Political Insider

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

College football title game blows a hole in Georgia Legislature’s schedule


The start of the Georgia Legislature usually abides by a familiar flow: It begins on the second Monday of the year, followed by a Tuesday Eggs & Issues breakfast hosted by Georgia’s biggest corporate powers. Wednesday is generally set aside for the governor’s State of the State.

The College Football National Championship game, held this year in Atlanta on the same night the Legislature starts anew, puts a screw in those plans. And the tantalizing possibility that Georgia could earn a date for the title game – next week’s Rose Bowl permitting – adds another wrinkle.

The session will start, like clockwork, on Jan. 8 as is constitutionally required. But there will be no early-morning wakeup call Tuesday for the Eggs & Issues affair; that has been delayed until Wednesday. Gov. Nathan Deal’s final address to the Legislature has also been pushed back a day, bumped to Thursday.

And although it hasn’t been formally announced yet, lawmakers seem likely to forgo meeting on Tuesday for a formal day of session. Instead, Wednesday is expected to be set as the second day of the 40-day session.

That delay is likely no matter if Georgia earns a spot in the game. Hotel rooms for lawmakers who live outside Atlanta will be harder to book that evening, we’re likely to hear, and the logistics of getting around the capital city during an exodus of football fans Tuesday will be even more difficult.

What won’t be said: The Legislature is chock-full of Georgia fans, many of whom will have the chance to go to the big game. And we’re guessing they’ll want a day to collect themselves if the Bulldogs win the team's first college football title since 1980. (Greg Bluestein)

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David Perdue found a way to escape the cold snap that's kept parts of Georgia shivering the last few days: the Republican U.S. senator was reportedly in Palm Beach yesterday playing golf with President Donald Trump. The pair played a round with PGA player Bryson DeChambeau and former PGAer Dana Quigley at Trump International Golf Course, a 10-minute drive from Trump's residence at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump has played golf with several members of Congress while in office -- he's visited his golf properties a total of 85 times since last January -- but as far as we know this is Perdue's first round with the president. The first-term Republican was ranked as the top golfer in Congress by Golf Digest last year, maintaining an index of +0.6 at his home course on Sea Island.  (Tamar Hallerman)

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A statue of Jimmy Carter in downtown Rapid City, S.D. was vandalized before the holidays. KOTA-TV reported that vandals spraypainted half of Carter's face black briefly last week before it was removed by local officials. Dallerie Davis, co-founder of the City of Presidents Foundation, said he didn't think the graffiti was a hate crime and that it was "really quick and easy" to fix. (GB)


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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.