Political Insider blog 

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

A debate over education, and a Nathan Deal childhood mystery

  • 10:11 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter meet at an education forum hosted by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators in Atlanta on Monday. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

The event, the organizers insisted, was a forum – not a debate.

And yet that’s what Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter turned it into – in front of members of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators.

Both were featured speaker at Michelle Obama’s get out the vote drive last week. But when her husband

***

Over the weekend, state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, D-Lithonia, opened up a debate on corporal punishment [More]

The ads keep flying in John Barrow’s race

  • 12:23 pm Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

As U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, gets back to legislating this week in Washington, the ads continue to fly in Georgia’s only competitive U.S. House race.

We start above with Barrow’s new effort today. This one has a bringing-home-the-bacon message — not far off from his Savannah Port promotion — but targeted at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency has been under a harsh spotlight lately, but through the eyes of one rural Georgia vet, Barrow highlights how he fought for years to bring a VA primary care clinic to Statesboro. It opened last year.

The National Republican [More]

5 burning questions as Congress returns from recess

  • 12:03 pm Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON — They’re back, but not for long. Congress returns this afternoon from a five-week summer recess hoping to polish off some business and get back to politicking, since there is an election on. Here are five key questions awaiting your elected leaders.

1. Will there be any spending drama? Government funding runs out at the end of the month, and leaders in both chambers expect to introduce a “continuing resolution” to extend the current spending levels into December. Unlike a year ago, there has not been all that much clamoring for a showdown that could lead to a government shutdown. [More]

Living in Spin City: The rapid aftermath of a judge’s denunciation and $20k in fines

  • 10:20 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Oh, the spinning that took place within minutes of a Fulton County judge’s decision to fine the top aide of the state ethics commission and the attorney general’s office – An over-excited law firm representing LaBerge put out its press release, teletype fashion, in all caps, blaming state lawyers. In part:

“IT IS OUR HOPE THE APPELLATE COURT WILL CORRECT THE GRAVE INJUSTICE DONE TODAY BY BLAMING THE WHISTLEBLOWER THAT RISKED HER JOB TO DISCLOSE A MAJOR COVER UP ENGAGED IN BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO HIDE THE TRUTH AND AVOID LIABILITY IN PENDING LITIGATION.”

[More]

LGBT group targets Michelle Nunn on gay marriage

  • 9:57 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

The same LGBT group that pressured Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to “evolve” on gay marriage has now set its sights on Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

The group has Please help us tell Ms. Nunn that “states’ rights” is no more acceptable for LGBT equality than it was for racial equality.

If Michelle Nunn wants the support of the LGBT Community, she should join the other members of her party — around the nation and here in Georgia — and proudly stand in support of full LGBT Equality.

Charlie Stadtlander, who let us know about the reorientation, said Nunn’s other [More]

Bill Clinton headed for house of Usher — and a Michelle Nunn fundraiser

  • 10:34 am Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The Wall Street Journal reports that Bill Clinton, the last presidential candidate to carry Georgia, will headline a Sept. 13 fundraiser for U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn ***

Meanwhile, the campaign of U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn says the Democrat has accepted five debate offers over the next 10 weeks, and urged David Perdue to do the same. To help encourage the Republican, the Nunn campaign offered this quick sound bite of an interview twixt Perdue and WSB Radio’s Scott Slade, who asks Perdue if he’s willing to debate the Democrat. Replied the candidate: “Absolutely. Anywhere. Anytime.”

The proposed debates:

– Oct. [More]

Watch Nydia Tisdale’s video adventure at the Dawsonville GOP rally

  • 10:29 am Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Nydia Tisdale, the citizen-journalist from Roswell who was roughed up last weekend for recording video at a Dawsonville GOP rally, fetched her confiscated camera on Friday.

Above is what she has posted. The last four minutes encompass her arrest.

Johnny Isakson to Michelle Nunn: ‘You can’t have it both ways’

  • 9:51 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., has a message for Democrat Michelle Nunn, who would like to become his colleague – and has hinted that she wouldn’t be a sure vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. ***

In yesterday’s post on citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale, Attorney General Sam Olens and that weekend GOP rally in Dawsonville, we wrote this:

A county deputy was summoned. As we said, Tisdale is driven. She did not go quietly. Her screams punctuated the event.

“I’ve had a lot of things happen as a speaker…” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler gamely told the crowd over the noise, to [More]

How a plan to keep a GOP rally off the Internet went awry

  • 6:28 pm Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last Saturday began very sweetly for Nydia Tisdale, citizen journalist.

She was at Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville, a private concern mobbed by tourists during pumpkin season, to point her video camera at several GOP candidates at the top of the November ballot.

They were scheduled to speak at the rally, which had been advertised as a come-one, come-all event.

Most journalists, this one included, are capitalists. We do what we do for money – and God bless the publishers who pay us. But there are those who write and operate their cameras for free, simply because they are driven.

Tisdale is one of those. [More]

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]