Political Insider blog 

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

Kasim Reed steps up for John Barrow

  • 1:06 pm Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has absorbed some criticism over – that one fundraiser aside – his lack of engagement in Jason Carter’s Democratic campaign for governor.

But Reed appears to be well connected to the Democratic effort to save U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, one more time. A fundraising letter over the name of the Atlanta mayor includes these lines:

Friend, I know people ask a lot of you, but we’re pulling out all the stops for John. Georgia needs him in Congress. He comes through for us over and over again. Now he needs us to come through for him.

You might [More]

Georgia had the nation’s highest jobless rate in September

  • 10:02 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Georgia’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate for the month of September was again ranked highest in the nation, according to a federal report released this morning.

The state’s jobless rate has been thrust into the center of Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election campaign, and his opponents were eagerly awaiting the latest numbers. Democrat Jason Carter contends the metric is a sign that Deal’s jobs plan isn’t working, while the governor calls the statistic an “outlier” that doesn’t accurately gauge the state’s economic health.

“Unemployment rates are only good for political advertising as a general rule,” Deal said at Sunday’s debate. “Economists don’t [More]

Only one-third of 183,416 new voters describe themselves as white

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The good news for Republicans in Georgia: Since March 1, 183,416 new voters have registered, according to Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

That’s a good deal less than the number many, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, have said is necessary for a statewide Democratic victory on Nov. 4.

The bad news for Republicans: Only one-third of those new voters described themselves as white. While they make up a much smaller portion of Georgia’s voting population, African-Americans – who provide a reliable base for Democrats – accounted for nearly 37 percent of new voters.

In 2012, whites made up 59 percent of the voting [More]

David Perdue backs UGA on canceling journalist visit because of Ebola fear

  • 2:04 pm Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue sent out a press release today supporting the University of Georgia’s decision not to allow a Liberian journalist speak in Athens because of Ebola concerns.

“The Ebola crisis continues to be a serious concern here in Georgia. The President’s lack of leadership on the matter is putting American lives at risk. The national response to Ebola must be a comprehensive, well-coordinated effort that includes a travel ban from Ebola-stricken countries. I’m encouraged to see The University of Georgia take additional precautions to prevent the spread of this disease and protect our students and communities. [More]

A ‘misinformed’ Nathan Deal on an Ebola strike force

  • 10:37 am Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Officially, last night’s Atlanta Press Club gubernatorial debate was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Nathan Deal couldn’t wait. At 5:39 p.m., his office sent out a press release announcing that the Republican governor would sign an executive order announcing the creation of an “Ebola response team.”

Call it the incumbent’s advantage. In doing so, the governor guaranteed himself a first question that turned the proceedings into something like a press conference.

“I believe that we do have the resources that are available, and if we need additional resources, we will try to make sure that those are available,” a well-prepped Deal said.

Only [More]

Nathan Deal to form Ebola response team in Georgia

  • 6:21 pm Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

As the specter of Ebola threatens to shake up Georgia’s top political races, Gov. Nathan Deal said today he would sign an executive order to create a team to craft the state’s response to the deadly virus.

The governor said the team would assess state health and emergency management procedures and devise recommendations for Georgia’s health workers and political leaders.

“Rest assured, Georgia is taking the threat of the Ebola virus seriously,” Deal said. “The creation of this team is an additional step in the state’s response to this disease and will further our efforts to ensure the safety and quality of life [More]

Nathan Deal orders up an Ebola response team

  • 6:15 pm Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Just over an hour before his 7 p.m. Atlanta Press Club/Georgia Public Broadcasting debate, Gov. Nathan Deal indicated that he’s anticipating a question about the Ebola virus. From the press release:

Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that he will sign an executive order to create an Ebola response team, which will assess current state health and emergency management procedures and produce necessary recommendations to minimize any potential impact of the disease in Georgia.

“Rest assured, Georgia is taking the threat of the Ebola virus seriously,” Deal said. “The creation of this team is an additional step in the state’s response to this [More]

Michelle Nunn ad features business with outsourcing past

  • 7:54 pm Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

This week, Senate-seeking Democrat Michelle Nunn continued the outsourcing drumbeat against Republican David Perdue by introducing a new face into her television advertising: Roy Richards Jr., chairman of the board of power cable manufacturer Southwire.

Here’s what Richards says in the ad:

“My dad founded Southwire in Carrollton more than 60 years ago, and today it’s the leading manufacturer of power cable in North America. When I hear David Perdue say he’s proud to have outsourced jobs to other parts of the world, I have to wonder. Every time we invest in Georgia workers, they can compete with anyone in the [More]

RIP Mack Burgess: An ‘untamed lion’ in a GOP aide’s garb

  • 3:33 pm Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Mack Burgess was a golf guru who could instantly recall the winner of the 1948 Masters Tournament – and somehow finagled an invite from green-jacketed Augusta officials to play the course in his teens.

He was a “special sort of gentleman” who pushed the crowd to stay out for just one more drink but always took care to make the fidgety newcomer at the back of the table feel at ease.

He was a swashbuckling ship’s captain – its name was “Wild Thing” – who plied the Caribbean on a momentous adventure. The scholar who, with the help of a life-changing scholarship, embraced Tennessee’s [More]

Michelle Nunn shifts to back Ebola travel ban as President Obama resists

  • 10:19 am Friday, October 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The following came in last night from the campaign of Democrat Michelle Nunn, on the subject of Ebola:

“As we continue to gain new information about this horrible disease, our public health officials should take every precaution to make sure that it doesn’t spread. I support a temporary travel ban to affected countries in West Africa with an exception for military and health workers. Scientists and public health experts at the CDC are in the best position to guide our response to this crisis, but our leaders in Washington must provide clear, bipartisan and strong leadership as well as the resources [More]