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]

The subtext of Nathan Deal’s upcoming trip to Israel

  • 10:05 am Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Gov. Nathan Deal only has one international trip on the schedule so far this election year. And it’s a big one.

The governor is planning on traveling to the Holy Land for a few days in June to tour Israeli businesses and try to drum up more investment for Georgia. The trip is intended to highlight the 40 Israeli companies that have operations in Georgia, but the political subtext is clear.

Deal’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jason Carter, has sought to reassure Jewish constituents in his district that he is very different from his famous grandfather when it comes to Middle East [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]

Hank Johnson: Allow Sikhs to serve in military with beards, turbans

  • 12:58 pm Friday, January 24th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson is urging the military to allow members of the Sikh faith to serve in the military while wearing turbans and beards in accordance with their faith.

A few exceptions have allowed Sikhs to serve, but several members of Congress want to change the regulations to allow the practice to become more widespread.

The DeKalb County Democrat is one of 20 members of both parties — including Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan — to sign onto a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel so far. The full text of the letter follows:

The Honorable Charles Hagel


Secretary of Defense


Department of [More]