Political Insider blog 

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

A word from Ben Carson at VSU carries a $43k pricetag

  • 11:18 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We know that getting a few words out of Hillary Clinton, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, can cost a group somewhere in the range of $300,000.

Dr. Ben Carson isn’t that expensive, but $43,000 for a night’s work is still a chunk of change. Even for a neurosurgeon.
That’s what Valdosta State University is paying Carson for a Sept. 11 appearance – billed as a non-partisan fundraiser, but attracting quite a lot of attention from GOP types.

We know all of this because Mark George, a former sociology lecturer at VSU, sent us the documents. He was concerned that Carson’s political inclinations – [More]

Ralph Hudgens: No longer an Obamacare ‘obstructionist’

  • 10:01 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Last year, when Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said he would do Now, as for Hudgens. The state insurance commissioner told our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos on Wednesday that he just got caught up in the heat of the moment last August:

“I spoke to a Republican group in Rome, Ga., and I said I was going to be an obstructionist, but I can’t be. I mean, I was talking to a Republican group and I was throwing them some red meat. …

“I’m not a fan of it. I don’t think it’s going to work. But there’s nothing I can do [More]

Jason Carter’s campaign seizes on economy in fresh attacks

  • 4:59 pm Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter’s campaign has undergone a distinct messaging change this week in the wake of the news that Georgia’s jobless rate is the second-worst in the nation.

The Atlanta state senator has long centered his message on the need to better fund education and pounced on each flare-up in the ethics case swirling around Gov. Nathan Deal. But his campaign has unleashed a three-day blitz attacking the Republican’s stewardship of the economy in the wake of the bad news.

He attacked Deal’s embrace of a “grab bag” of economic policies on Monday and on Tuesday called for a new tax to improve infrastructure [More]

Morning of the gun: John Lewis says Deep South is doing it better than Ferguson

  • 8:58 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Weaponry, or images of it, seem everywhere this morning. We’ll start with the National Guard walking the streets of Ferguson, Mo.

From the Associated Press:

Gov. Jay Nixon said the National Guard would help “in restoring peace and order” to the St. Louis suburb, where protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer entered their second week. Police said they acted in response to gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails.

The latest confrontations came on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on Brown, and as [More]

Jason Carter on the ‘giant amount of waste’ to be cut in state government

  • 3:22 pm Thursday, August 14th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

State Sen. Jason Carter said tax increases to boost education funding would be off the table should he win November’s gubernatorial election. Where that money would come from has been a question that’s dogged his campaign to oust Gov. Nathan Deal.

The Democrat elaborated on those funding plans Thursday by calling for a review of government to expose what he expects to be a “giant amount of waste” in state spending.

“You see it throughout the government. Everyone knows that it’s there,” said Carter, an Atlanta state senator, after a tour of a DeKalb high school. “We have not done a true top-to-bottom review [More]

Nathan Deal goes to Vegas as rumors of Sheldon Adelson meeting swirl

  • 9:28 am Sunday, August 10th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal is in Las Vegas Sunday to address Republican National Lawyers Association. Left unsaid is whether he will also meet with one of his party’s biggest benefactors, Sheldon Adelson.

His team won’t confirm or deny whether the governor will huddle with the casino magnate or his representatives while at the conference at the Venetian Hotel, which Adelson owns.

But his allies have reason to believe that Adelson, who almost single-handedly floated Newt Gingrich’s 2012 presidential campaign, could chip in.

The billionaire has given tens of millions to pro-Israel groups over the years, and started a[More]

With $2.5 million TV buy, GOP can’t say Georgia race for U.S. Senate is a ‘gimme’

  • 10:02 am Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

National Democrats were thrilled Tuesday to see that national Republicans are going to spend early and big on the Georgia U.S. Senate race.

The news that theFrom a tactical standpoint, every dime the NRSC spends on must-win Georgia is a dime not spent on a state Democrats have to hold, such as Colorado. Of course, in the Super PAC age, outside money can arrive from anywhere at any time and in any amount.


On the other hand, Kansas just made Georgia’s race for U.S. Senate a little more important for Democrats. Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) won his closely watched primary on Tuesday, [More]

How to eavesdrop on conversations – with a bag of potato chips and a camera

  • 4:32 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Because the ebola virus just isn’t giving you the paranoia fix that you need on a late Tuesday afternoon:

Researchers at MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe have developed an algorithm that can reconstruct an audio signal by analyzing minute vibrations of objects depicted in video. In one set of experiments, they were able to recover intelligible speech from the vibrations of a potato-chip bag photographed from 15 feet away through soundproof glass.

In other experiments, they extracted useful audio signals from videos of aluminum foil, the surface of a glass of water, and even the leaves of a potted plant. The researchers [More]

National Republicans drop $2.5 million on Georgia Senate ads

  • 3:28 pm Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – The National Republican Senatorial Committee is escalating Georgia’s U.S. Senate race ad war with $2.5 million worth of television ad time in the next few weeks, according to two people monitoring ad buys in the state.

The buy runs for five weeks entirely in Atlanta starting Tuesday and appears to be the first strike of the general election for the NRSC anywhere in the country. It’s the latest sign that the race between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn is firmly on the national radar, and the GOP is taking the fight seriously.

The NRSC, which would not officially [More]

Behind the scenes: Tamping down an Ebola panic

  • 10:31 am Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

If you do not know who Nancy Writebol is, it may be time to crawl out from under your rock.

She’s the second Ebola-infected American, a missionary worker from North Carolina, who is Anytime you introduce a new virus into a world hemisphere, people tend to get nervous – just ask the Inkas.

But several politicians (and a former one) are stepping up to allay any concerns. For instance, Ed Lindsey of Atlanta, who just resigned his Republican House seat, posted this on his Facebook page:

“Hysteria notwithstanding, as a Georgian I am proud that it is a Georgia air service and [More]