Political Insider blog 

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

Brian Kemp: Guns and run-off ballots won’t mix

  • 10:15 am Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

 Over the weekend, the New York Times had a piece on the dispute in Alabama, where the state’s sheriffs association had urged the state’s 67 counties to ban the open carry of weapons at polling places, fearing that such a display would discourage some voters.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange has – with some exceptions – knocked that idea down. Rep. John Lewis is out next year with the second installment of a graphic novel telling his remarkable life story. The Washington Post got an early look at the cover of “March: Book 2″ by Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate [More]

Local angst over Georgia’s new concealed-carry law bubbles up

  • 10:34 am Thursday, June 5th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 A city hall is a city hall is a city hall. Unless it’s also a courthouse, in which case it becomes exempt from HB 60, Georgia’s new concealed-carry law — which goes into effect on July 1. …The name change is significant. Under the new law, guns are prohibited in courthouses with security checkpoints. But other government buildings like city halls are not afforded the same protection.

The Norcross City Hall and Municipal Courthouse are housed in the same building. Although there are separate entrances for each and only a security checkpoint outside municipal court.

“They are undermining the intent of the [More]

David Scott: Obama administration could be judged ‘the absolute worst’ on vets

  • 9:34 am Wednesday, May 28th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

U.S. Rep. David Scott, by accident or design, has become the leading African-American/Democratic critic of President Barack Obama in recent weeks.

First, the Atlanta congressman took on the White House (and Georgia colleague John Lewis) Now, Scott has become a harsh critic of the White House reaction to the latest scandal involving the Veterans Administration. From an interview with Denis O’Hayer (90.1FM) that aired on Tuesday:

“President Obama himself must step forward. It is he who is the administrator when the history books are written on this chapter on the treatment of veterans. It is the Obama administration who could very [More]

Look for the party label? Good luck with that

  • 12:52 pm Monday, May 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

During the taping of the Atlanta Press Club debate of Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, to be aired statewide on Georgia Public Broadcasting at 7 p.m. this evening, rivals criticized Michelle Nunn for allegedly ducking their party’s brand.

From the Associated Press:

[O] of her opponents, ROTC instructor Todd Anthony Robinson, of Columbus, noted Nunn’s ads don’t mention she’s a Democrat and asked her whether she supports President Barack Obama.

“I think it’s self-evident that since I am on the stage here that I am a Democrat,” Nunn said, listing her support for increasing the minimum wage, immigration reform and pay equality. “I [More]

Port of Savannah expansion nears as Congress strikes water bill deal

  • 6:00 am Friday, May 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Congressional leaders in both parties and chambers are set to move forward next week on a bill to authorize water projects across the nation — including the Port of Savannah deepening.

After nearly seven months of wrangling, the House-Senate negotiators announced Thursday night that they had agreed on a conference committee report which will be filed next week, and should clear both chambers easily. The House is gone next week, though, so the earliest it can head to President Barack Obama’s desk is the week of the 19th.

A Congressional authorization is the last step, according to the Obama administration, before the [More]

Senate hopeful Derrick Grayson has rancher Cliven Bundy’s back

  • 10:00 am Thursday, May 1st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Derrick Grayson, the only black candidate in the Republican U.S. Senate field, is taking the side of federal government-defying Nevada rancher Cliven Many backers fled as the controversy spiked. But not Grayson. In the video above — which has attracted 74,000 YouTube views as of this writing — Grayson says:

“When he talked about black people being enslaved, I have been saying this for the last eight years — by liberal Democrat policies. I don’t understand what the problem is. Oh, I get it. I can say it, but a white person can’t. A white person say it, the press [More]

In Cherokee County, proof that the truth isn’t everything you imagine it to be

  • 5:58 pm Wednesday, April 30th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Over the past few years, Cherokee County has been a breeding ground for a style of politics that rewards the intensity of one’s beliefs, even in the face of actual facts on the ground.

If you believe passionately enough, and loudly enough, this line of thinking goes, then truth can be ignored as a mere inconvenience. Purity of heart and the higher cause trump all.

It is a philosophy that will be dealt a harsh setback Thursday, when a local school board member, her Republican political adviser and a Cherokee County GOP secretary are sentenced for trying to bend reality to their [More]

Clues over what led to Chip Rogers’ GPB departure

  • 5:12 pm Thursday, April 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal

Chris Riley, the governor’s chief of staff, said in an April 17 note he received an anonymous email at his personal account with a link that showed Rogers was also holding down an outside job as government affairs guru for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association.

“This is the flyer we discussed this am,” he said in an email sent to COO Bart Gobeil around 10 a.m. that morning. He added: “I am not sure of the validity of the information so it will need to be verified but I thought Teya should be made aware,” [More]

Sources: Chip Rogers is out at GPB

  • 5:00 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former state Sen. Chip Rogers, who was given a cushy job and a

Three people with knowledge of the situation tell us that Rogers, who was making a lofty $150,000 as an executive producer on an economic development program, is being let go.  Rogers didn’t return several calls seeking comment and GPB executives didn’t return repeated calls throughout the day.

One person with direct knowledge of the situation said Rogers was “blindsided” by the news when he was told Friday.

Rogers’ position, like others at GPB, was paid solely through state taxpayers’ money and he was paid more than several higher-ranking executives.

Rogers was [More]

Michael Thurmond wooed for state school superintendent contest

  • 10:34 am Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The race for the open state superintendent seat is already one of the most intriguing contests in Georgia this year. It could get even more interesting.

Michael Thurmond, the former state labor commissioner, was drafted last year to take over as superintendent of the DeKalb County school system, even as it was poised to lose its accreditation.

Thurmond is now being recruited by Democratic leaders to run for the state super job, which will be left vacant by its current occupant, John Barge.

Thurmond told us Tuesday that he’s heard from several Democratic leaders and that he’s “flattered” by the attention but [More]