Political Insider blog 

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

The Georgia Chamber draws a line in the sand on ‘religious liberty’ bills

  • 5:31 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last week, in the far-away Vatican, a gathering of Catholic bishops very nearly declared a truce in the war against gay marriage. At the last minute, they balked.

Though it was far less conspicuous, we had our own synod in Georgia last week, which took up the same topic. The participants weren’t bishops, but vicars of the Georgia Chamber — this state’s high church of free enterprise. They did not balk.

The Chamber took a first step that will put the very powerful organization in opposition to “religious liberty” bills certain to be re-introduced when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Unfairly or [More]

Archbishop Gregory: Catholic attitude toward gays needs ‘reexamination and development’

  • 4:40 pm Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The latest weekly edition of the Georgia Bulletin, the official newspaper of the archdiocese of Atlanta, has just been posted online. In his featured column, Archbishop Wilton Gregory tells of a recent meeting he had with a group of parishioners who are parents of gay and lesbian children.

We note this because because the archbishop’s thoughts are likely to have a significant impact on the tone and substance of the current debate over gay marriage in Georgia’s political circles. Including the debate over “religious liberty” bills that will occur in the state Capitol come January.

Updated on Oct. 20: We had originally [More]

David Perdue leads Michelle Nunn in NYT/CBS/YouGov.com poll

  • 9:57 am Monday, September 8th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

A new NYT/CBS/YouGov.com poll of battleground states shows Republican David Perdue The national survey, which covers 35 other states, indicates that Republicans are still headed toward complete control of Congress next year.

In Georgia, just who will show up to vote lies at the crux of the survey. Methodologically, pollsters apparently to hew to a more conservative path in this, a second wave polling. From Nate Cohn at the NYT’s Upshot:

The new results also reflect an adjustment, or screen, to capture likely voters. The result is an electorate that is older and whiter, and more Republican, than the overall [More]

Meet Andrew Hunt, Libertarian — and another candidate with a famous lineage

  • 6:17 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The time has come for you to meet Andrew Hunt, nanotechnologist and Libertarian, who has a decent chance of throwing Georgia’s race for governor into extra innings.

The first thing to know about him may be the least important, but given this year’s emphasis on family lineage, what with a presidential grandson and senatorial daughter in the mix — well, it fits a trend.

He doesn’t volunteer the information, but when asked directly, Andrew Hunt, 53, will tell you he is the grandson of Texas oilman H.L. Hunt, once one of the richest men in the world, and a famous financial backer [More]

LGBT group targets Michelle Nunn on gay marriage

  • 9:57 am Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

The same LGBT group that pressured Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to “evolve” on gay marriage has now set its sights on Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate.

The group has Please help us tell Ms. Nunn that “states’ rights” is no more acceptable for LGBT equality than it was for racial equality.

If Michelle Nunn wants the support of the LGBT Community, she should join the other members of her party — around the nation and here in Georgia — and proudly stand in support of full LGBT Equality.

Charlie Stadtlander, who let us know about the reorientation, said Nunn’s other [More]

Nathan Deal’s off-line executive orders get some attention

  • 10:16 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Last year’s inexplicable decision by Gov. Nathan Deal The Sunlight Foundation reports that Georgia is the only state in the nation that doesn’t put its executive orders online for the public to view. In initial reports on that leaked Michelle Nunn campaign memo, the National Review reported that $33,000 passed through Points of Light Foundation to Islamic Relief USA — a number we picked up and used as well. The magazine has corrected that figure to $13,500, because of a misreading of one of Points of Light’s IRS forms.

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The Super PAC called Ending Spending Action Fund continues to [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]

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]