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UPDATED- Davis: I Accepted Campaign Contributions from Vendors

Mayoral candidate J. Max Davis said he has accepted campaign contributions from prospective vendors, but that won't affect future decisions.

As Brookhaven marches ahead towards cityhood, the Governor’s Commission on Brookhaven and its committees of volunteers are researching and compiling options of vendors to provide services the city will need.  Some of those potential vendors have contributed to the campaign of mayoral candidate J. Max Davis.

Davis explained that he had accepted vendor campaign contributions at the Monday mayoral forum at Oglethorpe. He was not able to tell Brookhaven Patch which vendors have contributed to his campaign.

Fellow mayoral candidate Larry Danese said he turned down offers of campaign contributions from potential vendors because doing so is “totally and completely wrong.”

“It just would not cross my mind to do it,” Danese told Patch. He said it would be “inappropriate” to accept contributions “from people that I might regulate or hire.”

Mayoral candidate Sandy Murray said she has not been approached by vendors who wanted to contribute to her campaign. She said she would not accept them if she had because "it doesn't seem it's an appropriate option... (The vendors) are looking for some benefit. I don't think they're doing it out of the goodness of their hearts."

Saying that a complete disclosure of all his campaign contributions will be available online in five days, Davis did emphasize that the “vast majority” of his contributions have come individual residents and friends, not vendors. He did not specify which vendors have contributed.

Accepting money from vendors “doesn’t affect in any shape, form or fashion” the decisions of which vendors will be selected to provide city services, Davis told Brookhaven Patch. Those decisions will be “driven by, ‘Is it good for the Brookhaven taxpayer?’”

Davis said Brookhaven’s weak mayor system will allow the mayor and city council to “stay out of the way of professional staff.”

Ultimately, the city manager will make recommendations of vendors for the city, and the city council members will cast the deciding votes to award contracts to specific vendors. The mayor can only vote in the case of a tie, according to the Brookhaven city charter.

Murray said, "It'll be interesting to see what contributions have been made" to campaigns, including any from vendors and lobbyists. "It could be, I'm not saying that there is, but it could be a pattern of corruption before the city even starts up."

Should candidates accept campaign contributions from vendors? Will the acceptance or rejection of contributions from vendors affect the way you will vote in the upcoming election? Tell us below in the comments.

