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Campbell's just desserts

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There's no shortage of people who just want to see former Mayor Bill Campbell punished. They want to see him arrested, brought before a jury and convicted. The anger is understandable: budget deficits, embarrassing federal investigations, an utter erosion of faith in local government. All of it can be traced to Campbell's dubious leadership. And yet, there's growing skepticism that there's anything out there that would land him in jail, let alone be enough for an indictment.

But the fact is that Campbell is already being punished. All you need to do is to take one look at last week's Atlanta Journal-Constitution. There's Campbell smiling away on the front of the Metro section. He's got a new job as a part-time commentator for Frank Ski's V-103 morning show.

So how is that punishment? Well, for most people it wouldn't be, but for Campbell, it's an indication of just how far he's fallen. Here's a guy who was once considered a political rising star, someone who, at the very least, was supposed to find a place in a national Democratic administration. This also was a person who would have seemed like the ideal fit for Atlanta's new Congressional district, someone to bring a new, younger voice to Washington to join U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Atlanta). Instead, you've got David Scott, a 28-year state Senate veteran, as the favorite, a man who has more political past than future.

After eight mostly prosperous years heading one of the most prominent cities in America, the best Campbell can do is a part-time radio gig. It wasn't supposed to turn out like that. Make no mistake. He's being punished.

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