Political Insider blog 

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

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]

Macon becomes latest city to consider Sunday voting

  • 10:05 am Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The Sunday voting trend is spreading. And quickly.

Just a few weeks after DeKalb County became the first to allow Sunday voting, local election officials in the Democratic strongholds of  Clayton and Fulton counties followed suit.

Lawmakers in Macon are considering a similar move this morning. From the Telegraph of Macon’s story:

Commissioner Elaine Lucas, vice chair of the finance committee, said she had planned to add the item to the committee’s agenda herself, but the Board of Elections proposed the new voting day.

“Bibb County has had a bad percentage of turnout in recent elections, and I am glad to [More]

Let the debate begin: To spare the rod, or not?

  • 11:56 am Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

On her Facebook page, attorney and state Rep. Dar’shun Kendrick, D-Lithonia, has opened up a debate

Click here for background on the issue.

Fulton, Lowndes counties follow DeKalb’s lead and schedule Sunday voting

  • 10:40 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway


Two counties, Fulton in the north and Lowndes in the south, have joined DeKalb County and scheduled Sundays as early voting dates for next month.

Fulton County, in fact, will have two: Send us word if you live in any of the other 156 counties and know of any move afoot to do the same. As we reported on Wednesday, the Christian Sabbath experiment is likely to be the first and could be the last. Said Gov. Nathan Deal:

“It’s certainly the departure from the norm. And it apparently has a partisan purpose behind – at least they admit it has [More]

Rick Allen tries to distance himself from stimulus bill

  • 9:00 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

The 2009 stimulus bill is a big deal in Rep. John Barrow’s re-election race, in part because the Augusta Democrat has not voted for many other big-ticket Democratic items in the Obama era. It has been the subject of a simian-themed National Republican Congressional Committee ad, and Republican Rick Allen has hammered it on the stump.

At the same time, Allen must distance himself from the stimulus, which was backed by the Associated General Contractors of America — seeing as the bill provided an infusion of cash for “shovel-ready” construction projects. So you have the video above (please excuse the vertical [More]

Democrats to press for stronger whistleblower protections next year

  • 6:00 am Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s talk of changing Georgia’s whistleblower law has led state Democrats to come up with a sweeping counterproposal.

The Senate Democratic Caucus met in Newnan Thursday to approve its 2015 legislative agenda, and sent us word that a key part of the package is a proposal that would give public employees broader leeway to file whistleblower complaints.

The governor in May suggested he wanted to more narrowly define who can file those types of complaints. He said he was concerned about a state Supreme Court ruling that automatically granted whistleblower status to government employees charged with investigating state agencies and [More]

Georgia GOP settles on newcomer to fill state lawmaker’s spot

  • 10:18 am Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The executive committee of the state GOP on Tuesday settled on a political newcomer, David Clark, the brother of state Rep. Josh Clark, R-Buford, to replace the late Michael Brown as a Gwinnett County candidate for House District 98.

The substitution must be reported to Secretary of State Brian Kemp by 4 p.m. today to make the November ballot.

Brown died last week, after winning the May 20 primary – and the seat. There is no Democratic candidate, so the nomination is tantamount to election.

The seven-day process resulted in a fierce tug-of-war over the seat, with tea partyers on one end of [More]

Watchdog group demands investigation of Nathan Deal’s top aides

  • 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A watchdog group demanded an internal investigation of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aides, claiming that a recently revealed memo drafted by the ethics chief was proof that she was coerced into creating a “politically favorable outcome” for the governor.

Sabrina Smith of Georgia Watchdogs filed the complaint with the Office of the Inspector General claiming that executive counsel Ryan Teague and chief-of-staff Chris Riley, who has now joined the campaign, violated state law prohibiting government employees from coercing co-workers for political gain. You can find your copy here.

The complaint centers on the bombshell memo revealed in July written by ethics chief Holly LaBerge. She [More]

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]

The local push to hold the Democratic National Convention next door

  • 8:51 am Friday, August 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

Now that Republicans have picked Here’s what he told WABE:

“It is a dangerous policy and if people are subscribing to a cap and trade policy that President Carter is advocating than they should think very hard about having a governor who supports that,” said Deal.

He added no one should be referred to as nutcases.

“If he wants to use that classification than I guess I fit,” said Deal.

When asked to clarify, Deal said he believes in global warming but doesn’t know whether or not it’s man-made.

“It is an argument and a debate that will continue in this country and I [More]