Political Insider blog 

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

It’s Sandra time: Nathan Deal’s campaign features wife in new ad

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign is re-introducing voters to his wife Sandra in a major way.

The campaign’s new ad, “Driven,” features images of the former schoolteacher reading to students and crisscrossing Georgia to visit classrooms.  Her takeaway line: “I’ve shared Nathan Deal’s heart for 48 years. And he cares about the education for Georgia’s children.”

Sandra, as we’ve noted before, has been one of the most active first ladies in state history. She’s logged thousands of miles to read to children in all 159 counties and was the face of the state’s recent literacy campaigns.

But her starring role in the above [More]

Deepening of Savannah’s port can officially begin next Wednesday

  • 3:57 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Our AJC colleague Dan Chapman sends over word that work is finally set to begin to deepen Savannah’s port, with a signing ceremony scheduled to take place next Wednesday. Here’s his dispatch:

The deepening of the Savannah River and harbor can officially begin next Wednesday, after nearly 20 years of study and delay.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Tuesday that the federal government and the state of Georgia will sign a so-called Project Partnership Agreement on October 8 that details the cost-sharing and engineering responsibilities for the $706 million project.

Georgia has long sought deeper water along the river leading to [More]

Ethics agency rejects complaint accusing Jason Carter of ‘illegal’ event

  • 2:21 pm Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The state ethics commission has dismissed a complaint filed by a former Republican lawmaker who claimed a star-studded fundraiser boosting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter is “grossly unethical and illegal.”

The ethics agency said in its two-page rejection letter, which Carter’s campaign received Monday, that the event didn’t violate transparency rules because it was soliciting campaign donations for the state Democratic party and not directly benefiting Carter’s campaign.

The initial complaint, filed by former state Sen. John Douglas, was dated July 17 but not submitted until last week. It contended that Carter, a state senator, violated rules barring lawmakers and statewide officers from accepting contributions or pledges for campaign cash while [More]

The $150,000 loan to Nathan Deal that wasn’t on his disclosure

  • 10:07 am Monday, September 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

We told you over the weekend how Gov. Nathan Deal’s finances, an issue that dogged him four years ago, Neither Carter nor Deal has released his tax returns, although both candidates have agreed to do so.

But a tipster has sent us over some other details that didn’t show up on his campaign finance disclosure.

The transaction involved Deal’s 2012 The content signals that Isakson intends to protect his right flank. On immigration:

“Any meaningful conversation about immigration reform must begin with a plan to fully secure our borders and uphold the rule of law. I do not support any form of amnesty [More]

A surreal moment: Nathan Deal and Ludacris together at a campaign stop

  • 10:46 am Friday, September 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

There have been plenty of strange moments in Georgia’s campaign for governor but Friday’s appearance with Gov. Nathan Deal and Ludacris topped them all.

The governor and Luda appeared together at Clayton County’s Utopian Academy for the Arts, the first charter school to be approved by a Republican-backed constitutional amendment that gave the state new power to create the systems.

“As impressed as I am with what you have done, I want you to see what you can become,” said Deal in (very short) remarks introducing the hip-hop star.

Luda then told the 150 or so students, who were not [More]

On TV and on the stump, Jason Carter hammers away on jobs

  • 6:16 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Jason Carter’s latest television ad in the governor’s race mirrors his new focus on the campaign trail — shellacking Gov. Nathan Deal on recent economic data.

Here’s the transcript for the above ad, released just now:

Gov. Deal: “Now my focus on job creation is paying off.”

Narrator: “Really? Then why is Georgia ranked 51st, worst in the nation for unemployment? Middle class incomes are falling. We have 9,000 fewer teachers in Georgia’s classrooms, 80,000 fewer HOPE recipients in Georgia’s colleges, 380,000 Georgians looking for work.”

Gov. Deal: “Now my focus on job creation is paying off.”

Narrator: “Governor Deal, we can’t go any lower.”

Our [More]

Nathan Deal to hang with Ludacris

  • 3:20 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Here’s your head-turner of the day: Atlanta hip hop impresario Chris “Ludacris” Bridges will tour a school with Gov. Nathan Deal on Friday.

The pair will speak the kids at Clayton County’s Utopian Academy and watch them perform a song. They’ll be joined by Dr. E. Dewey Smith, pastor of House of Hope Baptist Church. The Deal campaign is orchestrating the event, but spokesman Brian Robinson said it won’t be political or look any different from an official event.

Deal is a Republican and Ludacris gave generously to President Barack Obama in 2012, though we did find a friendly photo [More]

The Michelle Nunn Super PAC emerges

  • 10:16 am Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

Georgians Together, the pro-Michelle Nunn Super PAC, is making its first foray into TV with the above spot.

Treasurer Keith Mason says the group launched a six-figure buy in Atlanta. The ad attacks David Perdue on the equal pay allegations against Dollar General that have been aired by the The anti-abortion Susan B. Anthony List is out with an endorsement of Perdue this morning that cites the aforementioned Emily’s List backing of Nunn. From a statement by the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser:

“The SBA List Candidate Fund is thrilled to endorse his Senate bid. If elected, David will move the Senate one [More]

Why self-driving cars could soon roam Fayette’s streets

  • 8:47 am Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The golf carts roaming the streets of Fayette County could soon be joined by driverless cars.

The Fayette County Commission has adopted a resolution allowing the county to be a pilot site for the vehicles, and chair Steve Brown said he’s talked to Google about using Fayette as a test site. Now he’s hoping for a meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal to hash out the plans.

Brown told WSB:

“Fayette County has the least traffic congestion of metro counties, so for a company like Google that wants to log a lot of miles, we’d be the perfect place, because they wouldn’t be [More]

Macon becomes latest city to consider Sunday voting

  • 10:05 am Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The Sunday voting trend is spreading. And quickly.

Just a few weeks after DeKalb County became the first to allow Sunday voting, local election officials in the Democratic strongholds of  Clayton and Fulton counties followed suit.

Lawmakers in Macon are considering a similar move this morning. From the Telegraph of Macon’s story:

Commissioner Elaine Lucas, vice chair of the finance committee, said she had planned to add the item to the committee’s agenda herself, but the Board of Elections proposed the new voting day.

“Bibb County has had a bad percentage of turnout in recent elections, and I am glad to [More]