Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Barack Obama: ‘If Michelle Nunn wins, that means … we can keep on doing some good work.’

  • 5:05 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

JACKSON — We told you earlier this week about President Barack Obama’s call-in to V-103 in Atlanta to fire up Democratic base voters, in lieu of an in-person visit.

The audio of the interview belatedly posted today and it included a quote coming to an attack ad near you:

“If Michelle Nunn wins, that means that Democrats keep control of the Senate. And that means that we can keep on doing some good work. So it is critically important to make sure that folks vote.”

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue, who has owned the fact that he’s running against [More]

A complicated event featuring Zell and Shirley Miller, Sam and Michelle Nunn

  • 3:43 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Young Harris, Ga. – This afternoon’s dedication of the Zell and Shirley Library on the small but scenic campus of Young Harris College was a complicated occasion.

Though formally a non-political event, it was stocked with multiple generations of Georgians who live and breathe electoral politics.

Presiding was Cathy Cox, the 2006 Democratic candidate for governor, who for the last seven years has served as the college’s president.

Former U.S. Senator Zell Miller was the star of the program. The library is recognition of his close ties to the institution, where he was on the faculty – but also where his family once [More]

Trio of Nathan Deal aides arrives in London

  • 12:36 pm Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A trio of Gov. Nathan Deal’s top aides has landed in London with less than two weeks until the election.

Deal’s spokesman Brian Robinson, his executive council Ryan Teague and his chief operating officer Bart Gobeil arrived across the pond on Thursday and are set to return next week, in time for the Nov. 4 election. Of the three, only Robinson is on the campaign payroll.

Robinson, who said he’ll be back in the office Monday, said the three paid their own way and that they plan economic development meetings with local executives and Georgia business leaders who are also in town. They [More]

In search of black voters: Democrats point to Ferguson, GOP emphasizes lower prison rate

  • 8:36 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

We now have a pretty clear picture of the messages Republicans and Democrats are sending to African-American voters in the last few days leading up to Nov. 4.

Playing this morning on The stark images have upset many Republicans:

“It’s despicable,” said Gov. Nathan Deal.

“It is really regrettable that anyone would resort to scare tactics to try to get people to vote. Georgia is not Missouri. Georgia has elected more African-American leaders — mayors, county commissioners, et cetera — than any other state in the country. We have a long history of good race relations, and I cannot understand why the [More]

Nathan Deal on facing a candidate with ‘no substance’

  • 6:00 am Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

There’s a reason that the governor’s race seems like an increasingly bitter affair.

As November nears, it seems like Gov. Nathan Deal’s frustration with Democrat Jason Carter grows. The governor, a 72-year-old with four decades of public experience, is locked in a tight contest with the Atlanta state senator, and both campaigns are quietly bracing for a possible December runoff.

The governor explained why it seems like Carter, a two-term senator, gets under his skin more than, say, Roy Barnes did in the gubernatorial election four years ago.

Said Deal:

“It is hard to debate against a ghost. He has no substance. He’s been in [More]

Surprise: A faith forum for the governor’s race turns political

  • 7:08 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Jason Carter opened a faith forum Wednesday by joking that mixing religion and politics is like combining manure and ice cream: It doesn’t hurt the manure, but ruins the ice cream.

You could say a new dessert flavor emerged tonight.

Clergy members pressed Carter, a Democratic state senator, and Gov. Nathan Deal with questions on Georgia’s gun rights expansion, the state’s illegal immigration crackdown and healthcare policy. It was a risky venue for the candidates with the election less than two weeks away, and both largely stuck to safe talking points.

Still, the clergy members took particular interest in their support for the [More]

The Georgia Chamber draws a line in the sand on ‘religious liberty’ bills

  • 5:31 pm Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Last week, in the far-away Vatican, a gathering of Catholic bishops very nearly declared a truce in the war against gay marriage. At the last minute, they balked.

Though it was far less conspicuous, we had our own synod in Georgia last week, which took up the same topic. The participants weren’t bishops, but vicars of the Georgia Chamber — this state’s high church of free enterprise. They did not balk.

The Chamber took a first step that will put the very powerful organization in opposition to “religious liberty” bills certain to be re-introduced when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Unfairly or [More]

Signs point to John Barge endorsement of Valarie Wilson for school superintendent

  • 11:37 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

John Barge and Democrat Valarie Wilson have scheduled a joint appearance for Thursday in Tucker, and there’s every indication that the Republican state school superintendent will endorse her as his successor.

Barge, since he lost his Republican primary challenge to Gov. Nathan Deal, has been something of a free agent. And there’s a bit of history, too. Barge defeated Republican Richard Woods, now the GOP nominee, for the job in the  2010 primary. The incumbent disagrees with Woods on such issues as Common Core — which Woods opposes.

At this point, Wilson’s campaign is promising only a “special announcement,” that will also [More]

John Barrow pulls out his granddaddy’s anti-lynchin’ pistol again

  • 10:21 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy, Greg Bluestein and Jim Galloway

Rep. John Barrow’s Barrow mourns how “Washington Democrats look down on people for carrying firearms.”

The kicker: “Like my daddy used to say, you never really need a gun unless you need it bad.”

The second new spot from Barrow today swings to attack Republican Rick Allen from the right on immigration.

The main critique of Allen is that We told you on Tuesday that the state Democratic party had sent out an early-voting turnout mailer aimed at African-Americans, using images from Ferguson, Mo.

The images were stark. Here’s the explanation from Michael Smith, the Democratic spokesman:

“The fight for the right to vote [More]

Campaign tip sheet: Jason Carter, Nathan Deal talk about faith and morals

  • 8:15 am Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent governor, will speak at the state Board of Education meeting in Atlanta this morning. Other events:

– 10 a.m.: Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, will address a gathering of the Georgia School Superintendents Association in Athens.

– 2:45 p.m.: Andrew Hunt, the Libertarian candidate for governor, will speak before the same group.

– 4:30 p.m.: Deal is scheduled to convene a first meeting of his Ebola virus task force.

– 5-7 p.m. Deal and Carter make separate appearances at the Georgia Faith Forum, sponsored by Faith in Public Life, to be held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in [More]

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