Political Insider blog 

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

A dissected debate for U.S. Senate: iPhones, women, guns and Harry Reid

  • 9:47 am Monday, October 27th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The three candidates for U.S. Senate held their second of three debates on Sunday, which became a jumble of strikes and counterstrikes between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue, with Libertarian Amanda Swafford watching mostly from the sidelines.

Read a complete account here. But if you’re in a video frame of mind, we’ve boiled down the 60-minute confrontation to these clips:

RUBBER STAMP: That’s what Perdue has called Nunn, and he does so again. Nunn points out areas where she disagrees with President Barack Obama, including the Keystone pipeline, military spending, and his lack of engagement with Congress:

iPHONE GUILT: Just [More]

A ‘misinformed’ Nathan Deal on an Ebola strike force

  • 10:37 am Monday, October 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Officially, last night’s Atlanta Press Club gubernatorial debate was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

Nathan Deal couldn’t wait. At 5:39 p.m., his office sent out a press release announcing that the Republican governor would sign an executive order announcing the creation of an “Ebola response team.”

Call it the incumbent’s advantage. In doing so, the governor guaranteed himself a first question that turned the proceedings into something like a press conference.

“I believe that we do have the resources that are available, and if we need additional resources, we will try to make sure that those are available,” a well-prepped Deal said.

Only [More]

David Perdue, John Barrow join drumbeat for travel ban on Ebola-troubled nations

  • 10:33 am Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

A Dallas health care worker stricken with the Ebola virus U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, was among the first to do so. This came in last night from House Speaker John Boehner:

“Today we learned that one individual who has contracted the virus flew to Ohio through the Cleveland airport in the last few days. A temporary ban on travel to the United States from countries afflicted with the virus is something that the president should absolutely consider along with any other appropriate actions as doubts about the security of our air travel systems grow.”

Likewise on Wednesday, David Perdue, the [More]

Michael Bloomberg gave $350,000 to pro-Michelle Nunn Super PAC

  • 2:38 pm Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Former New York City mayor, media tycoon and gun control advocate Michael Bloomberg gave $350,000 to a pro-Michelle Nunn Super PAC last month, making him easily the biggest single benefactor to her campaign.

A new FEC filing from Georgians Together revealed the donation as the main engine behind the Super PAC’s $400,000 ad campaign on Nunn’s behalf.

Bloomberg had given the maximum $5,200 to Nunn’s campaign earlier this year. Republicans have used it to cast her as a gun-grabber.

Other donors to Georgians Together, which is being guided by former Clinton White House aide Keith Mason, include Bill Clinton [More]

A new solution to bad press: File a restraining order against the reporter

  • 9:45 am Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Tom Owens, a candidate for a vacant seat on the DeKalb County Commission, has come up with a novel and disturbing way to push back against bad press. The writer, George Chidi, denied threatening the politician and said the move is a way for the candidate to avoid answering questions about his past ahead of an upcoming election.

Chidi said he’s writing a book on civic engagement in Georgia and wanted to interview DeKalb County Commission District 1 candidate Tom Owens about the public’s perception of him.

“I hadn’t approached him until he became a public figure,” Chidi said. “He’s running for [More]

Meet Andrew Hunt, Libertarian — and another candidate with a famous lineage

  • 6:17 pm Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The time has come for you to meet Andrew Hunt, nanotechnologist and Libertarian, who has a decent chance of throwing Georgia’s race for governor into extra innings.

The first thing to know about him may be the least important, but given this year’s emphasis on family lineage, what with a presidential grandson and senatorial daughter in the mix — well, it fits a trend.

He doesn’t volunteer the information, but when asked directly, Andrew Hunt, 53, will tell you he is the grandson of Texas oilman H.L. Hunt, once one of the richest men in the world, and a famous financial backer [More]

Morning of the gun: John Lewis says Deep South is doing it better than Ferguson

  • 8:58 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Weaponry, or images of it, seem everywhere this morning. We’ll start with the National Guard walking the streets of Ferguson, Mo.

From the Associated Press:

Gov. Jay Nixon said the National Guard would help “in restoring peace and order” to the St. Louis suburb, where protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer entered their second week. Police said they acted in response to gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails.

The latest confrontations came on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on Brown, and as [More]

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]