11 Alive News reports the entertainment mogul won a bid to buy a substantial portion of the shuttered and abandoned Fort McPherson property near downtown Atlanta. Although Perry wanted to build 16 movie studios and a film production facility on the 488-acre property, the channel noted that Gov. Deal had already placed a $10 million bid to relocate the police academy on the land.
Realizing that a campaign contribution could go a long ways, Perry recruited Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed called Gov. Deal on his behalf, according to the channel, which added that Deal yielded to Reed’s request for him to withdraw his bid in order for Perry to purchase the property.
Speaking with 11 Alive, Deal’s spokesman Brian Robinson didn’t mention Perry’s donations to the governor as he stated that Deal withdrew his bid because he saw the economic and jobs potential in Perry’s plans for Fort McPherson.
Needless to say, Perry’s contribution isn’t sitting well with local residents who have vocally opposed the filmmaker’s plans for Fort McPherson.
The Madea creator’s donations to Gov. Deal go back to May 1, when Perry contributed $6,300— the maximum donation permissible under state law — for the May 20 Republican gubernatorial primary, according to campaign finance disclosures. That same day, Deal’s re-election campaign received two donations from Tyler Perry Studios. The $6,300 contribution was for the primary, while the second donation of $100 went to the general election this fall.