Political Insider blog 

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

Michelle Nunn’s second ad marks another step to the center

  • 5:00 am Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn is up with her second ad this morning, an homage to her “five ways to fix Washington” message that has fast become a key part of her stump speech.

It’s part of Nunn’s strategy of tacking toward the center even as the crowded field competing for the GOP nomination rush to the right. Notably, like Nunn’s first ad, the new 30-second spot doesn’t once mention that she’s a Democrat.

It’s not immediately clear how much money is behind the ad buy, though records show her campaign snapped up more than $70,000 [More]

Karen Handel’s tax return challenge gets two takers — but not the big fish

  • 9:00 am Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

On the GOP side of the U.S. Senate race, Karen Handel’s U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey was game, though. He said in an interview Thursday he was “absolutely” willing to disclose up to 10 years of his tax records. His campaign said they should be available next week.

“I’d be happy to do that,” he said, adding: “My tax returns for the last five, 10 years, if she wants to do 10 years I’d be glad to do that. I think people want to know and they deserve to know. I’m all for that.”

Gingrey’s financial disclosure showed that in 2012 he [More]

A new Super PAC salvo against Jack Kingston

  • 6:03 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – The above started airing on Atlanta TV stations this morning courtesy of Citizens for a Working America PAC, which has put $500,000 behind the effort.

It’s the first direct televised attack on Rep. Jack Kingston, and it follows some of the similar themes of Ending Spending PAC’s hit on Rep. Phil Gingrey, including earmarks, the debt ceiling and, interestingly enough, Cash for Clunkers.

The South Carolina-based Citizens for a Working America started in 2010 attacking then-Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., and was going to be Michele Bachmann’s Super PAC in the 2012 presidential race before switching to Mitt [More]

Phil Gingrey to Super PAC: ‘Leave Georgia alone’

  • 9:09 am Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Republican Phil Gingrey is trying to make the best of the fact that he is now drawing the brunt of the attacks from the powerful Ending Spending Action Fund.

The super PAC is spending much of the $1.3 million in airtime it reserves ahead of the May 20 primary against Gingrey, and it’s beginning to chafe the Marietta Republican.

“Go figure. I don’t know who’s behind it but I guess that’s freedom of speech,” Gingrey told us. “But as my dad told me one time a long time ago, a knock is a boost and somebody must be worried about me [More]

Atlanta Braves tighten gun policy at Turner Field

  • 10:06 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Sure, they can do this in Atlanta. The question is whether it will fly in Cobb County. From Channel 2 Action News:

Here’s the quick recap from the Associated Press:

The Atlanta Braves will no longer allow some off-duty police officers to carry guns at Turner Field, which has prompted objections.

Under the team’s new policy, off-duty officers from jurisdictions that don’t include Turner Field will no longer be allowed to bring firearms into the stadium.

Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins tells WSB-TV that the policy change will make the ball games less safe, adding that “armed good guys stop armed bad guys.”

Jerry Henry, [More]

Unlimited cash for campaigns? GOP Senate candidates are split

  • 9:56 am Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Five of seven GOP candidates gathered in Marietta on Tuesday evening in a forum sponsored by the all-powerful Cobb County Republican Women’s Club.

The two presumed frontrunners in the contest, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue, had other things to do.

The rest plowed ground that has become very familiar – with perhaps a single exception. One of the questioners, Anne Lewis, who is general counsel for the Georgia GOP, noted the recent 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision that lifted federal limits on the aggregate amounts that individuals could give to federal contests.

The limit on contributions per candidate remain, but [More]

Super PAC feints toward Michelle Nunn, stabs at Phil Gingrey

  • 9:42 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Ending Spending Action Fund is drawingBut Ending Spending has reported nearly twice as much, $592,000, to hit Gingrey.
The group has reserved $1.3 million in airtime ahead of the primary, and we’ll see if the ratio continues to favor Gingrey attacks. Ending Spending has been less eager to talk about them, though.

The group’s website features the Nunn ad and it gave early warning to the Wall Street Journal of its campaign against the Democrat. But we had to find the Gingrey ad elsewhere.

The Nunn campaign, meanwhile, has found a [More]

Bob Barr tones down his talk of impeachment

  • 9:30 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former congressman Bob Barr, now seeking a comeback in the race for Georgia’s 11th District congressional seat, raised eyebrows in January when A former federal prosecutor who helped lead impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Barr said the Obama administration had acted illegally both in postponing mandates in the federal health care law, and through softening enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Here’s what Barr said on Jan. 23 to Alex Jones:

I think it really has come to that. It’s not something I like to say. When I left the House before, after we impeached Clinton, my hope was that we would never [More]

Ethics verdict poses a threat to GOP grip on Georgia

  • 9:00 am Saturday, April 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

In the 11 days after the adjournment of the Legislature on March 20, Democrat Jason Carter out-raised Gov. Nathan Deal by a ratio of five to one.

The Republican incumbent pulled in $84,000 before the deadline for the latest contribution reporting period. His upstart challenger, a sitting state senator, raised $416,000.

The Deal campaign accused Carter of cheating – by advertising a March 23 fundraiser in New York, which featured his famous grandfather, before lawmakers abandoned Atlanta. State law forbids legislators and all other elected state officials from soliciting campaign contributions while the Legislature is in session.

But here’s the unfortunate reality of [More]

Sebelius resignation may offer a lever to Port of Savannah supporters

  • 12:57 pm Friday, April 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation as the federal government’s chief health care officer may have just handed a giant lever to supporters of the Port of Savannah expansion. First, the set-up from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama praised outgoing Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for helping to steer his health care law’s comeback after a rocky rollout, even as he nominated a successor aimed at helping the White House move past the political damage.

“Under Kathleen’s leadership, her team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done,” Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony Friday morning. [More]