Political Insider blog 

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

Jason Carter’s campaign questions Nathan Deal’s salvage yard sale

  • 4:48 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The controversial sale of Gov. Nathan Deal’s salvage yard business resurfaced Thursday as both campaigns traded shots over Democrat Jason Carter’s plan to go after tax cheats.

Carter pledged this week that his administration would seek to recoup an estimated $2.5 billion in back taxes highlighted by a recent Georgia audit, and that he would funnel those proceeds into education. Deal’s camp saw it as another sign that Carter didn’t have a “serious” plan to fund education, and called on him to outline specifics.

The Democrat’s campaign took that as an invitation to open a new line of attack against Deal invoking the sale [More]

Text of Nathan Deal aide’s letter urging GOP lawmakers to pony up

  • 2:30 pm Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Our colleague James Salzer got ahold of a letter sent by Gov. Nathan Deal’s campaign aide urging Republican lawmakers to donate to the governor’s re-election bid. The note said he would be “returning the favor” for those who support him. You can find his story here.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson told Salzer that the aide who wrote the letter, David Werner, sent a second letter clarifying that the pledge referred to fundraising efforts over the next four years.

Here’s the full text of Werner’s original dispatch, sent on Monday:


We enjoyed seeing many of you in Macon on Saturday morning. Thank you for welcoming the Governor to your [More]

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]

Statewide teachers group endorses Jason Carter’s bid for governor

  • 11:00 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein


A statewide teachers group endorsed Democrat Jason Carter’s gubernatorial bid on Wednesday, warning that education funding under Gov. Nathan Deal is “demoralizing and dismantling” the state’s public education system.

Carter trumpeted the endorsement of the Georgia Association of Educators outside Grady High School, where his wife Kate was a journalism teacher. The GAE, which represents 42,000 educators, said it would mobilize its members to support Carter’s campaign.

“Sen. Carter truly wants to make public education our state’s number one priority, not just say so in an occasional opportunity or in an election year, and not just for the headlines,” [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]

Nathan Deal’s run-in with immigration activists at UGA

  • 9:30 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal was in Athens speaking to College Republicans on Tuesday when four students stood up to question him about the Board of Regents policy that bans undocumented immigrants from attending the University of Georgia.

The four-minute video of the encounter, courtesy of Flagpole’s Blake Aued, gets testy around the 1:55 mark, when Deal addresses a white student named Carver Goodhue, who questioned the governor’s position on the ban.

“There is a fundamental problem that can only be solved at the congressional level – and that is to deal with the issue of children – and I presume you probably [More]

Watchdog group demands investigation of Nathan Deal’s top aides

  • 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A watchdog group demanded an internal investigation of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aides, claiming that a recently revealed memo drafted by the ethics chief was proof that she was coerced into creating a “politically favorable outcome” for the governor.

Sabrina Smith of Georgia Watchdogs filed the complaint with the Office of the Inspector General claiming that executive counsel Ryan Teague and chief-of-staff Chris Riley, who has now joined the campaign, violated state law prohibiting government employees from coercing co-workers for political gain. You can find your copy here.

The complaint centers on the bombshell memo revealed in July written by ethics chief Holly LaBerge. She [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]

Nathan Deal on Jason Carter’s ‘silly’ donor disclosure pledge

  • 5:20 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal laced into his Democratic opponent’s pledge to disclose more details about political appointments should he win office, calling it a “silly” campaign stunt and issuing a new challenge to his bitter rival.

Democrat Jason Carter promised to reveal campaign contributions and conflicts of interest of each person he appoints to a state board in response to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation that found people with ties to 43 members of three Georgia elite boards contributed nearly $1.3 million to Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election effort.

“This is just another typical display on his part,” Deal said Monday. “If [More]