Political Insider

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

Two -- no, three veep possibilities to appear at Georgia GOP convention

Next month's Georgia GOP convention in Augusta will feature not one but two potential vice presidential candidates.


Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, whose name has been floated as a contender for Donald Trump's running mate, will headline a roundtable discussion on Friday, June 3. And ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry, formerly a harsh critic of Trump who is now "open" to Veep consideration, is headlining the party's Friday night dinner.

Actually, make that three. University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball this morning suggests a certain other Georgian could fit:

Eight years ago, Barack Obama found himself in a somewhat similar situation, leading him to tap Joe Biden, then-chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. For Trump, perhaps this would push him in the direction of someone like Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who now chairs Biden’s old committee. On that panel with Corker is Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), whose outsider background and business credentials might mesh with Trump as well.


The battle over a solidly-Republican House seat centered on Dunwoody is getting nastier.


State Rep. Tom Taylor's supporters released a scathing mailer (right) highlighting the warning posted by the Georgia Department of Public Safety to take heed of Tom Owens, Taylor's challenger, because of his checkered past.

The incumbent, tarnished by a recent jaw-dropping DUI arrest, also has blanketed the district with positive mailers (left) highlighting his support for an independent school district for Dunwoody. (Though we'd suggest using the word "driven" in this mailer was not the best idea.)

Meanwhile, others have seized on a recent AJC story that showed the liquor industry has showered Taylor's campaign with cash since the arrest. In the below video from WAGA-TV in Atlanta, J essica Szilagyi calls on Taylor to return money given to him by the liquor industry:


Over at Atlanta Unfiltered, Jim Walls has some untimely news for the House District 156 race:

House Banking chair Greg Morris has tentatively agreed to settle federal charges that he and other executives of a south Georgia bank allowed a flim-flam man to run it into the ground, court papers show…

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s 2015 complaint alleges that lax oversight by Morris and others allowed an investor to swindle the defunct Montgomery Bank & Trust in Ailey, Ga., of $14.7 million. The bank closed in 2012, costing the federal Deposit Insurance Fund an estimated $75 million.

Morris, who hails from Vidalia, faces challenger Lee Burton of Lyons in Tuesday’s GOP primary.


Several posts ago, we told you of the cautious tones we detected in the formal responses of Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens to a White House letter of “significant guidance” to public schools across the country on how to treat transgender students.

In that post, we pointed to a letter from some of Georgia’s top religious conservative leaders that appeared to accuse the governor of timidity. Not a surprise, given the rancor that remains over Deal’s veto of HB 757, the “religious liberty” bill. Here’s that letter in its entirety:


On that same topic, state Sen. Mike Crane’s new radio ad taps into GOP outrage over the Obama administration’s recent directive to public schools over bathroom rules. The one-minute spot hits airwaves today across the deep-red Third District, where the Newnan lawmaker is one of seven Republicans vying to replace Lynn Westmoreland in Congress in Tuesday’s primary.

Reading this partial transcript, you could be forgiven for thinking that Crane is running against Nathan Deal and Barry Loudermilk, too:

“President Obama’s threat to cut school funding if we don’t allow boys to use girls’ bathrooms is outrageous. What kind of government do we have when our leaders ignore us and trample our freedoms? And so-called Republicans aren’t fighting for religious liberty. They’re funding Planned Parenthood and giving in to the left’s demands. What ever happened to standing on principle?”

Crane isn’t the only Third District candidate to weigh in on the bathroom guidance. Former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson had more of a potty-mouthed response over the weekend: “Kickstands to the left, hoo ha’s to the right. We don’t need the President to make this decision for us.”


There are very few people left at the state Capitol old enough to remember him, but longtime AJC political reporter Sam Hopkins has died at age 91. Hopkins was hired by Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill to cover the Civil Rights movement and state politics.

His departure is still the stuff of AJC lore.  After decades at the newspaper, the lanky reporter went down to HR, filed for retirement, and instructed the paper-pushers not to breathe a word. On his last day, Sam Hopkins simply disappeared. And went to making pottery.


John Coyne, one of three Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate, has dropped what appears to be his first YouTube video:

Here's guessing Coyne was his own camera operator. He had this to say about his deep-pocketed opponent, Jim Barksdale:

“He has no agenda. He’ll tell you and give you a stump speech like Donald Trump -- we need to fix the foreign trade deals, we have wasteful spending in Washington, wasteful use of our resources. But he really doesn’t tell you what he plans to do to help the people of Georgia.”

Coyne recently filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Democratic Party, claiming they defrauded him by accepting his qualifying fee of $5,220 even though its leaders had an implicit agreement with Barksdale as their preferred candidate.


U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said he'll help lead the charge against the new Obama administration regulations on overtime pay in the Senate .

“This overtime pay rule adds burdensome new regulations on businesses while doing nothing to grow our economy,” said Isakson, who leads the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over labor issues.

The measure would block the overtime rule via the Congressional Review Act, a Newt Gingrich-era tool that gives Congress 60 days after an executive regulation is finalized to overrule it. The procedure has been successfully used only a few times in the last two decades since it still needs a presidential signature to go into effect.

Even if both chambers of the Republican-led Congress pass such a resolution, President Barack Obama is almost certain to veto it.



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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.