Political Insider blog 

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

Sam Olens on the hot seat over Holly LaBerge memo

  • 9:55 am Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Looks like fallout from an ethics probe that, years later, has yet to touch bottom will be the theme of the day.

Late Tuesday, Attorney General Sam Olens issued Said Olens:

“Our civil lawyers determined it was not responsive to the discovery request in the civil litigation.”

In other words, the whistleblowers’ attorneys didn’t ask the right question that might have prompted the memo’s release. However, Olens said he did advise LaBerge to turn it over when the feds asked for relevant documents.

Not everyone is buying into the attorney general’s distinction. “If you gave it to the FBI, why wouldn’t you give it [More]

Jody Hice mixed with Vanilla Ice

  • 8:00 am Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon has the full analysis of the 10th Congressional District GOP runoff in today’s paper, but adds the following note on a new YouTube sensation:

Vanilla Ice has made an appearance in the Republican primary runoff between Mike Collins and Jody Hice. Sort of.

A parody of Ice’s 1989 smash hit “Ice Ice Baby” called “Hice Hice Crazy” has drawn more than 24,000 hits on YouTube. Featuring dancing men wearing dresses, the video pokes fun at Hice for his controversial comments about gays and women.

A group calling itself Shing Productions posted the video online last [More]

Brian Kemp: Guns and run-off ballots won’t mix

  • 10:15 am Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

 Over the weekend, the New York Times had a piece on the dispute in Alabama, where the state’s sheriffs association had urged the state’s 67 counties to ban the open carry of weapons at polling places, fearing that such a display would discourage some voters.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has – with some exceptions – knocked that idea down. Rep. John Lewis is out next year with the second installment of a graphic novel telling his remarkable life story. The Washington Post got an early look at the cover of “March: Book 2″ by Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate [More]

Documents: Barry Loudermilk involved in $80k racial discrimination settlement

  • 10:06 am Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Runoffs are the trench warfare of campaigning – dirty, messy and often hand-to-hand affairs.

This morning, Todd Rehm of GaPundit.com Rehm, a consultant for the Barr campaign, said the documents arrived by email, and that he does not know their source.

The AJC’s Jeremy Redmon has inquired with Melvin Everson, executive director of the state Commission on Equal Opportunity, who notes that the documents don’t appear to be stamped an notarized.

But Ed Buckley, an attorney in the law firm that represented Ethel Blackmon, told Redmon that the paperwork is indeed authentic.

One document details the complaint of Ethel Blackmon. The [More]

In face of challenge, Barry Loudermilk releases his military resume

  • 9:07 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Late yesterday, two supporters of Bob Barr in the 11th District GOP runoff announced they would hold a 10 a.m. press conference today to call attention to what they say is rival Barry Loudermilk’s “consistent pattern of embellishment of his military service.”

Larry Mrozinski is a former 11th District candidate who has endorsed Barr, and a retired U.S. Army colonel. Also at the presser will be Bill Stanley, a Vietnam War helicopter pilot who recently penned a letter-to-the-editor,Loudermilk served in the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 1992, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, the candidate has told us. While [More]

Brian Kemp tries to tamp down envy for Mississippi’s three-week runoff

  • 10:07 am Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Recognizing some state Capitol unhappiness with this year’s new election calendar, which cut short the annual legislative session and rewarded Republicans candidates for U.S. Senate and others with an expensive, nine-week runoff, Secretary of State Brian Kemp may be trying to head off some rash fixes.

In a letter dispatched last Friday to the governor, lieutenant governor, and leaders of the House and Senate, Kemp said he was aware that “many potential solutions” are being discussed by state lawmakers and others.

Some, Kemp said, have pointed to Mississippi, where U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran will face GOP challenger Chris McDaniel in a runoff [More]

Paul Broun is job hunting, not endorsing

  • 1:56 pm Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – The other top-tier Georgia GOP Senate candidates and most of the state’s Republican Congressional delegation have lined up behind Jack Kingston ahead of the July 22 runoff, except for Paul Broun.

So we asked Broun today if he plans to endorse in the runoff, or in the 10th District race to replace him. Broun’s reply: “Right now I’m focusing on finding a job for starting next year and winding up our campaign.”

Broun said he will continue to live in Georgia and then with “I still have a heavy burden for this nation,” launched into a quickie campaign stump speech about [More]

New carbon limits put David Perdue’s utility ties in spotlight

  • 11:30 am Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The Obama administration’s announcement today that it wants to fight climate change by slashing carbon pollution will undoubtedly rile up GOP candidates for office. But it also puts one high-profile Georgia contender’s ties to a utility in the spotlight.

Both businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston, who square off in a July 22 GOP runoff for the open Senate seat, have vowed to oppose more regulations for carbon dioxide by arguing that the red tape will hamper business.

But Perdue’s role with a utility company that has flirted with support of a cap-and-trade system – anathema to many Republicans [More]

Cobb County and the price of poor sportsmanship

  • 10:04 am Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Good sportsmanship has been given a bad rap as a superficial concern of the athlete/dilettante, as irrelevant as an upturned pinky in a melee.

In fact, as any student of Clausewitz would tell you, being a gracious winner is part of the realpolitik of sports. Because just as there is never a last war, there is never a last game.

The upraised middle finger, those loud lies about the sexual history of the pitcher’s mother – all will be recorded and replayed in the opposing team’s locker room just before the next meeting. Anger begets adrenaline.

Over the weekend, our AJC colleagues gave [More]

Lynn Westmoreland endorses Jack Kingston as delegation circles wagons

  • 3:10 pm Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – Rep. Lynn Westmoreland is the first non-candidate in Georgia’s Republican House delegation to weigh in on the Senate primary with an endorsement of Rep. Jack Kingston today.

Expect the “G-9,” as they are known, to quickly rally around one of their own. All had been neutral in the primary out of respect for Reps. Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, though the wives of Reps. Austin Scott and Tom Price had endorsed Karen Handel.

Here’s what Westmoreland and Kingston had to say via press release:

“Jack Kingston and I have been friends for 20 years, during which I’ve had the pleasure of getting [More]