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AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Rain may not be the only thing that dampens GOP runoff fervor

  • 12:22 pm Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

The weather gods are forecasting a 50 percent chance of rain on Tuesday, which is likely to depress voter turnout beyond already meager expectations for tomorrow’s runoff contests. A single-digit showing is possible.

But something else may be sprinkling cold water on GOP excitement.

This morning, Gov. Nathan Deal held a conference call with a small group of Republican state senators – and one of your Insiders, who listened in.

In addition to affecting surveys conducted in Georgia, these numbers also make the state GOP effort to regroup in every county f***

This morning, interim DeKalb County CEO Lee May, Clerk of Superior Court [More]

Nathan Deal says he won’t ‘leave anything on table’ in re-elect bid

  • 9:50 am Monday, July 21st, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s conference call with GOP lawmakers this morning was less of a defense of his office’s role in the fallout over the ethics memo and more of an impassioned plea for fellow Republicans to regroup against Democrats mounting a growing threat to their political supremacy.

Trailing in fundraising and lagging in a recent poll behind Democrat Jason Carter, Deal suggested that the ethics memo has given his campaign a jolt. He said he’s been “somewhat deferential” during the long runoff period to avoid distracting attention from GOP races for Senate and superintendent, but that will [More]

Jack Kingston’s Marietta show of force; David Perdue tries to rally religious conservatives

  • 10:13 am Saturday, July 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Insider note: We will be updating this post throughout the weekend with color from the campaign trail as David Perdue and Rep. Jack Kingston make their final pitches to voters for Tuesday’s Republican Senate runoff. And for more information on the candidates, click to read our profiles of Perdue, the feisty outsider, and Kingston, the unapologetic Washington veteran.

The show of force for Team Kingston at Marietta Square on Sunday afternoon left the stage practically groaning by the end.

Kingston first called up his wife, mother and four children. Then he brought back Karen Handel and Phil Gingrey [More]

For Georgia Democrats, Act One has barely begun — but so has Act Two

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

To understand Thomas Jefferson and his lifelong suspicion of all things British, biographer Jon Meacham writes, you have to stop thinking of the American Revolution as the brief episode that began July 4, 1776, and ended with the Battle of Yorktown five years later.

Shaking off the English was a five-decade effort, Meacham argues, that began in 1764 and didn’t end until Andy Jackson settled their hash once and for all in the Battle of New Orleans in 1812.

Political movements, in other words, are like paper towels. They don’t always tear along the dotted lines. In fact, they seldom do.

Georgia’s most [More]

David Perdue takes U.S. Chamber attack to TV with ‘amnesty’ spot

  • 5:15 pm Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

David Perdue’s closing attack on Jack Kingston in the U.S. Senate runoff takes on the topic of immigration and targets the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

After Perdue described his testy interview with the Chamber this week, he’s gone all out with an accusation that “Kingston’s pro-amnesty vote is bought and paid for” with the $2.3 million the Chamber has spent on ads boosting Kingston’s candidacy.

The Chamber supported the Senate-passed immigration bill last year — which has not moved at all in the U.S. House — but Kingston has repeatedly said he would not vote for the bill. Both candidates have [More]

A pitch to GOP leaders to help Nathan Deal get ‘back on message’

  • 1:49 pm Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s camp wants to change the subject from the ongoing fallout over the ethics memo.

The following message was sent to Republican state senators in the wake of that memo, in which ethics chief Holly LaBerge said she was threatened by Deal’s top staffers.

It’s another sign that Deal’s aides, accused of urging LaBerge to make complaints against the governor “go away,” want this story to head that same route. It included talking points to help them stay on a “singular message to get back on topic and win this campaign.”

Here goes:

Dear Senator,

As I am sure you have noticed, [More]

The #KTB: Kasim Reed’s Twitter-based time-out for reporters

  • 11:54 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Updated at 6:30 p.m. below:

A report from the AJC’s Katie Leslie:

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed isn’t shy about his opinions, especially when it comes to journalists.

The mayor is known to take reporters and columnists to task on Twitter when he disagrees with their work or how he’s portrayed.

If he’s particularly upset, he’ll deploy his press team to take on a story with a press release and social media campaign. (Case in point? This city-issued statement from last fall about AJC opinion writer Kyle Wingfield’s columns on street vendors.)

And if he’s downright angry, he’ll go a step further and put [More]

Jack Kingston noncommittal on impeachment of Obama

  • 9:49 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Dear readers, the following post is from our AJC colleague Nick Fouriezos:

After national pundits wondered whether U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston would support attempts to impeach President Barack Obama, the Savannah Republican gave us an answer that can only be described as “maybe.”

Kingston is in a GOP Senate runoff with businessman David Perdue, who has already said he doesn’t support impeachment and believes retaking the Senate should be the priority. The vote is Tuesday, which explains why Kingston was at Tommy’s Barber Shop early Friday getting in a final flurry of handshakes.

“I think, number one, the big concern of Congress [More]

First poll since ethics case revival gives Jason Carter edge over Nathan Deal

  • 7:00 am Friday, July 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Our corporate cousins over at WSB-TV released a poll that gives Democrat Jason Carter the edge over Republican Gov. Nathan Deal.

Poll crosstabs give Deal a nine-point advantage with male voters, but find women support Carter by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Carter also has the edge among black voters and those under 40. Interestingly, independents – who tend to lean to the right – are split between the two.

There’s a high possibility that Carter is benefiting from a media bubble, given the timing of the survey. But we’re sure he’ll take it.


An InsiderAdvantage survey conducted for Morris News Service, WAGA-TV in [More]

Deal defends staff’s contact with ethics chief, comparing her to ‘prosecutor’

  • 4:56 pm Thursday, July 17th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal issued the liveliest defense yet to the bombshell ethics memo rocking his campaign for re-election.

The remarks came in an interview with Erick Erickson, a conservative talk show host on WSB Radio, as he faces mounting pressure to explain why his aides contacted the commission’s chair, Holly LaBerge, days before a key hearing. In the interview, he compared LaBerge to a prosecutor and the commission’s five members to judges.

It was a friendly interview in a friendly venue. Said Deal:

“There was no communication from me and my staff to the commission members. Holly LaBerge is sort of like a [More]

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