Political Insider blog 

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

With Delta in the wings, Republicans schedule a bitter fight for 2015

  • 6:19 pm Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Looking at the November prospect of seizing full control of Congress, Republicans in Washington have begun mapping out a to-do list.

More importantly, they have decided what to fight over among themselves: An obscure agency known as the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Stifle that yawn. This is more important than it sounds. You can tell because, whenever the bank is mentioned, Georgia members of Congress zip their lips and run for cover.

In an effort to avoid an election-season shutdown of the federal government, House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday announced that the bank’s charter would be extended until next June [More]

Michelle Nunn goes Pillowtex on David Perdue

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Two days before their first joint U.S. Senate appearance — none dare call it a debate — Democrat Michelle Nunn has raised the topic of Republican David Perdue’s tenure at Pillowtex.

The Nunn campaign has filled a one-minute TV spot with named former mill workers from Kannapolis, N.C., telling the story of David Perdue’s brief stint at the textile firm, which went bankrupt shortly after he left.

This Politifact examination from July, when U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston attacked Perdue on the topic, offers some excellent background on Pillowtex’s fortunes. Politifact rated the Kingston attack “mostly false” but the Nunn ad doesn’t [More]

Whoosh! From Atlanta to Columbus in 61 minutes

  • 9:50 am Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and state Rep. Calvin Smyre made the rounds in Washington on Wednesday, pitching a $3.9 billion, high speed rail project that would put Columbus and Atlanta within an hour’s reach of each other.

They met with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and top staffer for Vice President Joe Biden, a noted rail aficionado.

“This is a very doable project,” Tomlinson said. “It’s smaller than most of the ones that we’re looking at [around the country]. Cost-wise, comparably speaking, it’s bite-sized, something that can be an early success.”

She added that private money would have to be leveraged along with taxpayer [More]

Nathan Deal: Talk of gas tax hike is ‘premature’

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

State lawmakers are wrestling with ways to Y0u can assume it won’t be a tax hike. So what other methods could they be examining?

One possibility could involve directing the fourth penny of that fuel tax, about $180 million that’s now diverted to the general fund, toward transportation projects. Another could give local governments more power to raise sales taxes for transportation.

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Former state lawmaker Edward Lindsey of Atlanta, a member of that transportation task force in search of dollars, has an argument posted on GeorgiaPundit.com with a biblical beginning:

Two thousand years ago there was a thriving commercial center and port [More]

Barry Loudermilk’s reply on federal funding for transportation

  • 2:45 pm Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last week, we wrote of a visit to Atlanta by former U.S. transportation secretary Ray LaHood and his chastisement of Georgia for its failure to have a single congressman on either the House or Senate transportation committee:

“In the next six years, Congress is going to write a new transportation bill. Are you going to have somebody in the room in Washington when that bill is written – that’ll be a voice for Georgia?” LaHood asked.

“You’ve got to step up here. You’ve got to send people to Washington who are willing to help you provide the resources. You cannot do [More]

A stark message from Ray LaHood on Georgia’s cloutless D.C. position

  • 5:40 pm Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Rev. Ray LaHood delivered brimstone in Atlanta this week.

Strictly speaking, he is not ordained. LaHood is a former Illinois congressman and, until recently, was the token Republican in the cabinet of President Barack Obama, serving as secretary of transportation.

But he is now a traveling evangelist, preaching against the sin of skin-flintery – or, more specifically, the current attitude that someone else should pay for our use of American roads, bridges and rail.

”We’re in a mess in America when it comes to transportation. Every transit system is 50 years old and crumbling. The interstates are crumbling. Bridges are falling down,” [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]

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]