Political Insider blog 

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

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]

Morning of the gun: John Lewis says Deep South is doing it better than Ferguson

  • 8:58 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Weaponry, or images of it, seem everywhere this morning. We’ll start with the National Guard walking the streets of Ferguson, Mo.

From the Associated Press:

Gov. Jay Nixon said the National Guard would help “in restoring peace and order” to the St. Louis suburb, where protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer entered their second week. Police said they acted in response to gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails.

The latest confrontations came on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on Brown, and as [More]

John Lewis calls for martial law in Ferguson, Mo.

  • 12:30 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Says U.S. Rep. John Lewis in an MSNBC interview:

 “Ferguson, Missouri, is not the Congo. It’s not China. It is not Russia. We can do better. It takes me back to the ‘40s, the ‘50s, the ‘60s. To have a city that is majority African-American and only three African-Americans on the police force? Or to have local police officers referring to protestors as animals? Or to have people dress in military garment and pointing rifles directly at the protestors – that is only going to incite people.

“My own feeling is that President Obama should use the authority of his office to [More]

Michelle Nunn team launches pushback on ‘old news’ memo

  • 9:05 am Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

A flurry of calls from Michelle Nunn’s supporters came a One caller was the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church and one of Nunn’s most prominent black supporters. He said he wasn’t surprised that “people are trying to make hay out of it.”

“But the notion that somebody who is trying to run for the Senate actually has a plan to run for the Senate is not interesting or news to me. It’s not news – and it’s old news at best.”

Of course, this isn’t just any memo. It lays out Nunn’s campaign strategy, as of December [More]

Brian Kemp: Guns and run-off ballots won’t mix

  • 10:15 am Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

 Over the weekend, the New York Times had a piece on the dispute in Alabama, where the state’s sheriffs association had urged the state’s 67 counties to ban the open carry of weapons at polling places, fearing that such a display would discourage some voters.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has – with some exceptions – knocked that idea down. Rep. John Lewis is out next year with the second installment of a graphic novel telling his remarkable life story. The Washington Post got an early look at the cover of “March: Book 2″ by Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate [More]

When it comes to college tuition hikes, Georgia gets silver

  • 9:55 am Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Looks like Georgia’s unofficial state motto, “Deo gratias, quia Mississippi,” needs updating. Only in New Mexico, where net tuition and fees rose a remarkable 188 percent, did state officials shift the cost of college from government to students more than legislators in Georgia. Here, net tuition revenue per student went up by 93 percent as legislators cut education appropriations and reduced the value of the HOPE Scholarship many students depend on for college expenses…

Even though Georgia students pay a lot more in tuition now than five years ago, the average tuition paid by a full-time Georgia student, $4,484, is still [More]

The Georgia threads in Eric Cantor’s defeat

  • 9:40 am Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The unexpected shellacking of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., by tea party forces has plenty of Georgia tendrils. We’ll begin with thisCandidates to move up could include Mr. Price, Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, or brash newcomers like Representative Tom Graves of Georgia, Mr. Wasserman said. The message is that the House must be run by even more conservative leaders.

From that same NYT article:

David Wasserman, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said another, more local factor has to be acknowledged: Mr. Cantor, who dreamed of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, was culturally [More]

David Scott: Obama administration could be judged ‘the absolute worst’ on vets

  • 9:34 am Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

U.S. Rep. David Scott, by accident or design, has become the leading African-American/Democratic critic of President Barack Obama in recent weeks.

First, the Atlanta congressman took on the White House (and Georgia colleague John Lewis) Now, Scott has become a harsh critic of the White House reaction to the latest scandal involving the Veterans Administration. From an interview with Denis O’Hayer (90.1FM) that aired on Tuesday:

“President Obama himself must step forward. It is he who is the administrator when the history books are written on this chapter on the treatment of veterans. It is the Obama administration who could very [More]

John Lewis: ‘I would vote against the confirmation of Michael Boggs’

  • 2:29 pm Monday, May 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

This just in from the office of Rep. John Lewis, who has This one is of LaPierre and Boggs:

This one is of LaPierre autographing a book for “Judge Mike”:

And to Coon’s point of not endorsing candidates, here’s one of Boggs at a 2012 fund-raiser for Tyler Harper, a Republican who was in the process of becoming a state senator from Ocilla:

Update 6:10pm — attorney Doug Chalmers, who helped incorporate Georgia Conservatives in Action as a 501(c)4 and has advised Boggs, said because GCIA is not primarily a political organization under the law, Boggs is legally clear:

Judge Boggs clearly did [More]

David Scott interprets John Lewis’ silence on judicial nominee as ‘betrayal’

  • 9:32 am Monday, May 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy

U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ unspoken position on federal judicial nominee Michael Boggs, who now sits on the state Court of Appeals, is drawing him into an intra-delegation battle with fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. David Scott, who on Sunday called Lewis a “turncoat.”

Several U.S. senators have said they would consult Lewis before determining how they would vote on Boggs’ nomination. On Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that she spoke to Lewis about Boggs. Her comments, “Well, not at this stage,” Feinstein said, before expanding on her answer.

 “I want to meet with him. I [More]