Political Insider blog 

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

Sebelius resignation may offer a lever to Port of Savannah supporters

  • 12:57 pm Friday, April 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation as the federal government’s chief health care officer may have just handed a giant lever to supporters of the Port of Savannah expansion. First, the set-up from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama praised outgoing Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for helping to steer his health care law’s comeback after a rocky rollout, even as he nominated a successor aimed at helping the White House move past the political damage.

“Under Kathleen’s leadership, her team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done,” Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony Friday morning. [More]

Johnny Isakson on, God help us, Justin Bieber

  • 5:17 pm Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The sound is muffled, but U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson insists he said he was too old for that “stuff.” But in this case, even if it had been uttered, the barnyard alternative would have been acceptable. You’ll excuse me while I go home and weep for my profession:

New Cobb County commission map segregates voters, senator charges

  • 9:21 am Friday, March 14th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A bill that will redraw district lines for the Cobb County Commission is an attempt to maintain GOP influence by segregating black and white voters, a white state senator from Marietta is charging.

State Sen. Steve Thompson, the Democrat from Marietta, notes that the legislation takes 11,000 minority voters out of District 2 (South Cobb), represented by Republican Bob Ott, and places them in District 4 (Southwest Cobb), represented by Democrat Lisa Cupid.

The shift will have the effect of limiting African-American voting influence to a single district in the county for the foreseeable future, Thompson said.

Some powerful paragraphs from Jon [More]

Obama nominates Leslie Abrams — Stacey’s sister — for federal judgeship

  • 5:05 pm Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON –  President Barack Obama today nominated Leslie Joyce Abrams, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Atlanta and the sister of House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, for a federal District Court judge post in Middle Georgia.

Abrams arrives at a tricky political time for Georgia judicial nominees, as a package of six nominees is being challenged from the left by Georgia Democrats, civil rights leaders and liberal groups. Her nomination was not pre-negotiated with Republican U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, who would need to give the go-ahead for her to be considered in committee under the “blue [More]

Without Port of Savannah cash, bipartisanship turns to bi-paranoia

  • 5:23 pm Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

For four years, Republicans and Democrats in Georgia have politely held hands when it came to courting Washington and its money to help pay for the deepening the Port of Savannah.

Our efforts at kumbay’all were written up in international journals. Doctoral theses presented the Great Georgia Peace as an alternative to both Washington gridlock and the United Nations. Rumors abounded of a Savannah baby christened Nathan Kasim Smith.

It all seems so 2013 now.

Twenty-four hours after a White House decision to deny long-promised cash for Georgia’s effort to attract ever-bigger ships, bipartisan peace was swept aside by paranoia.

The state Capitol was [More]

Port of Savannah snub complicates debuts of Jason Carter, Michelle Nunn

  • 9:43 am Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

A White House budget snub of Georgia’s effort to dredge the Port of Savannah has jumped up just in time to complicate the qualifying ceremonies of Democrats Jason Carter, expected to sign up today for governor, and Michelle Nunn, whose Senate turn comes Thursday.

And the bipartisan effort behind the deepening of the port, expected to cost beyond $600 million, now seems so 2013.

The background word from White House sources is that this is not a budget problem, but an authorization problem that can be fixed by passage of the Water Resources Development Act, now in a House-Senate conference committee.

But in [More]

Dear Mr. Biden: What’s bigger than hell or high water? Port funding hits White House wall

  • 12:28 pm Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Above is the key question for Vice President Joe Biden as he raises money for Michelle Nunn in Atlanta today.

Last year, on a trip to Savannah, the vice president made a promise about federal funding for the $600 million-plus deepening of the Port of Savannah – which Republicans and Democrats, including Nunn, have identified as the top economic priority in the state.

Here’s what he said:

“We are going to get this done, as my grandfather would say, come hell or high water.”

Well, something more powerful than hell or high water has apparently come up. President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget, [More]

Frankly, my dear: A friendly, taxpayer-funded note from Phil Gingrey

  • 9:10 am Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The image above is a mailing that arrived Wednesday at an AJC reporter’s house in U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s district. The Marietta Republican’s message is rather clear on the subject of immigration: “Secure Our Borders. Enforce Current Law. No Amnesty.”

But squint and cock your head just so to look at the bottom half: “Public document – official business. This document was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

We’ve spent a lot of time in the heated U.S. Senate race talking about the perils of incumbency, but here’s an upside for the three sitting congressmen: The chance to advertise your views [More]

Paul Broun and the GOP ‘promotion’ of socialist government

  • 6:14 pm Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This afternoon’s forum of U.S. Senate candidates was a relatively staid affair, with each candidate trotting out his or her stump speech before an economics-minded audience put together at Turner Field by the National Federation of Independent Business.

Karen Handel kept pointing to the lack of “results” from her three congressional rivals. Jack Kingston noted his longterm relationship with Johnny Isakson. Phil Gingrey again positioned himself as the most electable conservative. David Perdue, a well-spoken newcomer in the GOP field, continued to impress.

But within the two-hour event was a pair of dramatic flairs – one by U.S. Rep. Paul Broun and [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]