Political Insider blog 

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

A ‘misinformed’ Nathan Deal on an Ebola strike force

  • 10:37 am Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Officially, last night’s Atlanta Press Club gubernatorial debate was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Nathan Deal couldn’t wait. At 5:39 p.m., his office sent out a press release announcing that the Republican governor would sign an executive order announcing the creation of an “Ebola response team.”

Call it the incumbent’s advantage. In doing so, the governor guaranteed himself a first question that turned the proceedings into something like a press conference.

“I believe that we do have the resources that are available, and if we need additional resources, we will try to make sure that those are available,” a well-prepped Deal said.

Only [More]

Judging a Nathan Deal donation

  • 10:28 am Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

Among We’ve gone from terrorists to pirates. The latest hit on Michelle Nunn’s Points of Light foundation involves the organization being a conduit of funds to an environmental organization that has been accused of high seas mischief.

From the Washington Free Beacon:

Founded in 1981, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has engaged in countless organized assaults on whaling and fishing ships, utilizing confrontational tactics that many consider extreme.

They intentionally ram their ships into other fishing and whaling vessels, throw “prop foulers” to break their propellers, and often pelt the ships with paintballs, water cannons, smoke bombs, and stink bombs.

Through Points of [More]

A debate over education, and a Nathan Deal childhood mystery

  • 10:11 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter meet at an education forum hosted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators in Atlanta on Monday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

The event, the organizers insisted, was a forum – not a debate.

And yet that’s what Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter turned it into – in front of members of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Both were featured speaker at Michelle Obama’s get out the vote drive last week. But when her husband

***

Over the weekend, state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, D-Lithonia, opened up a debate on corporal punishment [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]

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 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 was [More]

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]