Political Insider blog 

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

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]

Nathan Deal’s off-line executive orders get some attention

  • 10:16 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Last year’s inexplicable decision by Gov. Nathan Deal The Sunlight Foundation reports that Georgia is the only state in the nation that doesn’t put its executive orders online for the public to view. In initial reports on that leaked Michelle Nunn campaign memo, the National Review reported that $33,000 passed through Points of Light Foundation to Islamic Relief USA — a number we picked up and used as well. The magazine has corrected that figure to $13,500, because of a misreading of one of Points of Light’s IRS forms.


The Super PAC called Ending Spending Action Fund continues to [More]

Johnny Isakson: We need a 72-hour turnaround for Central American border kids

  • 9:48 am Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, in an interview with Martha Zoller and Tim Bryant “Anybody coming from a non-contiguous country actually had to have a hearing before an immigration authority or immigration judge. That takes up to four to six weeks.

“We need to amend that law, to say that they can be sent home within 72 hours, like somebody from Mexico or Canada – and stem the tide. Once they see that we’re going to send them home, the attractiveness of trying to get into the United States of America will be diminished and will lessen the pressure on the border.”


Jason [More]

Brian Kemp tries to tamp down envy for Mississippi’s three-week runoff

  • 10:07 am Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Recognizing some state Capitol unhappiness with this year’s new election calendar, which cut short the annual legislative session and rewarded Republicans candidates for U.S. Senate and others with an expensive, nine-week runoff, Secretary of State Brian Kemp may be trying to head off some rash fixes.

In a letter dispatched last Friday to the governor, lieutenant governor, and leaders of the House and Senate, Kemp said he was aware that “many potential solutions” are being discussed by state lawmakers and others.

Some, Kemp said, have pointed to Mississippi, where U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran will face GOP challenger Chris McDaniel in a runoff [More]

The issues and races to watch tonight

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

After months of campaigning, millions of dollars spent on advertising and no shortage of bickering, the primary vote is finally upon us. Here’s a few key factors to watch today that could help determine the nominees for the open Senate seat and the other top races

Turnout: No one is quite sureTea Party: One of the biggest factors in the race is whether tea party voters will back any candidate in force or whether their voice will be fragmented between rivals at the polls. Handel has tried to rally tea party supporters behind her campaign with the message that she’s the [More]

In Georgia, John Lewis is now the last word in federal judgeships

  • 10:07 am Friday, May 16th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Things aren’t looking good for Michael Boggs, the state court of appeals judge whose nomination for a federal judgeship is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Boggs, a former state Democratic lawmaker from Waycross, has drawn criticism for past votes to tighten abortion restrictions, support a constitutional ban on gay marriage in Georgia, and – in 2001 – oppose the removal of the 1956-era state flag and its Confederate battle emblem.

On the cusp of their best political season since they lost power in 2002, Georgia Democrats have been suspiciously silent about Boggs.
Boggs did say in his confirmation “my views may [More]

Polls show Cobb County voters want Braves closer, but don’t want to pay for the move

  • 9:49 am Wednesday, May 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

With a primary vote only days away, a pair of polls commissioned by an anonymous group of Atlanta business interests has found that voters in the northern half of Cobb County – who are about to weigh in on two county commission races – like the idea of the Braves moving closer.

But they have no interest in paying taxes to move the team across the Chattahoochee River.

The polls were handed to us by Rick Dent of Lincoln Park Strategies, who would only describe the people behind them as having “regional economic development interests.”

One poll examines the opinions of 400 voters [More]

Speaking ill of the dead in Ellijay, and other topics

  • 10:25 am Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

Things are being said up in north Georgia that can’t be unsaid.

On Sunday, a group of GOP insurgents gathered at Oscar Poole’s barbecue emporium in Ellijay and fired themselves up with some standard and non-so-standard rhetoric.

David Pennington, who is challenging incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal, was there. So was Sam Snider, the local wrestling coach who is trying to pin House Speaker David Ralston. And real estate executive Ray Boyd, who is lending his name and money to both. So, too, was Debbie Dooley of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots.

An audio recording of the entire event made its way to us – [More]

How to lure reporters to a north Georgia presser: Offer $5,000 in cash

  • 9:10 am Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The tea party challenge to House Speaker David Ralston just crossed the line from caustic to downright weird.

We told you Monday that, in a TV ad, the Republican incumbent and north Georgia native complained about the influx ofWe’re pretty sure that one of those the House speaker was talking about is Ray Boyd, a real estate millionaire who has been a financial backer of primary challenger Sam Snider, the Gilmer County High School wrestling coach. Here’s some background.

Late yesterday, a press release from Boyd arrived with this unusual pitch for a 2 p.m. Saturday press conference on the courthouse [More]

Speaker David Ralston condemns ‘crazy radicals from outside our district’

  • 4:07 pm Monday, May 5th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Hat tip to Martha Zoller for posting it first, but House Speaker David Ralston is up with his first, in-person TV ad of the GOP primary season. The speaker is being challenged by Sam Snider, a Gilmer County High School wrestling coach.

Ralston doesn’t mince words about the people he thinks are behind Snider. From the script:

“Growing up here, I was raised on some good, solid conservative values. That’s why I’ve run a positive campaign. Sadly, we’ve seen a bunch of crazy radicals from outside our district talking sleaze and nonsense. You deserve better….”

The words you use don’t always matter [More]