Political Insider blog 

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

U.S. House passes bill that could preserve old West Hunter Street Baptist building

  • 2:28 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Just as Martin Luther King Jr. loomed over his No. 2, Ralph David Abernathy, during the heady Civil Rights era, Ebenezer Baptist Church overshadowed West Hunter Street Baptist Church.

But the latter church – it’s old shell, anyway — may be about to get its day in the sun.

The bipartisan team of U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Decatur, and Austin Scott, R-Tifton, with some help from Georgia colleagues Sanford Bishop and John Barrow, have shepherded through the House a bill that could place the old West Hunter Street Baptist building under the protection of the national park system.

The West Hunter Street Baptist [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]

David Perdue reportedly pledges to be a ‘team player’ for Mitch McConnell

  • 9:42 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

David Perdue had to run against Washington and its dreaded “career politicians” in order to capture his party’s U.S. Senate nomination.

But he needs them to win in the fall and become an effective senator, which is why he made the rounds Wednesday on Capitol Hill for a series of possibly awkward meetings, starting with the man he defeated in a rough nine-week runoff, Jack Kingston. The Perdue campaign passed along the accompanying photographic evidence of the meeting.

We’re unaware of any visuals from Perdue’s sit-down with Georgia Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In [More]

Austin Scott, Tom Graves on opposite sides of majority leader race

  • 5:08 pm Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON — California’s Kevin McCarthy is the new U.S. House Majority Leader and Louisiana’s Steve Scalise is the Majority Whip, after a secret ballot election among House Republicans this afternoon.

McCarthy’s rise from whip was a foregone conclusion, while Scalise’s first-ballot victory over competitors from Illinois and Indiana was a win for Southern influence, as Galloway fleshed out over the weekend.

During the closed-door House GOP meeting, McCarthy was nominated with a speech from U.S. Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger. Graves gave his speech text to the Wall Street Journal. Here’s the grand finale:

“So many people we represent, from young to [More]

Lynn Westmoreland endorses Jack Kingston as delegation circles wagons

  • 3:10 pm Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON — Rep. Lynn Westmoreland is the first non-candidate in Georgia’s Republican House delegation to weigh in on the Senate primary with an endorsement of Rep. Jack Kingston today.

Expect the “G-9,” as they are known, to quickly rally around one of their own. All had been neutral in the primary out of respect for Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, though the wives of Reps. Austin Scott and Tom Price had endorsed Karen Handel.

Here’s what Westmoreland and Kingston had to say via press release:

“Jack Kingston and I have been friends for 20 years, during which I’ve had the pleasure of getting [More]

Nathan Deal: Tighten access to hospital emergency rooms

  • 10:02 am Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Gov. Nathan Deal has often called on Congress to reconsider the Affordable Care Act. But on Monday evening, he pushed his former Washington colleagues to revisit a separate health care law that fewer politicians openly critique.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act is a 1986 law that requires hospitals to provide emergency health care treatment to anyone who needs it, regardless of citizenship or their ability to pay. It’s provided life-saving care to countless people, but it’s also strained hospital resources and turned emergency rooms into the first stop, instead of a last resort, for some.

“If they really want [More]

Paul Broun picks up a first major tea-party endorsement

  • 9:24 am Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Paul Broun picked up the endorsement of  the conservative Madison Project in the Georgia Senate race this morning, a first major tea-party seal of approval that his advisers hope will start an avalanche of conservative outside group support – and money.

So far, many of the big-name groups who weigh in on Republican primaries have stayed away from Georgia, where there is no easy “establishment vs. tea party” division and five candidates have a good shot at the runoff.

The Madison Project was the first conservative PAC to endorse U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and is currently backing Matt Bevin’s challenge to [More]

Democratic poll: 63% of metro Atlanta voters say Nathan Deal flunked his own ice storm test

  • 9:22 am Friday, January 31st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

We told you Thursday that someone was already measuring On Wednesday, the first full day of paralysis, Huttman polled 1,000 likely voters statewide (MOE +/-3.1%) and 492 likely voters (MOE +/-4.4 percent) in the disaster-declared zone of Fulton, Cherokee, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, Gwinnett, Douglas, Rockdale, Fayette, Henry.

Crosstabs can be found here. Highlights of the poll:

– 73 percent of voters in the snow-affected areas of metro Atlanta rated the performance of Deal, the state Department of Transportation and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency as fair or poor. Statewide, 63 percent disapproved.

– The poll quoted Deal’s assessment following the 2011 ice [More]

Snowjam puts Nathan Deal on the spot

  • 10:54 am Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Atlanta’s worst snowjam in decades – the most comparable one is the mid-afternoon blizzard of 1982 — presents Gov. Nathan Deal with the worst weather disaster of his administration.

The irony here is about as thick as the 2.6 inches of snow on the ground. Deal took office in the middle of the January 2011 ice storm, but was absolved from blame because the paralysis came just as Sonny Perdue was handing off the baton.

This time, there’s no doubt who is in charge.

The governor has scheduled an 11:30 press briefing at the statehouse, and has invited Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Deal is [More]

Gov. Nathan Deal in talks with Grady hospital

  • 11:38 am Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The $20.8 billion budget that Gov. Nathan Deal outlined yesterday isn’t quite complete. And the hole that needs to be filled could involve Georgia’s largest hospital.

Chris Riley, Deal’s chief of staff, told us his boss is in talks with Grady Memorial Hospital’s chief executive about filling a possible hole in the hospital’s budget.

It involves a winding down of Disproportionate Share Hospital payments under Obamacare.

Grady received roughly $90 million in DSH funding each year but that amount could be halved in four years due to changes from the healthcare overhaul. And without a Medicaid expansion, which isn’t happening any time soon,[More]