News - Should Bill Campbell resign?
No. Mayor Campbell has presided over this city's most tremendous growth in decades.
Resign? What for? Mayor Campbell has presided over this city's most tremendous growth in decades. His record of accomplishments across the board compares favorably to that of any U.S. mayor. Crime is down, taxes are stable, and the city's infrastructure is being rebuilt. For the first time in four decades the city is experiencing a boost in population.
The tragedy is that such a question should even be asked. Campbell has been targeted by folks who purchase ink by the barrel and are determined to do him in through rumor, innuendo and a daily does of mean-spirited invective.
Unfortunately, there has been little counter-balanced journalism in the mainstream media. Even when the mayor responds appropriately to reporters' insistent queries, the headlines always blast him.
Local Campbell-haters can be compared with their national counterparts who were out to get Bill Clinton. Again, talk-radio's chattering class of mostly white males spew their baseless slurs and hateful venom. Again, the right wing has found an easy target for its anger.
Obviously, the mayor — despite being "indicted" by the Atlanta newspapers — has not been charged with any offense. Even so, constant leaks and a full-fledged federal witch hunt have played into the hands of Campbell's detractors. While the mayor may have demonstrated poor judgment in associating with the likes of a Dewey Clark or Fred Prewitt, he has only been shown to have violated state financial disclosure rules — and even the language of those laws is open to interpretation.
Ask the thousands of poor people who have a decent place to live in public housing if Campbell should resign. Ask the music industry professionals making Atlanta a new recording capitol if Campbell should resign. Ask Ted Turner who, through Campbell's efforts, secured a new downtown arena if Campbell should resign. Ask the Atlantans south of I-20 who have new housing, shopping and recreation areas for the first time in decades if Campbell should resign. The answer is a resounding no.
Atlanta today is undeniably better off than when Campbell was elected. Despite the daily dose of negativity, Campbell stays focused on the citizens' well-being — working to build a world-class airport, ensuring that the poor have a chance to share in Atlanta's bounty, and tackling a crumbling infrastructure to guarantee a quality city for future generations.
Bill Campbell has vowed to stay on the job until the last hour of the last day of his term. Negative press, hounding by a federal grand jury, or absurd calls for him to step aside won't impair his ability to govern. As we say in the South, Campbell will stay with the people who elected him "until the last dog dies."