Political Insider

An AJC blog about Atlanta politics, Georgia politics, Georgia and metro Atlanta election campaigns. Because all politics is local.

Louisiana candidate on love: 'You ought to own a handgun, just in case'



For those in need of respite on a very serious Hurricane Friday: The Washington Post points to this TV ad below, from the Republican U.S. Senate campaign of John Kennedy, as one of the most awkward of the season.

"I believe that love is the answer," Kennedy says as one of his wedding photos flashes onscreen. “But you ought to own a handgun just in case." See for yourself:


We have not heard back from Mrs. Kennedy on this.


If you want to know why certain forces in the state Capitol, especially those concerned with life outside metro Atlanta, will push for Medicaid expansion next year, look no further than this economic report from Georgia State University:

Georgia added 193,582 jobs from 2012 to 2014, an increase of about 5 percent over 2012, providing some evidence of sustained economic recovery. However, most of that growth — 64 percent — occurred in the Atlanta area. Rural Georgia saw just 11.5 percent of the growth. It also had the lowest job growth relative to population growth. From 2007-14, jobs declined by 6.9 percent, while population grew by nearly twice as much…



Rural Georgia lagged behind in job quality, as well. The region’s low-wage jobs outnumbered premium-wage jobs during the study period. It represented 24 percent of the state’s premium-wage job loss. Rural Georgia also lost many mid-wage jobs associated with manufacturing during the recession, and it has not benefited from an increase in mid-wage jobs associated with health care services that has occurred more recently.


The political arm of the National Association of Realtors dropped more than $40,000 in favor of Johnny Isakson, one of their own, during the first week of October in order to bolster his Senate bid.

Pro Publica reports that the group spent the money on swag such as buttons and cup holders, as well as production costs for an online video, all of which was done independently from Isakson’s campaign.

It’s not a whole lot in the world of political expenditures, but it certainly is something -- given that Isakson has pulled away from Democrat Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen Buckley in recent polls. Per Pro Publica, it’s the first outside spending the sleepy race has seen so far.


The final installment of Rep. John Lewis’ trilogy “March” is now a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award. The graphic novel is one of five books competing in the young people’s literature category. Lewis, D-Atlanta, told The Washington Post he was “overwhelmed and deeply moved” by the news:

“It is my hope that this honor inspires many more young people, and people not so young, to read ‘March’ and to learn the transformative lessons of our ongoing struggle to create the beloved community,” adds Lewis, who becomes one of only a handful of graphic-novel authors to be named a National Book Award finalist — and the first sitting politician to do so for an illustrated work.

The winners will be announced next month, according to the Post. Read more about the “March” series here.


The good people at Georgiapol.com have a report from Athens on the Great Debate, the quadrennial  attempt by college Democrats and Republicans to defend their presidential candidates and platform. A taste:

After Trump was mentioned, the ice was broken. The crowd became a much larger factor, especially when the audience began tweeting in questions. On the topic of sexual assault on college campuses, both sides largely agreed on the issue and solutions for it. However, the Democrats suggested that consent awareness classes should be targeted at fraternity houses, triggering a strong response from the Republican side of the room.


Another tweet questioned why the Libertarian Party was not being represented on stage. While the Republicans and the Democrats were explaining why they agreed with the decision to exclude the Libertarians, hecklers in the back began shouting at them, forcing the moderators to step in and calm things down.


[Brennan Mancil, the Chairman of the Georgia Association of College Republicans] received a follow-up question on his claim that some degrees were less valuable than others. His response largely reiterated his earlier point, and was not well taken by the Democratic half of the room.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.