Political Insider blog 

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

David Perdue reportedly pledges to be a ‘team player’ for Mitch McConnell

  • 9:42 am Thursday, July 31st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

David Perdue had to run against Washington and its dreaded “career politicians” in order to capture his party’s U.S. Senate nomination.

But he needs them to win in the fall and become an effective senator, which is why he made the rounds Wednesday on Capitol Hill for a series of possibly awkward meetings, starting with the man he defeated in a rough nine-week runoff, Jack Kingston. The Perdue campaign passed along the accompanying photographic evidence of the meeting.

We’re unaware of any visuals from Perdue’s sit-down with Georgia Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. In [More]

Michelle Nunn team launches pushback on ‘old news’ memo

  • 9:05 am Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

A flurry of calls from Michelle Nunn’s supporters came a One caller was the Rev. Raphael Warnock, the leader of Ebenezer Baptist Church and one of Nunn’s most prominent black supporters. He said he wasn’t surprised that “people are trying to make hay out of it.”

“But the notion that somebody who is trying to run for the Senate actually has a plan to run for the Senate is not interesting or news to me. It’s not news – and it’s old news at best.”

Of course, this isn’t just any memo. It lays out Nunn’s campaign strategy, as of December [More]

The Michelle Nunn media relations strategy

  • 9:00 am Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Greg Bluestein

The Michelle

First, here’s the big picture view on us ravenous, gaffe-hungry beasts:

“The communications department’s first and foremost responsibility is to ensure that the candidate and all parts of the campaign adhere to the message that the senior team has agreed upon. In the zero sum game of elections, resources that a campaign spends advancing a message different from the one that will persuade the most voters is time and resources wasted. In fact – in 21st century campaigns with wall-to-wall media coverage and super-pacs able to put millions of dollars behind video behind a single cell-phone video – a [More]

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 First Lady of Georgia.

It wasn’t a campaign piece, but an official communication from the Office of the Governor in its weekly newsletter. (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 [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]

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]

First poll since ethics case revival gives Jason Carter edge over Nathan Deal

  • 7:00 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Our corporate cousins over at WSB-TV released a poll that gives Democrat Jason Carter the edge over Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.

Poll crosstabs give Deal a nine-point advantage with male voters, but find women support Carter by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Carter also has the edge among black voters and those under 40. Interestingly, independents – who tend to lean to the right – are split between the two.

There’s a high possibility that Carter is benefiting from a media bubble, given the timing of the survey. But we’re sure he’ll take it.

***

An InsiderAdvantage survey conducted for Morris News Service, WAGA-TV in [More]

Second-guessing Sam Olens on the Holly LaBerge memo

  • 11:19 am Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

 

On today’s ethics front, we have boatloads of radio-delivered news.

Gov. Nathan Deal continues his pushback on the Holly LaBerge fallout this afternoon. Erick Erickson, the conservative provocateur for WSB Radio (750AM, 95.5FM) has sent out the following Tweet:

Starting my radio show at 4 PM today with an exclusive interview with Gov. Nathan Deal.

Over at WABE (90.1FM), Jonathan Shapiro hooked up with designated legal expert Page Pate, who outlined what he thought Attorney General Sam Olens ought to have done with a 2012 memo written by Holly LaBerge, executive secretary for the state ethics commission, alleging that aides to the governor [More]

Sam Olens on the hot seat over Holly LaBerge memo

  • 9:55 am Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Looks like fallout from an ethics probe that, years later, has yet to touch bottom will be the theme of the day.

Late Tuesday, Attorney General Sam Olens issued Said Olens:

“Our civil lawyers determined it was not responsive to the discovery request in the civil litigation.”

In other words, the whistleblowers’ attorneys didn’t ask the right question that might have prompted the memo’s release. However, Olens said he did advise LaBerge to turn it over when the feds asked for relevant documents.

Not everyone is buying into the attorney general’s distinction. “If you gave it to the FBI, why wouldn’t you give it [More]