Political Insider blog 

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

Second-guessing Sam Olens on the Holly LaBerge memo

  • 11:19 am Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway


On today’s ethics front, we have boatloads of radio-delivered news.

Gov. Nathan Deal continues his pushback on the Holly LaBerge fallout this afternoon. Erick Erickson, the conservative provocateur for WSB Radio (750AM, 95.5FM) has sent out the following Tweet:

Starting my radio show at 4 PM today with an exclusive interview with Gov. Nathan Deal.

Over at WABE (90.1FM), Jonathan Shapiro hooked up with designated legal expert Page Pate, who outlined what he thought Attorney General Sam Olens ought to have done with a 2012 memo written by Holly LaBerge, executive secretary for the state ethics commission, alleging that aides to the governor [More]

Super PAC ads tout John Barrow and 2 unopposed Dems

  • 3:00 pm Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – Patriot Majority, a Washington-based Democrat-aligned Super PAC, has bought television ads in Savannah, Augusta and Atlanta to boost the fortunes of Georgia Democrats — but not the ones atop the ticket.

The ad below is airing in Atlanta, with at least $117,000 behind it on broadcast, to celebrate Democratic Reps. Hank Johnson of Lithonia and David Scott of Atlanta and their proclaimed work on behalf of the middle class. But neither Scott nor Johnson has a Republican opponent this fall in their safe districts.

In Savannah and Augusta, Patriot Majority is weighing in with at [More]

Board of Regents to consider same-sex marriage eligibility in retirement plan

  • 8:57 am Monday, June 30th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to deliver its verdict in the Hobby Lobby case, which weighs the religious rights of employers and the right of women to their choice of birth control.

Whichever way it goes, the decision will soak up today’s media attention – and that’s just fine with the state Board of Regents, which today will consider whether to recognize same-sex marriages for participants in a University System retirement plan.

Consider it the most important clash of state and federal policies since last year, when the Georgia National Guard refused to recognize same-sex marriage – and was [More]

It could have been Saxby Chambliss…

  • 12:55 pm Friday, June 6th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

You have to know that, somewhere in D.C., Saxby Chambliss is shaking his head, perhaps murmuring, “There but for the grace of God….” From the Associated Press:

JACKSON, Miss. — National tea party groups are divvying up the nuts and bolts of campaigning as they rush to boost Republican Chris McDaniel’s effort to deny Sen. Thad Cochran a seventh term representing Mississippi.

The activist-focused FreedomWorks will run a door-to-door, get-out-the-vote operation ahead of the June 24 runoff. The anti-tax Club for Growth is ready to air even tougher television ads. The Tea Party Express will rally supporters with a bus tour through [More]

How Jack Kingston flooded the Georgia coast

  • 9:50 am Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Scientists are warning that the inevitable collapse of an Antarctic ice shelf is sure to swamp the Georgia coastline.

If you look at what U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston did on Tuesday, you’ll see that it has already started. The Savannah Republican earned his spot in U.S. Senate runoff by creating a flood in his coastal congressional district.

In today’s Georgia Report, Tom Crawford notes that the prime casualty was former secretary of state and last tea party hope, Karen Handel. Here’s some serious number-crunching:

In Chatham County (Savannah), Kingston’s hometown, he won 13,988 of the 17,859 votes cast in the Senate GOP [More]

Hank Johnson, Tom Brown snipe over realities of 4th District race

  • 3:11 pm Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The close of polling is less than four hours away, but U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson and Democratic challenger Tom Brown look like they’ll be exchanging sniper fire to the end.

On his Facebook page, the former DeKalb County sheriff has posted not just a YouTube of Johnson’s straight-faced “Guam” jest of a few years back, but a note written by local activist Angela Moore alleging that President Barack Obama’s endorsement of Johnson might be fake.

(The Johnson campaign has taken the extraordinary step of giving us a peek at the note from the Democratic National Committee that contained Obama’s endorsement, with [More]

Gingrey, Kingston sprint back for water bill vote to boost Savannah Port

  • 2:17 pm Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

With a 412-4 vote on a water resources bill, the U.S. House moved the $706 million Savannah Port deepening another step closer to groundbreaking.

Senate passage is next for the $12.3 billion conference report for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, and it could come as soon as this week. Once President Obama signs it, the Army Corps of Engineers is cleared to sign the final agreement with the Port so the dredging can begin with money Georgia taxpayers have already set aside.

Two of the four Georgia congressmen fighting for their political futures today made a quick trip back to [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]

April fundraising reports roundup for U.S. Senate, Congress

  • 4:25 pm Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Pre-primary fundraising reports, covering the month of April, are due today for federal candidates. Here’s a roundup that we will update as reports come in:

U.S. Senate


Businessman David Perdue put another $1 million behind his candidacy — increasing his personal contribution to the race to more than $2.6 million. In April Perdue brought in another $219,267 in donations and finished with $467,275 cash on hand.

Rep. Paul Broun — $142,580 raised, $192,039 spent, $180,843 on hand as of April 30. He picked up the fundraising pace from the first quarter, but still only had enough money for a token television buy.

Former Secretary [More]

Two polls and three Republicans at top of U.S. Senate race

  • 10:58 am Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Two U.S. Senate polls released Thursday disagree about who’s on top, but they do concur on this: Georgia’s Republican race for Saxby Chambliss’ seat has been winnowed down to three candidates in the final two weeks of campaigning.

A Morris News Service/WAGA-TV poll, conducted by InsiderAdvantage, gives the week to the only woman in the GOP field.

The Kingston campaign emphasized the following:

With less than three weeks to go until the Republican primary, Jack Kingston leads the crowded field. Kingston having the highest overall net positive opinion rating suggests that he still has room to grow. It is also important to [More]