Political Insider blog 

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

The effort to unseat House Speaker David Ralston

  • 9:54 am Thursday, April 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We’re picking up word that some cash is flowing through north Georgia in an attempt to foment revolution and the overthrow of House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge.

Consider the following paragraphs, penned by Debbie Dooley and Julianne Thompson of Atlanta Tea Patriots:

“Speaker Ralston killed the autism bill, the bill that would ban Common Core in Georgia, the religious freedom bill, the foster care bill, gutted the gun bill, gutted H.B. 707 that would help nullify Obamacare in Georgia. He also added $17 million in the budget to build a new parking deck for the new Falcons stadium….”

The missive is contained [More]

Michelle Nunn endorses Keystone pipeline construction

  • 10:14 am Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

 Michelle Nunn told volunteers for her U.S. Senate campaign gathered in Marietta on Monday that she would support completion of the fourth phase of the Keystone XL pipeline in the name of economic development and national security.

“I have a lot of friends who have different perspectives on Keystone,” Nunn said. “We need to continue to focus on green energy and finding sustainable sources of energy, but I do believe we should move forward with Keystone.”

The candidate also said she wanted to see a third, cheaper tier of health insurance coverage offered through the Affordable Care Act. “Obviously, there are trade-offs [More]

A campaign fundraising conundrum for Gov. Nathan Deal

  • 5:10 pm Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter found himself in hot water last week over scrutiny of a fundraiser his gubernatorial campaign helped arrange before the legislative session’s end. This week, Gov. Nathan Deal is facing questions about donations he appeared to receive during past sessions.

Campaign finance records show more than two dozen instances since 2011 where campaign contributions to Deal were logged after the session’s start. Some were just a minute after midnight on the day of the legislative session’s opening, others were noted days or weeks after lawmakers had convened.

Since campaign finance law bars statewide office-holders and state lawmakers from accepting [More]

Stewing over Obamacare in the final days of the 2014 session

  • 9:00 am Saturday, March 15th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The next four days at the state Capitol will determine how we talk about the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, for the rest of the year in Georgia.

The only question is whether, on the cusp of a highly competitive election season, our GOP-controlled Legislature will let Democrats like Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter continue to simmer in voter suspicion of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

What’s the alternative? Republican lawmakers could decide to throw themselves into the same stew pot. In fact, they’re poised to do just that.

Democratic vulnerability as a result of the Affordable Care Act’s rocky start was [More]

David Pennington: A ‘true patriot’ would back religious liberty bills

  • 8:30 am Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Most Republicans in Georgia have shied away from

Pennington, who stepped down from the Dalton post last week to run a full-time campaign, said if Deal were a “true patriot” he would have supported the legislation. Deal and other Republicans ducked away from the bills after overwhelming opposition from the state’s corporate titans and other critics who feared it would allow private business owners to discriminate against gays by citing religious beliefs.

Said Pennington:

“Instead of standing for principle, he sided with big business. Protecting religious liberty is and will continue to be a priority of mine. As Governor, I will [More]

Another legacy Democrat joins party’s 2014 hunt

  • 11:25 am Friday, March 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Add another famous Democratic surname to the mix in November’s election.

Chris Irvin, the grandson of former Agricultural Commissioner Tommy Irvin, qualified Friday to seek his grandpa’s old seat. The elder Irvin was somewhat of a Democratic legend in Georgia, serving as the state’s top ag official for more than four decades until he decided not to run again in 2010.

Irvin becomes the third descendant of a famous Democrat to seek their forefathers’ posts.

Jason Carter formally qualified this week to run against Gov. Nathan Deal, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, who was governor [More]

Jack Kingston: April is new forecast for Port of Savannah funding

  • 9:19 am Friday, March 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The end of April is the newest forecast for the water resources bill that will finally allow Port of Savannah deepening, with a White House certificate of approval.

Savannah GOP Rep. Jack Kingston said he met with House Transportation Chairman Bill Shuster, R-Pa., who has been trying to hammer out a compromise Water Resources and Development bill with Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and was assured a House-Senate conference report will get through by the end of next month.

The congressional delegation thought they had solved the authorization problem with language in a January spending bill, but the administration disagreed and now all [More]

Democrats find their second candidate for school superintendent

  • 9:55 am Monday, March 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Updated at 5:15 p.m.: At the state Capitol, Georgia Democratic chair DuBose Porter said Monday the party is rounding out its ticket.

Former state Rep. Keith Heard of Athens has jumped into the race for insurance commissioner – joining Liz Johnson of Statesboro as the second Democrat in that race. Former state Rep. Robin Shipp will run for labor commissioner.

But the most calculated initiative by Democrats won’t show up until tomorrow. That would be Valarie Wilson, former president of the Georgia School Boards Association and former Decatur city school board member.

She would be the second candidate on the Democratic side of [More]

Atlanta interested in hosting 2016 Democratic convention

  • 10:18 am Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Atlanta is in the running to host the Democratic National Convention in 2016, but so far it’s a big field.

Michael Thurmond passes on race for state school superintendent

  • 12:47 pm Monday, February 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Michael Thurmond, the Dekalb County school superintendent credited with calming a volatile educational system, on Monday said he intends to pass on the chance to run as a Democratic candidate for state school superintendent.

Thurmond cited the fragility of his school system’s progress, a burgeoning, racially divisive fight over school board redistricting that needs to be headed off, and the declining influence of the statewide post.

Said Thurmond in a telephone interview:

“I’m not going to run, and let me tell you why. Real change and progress, if it is to exist in public education, will have to come at the local level.

“No [More]