Political Insider blog 

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

The first of three Friday polls: CNN says Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter leading races

  • 9:08 am Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

This weekend will be awash in polls. An AJC-sponsored survey will be out this morning, as will a separate on from Channel 2 Action News. But we’ll start with a new CNN poll conducted with live callers — a rarity in Georgia this year — that shows the top-ticket Democrats with small leads within the margin of error. – Democrat Michelle Nunn: 47 percent;

– Republican David Perdue: 44 percent;

– Libertarian Amanda Swafford: 5 percent;

For governor:

– Democrat Jason Carter: 48 percent;

– Republican Gov. Nathan Deal: 46 percent;

– Libertarian Andrew Hunt: 6 percent;

Likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be draw for [More]

Nathan Deal on Israel, Jimmy Carter and ‘anti-Semitism’

  • 9:43 am Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

You don’t often see foreign policy become fodder in a race for governor.

But as the weekend began, Nathan Deal named Israel as an issue in his re-election bid for governor, and came very, very close to labeling his Democratic rival’s grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, as an anti-Semite.

The vehicle was a Washington Times op-ed piece, penned by both Deal and John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, that held up Georgia as a beacon for U.S.-Israeli relations.

The article begins by condemning the effort among some – which preceded the current hositilities in Gaza — to subject [More]

David Ralston on Georgia tea party leaders: ‘They could threaten GOP’

  • 9:00 am Saturday, May 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The 2014 Republican primary was a rough one for Georgia’s tea partyers.

Yes, they collected the scalp of Don Balfour, the most senior Republican member of the state Senate. The Snellville lawmaker may have been acquitted on expense-padding charges last December, but jurors and voters are two different species of animal.

Moreover, tea partyers are certain to pick up some coveted congressional seats come November.

But the 6-year-old movement finished out of the money in the all-important U.S. Senate race. Three candidates willing to carry the “Don’t Tread on Me” banner – Karen Handel, Phil Gingrey, and Paul Broun – diluted the Earl [More]

A House speaker under siege by tea party forces

  • 6:06 pm Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Ellijay, Ga. — On Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal and his extensive entourage could have trekked to any one of 180 House districts to sign HB 60, the gun bill – now law – that will greatly expand where concealed weaponry can be carried.

But as a favor to one of his most important allies in the state Capitol, Deal chose the picturesque banks of the Coosawattee River here in House District 7.

That’s because Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge, the second Republican to hold that position and the first from north Georgia, is under siege.

Among the high crimes and misdemeanors allegedly [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]

Unlimited cash for campaigns? GOP Senate candidates are split

  • 9:56 am Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

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]

Legislature backs $17 million for new Falcons parking deck

  • 3:44 pm Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

State leaders were so uneasy about voting on a plan last year to approve public financing for the new $1.2 billion Falcons stadium that they punted the debate to Atlanta lawmakers. But in the budget that earned final approval Tuesday, lawmakers have quietly slipped in $17 million in bonds to expand a parking facility for the new stadium.

You can find below the letter from Frank Poe, head of the Georgia World Congress Center:

Poe initially advocated for a $35 million parking structure, which he said would not only help handle the new stadium’s traffic but also “provide parking [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]

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]