Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Nathan Deal’s latest optimistic ad claims he ‘delivered on his promise’

  • 12:01 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign released the latest in a string of optimistic ads trumpeting the Republican’s economic policy, saying he has “delivered on his promise” of making Georgia a more competitive state. At the same time, the campaign is reviving a separate airwave attack on Democrat Jason Carter’s education stance.

The above 30-second spot, called “When,” begins airing in metro Atlanta today. It tries to make the case that Deal has pressed much of the year: That his economic policies have made Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation to do business.

Carter has been trying to undercut that message by [More]

Neil Bush denounces ‘shameful’ claims linking Michelle Nunn to ‘terrorists’

  • 6:23 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

One day after Republican David Perdue pocketed the endorsement of George H.W. Bush in the race for U.S. Senate, a son of the 90-year-old former president denounced as “shameful” and “disrespectful” Perdue-endorsed claims that a Bush-established foundation once headed by Democratic rival Michelle Nunn “gave money to organizations linked to terrorists.”

The charge is contained in a 30-second TV spot paid for by the National Republican Senatorial Committee and approved by Perdue, now airing on television stations across the state.

“That’s ridiculous,” said Neil Bush, the 59-year-old chairman of the Points of Light Foundation, in an exclusive phone interview with The Atlanta [More]

Top Democratic candidates a no-show at Obama’s Atlanta arrival

  • 3:18 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A host of Democratic dignitaries, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, were on hand to greet President Barack Obama upon his arrival here this afternoon. Missing from the tarmac: His party’s top contenders for higher office.

Gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter and Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn were elsewhere as the president landed to talk about his administration’s new

Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign highlighted tweets Carter sent in 2013 welcoming Obama to town, as well as the Facebook post you see to the right. His spokeswoman Jen Talaber noted that he “doesn’t seem quite as excited to have his longtime friend” arrive now.

Carter spokesman [More]

U.S. House passes bill that could preserve old West Hunter Street Baptist building

  • 2:28 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Just as Martin Luther King Jr. loomed over his No. 2, Ralph David Abernathy, during the heady Civil Rights era, Ebenezer Baptist Church overshadowed West Hunter Street Baptist Church.

But the latter church – it’s old shell, anyway — may be about to get its day in the sun.

The bipartisan team of U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Decatur, and Austin Scott, R-Tifton, with some help from Georgia colleagues Sanford Bishop and John Barrow, have shepherded through the House a bill that could place the old West Hunter Street Baptist building under the protection of the national park system.

The West Hunter Street Baptist [More]

A debate over education, and a Nathan Deal childhood mystery

  • 10:11 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter meet at an education forum hosted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators in Atlanta on Monday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

The event, the organizers insisted, was a forum – not a debate.

And yet that’s what Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter turned it into – in front of members of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Both were featured speaker at Michelle Obama’s get out the vote drive last week. But when her husband


Over the weekend, state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, D-Lithonia, opened up a debate on corporal punishment [More]

Nathan Deal on the ‘coincidental’ timing of the health board shakeup

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Expect Gov. Nathan Deal’s staff to pay closer attention to the timing of his board appointees.

That’s at least what the governor said Monday about the “coincidental” timing of the replacement of two members of the state health department’s board hours after a $26 million rate hike stalled at a board meeting.

The two board members – one who raised questions about the rate hike and another who voted against it – were notified they would not be returning to the Department of Community Health board shortly after the vote stalled.

“We have made judgment calls on the replacements for them [More]

George H.W. Bush endorses David Perdue as ‘independent voice’ in Senate race

  • 1:25 pm Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

George H.W. Bush endorsed Republican David Perdue in the race for Senate today, following a weekend meeting at the former president’s Maine home.

The move is no surprise to anyone who has been watching the race.

Democrat Michelle Nunn has invoked her ties to the elder Bush in ads and campaign rhetoric. Earlier this year, the former president earlier said he wouldn’t Nunn said in a statement she is proud to have worked with the elder Bush and his son despite their party differences.

“That experience – running President Bush’s organization that helps millions of people improve their lives and their communities – is [More]

Three weekend polls put holiday runoffs in Georgia’s future

  • 11:39 am Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

As the weekend began, a number of statewide polls surfaced showing a mix of findings in races for governor and U.S. Senate.

The governor’s race is a dead heat. Including voters who lean toward one candidate, 43 percent of likely voters back the Republican incumbent, Nathan Deal. Democrat Jason Carter holds 42 percent, and Libertarian Andrew Hunt brings in 7 percent.

In the U.S. Senate race, Republican David Perdue holds a small lead, at 45 percent, compared with 41 percent for Democrat Michelle Nunn and 6 percent for Libertarian Amanda Swafford, including leaners. Perdue’s advantage is at the edge of the poll’s [More]

Why split-ticket voters could play key role in Georgia’s top races

  • 6:00 am Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former Gov. Zell Miller is splitting his ballot between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. How many others follow his lead could help determine the outcome of the top of Georgia’s ticket.

The AJC poll released Friday showed a solid bloc of voters plan to cross party lines in the heated governor’s race and the open Senate contest. Still more have yet to make up their minds, signaling a willingness to split their ballots.

About one-fifth of Nunn’s likely voters either support Republican Gov. Nathan Deal or are yet undecided in the race for governor. And about 16 [More]

Let the debate begin: To spare the rod, or not?

  • 11:56 am Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

On her Facebook page, attorney and state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, D-Lithonia, has opened up a debate

Click here for background on the issue.

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