Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed faced off in a brief debate on WXIA Wednesday night with William Perry, executive director of Common Cause Georgia. The watchdog group has criticized the city's handling of lucrative airport concessions contracts.
Allowing airport contractors to donate to political campaigns is "legal, ethical and appropriate," Reed said, adding that no governing body in Georgia had instituted so-called "pay-to-play" reforms. He accused Perry of trying to damage Atlanta's reputation.
"If there's a backdoor deal, show it," Reed said.
Perry said it "creates an incredibly bad perception" when people doing business with the city contribute tens of thousands of dollars to public officials, including Reed. "We look to him (Reed) to be a leader," Perry said.