Political Insider blog 

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

John Barrow pulls out his granddaddy’s anti-lynchin’ pistol again

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Rep. John Barrow’s Barrow mourns how “Washington Democrats look down on people for carrying firearms.”

The kicker: “Like my daddy used to say, you never really need a gun unless you need it bad.”

The second new spot from Barrow today swings to attack Republican Rick Allen from the right on immigration.

The main critique of Allen is that We told you on Tuesday that the state Democratic party had sent out an early-voting turnout mailer aimed at African-Americans, using images from Ferguson, Mo.

The images were stark. Here’s the explanation from Michael Smith, the Democratic spokesman:

“The fight for the right to vote [More]

Only one-third of 183,416 new voters describe themselves as white

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The good news for Republicans in Georgia: Since March 1, 183,416 new voters have registered, according to Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

That’s a good deal less than the number many, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, have said is necessary for a statewide Democratic victory on Nov. 4.

The bad news for Republicans: Only one-third of those new voters described themselves as white. While they make up a much smaller portion of Georgia’s voting population, African-Americans – who provide a reliable base for Democrats – accounted for nearly 37 percent of new voters.

In 2012, whites made up 59 percent of the voting [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]

New poll shows what the money suggests: Movement toward Michelle Nunn

  • 9:31 am Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

A SurveyUSA poll conducted for 11Alive this morning is – Libertarian Amanda Swafford: 3 percent.

The Nunn shift likely reflects the thinking behind the outside money that has poured into this race in recent days, and could be a result of her outsourcing push against Perdue. Witness this finding, via the WXIA-TV website:

Nunn has gained ground among men. She still trails men by 3%, but five weeks ago, she was trailed among men by 19%. She also saw improvement among independents, 6 points behind Perdue instead of the 28 points in August. Nunn as lead Greater Atlanta by as little [More]

Emory backtracks: DeKalb never threatened sewer cutoff over Ebola virus

  • 9:54 am Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Updated at 2:30 p.m.: Emory University just issued a statement backtracking on a claim made in today’s New York Times, that DeKalb County had threatened to cut off sewer lines if it wasn’t satisfied over the disposal of waste from two patients being treated for the Ebola virus.

From Vincent Dollard, Emory’s associate vice president of health science communications:

“Emory University Hospital has been treating patients with Ebola virus disease in its Serious Communicable Diseases Unit since August 2. During the early stages of this pioneering treatment of patients with Ebola virus disease in the United States, Emory established waste management protocols [More]

Republicans opt for cash, Democrats choose outrage in final stretch

  • 10:44 am Monday, October 13th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

With the clock down to 22 days and early voting underway, both sides are showing their final hands in Georgia’s two biggest races.

Republicans are displaying a large cash advantage in an effort to avoid expensive runoffs. The Super PAC called Ending Spending and the The NRSC, which committed $1.45 million late Friday, was hoping to throw its money elsewhere, at least as of mid-September when its first Georgia buy was coming to a close. Here’s the committee’s finance chair, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, as

The gist of the issue: The HOPE scholarship, as originally launched by Gov. Zell Miller in [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]

A bitter feud over ethics — and other hard-of-hearing stories from Perry

  • 10:14 am Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Perry, Ga. — In between the boos and cheers at last night’s wrasslin’ — er, gubernatorial — match, there was a particularly brutal exchange between Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter over the ethics complaints dogging his first term.

It started when Deal was asked why voters should trust him to overhaul the ethics commission.

“The ethics complaints that were filed against me were heard by the five commissioners and they were dismissed as having no merit,” said Deal, who talked about his proposal to expand and remake the agency.

Then Carter jumped in:

Carter: “I find it almost amazing to say that [More]

A Spanish-language ad aimed at David Perdue, Nathan Deal

  • 9:48 am Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

People For The American Way, the left-leaning civil liberties group, reports that it’s putting more than $100,000 behind the above ad in Georgia, which declares that Republicans Nathan Deal and David Perdue “want to destroy our future.”

As you can see, the 30-second spot is in Spanish. Our version has subtitles. The same group had targeted Perdue with a radio ad earlier in the cycle.

From Randy Borntrager, political director for PFAW:

“They want to reduce educational opportunities, deny citizenship to those born in this country, make it harder to obtain health care, and hurt workers by maintaining low wages—all issues that directly [More]