Political Insider blog 

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

Michelle Nunn says she’s not a sure vote for Harry Reid

  • 10:18 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy

Details of Thursday’s U.S. Senate comparison shopping opportunity that saw Democrat Michelle Nunn and David Perdue square off During a rowdy Republican primary, Perdue was a prominent vote of no confidence for Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his future bid to lead Senate Republicans. But Nunn argued that, immediately after the July 20 primary runoff, Perdue went to Washington, met with McConnell and “pledged to be a good team player.” (The source for said observation: Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who was in the meeting.)

Said Nunn: “The only team I’m playing for here is Georgia.”

The Reid issue is an ideological benchmark on [More]

A stark message from Ray LaHood on Georgia’s cloutless D.C. position

  • 5:40 pm Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Rev. Ray LaHood delivered brimstone in Atlanta this week.

Strictly speaking, he is not ordained. LaHood is a former Illinois congressman and, until recently, was the token Republican in the cabinet of President Barack Obama, serving as secretary of transportation.

But he is now a traveling evangelist, preaching against the sin of skin-flintery – or, more specifically, the current attitude that someone else should pay for our use of American roads, bridges and rail.

”We’re in a mess in America when it comes to transportation. Every transit system is 50 years old and crumbling. The interstates are crumbling. Bridges are falling down,” [More]

Pulling out the stops: Nathan Deal brings first lady into the picture

  • 9:49 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Early this week, Gov. Nathan Deal got on the phone with more than a few nervous Republican state lawmakers and promised to pull out all the stops in the upcoming election.

Proof arrived Wednesday morning in the inboxes of laptops and smartphones across Georgia: A re-introduction to Sandra Deal, the First Lady of Georgia.

It wasn’t a campaign piece, but an official communication from the Office of the Governor in its weekly newsletter. (If you didn’t get one, see it here.)

And contentwise, the most controversial part of the message was a recipe for gluten-free almond cookies.

But the post-Election Day timing was [More]

A second opinion on Kasim Reed’s vision of Atlanta’s future

  • 2:18 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

One of our most clicked-on posts of the last month featured Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s view of his city in the year 2050, which first appeared in the Wall Street Journal. A taste:

…Cities, in short, are ascendant. National governments—in the U.S. and overseas—are all but broken and hold little promise for mending themselves in the future. As such, people and businesses will turn to cities for leadership, bold thinking, effective services and, yes, hope.

What will these cities look like and how will they work? Public safety is the most fundamental responsibility of city government; thus, cities in the future [More]

For Georgia Democrats, Act One has barely begun — but so has Act Two

  • 9:00 am Saturday, July 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

To understand Thomas Jefferson and his lifelong suspicion of all things British, biographer Jon Meacham writes, you have to stop thinking of the American Revolution as the brief episode that began July 4, 1776, and ended with the Battle of Yorktown five years later.

Shaking off the English was a five-decade effort, Meacham argues, that began in 1764 and didn’t end until Andy Jackson settled their hash once and for all in New Orleans, ending the War of 1812.

Political movements, in other words, are like paper towels. They don’t always tear along the dotted lines. In fact, they seldom do.

Georgia’s most [More]

The #KTB: Kasim Reed’s Twitter-based time-out for reporters

  • 11:54 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Updated at 6:30 p.m. below:

A report from the AJC’s Katie Leslie:

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed isn’t shy about his opinions, especially when it comes to journalists.

The mayor is known to take reporters and columnists to task on Twitter when he disagrees with their work or how he’s portrayed.

If he’s particularly upset, he’ll deploy his press team to take on a story with a press release and social media campaign. (Case in point? This city-issued statement from last fall about AJC opinion writer Kyle Wingfield’s columns on street vendors.)

And if he’s downright angry, he’ll go a step further and put [More]

Kasim Reed: In a future ATL, ‘we’ll be able to know where you are 80 to 85 percent of the time’

  • 8:20 pm Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

On Friday afternoon, longtime Atlanta newsman Bill Nigut debuted his weekly 3 p.m. current events show, “Political Rewind,” on WRAS (88.5FM).

Front and center was Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, riffing off his recent Wall Street Journal piece on the future of cities and what Atlanta might look like in 2050.

Many national outlets focused on Reed’s analysis of the electoral chances of Democrats Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, and the importance of voter registration — which we covered a few weeks ago in this column.

Far more provocative were Reed’s comments on surveillance and the future city of Atlanta – [More]

Kasim Reed on the Atlanta of 2050

  • 4:54 pm Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Wall Street Journal celebrated its 125th birthday today with a massive, web-based look back, and large series of articles focused on the future.

Taylor Swift waxed eloquent on the prospects of the music industry. In part:

“It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is.”

But it was left up to Mayor Kasim Reed to sketch out the future of urbanism – specifically, the Atlanta of 2050. Think high-speed rail and a city constantly trying to balance public [More]

Kasim Reed declares city of Atlanta property to be gun-free

  • 4:54 pm Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Seventeen hours into Georgia’s new gun law, Mayor Kasim Reed has declared city of Atlanta facilities to be gun-free zones. From the press release:

“As Mayor, I have made public safety the top priority of my administration. Accordingly, in response to a new statewide gun law that took effect today, the City has taken extra security measures to keep employees and citizens safe at our facilities.

“Effective today, City recreation centers with extensive summer programming will be staffed with security officers to screen entrants and prevent firearms from entering the buildings.

With the exception of certain public safety officials and employees, there is [More]

To would-be Olympian in Boston, Atlanta is a ‘second-rate’ city

  • 12:39 pm Friday, June 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

For the years its baseball team has stood up to the pinstripes in New York City, we doff our caps to Boston. For the way the New England city refused to allow the bombers of the famous marathon to steal its soul, we salute its residents.

But there are limits.

The city that harbored the original American tea party is on the short list for the 2024 Summer Olympics, and has been worrying about the billions it would cost.

In conclusion: We already have Brian McCann as a reason to root for the Yankees. Don’t tempt us.