Political Insider blog 

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

Pulling out the stops: Nathan Deal brings first lady into the picture

  • 9:49 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Early this week, Gov. Nathan Deal got on the phone with more than a few nervous Republican state lawmakers and promised to pull out all the stops in the upcoming election.

Proof arrived Wednesday morning in the inboxes of laptops and smartphones across Georgia: A re-introduction to Sandra Deal, the cute-as-a-button first lady of Georgia.

Technically, it wasn’t a campaign piece, but an official communication from the Office of the Governor. (If you didn’t get one, see it here.)

And contentwise, the most controversial part of the message was a recipe for gluten-free almond cookies.

But the post-Election Day timing was an unmistakable [More]

The Michelle Nunn diet: Grit, but no red meat

  • 6:08 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Early Wednesday morning, hours after Republicans had crowned David Perdue as their U.S. Senate nominee, Democrat Michelle Nunn was working the Silver Skillet breakfast crowd on 14th Street in Atlanta.

Journalists were there to feed, too. But Nunn had them on a strict diet. Grit, but no red meat.

She called for more collaboration in Washington. She refused to speak ill of her new GOP foe. “That kind of approach is what people are hungry for, and what I do not think you’re going to hear from David Perdue,” Nunn said.

Snap.

Okay, maybe not. And that’s what has some Democrats softly murmuring as [More]

In U.S. Senate runoff, the Chamber takes it on the chin

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

David Perdue’s decision to target the U.S. Chamber in the final days of his GOP Senate runoff was more a page torn from the family playbook than an act of desperation.

In 2002, upstart Sonny Perdue was shocked, baffled and outraged by the fact that a national political group known for reflexively endorsing Republicans instead decided to side with Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes.

In that case, it was the National Rifle Association. Perdue challenged Barnes to a shotgun duel – all right, a skeet shoot (which never happened) — and campaigned against the NRA as one of those many special interests [More]

Michelle Nunn mentions ‘contrast’ but avoids attack as general election begins

  • 10:02 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Democrat Michelle Nunn kicked off the U.S. Senate general election Wednesday morning promising not to deviate from her message of “collaboration” and declining to take a direct shot at her newly crowned foe, Republican David Perdue.

Nunn met with voters and volunteers at the Silver Skillet in Midtown Atlanta, then told reporters there would be a “contrast” between her career and Perdue’s. Neither has run for office before, as Nunn touts her experience leading the nonprofit that became Points of Light and Perdue running on his business credentials including stints as CEO of Dollar General and Reebok. Said Nunn:

“We have a [More]

A hair-pin turn in U.S. Senate race puts the focus on Michelle Nunn

  • 10:24 am Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia’s first – and perhaps last – nine-week primary runoff concludes today. A hair-pin turn in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss is already underway.

Republicans Jack Kingston and David Perdue have thrown millions of dollars’ worth of insults at each other. Kingston has accused Perdue of consorting with the French. Perdue, on slightly firmer ground, has accused Kingston of being a member of Congress.

In Washington, The Hill newspaper has found someone willing to offer a highly technical assessment of the situation:

They’ve been beating the crap out of each other,” said Georgia-based Republican strategist Chip Lake, who [More]

Rain may not be the only thing that dampens GOP runoff fervor

  • 12:22 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The weather gods are forecasting a 50 percent chance of rain on Tuesday, which is likely to depress voter turnout beyond already meager expectations for tomorrow’s runoff contests. A single-digit showing is possible.

But something else may be sprinkling cold water on GOP excitement.

This morning, Gov. Nathan Deal held a conference call with a small group of Republican state senators – and one of your Insiders, who listened in.

In addition to affecting surveys conducted in Georgia, these numbers also make the state GOP effort to regroup in every county f***

This morning, interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, Clerk of Superior Court [More]

Michelle Nunn rakes in $3.45 million in second quarter

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – Democrat Michelle Nunn raised $3.45 million in the second quarter of this year, a whopping figure that likely will rank among the best in the country.

Nunn’s outside fundraising from April, May and June is more than Jack Kingston and David Perdue combined — and the two Republican runoff participants are allowed to collect an extra maximum $2,600 in runoff funds from top contributors. They also will burn much of their sums ahead of the July 22 vote.

The Nunn campaign did not say how much it spent or how much cash it had on hand as of June 30, ahead [More]

U.S. House uses a mild threat to boost Savannah Port

  • 6:00 am Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

SAVANNAH – Congress has given its stamp of approval to the $706 million Port of Savannah expansion project, and the final step before a groundbreaking is a project partnership agreement between the Georgia Ports Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The port’s backers are hoping this happens soon, and they inserted language into a U.S. House spending bill — which passed Thursday night — saying that if the PPA is not signed by Oct. 1, the Army Corps will have to report back to Congress once a week on the status of the negotiation and why is has not [More]

Documents: Barry Loudermilk involved in $80k racial discrimination settlement

  • 10:06 am Thursday, July 10th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Runoffs are the trench warfare of campaigning – dirty, messy and often hand-to-hand affairs.

This morning, Todd Rehm of GaPundit.com Rehm, a consultant for the Barr campaign, said the documents arrived by email, and that he does not know their source.

The AJC’s Jeremy Redmon has inquired with Melvin Everson, executive director of the state Commission on Equal Opportunity, who notes that the documents don’t appear to be stamped an notarized.

But Ed Buckley, an attorney in the law firm that represented Ethel Blackmon, told Redmon that the paperwork is indeed authentic.

One document details the complaint of Ethel Blackmon. The [More]

Michelle Nunn calls on GOP rivals to ‘refuse’ third-party ads

  • 12:00 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

With millions of dollars in outside spending already shaping Georgia’s Senate race, Democrat Michelle Nunn is calling for a “Peach State pledge” with her two potential GOP rivals to refuse third-party ads. The nonprofit executive sent a letter Wednesday to Rep. Jack Kingston and businessman David Perdue, who square off in the July 22 GOP runoff, urging them to vow to reject third-party ads in the general campaign.

Super PACs and outside groups have bombarded the airwaves ahead of the May 20 primary and this month’s runoff, and millions more will likely be spent through November as Nunn finds herself [More]