Political Insider blog 

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

One version of gun bill would let felons claim ‘stand your ground’ status

  • 10:36 am Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Over the weekend, a New York Times editorial decried the continuing influence of the gun lobby in state capitols. In particular, the newspaper’s editors seized on HB 875,

Their focus is on the “or 3″ that has been deleted above. The measure as written, in other words, would eliminate exceptions – adding to those who would be immune from prosecution in cases of self-defense. What/who does the deleted Part 3 apply to? Convicted felons, for one thing. Those who bring weapons onto nuclear facility gounds for another.

The above language is missing from the current version of HB 875. The question is [More]

Kasim Reed on Port of Savannah discord: ‘Let’s not get pulled into this crap’

  • 9:55 am Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

In his first public remarks on the White House decision not to include cash in its annual budget proposal last week for an expansion of the Port of Savannah, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed told local business leaders and civic leaders not to give in to partisan heckling. According to Reed, first the U.S. Congress must reauthorize the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 to update the project estimates of the Savannah port deepening project to $652 million. Currently the Water Resources Development Act is in a Congressional conference committee.

Had the president put the Savannah port in his budget before the [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]

White House sits down with black lawmakers over judicial picks

  • 11:12 am Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, said to have the ear of the Obamas more than anyone else in Washington, met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday morning to attempt But the White House is giving no indication of backing off Georgia’s six-judge slate, negotiated over a multi-year period with Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, to the chagrin of Georgia’s House Democrats.

The White House communications team on Wednesday kept the spin on with a social media-friendly graphic touting the president’s commitment to judicial diversity by the numbers. It mentions Eleanor Ross, the only African-American [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]

A black lawmaker takes up for federal judicial nominees caught in Democratic crossfire

  • 9:27 am Friday, January 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

A tight-lipped Mike Boggs made the rounds at the state Capitol on Thursday, trying hard not to say anything that would get him noticed.

Boggs sits on the state Court of Appeals, but is also one of four who have been nominated for federal judgeships in Georgia’s Northern District by the White House. A hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is imminent.

Boggs is also one of two nominees who have attracted the attention of House Democrats in Georgia, who are miffed at President Barack Obama for the deal he worked out with U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Too few [More]

A look at Jack Kingston’s free lunches

  • 9:55 am Friday, January 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

If you’re a member of Congress and suggest that kids ought to be taught that there are no free lunches, your problem isn’t the idea itself. The problem is a lack of moral high ground.

Last night, WSAV-TV in Savannah – hometown of U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston – picked a little more at the Republican Senate candidate’s recent suggestion that free lunches in public schools ought to come with a broom or a mop.

As you can see in the video above, WSAV morning anchor Dave Kartunen added up the tens of thousands of dollars in meals that Kingston and his staff [More]

Your daily jolt: David Scott to challenge Georgia judicial nominees

  • 6:06 pm Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, has asked to testify against President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees for Georgia, another twist in a public dispute that pits Georgia’s Democratic members of Congress and civil rights community against the first black president’s White House.

Scott wrote a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on Friday to request an appearance at a yet-to-be scheduled hearing on a slate of six Georgia nominees.

Democrats have complained of being shut out of negotiations between White House officials and Georgia’s Republican senators, who have the power to block committee consideration for home-state judicial nominees by [More]