Political Insider

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

Jon Ossoff awarded a ‘Pinocchio’ for puffing up his resume

Jon Ossoff, whom top Democrats have lined up behind in the Sixth District congressional race, has been awarded one Pinocchio by the Washington Post for his claim of five years’ work as a national security staffer for U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson. From the Post:

On balance, it seems reasonable for Ossoff to say he spent five years working on national security issues in Congress, even though at least two years of that period overlapped with college work. So the GOP ads mocking him for including his college years as part of experiences are off base. The passage of the Uganda resolution demonstrates he was doing more than just answering phone calls in the office.


But Ossoff is pushing the envelope by referring to his “top-secret security clearance” in almost the same breath. He appears very careful to not connect the two elements in one sentence, but his statements and ads might leave an impression that the 30-year-old held a security clearance for longer than five months.

Updated at 11:55 a.m.: Meanwhile, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is holding up the Post's fact check as proof that attacks against Ossoff's record are without merit:

For weeks, Republicans have been spinning their hearts out trying to get a “false” fact check on Jon Ossoff’s credentials.

These claims are baseless, so it’s not surprising that their efforts continue to backfire, as another fact check upholds Ossoff’s resume.



Former Georgia congressman Lynn Westmoreland will join host Bill Nigut and one of your Insiders at 2 p.m. today on GPB radio (88.5FM in Atlanta).


Over at The Root, Michael Harriot has a great take-out on the turmoil over at Morehouse College.


Over the weekend, Tim Echols, a member of the state Public Service Commission that has backed Georgia Power’s pursuit of two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle, gave exasperated voice on his Facebook page to the dilemma the power company and its ratepayers now face:


Toshiba, of course, is the parent company of Westinghouse Electric, the chief contractor at Vogtle. Westinghouse filed bankruptcy last week, which presumably will allow it to walk away from its obligations in east Georgia – and South Carolina, too.


Weekend analyses of the I-85 debacle include a piece by Ed Kilgore, a former Georgia Democrat, in New York magazine, who notes:

Metro Atlanta is scattered across 29 counties, which has made it easy to confine public transit narrowly to the heavily African-American Fulton and DeKalb counties. Some of the insanely superfluous number of local jurisdictions is associated with recent population growth and sprawl, but it is all interconnected since the kind of land-use planning that might have created a more compact metro Atlanta is virtually impossible with so many jurisdictions.

Then there is Atlanta writer George Chidi. A few paragraphs from his Facebook post (originally it was on Georgiapol.com, which is down this morning):

It's not that I don't believe that someone stupidly set fire to the flammable conduit stored under the bridge. The very quick arrest and arson charges for Basil Eleby may or may not be sustained. There will be hearings, and perhaps a trial, assuming Eleby doesn't simply cut a deal like 90 percent of indigent criminal defendants do.


I don't really care.


Let me state the obvious: whoever is responsible for storing material that could melt a bridge under the interstate had better still be in prison when Eleby gets out


President Donald Trump praised the reporting of Fox News this morning, for reasons you can probably deduce for yourself:


An influential member of Gov. Nathan Deal's inner circle is backing John Watson in the race for Georgia GOP chief.

David Werner, a Deal protege who is the governor's executive counsel, over the weekend sent out notice that he was hosting an April 13 fundraiser for Watson. Tickets start at $100.

"At this point, we need you to jump on board to help make this a successful event," Werner wrote. "A few of you have offered to co-host with me and we would love to have more."

Is this a sign that Deal is wading back into the thorny thicket of Georgia GOP politics? Probably not. The governor has steadily retreated from the state party since his choice for chair, Tricia Pridemore, was defeated shortly after his election. As the party descended into more financial turmoil, he has kept at arm's length -- and he skipped the party's convention in June.

But it is a sign that some of the state's establishment figures are rallying around Watson, a former chief of staff to Gov. Sonny Perdue and longtime Republican operative and fundraiser who lobbies at the state Capitol.


More proof Republicans in Georgia's special election see an opening to hit Democrat Jon Ossoff for his work for Al-Jazeera as an investigative filmmaker came from a reader who received this flier from former state Sen. Judson Hill:


Bruce LeVell is taking aim at the 6th District GOP for holding debates with only a fraction of the 11 Republicans in the Georgia special election.


Yahoo! TV has the origin story of the “rape kit” sequel that last week  was aired on TBS' "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee." The piece told the story of state Rep. Scott Holcomb, House Speaker David Ralston, and how they maneuvered a bill past state Sen. Renee Unterman and through the Capitol in 2016. A few paragraphs:

Last December, while visiting New York, Holcomb stopped by the “Full Frontal” offices, where he recounted the wild tale of how he squeaked out a legislative win.

“We were on the edge of our seat literally as he told the story,” producer Hannah Wright [said]. “He sat us down and told us the whole story behind it, which we didn’t know the extent of, and it was just so dramatic and cinematic. Afterward we realized we had to somehow either do a re-creation with actors or animation, which is what we ended up doing.”

Filming was done in February. To continue:

….Holcomb and Ralston didn’t pull punches when it came time to criticize Unterman for dragging her feet. “That was helpful!” King said. “Everybody involved wanted to tell this story. I think everybody in the country is fed up with gridlock and parties being at each other’s throats. For the speaker and Scott, this was a great way to highlight that we actually can come together, work together to get something done when we have to.”


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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.