Thom Shepard October 20, 2012 at 05:05 PM
The sad state of affairs is that we should be talking about better planning, conservation and preserving the quality of life that many people bought into when they purchased their homes, real estate or business. Because of the bad behavior, legal or not, of those taking control of the city hood movement in Dunwoody and Brookhaven, those who should see the benefit in new cities thru planning and sensibility are being alienated by the power grab for city service contracting and zoning control. In a government that is a Republic, we are only as sound as those who are our elected leaders. I hope our citizens are savy and smart enough to weed thru the candidates and pick at least three out of five that have the best interests of all of Brookhaven in mind, and quite frankly I do no think that includes those who opposed the city. <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM
<<<continued>>> When I say this let me clarify I can appreciate people who opposed Brookhaven Yes Inc., Tommy, Fran, Mike and J Max but did not support Dekalb Counties unethical intent to interfere with our rights as citizens to form our own government. You can have my vote if you were part of Brookhaven Yes but not part of the leadership power structure that has held back information and encouraged division, especially in the north-south aspects. Those who just see Buford highway as bad and don't see the good and the positive and fantastic aspects of south Brookhaven multiculturalism just are not going to make good leaders in my opinion. Yes there is huge room for improvement on Buford Highway, but there are great things and people there already and positive changes can include the existing residents and culture. You can not have my vote if you sided with DeKalb County to undermine our right to decide on city hood, plain and simple. Opposing bad leadership in the pro city movement is quite different from supporting the worst elements of DeKalb County government. <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 20, 2012 at 05:07 PM
<<<continued>>> Both the main leadership of Brookhaven Yes Inc. and the very pro-DeKalb anti-city factions have succeeded in dividing our community. In my opinion neither of these factions is deserving of leadership posts of our new city and those who have clear bias towards specific vendors and models of how the city should be structured with respect to private contractors should not be trusted to form a government and do the work of the people. Citizens must understand that the Mayor and Council will not just pick vendors from a group, they will decide the very nature of how our government is established. Will the Director of Planning and Zoning be a city employee or a private contractor? Will private contractors wear city logos as if they are city employees when they are sub-contractors or will they have a label that identifies them as city contractors with loyalty to their company before the city? <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 20, 2012 at 05:08 PM
<<<continued>>> Are citizens aware that if only two council persons win in the Nov 7 elections and the other two go to a runoff, if a mayor is selected these three people alone are free to set up the government before the other two elections are decided? This was planned by Tommy, Fran, Mike and I have to assume J Max since he was by his own admission at the center of things for two years and very tight with the politicians who wrote the enabling legislation that designed our city makeup. J Max, by his own admission has led our future city the last two years. Are you happy with his devisive leadership and the way things have happened quietly behind closed doors to many interested citizens. Are you ok with his leadership that decided to put all effort into the pro-city vote and ignore the important work of preparing for city implementation after the vote. Please vote NO for J Max, vote NO for Sandy Murray, unless you want more of what we have been getting: division, confusion and lack of transparency.
John Q Public October 20, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Thom, I appreciate your thoughts. I have 2 questions and 1 observation. Here's question 1: Do you not understand that the same things you are complaining about NOW are exactly the same things the no crowd was pointing out? Here's question 2: And do you not understand that this is why a great deal of them opposed - not only the rush to city hood but also the wanna be politicians who were hell bent on making it so? Here is the observation: Many people (including those running for office) had the EXACT SAME concerns as yours PRIOR to the cityhood vote and THAT IS WHY THEY VOTED AGAINST IT. Anyone that had done their research before the vote would have seen the writing on the wall – those pushing the cityhood agenda were seeking to create it SO THEY COULD RUN IT. It also suggests that you voted for something you did not understand. That is inexcusable, sir.
Ben Podgor October 21, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Thom Shepard: Good to see you adding your thoughts to this board. I tell people that I am not "running" but that I am making myself available and only furnishing my web site: http://benjaminpodgor.com/one.html What are you doing? Ben Podgor
Thom Shepard October 21, 2012 at 08:33 AM
JQP, First you have to understand that my pro-city involvement goes back to 2007-2008 when I got involved in the Chattahoochee Hills city creation and then Dunwoody. The main reason I got involved was to work on zoning reform with respect to encouraging models of zoning reform, conservation and much higher quality of urban development. Urban development that both builds real estate value and maintains economic diversity while creating a higher overall quality of life. Utilizing tools like Transfer of Development Rights and zoning replacements like The SMARTCODE we can preserve our tree canopy, create beautiful linear parks and more open space and yet have a huge development base and healthy and vital economy. http://www.beyondtakingsandgivings.com/tdr.htm http://www.transect.org/transect.html I organized meetings in 2008, inviting key representatives of the cityhood movement, to talk about issues related for potential cities in DeKalb as I believe that DeKalb County government was and is encouraging sprawl and lower quality development. I am proud to say that I encouraged those who might disprove of cityhood to attend our meetings that were very public at Manuels Tavern, and they did attend. At that time it became clear the recession was worsening, and although others continued to work on the issue, I decided it was better to wait a few years. <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 21, 2012 at 08:35 AM
