Political Insider blog 

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

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]

Nathan Deal: Talk of gas tax hike is ‘premature’

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

State lawmakers are wrestling with ways to Y0u can assume it won’t be a tax hike. So what other methods could they be examining?

One possibility could involve directing the fourth penny of that fuel tax, about $180 million that’s now diverted to the general fund, toward transportation projects. Another could give local governments more power to raise sales taxes for transportation.

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Former state lawmaker Edward Lindsey of Atlanta, a member of that transportation task force in search of dollars, has an argument posted on GeorgiaPundit.com with a biblical beginning:

Two thousand years ago there was a thriving commercial center and port [More]

Butch Miller to run for state Senate majority leader

  • 4:05 pm Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We have it on excellent authority that state Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, a two-term ally of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, is in the running to become the next state Senate majority leader.

The position is an open one, given the departure of Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone, who chose not to run for re-election this year.

We’re told that Miller will be releasing the identities of his top supporters in the chamber within a matter of days, which should tell us whether he should be considered the immediate frontrunner for the post.

Word came to us only a few hours after we posted news [More]

Nathan Deal on Israel, Jimmy Carter and ‘anti-Semitism’

  • 9:43 am Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

You don’t often see foreign policy become fodder in a race for governor.

But as the weekend began, Nathan Deal named Israel as an issue in his re-election bid for governor, and came very, very close to labeling his Democratic rival’s grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, as an anti-Semite.

The vehicle was a Washington Times op-ed piece, penned by both Deal and John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, that held up Georgia as a beacon for U.S.-Israeli relations.

The article begins by condemning the effort among some – which preceded the current hositilities in Gaza — to subject [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]

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]

Blowback for Tom Graves over role in House leadership election

  • 9:11 am Friday, June 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

On Thursday, Republicans in the U.S. House elected Kevin McCarthy of California, a business-friendly ally of Speaker John Boehner, to replace the tea party-slain Eric Cantor of Virginia.

The result surprised no one. But what caught many off guard was the man who nominated McCarthy at the closed-door meeting: Tom Graves of Ranger.

“I submit to you today that we cannot make good on the hope of America as a broken party. We cannot lead the way if we do not trust each other. As of late, there has been a lot of talk about holding our leadership accountable, as if [More]

When it comes to college tuition hikes, Georgia gets silver

  • 9:55 am Thursday, June 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Looks like Georgia’s unofficial state motto, “Deo gratias, quia Mississippi,” needs updating. Only in New Mexico, where net tuition and fees rose a remarkable 188 percent, did state officials shift the cost of college from government to students more than legislators in Georgia. Here, net tuition revenue per student went up by 93 percent as legislators cut education appropriations and reduced the value of the HOPE Scholarship many students depend on for college expenses…

Even though Georgia students pay a lot more in tuition now than five years ago, the average tuition paid by a full-time Georgia student, $4,484, is still [More]

Brian Kemp tries to tamp down envy for Mississippi’s three-week runoff

  • 10:07 am Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Recognizing some state Capitol unhappiness with this year’s new election calendar, which cut short the annual legislative session and rewarded Republicans candidates for U.S. Senate and others with an expensive, nine-week runoff, Secretary of State Brian Kemp may be trying to head off some rash fixes.

In a letter dispatched last Friday to the governor, lieutenant governor, and leaders of the House and Senate, Kemp said he was aware that “many potential solutions” are being discussed by state lawmakers and others.

Some, Kemp said, have pointed to Mississippi, where U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran will face GOP challenger Chris McDaniel in a runoff [More]

A quiet beginning to the campaign for a cap on state income tax rate

  • 5:06 pm Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Come the November general election, voters will be asked to answer this question:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to prohibit the General Assembly from increasing the maximum state income tax rate?”

The campaign for this proposed constitutional amendment quietly began today, with a press release from the bill’s sponsor, Senate President pro tem David Shafer, listing 17 Georgia economists who have endorsed the measure. They include:

– Paul H. Rubin, Samuel Candler Dobbs professor of economics. Emory University;

– Jeffrey H. Dorfman, professor of agricultural and applied economics, University of Georgia;

– Donald Ratajczak, Regents professor emeritus of economics, Georgia State University;

– W. [More]