Grand Theft Auto: Brookhaven

December 3, 2012 15:40 pm

by Stefan · 20 comments

You’ve got a choice Brookhaven!

There’s an excellent runoff campaign going on in Brookhaven, featuring J. Max Davis versus Mary Gross from Feds Sandy Murray.

As in all campaigns, there have been some revelations in the past couple weeks, but when you are considering the top position in a new city, tops among the questions to be answered is “how will the city be run?”

Tough to guess, sometimes, but I like to look at campaign disclosures, don’t you?

Sandy Murray might have the most boring set of campaign disclosures of all time. Here’s a link if you insist, but J. Max’s are way better. First you have to know that Brookhaven came into being through much lobbying by “Brookhaven Yes”, of which J. Max was the President.

A look at Brookhaven Yes’ financial disclosure reveals that a third of its disclosed funding came from Calvin Giordano & Associates, a vendor who received a $4.9 million contract from Brookhaven’s neighbor, the city of Dunwoody. According to its website, the firm provides Dunwoody “with administration and financial services, including accounting, purchasing, forecasting, risk management and reporting. The firm also administers information technology, web site management, public relations, customer service, record management, human resources, and administrative support.” Calvin Giordano & Associates gave $10,000 in campaign contributions to Brookhaven Yes and thousands more came from other potential vendors to the city of Brookhaven such as JAT Consulting or Lowe Engineers, whose website already declares to be “expanding services to all new cities throughout Georgia.”

A careful review of J. Max Davis’ activities as a candidate for Mayor and President of the ballot committee shows that over $20,000 in campaign contributions have come from vendors potentially looking to profit from his work should he be elected as the first Mayor of Brookhaven.

So, Calvin Giordano & Assoc. also gave money to “Peachtree Corners Yes”, and probably everything organization in the state called “[potential city name] Yes”. In fact if you want 5k right now, I suggest you call Calvin Giordano and tell him you are with “AnyCityName Yes” and see if he and his associates will cut you a check.

I wonder why he does such things.

Oh, and because I am balanced in all things, here is an actual photo of Sandy Murray:

 

 

bgsmallz December 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm

Stefan-

You should stay clear of this one…not sure what motivated you to chime in for Sandy Murray, but it is a big mistake.

First, Calvin and Giordono did not receive a $4.9M contract from Dunwoody. That is the total amount of the contract. (Details…whatever) That they share with JAT Consulting. Which, by the way, just gained a bigger share of the consulting work for Dunwoody in the article you referenced because…gasp…they submitted a better bid than Calvin and Giordono! http://dunwoody.patch.com/articles/city-contract-change-could-save-dunwoody-3-million-over-4-years

THOSE FIENDS!!!! Their pay to play scam is working so well that they are losing business to the city of Dunwoody through open bids and…oh wait…

Second, I’m glad they gave to Brookhaven Yes. With the No City group printing money from a few influential donors (like Mary Ellen Imlay, Chuck Konos of Post, and Tom Cousins…90% of their ‘lobbying’ was funded by 4 or 5 donors…), the group of CITIZENS lobbying for the city needed all the help we could get to counter their misinformation.

That’s what makes me laugh here…the no city cronies are trying this ‘pay for play’ angle because they know without that money, the yes group doesn’t have the funding. Why? Because we aren’t mega-millionaires fighting to protect the name ‘Brookhaven’ from the Hispanics on Buford Hwy or fighting to win a victory for the Democratic party of DeKalb…we are citizens working to get options at the local level. I’m bled out…I donated to Citizens for North DeKalb, Brookhaven Yes, and to three local races for council. Go down those disclosures and you’ll see a lot of normal people making $100, $200, $500 donations. The number of individual donors for J Max and Brookhaven Yes is lengthy.

You might think we are all idiots for supporting him and that group, but you’re making an argument for someone that wanted to keep the clean, ethical, efficient and transparent government of DeKalb County…if the shoe fits.

Sandy Murray is a fear-mongerer and a liar. And it saddens me to see you and good folks like Jason Carter scurrying to try to help her win an election she has no business winning.

Stefan December 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm

I don’t think you are an idiot, I am just in favor of paying closer attention to campaign disclosures, and I thought this was interesting.

