Political Insider blog 

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

A Plains weekend with Jimmy Carter: Just $20,000 per couple

  • 8:14 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Jimmy Carter’s involvement in his grandson’s gubernatorial campaign is about to grow. And all the proof you need is this invitation to an expensive but private weekend with the former president and first lady.

The June 7-8 event, on behalf of state Sen. Jason Carater, the Democratic nominee for governor, will require a drive down to Plains, Ga. Here’s what you would get in return:

This private, unique opportunity features a tour of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, dinner and reception with the Carters, tour of the Downtown Inn with Rosalynn Carter, church service with the Carters and a photo [More]

A ‘major’ campaign announcement becomes must-see political theater

  • 1:46 pm Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington’s

Bob Barr tones down his talk of impeachment

  • 9:30 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former congressman Bob Barr, now seeking a comeback in the race for Georgia’s 11th District congressional seat, raised eyebrows in January when A former federal prosecutor who helped lead impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Barr said the Obama administration had acted illegally both in postponing mandates in the federal health care law, and through softening enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Here’s what Barr said on Jan. 23 to Alex Jones:

I think it really has come to that. It’s not something I like to say. When I left the House before, after we impeached Clinton, my hope was that we would never [More]

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]

Gallup poll: Georgians not ready to revolt over taxes

  • 10:03 am Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Gov. Nathan Deal has been pummeled with bad news the last week, but the Gallup polling organization offers the Republican incumbent some respite this morning.

In terms of overall dissatisfaction, Georgia ranked No. 20 – essentially in the middle of the pack, and not the stuff that Republican primary revolutions are made of.

New Yorkers (77 percent said levies were too high) were the most dissatisfied. Residents of Wyoming (19 percent) were the least.

Most other Southern states ranked below Georgia on the taxpayer-angst scale: Virginia (No. 21), South Carolina (No. 25), Mississippi (No. 28), Tennesee (No. 33), Alabama (No. 34) and Florida [More]

Jason Carter tries to seize on an ‘ethics catastrophe’

  • 12:38 pm Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter senses an opportunity in the wake of last week’s ethics jury verdict and he’s trying to make the most of it. The state senator from Atlanta on Tuesday called for the reopening of an investigation into Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign that he said led to an “ethics catastrophe.”

“We have to get to the bottom of the investigation that lost her her job,” said Carter. “We still do not have a credible resolution to that ethics complaint because it was clearly tampered with.”

Deal, who had long sought to distance himself from the ethics turmoil, announced a [More]

Michelle Nunn endorses Keystone pipeline construction

  • 10:14 am Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

 Michelle Nunn told volunteers for her U.S. Senate campaign gathered in Marietta on Monday that she would support completion of the fourth phase of the Keystone XL pipeline in the name of economic development and national security.

“I have a lot of friends who have different perspectives on Keystone,” Nunn said. “We need to continue to focus on green energy and finding sustainable sources of energy, but I do believe we should move forward with Keystone.”

The candidate also said she wanted to see a third, cheaper tier of health insurance coverage offered through the Affordable Care Act. “Obviously, there are trade-offs [More]

Harsh words from Nathan Deal’s campaign at fundraising deadline

  • 6:03 pm Monday, April 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s camp reported Monday raising $84,000 for a total of roughly $3.9 million in campaign cash in the 11 days after the session ended. But what came next was more interesting.

Deal’s campaign figures comes a day after Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter released his totals for the same time period: A $416,000 haul. That gave Carter’s camp a roughly 5-to-1 fundraising edge in the short period after the session’s end. Both Deal and Carter are prohibited by state law from raising campaign cash during the legislative session, which stretched from January to March 20.

Deal campaign spokeswoman Jen [More]

Friday’s verdict just the beginning of trial trouble for Nathan Deal

  • 9:50 am Monday, April 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Over the weekend, it became more than obvious that one of Gov. Nathan Deal’s most daunting tasks this year is the We’ve already seen the governor distance himself from Friday’s verdict and deny even monitoring the Kalberman case from afar. We also expect Democrat Jason Carter to use some of the $1.6 million in his campaign piggy bank to launch constant reminders of the trial – and whatever comes next – the governor’s way.

But two other lawsuits are in the offing, from former ethics commission staffers Sherilyn Streicker and John Hair, with claims strikingly similar to [More]

Nathan Deal tries to keep ethics decision at arm’s length

  • 6:24 pm Sunday, April 6th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Even before the verdict was in Friday, Gov. Nathan Deal was already distancing himself from the ethics trial going on just down the block from the statehouse. He told us that “they try to drag me into it; I have no involvement whatsoever.”

Speaking in Macon for the first time since the jury’s decision, he stuck to that line. GPB’s Adam Ragusea reports that Deal declined to comment on the verdict, which sided in favor of former ethics agency head Stacey Kalberman, who claimed she was forced from her job for too aggressively investigating a complaint from Deal’s 2010 [More]