Political Insider blog 

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

A hair-pin turn in U.S. Senate race puts the focus on Michelle Nunn

  • 10:24 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia’s first – and perhaps last – nine-week primary runoff concludes today. A hair-pin turn in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is already underway.

Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue have thrown millions of dollars’ worth of insults at each other. Kingston has accused Perdue of consorting with the French. Perdue, on slightly firmer ground, has accused Kingston of being a member of Congress.

In Washington, The Hill newspaper has found someone willing to offer a highly technical assessment of the situation:

They’ve been beating the crap out of each other,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake, who [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]

What that VA whistleblower from Atlanta will say

  • 9:59 am Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

A local whistleblower from the Veterans Affairs administration will testify this evening at a congressional hearing in Atlanta.

Scott Davis, an employee at the VA Health Eligibility Center, will speak about wrongdoing within the agency and an alleged pattern of retaliation against those who speak out. Davis drew the attention of the committee following How do we know what Davis will say? BecauseWith all the talk about growing numbers of minority voters in metro Atlanta, the Asian community is flexing its muscles.

The Asian American Legal Advocacy will launch a “10,000 Korean Votes” campaign that targets Gwinnett County. The numerics of the goal [More]

David Perdue on his ‘outsider’ status — and licking envelopes

  • 5:40 pm Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The month of May was good to David Perdue. He was the cool but non-threatening rebel, a Fonzie who predicted happy days if only Republicans would elect an outsider to the U.S. Senate.

He was the top vote-getter in a seven-candidate field.

But a funny thing has happened on the nine-week road to a July runoff. GOP rival Jack Kingston and his allies have given Perdue – he of the turned-up, denim-jacketed collar – an involuntary makeover.

They have turned The Outsider into The Renegade. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent to portray the former Dollar General CEO as the dangerous [More]

In face of challenge, Barry Loudermilk releases his military resume

  • 9:07 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Late yesterday, two supporters of Bob Barr in the 11th District GOP runoff announced they would hold a 10 a.m. press conference today to call attention to what they say is rival Barry Loudermilk’s “consistent pattern of embellishment of his military service.”

Larry Mrozinski is a former 11th District candidate who has endorsed Barr, and a retired U.S. Army colonel. Also at the presser will be Bill Stanley, a Vietnam War helicopter pilot who recently penned a letter-to-the-editor,Loudermilk served in the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 1992, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, the candidate has told us. While [More]

The Georgia threads in Eric Cantor’s defeat

  • 9:40 am Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The unexpected shellacking of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., by tea party forces has plenty of Georgia tendrils. We’ll begin with thisCandidates to move up could include Mr. Price, Representative Jeb Hensarling of Texas, or brash newcomers like Representative Tom Graves of Georgia, Mr. Wasserman said. The message is that the House must be run by even more conservative leaders.

From that same NYT article:

David Wasserman, a House political analyst at the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said another, more local factor has to be acknowledged: Mr. Cantor, who dreamed of becoming the first Jewish speaker of the House, was culturally [More]

Michelle Nunn steps carefully into a national CO2 debate

  • 10:02 am Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new proposal to slash carbon emissions was big news across the country on Monday. As Matt Kempner Georgia’s Democrats were mostly silent. Not one of the state’s five U.S. House Democrats wanted to weigh in when contacted Monday.

Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn, then, had to carry the banner with a very careful statement that included a big hug for Georgia Power. Nunn neither blasted the EPA as her Kentucky counterpart Alison Lundergan Grimes did, nor give it the Harry Reid seal of approval. Here is Nunn’s statement in full:

“I am reviewing the new guidelines [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]

A race that could turn on the Atlanta Braves’ move to Cobb County

  • 9:54 am Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 At least one of Cobb County’s GOP primary contests could turn on the deal that lured professional baseball out of Atlanta – and it doesn’t involve any of the county commissioners who voted for the Braves incentive package.

State Rep. Charles Gregory of Kennesaw, a libertarian-minded Republican who has figured big in recent gun legislation, is facing a tough challenge from business-backed Bert Reeves, a Marietta attorney.

In the days after the Cobb County Commission sprung its news about the Atlanta Braves, Gregory was critical of the use of public funds. He repeated himself at a recent forum.This flyer has begun arriving [More]

Speaking ill of the dead in Ellijay, and other topics

  • 10:25 am Wednesday, May 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

Things are being said up in north Georgia that can’t be unsaid.

On Sunday, a group of GOP insurgents gathered at Oscar Poole’s barbecue emporium in Ellijay and fired themselves up with some standard and non-so-standard rhetoric.

David Pennington, who is challenging incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal, was there. So was Sam Snider, the local wrestling coach who is trying to pin House Speaker David Ralston. And real estate executive Ray Boyd, who is lending his name and money to both. So, too, was Debbie Dooley of Atlanta Tea Party Patriots.

An audio recording of the entire event made its way to us – [More]