Political Insider blog 

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

Bob Barr tones down his talk of impeachment

  • 9:30 am Monday, April 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

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]

Sebelius resignation may offer a lever to Port of Savannah supporters

  • 12:57 pm Friday, April 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Kathleen Sebelius’ resignation as the federal government’s chief health care officer may have just handed a giant lever to supporters of the Port of Savannah expansion. First, the set-up from the Associated Press:

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama praised outgoing Health and Human Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for helping to steer his health care law’s comeback after a rocky rollout, even as he nominated a successor aimed at helping the White House move past the political damage.

“Under Kathleen’s leadership, her team at HHS turned the corner, got it fixed, got the job done,” Obama said in a Rose Garden ceremony Friday morning. [More]

Gallup poll: Georgians not ready to revolt over taxes

  • 10:03 am Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Gov. Nathan Deal has been pummeled with bad news the last week, but the Gallup polling organization offers the Republican incumbent some respite this morning.

In terms of overall dissatisfaction, Georgia ranked No. 20 – essentially in the middle of the pack, and not the stuff that Republican primary revolutions are made of.

New Yorkers (77 percent said levies were too high) were the most dissatisfied. Residents of Wyoming (19 percent) were the least.

Most other Southern states ranked below Georgia on the taxpayer-angst scale: Virginia (No. 21), South Carolina (No. 25), Mississippi (No. 28), Tennesee (No. 33), Alabama (No. 34) and Florida [More]

Friday’s verdict just the beginning of trial trouble for Nathan Deal

  • 9:50 am Monday, April 7th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Over the weekend, it became more than obvious that one of Gov. Nathan Deal’s most daunting tasks this year is the We’ve already seen the governor distance himself from Friday’s verdict and deny even monitoring the Kalberman case from afar. We also expect Democrat Jason Carter to use some of the $1.6 million in his campaign piggy bank to launch constant reminders of the trial – and whatever comes next – the governor’s way.

But two other lawsuits are in the offing, from former ethics commission staffers Sherilyn Streicker and John Hair, with claims strikingly similar to [More]

World Vision to recognize gay marriage of employees

  • 10:19 am Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

In the religious-political world, most eyes will be focused today on U.S. Supreme Court arguments in  a renewed battle over President Barack Obama’s health care law that pits the religious rights of employers against World Vision’s American branch will no longer require its more than 1,100 employees to restrict their sexual activity to marriage between one man and one woman.

Abstinence outside of marriage remains a rule. But a policy change announced Monday [March 24] will now permit gay Christians in legal same-sex marriages to be employed at one of America’s largest Christian charities…

[World Vision U.S. president Richard] Stearns asserts that [More]

Jimmy Carter: ‘I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored’

  • 9:34 am Monday, March 24th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Count former President Jimmy Carter as one of those Americans who thinks he’s being watched. If not by the NSA, then by someone else.

“As a matter of fact, you know, I have felt that my own communications are probably monitored. And when I want to communicate with a foreign leader privately, I type or write a letter myself, put it in the post office, and mail it…

“Because I believe if I send an email, it will be monitored.”

Carter, who is plugging his latest book — which advocates women’s rights, also said that while most of his successors in the White [More]

A Republican senator speaks up for Medicaid expansion

  • 9:00 am Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Today is the fourth birthday of the Affordable Care Act. Strictly speaking, this is not news, but a predictable, calendar-based event.

Rather like a Legislature in Georgia passing a gun bill in an election year. You can nearly set your watch by it.

No, news is the unexpected. It is man bites dog – which is silly. Or Vladimir Putin sending an apology and flowers to Ukraine – which is pure fantasy.

News is an elected Republican endorsing an expansion of Medicaid in Georgia. Which may be just as inconceivable, but really happened.

One of the year’s grandest acts of political rebellion in the [More]

A legislative session built around two different elections comes to an end

  • 10:29 am Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The photo below, taken and Tweeted by Jeanne Bonner of Georgia Public Broadcasting, shows a momentarily estranged pair of likely November foes — and neatly sums up the theme of Sine Die in the state Capitol.

It was all about setting the table for the 2014 election season. Those struggling to boost their chances in Republican primaries vied with Republicans who are more worried about a Democratic resurgence in November.

Twenty-four of 119 Republican state lawmakers face May 20 primary opposition. Five of 36 GOP senators have primary opposition. So does Gov. Nathan Deal.

But the governor also has a well-funded Jason Carter [More]

The Republican state senator who endorsed Medicaid expansion

  • 2:55 pm Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Buried in the storm of bills shoved through the Legislature on Tuesday was a late-night surprise – for those paying attention.

During debate on [More]

11Alive/Survey USA poll puts David Perdue atop GOP heap

  • 9:56 am Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

11Alive has a new statewide poll out this morning thatWith two months before the primary, Democrat Michelle Nunn is on the verge of winning her party’s nomination without a runoff, according to the automated SurveyUSA poll.

Straight-up numbers: Nunn, 48 percent; Todd Robinson, 14 percent; Steen Miles, 11 percent; and Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki at 5 percent.

Republican incumbent Nathan Deal is pulling 65 percent of the GOP vote in his contest. Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington comes in at 11 percent and School Superintendent John Barge registers at 7 percent.

But break out the salt shakers, ladies and gentlemen.

First, the numbers: [More]