Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Last year’s federal shutdown looms in U.S. Senate race

  • 9:00 am Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

What you and your many, many friends thought of last October’s two-week federal government shutdown could determine the outcome of Georgia’s race for the U.S. Senate.

If enough of you thought the face-off was a drastic but legitimate tactic to rid this country of the plague of Obamacare, and to restore fiscal discipline to out-of-control spending, or if you consider such interruptions to be the new normal, Republican David Perdue wins.

On the other hand, if you and your friends remember the closing of federal facilities and the idling of hundreds of thousands of workers (never mind the national parks) as inconvenient [More]

DNC official: Ferguson could boost get-out-the-vote push

  • 5:09 pm Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos passes along the following dispatch:

The racial unrest caused by tensions over the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., could be a rallying cry for Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts, according to the voter education committee chair for the Democratic Southern caucus.

“There is a story beneath the story in Ferguson,” chairwoman Janet May said at the Southern Caucus meeting during the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta on Friday.

May ran through the stats of the 21,000-person Missouri town: 13,000 black citizens, about 7,000 white. Five city council members– one of whom was black. Fifty-three policemen – [More]

Michelle Nunn says she’s not a sure vote for Harry Reid

  • 10:18 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Jim Galloway and Daniel Malloy

Details of Thursday’s U.S. Senate comparison shopping opportunity that saw Democrat Michelle Nunn and David Perdue square off During a rowdy Republican primary, Perdue was a prominent vote of no confidence for Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and his future bid to lead Senate Republicans. But Nunn argued that, immediately after the July 20 primary runoff, Perdue went to Washington, met with McConnell and “pledged to be a good team player.” (The source for said observation: Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who was in the meeting.)

Said Nunn: “The only team I’m playing for here is Georgia.”

The Reid issue is an ideological benchmark on [More]

Georgia Lottery fights federal proposal to outlaw online gaming

  • 6:00 am Friday, August 22nd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Even as Gov. Nathan Deal was courting casino mogul Sheldon Adelson’s support, his administration has been engaged in a quiet lobbying campaign against federal legislation supported by the billionaire that would restrict online gambling.

Adelson is behind a nationwide campaign against Internet gaming, and he’s a supporter of legislation introduced by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina that would do just that. Three states – Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada – have allowed some forms of online gaming. But it riled up Georgia officials for a different reason.

The Georgia Lottery Corporation began to sell tickets online in November 2012, making it one of the nation’s first lotteries [More]

DNC, unions discuss Georgia ground game plans

  • 3:59 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

The Democratic National Committee is having its summer meetings this week in Atlanta, in part to show its intention to commit resources to making Georgia competitive.

DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, of Florida, told reporters at a news conference today that the party has hired a “Voter Expansion Coordinator” in Georgia as part of its efforts to register and turn out the hundreds of thousands of new voters Democrats need to make this election — and future ones — close.

Here’s Wasserman Schultz:

“There is a reason that we are in Georgia. A year ago, in Arizona, I promised that Democrats were [More]

David Perdue goes after Barack Obama, but Michelle Nunn targets Perdue

  • 2:18 pm Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

More coming later, but here’s a first word on the U.S. Senate confrontation between Democrat Michelle Nunn and Republican David Perdue, from our AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin:

MACON — Michelle Nunn and David Perdue shared the stage together Thursday for the first time in their general election battle for the U.S. Senate, and both were itching for a fight.

But while Nunn, the Democratic hopeful, targeted Perdue, the Republican candidate focused his fire on President Barack Obama.

The forum, at the Marriott City Center here, was sponsored by the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the questions from the audience reflected Chamber [More]

A word from Ben Carson at VSU carries a $43k pricetag

  • 11:18 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway

We know that getting a few words out of Hillary Clinton, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, can cost a group somewhere in the range of $300,000.

Dr. Ben Carson isn’t that expensive, but $43,000 for a night’s work is still a chunk of change. Even for a neurosurgeon.
That’s what Valdosta State University is paying Carson for a Sept. 11 appearance – billed as a non-partisan fundraiser, but attracting quite a lot of attention from GOP types.

We know all of this because Mark George, a former sociology lecturer at VSU, sent us the documents. He was concerned that Carson’s political inclinations – [More]

Ralph Hudgens: No longer an Obamacare ‘obstructionist’

  • 10:01 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Jim Galloway, Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

Last year, when Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said he would do Now, as for Hudgens. The state insurance commissioner told our AJC colleague Nicholas Fouriezos on Wednesday that he just got caught up in the heat of the moment last August:

“I spoke to a Republican group in Rome, Ga., and I said I was going to be an obstructionist, but I can’t be. I mean, I was talking to a Republican group and I was throwing them some red meat. …

“I’m not a fan of it. I don’t think it’s going to work. But there’s nothing I can do [More]

Emily’s List drops $1 million on Georgia TV for Michelle Nunn

  • 9:40 am Thursday, August 21st, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Pro-Michelle Nunn forces are closing the Super PAC gap.

Early this week, we told you that pro-Republican groups were creating a hostile television climate for the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate, outspending her nearly 5-to-1. Emily’s List, the non-profit dedicated to electing women who support abortion rights, launches a $1 million advertising buy today on Atlanta broadcast and cable TV.

A copy of the ad is not yet online, but Emily’s List said it focuses on a gender discrimination suit against Dollar General when Perdue was the company’s CEO. (ABC News first reported the buy this morning.)

Here’s some more background on [More]

A cipher in the ‘dream’ kid debate tries to stay afloat

  • 5:44 pm Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Marco was stretched out on a hard chair in a beat-up DeKalb County school conference room, in the presence of a former teacher who’s taken up for him.

He is a bright, skinny and well-spoken 16-year-old with a flat American accent. “I try to work on it. I spent my summer in Athens. It gets better there,” Marco said.

Pronunciation slipped only when he named the Mexican village whence he came. Marco was smuggled across the border into the United States not once, but twice. First when he was a 4-year-old, then again when he was eight. “My mom knew a guy,” [More]

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