Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns

Ending a drought of successful black candidates in Georgia

  • 6:00 pm Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A dozen years have passed since an African-American won a statewide, partisan election in Georgia. And truth be told, the real drought has lasted much longer.

The first and only time a black candidate has won statewide office in Georgia without first being appointed to it — and thus having the advantage of incumbency – was in 1998, when Democrat Michael Thurmond claimed the open seat for state labor commissioner.

It is one of the crueler streaks of Georgia politics, but may be about to end. The winds of change are blowing on both the Republican and Democratic side of this year’s [More]

A ‘major’ campaign announcement becomes must-see political theater

  • 1:46 pm Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington’s

Unlimited cash for campaigns? GOP Senate candidates are split

  • 9:56 am Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Five of seven GOP candidates gathered in Marietta on Tuesday evening in a forum sponsored by the all-powerful Cobb County Republican Women’s Club.

The two presumed frontrunners in the contest, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue, had other things to do.

The rest plowed ground that has become very familiar – with perhaps a single exception. One of the questioners, Anne Lewis, who is general counsel for the Georgia GOP, noted the recent 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision that lifted federal limits on the aggregate amounts that individuals could give to federal contests.

The limit on contributions per candidate remain, but [More]

Nathan Deal unleashes feel-good ‘One’ TV ad

  • 4:35 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Take a look at the above video. You’re about to see plenty more of it.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign is spending more than $1 million to plaster this ad, “One,” on television screens across the state. It will run with others through the May 20 primary.

It’s a feel-good message of job creation that invokes a magazine’s recognition of Georgia as the “number one place to do business” – praise that Deal has mentioned at just about every campaign stop.

The ad for the governor, who has nearly $4 million in his campaign coffers, makes no mention of his GOP primary opponents [More]

David Pennington to make ‘major campaign announcement’

  • 12:01 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who is challenging Gov. Nathan Deal on the right, plans a “major campaign announcement” on Wednesday at the statehouse.

His campaign isn’t talking but we’re told the tea party candidate won’t be dropping out of the race. Instead, we suspect it will have something to do with the ethics issues that have troubled Deal’s campaign.

From the release:

ATLANTA, GA - David Pennington, the only Conservative running for Governor of Georgia, will be making a major campaign announcement outside of the Governor’s Office at the State Capitol tomorrow.

This comes on the heels of the recent court ruling [More]

First Quarter fundraising roundup for U.S. Senate, Congress

  • 11:00 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON — Today is the deadline for federal candidates to file their first quarter fundraising reports. We’ll update this post throughout the day on the key races throughout Georgia tate to tell you how the candidates stack up in the money race as of the end of March.

U.S. Senate:

On the Republican side, Rep. Jack Kingston of Savannah sets the pace again, as most of the candidates saw their fundraising jump as the election year dawned. Kingston raised $1.1 million, spent about $2.4 million — much of which was to reserve TV time in the coming weeks — and finished the [More]

Super PAC feints toward Michelle Nunn, stabs at Phil Gingrey

  • 9:42 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Ending Spending Action Fund is drawingBut Ending Spending has reported nearly twice as much, $592,000, to hit Gingrey.
The group has reserved $1.3 million in airtime ahead of the primary, and we’ll see if the ratio continues to favor Gingrey attacks. Ending Spending has been less eager to talk about them, though.

The group’s website features the Nunn ad and it gave early warning to the Wall Street Journal of its campaign against the Democrat. But we had to find the Gingrey ad elsewhere.

The Nunn campaign, meanwhile, has found a [More]

John Boehner attacked for ‘electile dysfunction’

  • 8:19 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Remember that brilliant campaign ad that flashed in your head at the tail end of a drunken debauch in the basement of your frat house – the one that sounded really, really stupid in the sobering light of day?

It got made:

From our sister newspaper, the Dayton Daily News:

A Cedarville University adjunct French teacher is hoping his “electile dysfunction” spot hit Speaker of the House John Boehner where it hurts: the ballot box.

J.D. Winteregg, one of three men challenging Boehner for the 8th Congressional District seat in the May 6 Republican primary, has launched “When The Moment Is Right,” a [More]

Bob Barr tones down his talk of impeachment

  • 9:30 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former congressman Bob Barr, now seeking a comeback in the race for Georgia’s 11th District congressional seat, raised eyebrows in January when A former federal prosecutor who helped lead impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Barr said the Obama administration had acted illegally both in postponing mandates in the federal health care law, and through softening enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Here’s what Barr said on Jan. 23 to Alex Jones:

I think it really has come to that. It’s not something I like to say. When I left the House before, after we impeached Clinton, my hope was that we would never [More]

A second chance for a food bank tax break

  • 6:00 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto last year of a bill that would have reinstated sales tax exemptions for food banks was one of the most surprising decisions he’s made in the governor’s office. He revisited that debate this morning.

Deal headed to the Atlanta Food Bank on Monday to sign House Bill 958, a package of tax bills that revives the incentives for food banks along with a range of other breaks that are estimated to cost more than $200 million.

In his veto statement last year, Deal said the breaks hadn’t been vetted by his competitiveness panel. But the veto, [More]