Atlanta Mayor’s Column Attacking Bernie Sanders Was Drafted by Lobbyist, Emails Show
Emails released from the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed show that a column that Reed published on CNN.com praising Hillary Clinton and ripping her opponent, Bernie Sanders, was primarily written by a corporate lobbyist and edited by Correct the Record, one of several pro-Clinton Super PACs.
Lee Fang at The Intercept reports:
A few days before the Georgia primary, influential Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed … attacked Sanders as being out of step with Democrats on gun policy, and accused him of elevating a “one-issue platform” that ignores the plight of the “single mother riding two buses to her second job.” …
Anne Torres, the mayor’s director of communications, told The Intercept this week that the column was not written by the mayor, but by Tharon Johnson, a former Reed adviser who now works as a lobbyist for UnitedHealth, Honda, and MGM Resorts, among other clients. The column’s revisions by staffers from Correct the Record are documented in the emails.
Johnson, Torres told us, is a “capable writer,” who managed Reed’s first campaign. Reed “provided verbal edits and feedback to Tharon, but other than that, no one from my office or the mayor’s office wrote this op-ed,” Torres said. …
Torres said that Correct the Record reached out to assist with the piece after being contacted by Johnson. “The extent of my assistance (as you can read in the emails) was sending over the mayor’s bio and headshot,” Torres said.
Johnson did not respond to a request for comment. Correct the Record did not respond either. …
Super PACs were intended to be independent entities, explicitly prohibited from coordinating directly with campaigns. Correct the Record, however, has tested the limits of campaign finance law and openly coordinates with the Clinton campaign. The group claims it is not engaging in campaign speech known as “independent expenditures,” a classification for traditional campaign communications, and therefore is exempted from the coordination rules.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Your support matters…
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