Political Insider blog 

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

In U.S. Senate runoff, the Chamber takes it on the chin

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

David Perdue’s decision to target the U.S. Chamber in the final days of his GOP Senate runoff was more a page torn from the family playbook than an act of desperation.

In 2002, upstart Sonny Perdue was shocked, baffled and outraged by the fact that a national political group known for reflexively endorsing Republicans instead decided to side with Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes.

In that case, it was the National Rifle Association. Perdue challenged Barnes to a shotgun duel – all right, a skeet shoot (which never happened) — and campaigned against the NRA as one of those many special interests [More]

When polls close: AJC election results for Tuesday’s runoffs

  • 5:22 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Surely, you’ve been following the AJC elections team on the ajc.com home page, Facebook or Twitter. And here, of course.

But once we hit the bewitching hour of 7 p.m. , these are your best links for tonight’s drama:

Top races at glance, including the all-important GOP runoff for U.S. Senate. Click here for mobile updates;

The Democratic and Republican runoffs for state school superintendent to replace incumbent John Barge;

Runoffs for three U.S. House seats, including three GOP contests that pit establishment candidates against tea partyers: Buddy Carter v. Bob Johnson in the [More]

A hair-pin turn in U.S. Senate race puts the focus on Michelle Nunn

  • 10:24 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia’s first – and perhaps last – nine-week primary runoff concludes today. A hair-pin turn in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is already underway.

Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue have thrown millions of dollars’ worth of insults at each other. Kingston has accused Perdue of consorting with the French. Perdue, on slightly firmer ground, has accused Kingston of being a member of Congress.

In Washington, The Hill newspaper has found someone willing to offer a highly technical assessment of the situation:

They’ve been beating the crap out of each other,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake, who [More]

Georgia elections rap Volume 2: The runoff rhyme

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Our own Daniel Malloy explains today’s runoffs as only he can, with all due credit to the Wu-Tang Clan.

(Here’s his first effort from May.)

Rain may not be the only thing that dampens GOP runoff fervor

  • 12:22 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The weather gods are forecasting a 50 percent chance of rain on Tuesday, which is likely to depress voter turnout beyond already meager expectations for tomorrow’s runoff contests. A single-digit showing is possible.

But something else may be sprinkling cold water on GOP excitement.

This morning, Gov. Nathan Deal held a conference call with a small group of Republican state senators – and one of your Insiders, who listened in.

In addition to affecting surveys conducted in Georgia, these numbers also make the state GOP effort to regroup in every county f***

This morning, interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, Clerk of Superior Court [More]

Notes from a mailbox in west Cobb County

  • 4:15 pm Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

If there’s anyone who hates the last days before a hot election more than a homeowner on a campaign mailing list, it’s the U.S. Postal Service employee stuck with cramming them into mailbox after mailbox.

Below is a culled collection of yesterday’s delivery, minus the American Express bill and the free oil change coupon.

You’ll notice we have a hot district county commission race in west Cobb — Acworth City Councilman Bob Weatherford versus former Cobb commission chairman Bill Byrne. It’s become yet another Republican establishment versus tea party affair, and may be one reason why Bob Barr, in his 11th District [More]

Second-guessing Sam Olens on the Holly LaBerge memo

  • 11:19 am Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

 

On today’s ethics front, we have boatloads of radio-delivered news.

Gov. Nathan Deal continues his pushback on the Holly LaBerge fallout this afternoon. Erick Erickson, the conservative provocateur for WSB Radio (750AM, 95.5FM) has sent out the following Tweet:

Starting my radio show at 4 PM today with an exclusive interview with Gov. Nathan Deal.

Over at WABE (90.1FM), Jonathan Shapiro hooked up with designated legal expert Page Pate, who outlined what he thought Attorney General Sam Olens ought to have done with a 2012 memo written by Holly LaBerge, executive secretary for the state ethics commission, alleging that aides to the governor [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]

Sarah Palin backs Barry Loudermilk, Bob Johnson in House runoffs

  • 10:20 am Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin weighed in via Facebook this morning with a couple of Georgia GOP U.S. House runoff endorsements: former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk of Cassville in the 11th and surgeon Bob Johnson of Savannah in the 1st.

It’s another tea party stamp of approval for Loudermilk and Johnson, who have the backing of national groups as well. When Palin backed Karen Handel in the U.S. Senate primary, the Handel campaign reported a surge of donations. Here’s Palin’s full post:

Johnny Isakson: We need a 72-hour turnaround for Central American border kids

  • 9:48 am Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, in an interview with Martha Zoller and Tim Bryant “Anybody coming from a non-contiguous country actually had to have a hearing before an immigration authority or immigration judge. That takes up to four to six weeks.

“We need to amend that law, to say that they can be sent home within 72 hours, like somebody from Mexico or Canada – and stem the tide. Once they see that we’re going to send them home, the attractiveness of trying to get into the United States of America will be diminished and will lessen the pressure on the border.”

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Jason [More]