Political Insider blog 

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

Mitch McConnell — and David Perdue — promise a confrontational GOP Senate

  • 10:03 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

With the prospect of taking over the U.S. Senate now in sight, Republicans are now thinking about what they’ll do with the car once they catch it.

More threats to shut the federal government down are a distinct possibility, suggests Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.In an extensive interview here, the typically reserved McConnell laid out his clearest thinking yet of how he would lead the Senate if Republicans gain control of the chamber. The emerging strategy: Attach riders to spending bills that would limit Obama policies on everything from the environment to health care, consider using an arcane budget tactic [More]

David Perdue vows not to take US Chamber money in Senate race

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Thursday’s Georgia Chamber of Commerce forum will be the first joint public appearance between Senate contenders David Perdue and Michelle Nunn. It will also be the Republican’s first big trip to a major Chamber meeting since his public break with the national group.

In the heat of the Republican primary, Perdue walked out of a contentious endorsement meeting with the U.S. Chamber, and the two traded attacks in the closing days of the primary runoff. The national organization is separate from the Georgia offshoot, which is hosting Thursday’s event and doesn’t endorse candidates.

Two audio recordings from a [More]

David Perdue brings Jack Kingston backers into the fold

  • 2:23 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON — Republican businessman David Perdue distributed a list of chairmen today for all 159 counties across Georgia, including several Jack Kingston backers, as he works to bind the wounds from the GOP runoff.

State Sen. Bruce Thompson of Bartow County, state Rep. Trey Kelley of Polk County, state Sen. Tyler Harper and state Rep. Jay Walker in Irwin County, John Marinko of Cherokee County, Bert Guy of Camden County and Patrick O’Connor of Candler County were among those who came out publicly for Kingston during primary season.

Here’s the full list, as provided by the [More]

Michelle Nunn goes Pillowtex on David Perdue

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Two days before their first joint U.S. Senate appearance — none dare call it a debate — Democrat Michelle Nunn has raised the topic of Republican David Perdue’s tenure at Pillowtex.

The Nunn campaign has filled a one-minute TV spot with named former mill workers from Kannapolis, N.C., telling the story of David Perdue’s brief stint at the textile firm, which went bankrupt shortly after he left.

This Politifact examination from July, when U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston attacked Perdue on the topic, offers some excellent background on Pillowtex’s fortunes. Politifact rated the Kingston attack “mostly false” but the Nunn ad doesn’t [More]

Michelle Nunn losing the Super PAC war

  • 10:58 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Never mind the polls in the race for U.S. Senate. Democrat Michelle Nunn is losing one of the more important modern measurements of candidate potency: Super PAC support.

While Nunn’s campaign has been wildly successful at raising money, her allied Super PAC, Georgians Together, – $842,988, by the Nunn campaign;

– $4,540, by People for the American Way;

The Nunn total: $847,528

Here’s what is being spent on behalf of Republican David Perdue:

– $558,463, by the American Chemistry Council;

– $1,014,ooo by Ending Spending;

– $2,601,800, by the National Republican Senatorial Committee;

The Perdue total: $4,174,443.

That’s a nearly 5:1  spending advantage enjoyed by Perdue — none of [More]

Whoosh! From Atlanta to Columbus in 61 minutes

  • 9:50 am Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and state Rep. Calvin Smyre made the rounds in Washington on Wednesday, pitching a $3.9 billion, high speed rail project that would put Columbus and Atlanta within an hour’s reach of each other.

They met with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and top staffer for Vice President Joe Biden, a noted rail aficionado.

“This is a very doable project,” Tomlinson said. “It’s smaller than most of the ones that we’re looking at [around the country]. Cost-wise, comparably speaking, it’s bite-sized, something that can be an early success.”

She added that private money would have to be leveraged along with taxpayer [More]

Nathan Deal: Talk of gas tax hike is ‘premature’

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

State lawmakers are wrestling with ways to Y0u can assume it won’t be a tax hike. So what other methods could they be examining?

One possibility could involve directing the fourth penny of that fuel tax, about $180 million that’s now diverted to the general fund, toward transportation projects. Another could give local governments more power to raise sales taxes for transportation.

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Former state lawmaker Edward Lindsey of Atlanta, a member of that transportation task force in search of dollars, has an argument posted on GeorgiaPundit.com with a biblical beginning:

Two thousand years ago there was a thriving commercial center and port [More]

Republicans begin $2.5 million TV assault on Michelle Nunn

  • 10:23 am Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

We told you earlier this morning about Democrat Michelle Nunn’sNunn is trying to get in front of – or at least mitigate – a $2.5 million air assault by the National Republican Senatorial Committee that also starts today.

A first TV spot in the GOP attack offers a mirror-image message: “She’ll be Obama’s senator, not yours.”

That’s it above.

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By now, most of you political junkies have read of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s split with President Barack Obama on foreign policy. From the Washington Post:

In the spring, President Obama articulated a philosophy for avoiding dangerous entanglements overseas that was [More]

Michelle Nunn takes her first televised swings at David Perdue

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Democrat Michelle Nunn is up with her first negative ad of the campaign, taking aim at Republican David Perdue on his business career and reviving some of the attacks lobbed his way during the lengthy GOP primary.

Its claims — under the “real world” theme also found in Nunn’s Saturday speech in Dublin — focus on outsourcing at Haggar, job losses at Pillowtex and closed Georgia plants at Sara Lee when Perdue was an executive. (More background on Perdue’s business career from Shannon McCaffrey and James Salzer here; Politifact looked at Pillowtex claims in a Jack Kingston ad [More]

Eric Cantor aide coming to work for David Perdue

  • 5:07 pm Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This note is going around to contacts of Megan Whittemore, press secretary for now mere U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va.:

“After five incredible years working with House Republicans, it’s time to regain the Senate Majority, advance positive reforms, and achieve meaningful results for America.

“Effective later this week, I will join David Perdue’s Senate campaign in Georgia to serve as Communications Director and spokesperson. I look forward to continuing to work with the talented Washington-based press corps, Georgia media, and making news with many of you on the campaign trail!”

Which means that Cantor’s June primary defeat has added and subtracted one political [More]