Political Insider blog 

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

Ending a drought of successful black candidates in Georgia

  • 6:00 pm Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Eight years have passed since an African-American won a statewide, partisan election in Georgia. And truth be told, the real drought has lasted much longer.

The first and only time a black candidate has won statewide office in Georgia without first being appointed to it — and thus having the advantage of incumbency – was in 1998, when Democrat Michael Thurmond claimed the open seat for state labor commissioner.

It is one of the crueler streaks of Georgia politics, but may be about to end. The winds of change are blowing on both the Republican and Democratic side of this year’s race [More]

Forget Kasim Reed – Al Roker shifts his weather criticism to NYC

  • 9:00 am Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

He’s following the same path as this week’s ice storm.

Two weeks after And then this:

Here’s the local spilling of outrage from the New York Daily News:

Ten inches of snow. School buses colliding with cars. Half empty schools.

 “It’s absolutely a beautiful day out there,” beamed New York Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

 The clueless chancellor added insult to inclement weather with that head-scratching remark at a news conference Thursday. She and Mayor de Blasio were defending the decision to keep schools open as a snowstorm bombarded the five boroughs.

 They tried to fend off criticism that came from everyone from elected officials to [More]

Snowjam puts Nathan Deal on the spot

  • 10:54 am Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Atlanta’s worst snowjam in decades – the most comparable one is the mid-afternoon blizzard of 1982 — presents Gov. Nathan Deal with the worst weather disaster of his administration.

The irony here is about as thick as the 2.6 inches of snow on the ground. Deal took office in the middle of the January 2011 ice storm, but was absolved from blame because the paralysis came just as Sonny Perdue was handing off the baton.

This time, there’s no doubt who is in charge.

The governor has scheduled an 11:30 press briefing at the statehouse, and has invited Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Deal is [More]

Top weather guy to those who talk of ‘unexpected’ Snowjam: ‘Wrong, wrong, and wrong!’

  • 8:48 am Wednesday, January 29th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Above is a YouTube clip of Al Roker of NBC’s “Today,” calling out Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed this morning on what Roker termed a reluctant response to Tuesday’s paralysing snow.

Roker’s not alone. Marshall Shepherd, a University of Georgia professor and president of the American Meteorological Society, just published a blog post that puts on notice those public officials who have described themselves as surprised by Tuesday’s snow:

As I watch the fallout from the Snow Fiasco in the Atlanta area, one thing is clear to me: “The buses had a tough time getting kids home, but [More]

Gov. Nathan Deal in talks with Grady hospital

  • 11:38 am Thursday, January 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The $20.8 billion budget that Gov. Nathan Deal outlined yesterday isn’t quite complete. And the hole that needs to be filled could involve Georgia’s largest hospital.

Chris Riley, Deal’s chief of staff, told us his boss is in talks with Grady Memorial Hospital’s chief executive about filling a possible hole in the hospital’s budget.

It involves a winding down of Disproportionate Share Hospital payments under Obamacare.

Grady received roughly $90 million in DSH funding each year but that amount could be halved in four years due to changes from the healthcare overhaul. And without a Medicaid expansion, which isn’t happening any time soon,[More]

Nathan Deal: Increase school spending by $547 million

  • 8:48 am Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Gov. Nathan Deal will announce this morning that he’s ready to boost education spending by $547 million next year – the largest jump in school funding since the beginning of the Great Recession.

Brian Robinson, a spokesman for Deal, confirmed the governor’s intentions at this morning’s Eggs and Issues breakfast, a precursor to Deal’s state-of-the-state speech later in the day.

The emphasis on education spending comes as his three election-year rivals — state School Superintendent John Barge and Dalton Mayor David Pennington, both Republicans, and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter — hammer the GOP incumbent over past education cuts.

Deal’s proposed school spending [More]