The article you linked to suggests that the council will consider the recommendation (to save money by going with the lower contract and not using Giordano), not that they didn’t choose Giordano. It is from July 22, 2011. Mine is from Jily 27, 2011 and shows they actually chose Giordano, which, by your statement above, was the less competitive bid. What does that say for the process? Does it suggest that perhaps those that give to the elections that created the city might have a leg up in getting the contracts?

I don’t know Sandy Murray, and that certainly is not a good angle or a very nice sign, but she was excellent in Feds.

Stefan December 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Actually, I take that back. But it appears from what I read that Giordano got the initial contract in 2008 that ran through 2011. Is that not accurate?

bgsmallz December 3, 2012 at 4:59 pm

That might be accurate. Clearly, I’m not saying they haven’t done business with the City of Dunwoody. All I’m saying is that while their campaign contributions to help incorporation efforts are most certainly self-serving, the evidence seems to lead to the simple conclusion that it is because there is business to be gained with new cities vs. any evidence of pay-to-play.

They’ve had to go through very public and transparent RFP processes with all the cities. Oh…and there are most certainly vendors that contributed to incorporation efforts in Dunwoody that didn’t win bids. Why weren’t they included as evidence in this Fox-5 investigative report into dirty politics?

And as long as we are talking about undue influence, when you have two or three private donors funding an entire group of campaigns first against the city itself and then in favor of no-city candidates (Imlay and Cousins), why is there any less danger?

It really cracks me up…the campaign had a few rich people funding it, they hired a republican strategist to plan the attack pieces, and they run a bunch of FUD about ‘big scary governments that go broke’ and ‘crime rates’ [code for Hispanics on Buford Hwy]…yet it was the Democratic party running the show and its the same group now trying to claim the ‘ethics’ card. Puh-leeze.

Stefan December 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm

If there are conflicts of interest in he Sandy Murray disclosure please flag them for me and if they are of a similar nature I will do a front page post on it.

My problem here is when you have government contractors who are giving 20k to a referendum that may or may not win to support a candidate who may or may not win to bid on a contract they may or may not get yet they feel it is a good business decision to do so (as it is a company giving and not a person, I assume that’s a business decision), I question how up in the air the outcome really is.

As far as the receipt of contributions from entities like those who you know if you win you are going to have to decide whether or not to accept their bid, my concern is the rule of reciprocation.

bgsmallz December 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Sandy Murray received 70% of her funds for the run-off from two donors (Imlay and Cousins), out of state contributions, and the campaign funds of Kwanza Hall and a democratic house member in Cobb Co. I worry more about the ability of two residents or outside influences to influence her than I do about a contractor, who has to be vetted through a RFP, the city manager, and a council vote, influencing J. Max who has received numerous individual contributions from real people and families in our area.

Pay for play is about influence…not just getting awarded a contract. The fact that Sandy is basically only beholden to two donors and the Democratic Party of GA really raised flags to me on whether she would put the needs of our area over the thoughts of the folks donating to her because of their politics.

Anyway, How likely is Calvin and Giodoro to get a contract from DeKalb? Let’s see…do they have any family members in the CEO’s office? Zing! Anyway, the answer is 0%.

How about a new city of Brookhaven? Well…they certainly know the area. They have good references. They probably have a good idea of what the contract is worth. Giving $20K for a chance at something is sometimes better than giving $0 for a chance at nothing, right?

All I’m saying is this…we’ve got Milton, Johns Creek, Dunwoody, and Sandy Springs that are all ripe for real evidence that these companies donating to campaigns are getting undue reciprocation. And your best evidence is that they got a contract because they were the lowest bidder who responded to the RFP.

And as for your rule of reciprocation, if I thought J. Max would give $5 to every Harikrinshna that gave him a flower, I wouldn’t vote for him regardless. Their are two parts to the equation…the integrity of the candidate and the influence of the money. In this case, I’m 100% certain about the integrity of the candidate and I’ve yet to see any evidence of these donors getting undue influence.

Stefan December 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm

I see we occasionally listen to same government funded radio stations.

And as for Imlay, are we talking about this guy? http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2010/02/01/story3.html?page=all

And if so, what’s wrong with that? I don’t see him as a guy to potentially profit from a new city or a relationship with an office holder, but I could be off the mark there.

