Political Insider blog 

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

In U.S. Senate runoff, the Chamber takes it on the chin

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

David Perdue’s decision to target the U.S. Chamber in the final days of his GOP Senate runoff was more a page torn from the family playbook than an act of desperation.

In 2002, upstart Sonny Perdue was shocked, baffled and outraged by the fact that a national political group known for reflexively endorsing Republicans instead decided to side with Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes.

In that case, it was the National Rifle Association. Perdue challenged Barnes to a shotgun duel – all right, a skeet shoot (which never happened) — and campaigned against the NRA as one of those many special interests [More]

The case of a black Republican at Georgia GOP headquarters

  • 9:00 am Saturday, July 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

As hard as it is to be a black Republican in Georgia, Qiana Keith was no late-comer.

In 2010, with the general election only a week away, the Gainesville volunteer posted a photo of herself with former congressman Nathan Deal, then seeking his first term as governor.

“While Nathan may not need the black vote to win, he sure needs it to govern,” she wrote. Her Facebook friends were not kind. One questioned how she could vote for a man who had uttered the phrase “ghetto grandmothers” in front of a north Georgia crowd.

Even then, Keith had been a Republican volunteer for [More]

Former Georgia GOP aide alleges racial discrimination

  • 2:43 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Georgia GOP’s effort to recruit minority voters may have just gotten significantly harder. Our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin has filed this piece on a federal discrimination lawsuit filed by a former GOP aide. From the story:

Qiana Keith of Hall County, an African-American, says in the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court in Atlanta, that she overheard co-workers refer to her as the “house (racial slur),” showed her disrespect and humiliated her…

Anne Lewis, the Republican Party’s attorney, said, Keith was fired for “consistently poor job performance.”

Click here to read the lawsuit, or scan through it below:

David Perdue and ‘ugly American eyes’

  • 10:11 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

If you’re David Perdue, the first-time GOP candidate and well-traveled business executive running for U.S. Senate, you have to be wondering if politics has its own, very separate language – something wholly apart from English.

In yet another, recent interview with the editorial board of the Macon Telegraph, Perdue is in the middle of a bull session on world economics, when the topic of China comes up. The specific topic is China’s “long view” of its future:

Perdue: “This is a culture that thinks thousands of years [ahead]. Guanxi is a term over there. It’s called relationship, friendship. This isn’t like you [More]

In face of challenge, Barry Loudermilk releases his military resume

  • 9:07 am Tuesday, June 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Late yesterday, two supporters of Bob Barr in the 11th District GOP runoff announced they would hold a 10 a.m. press conference today to call attention to what they say is rival Barry Loudermilk’s “consistent pattern of embellishment of his military service.”

Larry Mrozinski is a former 11th District candidate who has endorsed Barr, and a retired U.S. Army colonel. Also at the presser will be Bill Stanley, a Vietnam War helicopter pilot who recently penned a letter-to-the-editor,Loudermilk served in the U.S. Air Force from 1984 to 1992, rising to the rank of staff sergeant, the candidate has told us. While [More]

Stirring GOP opposition to the death penalty

  • 5:36 pm Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Late Tuesday, as the clock approached midnight, Marcus Wellons rode to oblivion on a state-inserted needle, his punishment for the rape and murder of a young Cobb County neighbor 24 years ago.

That same day, Marc Hyden, a 30-year-old confirmed conservative Republican from Marietta, hopped a plane for Washington D.C. Today, he will open a booth at the fifth annual gathering of Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition.

Hyden is a national coordinator for Conservatives Concerned About the Death Penalty, a two-year-old, GOP-based group that carries tea party suspicion of government into a new but highly logical arena:
If you don’t trust your [More]

Debunking a Jason Carter sound bite

  • 4:16 pm Tuesday, June 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last Friday, Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, addressed the Georgia School Board Association as it held its annual gathering in Savannah.

Someone over at PeachPundit.com has helpfully provided a 15-second clip from Carter’s 45-minute appearance – which the Georgia Republican party jumped on this afternoon:

In case you wondered what came before and after that unartful edit, we’ve got a meatier sound bite here:


And a transcript of the same below, with the video-clipped portion marked in bold:

Carter: “Let me start, number one, on the tax issue. First of all, it is a false choice to say that we’ve done [More]

Tom Price bows out of Southern fight for House GOP leadership

  • 10:35 am Thursday, June 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Take a look at the current, soon-to-be juggled GOP leadership of the U.S. House: Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy of California.

None hail from the modern Republican foundation that is the Deep South. Which is why Pete Sessions of Texas has emerged as a rival to McCarthy in the quick contest to replace Cantor, who was defeated in Tuesday’s primary.

U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, bowed out this morning. A statement just released by his office:

“The encouragement I’ve received from colleagues over these past couple of days has been humbling…. [A]t [More]

Georgia business launches a sudden campaign aimed at the state Capitol

  • 9:00 am Saturday, May 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This winter, the state Capitol erupted in a sudden and unexpected fight over a set of “religious liberty” bills that were interpreted as a hostile reaction to the ground that gay marriage has gained through the courts.

Tea party supporters sought protection for the Christian wedding photographer who, out of conscience, refuses to snap pictures of a same-sex couple exchanging vows.

But Georgia’s corporate giants saw something else: Legislation that would open their businesses to boycotts and lawsuits, trapping them in unwanted disputes perhaps generated by their own workers – the UPS driver who won’t deliver a package to a gay bar, [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]