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]

Board of Regents to consider same-sex marriage eligibility in retirement plan

  • 8:57 am Monday, June 30th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to deliver its verdict in the Hobby Lobby case, which weighs the religious rights of employers and the right of women to their choice of birth control.

Whichever way it goes, the decision will soak up today’s media attention – and that’s just fine with the state Board of Regents, which today will consider whether to recognize same-sex marriages for participants in a University System retirement plan.

Consider it the most important clash of state and federal policies since last year, when the Georgia National Guard refused to recognize same-sex marriage – and was [More]

A glimpse of the man who blew the whistle on Jack Kingston’s cash

  • 9:54 am Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

As the weekend began, Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News gave you a first glimpse of Robert Miller, the marketing consultant who blew the whistle on more than $80,000 in campaign contributions to Jack Kingston, the frontrunner in the GOP runoff for U.S. Senate.

Miller has alleged, to the AJC and the FBI, that Khalid Satary, a Palestinian expat whom the feds are attempting to deport, allegedly arranged bonuses for employees of two companies so that most of the cash could be given to Kingston last November and December.

Kingston has returned the money. Now what’s at issue is when the [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]

Georgia business launches a sudden campaign aimed at the state Capitol

  • 9:00 am Saturday, May 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This winter, the state Capitol erupted in a sudden and unexpected fight over a set of “religious liberty” bills that were interpreted as a hostile reaction to the ground that gay marriage has gained through the courts.

Tea party supporters sought protection for the Christian wedding photographer who, out of conscience, refuses to snap pictures of a same-sex couple exchanging vows.

But Georgia’s corporate giants saw something else: Legislation that would open their businesses to boycotts and lawsuits, trapping them in unwanted disputes perhaps generated by their own workers – the UPS driver who won’t deliver a package to a gay bar, [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]

An attempt to continue Saxby Chambliss’ conversation hits a wall

  • 10:48 am Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss published an article inThe writing is a tad thick, but the outline should be familiar to most of you by now: Following the lead of the Simpson-Bowles commission, Chambliss maintains that the only way to address this critical problem — a national security issue, really —  is through a mixture of entitlement cuts and revenue increases. The latter could be achieved through the closing of loopholes, resulting in overall lower tax rates. Specifically:

As I hope I’ve made clear, curing our fiscal ills must begin with our tax code. If it were entirely my [More]

Phil Gingrey goes after ‘the moderates’

  • 4:06 pm Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

In his latest television ad, a tougher U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey of Marietta  positions himself to the right of David Perdue, Jack Kingston and Karen Handel in the Senate race.

Notice the revival of a charge against Handel that was originally leveled in the 2010 race for governor — that, as chairman of the Fulton County Commission, she approved funding for an organization aimed at gay youth.

Jan Brewer to rally for Karen Handel — but what about those vetoes?

  • 4:48 pm Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The U.S. Senate campaign of Karen Handel put out word this afternoon that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer will be the featured speaker at a Monday rally in Canton.

Which means April will have been bookended with the in-person endorsements of Handel by two high-profile Republican women. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin showed up for Handel in a Union City affair early this month.

But Brewer’s appearance could raise a pair of unintended questions for the Handel campaign. There is, of course, the topic of guns. From the Associated Press this week:

PHOENIX – To the surprise of the bill’s sponsor, Gov. Jan Brewer [More]

Fallout from the new gun law — and remembering Zell Miller’s advice

  • 9:58 am Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The race for Gov. Nathan Deal’s job may not pivot Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, who seeks to outflank Deal on the right, made exactly that argument before the ink was even dry. Said Pennington:

“I don’t believe that giving up our freedoms makes us any safer. The crime rates in this country have proven that. As a leader, I will not rest until we are the freest nation on earth again. While Nathan touts this one bill, he purposely forgets to mention the failure of campus carry and other bills that protect our Second Amendment rights.”

State Superintendent John Barge, another GOP rival, [More]