Political Insider blog 

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

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]

Joe Lowery urges Clayton County voters to swamp Saturday meeting for MARTA

  • 11:01 pm Friday, July 4th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Ninety-one year old Joseph Lowery, still an influential voice in metro Atlanta, is urging Clayton County residents to swamp a special Saturday morning meeting of the county commission, to persuade it to approve a referendum for a penny sales tax that would promise both bus and rail service in the transit-starved county.

The Clayton County Commission this week approved a half-penny sales tax that would finance only bus service. MARTA officials have rejected the proposal. A Sunday deadline is involved.

The Clayton County meeting is at 9 a.m. Saturday at 112 Smith Street in Jonesboro. Here’s the robocall that went out [More]

Cobb County and the price of poor sportsmanship

  • 10:04 am Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Good sportsmanship has been given a bad rap as a superficial concern of the athlete/dilettante, as irrelevant as an upturned pinky in a melee.

In fact, as any student of Clausewitz would tell you, being a gracious winner is part of the realpolitik of sports. Because just as there is never a last war, there is never a last game.

The upraised middle finger, those loud lies about the sexual history of the pitcher’s mother – all will be recorded and replayed in the opposing team’s locker room just before the next meeting. Anger begets adrenaline.

Over the weekend, our AJC colleagues gave [More]

In which possession of a MARTA card becomes grounds for a GOP attack

  • 1:02 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

A Republican governor and one Democratic candidate for Senate have indicated a certain reluctance to appear on-stage with their primary opponents. House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, doesn’t share their concern.

On Tuesday night, the third most powerful figure in the state Capitol debated Sam Snider, a tea partyist and Gilmer County high school wrestling coach. Video has been posted by fetchyournews.com.

An accompanying write-up includes this paragraph:

Things got heated quickly when Snider showed he was not intimidated by his opponent. Snider went after Ralston for his support of TSPLOST and even went so far as to point out that Ralston [More]

The subtext of Nathan Deal’s upcoming trip to Israel

  • 10:05 am Tuesday, February 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Gov. Nathan Deal only has one international trip on the schedule so far this election year. And it’s a big one.

The governor is planning on traveling to the Holy Land for a few days in June to tour Israeli businesses and try to drum up more investment for Georgia. The trip is intended to highlight the 40 Israeli companies that have operations in Georgia, but the political subtext is clear.

Deal’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jason Carter, has sought to reassure Jewish constituents in his district that he is very different from his famous grandfather when it comes to Middle East [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]

Talking about the weather in Atlanta — and maybe fixing it

  • 5:59 pm Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The time has come to admit that, perhaps, we don’t understand what our favorite weather personalities are really saying. And that our favorite weather personalities may not understand what we really need to know.

The annual convention of the American Meteorological Society abandoned Atlanta on Wednesday. It was an ironic, five-day event, coming only days after the Snowjam ’14 debacle. Rather like Denver opening its arms to the National Brotherhood of Monday Morning Quarterbacks.

Yes, there were a few snickers and rolled eyes. But in the vastness of the Georgia World Congress Center, it was also possible to find thoughtful, reflective and [More]

Legislative tip sheet: Of weather task forces and interstate speed limits

  • 7:50 am Monday, February 3rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The weather’s warm and the Monday traffic is moving – sort of, anyway. Time to start talking about bumping up those speed limits on I-285.

And Gov. Nathan Deal has another round with reporters at 1:15 p.m., when he’s expected to announce membership on his severe weather warning task force. Al Roker is unlikely to make the cut.

Lawmakers return at 10 a.m. in the House and Senate today for a busy five-day work week that starts – in the House – with H.B. 774, which would allow the state Department of Transportation to raise speed limits on metro Atlanta interstates.

The Senate [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]

Michelle Nunn carefully endorses a minimum wage hike

  • 9:29 am Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Over at myajc.com and on today’s front page,  we look at President Barack Obama’s predicted focus on income inequality in tonight’s State of the Union address, and Contained in that piece, worth noting because of the caution she’s shown in picking sides on issues, is an endorsement of a minimum wage hike by Michelle Nunn, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate:

 “I support raising the minimum wage, but we need to do it in concert with business leaders to limit any unintended consequences,” she said at a recent appearance in Athens. “We need to ensure Georgia is a place of great [More]