Political Insider blog 

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

The Georgia Chamber draws a line in the sand on ‘religious liberty’ bills

  • 5:31 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last week, in the far-away Vatican, a gathering of Catholic bishops very nearly declared a truce in the war against gay marriage. At the last minute, they balked.

Though it was far less conspicuous, we had our own synod in Georgia last week, which took up the same topic. The participants weren’t bishops, but vicars of the Georgia Chamber — this state’s high church of free enterprise. They did not balk.

The Chamber took a first step that will put the very powerful organization in opposition to “religious liberty” bills certain to be re-introduced when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Unfairly or [More]

An utterly shameless, self-promotional plug

  • 11:06 am Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

On Wednesday night, former President Jimmy Carter hosted his annual town hall meeting to allow Emory University freshmen to ask him anything.  Which they did. According to our AJC colleague Jill Vejnoska, this question came about 20 minutes in:

Student: Out of all the newspapers that you read each day, which one do you find the most informative?

Carter: Well, I read three newspapers every morning. We don’t get newspapers in Plains so I read it on the Internet. And I read the New York Times, I read the Washington Post and I read the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I think the Washington Post [More]

With Delta in the wings, Republicans schedule a bitter fight for 2015

  • 6:19 pm Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Looking at the November prospect of seizing full control of Congress, Republicans in Washington have begun mapping out a to-do list.

More importantly, they have decided what to fight over among themselves: An obscure agency known as the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Stifle that yawn. This is more important than it sounds. You can tell because, whenever the bank is mentioned, Georgia members of Congress zip their lips and run for cover.

In an effort to avoid an election-season shutdown of the federal government, House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday announced that the bank’s charter would be extended until next June [More]

David Perdue leads Michelle Nunn in NYT/CBS/YouGov.com poll

  • 9:57 am Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

A new NYT/CBS/YouGov.com poll of battleground states shows Republican David Perdue The national survey, which covers 35 other states, indicates that Republicans are still headed toward complete control of Congress next year.

In Georgia, just who will show up to vote lies at the crux of the survey. Methodologically, pollsters apparently to hew to a more conservative path in this, a second wave polling. From Nate Cohn at the NYT’s Upshot:

The new results also reflect an adjustment, or screen, to capture likely voters. The result is an electorate that is older and whiter, and more Republican, than the overall [More]

Georgia business launches a sudden campaign aimed at the state Capitol

  • 9:00 am Saturday, May 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This winter, the state Capitol erupted in a sudden and unexpected fight over a set of “religious liberty” bills that were interpreted as a hostile reaction to the ground that gay marriage has gained through the courts.

Tea party supporters sought protection for the Christian wedding photographer who, out of conscience, refuses to snap pictures of a same-sex couple exchanging vows.

But Georgia’s corporate giants saw something else: Legislation that would open their businesses to boycotts and lawsuits, trapping them in unwanted disputes perhaps generated by their own workers – the UPS driver who won’t deliver a package to a gay bar, [More]

Jan Brewer to rally for Karen Handel — but what about those vetoes?

  • 4:48 pm Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The U.S. Senate campaign of Karen Handel put out word this afternoon that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will be the featured speaker at a Monday rally in Canton.

Which means April will have been bookended with the in-person endorsements of Handel by two high-profile Republican women. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin showed up for Handel in a Union City affair early this month.

But Brewer’s appearance could raise a pair of unintended questions for the Handel campaign. There is, of course, the topic of guns. From the Associated Press this week:

PHOENIX – To the surprise of the bill’s sponsor, Gov. Jan Brewer [More]

Third whistleblower suit filed against state ethics agency

  • 9:05 am Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

It appears that the troubles surrounding the panel once known as the State Ethics Commission will continue to plague us. From the Fulton County Daily Report:

A man who has testified that he was ordered to alter and hide documents relating to a probe of Gov. Nathan Deal before being fired by the chief of Georgia’s ethics agency has filed a whistleblower suit against the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission and its executive secretary, Holly LaBerge.

The suit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court last week by the commission’s former media specialist, John Hair, is the third whistleblower action stemming [More]

Talk of a religous conservative boycott of Delta, Home Depot and Coke

  • 9:05 pm Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A first sign that the fight over “religious freedom” bills may not be over in Georgia, from the Twitter account of

Arizona – and Georgia – as proof that Big Business is wading deeper into social issues

  • 9:09 am Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

This morning, Politico has an inside look at

In blue states like New York, big companies have played a pivotal role in pushing same-sex marriage measures into law. In battlegrounds like Virginia and now Arizona, corporate America has slowed or halted hard-right social policy from taking effect.

What Arizona proved, as much as any other in recent American politics, is that there’s currently no more powerful constituency for gay rights than the Fortune 500 list.

The Associated Press tackled the same topic. A few paragraphs:

Companies have long spoken out about certain issues they felt threatened their bottom lines, such as taxation and [More]