The link between the Braves’ terrible season and Tim Lee’s bad night

Braves pitcher Ian Krol reacts to another tough night at the ballpark. Curtis Compton /

Braves pitcher Ian Krol reacts to another tough night at the ballpark. Curtis Compton /

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren endorsed him. Attorney General Sam Olens, perhaps the most popular Republican figure in the county, cut a robo-call for him.

Even so, commission Chairman Tim Lee couldn’t muster more than 41 percent of the vote on Tuesday night in a three-way Republican primary. He faces Mike Boyce in a July 26 runoff. Boyce, a retired Marine colonel, came within 673 votes of walking away with an outright victory.

Two-and-half years ago, Cobb voters were over the moon at the prospect of the Atlanta Braves moving across the Chattahoochee River. They finished first in the National League East in 2013, quickly lost in the playoffs, and announced their move north. Lee was a very popular fellow.

Three seasons later, they are a miserable 2-18 at home and 12-32 overall. The team could be out of contention by the Fourth of July. The question: Can a baseball team be so horrendous that it pulls down not just its manager, but the political figure most responsible for bringing the prize home?

“The Braves’ situation and what they’re doing on the field absolutely has an impact on this race,” said Heath Garrett, the county’s top GOP political strategist.

Even as the results were streaming in, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was basking in the glow of a different sort of vote.

Reed put his political capital behind a new Atlanta Falcons stadium, saying the cost to keep the Braves downtown was too high. On Tuesday, he was celebrating the NFL’s decision to award the 2019 Super Bowl to Atlanta  – and the new $1.4 billion stadium rising next to the Georgia Dome.


There are sore losers. And then there is Derrick Grayson.


Gov. Nathan Deal is among 10 Republican governors who asked federal regulators to give them more powers to jam cellphone signals from prisoners behind bars.

Meg Kinnard of the Associated Press has more:

A 1934 law says the FCC can grant permission to jam public airwaves only to federal agencies, not state or local ones. The cellphone industry has strongly opposed the use of localized jamming technology out of concern that it could set a precedent leading to much wider gaps in their networks.

The governors say the technology would be strictly limited to prisons, and that society outside would not suffer.

“The FCC should act to streamline regulatory review processes and allow states to implement cost-efficient technology in prisons, where the installation of such technology will not sacrifice the safety of the general public,” reads the letter, which was proposed by Haley and also signed by governors from Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.


Remember when Leo Smith, the Georgia GOP’s minority engagement guru, predicted Donald Trump could win 20 percent of the black vote?

His assessment got him a lot of attention – and a few TV gigs. Here’s what he said on CNN a few days ago:

“He’s kind of got a hip-hop swagger to him, and I think people like that. He’s all about money and entrepreneurship, there are a lot of people before he was a candidate who were black Americans and famous and they loved him. And I think there are a lot of people in the closet who also love him. Job competition, job scarcity, issues like that, he is actually addressing those issues. That’s going to help black Americans, that’s going to help all Americans. That’s important to people who’ve feel like they’ve been left on the margins for too long.”


The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a resolution of disapproval shepherded by Johnny Isakson that seeks to block an Obama administration retirement regulation.

The chamber passed the measure along party lines, 56-41. It now goes to the president’s desk, and President Barack Obama has already promised to veto the legislation. Neither the House nor the Senate advanced the bill with a veto-proof majority.

The legislation would nullify the Department of Labor’s recently finalized fiduciary rule, which relates to the kind of investment advice financial advisers can give their clients.

Supporters say the regulation will require advisers to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own bottom lines. Opponents say it’s onerous and will make retirement planning less affordable for lower- and middle-income people.

Both of Georgia’s senators voted in favor of blocking the rule.


Our colleague Justin Gray over in Cox Media’s Washington bureau has this breakdown of a recent effort in the U.S. Senate designed to compel tractor-trailer drivers to slow down on highways.

Isakson spearheaded the effort in response to a horrific crash on a Georgia highway that killed five nursing students last year.

Read more about the effort here via WSB.


House Speaker Paul Ryan is eyeing a tweak to the chamber’s procedures for considering government spending bills in order to avoid the chaos that was prompted last week by a vote on an LGBT amendment authored by Democrats.

The Associated Press has this breakdown of the proposed change, which has not been finalized.

Here’s a little more context from the AP on the tightrope Ryan, R-Wis., must walk:

The issue has emerged as a test for Ryan, who has committed himself to more openness and inclusion in how the House operates. One result of an open process can be tough votes and Ryan has committed himself to confronting those head-on. In calling for amendments to be printed in advance he appears to be trying to strike a balance between openness and chaos.

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