Political Insider blog 

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

Atlanta Braves tighten gun policy at Turner Field

  • 10:06 am Thursday, April 17th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Sure, they can do this in Atlanta. The question is whether it will fly in Cobb County. From Channel 2 Action News:

Here’s the quick recap from the Associated Press:

The Atlanta Braves will no longer allow some off-duty police officers to carry guns at Turner Field, which has prompted objections.

Under the team’s new policy, off-duty officers from jurisdictions that don’t include Turner Field will no longer be allowed to bring firearms into the stadium.

Tyrone Police Chief Brandon Perkins tells WSB-TV that the policy change will make the ball games less safe, adding that “armed good guys stop armed bad guys.”

Jerry Henry, [More]

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]

Class warfare breaks out in the GOP race for U.S. Senate

  • 6:00 pm Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A fundraising email from Karen Handel’s Republican campaign for U.S. Senate arrived this week, describing GOP frontrunner David Perdue, the richest candidate in the race and former head of Dollar General, as “an out-of-touch, multi-millionaire CEO who lives in a gated oceanfront community.”

It was a retaliatory blow.

A first-time candidate, Perdue had made the mistake, in far-away January, of noting that our former secretary of state’s formal education had ended with a high school diploma – a matter that was much discussed during Handel’s unsuccessful run for governor in 2010.

“I mean, there’s a high school graduate in this race, OK? I’m [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]

Jury to begin deliberating ethics trial as Gov. Deal keeps his distance

  • 8:30 am Friday, April 4th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A jury is set to begin deliberating this morning in the civil lawsuit of the former head of the state ethics commission who claims she was forced out for aggressively investigating Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign. The governor’s political opponents have been closely watching.

The above video was produced by the Democratic Party of Georgia, which labels a judge’s decision to prevent Deal from testifying in the trial as one of his few bright spots in the past week.

Our colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin has been in court every step of the way, and reported last night how Stacey [More]

Erick Erickson: ‘I’ll be on the board’ of Georgia Life Alliance

  • 2:32 pm Thursday, March 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Though it’s not much of a surprise, talk radio provocateur Erick Erickson has fessed up to being part of the effort to persuade the National Right to Life organization to disassociate itself from Georgia Right to Life. From PeachPundit:

I’m talking about the Georgia Life Alliance, of which I am a part and will be on the board. This weekend we are asking National Right to Life to affiliate with us, which would mean ending their relationship with Georgia Right to Life (“GRTL”).

I have been calling for a new pro-life organization in Georgia since GRTL sided with Planned Parenthood and [More]

A surprise bid to undercut the clout of Georgia Right to Life

  • 5:41 pm Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

On Friday, behind a closed door in Washington, an upstart group with substantial but unstated political backing back home will ask the National Right to Life organization to discard Georgia Right to Life — the most powerful anti-abortion force in the state Capitol — as one of its 50 state affiliates.

It’s a bold power play that involves the current Republican race for the U.S. Senate, a threatened Democratic resurgence in Georgia, and GRTL’s insistent refusal to recognize incest and rape as exceptions to its blanket condemnation of abortion.

Candidates who disagree with the Georgia chapter’s uncompromising position that abortion is acceptable [More]

Jimmy Carter: ‘I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored’

  • 9:34 am Monday, March 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Count former President Jimmy Carter as one of those Americans who thinks he’s being watched. If not by the NSA, then by someone else.

“As a matter of fact, you know, I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored. And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write a letter myself, put it in the post office, and mail it…

“Because I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored.”

Carter, who is plugging his latest book — which advocates women’s rights, also said that while most of his successors in the White [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]

A portrait of a political reporter, by a political columnist

  • 8:07 am Monday, March 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

In politics, respect is hard-won, but often expires with the last ballot. So to see it displayed well after death is a rare and stirring thing.

In state Senate chambers this morning, a portrait of Dick Pettys, the former state Capitol journalist who died some 18 months ago, will be unveiled. You can see a version of it above.

The oil painting will hang on a wall on press row in the Coverdell Legislative Office Building. The memorial came at the urging of state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, R-Sandy Springs, a high school classmate of Pettys.

But here is the strangeness of the tale: [More]