Political Insider blog 

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

A tale of two Marcos, and the little that can be said of ‘dream’ kids

  • 10:41 pm Friday, August 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last Tuesday was a tale of two Marcos.

I wrote about the first Marco last week. He is a bright, 16-year-old son of illegal Mexican immigrants enrolled at DeKalb Early College Academy. A “dream” kid brought across the border when he was 8 years old, awarded provisional legal status while Congress allegedly sorts things out.

DECA is an academic boot camp for kids whose families have never sent anyone to a university. The program crams four years of high school into two. Then the students are shipped to Georgia Perimeter College. At age 18, they emerge with not only a high school [More]

Johnny Isakson to Michelle Nunn: ‘You can’t have it both ways’

  • 9:51 am Thursday, August 28th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., has a message for Democrat Michelle Nunn, who would like to become his colleague – and has hinted that she wouldn’t be a sure vote for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. ***

In yesterday’s post on citizen-journalist Nydia Tisdale, Attorney General Sam Olens and that weekend GOP rally in Dawsonville, we wrote this:

A county deputy was summoned. As we said, Tisdale is driven. She did not go quietly. Her screams punctuated the event.

“I’ve had a lot of things happen as a speaker…” state Labor Commissioner Mark Butler gamely told the crowd over the noise, to [More]

Marco Rubio in ATL: On Hillary, ISIL and ‘dream’ kids

  • 4:55 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a likely prospect for the 2016 presidential contest, was in Atlanta on Tuesday.

The visit was essentially a private one, but he gave us a shout before noon to explain. He’s got a political action committee – doesn’t everyone these days? – called Reclaim America, which is dedicated to establishing a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.

“We’ve already spent about $500,000 on TV ads in Arkansas and Iowa, and we want to extend to at least another state or two,” Rubio said.

The question is whether David Perdue’s Republican bid for the U.S. Senate is [More]

A cipher in the ‘dream’ kid debate tries to stay afloat

  • 5:44 pm Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Marco was stretched out on a hard chair in a beat-up DeKalb County school conference room, in the presence of a former teacher who’s taken up for him.

He is a bright, skinny and well-spoken 16-year-old with a flat American accent. “I try to work on it. I spent my summer in Athens. It gets better there,” Marco said.

Pronunciation slipped only when he named the Mexican village whence he came. Marco was smuggled across the border into the United States not once, but twice. First when he was a 4-year-old, then again when he was eight. “My mom knew a guy,” [More]

Whoosh! From Atlanta to Columbus in 61 minutes

  • 9:50 am Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and state Rep. Calvin Smyre made the rounds in Washington on Wednesday, pitching a $3.9 billion, high speed rail project that would put Columbus and Atlanta within an hour’s reach of each other.

They met with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and top staffer for Vice President Joe Biden, a noted rail aficionado.

“This is a very doable project,” Tomlinson said. “It’s smaller than most of the ones that we’re looking at [around the country]. Cost-wise, comparably speaking, it’s bite-sized, something that can be an early success.”

She added that private money would have to be leveraged along with taxpayer [More]

Sigh. Alabama GOPer accuses Dems of a ‘war on whites’

  • 4:35 pm Monday, August 4th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Democrats have been searching high and low for 2014’s version of Todd Akins.

And U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., just raised his hand.

The congressman was on the horn with radio talk show host Laura Ingraham, discussing immigration and Republican demographic problems. Give her credit – Ingraham recognizes a misstep when she hears it. Real Clear Politics has the exchange here:

A quick transcript:

Brooks: “This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic party. And the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else. It’s a part of the strategy [More]

Johnny Isakson: We need a 72-hour turnaround for Central American border kids

  • 9:48 am Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson, in an interview with Martha Zoller and Tim Bryant “Anybody coming from a non-contiguous country actually had to have a hearing before an immigration authority or immigration judge. That takes up to four to six weeks.

“We need to amend that law, to say that they can be sent home within 72 hours, like somebody from Mexico or Canada – and stem the tide. Once they see that we’re going to send them home, the attractiveness of trying to get into the United States of America will be diminished and will lessen the pressure on the border.”

***

Jason [More]

Phil Gingrey: Border kids could spark epidemics in U.S.

  • 1:49 pm Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

In a letter to Thomas Frieden, director of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, expressed his fear this week that the undocumented children the U.S. is absorbing at its border could trigger an epidemic.

Now, he doesn’t actually use the word “epidemic.” He just speaks of diseases that “spread too rapidly to control.” Which we think meets the definition.

Read the letter in its entirety here. The gist:

As a physician for over 30 years, I am well aware of the dangers infectious diseases pose. In fact, infection diseases remain in the top 10 causes of death [More]

There may be buses: Bob Barr declares immigration emergency in Georgia

  • 9:53 pm Monday, July 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

If you pay any attention to politics, you know of last week’s protests that greeted 140 undocumented women and children, seized at the U.S. border, who were sent to Murrietta, Cal., to ease an overcrowded Texas facility.

Angry residents greeted a bus as it pulled into town, blocking its entry. Today’s dispatch from the Associated Press:

The White House said Monday that most unaccompanied children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border are unlikely to qualify for humanitarian relief that would prevent them from being sent back to their home countries.

The pointed warning came as the White House finalized a spending request to Congress [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]