Political Insider blog 

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

Georgia Lottery fights federal proposal to outlaw online gaming

  • 6:00 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Even as Gov. Nathan Deal was courting casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s support, his administration has been engaged in a quiet lobbying campaign against federal legislation supported by the billionaire that would restrict online gambling.

Adelson is behind a nationwide campaign against Internet gaming, and he’s a supporter of legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina that would do just that. Three states – Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada – have allowed some forms of online gaming. But it riled up Georgia officials for a different reason.

The Georgia Lottery Corporation began to sell tickets online in November 2012, making it one of the nation’s first lotteries [More]

DNC, unions discuss Georgia ground game plans

  • 3:59 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

The Democratic National Committee is having its summer meetings this week in Atlanta, in part to show its intention to commit resources to making Georgia competitive.

DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida, told reporters at a news conference today that the party has hired a “Voter Expansion Coordinator” in Georgia as part of its efforts to register and turn out the hundreds of thousands of new voters Democrats need to make this election — and future ones — close.

Here’s Wasserman Schultz:

“There is a reason that we are in Georgia. A year ago, in Arizona, I promised that Democrats were [More]

Ralph Hudgens: No longer an Obamacare ‘obstructionist’

  • 10:01 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Last year, when Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said he would do Now, as for Hudgens. The state insurance commissioner told our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos on Wednesday that he just got caught up in the heat of the moment last August:

“I spoke to a Republican group in Rome, Ga., and I said I was going to be an obstructionist, but I can’t be. I mean, I was talking to a Republican group and I was throwing them some red meat. …

“I’m not a fan of it. I don’t think it’s going to work. But there’s nothing I can do [More]

A flap over ‘political’ ribbon cuttings in the governor’s race

  • 1:40 pm Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A part of Democrat Jason Carter’s economic pitch is a pledge to “professionalize” the state’s business recruiting office.

The Atlanta state senator said he wants to launch a nationwide search to find a “top notch” head of the Georgia Department of Economic Development rather than make what he views as a political appointment.

It’s a dig at Gov. Nathan Deal’s last two appointments to the post: Chris Cummiskey, a former Mirant executive who was a longtime GOP operative, and Chris Carr, who was U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s chief of staff. Carter has said he has no ill will toward the men, but that another leader was [More]

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]

Jason Carter backs a new push for transportation sales tax

  • 3:09 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter said Tuesday it was time to revive the idea of a regional sales tax for infrastructure improvements to fix a transportation dilemma he said is weighing down Georgia’s economy like an “anchor.”

The 2012 push for a sales tax increase for transportation, known as the T-SPLOST, failed in most parts of the state despite tremendous support from the business community and backing from most of the state’s leading politicians, including both Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal, his November opponent.

“We have to revisit a TSPLOST of some kind, and we have to revisit it in a way that would change the political environment,” Carter said in [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]

Jason Carter targets Nathan Deal’s ‘grab bag’ of economic incentives

  • 3:56 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter unleashed a new line of attack against Republican Gov. Nathan Deal after the release of a federal report showing that only Mississippi has a worse unemployment rate than Georgia.

Carter’s campaign rolled out the above video and quickly arranged a telephone press conference to target the governor over the report, which documented more than 370,000 unemployed workers in Georgia – an increase of 17,000 from the previous month. Carter, a state senator, called the increase shameful and repeated his call for a renewed focus on education.

“Georgia has every ingredient to be a powerhouse but we’re not [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]