Political Insider blog 

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

Nathan Deal to sign sweeping gun bill next week

  • 4:05 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal plans to sign legislation next week that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms.

House Bill 60, which passed in the final hours of this year’s legislative session, would expand where Georgians may legally carry firearms, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings. A recent analysis also said it could let felons use the state’s “stand your ground” rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened.

Gun rights groups cheered the news that Deal would sign the measure, which critics have dubbed the “guns everywhere” bill, on Wednesday at a north Georgia event. GeorgiaCarry.org, which [More]

In which possession of a MARTA card becomes grounds for a GOP attack

  • 1:02 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A Republican governor and one Democratic candidate for Senate have indicated a certain reluctance to appear on-stage with their primary opponents. House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, doesn’t share their concern.

On Tuesday night, the third most powerful figure in the state Capitol debated Sam Snider, a tea partyist and Gilmer County high school wrestling coach. Video has been posted by fetchyournews.com.

An accompanying write-up includes this paragraph:

Things got heated quickly when Snider showed he was not intimidated by his opponent. Snider went after Ralston for his support of TSPLOST and even went so far as to point out that Ralston [More]

Phil Gingrey to Super PAC: ‘Leave Georgia alone’

  • 9:09 am Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Republican Phil Gingrey is trying to make the best of the fact that he is now drawing the brunt of the attacks from the powerful Ending Spending Action Fund.

The super PAC is spending much of the $1.3 million in airtime it reserves ahead of the May 20 primary against Gingrey, and it’s beginning to chafe the Marietta Republican.

“Go figure. I don’t know who’s behind it but I guess that’s freedom of speech,” Gingrey told us. “But as my dad told me one time a long time ago, a knock is a boost and somebody must be worried about me [More]

A Plains weekend with Jimmy Carter: Just $20,000 per couple

  • 8:14 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Jimmy Carter’s involvement in his grandson’s gubernatorial campaign is about to grow. And all the proof you need is this invitation to an expensive but private weekend with the former president and first lady.

The June 7-8 event, on behalf of state Sen. Jason Carater, the Democratic nominee for governor, will require a drive down to Plains, Ga. Here’s what you would get in return:

This private, unique opportunity features a tour of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, dinner and reception with the Carters, tour of the Downtown Inn with Rosalynn Carter, church service with the Carters and a photo [More]

A ‘major’ campaign announcement becomes must-see political theater

  • 1:46 pm Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington’s

Nathan Deal unleashes feel-good ‘One’ TV ad

  • 4:35 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Take a look at the above video. You’re about to see plenty more of it.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign is spending more than $1 million to plaster this ad, “One,” on television screens across the state. It will run with others through the May 20 primary.

It’s a feel-good message of job creation that invokes a magazine’s recognition of Georgia as the “number one place to do business” – praise that Deal has mentioned at just about every campaign stop.

The ad for the governor, who has nearly $4 million in his campaign coffers, makes no mention of his GOP primary opponents [More]

David Pennington to make ‘major campaign announcement’

  • 12:01 pm Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who is challenging Gov. Nathan Deal on the right, plans a “major campaign announcement” on Wednesday at the statehouse.

His campaign isn’t talking but we’re told the tea party candidate won’t be dropping out of the race. Instead, we suspect it will have something to do with the ethics issues that have troubled Deal’s campaign.

From the release:

ATLANTA, GA - David Pennington, the only Conservative running for Governor of Georgia, will be making a major campaign announcement outside of the Governor’s Office at the State Capitol tomorrow.

This comes on the heels of the recent court ruling [More]

Super PAC feints toward Michelle Nunn, stabs at Phil Gingrey

  • 9:42 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Ending Spending Action Fund is drawingBut Ending Spending has reported nearly twice as much, $592,000, to hit Gingrey.
The group has reserved $1.3 million in airtime ahead of the primary, and we’ll see if the ratio continues to favor Gingrey attacks. Ending Spending has been less eager to talk about them, though.

The group’s website features the Nunn ad and it gave early warning to the Wall Street Journal of its campaign against the Democrat. But we had to find the Gingrey ad elsewhere.

The Nunn campaign, meanwhile, has found a [More]

Bob Barr tones down his talk of impeachment

  • 9:30 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former congressman Bob Barr, now seeking a comeback in the race for Georgia’s 11th District congressional seat, raised eyebrows in January when A former federal prosecutor who helped lead impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Barr said the Obama administration had acted illegally both in postponing mandates in the federal health care law, and through softening enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Here’s what Barr said on Jan. 23 to Alex Jones:

I think it really has come to that. It’s not something I like to say. When I left the House before, after we impeached Clinton, my hope was that we would never [More]

A second chance for a food bank tax break

  • 6:00 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s veto last year of a bill that would have reinstated sales tax exemptions for food banks was one of the most surprising decisions he’s made in the governor’s office. He revisited that debate this morning.

Deal headed to the Atlanta Food Bank on Monday to sign House Bill 958, a package of tax bills that revives the incentives for food banks along with a range of other breaks that are estimated to cost more than $200 million.

In his veto statement last year, Deal said the breaks hadn’t been vetted by his competitiveness panel. But the veto, [More]