Augusta mayor asks supporters to donate to charities

Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Mayor Deke Copenhaver urges campaign contributors to give their money to charities of their choice instead of giving it to his campaign for re-election. Copenhaver made his announcement during a visit on Tuesday to Golden Harvest Food Bank. Bank.
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Don't give money to Mayor Deke Copenhaver this campaign season -- donate to your favorite charity instead.

"People's money could be better invested," said the mayor, who faces two opponents Nov. 2. "This is my own version of campaign finance reform."

Copenhaver, calling a news conference at Golden Harvest Food Bank to make the announcement, said he'd thought about the gesture for years.

After watching millions being poured into the ongoing Georgia governor's race, Copenhaver said he decided campaign money could be better spent elsewhere.

"That's just money being wasted, when people are going to bed hungry," he said.

Copenhaver, noting he'd worked in nonprofits for several years before running for mayor, said he hoped donors would give in his name to their favorite charity instead of his campaign.

"Times are tough for giving, too," he said.

Golden Harvest official Travis McNeal commended the mayor for making "such a bold choice of what to encourage others to do with their campaign contributions, especially in this economy."

Copenhaver stopped short, however, of agreeing to donate his campaign chest to charity, and said he'd continue a grassroots effort to raise funds.

In his 2006 run for a first full term, he raised $229,079 and spent $218,511, according to campaign filings, but in his June 30, 2010 report, Copenhaver claimed no contributions or expenditures.

The latest campaign financial reports are due in the elections office Thursday, but Tuesday afternoon, none had been filed in the mayor's race.

As both readied to give speeches at Tuesday's Committee for Good Government forum, neither of Copenhaver's opponents suggested their supporters do the same, and both hinted that Copenhaver's personal wealth made fundraising unnecessary.

"I think it's admirable for anybody to do that," neighborhood activist and mayoral candidate Lori Davis said. "But he doesn't need donations to run his campaign."

Candidate William "Gil" Gilyard said, "I guess if you have the money, you can do anything you want to do. What I want to see is donations to the progress of Augusta."

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techadvocate
7
Points
techadvocate 10/05/10 - 02:34 pm
0
0
Good idea, Deke.

Good idea, Deke.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 02:43 pm
0
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Well when you are rich and

Well when you are rich and married to an even richer family, you really don't need campaign donations.

Hatfield0278
1
Points
Hatfield0278 10/05/10 - 02:51 pm
0
0
I wondered how long it would

I wondered how long it would be before an anonymous poster chimed in on this story with some negative slant against the Mayor. 19 minutes. That's actually longer than I expected. I suppose Mayor Copenhaver could give away all of his own money to local charities and some people would still find some way to villify him.

Hatfield0278
1
Points
Hatfield0278 10/05/10 - 02:53 pm
0
0
I think this is a wonderful

I think this is a wonderful gesture.

countyman
21623
Points
countyman 10/05/10 - 02:59 pm
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I've notice on here the Deke

I've notice on here the Deke supporters never make sarcastic remarks about Lori.

The same usual comments about Deke lol. He is somewhere chillin on a island with Cal Ripken. Even though Jim Jacoby(developer of Atlantic Station) is apart of the mix-use development. He only feels comfortable around the West Augusta or Summerville/Hill/Midtown crowd. Even though I thought he only cared about downtown.

Quack Quack Quack
1148
Points
Quack Quack Quack 10/05/10 - 03:12 pm
0
0
That's a great idea Mayor

That's a great idea Mayor Copenhaver. If the donations are made in your name, do you get to claim them on your tax return?

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 03:14 pm
0
0
Please people this is such a

Please people this is such a politically transparant PR stunt. Why the need to have a press release on this to show what a great guy Deke is by telling people to donate their own money in HIS name to a charity? That's all well and good.. does this mean Deke will not spend a dime on his campaign and instead donate all of that money to charity as well? This is all about trying to obfuscate the real issues in this campaign.. make people forget about the ballpark, the crime, government transparency, and accountability.. etc... I'm a big believer that when you really want to other people to donate to charity for all the right reasons.. you don't need your pr firm to send out a press release.

Hatfield0278
1
Points
Hatfield0278 10/05/10 - 03:19 pm
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0
QQQ - All donations made to

QQQ - All donations made to the Golden Harvest Foodbank are 100% tax deductible.

http://www.goldenharvest.org/

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 03:20 pm
0
0
I've volunteered at The

I've volunteered at The Golden Harvest Foodbank for years.. always did it because it was the right thing to do.. never did it for brownie points for for any political purposes... I can tell you of many others who don't have the political connections or the deep pockets who can only give of their time, and they do it everyday and they never get any credit in the paper for doing it, but then that's not why they do it.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 03:23 pm
0
0
Just wrote a check to Golden

Just wrote a check to Golden Harvest... but did so in the name of my aunt ( who died a few years back).. a lovely woman who was always there to help others and never expected any exposure or credit for it.

