Political Insider blog 

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

The Islamic sponsorship of a Georgia congressional debate

  • 5:26 pm Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

While most of you had your eyes glued to Todd Gurley and the Bulldogs last Saturday, one of the most surreal debates in Georgia political history unfolded in Evans, Ga. – just outside of Augusta.

Through the magic of YouTube, it’s still there for you to see.

The players were U.S. Rep. John Barrow, the Augusta Democrat, and Republican challenger Rick Allen, a local businessman. The only thing that separated the two candidates was air, a few issues, and a stenciled, paper sign denoting the sponsor of the event: The Islamic Society of Augusta.

This, even as F-22s wreak havoc over Syria and [More]

Democrats buy a TV edge in Georgia races for U.S. Senate, governor

  • 1:30 pm Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Democrats seized the broadcast television ad spending advantage in Georgia’s U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races in mid-September, according to a new analysis by the Wesleyan Media Project.

The raw numbers from Kantar Media/CMAG go like this: From Sept. 12-25, there have been 4,945 total ads in the Senate race. Of that sum, 2,780 favored Michelle Nunn and 2,165 favored David Perdue.

A mere 1.01 percent of Democratic ads were from outside groups — meaning the Nunn campaign is doing all the heavy lifting. But after outside Republican groups provided all of Perdue’s air cover for a while, they provided just 15.24 [More]

Jesse Jackson defends the Muslim version of Tim Tebow

  • 9:59 am Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

On Tuesday afternoon, the Rev. Jesse Jackson had just finished going over his agenda for a three-day meeting of his Rainbow/PUSH organization in Atlanta, when the topic shifted to sports.

Specifically, to the Monday night NFL game in which Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdulla, a Muslim, was penalized 15 yards when he knelt to pray after scoring a touchdown. Said Jackson:

“This kid playing against New England gave a brief and private, dignified prayer and he was penalized for it. Tim Tebow became an icon of prayer in the end zone. Two sets of rules. He became an iconic figure for [More]

It’s Sandra time: Nathan Deal’s campaign features wife in new ad

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign is re-introducing voters to his wife Sandra in a major way.

The campaign’s new ad, “Driven,” features images of the former schoolteacher reading to students and crisscrossing Georgia to visit classrooms.  Her takeaway line: “I’ve shared Nathan Deal’s heart for 48 years. And he cares about the education for Georgia’s children.”

Sandra, as we’ve noted before, has been one of the most active first ladies in state history. She’s logged thousands of miles to read to children in all 159 counties and was the face of the state’s recent literacy campaigns.

But her starring role in the above [More]

Deepening of Savannah’s port can officially begin next Wednesday

  • 3:57 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Our AJC colleague Dan Chapman sends over word that work is finally set to begin to deepen Savannah’s port, with a signing ceremony scheduled to take place next Wednesday. Here’s his dispatch:

The deepening of the Savannah River and harbor can officially begin next Wednesday, after nearly 20 years of study and delay.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday that the federal government and the state of Georgia will sign a so-called Project Partnership Agreement on October 8 that details the cost-sharing and engineering responsibilities for the $706 million project.

Georgia has long sought deeper water along the river leading to [More]

About that Islamic-sponsored debate between John Barrow and Rick Allen

  • 10:25 am Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The video from Saturday’s 12th District congressional debate between Democratic incumbent John Barrow and Republican Rick Allen was posted last night.

As you can see, the oddest thing about it was the fact that the two candidates argued across the cardboard sign announcing the sponsor of the event – the Islamic Society of Augusta.

It didn’t come off without a hitch or two. The venue of the event was changed, with only a few days’ notice, from the Islamic Community Center to the Evans Government Complex. And the Columbia County News-Time withdrew as an event sponsor – on the orders of Morris [More]

A first TV ad in Casey Cagle’s bid for a third term

  • 5:09 pm Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Republican incumbent Casey Cagle is out with his first TV ad this afternoon in his bid for a third term as lieutenant governor:

Cagle’s topic is education – an emphasis that Democrat Jason Carter has been exploring in his bid for governor. But note that Cagle pairs himself and his dialogue with Katy Arrowood, CEO of the Athens Community Career Academy.

Cagle may be running against an underfunded Democrat Connie Stokes, but he understands the gender gap that’s out there.

Ethics agency rejects complaint accusing Jason Carter of ‘illegal’ event

  • 2:21 pm Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The state ethics commission has dismissed a complaint filed by a former Republican lawmaker who claimed a star-studded fundraiser boosting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter is “grossly unethical and illegal.”

The ethics agency said in its two-page rejection letter, which Carter’s campaign received Monday, that the event didn’t violate transparency rules because it was soliciting campaign donations for the state Democratic party and not directly benefiting Carter’s campaign.

The initial complaint, filed by former state Sen. John Douglas, was dated July 17 but not submitted until last week. It contended that Carter, a state senator, violated rules barring lawmakers and statewide officers from accepting contributions or pledges for campaign cash while [More]

The $150,000 loan to Nathan Deal that wasn’t on his disclosure

  • 10:07 am Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

We told you over the weekend how Gov. Nathan Deal’s finances, an issue that dogged him four years ago, Neither Carter nor Deal has released his tax returns, although both candidates have agreed to do so.

But a tipster has sent us over some other details that didn’t show up on his campaign finance disclosure.

The transaction involved Deal’s 2012 The content signals that Isakson intends to protect his right flank. On immigration:

“Any meaningful conversation about immigration reform must begin with a plan to fully secure our borders and uphold the rule of law. I do not support any form of amnesty [More]

A surreal moment: Nathan Deal and Ludacris together at a campaign stop

  • 10:46 am Friday, September 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

There have been plenty of strange moments in Georgia’s campaign for governor but Friday’s appearance with Gov. Nathan Deal and Ludacris topped them all.

The governor and Luda appeared together at Clayton County’s Utopian Academy for the Arts, the first charter school to be approved by a Republican-backed constitutional amendment that gave the state new power to create the systems.

“As impressed as I am with what you have done, I want you to see what you can become,” said Deal in (very short) remarks introducing the hip-hop star.

Luda then told the 150 or so students, who were not [More]