Political Insider blog 

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

Saxby Chambliss declares himself neutral in brewing constitutional fight

  • 9:15 am Thursday, March 13th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Saxby Chambliss on Wednesday declared himself an island of neutrality in a building constitutional controversy between the Democratic chairman of the Senate Intelligence committee and the chief agency it oversees, the CIA.

After remaining tight-lipped about the dispute, Chambliss “reluctantly” took to the Senate floor to declare his non-involvement – and hint that all parties should stop talking about it.

What’s interesting is a pricing schedule that appears to include a $500-a-plate children’s table.


Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball today takes a look at U.S. Senate races, giving Georgia’s contest a “lean Republican” rating. But writer Kyle Kondik includes this note:

A post-November runoff [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]

Two billionaires line up behind Michelle Nunn

  • 10:00 am Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and mega-investor Warren Buffett are behind Michelle Nunn’s campaign for U.S. Senate, according to her year-end fundraising disclosure.

Both billionaires gave the maximum $5,200, split between primary and general election season – small change to these fellows. But they could also give unlimited amounts if and when a Nunn-friendly Super PAC is formed.

Bloomberg’s own Super PAC, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, spent money last year for ads attacking Georgia’s current senators on gun control.

Word of Nunn’s donations from former Republican Sens. Richard Lugar and John Warner had already gotten out, but being snowed in [More]

White House nomination of Georgia judge targeted by abortion rights group

  • 8:40 am Wednesday, February 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The nation’s largest abortion rights group today will launch a public, national campaign in opposition to state Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs to a federal district judgeship, nominated by President Barack Obama.

“This is a guy who actually believes that there is one definition of what it means to live your life as an American. The thing is, that’s anti-American,” said NARAL president Ilyse Hogue. “We cannot risk having someone like that on the bench when we know we have so many cases coming down the pike that will define the very fabric of who we are as a [More]

White House sits down with black lawmakers over judicial picks

  • 11:12 am Thursday, February 6th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, said to have the ear of the Obamas more than anyone else in Washington, met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Wednesday morning to attempt But the White House is giving no indication of backing off Georgia’s six-judge slate, negotiated over a multi-year period with Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, to the chagrin of Georgia’s House Democrats.

The White House communications team on Wednesday kept the spin on with a social media-friendly graphic touting the president’s commitment to judicial diversity by the numbers. It mentions Eleanor Ross, the only African-American [More]

On defense, GOP candidates for Senate all over the map

  • 12:33 pm Monday, February 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Maybe it was the result of cabin fever after a week of immobility, maybe it was the calendar. Either way, the second state GOP-sponsored debate of U.S. Senate candidates on Saturday night was a much-attended event. More than 600 showed.

Offering a play-by-play on every question is impossible. – U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s shout-out to the crowd, asking who was willing – in the name of tax reform – to give up their exemptions on home mortgage interest and charitable giving. Perhaps five hands went up in the auditorium on the Kennesaw State University campus.

– The debut (before a large GOP [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]

A black lawmaker takes up for federal judicial nominees caught in Democratic crossfire

  • 9:27 am Friday, January 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

A tight-lipped Mike Boggs made the rounds at the state Capitol on Thursday, trying hard not to say anything that would get him noticed.

Boggs sits on the state Court of Appeals, but is also one of four who have been nominated for federal judgeships in Georgia’s Northern District by the White House. A hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee is imminent.

Boggs is also one of two nominees who have attracted the attention of House Democrats in Georgia, who are miffed at President Barack Obama for the deal he worked out with U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Too few [More]