Political Insider blog 

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

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.”

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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]

A race that could turn on the Atlanta Braves’ move to Cobb County

  • 9:54 am Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 At least one of Cobb County’s GOP primary contests could turn on the deal that lured professional baseball out of Atlanta – and it doesn’t involve any of the county commissioners who voted for the Braves incentive package.

State Rep. Charles Gregory of Kennesaw, a libertarian-minded Republican who has figured big in recent gun legislation, is facing a tough challenge from business-backed Bert Reeves, a Marietta attorney.

In the days after the Cobb County Commission sprung its news about the Atlanta Braves, Gregory was critical of the use of public funds. He repeated himself at a recent forum.This flyer has begun arriving [More]

Former mayor of Uvalda, Ga., to receive JFK ‘Profile in Courage’ award

  • 4:50 pm Thursday, March 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation announced the two recipients of its annual Profile in Courage awards this afternoon.

One is well known – former President George H.W. Bush, who will be honored for breaking his no-new-taxes pledge to cement a bipartisan budget deal in 1990 and put his re-election chances in jeopardy. President Bill Clinton was the result.

But the bigger surprise is Paul Bridges, the former mayor of Uvalda, Ga., population 592 – give or take a few souls.

My AJC colleague Jeremy Redmond offers these details:

Bridges, the former mayor of the small, rural town of Uvalda in Montgomery County, served [More]

Driver’s license ban loses to ‘wisdom, justice and moderation’

  • 6:11 pm Monday, March 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A last-ditch effort to ban driver’s licenses for immigrants who have been granted a humanitarian reprieve from deportation – because they were brought here as children — died on a bipartisan 27-8 vote in the state Senate on Monday.

The amendment was offered by Bill Heath, R-Bremen. Opposition was led by another Republican, Tommie Williams of Lyons – the former Senate president pro tem, a former missionary, and a farmer who deals in pine straw and blueberries.

The video won’t be available until tomorrow, but below are a few transcribed excerpts. Williams began by riffing on the state’s motto of “Wisdom, [More]

Few raised nails in Saturday’s debate of GOP Senate candidates

  • 12:43 pm Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

GAINESVILLE — The Chinese have a saying that underlines the value of conformity: “It is the raised nail that gets hammered.”

For the most part, this was the theme of Saturday night’s third U.S. Senate debate sponsored by the Georgia GOP. All seven candidates attended and expressed near-identical positions on the minimum wage, the Affordable Care Act, and illegal immigration.

The best measure when it came to the pressure to conform: When asked whether Congress should intervene to kill Common Core, the new, multi-state set of education standards for public schools, businessman David Perdue noted that his parents were both school teachers.

“If [More]

Frankly, my dear: A friendly, taxpayer-funded note from Phil Gingrey

  • 9:10 am Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The image above is a mailing that arrived Wednesday at an AJC reporter’s house in U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s district. The Marietta Republican’s message is rather clear on the subject of immigration: “Secure Our Borders. Enforce Current Law. No Amnesty.”

But squint and cock your head just so to look at the bottom half: “Public document – official business. This document was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

We’ve spent a lot of time in the heated U.S. Senate race talking about the perils of incumbency, but here’s an upside for the three sitting congressmen: The chance to advertise your views [More]

Paul Broun says Jack Kingston uses wrong model for conservatism: Speaker John Boehner

  • 10:03 am Monday, February 17th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

This week, two forums will feature Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, and a pair of issues are rising up to meet them.

One touches on insurance. And the other is House Speaker John Boehner. First, the settings:

Six of the GOP candidates will attend a “small business roundtable” at Turner Field at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Democrat  Branko Radulovacki will be there as well, but not his primary rival, Michelle Nunn.

A third forum for all eight Republican Senate candidates will come on Saturday in Gainesville, sponsored by the state GOP.

Now as for those pesky issues:

Last week, the Madison Project handed a fulsome Senate [More]