Political Insider blog 

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

One version of gun bill would let felons claim ‘stand your ground’ status

  • 10:36 am Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Over the weekend, a New York Times editorial decried the continuing influence of the gun lobby in state capitols. In particular, the newspaper’s editors seized on HB 875,

Their focus is on the “or 3″ that has been deleted above. The measure as written, in other words, would eliminate exceptions – adding to those who would be immune from prosecution in cases of self-defense. What/who does the deleted Part 3 apply to? Convicted felons, for one thing. Those who bring weapons onto nuclear facility gounds for another.

The above language is missing from the current version of HB 875. The question is [More]

Jack Kingston: April is new forecast for Port of Savannah funding

  • 9:19 am Friday, March 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The end of April is the newest forecast for the water resources bill that will finally allow Port of Savannah deepening, with a White House certificate of approval.

Savannah GOP Rep. Jack Kingston said he met with House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., who has been trying to hammer out a compromise Water Resources and Development bill with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and was assured a House-Senate conference report will get through by the end of next month.

The congressional delegation thought they had solved the authorization problem with language in a January spending bill, but the administration disagreed and now all [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]

Hints of turmoil in another GOP effort to oust John Barrow

  • 9:00 am Saturday, March 1st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

For the last several election cycles, Republican attempts to sack John Barrow, the last white Democrat from the Deep South in Congress, have had the feel of a snipe hunt.

A scrambling in the dark, accompanied by a great number of stubbed toes, with nothing to show but an empty burlap bag when the lights are turned on.

Republicans have made the 12th District as GOP-friendly as the numbers legally allow. They have shifted its center of gravity from Athens to Savannah to Augusta. Barrow, who now has a permanent account with Two Men And A Truck, has deftly sent his challengers [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]

Paul Broun picks up a first major tea-party endorsement

  • 9:24 am Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Paul Broun picked up the endorsement of  the conservative Madison Project in the Georgia Senate race this morning, a first major tea-party seal of approval that his advisers hope will start an avalanche of conservative outside group support – and money.

So far, many of the big-name groups who weigh in on Republican primaries have stayed away from Georgia, where there is no easy “establishment vs. tea party” division and five candidates have a good shot at the runoff.

The Madison Project was the first conservative PAC to endorse U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and is currently backing Matt Bevin’s challenge to [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]

A bid to shape the 2016 GOP presidential calendar

  • 9:32 am Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

One year ago, top GOP honcho Reince Priebus was touring the country, with a stop in Atlanta included, to talk about the changes the national Republican party needed to make in order to get back in the presidential game.

One leg of reform was minority recruitment that moved beyond tokenism. Another was altering a presidential primary process that had become a meat-grinder.\

The Republican National Committee today opens its winter session in a wintry Washington D.C. In advance of the meeting, longtime GOP presence Randy Evans of Georgia has sent fellow RNC members this outline of changes he and others are [More]

Jason Carter targets ‘moral failure’ of Deal’s administration in feisty rebuttal

  • 12:52 pm Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter came out fighting in his response to Gov. Nathan Deal’s sunny State of the State speech, calling the Republican’s pitch for increased education funding nothing more than an election-year ploy.

Carter, a state senator from Decatur and the grandson of the former president, said the governor’s failure to mention the middle class in his address was a “moral failure” and panned him for repeatedly touting a niche business magazine’s endorsement of Georgia.

Carter proposed creating a separate education budget that would be protected from the tinkering of lawmakers, saying it would bring greater “accountability” to legislators.

And he sought to [More]