Political Insider

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Samantha Bee makes a hero of Scott Holcomb -- and Speaker David Ralston

Forty days shall they wander in the wilderness, and the days that they wander shall be 40. And on the 40th day, while a tenth of their number scurry, laden with legal tablets of stone – or something close to it, vast numbers will sit in place, twiddling their thumbs, which shall be two.

And what will these bored state lawmakers do for the next 16 hours? Why, entertain themselves with their smart phones or try to fathom who will make the next move in the 2018 race for governor. Or both.

Last year, state Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, was the target of a devastating comedy bit by TBS’ Samantha Bee for her refusal to let pass legislation to require the processing of thousands of rape kits.

Last night, Bee did the follow-up, letting state Rep. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, narrate the passage of his bill. Unterman again didn’t come off very well, but the clip below doesn’t portray Holcomb as the only hero. House Speaker David Ralston has a big role in the story:

In his closing argument, the Democratic state representatives narrates what could become a stellar TV ad should Ralston, a Republican, decide to run for governor. Said Holcomb:

“I waved to the survivors, and the advocates who were here and watched us. And then I saluted the speaker. It was an example of, I think, how people can come together to make a difference and to fix a very bad problem. And we did it. We did it across party lines. We did it in a relentless way where we never gave up.”

Unterman fired back on Thursday from the well of the Senate, calling Bee a "vile" commentator. Read her response here.

Read more: Rape kit bill that was nearly blocked now set to become Georgia law


Samantha Bee also chimed in on Georgia's redistricting debate with a public call for a Democrat to challenge state Rep. Johnnie Caldwell, R-Thomaston. You'll just have to watch:


Oh, but that’s not the only place where the Legislature, the Internet and the 2018 race for governor intersect this morning. On the Facebook page of Georgians for Cagle, we have an image of a shrouded of a state Capitol:

And with the image comes an online petition in which Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the presumed Republican front-runner in the race for governor, condemns the House run by Speaker David Ralston for defeating Senate Bill 1, a bill to establish the crime of domestic terrorism – and an official wing of the government to combat it.

The bill was rejected not once, but twice by the House. From the petition:

Less than one week after a deadly terrorist attack struck London, and in the wake of countless acts of terrorism - at home and abroad - 83 members of the House chose to put politics before protecting the safety of Georgians.

SB 1 responds to the most recent incidents in the United States and abroad where “lone wolf” terrorists commit acts of violence. This bill establishes a real time channel to communicate – up and down the chain of command – intelligence regarding suspected terroristic threats and activities to a central location, the Georgia Information Sharing and Analysis Center.


The White House said Wednesday it wouldn't wade into Georgia's special election yet. In fact, you can listen to Trump spokesman Sean Spicer hem and haw on the topic, thanks to this sound clip sent by WSB Radio's Jamie Dupree:



Even so, a Donald Trump loyalist got support from a leader in Donald Trump's 2016 army. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski swung through Alpharetta on Wednesday evening to back Bruce LeVell, a businessman who headed Trump's diversity coalition.

He said LeVell is someone who can "go to Washington to carry forward the change that Donald Trump brought there." Click here to watch the video.


Home Depot co-founder and philanthropist Bernie Marcus will endorse Republican Judson Hill in the race for Georgia's Sixth Congressional District.

"Judson has worked with other state leaders to make Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation for business," said Marcus, "and he's the best candidate in this race to get our nation's job engines humming again."


Hundreds showed up Wednesday to say farewell to Jon Richards, the conservative journalist and grassroots volunteer who died on Sunday. It was a touching, emotional and uplifting celebration of Jon's life. You can watch it here, care of the good folks at GeorgiaPol.com. 


State Reps. Stacey Abrams and Stacey Evans, House minority leader and Democratic caucus chair, respectively, will make their first joint appearance at the state Capitol today since Evans joined Abrams as a gubernatorial possibility. They and other Democratic lawmakers will be endorsing Jon Ossoff in the special election to fill the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell.

In the meantime, this MSNBC producer has snagged a new Ossoff ad featuring U.S. Rep. John Lewis:

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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.