Political Insider blog 

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

John Barrow pulls out his granddaddy’s anti-lynchin’ pistol again

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Rep. John Barrow’s Barrow mourns how “Washington Democrats look down on people for carrying firearms.”

The kicker: “Like my daddy used to say, you never really need a gun unless you need it bad.”

The second new spot from Barrow today swings to attack Republican Rick Allen from the right on immigration.

The main critique of Allen is that We told you on Tuesday that the state Democratic party had sent out an early-voting turnout mailer aimed at African-Americans, using images from Ferguson, Mo.

The images were stark. Here’s the explanation from Michael Smith, the Democratic spokesman:

“The fight for the right to vote [More]

Only one-third of 183,416 new voters describe themselves as white

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The good news for Republicans in Georgia: Since March 1, 183,416 new voters have registered, according to Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

That’s a good deal less than the number many, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, have said is necessary for a statewide Democratic victory on Nov. 4.

The bad news for Republicans: Only one-third of those new voters described themselves as white. While they make up a much smaller portion of Georgia’s voting population, African-Americans – who provide a reliable base for Democrats – accounted for nearly 37 percent of new voters.

In 2012, whites made up 59 percent of the voting [More]

Michelle Nunn says she’s not a sure vote for Harry Reid

  • 10:18 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy

Details of Thursday’s U.S. Senate comparison shopping opportunity that saw Democrat Michelle Nunn and David Perdue square off During a rowdy Republican primary, Perdue was a prominent vote of no confidence for Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his future bid to lead Senate Republicans. But Nunn argued that, immediately after the July 20 primary runoff, Perdue went to Washington, met with McConnell and “pledged to be a good team player.” (The source for said observation: Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who was in the meeting.)

Said Nunn: “The only team I’m playing for here is Georgia.”

The Reid issue is an ideological benchmark on [More]

Introducing The Georgia Insider, the AJC’s political newsletter

  • 8:10 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

All this talk about Gov. Nathan Deal’s suddenly expanding email list may have given us an idea.

The AJC’s political team is unveiling its new newsletter today.

It’s your link to highlights of our coverage of news from the Gold Dome to Capitol Hill, including our legislative reporting, political features and analysis pieces from your Insiders. There’s also handy tips to what we’re reading in other media outlets and what we’re watching in the weeks and months to come.

So if you want to stay up to date with Georgia’s biggest political news, make sure you subscribe to our list. You can [More]

Butch Miller to run for state Senate majority leader

  • 4:05 pm Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We have it on excellent authority that state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, a two-term ally of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, is in the running to become the next state Senate majority leader.

The position is an open one, given the departure of Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, who chose not to run for re-election this year.

We’re told that Miller will be releasing the identities of his top supporters in the chamber within a matter of days, which should tell us whether he should be considered the immediate frontrunner for the post.

Word came to us only a few hours after we posted news [More]

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]

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]