Political Insider blog 

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

Coke bottling CEO aims to take the fizz out of Michelle Nunn

  • 10:23 am Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises is spending $100,000 to try and knock out Democrat Michelle Nunn. “Pre-general election reports paint a partial figure of where Georgia One is getting its funding. The group had raised $125,000 as of Oct. 15—$100,000 of which came from John Brock, Chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises. It’s only other donor was a private equity firm Phoenix Financial Holdings Inc., which specializes in leveraged buyouts and secondary direct investments.”

Our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin points out that Brock makes a good six-figure foil for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave $350,000 [More]

The first of three Friday polls: CNN says Michelle Nunn, Jason Carter leading races

  • 9:08 am Friday, October 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

This weekend will be awash in polls. An AJC-sponsored survey will be out this morning, as will a separate on from Channel 2 Action News. But we’ll start with a new CNN poll conducted with live callers — a rarity in Georgia this year — that shows the top-ticket Democrats with small leads within the margin of error. – Democrat Michelle Nunn: 47 percent;

– Republican David Perdue: 44 percent;

– Libertarian Amanda Swafford: 5 percent;

For governor:

– Democrat Jason Carter: 48 percent;

– Republican Gov. Nathan Deal: 46 percent;

– Libertarian Andrew Hunt: 6 percent;

Likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be draw for [More]

David Perdue is back on the air, jean-jacketed but baby-less

  • 9:12 am Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

David Perdue is back on the air. Above is his first general election television effort, which hits Democrat Michelle Nunn on her campaign memo and attacks on the Republican before pulling back into the positives from Perdue’s business career.

Gone, for now, are It’s the first chance for Perdue to rebut

Speaking of fundraisers, take a hard look at the above section of an invite for an NRSC event Monday night in Washington. Seven former Republican governors, banding together to raise money to turn the Senate Republican.

Not on the list is the only former Republican governor we know of whose cousin [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]

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]

Board of Regents to consider same-sex marriage eligibility in retirement plan

  • 8:57 am Monday, June 30th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to deliver its verdict in the Hobby Lobby case, which weighs the religious rights of employers and the right of women to their choice of birth control.

Whichever way it goes, the decision will soak up today’s media attention – and that’s just fine with the state Board of Regents, which today will consider whether to recognize same-sex marriages for participants in a University System retirement plan.

Consider it the most important clash of state and federal policies since last year, when the Georgia National Guard refused to recognize same-sex marriage – and was [More]

DeKalb County politics about to duck down a rabbit hole?

  • 10:24 am Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Politics in DeKalb County may be about to head down a rabbit hole. Now, he has told the AJC that he is being subpoenaed in connection with the case, though he says he has done nothing wrong.
“I’ve been asked to come testify, and that’s it,” Watson said before referring further questions to his attorney. “When I get served, I will go and figure out what’s going on and try and make it work.”

He would not answer questions about the phone calls, which he tried to hide from the newspaper.

Watson turned over 586 pages from his personal cell phone bills, from [More]

A top GOP lawmaker picks a side in state school superintendent race

  • 10:25 am Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Because the GOP runoff for state school superintendent has boiled down to a pro-con debate over Common Core, top figures in the Republican camp have been hesitant to take sides.

That may be changing. Mike Buck, the frontrunner in the May 20 primary and chief of staff to exiting Superintendent John Barge, on Tuesday released a list of endorsements.

Topping it was Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, chairman of the powerful Senate Rules Committee and a key ally of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle.

No other state lawmakers or office-holders were listed. Buck, a resident of Rome, is backing the continued implementation [More]

It could have been Saxby Chambliss…

  • 12:55 pm Friday, June 6th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

You have to know that, somewhere in D.C., Saxby Chambliss is shaking his head, perhaps murmuring, “There but for the grace of God….” From the Associated Press:

JACKSON, Miss. — National tea party groups are divvying up the nuts and bolts of campaigning as they rush to boost Republican Chris McDaniel’s effort to deny Sen. Thad Cochran a seventh term representing Mississippi.

The activist-focused FreedomWorks will run a door-to-door, get-out-the-vote operation ahead of the June 24 runoff. The anti-tax Club for Growth is ready to air even tougher television ads. The Tea Party Express will rally supporters with a bus tour through [More]

Gallup poll: Georgians not ready to revolt over taxes

  • 10:03 am Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Gov. Nathan Deal has been pummeled with bad news the last week, but the Gallup polling organization offers the Republican incumbent some respite this morning.

In terms of overall dissatisfaction, Georgia ranked No. 20 – essentially in the middle of the pack, and not the stuff that Republican primary revolutions are made of.

New Yorkers (77 percent said levies were too high) were the most dissatisfied. Residents of Wyoming (19 percent) were the least.

Most other Southern states ranked below Georgia on the taxpayer-angst scale: Virginia (No. 21), South Carolina (No. 25), Mississippi (No. 28), Tennesee (No. 33), Alabama (No. 34) and Florida [More]