<<<continued>>> I now regret not getting more involved with the Brookhaven cityhood movement as Mike Jacobs was working on it, as I feel I would have added a lot to the process to involve others, focus on implementation details and likely to encouraged delaying the cityhood push for at least a year. Looking at the management of Brookhaven Yes Inc., and total lack of implementation detail work, it is very likely that even if I could not have influenced a better state bill that put the vote for cityhood on the ballot, I could have created a parallel organization to encourage cityhood in a better way and to focus on implementation details. There are a lot of people now involved thru the Governors Commission, who I do not think were part of the BYI effort, who are doing amazing volunteer work in preparing for our city formation, who I expect would have gotten involved a long time ago where public efforts made to focus on these implementation details. Details that I think would have encouraged many others to support the cityhood effort. As I did not think it was time to start yet on cityhood efforts I was thus busy with quite a few other projects late last year and the first half of this year so unfortunately I did not stay more up to date on the issues at that time and did not realize how far astray Brookhaven Yes Inc. had gone from what I had thought was obvious common knowledge of how to start a city right. <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 21, 2012 at 08:38 AM
<<<continued>>> I unfortunately had too much confidence that Mike Jacobs and Co would get the basics right in the enabling legislation and did not expect them to go against the wise council of people like Larry Danse and Oliver Porter. It was not a failure of not knowing, or doing something the first time for Mike Jacobs and Co. All this information is too readily available and there are too many people willing to provide help on these issues. It had to be a willful decision by Mike Jacobs and J Max Davis to go clearly against the advise and wisdom of those in the pro-cityhood movement. There are a lot of fantastic people in the pro cityhood movement who opposed bad sprawling development, support conservation and want citizens to feel more connected and more in control of their government. The leadership of BYI is totally counter to all of these principles. But while I think BYI failed to bring the community together, and I understand thus why some people opposed the rush to cityhood, what I feel would have been more productive would have been a pro-city group that had a focus of implementation details. Once Mike Jacobs and Co put the bill thru the state legislature we likely had one bite at the apple. Did they fail to write a good bill? Yes Did they put it in a year early? Probably. <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 21, 2012 at 08:40 AM
<<<continued>>> But despite that, I feel that even a Brookhaven that is launched a bit early, during a recession, is much better than staying under DeKalb County Government. So I have no regrets for my public position of being pro-city. We must also remember that despite the huge effort by DeKalb County to block our city, major funding to oppose the city, terrible management of the effort by J Max Davis and Mike Jacobs and organized anti-city efforts by Sandy Murray and others, a majority of those who chose to vote still supported forming a city. I DO NOT agree with much of the anti-city rhetoric. Much of this is pro-DeKalb County mis-information. Much of the division in our community has been led by efforts that support the typical bad sprawling development that DeKalb County has promoted. They simply look at short term tax revenue and not long term quality of growth and I think the quality of development in DeKalb County suffers because of this, as does our long term tax base. You can be pro-city and think that the leadership of Brookhaven Yes Inc. failed in many ways. <<<continued>>>
Thom Shepard October 21, 2012 at 08:42 AM
<<<continued>>> But frankly as important as it is in choosing a Mayor for Brookhaven it is even more important that you choose the best possible candidate for city council in each district. You can argue we should not have voted for the city all you want, but being anti-city is not a very useful strategy when we are talking about starting a 24 million dollar incorporated city in just over a month. While we will hire a city manager and clerk to be administrators our city, the mayor and council will be the equivalent of a board of directors for a 24 million dollar operation. That is a serious responsibility and serious money. Do you really want to hand that responsibility to someone who was so against the city existing in Sandy Murray or someone who has failed to be transparent and is taking campaign contributions from potential vendors in J Max Davis?
William Baxter October 21, 2012 at 02:57 PM
how come Davis for Mayor and Fitzpatrick in district 1 have not filed their campaign disclosure?
Ben Podgor October 21, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Thom Shepard: Glad to see you speaking out at this late date. Want you to know that I believe the Revenue will be closer to 30 Million and not 24 as you state. But, I believe we can do the expenditures with a 24 Million dollar goal, without budget cutting and good provision for safety. My budget estimates leave us with a 6 Million surplus. It will be interesting to see which of us is closer to the actual data. Ben Podgor
Prissy Mae Millendorf, Brookhaven Socialite October 23, 2012 at 10:53 PM
My dear Edvard: It seems you and the little club you mention is endorsing our current President. That would be all good and fine; however, your extreme pontifications about pay to play, quid pro quo have been practiced ad infinitum By the very one you support! While it is true this goes on in our political process all the time, your perceived hypocrisy is beyond the boundaries of the universe! Sternly, Ms. Millendorf
Prissy Mae Millendorf, Brookhaven Socialite October 23, 2012 at 10:55 PM
And for at least the last four years by our BO...
Prissy Mae Millendorf, Brookhaven Socialite October 23, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Wonder all you want! Just do it at the Chamblee Plaza!
Prissy Mae Millendorf, Brookhaven Socialite October 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Does anyone know anything about the lobbying efforts and potential campaign contributions made by small biz car repair associations? Where do they get their money to operate on a state and national level? Do the associations direct dollars in cash or gifts-in-kind contributions to political candidates or PACS? Is there any quid pro quo going on? Lots of good questions for discovery...
