Political Insider blog 

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

Nathan Deal’s office targeted with #weknownathan complaint

  • 12:18 pm Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The social media fundraising campaign this week by Gov. Nathan Deal’s boosters attracted plenty of attention by Democrats who hijacked the message for their own. Now it has also earned a call for an internal investigation.

Clint Murphy, a former GOP operative turned critic of his party, filed a request with the Office of Inspector General on Friday to look into the activities of Sasha Dlugolenski, a press aide who works for Deal’s government office.

In the complaint, Murphy claims that Dlugolenski violated a state ban on political activity during work time through a series of tweets she sent [More]

As border kids come to Georgia, Nathan Deal and Jason Carter clash

  • 8:45 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The screaming letter that Gov. Nathan Deal fired off to the White House was

Shortly after Deal’s office announced the letter, his campaign spokesman Jen Talaber sent out her own missive declaring the children are “victims of misguided federal policy implemented by President Obama” and criticizing his rival, state Sen. Jason Carter, for voting against an immigration crackdown.

Wrote Talaber:

“Where does he stand now that he knows the humanitarian crisis this has sparked? Does he think the Obama administration is handling this well? Does he think the administration should continue sending unaccompanied minors to Georgia without informing the state?”

Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas [More]

Ethics complaint claims Jason Carter held ‘illegal’ fundraiser

  • 6:00 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A former Republican lawmaker filed an ethics complaint claiming a star-studded fundraiser boosting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter is “grossly unethical and illegal.”

The July 17 complaint contends that Carter, a state senator, violated rules barring lawmakers and statewide officers from accepting contributions or pledges for campaign cash while the Legislature is in session. It was filed by John Douglas, a former state senator.

The fundraiser in question was held March 23 in New York, three days after the legislative session ended, and featured Carter’s grandfather, former president Jimmy Carter, as well as REM front-man Michael Stipe.

Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign and its allies [More]

Pulling out the stops: Nathan Deal brings first lady into the picture

  • 9:49 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Early this week, Gov. Nathan Deal got on the phone with more than a few nervous Republican state lawmakers and promised to pull out all the stops in the upcoming election.

Proof arrived Wednesday morning in the inboxes of laptops and smartphones across Georgia: A re-introduction to Sandra Deal, the cute-as-a-button first lady of Georgia.

It wasn’t a campaign piece, but an official communication from the Office of the Governor in its weekly newsletter. (If you didn’t get one, see it here.)

And contentwise, the most controversial part of the message was a recipe for gluten-free almond cookies.

But the post-Election Day timing [More]

Nathan Deal aide’s strange method of blowing off ethics-related steam

  • 6:00 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s chief spokesman, Brian Robinson, is known for his use of, er, colorful language when confronting critics of his boss. Now we also know he may need a few extra pillows in his first-floor Capitol office.

In an April 9 email to other Deal aides, Robinson sent a link to an Insider post detailing ethics chief Holly LaBerge’s critique of the governor’s ethics overhaul. Below the link were these words:

“She told the AJC that she doesn’t like the governor’s proposal because the commission would be too big and would outnumber the employees. I’m stuffing a pillow in my [More]

In U.S. Senate runoff, the Chamber takes it on the chin

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

David Perdue’s decision to target the U.S. Chamber in the final days of his GOP Senate runoff was more a page torn from the family playbook than an act of desperation.

In 2002, upstart Sonny Perdue was shocked, baffled and outraged by the fact that a national political group known for reflexively endorsing Republicans instead decided to side with Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes.

In that case, it was the National Rifle Association. Perdue challenged Barnes to a shotgun duel – all right, a skeet shoot (which never happened) — and campaigned against the NRA as one of those many special interests [More]

A hair-pin turn in U.S. Senate race puts the focus on Michelle Nunn

  • 10:24 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia’s first – and perhaps last – nine-week primary runoff concludes today. A hair-pin turn in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is already underway.

Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue have thrown millions of dollars’ worth of insults at each other. Kingston has accused Perdue of consorting with the French. Perdue, on slightly firmer ground, has accused Kingston of being a member of Congress.

In Washington, The Hill newspaper has found someone willing to offer a highly technical assessment of the situation:

They’ve been beating the crap out of each other,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake, who [More]

The hijacking of #weknownathan

  • 6:25 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

On the Monday after a week of brutal media scrutiny over a 3-year-old ethics case, the campaign of Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal really, really wanted to win the Internet. So far, it’s not working out.

The governor’s morning

Carter spokesman Bryan Thomas piled on:

These Republicans tried to fight back……

But the conversation remained largely critical:

Topping it off, late Monday, the Democratic hit squad Better Georgia quickly snapped up WeKnowNathan.com and put a top 10 list about the governor with this headline: “We know Nathan…We just wish we didn’t.

Oof. @GaRepublicans may be 'smarter than Carter,' but they didn't buy the URL [More]

Rain may not be the only thing that dampens GOP runoff fervor

  • 12:22 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The weather gods are forecasting a 50 percent chance of rain on Tuesday, which is likely to depress voter turnout beyond already meager expectations for tomorrow’s runoff contests. A single-digit showing is possible.

But something else may be sprinkling cold water on GOP excitement.

This morning, Gov. Nathan Deal held a conference call with a small group of Republican state senators – and one of your Insiders, who listened in.

In addition to affecting surveys conducted in Georgia, these numbers also make the state GOP effort to regroup in every county f***

This morning, interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, Clerk of Superior Court [More]

Nathan Deal says he won’t ‘leave anything on table’ in re-elect bid

  • 9:50 am Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s conference call with GOP lawmakers this morning was less of a defense of his office’s role in the fallout over the ethics memo and more of an impassioned plea for fellow Republicans to regroup against Democrats mounting a growing threat to their political supremacy.

Trailing in fundraising and lagging in a recent poll behind Democrat Jason Carter, Deal suggested that the ethics memo has given his campaign a jolt. He said he’s been “somewhat deferential” during the long runoff period to avoid distracting attention from GOP races for Senate and superintendent, but that will [More]