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]

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]

Kasim Reed on the Atlanta of 2050

  • 4:54 pm Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Wall Street Journal celebrated its 125th birthday today with a massive, web-based look back, and large series of articles focused on the future.

Taylor Swift waxed eloquent on the prospects of the music industry. In part:

“It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is.”

But it was left up to Mayor Kasim Reed to sketch out the future of urbanism – specifically, the Atlanta of 2050. Think high-speed rail and a city constantly trying to balance public [More]

Democrats heave sigh of relief as Savannah Port dredging draws near

  • 2:48 pm Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

That sigh of relief you hear isn’t just from Savannah leaders celebrating the impending $706 million deepening of their port. It’s also coming from Georgia Democrats wary that the White House’s handling of the project could hurt them in November.

President Barack Obama this morning signed HR 3080 into law, clearing the last legislative hurdle to deepen Savannah’s harbor and waterway from 42 feet to 47 feet. The project has been in the works for more than a decade and seemed a certainty when Vice President Joe Biden visited Savannah last year and proclaimed it would happen “come hell or [More]

Anti-Redskin ad to air during tonight’s NBA finals

  • 10:20 am Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The Washington Post reports that a shorted version of the above video, produced by the National Congress of American Indians, will air in select cities during tonight’s meeting of the NBA’s Miami Heat and the San Antonio spurs.

Atlanta isn’t one of the targeted markets, so this may be your only chance to see it. The original two-minute video was produced by the National Congress of American Indians, which along with the Oneida Indian Nation, has been among the more vocal groups calling for a name change. Both groups were recently behind a letter that contained more than 75 signatures from [More]

It could have been Saxby Chambliss…

  • 12:55 pm Friday, June 6th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

You have to know that, somewhere in D.C., Saxby Chambliss is shaking his head, perhaps murmuring, “There but for the grace of God….” From the Associated Press:

JACKSON, Miss. — National tea party groups are divvying up the nuts and bolts of campaigning as they rush to boost Republican Chris McDaniel’s effort to deny Sen. Thad Cochran a seventh term representing Mississippi.

The activist-focused FreedomWorks will run a door-to-door, get-out-the-vote operation ahead of the June 24 runoff. The anti-tax Club for Growth is ready to air even tougher television ads. The Tea Party Express will rally supporters with a bus tour through [More]

How Jack Kingston flooded the Georgia coast

  • 9:50 am Thursday, May 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Scientists are warning that the inevitable collapse of an Antarctic ice shelf is sure to swamp the Georgia coastline.

If you look at what U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston did on Tuesday, you’ll see that it has already started. The Savannah Republican earned his spot in U.S. Senate runoff by creating a flood in his coastal congressional district.

In today’s Georgia Report, Tom Crawford notes that the prime casualty was former secretary of state and last tea party hope, Karen Handel. Here’s some serious number-crunching:

In Chatham County (Savannah), Kingston’s hometown, he won 13,988 of the 17,859 votes cast in the Senate GOP [More]

YouTube proof that approval for Port of Savannah dredging is near

  • 5:51 pm Thursday, May 15th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

You want proof that federal approval and funding for the dredging of the Port of Savannah may finally be a done deal?

Yes, we have the bargain that U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson detailed on Wednesday. But now we also have the above YouTube video, posted by the White House two days ago.

Unless they’re ready to hang Vice President Joe Biden out to dry again, that’s a pretty strong signal.

Isakson attempts to create clout in a time of reduced influence

  • 12:05 pm Saturday, May 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

If you were watching C-SPAN on Thursday, you saw mild-mannered Johnny Isakson test-drive a new style of Washington politics.

He got angry. In public. As best he could, anyway. “I think I was respectful. I tried to be,” Isakson said afterwards.

In the short-term, whether the senator’s tactics bear fruit could mean a great deal in terms of economic development – here and on the Georgia coast.

More broadly, Isakson’s strategem could also foretell a shift in how the U.S. Senate does its business – bringing into public view many of the negotiations and sidebar discussions that, in the past, have been conducted [More]

Port of Savannah expansion nears as Congress strikes water bill deal

  • 6:00 am Friday, May 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Congressional leaders in both parties and chambers are set to move forward next week on a bill to authorize water projects across the nation — including the Port of Savannah deepening.

After nearly seven months of wrangling, the House-Senate negotiators announced Thursday night that they had agreed on a conference committee report which will be filed next week, and should clear both chambers easily. The House is gone next week, though, so the earliest it can head to President Barack Obama’s desk is the week of the 19th.

A Congressional authorization is the last step, according to the Obama administration, before the [More]