Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Nathan Deal’s run-in with immigration activists at UGA

  • 9:30 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal was in Athens speaking to College Republicans on Tuesday when four students stood up to question him about the Board of Regents policy that bans undocumented immigrants from attending the University of Georgia.

The four-minute video of the encounter, courtesy of Flagpole’s Blake Aued, gets testy around the 1:55 mark, when Deal addresses a white student named Carver Goodhue, who questioned the governor’s position on the ban.

“There is a fundamental problem that can only be solved at the congressional level – and that is to deal with the issue of children – and I presume you probably [More]

Watchdog group demands investigation of Nathan Deal’s top aides

  • 6:00 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A watchdog group demanded an internal investigation of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aides, claiming that a recently revealed memo drafted by the ethics chief was proof that she was coerced into creating a “politically favorable outcome” for the governor.

Sabrina Smith of Georgia Watchdogs filed the complaint with the Office of the Inspector General claiming that executive counsel Ryan Teague and chief-of-staff Chris Riley, who has now joined the campaign, violated state law prohibiting government employees from coercing co-workers for political gain. You can find your copy here.

The complaint centers on the bombshell memo revealed in July written by ethics chief Holly LaBerge. She [More]

Marco Rubio in ATL: On Hillary, ISIL and ‘dream’ kids

  • 4:55 pm Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a likely prospect for the 2016 presidential contest, was in Atlanta on Tuesday.

The visit was essentially a private one, but he gave us a shout before noon to explain. He’s got a political action committee – doesn’t everyone these days? – called Reclaim America, which is dedicated to establishing a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate.

“We’ve already spent about $500,000 on TV ads in Arkansas and Iowa, and we want to extend to at least another state or two,” Rubio said.

The question is whether David Perdue’s Republican bid for the U.S. Senate is [More]

City of Cumming, mayor fined $12k for violating Open Meetings Act

  • 11:10 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Three days after Attorney General Sam Olens spoke up for Nydia Tisdale as the citizen-journalist was loudly tossed from a GOP rally in north Georgia, we have this press release from his office — involving the same journalist:

On August 21, 2014, Judge Robert Adamson ruled in favor of Attorney General Sam Olens in a lawsuit filed in June 2012 against the City of Cumming and Mayor Henry Ford Gravitt for violations of the Open Meetings Act. Judge Adamson ordered the defendants to pay $12,000 in penalties, the highest amount possible under the law. Defendants have also been ordered to [More]

Where Barack Obama can’t go, John Lewis will

  • 9:04 am Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Expect to see U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, popping up around the South this fall to help turn out African-American voters for the midterm elections. “We can play a major role, especially in some of these southern states,” he said. “In the 60s, I was there helping people get registered to vote. I can go to North Carolina. I can go to Arkansas.”

The southern tour is largely focused on North Carolina and Louisiana — where Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu are trying to fight off spirited GOP challengers — and it is unfolding amid renewed debate over race relations. Riots [More]

Nathan Deal on Jason Carter’s ‘silly’ donor disclosure pledge

  • 5:20 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal laced into his Democratic opponent’s pledge to disclose more details about political appointments should he win office, calling it a “silly” campaign stunt and issuing a new challenge to his bitter rival.

Democrat Jason Carter promised to reveal campaign contributions and conflicts of interest of each person he appoints to a state board in response to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation that found people with ties to 43 members of three Georgia elite boards contributed nearly $1.3 million to Gov. Nathan Deal’s re-election effort.

“This is just another typical display on his part,” Deal said Monday. “If [More]

Jimmy Carter to give keynote at Muslim convention

  • 1:25 pm Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

You can almost hear the sighs escaping from Jason Carter’s campaign headquarters. From the Toledo Blade:

The Islamic Society of North America or ISNA, the nation’s largest Muslim group, will hold its 51st annual convention in Detroit’s Cobo Center Friday through Sept. 1, and will feature former President Jimmy Carter as the keynote speaker. President Carter will talk on the subject of his latest book, “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power,” at a luncheon Aug. 30.

Others speaking at the convention: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, a Republican; the Rt. Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church [More]

Drones are coming to Georgia. And they’ve got lawyers.

  • 10:49 am Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

If you want to know where the future is headed, watch where the legal community goes.

The legal/governmental affairs firm of McKenna, Long & Aldridge, perhaps the most politically active entity of its kind in Atlanta – working both sides of the aisle, has a new Washington unit: An unmanned Aircraft Systems division.

The firm is now advertising a Sept. 23 seminar in Georgia that will include a look at what might be popping up legislatively during the 2015 session of the General Assembly.

Among the speakers: state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black (think crop dusting) ; Brandon Beach, R-Alpharetta, chairman of the state [More]

Videographer ousted from GOP event, and Sam Olens speaks up

  • 9:15 am Monday, August 25th, 2014 by Jim Galloway and Greg Bluestein

As the top of the Republican ticket looked on, a Dawson County deputy on Saturday forcibly removed a screaming video journalist from a GOP rally for candidates, a website known as fetchyournews.com reports.

The venue was Burt’s Pumpkin Farm – private property – in Dawsonville. Virtually every member of the GOP ticket was present, including Gov. Nathan Deal and David Perdue, the U.S. Senate candidate. The event was advertised as public, and video journalist Nydia Tisdale sat on the front row, recording. Also on the front row was the governor and his wife, reports Brian Pritchard of fetchyournews.com.

State Insurance Commissioner [More]

Flipping Georgia’s races: New WSB-Landmark poll puts Jason Carter, Michelle Nunn at top

  • 11:13 am Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Early this week, we told you of a SurveyUSA poll, commissioned by 11Alive, that placed Georgia’s races for governor and U.S. Senate in terms that mimicked past post-2002 cycles.

In the race for governor:

– Republican incumbent Nathan Deal, 48 percent;

– Democrat Jason Carter, 39 percent;

– and Libertarian Andrew Hunt, 4 percent.

In the U.S. Senate contest:

– Republican David Perdue, 48 percent;

– Democrat Michelle Nunn, 41 percent;

– and Libertarian Amanda Swafford, 3 percent.

But now we have a Landmark Communications survey, commissioned by Channel 2 Action News, released only four days later, that essentially flips those results. But the survey tracks closely [More]

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