Political Insider blog 

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

Super PAC feints toward Michelle Nunn, stabs at Phil Gingrey

  • 9:42 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Ending Spending Action Fund is drawingBut Ending Spending has reported nearly twice as much, $592,000, to hit Gingrey.
The group has reserved $1.3 million in airtime ahead of the primary, and we’ll see if the ratio continues to favor Gingrey attacks. Ending Spending has been less eager to talk about them, though.

The group’s website features the Nunn ad and it gave early warning to the Wall Street Journal of its campaign against the Democrat. But we had to find the Gingrey ad elsewhere.

The Nunn campaign, meanwhile, has found a [More]

John Boehner attacked for ‘electile dysfunction’

  • 8:19 am Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Remember that brilliant campaign ad that flashed in your head at the tail end of a drunken debauch in the basement of your frat house – the one that sounded really, really stupid in the sobering light of day?

It got made:

From our sister newspaper, the Dayton Daily News:

A Cedarville University adjunct French teacher is hoping his “electile dysfunction” spot hit Speaker of the House John Boehner where it hurts: the ballot box.

J.D. Winteregg, one of three men challenging Boehner for the 8th Congressional District seat in the May 6 Republican primary, has launched “When The Moment Is Right,” a [More]

A Republican senator speaks up for Medicaid expansion

  • 9:00 am Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Today is the fourth birthday of the Affordable Care Act. Strictly speaking, this is not news, but a predictable, calendar-based event.

Rather like a Legislature in Georgia passing a gun bill in an election year. You can nearly set your watch by it.

No, news is the unexpected. It is man bites dog – which is silly. Or Vladimir Putin sending an apology and flowers to Ukraine – which is pure fantasy.

News is an elected Republican endorsing an expansion of Medicaid in Georgia. Which may be just as inconceivable, but really happened.

One of the year’s grandest acts of political rebellion in the [More]

A legislative session built around two different elections comes to an end

  • 10:29 am Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The photo below, taken and Tweeted by Jeanne Bonner of Georgia Public Broadcasting, shows a momentarily estranged pair of likely November foes — and neatly sums up the theme of Sine Die in the state Capitol.

It was all about setting the table for the 2014 election season. Those struggling to boost their chances in Republican primaries vied with Republicans who are more worried about a Democratic resurgence in November.

Twenty-four of 119 Republican state lawmakers face May 20 primary opposition. Five of 36 GOP senators have primary opposition. So does Gov. Nathan Deal.

But the governor also has a well-funded Jason Carter [More]

11Alive/Survey USA poll puts David Perdue atop GOP heap

  • 9:56 am Thursday, March 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

11Alive has a new statewide poll out this morning thatWith two months before the primary, Democrat Michelle Nunn is on the verge of winning her party’s nomination without a runoff, according to the automated SurveyUSA poll.

Straight-up numbers: Nunn, 48 percent; Todd Robinson, 14 percent; Steen Miles, 11 percent; and Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovacki at 5 percent.

Republican incumbent Nathan Deal is pulling 65 percent of the GOP vote in his contest. Former Dalton Mayor David Pennington comes in at 11 percent and School Superintendent John Barge registers at 7 percent.

But break out the salt shakers, ladies and gentlemen.

First, the numbers: [More]

Gov. Nathan Deal on a tea party favorite’s ‘inappropriate’ Obamacare rhetoric

  • 4:10 pm Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

State Rep. Jason Spencer’s blistering rebuke of “Republican Benedict Arnolds” who threatened his anti-Obamacare legislation didn’t sit well with his party’s leader. But it also didn’t stop Gov. Nathan Deal from endorsing Spencer’s proposal in a behind-the-scenes rewrite.

The governor said Wednesday that his staff added a sentence to the legislation “to make clear that nothing in that bill would interfere with the state being a part of a Medicaid program.” Said Deal:

“I had some concerns that the language could be broad enough that someone could raise concerns and say we could no longer participate in a federal-state partnership on Medicaid, [More]

Stewing over Obamacare in the final days of the 2014 session

  • 9:00 am Saturday, March 15th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The next four days at the state Capitol will determine how we talk about the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, for the rest of the year in Georgia.

The only question is whether, on the cusp of a highly competitive election season, our GOP-controlled Legislature will let Democrats like Michelle Nunn and Jason Carter continue to simmer in voter suspicion of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

What’s the alternative? Republican lawmakers could decide to throw themselves into the same stew pot. In fact, they’re poised to do just that.

Democratic vulnerability as a result of the Affordable Care Act’s rocky start was [More]

Third whistleblower suit filed against state ethics agency

  • 9:05 am Tuesday, March 4th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

It appears that the troubles surrounding the panel once known as the State Ethics Commission will continue to plague us. From the Fulton County Daily Report:

A man who has testified that he was ordered to alter and hide documents relating to a probe of Gov. Nathan Deal before being fired by the chief of Georgia’s ethics agency has filed a whistleblower suit against the Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission and its executive secretary, Holly LaBerge.

The suit, filed in Fulton County Superior Court last week by the commission’s former media specialist, John Hair, is the third whistleblower action stemming [More]

Frankly, my dear: A friendly, taxpayer-funded note from Phil Gingrey

  • 9:10 am Thursday, February 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

The image above is a mailing that arrived Wednesday at an AJC reporter’s house in U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey’s district. The Marietta Republican’s message is rather clear on the subject of immigration: “Secure Our Borders. Enforce Current Law. No Amnesty.”

But squint and cock your head just so to look at the bottom half: “Public document – official business. This document was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

We’ve spent a lot of time in the heated U.S. Senate race talking about the perils of incumbency, but here’s an upside for the three sitting congressmen: The chance to advertise your views [More]

Suddenly, John Boehner is a liability in Georgia

  • 5:22 pm Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

For the past five years and change, Republicans have delighted in watching some — usually white — Georgia Democrats scatter when President Barack Obama comes near.

But they are coming close to having the same persona non grata problem — in the form of House Speaker John Boehner. And Paul Broun, the Athens congressman and GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate, is helping to make it so.

The gentleman from Ohio pronounced himself highly ticked off at the kamikaze tactics of the tea party movement after last year’s federal shutdown. “Frankly, I just think that they’ve lost all credibility,” Boehner said in [More]