Political Insider blog 

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

Fallout from the new gun law — and remembering Zell Miller’s advice

  • 9:58 am Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The race for Gov. Nathan Deal’s job may not pivot Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who seeks to outflank Deal on the right, made exactly that argument before the ink was even dry. Said Pennington:

“I don’t believe that giving up our freedoms makes us any safer. The crime rates in this country have proven that. As a leader, I will not rest until we are the freest nation on earth again. While Nathan touts this one bill, he purposely forgets to mention the failure of campus carry and other bills that protect our Second Amendment rights.”

State Superintendent John Barge, another GOP rival, [More]

Nathan Deal signs broad gun rights expansion

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Ellijay – Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation today that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms, a proposal that has drawn heaps of praise and scorn from outside groups.

“People who follow the rules can protect themselves and their families from people who don’t follow the rules,” said Deal, adding: “The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should reside at the forefronts of our minds.”

House Bill 60, which passed in the final hours of this year’s legislative session, allows Georgians to legally carry firearms in a wide range of new places, including schools, bars, churches and [More]

Tom Graves takes airlines’ side in ticket-pricing fight

  • 10:22 am Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein


U.S. Rep. Tom Graves, R-Ranger, is siding with the airline industry in what could be a nasty fight with the people who buy their tickets.

Graves is the third signature on the Graves’ explanation when the bill was introduced in March:

“The cost of airline tickets will never be transparent as long as the Department of Transportation requires airlines to hide taxes, surcharges, and fees from consumers. In fact, this regulation means airlines may unfairly shoulder the blame for price increases, even if it’s a government tax hike that’s responsible.”

Consumer advocates, who pushed through the bundling requirement several years ago, disagree.Mere geography [More]

Nathan Deal: ‘My record speaks louder than any words’

  • 1:43 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Dalton – Don’t expect to hear Gov. Nathan Deal change his mind about attending any debates with his GOP challengers before the May 20 primary.

His Republican rivals, state Superintendent John Barge and former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, have both tried to ratchet up the pressure on Deal with press conferences and social media blasts. Deal’s camp has refused, holding to the strategy that a front-runner and incumbent has little to gain by sharing the stage with his challengers.

If anything, a Pennington event hijacked by Deal attorney Randy Evans reinforced that notion with Deal’s aides. The governor said [More]

Jason Carter: Gun bill a solution for ‘geographically polarized’ communities

  • 1:05 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

State Sen. Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, was on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” this morning to talk about his race against Republican incumbent Nathan Deal.

Amidst the routine questions was one that has puzzled many of Carter’s Democratic supporters, even in Georgia. Why did you vote for H.B. 60, the expansive gun bill that Deal will sign on Wednesday? Chuck Todd asked.

What follows is what we think is Carter’s most expansive explanation on the topic so far:

Carter: “I think the Second Amendment is important to many people in Georgia. And I know a lot of national Democrats and [More]

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]