Political Insider blog 

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

Republicans opt for cash, Democrats choose outrage in final stretch

  • 10:44 am Monday, October 13th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

With the clock down to 22 days and early voting underway, both sides are showing their final hands in Georgia’s two biggest races.

Republicans are displaying a large cash advantage in an effort to avoid expensive runoffs. The Super PAC called Ending Spending and the The NRSC, which committed $1.45 million late Friday, was hoping to throw its money elsewhere, at least as of mid-September when its first Georgia buy was coming to a close. Here’s the committee’s finance chair, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, as

The gist of the issue: The HOPE scholarship, as originally launched by Gov. Zell Miller in [More]

Hillary Clinton to campaign for Michelle Nunn

  • 10:52 am Friday, October 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Politico’s Maggie Haberman has the scoop on presidential candidate-in-waiting Hillary Clinton’s fall campaign schedule, which includes a trip to Georgia on behalf of Democrat Michelle Nunn.

In recent weeks, Nunn has brought in former President Bill Clinton for a fundraiser and First Lady Michelle Obama for a rally and fundraiser. There are no details yet on when Hillary Clinton is coming to town.

Per Politico, Clinton will also support Democratic candidates in the key presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, California and New York. Some more background on the calculations:

A [More]

Former DPG chair Mike Berlon charged with defrauding clients of $1.8 million

  • 6:34 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Very bad timing for Georgia Democrats. Michael Berlon abandoned leadership of the state Democratic Party last year, replaced by former state lawmaker DuBose Porter. From the press release:

ATLANTA – Former attorney Michael Rene Berlon has been arraigned on federal charges of mail and wire fraud.

“This defendant is charged with defrauding his own clients out of over $1.8 million,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “They came to him for legal help, and instead he drained their bank accounts.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Individuals relying on the professionalism and trust of individuals like [More]

In historic first, DeKalb to reserve a Sunday for voting in October

  • 9:00 am Saturday, September 6th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Next month, for the first time in state history, some Georgia voters will be able to cast their ballots on a Sunday.

In an effort to boost turnout, DeKalb County — the state’s richest source of Democratic votes — is about to name Oct. 26 as an extra day to vote, as well as a day of rest.

Look for other counties to follow.

Throughout this summer, we’ve pondered over how Democrats might boost their numbers to push their legacy candidates, Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter, over the finish line. They’re finally showing their hand.

Lee May, DeKalb County’s interim CEO, will announce the [More]

Living in Spin City: The rapid aftermath of a judge’s denunciation and $20k in fines

  • 10:20 am Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Oh, the spinning that took place within minutes of a Fulton County judge’s decision to fine the top aide of the state ethics commission and the attorney general’s office – An over-excited law firm representing LaBerge put out its press release, teletype fashion, in all caps, blaming state lawyers. In part:



DNC official: Ferguson could boost get-out-the-vote push

  • 5:09 pm Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos passes along the following dispatch:

The racial unrest caused by tensions over the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., could be a rallying cry for Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts, according to the voter education committee chair for the Democratic Southern caucus.

“There is a story beneath the story in Ferguson,” chairwoman Janet May said at the Southern Caucus meeting during the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta on Friday.

May ran through the stats of the 21,000-person Missouri town: 13,000 black citizens, about 7,000 white. Five city council members– one of whom was black. Fifty-three policemen – [More]

DNC, unions discuss Georgia ground game plans

  • 3:59 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

The Democratic National Committee is having its summer meetings this week in Atlanta, in part to show its intention to commit resources to making Georgia competitive.

DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida, told reporters at a news conference today that the party has hired a “Voter Expansion Coordinator” in Georgia as part of its efforts to register and turn out the hundreds of thousands of new voters Democrats need to make this election — and future ones — close.

Here’s Wasserman Schultz:

“There is a reason that we are in Georgia. A year ago, in Arizona, I promised that Democrats were [More]

Jason Carter on the ‘giant amount of waste’ to be cut in state government

  • 3:22 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

State Sen. Jason Carter said tax increases to boost education funding would be off the table should he win November’s gubernatorial election. Where that money would come from has been a question that’s dogged his campaign to oust Gov. Nathan Deal.

The Democrat elaborated on those funding plans Thursday by calling for a review of government to expose what he expects to be a “giant amount of waste” in state spending.

“You see it throughout the government. Everyone knows that it’s there,” said Carter, an Atlanta state senator, after a tour of a DeKalb high school. “We have not done a true top-to-bottom review [More]

DuBose Porter on whistles, Israel and an upcoming DNC gathering in Atlanta

  • 10:06 am Monday, August 11th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

DuBose Porter, chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia. AJC file

 The most prominent and, without a doubt, annoying gadget at the state Democratic convention in Dublin this weekend was a cheap, plastic whistle, meant to symbolize lawsuits brought or threatened by four dismissed employees of the state ethics commission.

The shrieks, blown at nearly every mention of a Republican – especially Gov. Nathan Deal — assaulted every eardrum in the DuBose Porter Center of the Oconee Fall Line Technical College, an auditorium named after the state lawmaker who is now chairman of the Democratic Party of Georgia.

During the proceedings, we chatted with [More]

Jason Carter’s wife steps up for Elena Parent

  • 12:20 pm Monday, May 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The raucous Democratic race for state Senate District 42, a seat now held by the exiting Jason Carter, has been filled with unsubtle accusations traded by former state Rep. Elena Parent and Decatur attorney Kyle Williams.

This robo-call is the exception – click to listen.

Here’s the opening:

“I’m Kate Carter. I’m a Candler Park resident and a public school teacher, and I’m voting for Democrat Elena Parent for state Senate. Elena Parent fought Republican cuts to education funding and she fought to protect HOPE….”

Kate Carter never mentions that she’s the wife of Jason Carter, who has publicly picked no horse [More]