AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.
The statue of President George Washington stands in the recently renovated Rotunda of the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Earmarks could make their return in 2017

9:00 am Nov. 20, 2016

WASHINGTON — Earmarks are the kind of thing that many members of Congress love — but few are willing to admit it publicly.

To put it bluntly, federal money for special projects such as bridges, dams and research at local universities are easy ways to score points with constituents. Many of those infrastructure projects need to be funded anyway, proponents argue, and who knows what a district needs better than the

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. AP Photo.

Bernie Sanders lays out how Democrats can exit the political wilderness

10:42 am Nov. 17, 2016

The way forward for the Democratic Party after a disastrous election is to buck corporate interests and become a grassroots party that appeals to the working class, according to Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The former Democratic presidential candidate, who released a new book this week, said “it is time for soul-searching within the Democratic Party” after losing the White House, both chambers Congress and state house seats across the country.

“I think at

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins welcomes the troops with the 1-214th Field Artillery Battalion in 2014 from nearly a year in Afghanistan. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Doug Collins clinches House leadership seat

3:52 pm Nov. 15, 2016

House Republicans handed Doug Collins a seat at the leadership table on Tuesday, electing the onetime chaplain the party’s No. 5 position in the chamber.

The Gainesville Republican, who has never before served in the GOP leadership, was selected to be conference vice chairman over Bill Flores, a Texan who currently leads the conservative Republican Study Committee.

At the same meeting, House Republicans unanimously selected Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for a second

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., left, and Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, display their "Make America Great Again" hats after attending a House Republican leadership meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

On Capitol Hill, Democrats lick their wounds as Republicans celebrate after Trump’s victory

1:19 pm Nov. 15, 2016

WASHINGTON — You’ll have to excuse us for feeling a little whiplash here on Capitol Hill.

Earlier this fall, Nancy Pelosi, the House’s Democratic leader, called Donald Trump “the gift that keeps on giving” and projected her party was within striking distance of regaining control of the chamber after six years in the wilderness.

How quickly things have changed.

After a disastrous election that saw them unexpectedly lose the White House and maintain

Speaker Paul Ryan, left, Georgia Republican Tom Price, right, and other Republicans walk through a basement corridor in the U.S. Capitol in 2015. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Georgia’s GOP congressmen once again line up behind Paul Ryan

3:03 pm Nov. 14, 2016

Paul Ryan’s first year as House speaker was nothing if not a baptism by fire. Much like John Boehner before him, the Wisconsin Republican was forced to contend with trouble from both the left and the right as he struggled to advance even routine legislation.

And much like Boehner before him, there were rumblings before the election that dissatisfied members of the House Freedom Caucus could challenge him for his post. (More than

Carroll Rodgers of Suitland, Md., cleans the steps on Capitol Hill in Washington on Election Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Republicans hold Senate, House in red wave

2:16 am Nov. 9, 2016

The U.S. Senate and House will remain under GOP control for another two years, as a red tide swept the country Tuesday night to preserve a gaggle of endangered incumbents. Missouri’s Roy Blunt was the clincher with his narrow win. From the Class of 2010, Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey and Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson held on against many predictions. North Carolina’s Richard Burr and Florida’s Marco Rubio were other crucial incumbent triumphs.

The news was

Republican Congressman Barry Loudermilk with voters in 2014.  BRANT SANDERLIN /BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

All of Georgia’s congressmen appear poised for reelection

9:04 pm Nov. 8, 2016

All of Georgia’s members of the House of Representatives appear poised to return to Congress in 2017, according to early election returns.

Few of the 13 House incumbents on the ballot today — Republican or Democrat — faced competitive challengers and all appeared to have punched their tickets back to Washington as of 11 p.m. The only race that had yet to be called at that point was Lawrenceville Republican Rob Woodall’s in the 7th District

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. AP/Mel Evans

One reason why you shouldn’t expect to see Hillary Clinton in Georgia before Nov. 8: Jim Barksdale

1:20 pm Oct. 26, 2016

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has so far bypassed Georgia as part of her push into traditional Republican strongholds.

Atlanta Mayor and top Clinton surrogate Kasim Reed on Wednesday hinted that Georgia could see some more attention in the coming days. But with less than two weeks until Election Day, color us a little skeptical after reading the political tea leaves.

We start with Jim Barksdale.

Despite his deep pockets — he’s