Political Insider

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

Speaking up for transit: An Atlanta Braves exec, and Tim Lee, too

Last week, a group of transit advocates held a forum near the new Cobb County stadium for the Atlanta Braves. The workday start time was at 5:30 p.m. – deliberately chose to make a point.

From the AJC’s Meris Lutz:

An Atlanta Braves executive expressed confidence that the plan put together to manage traffic to and from the new SunTrust Park stadium will work well.


Mike Plant,  president of development,  lauded the Atlanta Braves' traffic management plan as "very effective." He [said] the plan will be revealed in phases leading up to the first pitch in April…

Plant deflected questions about mass transit, but Maria Saporta of the Saporta Report caught him on his cell afterwards, and tried to pin him down:

 “We would be advocates of that – absolutely,” Plant said.  “Everyone has to take emotion out of it and look at every possible solution and put them on the table.


The growth is going to continue. You can’t keep thinking you are going to expand roads.”

Also interesting: Both reporters found Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee, soon to be freed from the shackles of elected office, expressing himself far more freely on the topic. From Saporta:

“I’m a champion of transit expansion,” Lee said. “I was a very vocal advocate for transit. I learned the hard way that it’s not up to me. Elected officials can’t change things from the top down. This is a bottom-up discussion. Right now the voters in Cobb County don’t have an appetite for transit, or maybe they don’t have the appetite to pay for it.”

From Lutz:

Lee said the MARTA expansion proposal on the ballot Nov. 8, if it were to pass, would be a "huge step forward."


That letter penned state Sen. Vincent Fort, urging his state Capitol colleagues  to oust Claud "Tex" McIver from the state Board of Elections came from his personal account and not the Senate press office. The chamber's publicity arm refused to have anything to do with it. And the Atlanta Democrat is crying foul.

McIver, a well-known Republican, accidentally shot and killed his wife as the two were in a car driving through downtown Atlanta. Fort's letter urges GOP leaders to remove McIver from the board because a family spokesman said he pulled out a handgun in fear of a Black Lives Matter rally in the area. Fort wrote that "falsely blaming a fear of African American activists" was reason enough to block him from overseeing electoral issues in Georgia.

Senate spokeswoman Ines Owens said the press office, which is nonpartisan, doesn't publish "clearly partisan material." Owens said staffers offered to help write a press release that didn't violate policy, and Fort declined. The chamber's leaders also responded with their own letter, offering to schedule a meeting to discuss his concerns.

Fort, a likely candidate for Atlanta mayor, said he was "offended and hurt" by the chamber's position.

"This is Senate business. This isn’t political. This is policy. Tex McIver, after making racially sensitive remarks, should not be sitting on one of the state’s most important boards," said Fort. "Should he be in a position to determine elections policy? I don’t think so. It is really craven for senate leadership to use that kind of vacuous argument."


President Barack Obama has endorsed 10 Georgia Democrats in tough statehouse election battles.

They are:

· Donna McLeod, Georgia HD-105

· Bill McGowen, Georgia HD-138

· Floyd Griffin, Georgia HD-145

· Kenneth Zachary, Jr., Georgia HD-151

· Tommy Hill, Georgia HD-173

· Erick Allen, Georgia HD-40

· Kimberly Alexander, Georgia HD-66

· Taylor Bennett, Georgia HD-80

· Scott Holcomb, Georgia HD-81

· Pedro “Pete” Marin, Georgia HD-96


Tim Bryant, a morning radio host for WGAU (1340AM), sends sound captured this morning of former Georgia congressman Jack Kingston discussing the pending increase in health insurance premiums under Obamacare, and Donald Trump’s mishandled defense against accusations of sexual assault.

‘That message should have been delivered, not even by Kellyanne Conway, but maybe by somebody else in the campaign, to say, ‘No. 1, we take sexual misconduct very, very seriously,’” Kingston said. “There’s a story to tell, but Donald Trump should probably let one of the female surrogates take on the story rather than himself.” Listen to the exchange here:



The national arm of Log Cabin Republicans has decided not to endorse party nominee Donald Trump for president. The Georgia chapter of the group, which advocates for gay and lesbian rights, announced last night that neutrality won’t do. The statement by its board of directors:

Under the most rarest of circumstances the Log Cabin Republicans are making an exception and allowing their individual chapters nationwide to weigh in on the presidential race regarding an endorsement decision for our Republican nominee Donald J. Trump for President.


The Georgia Log Cabin Republicans are delighted to officially be the first chapter in the country to endorse Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America. 


Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp took to Facebook to lash out against the media after The Washington Post ran a story about the state's recent skirmishes with voting rights groups. The post begins:

"Last week, we were protecting Georgia's elections from the ACLU. Now, we are fighting against crazy, baseless narratives created by the Left and pushed by media outlets like The Washington Post."


He's not up for reelection for four more years, but that isn't keeping U.S. Sen. David Perdue off the campaign trail.

The Republican freshman was in Wisconsin yesterday touring businesses with his politically vulnerable GOP colleague Ron Johnson and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who also hails from the Badger State.

It's Perdue's second jaunt to a key Midwestern state this October to help out Senate colleagues -- he was also in Iowa earlier this month. We hear New Hampshire is nice this time of year....

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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.