Political Insider blog 

AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Mitch McConnell — and David Perdue — promise a confrontational GOP Senate

  • 10:03 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

With the prospect of taking over the U.S. Senate now in sight, Republicans are now thinking about what they’ll do with the car once they catch it.

More threats to shut the federal government down are a distinct possibility, suggests Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.In an extensive interview here, the typically reserved McConnell laid out his clearest thinking yet of how he would lead the Senate if Republicans gain control of the chamber. The emerging strategy: Attach riders to spending bills that would limit Obama policies on everything from the environment to health care, consider using an arcane budget tactic [More]

David Perdue vows not to take US Chamber money in Senate race

  • 6:00 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Thursday’s Georgia Chamber of Commerce forum will be the first joint public appearance between Senate contenders David Perdue and Michelle Nunn. It will also be the Republican’s first big trip to a major Chamber meeting since his public break with the national group.

In the heat of the Republican primary, Perdue walked out of a contentious endorsement meeting with the U.S. Chamber, and the two traded attacks in the closing days of the primary runoff. The national organization is separate from the Georgia offshoot, which is hosting Thursday’s event and doesn’t endorse candidates.

Two audio recordings from a [More]

Jason Carter backs a new push for transportation sales tax

  • 3:09 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter said Tuesday it was time to revive the idea of a regional sales tax for infrastructure improvements to fix a transportation dilemma he said is weighing down Georgia’s economy like an “anchor.”

The 2012 push for a sales tax increase for transportation, known as the T-SPLOST, failed in most parts of the state despite tremendous support from the business community and backing from most of the state’s leading politicians, including both Carter and Gov. Nathan Deal, his November opponent.

“We have to revisit a TSPLOST of some kind, and we have to revisit it in a way that would change the political environment,” Carter said in [More]

David Perdue brings Jack Kingston backers into the fold

  • 2:23 pm Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

WASHINGTON — Republican businessman David Perdue distributed a list of chairmen today for all 159 counties across Georgia, including several Jack Kingston backers, as he works to bind the wounds from the GOP runoff.

State Sen. Bruce Thompson of Bartow County, state Rep. Trey Kelley of Polk County, state Sen. Tyler Harper and state Rep. Jay Walker in Irwin County, John Marinko of Cherokee County, Bert Guy of Camden County and Patrick O’Connor of Candler County were among those who came out publicly for Kingston during primary season.

Here’s the full list, as provided by the [More]

Michelle Nunn goes Pillowtex on David Perdue

  • 9:28 am Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Two days before their first joint U.S. Senate appearance — none dare call it a debate — Democrat Michelle Nunn has raised the topic of Republican David Perdue’s tenure at Pillowtex.

The Nunn campaign has filled a one-minute TV spot with named former mill workers from Kannapolis, N.C., telling the story of David Perdue’s brief stint at the textile firm, which went bankrupt shortly after he left.

This Politifact examination from July, when U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston attacked Perdue on the topic, offers some excellent background on Pillowtex’s fortunes. Politifact rated the Kingston attack “mostly false” but the Nunn ad doesn’t [More]

Jason Carter targets Nathan Deal’s ‘grab bag’ of economic incentives

  • 3:56 pm Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Democrat Jason Carter unleashed a new line of attack against Republican Gov. Nathan Deal after the release of a federal report showing that only Mississippi has a worse unemployment rate than Georgia.

Carter’s campaign rolled out the above video and quickly arranged a telephone press conference to target the governor over the report, which documented more than 370,000 unemployed workers in Georgia – an increase of 17,000 from the previous month. Carter, a state senator, called the increase shameful and repeated his call for a renewed focus on education.

“Georgia has every ingredient to be a powerhouse but we’re not [More]

Michelle Nunn losing the Super PAC war

  • 10:58 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Never mind the polls in the race for U.S. Senate. Democrat Michelle Nunn is losing one of the more important modern measurements of candidate potency: Super PAC support.

While Nunn’s campaign has been wildly successful at raising money, her allied Super PAC, Georgians Together, – $842,988, by the Nunn campaign;

– $4,540, by People for the American Way;

The Nunn total: $847,528

Here’s what is being spent on behalf of Republican David Perdue:

– $558,463, by the American Chemistry Council;

– $1,014,ooo by Ending Spending;

– $2,601,800, by the National Republican Senatorial Committee;

The Perdue total: $4,174,443.

That’s a nearly 5:1  spending advantage enjoyed by Perdue — none of [More]

Morning of the gun: John Lewis says Deep South is doing it better than Ferguson

  • 8:58 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Weaponry, or images of it, seem everywhere this morning. We’ll start with the National Guard walking the streets of Ferguson, Mo.

From the Associated Press:

Gov. Jay Nixon said the National Guard would help “in restoring peace and order” to the St. Louis suburb, where protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer entered their second week. Police said they acted in response to gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails.

The latest confrontations came on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on Brown, and as [More]

The Zell Miller legacy and the Georgia State Patrol

  • 8:35 pm Saturday, August 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway

On Thursday, the news was all about Zell Miller’s endorsement of Michelle Nunn,

Georgia’s grandfather of all election seasons

  • 9:00 am Saturday, August 16th, 2014 by Jim Galloway


Zell Miller (left) takes a moment to reminisce with state Rep. Calvin Smyre, D-Columbus, after a 2013 ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Georgia Lottery that funds the HOPE scholarship program. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

With 89-year-old Jimmy Carter, 75-year-old Sam Nunn, and now 82-year-old Zell Miller jumping into the fray, Georgia is headed for the grandfather of all election seasons.

The next-generation, legacy ticket that Georgia Democrats celebrated last week at their state convention in Dublin — topped by Michelle Nunn, daughter of the former senator, and Jason Carter, grandson of the former president – has taken on all the wrinkles [More]

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