Political Insider blog 

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

Brian Kemp: Guns and run-off ballots won’t mix

  • 10:15 am Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

 Over the weekend, the New York Times had a piece on the dispute in Alabama, where the state’s sheriffs association had urged the state’s 67 counties to ban the open carry of weapons at polling places, fearing that such a display would discourage some voters.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has – with some exceptions – knocked that idea down. Rep. John Lewis is out next year with the second installment of a graphic novel telling his remarkable life story. The Washington Post got an early look at the cover of “March: Book 2″ by Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate [More]

How Jack Kingston flooded the Georgia coast

  • 9:50 am Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Scientists are warning that the inevitable collapse of an Antarctic ice shelf is sure to swamp the Georgia coastline.

If you look at what U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston did on Tuesday, you’ll see that it has already started. The Savannah Republican earned his spot in U.S. Senate runoff by creating a flood in his coastal congressional district.

In today’s Georgia Report, Tom Crawford notes that the prime casualty was former secretary of state and last tea party hope, Karen Handel. Here’s some serious number-crunching:

In Chatham County (Savannah), Kingston’s hometown, he won 13,988 of the 17,859 votes cast in the Senate GOP [More]

Karen Handel’s tax return challenge gets two takers — but not the big fish

  • 9:00 am Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

On the GOP side of the U.S. Senate race, Karen Handel’s U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey was game, though. He said in an interview Thursday he was “absolutely” willing to disclose up to 10 years of his tax records. His campaign said they should be available next week.

“I’d be happy to do that,” he said, adding: “My tax returns for the last five, 10 years, if she wants to do 10 years I’d be glad to do that. I think people want to know and they deserve to know. I’m all for that.”

Gingrey’s financial disclosure showed that in 2012 he [More]

Frankly, my dear: A friendly, taxpayer-funded note from Phil Gingrey

  • 9:10 am Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The image above is a mailing that arrived Wednesday at an AJC reporter’s house in U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s district. The Marietta Republican’s message is rather clear on the subject of immigration: “Secure Our Borders. Enforce Current Law. No Amnesty.”

But squint and cock your head just so to look at the bottom half: “Public document – official business. This document was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

We’ve spent a lot of time in the heated U.S. Senate race talking about the perils of incumbency, but here’s an upside for the three sitting congressmen: The chance to advertise your views [More]

Jason Carter on Medicaid, early voting – and snow

  • 10:34 am Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

State Sen. Jason Carter, D-Atlanta, was on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” last night, outlining his views on issues likely to liner through November.

An email from the Carter campaign highlighted only the state senator’s remarks on education.

“The governor has decided to put the Washington politics of what he calls Obamacare ahead of our taxpayers. We’re paying today, as Georgians, for the Medicaid expansion dollars the federal government has, and yet we’re refusing to take them. That’s a terrible stewardship of our governor, of our tax dollars….

“If you want to fight Obamacare, you can go to Washington. But in [More]

Nathan Deal’s well-controlled terrain becomes slippery

  • 5:30 pm Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Within a 36-hour window this week, Nathan Deal tasted the sweet advantages of an incumbent governor running for re-election – and the job’s bitterly cold liabilities as well.

With the wave of a pen, a few conversations and $100 million or so in reserves, Deal on Monday abetted the escape of thousands of public school teachers from the added expenses of a new health care plan – which he himself had approved last year.

Problem solved. Democratic talking point averted.

Helping those same teachers, and tens of thousands of their students, escape their classrooms on Tuesday afternoon, after a well-advertised storm dropped two [More]

Snowjam puts Nathan Deal on the spot

  • 10:54 am Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Atlanta’s worst snowjam in decades – the most comparable one is the mid-afternoon blizzard of 1982 — presents Gov. Nathan Deal with the worst weather disaster of his administration.

The irony here is about as thick as the 2.6 inches of snow on the ground. Deal took office in the middle of the January 2011 ice storm, but was absolved from blame because the paralysis came just as Sonny Perdue was handing off the baton.

This time, there’s no doubt who is in charge.

The governor has scheduled an 11:30 press briefing at the statehouse, and has invited Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Deal is [More]

Top weather guy to those who talk of ‘unexpected’ Snowjam: ‘Wrong, wrong, and wrong!’

  • 8:48 am Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Above is a YouTube clip of Al Roker of NBC’s “Today,” calling out Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed this morning on what Roker termed a reluctant response to Tuesday’s paralysing snow.

Roker’s not alone. Marshall Shepherd, a University of Georgia professor and president of the American Meteorological Society, just published a blog post that puts on notice those public officials who have described themselves as surprised by Tuesday’s snow:

As I watch the fallout from the Snow Fiasco in the Atlanta area, one thing is clear to me: “The buses had a tough time getting kids home, but [More]

A UGA professor referees the fight over global warming

  • 8:26 pm Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

If you lose a couple of toes to frostbite this morning, all Marshall Shepherd asks is this: Don’t blame the polar vortex.

The previous deep freeze could be attributed to that mystical force spiraling over the North Pole. The current one is just a traditional, run-of-the-mill cold snap.

If Shepherd seems a little touchy about it, you can’t blame him. The University of Georgia professor has spent a good part of this month trying to rescue the phrase from a tug of war between Rush Limbaugh and the White House.

Putting out such fires — protecting his science, in other words — has [More]