Political Insider blog 

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

The politics of a U.S. citizenship ceremony

  • 10:21 am Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 In a piece on Wednesday’s swearing-in of 1,000 new U.S. citizens during a pre-Braves ceremony at Turner Field, “He plans to take executive actions that are within the president’s authority,” Jennings said. “We must do whatever we can to make U.S. immigration smarter, more humane and do whatever we can to keep families together.”

She wasn’t the only one to notice. An email arrived late last night from Greg Williams, chairman of the Buckhead Young Republicans, who was there with friends to watch his wife take the oath of citizenship. Wrote Williams:

“[Jennings] prepared remarks were about 10 minutes long, and he [More]

Into the weeds: Exploring the edges of Georgia’s new gun law

  • 5:28 pm Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We are 72 hours into Georgia’s new concealed-carry law, and questions that were once theoretical are sprouting like weeds.

All of us have a steep learning curve in front of us, including the firearms enthusiast in Valdosta who wasn’t sure that the fellow in front of him at the local convenience store was, in fact, a good guy with a holstered gun.

The enthusiast drew his own weapon and demanded the other’s carry permit. And was then arrested for disorderly conduct. Under Georgia’s new gun statute, you see, no one can require the display of another’s carry license without cause. Not [More]

Local angst over Georgia’s new concealed-carry law bubbles up

  • 10:34 am Thursday, June 5th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 A city hall is a city hall is a city hall. Unless it’s also a courthouse, in which case it becomes exempt from HB 60, Georgia’s new concealed-carry law — which goes into effect on July 1. …The name change is significant. Under the new law, guns are prohibited in courthouses with security checkpoints. But other government buildings like city halls are not afforded the same protection.

The Norcross City Hall and Municipal Courthouse are housed in the same building. Although there are separate entrances for each and only a security checkpoint outside municipal court.

“They are undermining the intent of the [More]

Cobb County and the price of poor sportsmanship

  • 10:04 am Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Good sportsmanship has been given a bad rap as a superficial concern of the athlete/dilettante, as irrelevant as an upturned pinky in a melee.

In fact, as any student of Clausewitz would tell you, being a gracious winner is part of the realpolitik of sports. Because just as there is never a last war, there is never a last game.

The upraised middle finger, those loud lies about the sexual history of the pitcher’s mother – all will be recorded and replayed in the opposing team’s locker room just before the next meeting. Anger begets adrenaline.

Over the weekend, our AJC colleagues gave [More]

Polls show Cobb County voters want Braves closer, but don’t want to pay for the move

  • 9:49 am Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

With a primary vote only days away, a pair of polls commissioned by an anonymous group of Atlanta business interests has found that voters in the northern half of Cobb County – who are about to weigh in on two county commission races – like the idea of the Braves moving closer.

But they have no interest in paying taxes to move the team across the Chattahoochee River.

The polls were handed to us by Rick Dent of Lincoln Park Strategies, who would only describe the people behind them as having “regional economic development interests.”

One poll examines the opinions of 400 voters [More]

A race that could turn on the Atlanta Braves’ move to Cobb County

  • 9:54 am Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 At least one of Cobb County’s GOP primary contests could turn on the deal that lured professional baseball out of Atlanta – and it doesn’t involve any of the county commissioners who voted for the Braves incentive package.

State Rep. Charles Gregory of Kennesaw, a libertarian-minded Republican who has figured big in recent gun legislation, is facing a tough challenge from business-backed Bert Reeves, a Marietta attorney.

In the days after the Cobb County Commission sprung its news about the Atlanta Braves, Gregory was critical of the use of public funds. He repeated himself at a recent forum.This flyer has begun arriving [More]

How plans for a revamped Turner Field play into statehouse overhaul

  • 5:02 pm Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The redevelopment of Turner Field into a mixed-use project with a

Reed, who supports Georgia State’s plan, said it would “significantly increase” the school’s appeal to students who want a more traditional campus. Georgia State President Mark Becker said he’s also briefed leaders of the Board of Regents. At some point, presumably, Deal could also have a say.

If Deal wins a re-election bid, it’s not hard to imagine that he and Reed would consider putting more political capital behind a push to revive this struggling part of town, where thousands of state and city workers spend their days, as [More]

Democratic Party has slight trust edge in Georgia poll

  • 9:06 am Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

There’s lots to dig into from this State of the State

About 51% of whites polled said they trusted the Republican Party, and only 24.6% of whites trusted the Democratic Party. But 77.9% of blacks supported the Democrats, and only 9.3% of blacks backed the GOP. Hispanic voters, a fast-growing part of the Georgia electorate, were split, with 30.4% backing the GOP and 29.9% backing the Democratic Party. Almost 40% of Hispanics polled supported third parties.

The Democratic advantage is within the poll’s margin of error.

More interesting numbers: Gov. Nathan Deal is the most trusted Republican, with 16.7 percent tapping him. [More]

Atlanta Braves tighten gun policy at Turner Field

  • 10:06 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

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]