Hatfield0278
1
Points
Hatfield0278 10/05/10 - 03:26 pm
0
0
All the Mayor is doing is

All the Mayor is doing is asking people who would like to support his campaign to instead donate that money to a charity. I would think we would all agree that we would rather the money go to feeding hungry people instead of 10,000 campaign signs all over town.

Emerydan, thank you for your service to the community.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 03:31 pm
0
0
hatfield,, I agree with what

hatfield,, I agree with what you are saying.. but using a charity to score political brownie points like this is just a bit galling for me. You gotta wonder about the timing.. how about he had said this back in July during the qualifying period? "No campaign contributions please...all to charity).. why now less than a month to election day? Why the big press release and photo op? Nothing galls me more than politicians getting their face on TV and taking the credit for the goodwill of others.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 10/05/10 - 03:37 pm
0
0
I agree. Give to charity. But

I agree. Give to charity.
But if no one contributes to political campaigns, that means only the rich can run for office.
I'll let you decide which candidate could still afford to run and which ones (plural) could not.

alycias
0
Points
alycias 10/05/10 - 03:42 pm
0
0
Yes, people aren't blind,

Yes, people aren't blind, though I guess thats how the politicians want us to be. I was wondering also, why Mr. Copenhaver says "do it in MY name". He should be saying do it in the NAME OF JESUS CHRIST. I do think the timing of this request/gesture is very obvious. I think he is doing a wonderful job as Mayor, however, and I applaud him 100% for THAT. And I will vote for him. But there is most likely some way he is getting to write these contributions off on his tax return...if they are done in his name. So THAT is not very nice!! Shame on you Deke, for that!

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 03:45 pm
0
0
This is like Michael

This is like Michael Bloomberg running for mayor of NYC and telling everyone NOt to donate to his campaign.. and instead donate it to charity in his name...But anyway.. I always support charity and hope others will as well.. now lets see if Deke will not put up any signs, fliers, or make any robo calls.. and instead have all of that go to charity.

noils
5
Points
noils 10/05/10 - 03:49 pm
0
0
Good move Mr. Mayor. This is

Good move Mr. Mayor. This is a good message to donors who do business, or hope to, with the city plus those seeking favors. Campaign donations will no longer buy favors for special interests - at least in the Mayor's office. I generally favor the wealthy holding political offices. They're less likely to have sticky fingers. The rich aren't worried about a paycheck to pay the bills so they are not afraid to make hard decisions.

alycias
0
Points
alycias 10/05/10 - 03:50 pm
0
0
Charity and religion, to me,

Charity and religion, to me, are inseparable. And religion and politics are supposed to be separate, but they are not in actuality. Its difficult to separate politics from religion/charity. They are so closely intertwined. If Mr. Copenhaver is asking for these charity contributions to be done in his name for the purpose of being able to write them off on his taxes, then maybe his "richness" is not as great as we think!

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 03:50 pm
0
0
This wouldn't look so

This wouldn't look so transparantly politically motivated if he had said this months ago.. but to do it down to the wire of the campaign (when he has probably already raised a significant amount of campaign cash) just seems to be too much of a campaign stunt rather than an honest charitable gesture. I would have had more respect for Deke if he had said at the outset of the campaign.. that he would not put up any signs or make any calls, and would instead just have forums and town halls..and for everyone to donate to charity.. and then all of the the other candidates could do the same. Another thing about the timing of this.. I'm sure it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that The Good Government Barbecue and candidate forum just so happens to be tonight.. and its members will vote and give their endorsement... nah, that's just a coincidence.

countyman
21623
Points
countyman 10/05/10 - 03:58 pm
0
0
Lori Davis is married too and

Lori Davis is married too and has plenty of stable income.

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 10/05/10 - 07:44 pm
0
0
Who cares if someone has done

Who cares if someone has done well for their self? Wealth envy is pathetic. Successful hard working people deserve (in most cases) what they have earned whereas most do not deserve what is simply given to them by the government without being a taxpayer.

The mayor is urging others to help those in need as he personally does often since this is the way it should be vs. taxes going to agencies who give to those who do nothing to better their selves.

I would agree that the mayor needs to “take a hard stand” on issues, worry about crime reduction, public safety and cleaning up our city before even discussing issues such as ball stadiums, credit should be given when something positive is done.

Not only are his words something positive for leaders and politicians but so are his actions. Our entire political election process has become “who has the most money” in so many cases and the amounts given to candidates, PACS, committees, etc. are a huge waste compared to what positives could be achieved with those funds.

