Political Insider blog 

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

Documents: Barry Loudermilk involved in $80k racial discrimination settlement

  • 10:06 am Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Runoffs are the trench warfare of campaigning – dirty, messy and often hand-to-hand affairs.

This morning, Todd Rehm of GaPundit.com Rehm, a consultant for the Barr campaign, said the documents arrived by email, and that he does not know their source.

The AJC’s Jeremy Redmon has inquired with Melvin Everson, executive director of the state Commission on Equal Opportunity, who notes that the documents don’t appear to be stamped an notarized.

But Ed Buckley, an attorney in the law firm that represented Ethel Blackmon, told Redmon that the paperwork is indeed authentic.

One document details the complaint of Ethel Blackmon. The [More]

The politics of a U.S. citizenship ceremony

  • 10:21 am Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 In a piece on Wednesday’s swearing-in of 1,000 new U.S. citizens during a pre-Braves ceremony at Turner Field, “He plans to take executive actions that are within the president’s authority,” Jennings said. “We must do whatever we can to make U.S. immigration smarter, more humane and do whatever we can to keep families together.”

She wasn’t the only one to notice. An email arrived late last night from Greg Williams, chairman of the Buckhead Young Republicans, who was there with friends to watch his wife take the oath of citizenship. Wrote Williams:

“[Jennings] prepared remarks were about 10 minutes long, and he [More]

When it comes to college tuition hikes, Georgia gets silver

  • 9:55 am Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Looks like Georgia’s unofficial state motto, “Deo gratias, quia Mississippi,” needs updating. Only in New Mexico, where net tuition and fees rose a remarkable 188 percent, did state officials shift the cost of college from government to students more than legislators in Georgia. Here, net tuition revenue per student went up by 93 percent as legislators cut education appropriations and reduced the value of the HOPE Scholarship many students depend on for college expenses…

Even though Georgia students pay a lot more in tuition now than five years ago, the average tuition paid by a full-time Georgia student, $4,484, is still [More]

Brian Kemp tries to tamp down envy for Mississippi’s three-week runoff

  • 10:07 am Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Recognizing some state Capitol unhappiness with this year’s new election calendar, which cut short the annual legislative session and rewarded Republicans candidates for U.S. Senate and others with an expensive, nine-week runoff, Secretary of State Brian Kemp may be trying to head off some rash fixes.

In a letter dispatched last Friday to the governor, lieutenant governor, and leaders of the House and Senate, Kemp said he was aware that “many potential solutions” are being discussed by state lawmakers and others.

Some, Kemp said, have pointed to Mississippi, where U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran will face GOP challenger Chris McDaniel in a runoff [More]

The sexual politics behind Tuesday’s vote

  • 5:47 pm Wednesday, May 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Two separate state Capitol races on Tuesday offered up a lesson in sexual politics in metro Atlanta, and how the language we use to discuss the topic is rapidly changing.

This is a tale of two anonymous robocalls — those annoying, automated messages that dog your home land line every election season. Both were last-minute attacks, and each was designed to anger opposite sides of the gay marriage argument.

Neither worked, and many would say this is the good news. At the very least, take it as a sign of shifting attitudes even in one of the reddest states in the nation.

House [More]

The issues and races to watch tonight

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

After months of campaigning, millions of dollars spent on advertising and no shortage of bickering, the primary vote is finally upon us. Here’s a few key factors to watch today that could help determine the nominees for the open Senate seat and the other top races

Turnout: No one is quite sureTea Party: One of the biggest factors in the race is whether tea party voters will back any candidate in force or whether their voice will be fragmented between rivals at the polls. Handel has tried to rally tea party supporters behind her campaign with the message that she’s the [More]

A nasty robocall rocks Kennesaw-Marietta race for House seat

  • 8:02 pm Monday, May 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Cobb County has long had a reputation for smear sheets distributed during the final hours of an election, but this robocall is one of the worst electronic versions we’ve heard in a while.

It’s aimed at Bert Reeves, a Republican challenger to state Rep. Charles Gregory of Kennesaw for the District 34 House seat, one of the more conservative areas of metro Atlanta. But Gregory has disavowed it as well.

Listen here:

Here’s the text:

“Hi. Please listen to this important message. Global Action for Trans Equality would like to endorse Bert Reeves for the seat of your next state House representative. Bert Reeves [More]

Jason Carter’s wife steps up for Elena Parent

  • 12:20 pm Monday, May 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The raucous Democratic race for state Senate District 42, a seat now held by the exiting Jason Carter, has been filled with unsubtle accusations traded by former state Rep. Elena Parent and Decatur attorney Kyle Williams.

This robo-call is the exception – click to listen.http://cmgajcpolitics.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/carterwiferobo.wav

Here’s the opening:

“I’m Kate Carter. I’m a Candler Park resident and a public school teacher, and I’m voting for Democrat Elena Parent for state Senate. Elena Parent fought Republican cuts to education funding and she fought to protect HOPE….”

Kate Carter never mentions that she’s the wife of Jason Carter, who has publicly picked no horse [More]

Sarah Palin is drawn into a Democratic race for state Senate

  • 9:23 pm Friday, May 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The furious Democratic battle between former state House representative Elena Parent and Decatur attorney Kyle Williams, for the state Senate seat of the exiting Jason Carter of Atlanta, continues apace this weekend with this mailer from Parent:

The fight has drawn the attention of the Huffington Post, which makes this acute observation:

Williams’ opponent keeps speaking of “a Republican group” but won’t name it. The source on the mailer is listed as an article in ProjectQAtlanta.com which refers to Williams being endorsed by three LGBT groups in a different, non-partisan race, including the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans. So why not call [More]

In Georgia, John Lewis is now the last word in federal judgeships

  • 10:07 am Friday, May 16th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Things aren’t looking good for Michael Boggs, the state court of appeals judge whose nomination for a federal judgeship is now before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Boggs, a former state Democratic lawmaker from Waycross, has drawn criticism for past votes to tighten abortion restrictions, support a constitutional ban on gay marriage in Georgia, and – in 2001 – oppose the removal of the 1956-era state flag and its Confederate battle emblem.

On the cusp of their best political season since they lost power in 2002, Georgia Democrats have been suspiciously silent about Boggs.
Boggs did say in his confirmation “my views may [More]