Political Insider blog 

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

Ralph Hudgens: No longer an Obamacare ‘obstructionist’

  • 10:01 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Last year, when Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said he would do Now, as for Hudgens. The state insurance commissioner told our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos on Wednesday that he just got caught up in the heat of the moment last August:

“I spoke to a Republican group in Rome, Ga., and I said I was going to be an obstructionist, but I can’t be. I mean, I was talking to a Republican group and I was throwing them some red meat. …

“I’m not a fan of it. I don’t think it’s going to work. But there’s nothing I can do [More]

Michelle Nunn goes Pillowtex on David Perdue

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Two days before their first joint U.S. Senate appearance — none dare call it a debate — Democrat Michelle Nunn has raised the topic of Republican David Perdue’s tenure at Pillowtex.

The Nunn campaign has filled a one-minute TV spot with named former mill workers from Kannapolis, N.C., telling the story of David Perdue’s brief stint at the textile firm, which went bankrupt shortly after he left.

This Politifact examination from July, when U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston attacked Perdue on the topic, offers some excellent background on Pillowtex’s fortunes. Politifact rated the Kingston attack “mostly false” but the Nunn ad doesn’t [More]

Nathan Deal: Talk of gas tax hike is ‘premature’

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

State lawmakers are wrestling with ways to Y0u can assume it won’t be a tax hike. So what other methods could they be examining?

One possibility could involve directing the fourth penny of that fuel tax, about $180 million that’s now diverted to the general fund, toward transportation projects. Another could give local governments more power to raise sales taxes for transportation.

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Former state lawmaker Edward Lindsey of Atlanta, a member of that transportation task force in search of dollars, has an argument posted on GeorgiaPundit.com with a biblical beginning:

Two thousand years ago there was a thriving commercial center and port [More]

Nathan Deal’s off-line executive orders get some attention

  • 10:16 am Thursday, August 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Last year’s inexplicable decision by Gov. Nathan Deal The Sunlight Foundation reports that Georgia is the only state in the nation that doesn’t put its executive orders online for the public to view. In initial reports on that leaked Michelle Nunn campaign memo, the National Review reported that $33,000 passed through Points of Light Foundation to Islamic Relief USA — a number we picked up and used as well. The magazine has corrected that figure to $13,500, because of a misreading of one of Points of Light’s IRS forms.

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The Super PAC called Ending Spending Action Fund continues to [More]

Gov. Nathan Deal makes a (very limited) exception to his stance against Medicaid expansion

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal has gone to great lengths to assure his supporters that he’s against the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But he carved out one exception this week.

It has to do with the more than 1,100 unaccompanied immigrant children transferred by the feds this year to the care of sponsors living in Georgia. The influx comes amid a surge of Central American children fleeing instability and violence at home to illegally cross the southwest border.

The governor said in an interview he expects their number to grow, and that he’s hearing they could be granted [More]

David Vitter open to Medicaid expansion in Louisiana

  • 3:37 pm Monday, June 16th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

David Vitter is one of the most conservative Republicans in the U.S. Senate, but in his campaign for governor of Louisiana he’s open to expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. From The Associated Press:

Lifting the lid on the debate over Medicaid expansion

  • 6:26 pm Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Early this week, a small panel assigned the task of saving rural health care in Georgia gathered to take a first crack at the problem.

Four rural hospitals have closed since 2012, eight since 2000. The finances of another dozen or so balance on a razor’s edge, the panel was told.

A bit of Malthusian arithmetic for you: Jimmy Lewis, CEO of HomeTown Health, a Georgia collection of health care facilities, says a community of 40,000 is required for the independent operation of a hospital.

Rural Georgia has 1.8 million people – enough for 45 hospitals. “We’re down to 55,” Lewis said afterwards. [More]

A hint of a pro-Obamacare backlash in AJC poll

  • 6:00 am Monday, May 12th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s refusal to expand Medicaid under Obamacare cuts both ways, an AJC poll released this weekend shows.

Clearly, Obamacare remains at the top of minds of voters. The poll shows that an overwhelming majority – 86 percent – views a candidate’s stance on the healthcare law as at least very important. And some 61 percent of voters believe it needs major modifications or should be scrapped altogether.

But there’s a soft spot in many Georgians’ heart for the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which would have provided as many as 650,000 low-income residents with health coverage [More]

Five issues to watch during today’s bill signing deadline

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

It’s crunch time for Gov. Nathan Deal. He has until the end of Tuesday to decide whether to sign the dozens of bills still pending into law or take out his red veto pen.

The governor has already s, including the $20.8 billion spending plan and the broad expansion of gun rights. But plenty of high-profile issues still await his decision.

Here are the five issues we’re closely watching:

Obamacare

Deal will decide on two pieces of legislation today that aim to send an unwavering message that President Obama’s healthcare overhaul is an enemy of the state.

The first, [More]

Bob Barr tones down his talk of impeachment

  • 9:30 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Former congressman Bob Barr, now seeking a comeback in the race for Georgia’s 11th District congressional seat, raised eyebrows in January when A former federal prosecutor who helped lead impeachment proceedings against President Clinton, Barr said the Obama administration had acted illegally both in postponing mandates in the federal health care law, and through softening enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Here’s what Barr said on Jan. 23 to Alex Jones:

I think it really has come to that. It’s not something I like to say. When I left the House before, after we impeached Clinton, my hope was that we would never [More]