Political Insider blog 

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

U.S. Supreme Court turns away appeal from wedding photographer

  • 11:19 am Monday, April 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Earlier this morning, we quoted a Southern Baptist leader advising that, because of changing social mores, pushes for state constitutional bans on gay marriage were now  “politically ridiculous” – and that new emphasis should be placed on “religious liberty” statutes.

Here’s fuel for the debate, courtesy of the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court has turned down an appeal from a commercial photography business in New Mexico that objects to taking pictures of same-sex wedding ceremonies.

The justices on Monday left in place a state Supreme Court ruling that said Elane Photography violated a state anti-discrimination law when it refused to [More]

Another poll puts David Perdue at head of GOP pack for U.S. Senate

  • 9:36 am Thursday, March 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Yet another poll has placed former Dollar General CEO David Perdue at the head of a GOP pack of U.S. Senate candidates, underlining the value of ready money in a cash-strapped campaign.

The poll was commissioned by – Perdue, 21 percent;

– U.S. Reps. Jack Kingston and Paul Broun, 15 percent;

– U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, who once led the field in a Landmark/Rosetta poll, drops to 12.5 percent;

– and former secretary of state Karen Handel at 10 percent.

From the press release:

“It’s clear that Perdue’s strategic decision to invest in an early television media buy is paying off,” said Mark Rountree, President of [More]

World Vision to recognize gay marriage of employees

  • 10:19 am Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

In the religious-political world, most eyes will be focused today on U.S. Supreme Court arguments in  a renewed battle over President Barack Obama’s health care law that pits the religious rights of employers against World Vision’s American branch will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman.

Abstinence outside of marriage remains a rule. But a policy change announced Monday [March 24] will now permit gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages to be employed at one of America’s largest Christian charities…

[World Vision U.S. president Richard] Stearns asserts that [More]

Obama nominates Leslie Abrams — Stacey’s sister — for federal judgeship

  • 5:05 pm Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON –  President Barack Obama today nominated Leslie Joyce Abrams, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Atlanta and the sister of House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, for a federal District Court judge post in Middle Georgia.

Abrams arrives at a tricky political time for Georgia judicial nominees, as a package of six nominees is being challenged from the left by Georgia Democrats, civil rights leaders and liberal groups. Her nomination was not pre-negotiated with Republican U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, who would need to give the go-ahead for her to be considered in committee under the “blue [More]

Talk of a religous conservative boycott of Delta, Home Depot and Coke

  • 9:05 pm Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A first sign that the fight over “religious freedom” bills may not be over in Georgia, from the Twitter account of

Arizona – and Georgia – as proof that Big Business is wading deeper into social issues

  • 9:09 am Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

This morning, Politico has an inside look at

In blue states like New York, big companies have played a pivotal role in pushing same-sex marriage measures into law. In battlegrounds like Virginia and now Arizona, corporate America has slowed or halted hard-right social policy from taking effect.

What Arizona proved, as much as any other in recent American politics, is that there’s currently no more powerful constituency for gay rights than the Fortune 500 list.

The Associated Press tackled the same topic. A few paragraphs:

Companies have long spoken out about certain issues they felt threatened their bottom lines, such as taxation and [More]

Sam Olens: Non-defense of same-sex marriage bans is ‘lawless’

  • 3:29 pm Thursday, February 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Gov. Nathan Deal was supposed to be at today’s gathering of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, with leader Ralph Reed in attendance, but he called in sick.

A spokesman said Deal is in the Governor’s Mansion resting, and has cancelled events for the rest of the day.

But the show went on – and we caught Sam Olens. The state attorney general told the audience that he was part of the audience in Washington this week when U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder that Olens and his peers were not obligated to defend local laws if they believed the laws violated the U.S. [More]

Jack Kingston hits the airwaves — but stays away from the ‘C’ word

  • 9:59 am Thursday, February 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

We are about to find out what difference a million dollars or so can make in the Republican race for U.S. Senate.

Jack Kingston’s first television advertising salvo, launched today, is a soft biographical ad that features old photos, talk of his family and work experience – but leaves out his two decades in Congress.

As Paul Broun feared, the Kingston ad rides on the top conservative ranking awarded him by the National Journal – and derided by Broun as Boehner-ific.

But even there, the fearful “C” word – Congress – is never used.

The Kingston campaign – which already reserved nearly $1.3 [More]

Ten years later, a culture war’s lines of battle are blurring

  • 6:06 pm Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

It was a day to marvel at how the world of politics can change in a mere 10 years.

In 2004, a Republican-controlled Legislature, eager to boost November turnout, won the two-thirds approval necessary to place a constitutional ban on gay marriage before general election voters.

On Wednesday, two bills with “religious freedom” in their titles – measures that required only a simple majority – cratered in the face of critics who said the legislation would permit businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

One of the bills is dead, and the other was tabled — and is likely dead. Give some credit [More]

Delta comes out against Georgia ‘religious freedom’ bills

  • 8:35 am Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Delta Air Lines has become the first major business in the state to announce its opposition to two bills under consideration in the state Capitol that critics say would allow individuals to refuse service to gays and lesbians on the basis of religious convictions.

A similar measure was recently passed by the Arizona legislature, but has not yet been signed by that state’s governor, Jan Brewer.

From the airline’s website:

“As a global values-based company, Delta Air Lines is proud of the diversity of its customers and employees, and is deeply concerned about proposed measures in several states, including Georgia and Arizona, [More]