Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Nathan Deal: ‘My record speaks louder than any words’

  • 1:43 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Dalton – Don’t expect to hear Gov. Nathan Deal change his mind about attending any debates with his GOP challengers before the May 20 primary.

His Republican rivals, state Superintendent John Barge and former Dalton Mayor David Pennington, have both tried to ratchet up the pressure on Deal with press conferences and social media blasts. Deal’s camp has refused, holding to the strategy that a front-runner and incumbent has little to gain by sharing the stage with his challengers.

If anything, a Pennington event hijacked by Deal attorney Randy Evans reinforced that notion with Deal’s aides. The governor said [More]

Jason Carter: Gun bill a solution for ‘geographically polarized’ communities

  • 1:05 pm Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

State Sen. Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, was on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” this morning to talk about his race against Republican incumbent Nathan Deal.

Amidst the routine questions was one that has puzzled many of Carter’s Democratic supporters, even in Georgia. Why did you vote for H.B. 60, the expansive gun bill that Deal will sign on Wednesday? Chuck Todd asked.

What follows is what we think is Carter’s most expansive explanation on the topic so far:

Carter: “I think the Second Amendment is important to many people in Georgia. And I know a lot of national Democrats and [More]

Karen Handel’s tax return challenge gets two takers — but not the big fish

  • 9:00 am Monday, April 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

On the GOP side of the U.S. Senate race, Karen Handel’s U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey was game, though. He said in an interview Thursday he was “absolutely” willing to disclose up to 10 years of his tax records. His campaign said they should be available next week.

“I’d be happy to do that,” he said, adding: “My tax returns for the last five, 10 years, if she wants to do 10 years I’d be glad to do that. I think people want to know and they deserve to know. I’m all for that.”

Gingrey’s financial disclosure showed that in 2012 he [More]

A link between probation company and senator who wants to be a judge

  • 10:57 am Sunday, April 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Good read here from Sandy Hodson and the Augusta Chronicle. Don’t be satisfied with these introductory paragraphs:

Less than a week before a Senate committee stripped a bill of provisions that limited the fees private probation companies can charge, the owner of such a firm wrote a letter of recommendation for the Waynesboro state senator who headed the committee and is in line for a judgeship that will supervise people affected by the legislation.

In addition, three days before the legislative session began, state Sen. Jesse Stone received his largest single campaign contribution from the Georgia Association of Professional Bondsmen, according [More]

Chip Rogers awaits ‘next challenge’ after splitting with GPB

  • 4:09 pm Saturday, April 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former state Sen. Chip Rogers on Saturday confirmed our report that he was let go from Georgia Public Broadcasting. His high-paying gig there had been the source of controversy from critics who said his hire smacked of political cronyism.

“I enjoyed my time with GPB,” Rogers said in a statement. “Our show had great ratings and my blog was the most widely read on the site. I look forward to my next challenge and wish the best for everyone at GPB.”

Rogers, a Woodstock Republican, was elected to the Legislature in 2002 and rose to be one of the Senate’s [More]

You can lead a governor to cameras, but you can’t make him debate

  • 9:00 am Saturday, April 19th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Instances are scarce, perhaps as rare as a cop doing the speed limit, but every now and then, you come across a politician who would just rather not talk.

Gov. Nathan Deal has become one of them. It is only an occasional affliction. Our governor is an easy conversationalist in front of small groups, and large ones, too. TV cameras provoke nothing but calm and a smooth river of words.

But offer Deal a chance to appear on stage with his two Republican primary opponents, and the governor becomes as halting as a greenhorn at his first Toastmasters meeting.

The GOP incumbent this [More]

A new Super PAC salvo against Jack Kingston

  • 6:03 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – The above started airing on Atlanta TV stations this morning courtesy of Citizens for a Working America PAC, which has put $500,000 behind the effort.

It’s the first direct televised attack on Rep. Jack Kingston, and it follows some of the similar themes of Ending Spending PAC’s hit on Rep. Phil Gingrey, including earmarks, the debt ceiling and, interestingly enough, Cash for Clunkers.

The South Carolina-based Citizens for a Working America started in 2010 attacking then-Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., and was going to be Michele Bachmann’s Super PAC in the 2012 presidential race before switching to Mitt [More]

Sources: Chip Rogers is out at GPB

  • 5:00 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Former state Sen. Chip Rogers, who was given a cushy job and a

Three people with knowledge of the situation tell us that Rogers, who was making a lofty $150,000 as an executive producer on an economic development program, is being let go.  Rogers didn’t return several calls seeking comment and GPB executives didn’t return repeated calls throughout the day.

One person with direct knowledge of the situation said Rogers was “blindsided” by the news when he was told Friday.

Rogers’ position, like others at GPB, was paid solely through state taxpayers’ money and he was paid more than several higher-ranking executives.

Rogers was [More]

Nathan Deal to sign sweeping gun bill next week

  • 4:05 pm Friday, April 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal plans to sign legislation next week that would vastly expand where Georgians can legally carry firearms.

House Bill 60, which passed in the final hours of this year’s legislative session, would expand where Georgians may legally carry firearms, including schools, bars, churches and government buildings. A recent analysis also said it could let felons use the state’s “stand your ground” rules to claim self-defense if they feel threatened.

Gun rights groups cheered the news that Deal would sign the measure, which critics have dubbed the “guns everywhere” bill, on Wednesday at a north Georgia event. GeorgiaCarry.org, which [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]

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