Political Insider blog 

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

Michelle Nunn takes baby steps away from White House on foreign policy

  • 10:09 am Friday, September 5th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

If you listened closely to Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn’s comments Thursday, you might have heard an attempt to distance herself — ever so slightly — from President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.

Nunn called Obama’s And then she came close to siding with some legislative leaders pushing for more Congressional oversight of the nation’s growing role in the conflict.

“The president has to work closely with Congress. Especially at this moment in time, it’s incumbent for the president and Congress to come up with a unified strategy.”

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Her father, former Sen. Sam Nunn, aimed stronger words of his own toward Obama on the role of [More]

Nathan Deal: Talk of gas tax hike is ‘premature’

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

State lawmakers are wrestling with ways to Y0u can assume it won’t be a tax hike. So what other methods could they be examining?

One possibility could involve directing the fourth penny of that fuel tax, about $180 million that’s now diverted to the general fund, toward transportation projects. Another could give local governments more power to raise sales taxes for transportation.

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Former state lawmaker Edward Lindsey of Atlanta, a member of that transportation task force in search of dollars, has an argument posted on GeorgiaPundit.com with a biblical beginning:

Two thousand years ago there was a thriving commercial center and port [More]

Barry Loudermilk’s reply on federal funding for transportation

  • 2:45 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last week, we wrote of a visit to Atlanta by former U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood and his chastisement of Georgia for its failure to have a single congressman on either the House or Senate transportation committee:

“In the next six years, Congress is going to write a new transportation bill. Are you going to have somebody in the room in Washington when that bill is written – that’ll be a voice for Georgia?” LaHood asked.

“You’ve got to step up here. You’ve got to send people to Washington who are willing to help you provide the resources. You cannot do [More]

David Perdue reportedly pledges to be a ‘team player’ for Mitch McConnell

  • 9:42 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

David Perdue had to run against Washington and its dreaded “career politicians” in order to capture his party’s U.S. Senate nomination.

But he needs them to win in the fall and become an effective senator, which is why he made the rounds Wednesday on Capitol Hill for a series of possibly awkward meetings, starting with the man he defeated in a rough nine-week runoff, Jack Kingston. The Perdue campaign passed along the accompanying photographic evidence of the meeting.

We’re unaware of any visuals from Perdue’s sit-down with Georgia Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In [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]

Phil Gingrey: Border kids could spark epidemics in U.S.

  • 1:49 pm Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

In a letter to Thomas Frieden, director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, expressed his fear this week that the undocumented children the U.S. is absorbing at its border could trigger an epidemic.

Now, he doesn’t actually use the word “epidemic.” He just speaks of diseases that “spread too rapidly to control.” Which we think meets the definition.

Read the letter in its entirety here. The gist:

As a physician for over 30 years, I am well aware of the dangers infectious diseases pose. In fact, infection diseases remain in the top 10 causes of death [More]

Scorched earth in Senate race: Kingston proclaims ‘stranger danger,’ Perdue names earmark names

  • 3:36 pm Monday, June 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We are entering the scorched-earth period of the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate – perhaps in honor of the 150th anniversary of this modern style of warfare.

Jack Kingston is celebrating by grabbing every endorsement in sight, starving rival David Perdue of support.  Today it’s state Rep. Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta, recently ousted from the 11th District congressional congress. Like his predecessors,U.S. Reps. Tom Price of Roswell and Lynn Westmoreland of Coweta County are safe GOP districts. But so far as we know, Georgia’s Republican incumbent has a Democratic opponent in November, and may not appreciate someone hanging out an inconvenient bit [More]

A glimpse of the man who blew the whistle on Jack Kingston’s cash

  • 9:54 am Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

As the weekend began, Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News gave you a first glimpse of Robert Miller, the marketing consultant who blew the whistle on more than $80,000 in campaign contributions to Jack Kingston, the frontrunner in the GOP runoff for U.S. Senate.

Miller has alleged, to the AJC and the FBI, that Khalid Satary, a Palestinian expat whom the feds are attempting to deport, allegedly arranged bonuses for employees of two companies so that most of the cash could be given to Kingston last November and December.

Kingston has returned the money. Now what’s at issue is when the [More]

Jack Kingston: No ‘discussion of a felon’ during May meeting on campaign cash

  • 9:19 am Friday, June 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Jack Kingston, frontrunner in the GOP runoff for U.S. Senate, this morning said that a May 1 meeting with an attorney, who claims he informed the Kingston campaign that foreign national with a criminal past had illegally bundled $80,000 for his Senate bid, never included “any discussion of a felon.”

The Savannah congressman made the remarks in an interview this morning with Martha Zoller and Tim Bryant on WGAU (1340AM) in Athens. Afterwards, Kingston made similar remarks in another radio interview on 106.7FM.

Kingston was responding to this morning’s AJC article by Chris Joyner. Here’s the top:

An Atlanta attorney claims he [More]

Tom Price bows out of Southern fight for House GOP leadership

  • 10:35 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Take a look at the current, soon-to-be juggled GOP leadership of the U.S. House: Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California.

None hail from the modern Republican foundation that is the Deep South. Which is why Pete Sessions of Texas has emerged as a rival to McCarthy in the quick contest to replace Cantor, who was defeated in Tuesday’s primary.

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, bowed out this morning. A statement just released by his office:

“The encouragement I’ve received from colleagues over these past couple of days has been humbling…. [A]t [More]