Political Insider blog 

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

Atlanta Braves tighten gun policy at Turner Field

  • 10:06 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Sure, they can do this in Atlanta. The question is whether it will fly in Cobb County. From Channel 2 Action News:

Here’s the quick recap from the Associated Press:

The Atlanta Braves will no longer allow some off-duty police officers to carry guns at Turner Field, which has prompted objections.

Under the team’s new policy, off-duty officers from jurisdictions that don’t include Turner Field will no longer be allowed to bring firearms into the stadium.

Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins tells WSB-TV that the policy change will make the ball games less safe, adding that “armed good guys stop armed bad guys.”

Jerry Henry, [More]

Jason Carter as an ‘NRA Democrat’

  • 9:30 am Friday, March 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Last week, when the state Senate had its final vote on The bill is now before Gov. Nathan Deal. We’ll let Jeanne Bonner with Georgia Public Broadcasting pick up the thread:

Deal has said pointedly that the legislation is not “part of his agenda” but he’s expected to sign it. Carter, whose family has South Georgia roots, brushed off questions about the bill by saying he’s an “NRA Democrat.”

GPB reached out to several long-term Democrats who said they’re not familiar with that phrase. One political expert mused that Carter may be taking his cue from an ad Democratic Congressman John [More]

Michael Thurmond wooed for state school superintendent contest

  • 10:34 am Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The race for the open state superintendent seat is already one of the most intriguing contests in Georgia this year. It could get even more interesting.

Michael Thurmond, the former state labor commissioner, was drafted last year to take over as superintendent of the DeKalb County school system, even as it was poised to lose its accreditation.

Thurmond is now being recruited by Democratic leaders to run for the state super job, which will be left vacant by its current occupant, John Barge.

Thurmond told us Tuesday that he’s heard from several Democratic leaders and that he’s “flattered” by the attention but [More]

Braves exec on the hot seat for a cold Sochi performance

  • 1:04 pm Monday, February 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

You sometimes forget that the Atlanta Braves front office has an executive who was on the 1980 U.S. Olympic speedskating team – and who now has a complicated offseason occupation.

The U.S. effort in Sochi isn’t going well, and he’s catching hell. From the New York Times:

Mike Plant, the executive vice president for business operations for the Atlanta Braves, who took over as United States speedskating’s president last year, said Sunday that the timing of the new skin suits was not ideal.

“It’s a lesson learned now that we should get the athletes more comfortable with new things before we use [More]

Legislative tip sheet: An end game aimed at March 20

  • 8:12 am Monday, February 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

After a second snow hiatus, the House and Senate convene at 10 a.m. this morning.

The House will vote on the big ($20.8 billion) budget for FY 15, a resolution urging Congress to adopt a national energy policy, and other assorted bills.

The Senate will set its calendar Monday morning.

Another thing worth watching: H.B. 796 would exempt from the state’s open records laws the “payroll and personnel records” of any private contractor working on a public building project.

The bill has a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee in 415 CLOB at 8 a.m. today.

The lead sponsor of the bill is John [More]

House GOP: Take Medicaid expansion away from governor

  • 10:13 am Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Just before the state Capitol shut down on Tuesday, House GOP leaders dropped a bill that would take the power to expand Georgia’s Medicaid program and place it in the hands of the Legislature.

In other words, the governor of Georgia would no longer have a free hand in negotiating with the White House over a deal – as has been cut in Arkansas and elsewhere — that would broaden health care coverage with the billions of federal dollars that are being made available through the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

As such, consider H.B. 990 the most important bill of [More]

A bid to shape the 2016 GOP presidential calendar

  • 9:32 am Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

One year ago, top GOP honcho Reince Priebus was touring the country, with a stop in Atlanta included, to talk about the changes the national Republican party needed to make in order to get back in the presidential game.

One leg of reform was minority recruitment that moved beyond tokenism. Another was altering a presidential primary process that had become a meat-grinder.\

The Republican National Committee today opens its winter session in a wintry Washington D.C. In advance of the meeting, longtime GOP presence Randy Evans of Georgia has sent fellow RNC members this outline of changes he and others are [More]

Taxing, awkward moments at the Wild Hog Supper

  • 10:01 am Monday, January 13th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Sunday night made for some unintentionally awkward optics at the Depot near the state Capitol.

The new sponsor of the storied Wild Hog Supper, the Georgia Food Bank Association, happily filled the void after lobbyists backed away from the traditional opening event of each year’s legislative session.

But the food bank folks have had some beefs with Gov. Nathan Deal after he vetoed a bill last year that would have reinstated sales tax exemptions for food banks and health centers.

Deal’s veto statement said the breaks hadn’t been vetted by his competitiveness panel, but it came days after he signed other [More]

A legislative session begins and politicking revs up once more

  • 9:56 am Monday, January 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The legislative session starts again this morning and a record-early primary contest and wild races for Georgia’s top offices has just about every one under the Gold Dome predicting legislators will be out of here by April.

But there’s plenty of unfinished business for them to attend to first. Lawmakers are expected to quickly shift state and local primaries to May 20 after a judge moved the federal contests. And they will start hashing out a more than $20 billion state budget that’s expected to include money for teacher pay raises and the largest online expansion in Georgia school [More]

Your daily jolt: Nathan Deal aims big money at Georgia’s technical schools

  • 7:04 am Thursday, January 9th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

We have a more complete sweep of education issues on myajc.com this morning, but Georgia’s tech schools are an early winner in this year’s session of the state Legislature:

Gov. Nathan Deal wants to establish a scholarship that would provide full tuition for tech college students who earn a 3.5 grade point average, his spokesman Brian Robinson said Wednesday.

The Zell Miller Scholarship will be a new part of the HOPE grant program, which has come under intense criticism from Democrats in the wake of a belt-tightening measure pushed through the Legislature. Robinson said some 16,000 technical college [More]