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AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Former DPG chair Mike Berlon charged with defrauding clients of $1.8 million

  • 6:34 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Very bad timing for Georgia Democrats. Michael Berlon abandoned leadership of the state Democratic Party last year, replaced by former state lawmaker DuBose Porter. From the press release:

ATLANTA – Former attorney Michael Rene Berlon has been arraigned on federal charges of mail and wire fraud.

“This defendant is charged with defrauding his own clients out of over $1.8 million,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “They came to him for legal help, and instead he drained their bank accounts.”

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: “Individuals relying on the professionalism and trust of individuals like [More]

President Obama to visit Atlanta for Ebola update

  • 1:45 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Tuesday to get an update on the agency’s fight against Ebola.

There is no politicking on the schedule.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters at the daily briefing that Obama will “receive a briefing on the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa, discuss the U.S. response to that outbreak, and thank the scientists, doctors and health care workers who are helping those affected by the disease at home and around the world. The president will also receive an update on the [More]

AJC poll: Governor’s race in virtual tie, David Perdue has slight lead for Senate

  • 12:05 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Georgia’s race for governor is in a dead heat, while Republican U.S. Senate hopeful David Perdue holds a small lead, according to a new poll of likely voters conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, garners 43 percent of likely voters, while Democrat Jason Carter holds 42 percent and Libertarian Andrew Hunt brings in 7 percent, including voters who were leaning toward one candidate.

Perdue notched 45 percent, compared with 41 percent for Democrat Michelle Nunn and 6 percent for Libertarian Amanda Swafford, including leaners.

Among voters who have definitely selected a choice, Deal leads Carter, 42 percent to 40 [More]

Confirmation that Kasim Reed is helping Jason Carter

  • 10:36 am Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Hard evidence has arrived of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed helping Democrat Jason Carter’s gubernatorial campaign. Our AJC colleague Katie Leslie passes along the invite for the fundraiser at the Buckhead penthouse of Peter Conlon, of Music Midtown fame.

Reed and Carter, for those just tuning in, have not been the best of chums.There will be three Sunday voting sites in DeKalb, according to the Associated Press:

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — DeKalb County elections officials have approved of three Sunday voting locations for upcoming general and special elections.

Officials said in a statement Thursday that in-person voting will be allowed Oct. 26 at the [More]

What Brian Kemp really said about Democratic voter registration efforts

  • 1:48 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

This morning, we told you of an audio clip provided to us by Better Georgia, the Democratic-leaning group, of remarks made by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to a group of Gwinnett Republicans in July.

This was the total content of the 19-second clip:

“In closing I just wanted to tell you, real quick, after we get through this runoff, you know the Democrats are working hard, and all these stories about them, you know, registering all these minority voters that are out there and others that are sitting on the sidelines, if they can do that, they can win these [More]

Fulton, Lowndes counties follow DeKalb’s lead and schedule Sunday voting

  • 10:40 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway


Two counties, Fulton in the north and Lowndes in the south, have joined DeKalb County and scheduled Sundays as early voting dates for next month.

Fulton County, in fact, will have two: Send us word if you live in any of the other 156 counties and know of any move afoot to do the same. As we reported on Wednesday, the Christian Sabbath experiment is likely to be the first and could be the last. Said Gov. Nathan Deal:

“It’s certainly the departure from the norm. And it apparently has a partisan purpose behind – at least they admit it has [More]

Kasim Reed rules out a 2018 run for governor

  • 8:48 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Over at 11Alive, Doug Richards reports Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as saying he’s all but ruled out a 2018 run for governor – given that he’s a family man now with a wife and daughter to support.

From the TV station’s transcript:

Richards: You don’t expect to run for governor in 2018.

Reed: It’s not my plan right now. My plan right now in 2018 is to be in the private sector.

The question, as Katie Leslie — the AJC’s ear at City Hall — correctly points out, is the meaning of “right now.”

Reed also spoke about an upcoming fundraiser he’s putting together [More]

Republican governors group to Nathan Deal: Help is on the way

  • 6:00 am Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The Republican Governors Association sent an emissary to Georgia this week with a clear message for Gov. Nathan Deal and his supporters: Help is on the way.

It won’t surprise many that the RGA, which has already invested $1.6 million this year to back Deal’s re-election, is poised to pour money into the contest. But Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ensured there was no wiggle room.

“We’re very committed to helping Nathan win his re-election fight,” said Jindal, the group’s former leader and now vice chair. “We know he’s a proven leader and it’s a priority to help our governors win [More]

With Delta in the wings, Republicans schedule a bitter fight for 2015

  • 6:19 pm Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Looking at the November prospect of seizing full control of Congress, Republicans in Washington have begun mapping out a to-do list.

More importantly, they have decided what to fight over among themselves: An obscure agency known as the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Stifle that yawn. This is more important than it sounds. You can tell because, whenever the bank is mentioned, Georgia members of Congress zip their lips and run for cover.

In an effort to avoid an election-season shutdown of the federal government, House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday announced that the bank’s charter would be extended until next June [More]

Nathan Deal says he’s no fan of DeKalb’s Sunday voting

  • 4:25 pm Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal this afternoon became the highest-ranking Georgia Republican to criticize DeKalb County’s historic plan to allow voters to cast their ballots on a Sunday.

The Democratic stronghold intends to make Oct. 26 an extra day to vote. Three voting locations, including one in the Gallery at South DeKalb, will be open that Sunday. Fulton today announced expanded early voting on two Sundays. Other counties could follow suit.

The idea has infuriated some Republicans, including state Sen. Fran Millar, who on Tuesday vowed to eliminate this election law loophole” come January.

A spokesman for the Secretary of [More]

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