Brokenhaven October 23, 2012 at 11:37 PM
There are only 5900 of these pathetic lemmings. Go out and vote and don't let this backroom bunch of oafs hijack the city for their own personal gain. I know they are power hungry egotists. Peiple like Max have been planning on running since day one.
Political Gadfly October 24, 2012 at 03:21 AM
This is a perfect article to bring out/whip up the many conspiracy theorists that love to blog here on the Patch. 10 characteristics of conspiracy theorists A useful guide by Donna Ferentes 1. Arrogance. 2. Relentlessness. 3. Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly advertise their determination to the principle of questioning everything, they're pretty poor at answering direct questions from sceptics about the claims that they make. 4. Fondness for certain stock phrases. Stock phrases used by conspiracy theorists are attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce positive, hard evidence themselves. 5. Conspiracy theorists never notice that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence in any alternative account. 6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for the respectability of sources. They will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for apparently lacking same. 7. Inability to withdraw a claim they have made has turned out to be without foundation, 8. Leaping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists are very keen indeed to declare the "official" account totally discredited without having remotely enough cause so to do. 9. Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their claims. 10. It's always a conspiracy. And it is, isn't it?
Political Gadfly October 24, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Got to love a good tempest in a teapot to keep you warm on a cool fall night. Good night folks and remember to vote for J.Max Davis and Rebecca Chase Williams. btw if anyone knows who keeps stealing Rebecca Chase Williams' signs, I sure like to know about it since I took care in their placement. Thanks in advance.
HamBurger October 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM
PG, man! Sounds like you are talking about C$ND and Brookhaven Yes! Please pass the yellow mustard!
Political Gadfly October 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Good morning all. The early bird catches the worm, correct ? Brokenhaven "Pathetic lemmings and this backroom bunch of oafs," I feel like I've just walked into a Shrek movie with lemmings and oafs. I can assure you that J.Max Davis is no ogre, he's interested in helping Brookhaven be all that it can be ( borrowed from the US Army ad campaign.) I truly believe that, since I've know J.Max almost 20 years. By the way, I'm on one of the Governor's Committee's for Brookhaven because I volunteered to help, along with lots of other people to help in a small way with the formation of the new city of Brookhaven. Does that make me part of the in crowd ? Nope, since I wasn't on the Brookhaven Yes committee, I'm just a person who has lived in our community for over 20 years and would like to see us all work together for the common good, it's as simple as that. "Peiple (sic) like Max (Max was J.Max's father) have been planning on running since day one." It's now a crime to put in thousands of hours of work and to plan ahead ? I guess I'm old fashioned since I believe in hard work and planning. We need a leader as mayor who has spent a lot of time planning since there is a very small window for planning to run a new city,from the time of the cityhood election to the lift off of Georgia's newest city, Brookhaven on December 17th.
Brokenhaven October 24, 2012 at 12:15 PM
PG, just like in Shrek the people saw the ogre as a prince as you obviously view Max and co. The fact that Max IS taking money from potential vendors stinks of politics as usual. The problem as stated by most of the no crowd was having this whole thing stuffed down our throats with a total lack of regard to the citizens.In particular distric 4 which doesn't even sit in any paxst boundry of what was considered "The Poor Side of Brookhaven"
Brokenhaven October 24, 2012 at 12:21 PM
I can assure you as a native and a Pine Hills resident for over 50 years it was not apparent that our community was even included in this folly of a city. It seems that Mr Witt who has wanted to run for something for a while helped include us as he was in on the original
Brokenhaven October 24, 2012 at 12:24 PM
Brookhaven meetings with Max and Jmike and obviously saw this as an opportunity to stroke his ego. He has now hitched his wagon to Jmax to the extent on having a meet and greet at the home of political lobbyist
Brokenhaven October 24, 2012 at 12:27 PM
I just have a hard time believing that this " government" shall operate as no other government ever has. With no corruption, no political favors, no back door dealings. Please prove me wrong.
Political Gadfly October 24, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Brokenhaven, I'm going to assume that you are a member of the same government medical program that I also belong to: Medicare, based on that I'll say that you are being disingenuous..Us old guys tend to be smarter than the average bear. Tip of the hat to Yogi Bear. "Please prove me wrong." It's kind of hard to do that since we don't have an elected government for the city of Brookhaven. For someone who is looking at our new city as something that's been crammed down your throat, we could have uptopia and you'd never admit it. :-)
Justthinking October 30, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Who still believes that this is the way our local, county, state and national government works!?
Thom Shepard October 30, 2012 at 01:47 PM
Has anyone seen any mention of this in any print newspaper? I would think it would make an interesting story when a vendor that provides millions of dollars in services to a neighbor city that turns around and gives campaign contributions to a Mayoral Candidate as well as a state legislator who has been very involved in the start-up, Tommy Taylor. Especially when Mike Jacobs and Dan Weber helped organize a private forum, under the guise of candidate education, to pump the contractors giving funds to Brookhaven Yes Inc. and some of these candidates. But then again this is Georgia, and the City of Atlanta no longer has a major newspaper. The Dunwoody Journal and Constitution I guess does not want to go after its own.

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