Political Insider blog 

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

As polls close, ex-Gov. Sonny Perdue calls for ‘ground rules’ in GOP runoffs

  • 7:05 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Shortly before the polls closed, former Gov. Sonny Perdue arrived at his first-cousin’s election watching party with something to get off his mind.

“I’m a little concerned our primaries have become a little out of control over allegations and things. And I think it may be the best way to choose a candidate, but I think we’ve got to re-establish some ground rules about ethics and allegations there that are reasonable.”

He was speaking of the bruising nine-week runoff cycle - the longest and costliest in state history - that has left both businessman David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston bloodied [More]

Super PAC ads tout John Barrow and 2 unopposed Dems

  • 3:00 pm Monday, July 14th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – Patriot Majority, a Washington-based Democrat-aligned Super PAC, has bought television ads in Savannah, Augusta and Atlanta to boost the fortunes of Georgia Democrats — but not the ones atop the ticket.

The ad below is airing in Atlanta, with at least $117,000 behind it on broadcast, to celebrate Democratic Reps. Hank Johnson of Lithonia and David Scott of Atlanta and their proclaimed work on behalf of the middle class. But neither Scott nor Johnson has a Republican opponent this fall in their safe districts.

In Savannah and Augusta, Patriot Majority is weighing in with at [More]

U.S. House uses a mild threat to boost Savannah Port

  • 6:00 am Friday, July 11th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

SAVANNAH – Congress has given its stamp of approval to the $706 million Port of Savannah expansion project, and the final step before a groundbreaking is a project partnership agreement between the Georgia Ports Authority and the Army Corps of Engineers.

The port’s backers are hoping this happens soon, and they inserted language into a U.S. House spending bill — which passed Thursday night — saying that if the PPA is not signed by Oct. 1, the Army Corps will have to report back to Congress once a week on the status of the negotiation and why is has not [More]

The Plan B Committee: Two years later, Republicans gear up for a transportation re-match

  • 5:54 pm Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Two years after the humiliating, tea party-driven defeat of a penny sales tax for transportation, Republicans in the state Capitol are gearing up for a rematch.

It is a mere study committee, but one that includes top House and Senate lawmakers, including those who control the state budget, plus Georgia’s top business leaders.

The timing is the chief giveaway of the committee’s importance.

The first hearing won’t occur until after the July 22 primary runoff. And no recommendations will come before the Nov. 4 general election – after which Georgia will have either a Democratic governor, or a Republican one who will never [More]

Georgia Republicans target Better Georgia with second complaint

  • 9:53 am Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Georgia Republicans have apparently drawn a target on Better Georgia, the Democratically oriented guerrilla squad that has assigned itself the task of harassing Republican incumbent Gov. Nathan Deal.

The second complaint in two weeks was lodged with the state ethics commission on Tuesday, tDuring the 2014 calendar year, Better Georgia, Inc., has posted 23 articles to their website. Of the 23 posted articles, 21 have directly attacked Georgia Governor Nathan Deal or have advocated against his reelection as governor.

Also during the 2014 calendar year, Better Georgia, Inc., has sent 37 emails. Of the 37 emails sent, directly attacked Georgia Governor Nathan [More]

Michelle Nunn paid 13.6% in income taxes last year

  • 11:00 am Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

The Associated Press took a look at five years of Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn’s tax returns, finding that her effective tax rate took a dip last year along with her income as she went on leave from Points of Light foundation.

From Christina A. Cassidy:

The filings, which span from 2009 to 2013, show Nunn’s income as the CEO of the nonprofit Points of Light provided the bulk of the family’s income. Nunn’s husband, Ron Martin, manages the family’s investments, which also provided a steady stream of income.

The couple’s total income ranged from $224,500 in 2009 to a high [More]

Where U.S. Senate cash has come from — so far

  • 3:04 pm Monday, June 30th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

At midnight tonight, the latest round of fundraising numbers in the U.S. Senate race will be set in stone. But it could be days before the toplines leak out — and weeks before we see a full summary of who gave to whom.

In the meantime, AJC staffer Nicholas Fouriezos has taken a look at each candidate’s Federal Election Commission filings from the last two years and created a state-by-state look at where the candidates are getting their money from. Note the similar numbers generated from Georgia contributions by both Republican Jack Kingston and Democrat Michelle Nunn. A summary:

Michelle Nunn: [More]

Board of Regents to consider same-sex marriage eligibility in retirement plan

  • 8:57 am Monday, June 30th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to deliver its verdict in the Hobby Lobby case, which weighs the religious rights of employers and the right of women to their choice of birth control.

Whichever way it goes, the decision will soak up today’s media attention – and that’s just fine with the state Board of Regents, which today will consider whether to recognize same-sex marriages for participants in a University System retirement plan.

Consider it the most important clash of state and federal policies since last year, when the Georgia National Guard refused to recognize same-sex marriage – and was [More]

Democrats try to poke holes in Georgia’s ‘top biz’ ranking from CNBC

  • 10:05 am Thursday, June 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Updated: Within hours of CNBC’s announcement that Georgia was … CNBC based its rankings on data provided by the National Association of Manufacturers and the Council on Competitiveness. The chairmen of both organizations have close ties to Gov. Nathan Deal, including giving political donations to the governor and receiving millions of dollars in tax incentives from the state.

Proceed, Better Georgia:

Doug Oberhelman is the Chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers….Oberhelman is also the CEO of Caterpillar, Inc., which benefitted from a $44 million tax break from Governor Deal’s administration to open a new Caterpillar factory in Georgia. Even though Oberhelman [More]

DeKalb County politics about to duck down a rabbit hole?

  • 10:24 am Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Politics in DeKalb County may be about to head down a rabbit hole. Now, he has told the AJC that he is being subpoenaed in connection with the case, though he says he has done nothing wrong.
“I’ve been asked to come testify, and that’s it,” Watson said before referring further questions to his attorney. “When I get served, I will go and figure out what’s going on and try and make it work.”

He would not answer questions about the phone calls, which he tried to hide from the newspaper.

Watson turned over 586 pages from his personal cell phone bills, from [More]