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]

Cops will screen Peachtree Road Race for bombs, but not guns

  • 2:02 pm Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This message from the Atlanta Police Department was issued this afternoon by spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy, just to clarify things:

As part of the Atlanta Police Department’s overall security plan for the Peachtree Road Race, APD plans to secure the finish line. People entering Piedmont Park will be screened for bombs or explosive devices, but no persons in possession of weapons and/or long guns will be denied entry.

Perhaps this could have been done before Georgia’s new gun law went into effect on Tuesday, but the case is more so now.

As one fellow told us, if you want to run the entire race [More]

The politics of a U.S. citizenship ceremony

  • 10:21 am Thursday, July 3rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

 In a piece on Wednesday’s swearing-in of 1,000 new U.S. citizens during a pre-Braves ceremony at Turner Field, “He plans to take executive actions that are within the president’s authority,” Jennings said. “We must do whatever we can to make U.S. immigration smarter, more humane and do whatever we can to keep families together.”

She wasn’t the only one to notice. An email arrived late last night from Greg Williams, chairman of the Buckhead Young Republicans, who was there with friends to watch his wife take the oath of citizenship. Wrote Williams:

“[Jennings] prepared remarks were about 10 minutes long, and he [More]

Into the weeds: Exploring the edges of Georgia’s new gun law

  • 5:28 pm Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We are 72 hours into Georgia’s new concealed-carry law, and questions that were once theoretical are sprouting like weeds.

All of us have a steep learning curve in front of us, including the firearms enthusiast in Valdosta who wasn’t sure that the fellow in front of him at the local convenience store was, in fact, a good guy with a holstered gun.

The enthusiast drew his own weapon and demanded the other’s carry permit. And was then arrested for disorderly conduct. Under Georgia’s new gun statute, you see, no one can require the display of another’s carry license without cause. Not [More]

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]

On new gun law’s first day, a draw-down in Valdosta

  • 8:59 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Valdosta Daily Times reports today that, on the first day of Georgia’s new law expanding the right to carry, we had a pair of gun-toting firearm enthusiasts – one of whom wasn’t sure that the fellow in front of him was a good guy with a gun:

At approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call regarding a customer dispute at the Enmark on the corner of Park Avenue and North Lee Street.

A man carrying a holstered firearm entered the store to make a purchase. Another customer, also with a holstered firearm, approached him and demanded to [More]

Kasim Reed declares city of Atlanta property to be gun-free

  • 4:54 pm Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Seventeen hours into Georgia’s new gun law, Mayor Kasim Reed has declared city of Atlanta facilities to be gun-free zones. From the press release:

“As Mayor, I have made public safety the top priority of my administration. Accordingly, in response to a new statewide gun law that took effect today, the City has taken extra security measures to keep employees and citizens safe at our facilities.

“Effective today, City recreation centers with extensive summer programming will be staffed with security officers to screen entrants and prevent firearms from entering the buildings.

With the exception of certain public safety officials and employees, there is [More]

Georgia schools aren’t racing to arm teachers, principals

  • 12:56 pm Friday, June 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Georgia’s new gun law goes into effect on Tuesday. Kathleen Foody of the Associated Press says school systems aren’t racing to arm teachers and principals:

Georgia school leaders are turning down a new option to arm teachers, arguing that it doesn’t make kids any safer and creates more problems than state lawmakers intended to solve.

A string of attacks at schools and colleges in California, Oregon and Washington state hasn’t swayed education officials who say bluntly that they don’t believe guns belong in schools.

“We could give (teachers) all the training in the world as to how to a shoot a gun, but [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]

The NRA becomes a critic of Texas ‘open carry’ movement

  • 9:01 am Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

When the National Rifle Association says you’ve gone too far, maybe a little self-examination is in order. First, the background from the Associated Press:

HOUSTON— Companies, customers and others critical of Texas gun rights advocates who have brought military-style assault rifles into businesses as part of demonstrations supporting “open carry” gun rights now have a surprising ally: the National Rifle Association.

The advocates’ actions in restaurants and other public places — part of a push for less restrictive gun laws, including legalizing the open carry of handguns — have prompted public criticism.

The NRA has long been a zealous advocate for gun owners’ [More]