And the low bidder on an RFP is generally not the entire story. The way in which the RFP is written could favor one company or another, the time restrictions often eliminate competition, all things that the elected officials have control over. But yeah, I am not heavily arguing your point, but I do think it is valid to consider the relationship between a major bidder and the main person who will decide on the bid. Am I off base in examining that relationship?

bgsmallz December 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm
Stefan December 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm

That’s no where near as good as the one from Feds.

bgsmallz December 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Monochromatic protesting is always the purest sign of unwavering crazy. Although, a mighty big thumbs up to the celebration of anything to do with the underrated acting family of the Grosses.

“Her protests and thoughts were well thought out and not at all in the extreme”- said this guy…
http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341bfae553ef0168e7858e13970c-120wi

filltheshill December 3, 2012 at 4:53 pm

This is interesting. Look at case number 89C56102 (criminal) and 91A40851 (civil) on OJS DeKalb. See anyone you know?

http://www.ojs.dekalbga.org/servlet/page?_pageid=60&_dad=portal30&_schema=PORTAL30

Loren December 3, 2012 at 6:29 pm

That would appear to be a ~20-year-old Davis in the first case, involving two misdemeanors and resulting in a nolo plea, and a ~22-year-old Davis in the latter case, involving a personal injury claim that likely stemmed from a moderate-but-not-severe auto collision.

So he was a bad driver when he was in college, two decades ago. Is that the point?

filltheshill December 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm

J. Max Davis was an irresponsible young man driving drunk when drunk driving had higher tolerances. Additionally, J. Max Davis’s drunk driving resulted in an injury that still impacts the man he hit today. I guess you are OK with that.

I wonder how much more J. Max brings with him.

View from Brookhaven December 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm

Yeah….

Left all those races blank in November. Pondering whether to just skip the runoff or just go and turn in a blank ballot.

bgsmallz December 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Important to vote…especially if you are pro-city. The no-city group is seemingly still waging that election. They want control of a majority of votes so that they can try to submarine it.

filltheshill December 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I am really interested to see the actual budget for this new city. There has been a lot of selling of this new city, but not a lot of emphasis on the budget and what this new city is actually capable of doing based on a realistic revenue stream projected over a few years. If Mr. Davis is elected to office and he is unable to live up to his sales job on the citizens, will he admit it?

View from Brookhaven December 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm

I’m pro-city….just not pro-any of the people who want to run the city.

bgsmallz December 3, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Well…that’s too bad. I think there are lots of good folks running. But remember this, if you don’t vote and No City Sandy and her cronies win, don’t blame anyone else when your services revert back to DeKalb. The city has to affirmatively take on three services or it dissolves. Sandy, Jim Eyre and one other person could block that action. It’s a scary situation if you believe in the city like I do.

I encourage you to vote. And to tell your friends to vote b

johnl December 3, 2012 at 7:34 pm

From an email I and other constituents received from Mike Jacobs (R-DeKalb)

Fact Checking Sandy Murray
Shame on Sandy Murray.
I’ve been in public service eight years and have seen some pretty crazy things in that time, but nothing that sank quite this low.
Today a canvasser for Sandy Murray approached me and my wife in our driveway. He handed us an orange flyer that said the following: “J. Max Davis is a serial tax delinquent. He paid his taxes late in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012.”
I looked up this claim in the real estate and lien indexes of the Georgia Superior Court Clerks Cooperative Authority (GSCCCA). Here is what I found:
The tax liens DO NOT belong to J. Max Davis, the candidate for Mayor of Brookhaven. The tax liens belong to his deceased father’s estate. J. Max and his father happen to share a name.
I then called J. Max Davis, the mayoral candidate, and asked him about it.
J. Max Davis, the mayoral candidate, is not the administrator of his father’s estate. J. Max Davis, the mayoral candidate, is not responsible for the estate in any way whatsoever.
All of the tax liens happened because DeKalb County was sending tax notices to the wrong address for the estate. DeKalb has continued to send the notices to the wrong address year after year, despite having been notified of the problem.
Finally, all of the liens were marked “cancelled” when the mistake was pointed out and the estate’s property taxes were paid.
False smears are what desperate candidates do at the end of a losing campaign.
Sandy Murray did something similar at the end of her 2010 campaign for State Representative (click for more information), flyering and e-mailing a “Hail Mary” false attack, although it didn’t stoop nearly this low.
Attacking an opponent for the non-transgressions of his deceased father’s estate is beyond the pale.
Please consider forwarding this e-mail to your neighbors. They need to be aware before they vote on Tuesday, December 4.

Stefan December 4, 2012 at 9:34 am

Yep. That was front page posted earlier in the day.

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