Political Insider

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

Smelling rotten in Gwinnett: State takes over investigation of DNC sewage dump

News of a Democratic National Committee charter bus illegally dumping raw sewage into a Lawrenceville storm drain prompted plenty of Twitter snark earlier this week, particularly after the group's chairwoman apologized to the "town of Gwinnett."

Now the Georgia Department of Environment Protection has taken over the investigation into the spill.


Here's more from WXIA 11 Alive: 

While clean-up is done, crews from the state agency were at the scene Wednesday as a part of the investigation, interviewing witnesses.

Hazmat crews in Gwinnett County were called to clean up waste left behind by the DNC’s charter bus…

There will be no ramifications to the DNC, said Bert Langley, GA EPD director of compliance, since it was a charter bus. That said, any action taken would be against that bus company.

“More than likely we will propose an order with a monetary settlement to address the violation,” said Langley.


Newt Gingrich rallied to Donald Trump's defense after his refusal to say whether he would accept the outcome of next month's presidential election.

Even as other high-profile Republicans distanced themselves from Trump after he questioned the integrity of the vote, the ex-Georgia lawmaker told the Mike Gallagher Show on Thursday that Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and other controversies have undermined trust in her campaign.

"So you look at all that stuff, and you say, I'd be a little bit cautious about automatically accepting that Hillary Clinton will be legitimately anything," Gingrich said. "We are in the worst cycle of corruption in American history, and in many ways, we resemble Venezuela and Argentina more than we resemble traditional America."

A flock of other Georgia Republicans raised questions about Trump's latest flap.


U.S. Sen. David Perdue, one of Trump’s highest-profile Georgia supporters, has encouraged the GOP nominee to stop raising the specter of a “rigged” election.

But in an interview yesterday with Tim Bryant on Athens’ WGAU (which shares our same corporate overlords), Perdue said politics “is rigged to elect career politicians” and incumbents.

Here’s what Georgia’s junior senator said when asked about what it was like for him learning the ropes as a political newcomer in 2014 and what Trump may be experiencing now:

“It’s devastating. This game is rigged to elect career politicians – the incumbents. We have 60 U.S. senators who have been in elected office for more than 20 years. And 36 who have been in elected office more than 30 years. There’s a reason for it. The money, the way the campaigns are run – it’s all set for the career politician. Not somebody that’s been in the real world….”

However, minutes later Perdue defended his Senate colleague Johnny Isakson, who has been involved in elected Georgia politics for four decades, calling him “a great statesman.”


Our hard-working colleague Jamie Dupree got this sign from WikiLeaks that there may be more October surprises to come re: John Podesta's emails:


Republican state Sen. Josh McKoon declared there was "personal animus" in the push for a constitutional amendment that would give the legislative branch a greater say in control of the judicial watchdog agency. And McKoon leveled a few more stinging attacks against House Speaker David Ralston and other sponsors at a Tuesday forum.

The Daily Report has more:

Calling the speaker's push to fundamentally alter the watchdog agency "a runaway freight train," McKoon said the Senate appended a clause to the proposed amendment that would require Senate approval of all JQC appointments. This, he said, was intended to channel the legislation into a conference committee that would likely have kept the measure off the November ballot. But the House approved the amendment despite the addition, McKoon told the audience at the panel, sponsored by the Atlanta chapter of the American Constitution Society.


After putting the amendment on the ballot, the bar's executive committee considered whether to campaign against it, but Ralston threatened that if the bar did so, he would pursue legislation to eliminate the bar's mandatory membership requirements for the state's practicing lawyers, according to McKoon. The bar executive committee decided not to fight the amendment. McCoon said the process was "a pretty sure sign something is wrong with the legislation." He added, "I think this is totally motivated by a grievance against the state bar." Ralston spokesman Kaleb McMichen said Wednesday in response to questions from the Daily Report: "The JQC amendment is simply a question of whether Georgians want a more accountable judicial ethics agency. If some want to peddle conspiracy theories to distract from substantive policy discussions, that is their choice."


Republican U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson's campaign continues to roll out reams of endorsements with less than three weeks until voters hit the polls.

The newest group of supporters being publicized by the campaign includes more than 200 young professionals under the age of 40. Several Georgia legislators are on the list, including state Sens. Charlie Bethel, Tyler Harper and Burt Jones and state Reps. Kevin Cooke, Bert Reeves, Brian Strickland, Scot Turner and Trey Kelley.

Georgia Young Republicans Chairman Robert Lee cited Isakson's record on jobs, education and expanding the Savannah port as particularly beneficial for young professionals.

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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.