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AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns
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Complaint claims Jason Carter held ‘illegal’ fundraiser; Democrat punches back

  • 6:00 am Friday, July 25th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

A former Republican lawmaker filed an ethics complaint claiming a star-studded fundraiser boosting Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter is “grossly unethical and illegal.”

Carter’s staff later counterpunched by leveling two ethics charges against Deal’s campaign.

The initial complaint, dated July 17, contends that Carter, a state senator, violated rules barring lawmakers and statewide officers from accepting contributions or pledges for campaign cash while the Legislature is in session. It was filed by John Douglas, a former state senator.

The fundraiser in question was held March 23 in New York, three days after the legislative session ended, and featured Carter’s grandfather, former president Jimmy Carter, [More]

Bob Barr to Barry Loudermilk: ‘You rascal, you whupped me.’

  • 2:56 pm Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The following dispatch comes from our AJC colleague Jeremy Redmon:

It didn’t take long for future congressman Barry Loudermilk and former congressman Bob Barr to chat as returns in their runoff race started rolling in. Loudermilk handily defeated the ex-congressman to win his party’s nod for the 11th District.

Bob Barr, who gave a colorful concession on Election Night. AJC file

“You rascal, you whupped me,” was Loudermilk’s recollection of Barr’s opening line during what he described as a short and cordial conversation.

“If I put myself in his shoes,” Loudermilk said. “I don’t know what I would say other than just, [More]

Pulling out the stops: Nathan Deal brings first lady into the picture

  • 9:49 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

Early this week, Gov. Nathan Deal got on the phone with more than a few nervous Republican state lawmakers and promised to pull out all the stops in the upcoming election.

Proof arrived Wednesday morning in the inboxes of laptops and smartphones across Georgia: A re-introduction to Sandra Deal, the First Lady of Georgia.

It wasn’t a campaign piece, but an official communication from the Office of the Governor in its weekly newsletter. (If you didn’t get one, see it here.)

And contentwise, the most controversial part of the message was a recipe for gluten-free almond cookies.

But the post-Election Day timing was [More]

Nathan Deal aide’s strange method of blowing off ethics-related steam

  • 6:00 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal’s chief spokesman, Brian Robinson, is known for his use of, er, colorful language when confronting critics of his boss. Now we also know he may need a few extra pillows in his first-floor Capitol office.

In an April 9 email to other Deal aides, Robinson sent a link to an Insider post detailing ethics chief Holly LaBerge’s critique of the governor’s ethics overhaul. Below the link were these words:

“She told the AJC that she doesn’t like the governor’s proposal because the commission would be too big and would outnumber the employees. I’m stuffing a pillow in my [More]

The Michelle Nunn diet: Grit, but no red meat

  • 6:08 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Jim Galloway

Early Wednesday morning, hours after Republicans had crowned David Perdue as their U.S. Senate nominee, Democrat Michelle Nunn was working the Silver Skillet breakfast crowd on 14th Street in Atlanta.

Journalists were there to feed, too. But Nunn had them on a strict diet. Grit, but no red meat.

She called for more collaboration in Washington. She refused to speak ill of her new GOP foe. “That kind of approach is what people are hungry for, and what I do not think you’re going to hear from David Perdue,” Nunn said.

Snap.

Okay, maybe not. And that’s what has some Democrats softly murmuring as [More]

In U.S. Senate runoff, the Chamber takes it on the chin

  • 12:45 pm Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein, Daniel Malloy and Jim Galloway

David Perdue’s decision to target the U.S. Chamber in the final days of his GOP Senate runoff was more a page torn from the family playbook than an act of desperation.

In 2002, upstart Sonny Perdue was shocked, baffled and outraged by the fact that a national political group known for reflexively endorsing Republicans instead decided to side with Democratic incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes.

In that case, it was the National Rifle Association. Perdue challenged Barnes to a shotgun duel – all right, a skeet shoot (which never happened) — and campaigned against the NRA as one of those many special interests [More]

Republicans come out swinging against Nunn, Carter at GOP unity event

  • 11:54 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein

The top candidates on Georgia’s Republican ticket pulled no punches at a Wednesday event meant to show the GOP was solidly behind Senate candidate David Perdue.

All that establishment angst over Perdue’s candidacy? Gone, said GOP chair John Padgett, who called the former Fortune 500 executive a “rock-solid conservative with a stellar record in business” who can defeat Democrat Michelle Nunn.

Gov. Nathan Deal, who steered clear of picking favorites in the primary or the runoff, made sure to point out how happy he is he’ll be sharing the top of the ticket with Perdue. Deal, of course, faces a stiff challenge [More]

Michelle Nunn mentions ‘contrast’ but avoids attack as general election begins

  • 10:02 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

Democrat Michelle Nunn kicked off the U.S. Senate general election Wednesday morning promising not to deviate from her message of “collaboration” and declining to take a direct shot at her newly crowned foe, Republican David Perdue.

Nunn met with voters and volunteers at the Silver Skillet in Midtown Atlanta, then told reporters there would be a “contrast” between her career and Perdue’s. Neither has run for office before, as Nunn touts her experience leading the nonprofit that became Points of Light and Perdue running on his business credentials including stints as CEO of Dollar General and Reebok. Said Nunn:

“We have a [More]

5 reasons David Perdue shocked Georgia’s political world to win GOP Senate nod

  • 12:22 am Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by Greg Bluestein and Daniel Malloy

David Perdue’s stunning victory over Rep. Jack Kingston was both a rebuke to Georgia’s political establishment and a reminder that November will be a very unconventional race. Here are five factors that played into Perdue’s upset victory:

Metro Atlanta’s Perdue support offset south Georgia’s Kingston backing. While Kingston held onto his big margins in south Georgia, Perdue more than wiped him out with big showings in populous metro Atlanta and other urban areas across the state. Perdue’s camp was ecstatic that Kingston’s net margin over Perdue in Savannah’s Chatham County was 12,000 – close to what they expected. If Kingston landed [More]

Jack Kingston: ‘It is going to be a late night. … We will prevail.’

  • 9:28 pm Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by Daniel Malloy

As Rep. Jack Kingston took the stage to thank a couple hundred supporters in Midtown, a large screen projecting election results showed him with a lead of less than one percentage point over rival David Perdue.

“It is going to be a late night,” he said. “So for those of you who are interested, there is a Starbucks across the street.”

Kingston still projected confidence in the outcome.

“I am confident that at the end of the night, when that last vote is counted, that we will prevail,” Kingston said.

He got a little nostalgic — and threw a jab at Perdue — when [More]

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