Our charter basically makes our mayor a Public Relations person for our city and Deke does a great job with this. If he would now take it to the next level and be assertive, work for the best interest

Riverman1
93281
Points
Riverman1 10/05/10 - 04:40 pm
0
0
Lori Davis certainly doesn't

Lori Davis certainly doesn't have the kind of money to run a campaign for mayor without contributions. It's always been the American way for small donors to give to the candidates of their choice in hopes of better government. For a wealthy candidate to say he won't take contributions when he knows the other candidate has to serves to limit all contributions. It makes Deke appear beneficient.

Riverman1
93281
Points
Riverman1 10/05/10 - 04:46 pm
0
0
The campaign has been going

The campaign has been going on for a long time. A few weeks before the election Deke says he won't take contributions. Give me a break.

Make no mistake, Copenhaver will spend FAR MORE THAN DAVIS on the campaign.

jasonpilgrim
0
Points
jasonpilgrim 10/05/10 - 06:39 pm
0
0
The few of you that like to

The few of you that like to point out the fact that the mayor dosen't need the money to run a campaign and that it's easy to announce somthing like this when your rich need to wake up. Since when do people have to appologize for being successful?

OhWell
326
Points
OhWell 10/05/10 - 06:47 pm
0
0
Seems a shame that such a

Seems a shame that such a good deed is ridiculed. Donations will directly help so many people that do not qualify for State Benefits. There are many needy citizens that fall through the cracks, they have to many assets to get public assistance but the income they have will not cover the day to day necessities. Many are without health care, homeless and hungry. WAY TO GO DEKE.

corgimom
38251
Points
corgimom 10/05/10 - 06:51 pm
0
0
Maybe Augustans should be

Maybe Augustans should be asking themselves why someone would spend $218,000 to be elected to a $75,000 per year job.

scoopdedoop64
2488
Points
scoopdedoop64 10/05/10 - 07:13 pm
0
0
corgimom, that answer is

corgimom, that answer is simple. It's not his money. LOL But I do get your point. I just wish we had term limits for all politicians so that they would quit making a career off of it and start representing the people. I was at the Mayor's prayer breakfast when he first announced he was going to do this but there was no press there so I guess he felt the need to do it a little more publically. Only Deke and God knows his true motives but I like to believe the best about someone unless I am proven wrong.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/05/10 - 07:16 pm
0
0
This is about PR and nothing

This is about PR and nothing else. Copenhaver tried to scare his challengers off from running by stating that he spent over 6 digits on his first run for mayor.. this was back in June.. now if Deke wanted "campaign finance reform" as he says now and truly wanted all of his supporters to donate their money to a worthy cause instead of to his campaign, then why not do that from the outset? And does Deke intend to return all of the money he has raised up until now so that these folks can in turn donate it to a charity instead? Everyone else has been told there is no way you can compete against Deke and the amount of money he has to spend. Now wouldn't it have been really magnanimous of him at the outset to say that he would not accept any contributions and would only spend $1,000 on his campaign and instead just participate in debates and forums... no TV ads, no radio ads, no billboards,,, that way the other candidates could all do the same... engage directly with voters at community forums.. and fundraisers could be for charity. Imagine ALL the money that could have been raised. But lets not kid ourselves.. this is about a politician who has more than enough money already in his campaign war chest... someone who spent in his own words over $150,000 on his first campaign for a job that pays $70,000 a year....trying to make himself appear saintly with other people's money. The one thing I have learned over the past 5 years, is that its all about Deke, all the time. I refuse to buy into a PR stunt from a politician.

Brad Owens
4906
Points
Brad Owens 10/06/10 - 03:39 am
0
0
What a joke, campaign

What a joke, campaign consultants at their best.

Yawn,

Brad

P.S. Deke is a REALLY nice guy

j2says
3
Points
j2says 10/05/10 - 08:40 pm
0
0
I respect what he's doing but

I respect what he's doing but I wish he would have picked a neutral place to make the announcement. The food bank get's more than its fair share of the public's money to waste.

Emerydan
10
Points
Emerydan 10/06/10 - 10:38 am
0
0
Yeah Brad.. yeah Deke is a

Yeah Brad.. yeah Deke is a really swell guy.. with other people's money.
I have utmost respect for Golden Harvest and what they do.. I think it is one of the best run local charities.. and so much of what they bring in actually goes out to the needy and not eaten up in overhead. So I hope they are able to raise a lot of money, and I will be sure to not only write a check but to also bring some non perishables to their foodbank. I just don't like politicians using a wonderful charity like this as a way to score PR points.

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