and aides in … er … former administrations. (If you were happy during the Bill Campbell years, you can see for yourself where his peeps are lining up in 2009.)