Political Insider blog 

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

Drones are coming to Georgia. And they’ve got lawyers.

  • 10:49 am Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

If you want to know where the future is headed, watch where the legal community goes.

The legal/governmental affairs firm of McKenna, Long & Aldridge, perhaps the most politically active entity of its kind in Atlanta – working both sides of the aisle, has a new Washington unit: An unmanned Aircraft Systems division.

The firm is now advertising a Sept. 23 seminar in Georgia that will include a look at what might be popping up legislatively during the 2015 session of the General Assembly.

Among the speakers: state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black (think crop dusting) ; Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, chairman of the state [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]

Georgia elections rap Volume 2: The runoff rhyme

  • 6:30 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Our own Daniel Malloy explains today’s runoffs as only he can, with all due credit to the Wu-Tang Clan.

(Here’s his first effort from May.)

Jack Kingston’s Marietta show of force; David Perdue tries to rally religious conservatives

  • 10:13 am Saturday, July 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Insider note: We will be updating this post throughout the weekend with color from the campaign trail as David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston make their final pitches to voters for Tuesday’s Republican Senate runoff. And for more information on the candidates, click to read our profiles of Perdue, the feisty outsider, and Kingston, the unapologetic Washington veteran.

The show of force for Team Kingston at Marietta Square on Sunday afternoon left the stage practically groaning by the end.

Kingston first called up his wife, mother and four children. Then he brought back Karen Handel and Phil Gingrey [More]

Liberal group Better Georgia slapped with ethics complaint

  • 2:37 pm Monday, July 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Better Georgia, the left-of-center start-up group, faces an ethics complaint claiming the organization improperly engaged in direct campaign activity that needles — as it often does — Gov. Nathan Deal.

James Burnham of St. Marys said in a complaint filed this month that an email he received from the group in May —  slamming Deal — amounted to political conduct that doesn’t comport with its tax status.

He said Better Georgia, designated as a nonprofit social welfare organization, should instead be an independent expenditure committee which would be subject to state and federal disclosure requirements.

You can find a full copy [More]

Into the weeds: Exploring the edges of Georgia’s new gun law

  • 5:28 pm Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We are 72 hours into Georgia’s new concealed-carry law, and questions that were once theoretical are sprouting like weeds.

All of us have a steep learning curve in front of us, including the firearms enthusiast in Valdosta who wasn’t sure that the fellow in front of him at the local convenience store was, in fact, a good guy with a holstered gun.

The enthusiast drew his own weapon and demanded the other’s carry permit. And was then arrested for disorderly conduct. Under Georgia’s new gun statute, you see, no one can require the display of another’s carry license without cause. Not [More]

On new gun law’s first day, a draw-down in Valdosta

  • 8:59 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Valdosta Daily Times reports today that, on the first day of Georgia’s new law expanding the right to carry, we had a pair of gun-toting firearm enthusiasts – one of whom wasn’t sure that the fellow in front of him was a good guy with a gun:

At approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call regarding a customer dispute at the Enmark on the corner of Park Avenue and North Lee Street.

A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to [More]

Georgia schools aren’t racing to arm teachers, principals

  • 12:56 pm Friday, June 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Georgia’s new gun law goes into effect on Tuesday. Kathleen Foody of the Associated Press says school systems aren’t racing to arm teachers and principals:

Georgia school leaders are turning down a new option to arm teachers, arguing that it doesn’t make kids any safer and creates more problems than state lawmakers intended to solve.

A string of attacks at schools and colleges in California, Oregon and Washington state hasn’t swayed education officials who say bluntly that they don’t believe guns belong in schools.

“We could give (teachers) all the training in the world as to how to a shoot a gun, but [More]

Nathan Deal reinforces call for cultural change at DFACS

  • 2:46 pm Friday, June 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal and his wife Sandra addressed employees of the newly-overhauled state Division of Family and Children Services this morning, and our colleague Craig Schneider noted that the governor took a personal tone during his 10-minute address to staffers.

Deal told the workers he hoped the switch he announced yesterday would end up making their lives easier and let them know they are supported in their decisions, reinforcing the broader cultural change he’s pushing in the department.

“We want you to have one thing as your primary focus and that is the welfare of children – their safety, [More]

Judge Boggs on hold as Senate moves on other Georgians

  • 12:00 pm Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider six Georgia judicial nominees tomorrow — leaving the highly controversial seventh, Michael Boggs, for another day.

This just in from Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-Vt.:

“This week, the Judiciary Committee will begin consideration of a number of important judicial nominations. After consulting with Ranking Member Grassley, I will be adding six additional judicial nominees from Georgia to this week’s agenda.

“I have always consulted with home state senators regarding nominations in their states, and Senator Chambliss and Senator Isakson asked that I move forward with the Georgia nominees who were ready for a Committee [More]