Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Why self-driving cars could soon roam Fayette’s streets

  • 8:47 am Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The golf carts roaming the streets of Fayette County could soon be joined by driverless cars.

The Fayette County Commission has adopted a resolution allowing the county to be a pilot site for the vehicles, and chair Steve Brown said he’s talked to Google about using Fayette as a test site. Now he’s hoping for a meeting with Gov. Nathan Deal to hash out the plans.

Brown told WSB:

“Fayette County has the least traffic congestion of metro counties, so for a company like Google that wants to log a lot of miles, we’d be the perfect place, because they wouldn’t be [More]

Macon becomes latest city to consider Sunday voting

  • 10:05 am Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The Sunday voting trend is spreading. And quickly.

Just a few weeks after DeKalb County became the first to allow Sunday voting, local election officials in the Democratic strongholds of  Clayton and Fulton counties followed suit.

Lawmakers in Macon are considering a similar move this morning. From the Telegraph of Macon’s story:

Commissioner Elaine Lucas, vice chair of the finance committee, said she had planned to add the item to the committee’s agenda herself, but the Board of Elections proposed the new voting day.

“Bibb County has had a bad percentage of turnout in recent elections, and I am glad to [More]

The RGA returns to the airwaves to boost Nathan Deal’s campaign

  • 6:00 am Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s biggest ally has returned to the airwaves to boost his re-election bid in the final weeks of the general election campaign.

The Republican Governors Association began airing the above 30-second spot today across most of the state. The group has already invested $1.6 million this year  to defend Deal against Democratic challenger Jason Carter, and we can expect it to spend several hundred thousand dollars more to saturate the airwaves with this ad.

It’s a double-barreled attack on Carter’s two biggest campaign promises: His vow to significantly boost education funding, which up until last week was the foremost [More]

The Case of the Six Missing Screams

  • 5:33 pm Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

The Nydia Tisdale affair is growing ever more strange. We can now call it the Case of the Six Missing Screams.

You’ll remember Tisdale as the citizen-journalist from Roswell who was arrested in August at a GOP rally at a pumpkin farm in Dawsonville for pointing a video recorder at candidates. Which is what she does.

In front of the top of the GOP ticket, including Gov. Nathan Deal, Tisdale was grabbed — then roughed up. Her camera was confiscated by a Dawson County sheriff’s deputy.

But when the camera was returned several days later, the single computer file that should have [More]

Fight for female voters intensifies in Georgia Senate campaign

  • 3:22 pm Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Politics can be a contact sport, even when the candidates themselves don’t show.

The supporters of Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn held dueling press conferences today on different themes near and dear to female voters in their campaigns for Georgia’s open Senate seat.

For Nunn, it was an attempt to make sure the emerging gender gap, which we detailed here last week, widens. For Perdue, it was a chance to dint the notion that his female support is lacking.

We’ll start with Perdue’s presser, which focused on two EEOC complaints that Nunn’s camp unintentionally exposed in the infamous series [More]

Jekyll Island watchers: Deer-baiting program delayed by race for governor?

  • 9:18 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

You may be able to count Bambi among those praying for a runoff in Georgia’s race for governor.

In July, a move by the Jekyll Island Authority to cull the state park’s deer population was taken off a meeting agenda, with a promise to quickly revisit the bait-and-shoot operation.

The proposal still hasn’t resurfaced. “Just asking around, it appears that a lot of phone calls have gone into the governor’s office,” said David Egan, co-founder of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island State Park. “Now, nobody’s talking about it.”

Egan and his co-founder wife, Mindy Egan, oppose the operation, noting that deer-baiting is [More]

Jason Carter wants teachers pension to boost startup firms

  • 6:00 am Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A corollary to Jason Carter’s economic plan in his bid for governor is his support for an oft-debated proposal that would give teacher pension funds more leeway to invest in Georgia’s startups.

The Democrat argues in his economic pivot  that he wants teacher pensions to be able to pump funds into local startups “so long as we’re making sure that we can manage the risk in ways that make sense.” He sees it as a way to boost a state-backed effort to invest in venture capital firms that, as you’ll see in today’s AJC, has lagged.

“The things that concern the teachers [More]

Why your Christmas cards might contain campaign flyers

  • 9:00 am Saturday, September 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Even as the Braves’ dreams of October grow slimmer and slimmer, the odds are increasing that Georgia’s hot races for governor and the U.S. Senate will see post-season play.

In fact, the 2014 election season may not be settled until 2015.

Which means the 436th television presentation of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” could be brought to you by the folks from “Michelle Nunn Is a Friend to Terrorists,” or “David Perdue Is a Woman-Hating Oligarch.”

Happy holidays, people.

Several September polls, including one by this newspaper, vary widely but agree on two things: No candidate in the races for governor or U.S. Senate has [More]

Georgia has the highest unemployment rate in the nation

  • 10:25 am Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Georgia’s 8.1 percent unemployment rate is the highest in the nation, according to a federal report released this morning.

The surprising increase in the jobless rate became fodder for Georgia’s top political candidates, as Gov. Nathan Deal suggested that politicking was behind the “historically faulty” data and Democrat Jason Carter accused him of a scattershot economic philosophy.

Georgia had the second-worst jobless rate, behind only Mississippi, for the month of July. But Mississippi’s rate improved to 7.9 percent in August, while Georgia’s ticked up a few tenths of a percent.

Democratic Party chair DuBose Porter had this take on the [More]

The Bush family’s increasing role in Georgia’s Senate race

  • 9:48 am Friday, September 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

The powerful Bush clan is playing an increasingly prominent role in Georgia’s Senate race.

After George H.W. Bush

This morning, we received this statement from Jim McGrath, the elder Bush’s spokesman:

“President Bush believes America is heading in the wrong direction, and for that reason he also believes it is vital that the Republican Party regain control of the Senate. As he indicated he would do back in April, this week he made good on his pledge to endorse the GOP nominee – and to be very clear he is absolutely committed to seeing David Perdue elected to the U.S. Senate [More]

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