Lee’s fundraising total dwarfs Byrne
by Jon Gillooly
August 18, 2012 12:32 AM | 4579 views | 4 4 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — County Chairman Tim Lee has raised over $441,000 in his bid to keep his job, while challenger Bill Byrne has collected about $75,000.

Midnight was the deadline for filing final campaign-finance reports in the Tuesday runoff.

Tim Lee said he has raised $56,455 since Aug. 1, while Byrne said he’s raised between $6,000 and $7,000.

Both candidates said they raised the amounts needed to accomplish their campaign plans.

“Although he’s out-raised us, he hasn’t out-campaigned us,” Byrne said Friday, prompting Lee to respond, “If he’s only raised 6 or 7 (thousand dollars), and I’ve raised 50 (thousand dollars), I don’t know how he out-campaigned us.”

Lee donors who contributed $1,500 each included Marietta attorney Ben Mathis and Philadelphia-based Comcast Corporation.

Lee contributors who gave $1,300 each included Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens; CW Matthews Contracting Company of Marietta; Sams, Larkin & Huff of Marietta; Town Center Area CID spokeswoman Mary Lou Stephens; Sarah Styf of Marietta; John Wieland of Atlanta, CEO of John Wieland Homes; Mary Ann Mathis; and Smyrna-based United Distributors, Inc.

Developer Jack Halpern of Atlanta gave Lee $1,250.

Lee received $1,000 each from Jim Rhoden, president of The Futren Corporation; Robert Schreiner of Dunwoody, executive director of Kaiser Permanente; former county chairman Earl Smith; Carol Stelling, wife of Synovus CEO Kessel Stelling; Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce CEO Sam Williams of Atlanta; Nicholas Telesca of Atlanta with Branch Properties; Norcross-based Pond & Company; The Metro Non-Partisan Committee for Good Government of Atlanta; Carol Ney of Marietta; and Larry Thompson of Marietta, CEO of Thompson Real Estate Development.

Thomas Huff of Powder Springs, president of Atlanta Northside Aviation, Inc, gave Lee $1,000 on July 24 and another $1,000 on Aug. 1.

For the entire campaign, Lee said he’s raised $441,320.

Byrne was less successful in raising funds. Byrne reported $2,500 from Clapper Enterprises Inc of Marietta (Elon Salon) and $1,000 from Flonnie Westbrook of Marietta.

In total, Byrne said he raised about $75,000 for his campaign.

“Our goal was the raise $60,000 and have $15,000 available on July 1, and we exceeded both of those, and were able to do the advertising,” Byrne said.

Raising campaign dollars against a seated county chairman wasn’t easy, Byrne said.

“Nobody wants to show up on a disclosure for someone who is running against an incumbent commission chairman,” Byrne said.

Lee has a different view.

“So they take the risk of invoking Bill’s disfavor if he wins?” Lee said. “That doesn’t make sense. It’s like his statement of ‘60 percent of the people who voted against me.’ Well last time I checked, 73 percent of the people voted against him, so he can spin it all he wants.”

Byrne said Lee was well-served by special interests or what former chairman candidate Mike Boyce refers to as “the black-tie crowd.”

“If you will look at (Lee’s) disclosures, it’s a ‘who’s who’ of the chambers of commerce and the CIDs and all of the big-money people in downtown Atlanta,” Byrne said. “He’s carried their agenda on the TSPLOST and as he even said at the speech you covered at the Chamber, his support for the Chamber of Commerce’s economic development program, the EDGE program, and just about anything else the Chamber of Commerce wanted him to do.”

Lee said while he didn’t want to go into a runoff, he wasn’t surprised given the good job Boyce did going into the July 31 primary. The question is, where will the voters who turned out for Boyce and Larry Savage turn to now.

“I would think if they’ve heard about the city of east Cobb, they would come to me,” Lee said, referencing the suggestion Byrne made that east Cobbers consider forming their own city to take advantage of local control.

Lee believes this is a poor idea.

“Nobody wants their property taxes raised or another layer of government in which they need to operate in,” he said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
August 18, 2012
I'll vote for the person who raises the least amount of money and has less advertising.
August 18, 2012
Follow the money to see where Lee's loyalties lie.

It is certainly not with the citizens of Cobb County.
Tim Stanley
August 18, 2012
Lee needs to Leave. It is my hope that enough people have the same belief. Mr. Lee is not afraid of raising taxes when thing are tough. He is not afraid of being for Tsplost when Cobb County was not going to use the money for the best interest of Cobb County tax payers.
August 18, 2012
Byrne accepted money from the Westbrook's who are currently trying to sneak a project through planning while bypassing zoning.

They are claiming they paid to install the sewer line that serves the area, when actually the Water System paid for the sewer.

Byrne never met a developer he did not like nor their money.
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