Political Insider blog 

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

U.S. House passes bill that could preserve old West Hunter Street Baptist building

  • 2:28 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Just as Martin Luther King Jr. loomed over his No. 2, Ralph David Abernathy, during the heady Civil Rights era, Ebenezer Baptist Church overshadowed West Hunter Street Baptist Church.

But the latter church – it’s old shell, anyway — may be about to get its day in the sun.

The bipartisan team of U.S. Reps. Hank Johnson, D-Decatur, and Austin Scott, R-Tifton, with some help from Georgia colleagues Sanford Bishop and John Barrow, have shepherded through the House a bill that could place the old West Hunter Street Baptist building under the protection of the national park system.

The West Hunter Street Baptist [More]

A debate over education, and a Nathan Deal childhood mystery

  • 10:11 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter meet at an education forum hosted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators in Atlanta on Monday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

The event, the organizers insisted, was a forum – not a debate.

And yet that’s what Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter turned it into – in front of members of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Both were featured speaker at Michelle Obama’s get out the vote drive last week. But when her husband

***

Over the weekend, state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, D-Lithonia, opened up a debate on corporal punishment [More]

The ads keep flying in John Barrow’s race

  • 12:23 pm Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

As U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, gets back to legislating this week in Washington, the ads continue to fly in Georgia’s only competitive U.S. House race.

We start above with Barrow’s new effort today. This one has a bringing-home-the-bacon message — not far off from his Savannah Port promotion — but targeted at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency has been under a harsh spotlight lately, but through the eyes of one rural Georgia vet, Barrow highlights how he fought for years to bring a VA primary care clinic to Statesboro. It opened last year.

The National Republican [More]

David Perdue is back on the air, jean-jacketed but baby-less

  • 9:12 am Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

David Perdue is back on the air. Above is his first general election television effort, which hits Democrat Michelle Nunn on her campaign memo and attacks on the Republican before pulling back into the positives from Perdue’s business career.

Gone, for now, are It’s the first chance for Perdue to rebut

Speaking of fundraisers, take a hard look at the above section of an invite for an NRSC event Monday night in Washington. Seven former Republican governors, banding together to raise money to turn the Senate Republican.

Not on the list is the only former Republican governor we know of whose cousin [More]

Living in Spin City: The rapid aftermath of a judge’s denunciation and $20k in fines

  • 10:20 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Oh, the spinning that took place within minutes of a Fulton County judge’s decision to fine the top aide of the state ethics commission and the attorney general’s office – An over-excited law firm representing LaBerge put out its press release, teletype fashion, in all caps, blaming state lawyers. In part:

“IT IS OUR HOPE THE APPELLATE COURT WILL CORRECT THE GRAVE INJUSTICE DONE TODAY BY BLAMING THE WHISTLEBLOWER THAT RISKED HER JOB TO DISCLOSE A MAJOR COVER UP ENGAGED IN BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO HIDE THE TRUTH AND AVOID LIABILITY IN PENDING LITIGATION.”

[More]

LGBT group targets Michelle Nunn on gay marriage

  • 9:57 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

The same LGBT group that pressured Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to “evolve” on gay marriage has now set its sights on Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

The group has Please help us tell Ms. Nunn that “states’ rights” is no more acceptable for LGBT equality than it was for racial equality.

If Michelle Nunn wants the support of the LGBT Community, she should join the other members of her party — around the nation and here in Georgia — and proudly stand in support of full LGBT Equality.

Charlie Stadtlander, who let us know about the reorientation, said Nunn’s other [More]

Bill Clinton headed for house of Usher — and a Michelle Nunn fundraiser

  • 10:34 am Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bill Clinton, the last presidential candidate to carry Georgia, will headline a Sept. 13 fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn ***

Meanwhile, the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn says the Democrat has accepted five debate offers over the next 10 weeks, and urged David Perdue to do the same. To help encourage the Republican, the Nunn campaign offered this quick sound bite of an interview twixt Perdue and WSB Radio’s Scott Slade, who asks Perdue if he’s willing to debate the Democrat. Replied the candidate: “Absolutely. Anywhere. Anytime.”

The proposed debates:

– Oct. [More]

Georgia GOP settles on newcomer to fill state lawmaker’s spot

  • 10:18 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The executive committee of the state GOP on Tuesday settled on a political newcomer, David Clark, the brother of state Rep. Josh Clark, R-Buford, to replace the late Michael Brown as a Gwinnett County candidate for House District 98.

The substitution must be reported to Secretary of State Brian Kemp by 4 p.m. today to make the November ballot.

Brown died last week, after winning the May 20 primary – and the seat. There is no Democratic candidate, so the nomination is tantamount to election.

The seven-day process resulted in a fierce tug-of-war over the seat, with tea partyers on one end of [More]

Where Barack Obama can’t go, John Lewis will

  • 9:04 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Expect to see U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, popping up around the South this fall to help turn out African-American voters for the midterm elections. “We can play a major role, especially in some of these southern states,” he said. “In the 60s, I was there helping people get registered to vote. I can go to North Carolina. I can go to Arkansas.”

The southern tour is largely focused on North Carolina and Louisiana — where Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu are trying to fight off spirited GOP challengers — and it is unfolding amid renewed debate over race relations. Riots [More]

Michelle Nunn says she’s not a sure vote for Harry Reid

  • 10:18 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy

Details of Thursday’s U.S. Senate comparison shopping opportunity that saw Democrat Michelle Nunn and David Perdue square off During a rowdy Republican primary, Perdue was a prominent vote of no confidence for Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his future bid to lead Senate Republicans. But Nunn argued that, immediately after the July 20 primary runoff, Perdue went to Washington, met with McConnell and “pledged to be a good team player.” (The source for said observation: Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who was in the meeting.)

Said Nunn: “The only team I’m playing for here is Georgia.”

The Reid issue is an ideological benchmark on [More]