Political Insider blog 

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

The effort to unseat House Speaker David Ralston

  • 9:54 am Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We’re picking up word that some cash is flowing through north Georgia in an attempt to foment revolution and the overthrow of House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.

Consider the following paragraphs, penned by Debbie Dooley and Julianne Thompson of Atlanta Tea Patriots:

“Speaker Ralston killed the autism bill, the bill that would ban Common Core in Georgia, the religious freedom bill, the foster care bill, gutted the gun bill, gutted H.B. 707 that would help nullify Obamacare in Georgia. He also added $17 million in the budget to build a new parking deck for the new Falcons stadium….”

The missive is contained [More]

Michelle Nunn up today with first TV ad

  • 6:00 am Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Atlanta TV viewers will get a steady diet of Michelle Nunn for the next week as she makes her first foray into television advertising in the U.S. Senate race.

Nunn is the likely Democratic nominee, but the ad does not mention her party, instead promoting her centrist, problem-solver image with a photo of her with George H.W. Bush, the founder of the Points of Light Foundation. Nunn declares that she’s running for Senate because she’s “optimistic about Georgia’s future.”

The introductory salvo comes as Republican primary contestants David Perdue and Jack Kingston continue to shell out large sums on the airwaves, and [More]

A legislative session built around two different elections comes to an end

  • 10:29 am Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The photo below, taken and Tweeted by Jeanne Bonner of Georgia Public Broadcasting, shows a momentarily estranged pair of likely November foes — and neatly sums up the theme of Sine Die in the state Capitol.

It was all about setting the table for the 2014 election season. Those struggling to boost their chances in Republican primaries vied with Republicans who are more worried about a Democratic resurgence in November.

Twenty-four of 119 Republican state lawmakers face May 20 primary opposition. Five of 36 GOP senators have primary opposition. So does Gov. Nathan Deal.

But the governor also has a well-funded Jason Carter [More]

Carter, Nunn play defense on Port of Savannah snub

  • 10:38 am Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

State Sen. Jason Carter, who officially qualified Wednesday to challenge Gov. Nathan Deal, said the White House’s decision not to include funding to dredge the Port of Savannah in its budget was the result of a “stick in the eye” approach to powerful Democrats by state GOP leaders.

The news that the White House wouldn’t fund the dredging of the Savannah port — the state’s biggest economic development priority — complicated Carter’s official debut. Flanked by former Ambassador Andrew Young and businessman Michael Coles, the Atlanta Democrat said he was “disappointed” the port project won’t move forward. Said Carter:

“But the way [More]

Arizona – and Georgia – as proof that Big Business is wading deeper into social issues

  • 9:09 am Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

This morning, Politico has an inside look at

In blue states like New York, big companies have played a pivotal role in pushing same-sex marriage measures into law. In battlegrounds like Virginia and now Arizona, corporate America has slowed or halted hard-right social policy from taking effect.

What Arizona proved, as much as any other in recent American politics, is that there’s currently no more powerful constituency for gay rights than the Fortune 500 list.

The Associated Press tackled the same topic. A few paragraphs:

Companies have long spoken out about certain issues they felt threatened their bottom lines, such as taxation and [More]

Legislative tip sheet: Bipartisan hand-holding over tech school scholarships

  • 8:41 am Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

House and Senate both gavel in at 10 a.m. today.

The House is set to vote on a bill that would create a scholarship for Georgia’s high-achieving technical college students. HB 697 is also the session’s most high-profile, bipartisan effort.

The measure is sponsored by Democrat Stacey Evans of Smyrna, but has an unofficial co-sponsor in the form of Republican Gov. Nathan Deal. Early in Deal’s administration, changes to HOPE awards resulted in an inordinate number of technical school students – a prime pool of blue collar workers – dropping out.

HB 697 is yet another fix – and a smart play [More]

Jason Carter blisters Nathan Deal for ‘passing the buck’ on Medicaid expansion

  • 4:54 pm Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This morning we judged H.B. 990 to be the most important bill of the 2014 legislative session. Now we’re predicting it will be be one of the hottest issues of the governor’s race.

State Sen. Jason Carter, the Democrat challenging Nathan Deal’s re-election bid, this afternoon blistered the governor for his “amazing” acquiescence to a House GOP plan to strip the executive branch of its power to expand Medicaid in Georgia.

“To me, it is more evidence that he’s doing everything he can in refusing the responsibility of leadership,” Carter said. “It’s an unbelievable example of him passing the buck.”

H.B. [More]

House GOP: Take Medicaid expansion away from governor

  • 10:13 am Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Just before the state Capitol shut down on Tuesday, House GOP leaders dropped a bill that would take the power to expand Georgia’s Medicaid program and place it in the hands of the Legislature.

In other words, the governor of Georgia would no longer have a free hand in negotiating with the White House over a deal – as has been cut in Arkansas and elsewhere — that would broaden health care coverage with the billions of federal dollars that are being made available through the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare.

As such, consider H.B. 990 the most important bill of [More]

Already a poll question: Did Nathan Deal pass the snow test?

  • 10:12 am Thursday, January 30th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

One measure of the political importance of Snowjam ’14: On Tuesday night, voters nestled all snug in their Snuggies were already being asked by a pollster to pass judgment on Gov. Nathan Deal.

The outfit, we’re told, called itself Georgia Press Services. The most important questions (paraphrased):

– How do you think Governor Nathan Deal and he Georgia Department of Transportation handled the recent snow storm?

– After the 2011 ice storm, Governor Deal said we failed the test, and said that he would correct the problems made. Did he pass the test?

– Were you affected by the traffic delays?

– How long? Eight [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]