Political Insider blog 

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

Georgia GOP settles on newcomer to fill state lawmaker’s spot

  • 10:18 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The executive committee of the state GOP on Tuesday settled on a political newcomer, David Clark, the brother of state Rep. Josh Clark, R-Buford, to replace the late Michael Brown as a Gwinnett County candidate for House District 98.

The substitution must be reported to Secretary of State Brian Kemp by 4 p.m. today to make the November ballot.

Brown died last week, after winning the May 20 primary – and the seat. There is no Democratic candidate, so the nomination is tantamount to election.

The seven-day process resulted in a fierce tug-of-war over the seat, with tea partyers on one end of [More]

Where Barack Obama can’t go, John Lewis will

  • 9:04 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Expect to see U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, popping up around the South this fall to help turn out African-American voters for the midterm elections. “We can play a major role, especially in some of these southern states,” he said. “In the 60s, I was there helping people get registered to vote. I can go to North Carolina. I can go to Arkansas.”

The southern tour is largely focused on North Carolina and Louisiana — where Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu are trying to fight off spirited GOP challengers — and it is unfolding amid renewed debate over race relations. Riots [More]

Videographer ousted from GOP event, and Sam Olens speaks up

  • 9:15 am Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

As the top of the Republican ticket looked on, a Dawson County deputy on Saturday forcibly removed a screaming video journalist from a GOP rally for candidates, a website known as fetchyournews.com reports.

The venue was Burt’s Pumpkin Farm – private property – in Dawsonville. Virtually every member of the GOP ticket was present, including Gov. Nathan Deal and David Perdue, the U.S. Senate candidate. The event was advertised as public, and video journalist Nydia Tisdale sat on the front row, recording. Also on the front row was the governor and his wife, reports Brian Pritchard of fetchyournews.com.

State Insurance Commissioner [More]

Michelle Nunn says she’s not a sure vote for Harry Reid

  • 10:18 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy

Details of Thursday’s U.S. Senate comparison shopping opportunity that saw Democrat Michelle Nunn and David Perdue square off During a rowdy Republican primary, Perdue was a prominent vote of no confidence for Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his future bid to lead Senate Republicans. But Nunn argued that, immediately after the July 20 primary runoff, Perdue went to Washington, met with McConnell and “pledged to be a good team player.” (The source for said observation: Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who was in the meeting.)

Said Nunn: “The only team I’m playing for here is Georgia.”

The Reid issue is an ideological benchmark on [More]

DNC, unions discuss Georgia ground game plans

  • 3:59 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

The Democratic National Committee is having its summer meetings this week in Atlanta, in part to show its intention to commit resources to making Georgia competitive.

DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida, told reporters at a news conference today that the party has hired a “Voter Expansion Coordinator” in Georgia as part of its efforts to register and turn out the hundreds of thousands of new voters Democrats need to make this election — and future ones — close.

Here’s Wasserman Schultz:

“There is a reason that we are in Georgia. A year ago, in Arizona, I promised that Democrats were [More]

Ralph Hudgens: No longer an Obamacare ‘obstructionist’

  • 10:01 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Last year, when Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said he would do Now, as for Hudgens. The state insurance commissioner told our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos on Wednesday that he just got caught up in the heat of the moment last August:

“I spoke to a Republican group in Rome, Ga., and I said I was going to be an obstructionist, but I can’t be. I mean, I was talking to a Republican group and I was throwing them some red meat. …

“I’m not a fan of it. I don’t think it’s going to work. But there’s nothing I can do [More]

Michelle Nunn goes Pillowtex on David Perdue

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Two days before their first joint U.S. Senate appearance — none dare call it a debate — Democrat Michelle Nunn has raised the topic of Republican David Perdue’s tenure at Pillowtex.

The Nunn campaign has filled a one-minute TV spot with named former mill workers from Kannapolis, N.C., telling the story of David Perdue’s brief stint at the textile firm, which went bankrupt shortly after he left.

This Politifact examination from July, when U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston attacked Perdue on the topic, offers some excellent background on Pillowtex’s fortunes. Politifact rated the Kingston attack “mostly false” but the Nunn ad doesn’t [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]

Introducing The Georgia Insider, the AJC’s political newsletter

  • 8:10 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

All this talk about Gov. Nathan Deal’s suddenly expanding email list may have given us an idea.

The AJC’s political team is unveiling its new newsletter today.

It’s your link to highlights of our coverage of news from the Gold Dome to Capitol Hill, including our legislative reporting, political features and analysis pieces from your Insiders. There’s also handy tips to what we’re reading in other media outlets and what we’re watching in the weeks and months to come.

So if you want to stay up to date with Georgia’s biggest political news, make sure you subscribe to our list. You can [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]