Tuesday morning at John Wesley Dobbs Plaza on the corner of Fort Street and Auburn Avenue, longtime Atlanta resident and prominent Republican key-maker Lee Clevenger was the topic du jour. Clevenger has resided in Atlanta since 1979 and has been an unabashed critic of Black leadership in the city. However, he endorsed Felicia Moore on October 7th because he felt Moore was the only person that, “had a conscience and cares about the people and is not interested in anything but lining their own pockets.”
Clevenger has made controversial statements as an ardent supporter of former President Donald J. Trump while impugning Black leadership in varying levels of government. Mayoral candidate Kasim Reed responded to Clevenger’s endorsement and discussed Moore’s association with him.
“What Felicia Moore did was to stand there and laugh as the entire spectrum of Black leadership was disgraced,” Reed said. “The Council President for the city of Atlanta, needs to repudiate the Lee Clemenger endorsement, and she needs to return the campaign contributions that he has made to her right away. This did not come from a third party. This was a post by the Felicia Moore campaign. They have been friends for years and a few seconds or cursory glance, which show that this gentleman said the President Barack Obama was the most corrupt president in history. He is anti Union. He is anti LGBTQ. So the question for Miss Moore is how could you stand beside him? As he ridiculed people that have created the path of opportunity that you now walk down? “
At 12:42 PM, The Atlanta Voice received the following statement from the Moore campaign:
“Mr. Clevenger has been a long time constituent, and I’ve known him only in my capacity as a City Council Representative. I was simply unaware of the hateful and racist things he had
been posting on social media, and I strongly disagree with them. I’ve instructed my team to return his contributions.
However, if Mr. Reed wants to play guilt by association, I’d remind Atlanta voters that seven of his top staff and personal appointees have faced federal criminal charges for their actions while he was mayor, including for bribery and illegal weapons charges.”
Moore issued an additional statement regarding why she did not walk away when Clevenger made his statement:
“It was an unfortunate statement by that constituent, and I should have corrected him or walked away. As everyone in Atlanta knows, I certainly do not share his beliefs about most of our past mayors, nor those views he shared on social media. I apologize to anyone hurt by that post.”
As the general election winds down, Reed was asked regarding Ms. Bertha Darden, a legacy resident of Atlanta who confronted him during a recent debate. Darden asked Reed about the time she was forced to move out of her house in 2013 due to the floods. Darden said Reed assured the residents they wouldn’t leave and they would not be displaced. Darden promised she would hold him to his promise. Darden has been a 30-year retired resident of Atlanta. The video was made public on October 23rd by Eldredge E. Washington on YouTube. However, Washington’s video did not show Kasim’s response.
Here is Reed’s response, beginning at the 4:30 mark in the video.