Political Insider blog 

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

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]

Nathan Deal says he wants to resolve Copart’s $74m tax dispute

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal wants an independent jurist to resolve the state’s ongoing tax dispute with the Texas-based firm that bought his salvage yard firm.

Deal spokesman Brian Robinson said over the weekend that the governor has instructed the Department of Revenue to wring from Copart “every cent it owes in Georgia taxes.” But he said the governor hoped it would be resolved by an outside judge, rather than the state tax agency, so he can’t be accused of tinkering with the outcome.

“The governor assumes at this juncture of the process the case will go before an administrative law judge, which means it wouldn’t be decided by an [More]

Jimmy Carter: No peace without justice for Palestinians

  • 8:30 pm Saturday, August 30th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

As advertised, former President Jimmy Carter on Saturday addressed the Islamic Society of North America, the largest Muslim organization in this part of the world. From the Detroit News:

“You can’t bring peace to the Middle East without justice and human rights for the Palestinians,” Carter told a packed hall at Cobo Center. “When my prayers are answered and we have peace in that Holy Land then the Israelis and all their neighbors will be blessed to live in peace and prosperity.”

Carter spoke mainly about preventing violence against women and girls, encouraging all present to fight for equal rights for [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.

A tale of two Marcos, and the little that can be said of ‘dream’ kids

  • 10:41 pm Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last Tuesday was a tale of two Marcos.

I wrote about the first Marco last week. He is a bright, 16-year-old son of illegal Mexican immigrants enrolled at DeKalb Early College Academy. A “dream” kid brought across the border when he was 8 years old, awarded provisional legal status while Congress allegedly sorts things out.

DECA is an academic boot camp for kids whose families have never sent anyone to a university. The program crams four years of high school into two. Then the students are shipped to Georgia Perimeter College. At age 18, they emerge with not only a high school [More]

Rick Allen tries to distance himself from stimulus bill

  • 9:00 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

The 2009 stimulus bill is a big deal in Rep. John Barrow’s re-election race, in part because the Augusta Democrat has not voted for many other big-ticket Democratic items in the Obama era. It has been the subject of a simian-themed National Republican Congressional Committee ad, and Republican Rick Allen has hammered it on the stump.

At the same time, Allen must distance himself from the stimulus, which was backed by the Associated General Contractors of America — seeing as the bill provided an infusion of cash for “shovel-ready” construction projects. So you have the video above (please excuse the vertical [More]

Democrats to press for stronger whistleblower protections next year

  • 6:00 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s talk of changing Georgia’s whistleblower law has led state Democrats to come up with a sweeping counterproposal.

The Senate Democratic Caucus met in Newnan Thursday to approve its 2015 legislative agenda, and sent us word that a key part of the package is a proposal that would give public employees broader leeway to file whistleblower complaints.

The governor in May suggested he wanted to more narrowly define who can file those types of complaints. He said he was concerned about a state Supreme Court ruling that automatically granted whistleblower status to government employees charged with investigating state agencies and [More]

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]