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LeVell: Political Targeting of Trump Bad News for Atlanta Businesses

king plow center in west atlanta georgia

The 1902 King Plow Arts Center is a commercial, performing, and visual arts center, on Marietta Street in the Marietta Street Art District of West Midtown - Atlanta. Georgia. King Plow is the largest center of its kind in the city. (Dj Jennings/

By    |   Wednesday, 07 June 2023 04:41 PM EDT

The people of Atlanta — especially those in the business community — are justifiably concerned about what District Attorney Fanni Willis is doing.

Willis recently cleared the court docket for most of August, instructing staff to work remotely and asking judges to avoid scheduling trials for most of the month.

She has also asked the FBI to assist in providing security in and around the courthouse during that time. This coincides with when a certain high-profile grand jury is expected to unseal indictments.

It’s widely believed that Willis is laying the groundwork for indictments of former-President Donald Trump in relation to his post-election phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.

Perhaps other indictments related to the 2020 election will issue. 

This writer's friends in the Atlanta business community — most of them committed Democrats — are worried.

"We don’t need no more [BS] down here," said one local business owner I spoke with recently about the news. It’s a fairly common sentiment in a city that has already been traumatized by partisan pettiness.

In 2021, Major League Baseball (MLB) decided to interject itself into the national political debate over voting rules.

After Georgia passed sweeping election reforms designed to make it "easy to vote, hard to cheat" the MLB announced that it would be moving that year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta as retribution for state lawmakers passing a law with which MLB executives wanted to publicly disagree.

The people of Atlanta didn’t do anything to upset the MLB or the Democratic establishment.

Indeed, the men and women who represented the City of Atlanta in the state legislature voted uniformly against the law.

But the MLB wanted to make a statement, and that statement cost the City of Atlanta an estimated $100 million in lost economic activity

The pain was felt most acutely by the city’s Black business owners, many of whom had made extensive preparations to welcome the anticipated influx of tourists.

Those preparation included including expensive renovations and expansions of staffing.

Merchandisers, for instance, had already invested huge sums of money in hats, T-shirts, cups, and other products for the All-Star Game. They were devastated, and in some cases ruined, by the MLB’s ill-advised foray into politics.

This writer has been a business owner in Atlanta for nearly 30 years.

These people are my friends and colleagues — and what they’re telling me right now is that they’re terrified of the damage that Fanni Willis is about to do to this city’s economy.

They’d like to speak out, but they’re afraid of what might happen to them or their businesses if they do.

So I’m doing it for them.

For one thing, it just doesn’t make good business sense to get involved in a messy political controversy. Unfortunately, Atlanta’s business community has no choice.

If Willis goes ahead with her politically motivated prosecution of Mr. Trump, she’ll be bringing the nation’s divisive politics right into our backyard.

There will be protesters and counter protesters.

There will be boycotts and counter-boycotts. There will be lost business opportunities and reduced tourism. In short, there will be bad news for business owners in Atlanta.

But there’s another problem, too.

Willis is effectively asking judges to clear their dockets for the better part of a month in order to accommodate the circus she is bringing to town.

Moreover, she’s signaling that the district attorney’s office will have most of its resources tied up during the month of August — and likely beyond — by what amounts to a political circus.

What does that mean for law enforcement and the rest of the justice system?

Will suspects be kept in jail for an extra three weeks while they await an open courtroom, or will they be released back onto the streets?

Sadly, we know the answer.

In 2018, Atlanta’s City Council passed bail reform legislation that allows many offenders to be released on their own recognizance.

The prosecution of former-President Trump will be like a nearly month-long holiday for lawbreakers, and that most likely means even more headaches for Atlanta business owners, because increased crime is bad for business.

Fanni Willis is going to pursue her political vendetta against President Trump no matter what, and that’s terrible news for the people of Atlanta. Wish us luck.

(A related story may be found here.) 

Bruce LeVell has been a business owner in the Atlanta area for over 28 years. He is a frequent contributor on Fox News, One America News, Newsmax, MSNBC, and CNN.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

This writer has been a business owner in Atlanta for nearly 30 years. These people are my friends and colleagues, and what they’re telling me right now is that they’re terrified of the damage that Fanni Willis is about to do to this city’s economy.
king, plow, willis
Wednesday, 07 June 2023 04:41 PM
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