Political Insider blog 

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

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]

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]

Johnny Isakson to HHS pick: Savannah harbor project is more important than your nomination

  • 3:03 pm Thursday, May 8th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A few weeks after officialdom in Georgia learned that another federal budget would exclude funding for a deepening of the Port of Savannah, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced her resignation.

In her stead, President Barack Obama nominated Sylvia Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget – and the woman who put the brakes on the Savannah project.

Since Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., invoked the “nuclear option,” non-judicial nominations aren’t subject to filibuster. But during a Senate committee hearing today, Johnny Isakson, in the video above, all but said he’s willing to wage whatever delaying [More]

Democratic Party has slight trust edge in Georgia poll

  • 9:06 am Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

There’s lots to dig into from this State of the State

About 51% of whites polled said they trusted the Republican Party, and only 24.6% of whites trusted the Democratic Party. But 77.9% of blacks supported the Democrats, and only 9.3% of blacks backed the GOP. Hispanic voters, a fast-growing part of the Georgia electorate, were split, with 30.4% backing the GOP and 29.9% backing the Democratic Party. Almost 40% of Hispanics polled supported third parties.

The Democratic advantage is within the poll’s margin of error.

More interesting numbers: Gov. Nathan Deal is the most trusted Republican, with 16.7 percent tapping him. [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]

Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parade turns into backdrop for clash over port’s future

  • 4:00 pm Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Savannah is the backdrop of one of the nation’s biggest St. Patrick’s Day parades. It’s also the setting for the latest political clash in the Georgia governor’s race.

Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic challenger Jason Carter both attended Monday’s festival in downtown Savannah, not far from the sprawling port that poses political challenges to both campaigns.

Deal’s decision to begin deepening Savannah’s port using state funds after the White House snubbed the project runs the risk of legal challenges and could put state funds on the line for the entire $688 million project. And the Obama Administration’s move forces Carter [More]