Political Insider

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

State Board of Education recommends removal of Dooly County school board

You could call the timing ironic, even a coincidence, given the presence on Tuesday’s ballot of Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed constitutional amendment to permit the state to assume control of individual failing schools.

The state’s top education panel made the decision in a unanimous voice vote Thursday night at its office in Atlanta.

The state school board’s recommendation now heads to Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who will decide whether to remove any or all of the board members...

[U]nder cross-examination, [interim Superintendent Celeta]Thomas …said she attempted to resign from a job that causes her heavy stress in order to go work in another county, and that it’s hard to keep good staff. She also confirmed that she’s aware of families transferring their children to schools in Houston and Crisp counties. She confirmed that numerous members of the public have complained to her about the school board, alleging micromanaging, bickering and failing to follow policies.

You'll remember that this happened with the DeKalb County school board in 2013. Dooley County sits astride I-75, south of Macon.


File this under "Better Late Than Never." From the Associated Press:

BERWYN, Pa. — Donald Trump's wife, Melania, made a rare appearance on the campaign trail on Thursday, pledging to focus on combatting online bullying and serve as an advocate for women and children if her husband is elected to the White House.

Her description of the perils of social media seemed at odds with her husband's divisive and bullying rhetoric throughout the campaign.

"Our culture has gotten too mean and too rough, especially to children and teenagers," said Mrs. Trump, delivering a get-out-the-vote speech in the Philadelphia suburbs with less than a week to go before Election Day. "It is never okay when a 12-year-old girl or boy is mocked, bullied or attacked" in the school yard, she argued, but it is "absolutely unacceptable when it is done by someone with no name hiding on the internet. "

Thursday's speech was Mrs. Trump's first since she addressed the Republican National Convention in July. That speech was well-received initially, but was quickly overshadowed by the discovery that sections had been plagiarized from first lady Michelle Obama's address to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.


Some Republicans may have ignored that “autopsy” report of the 2012 presidential contest, which recommended that the GOP put on a friendlier face to women and minorities. But not all did.

Ashley Bell, the former Hall County commissioner, is in charge of minority messaging and organization in 11 presidential battleground states. This TV ad, which Bell helped produce, began airing Thursday on BET in Georgia:


We told you earlier that Henry County could very well move from the Republican column to the Democratic on on Tuesday. But coordination may be a bit rusty. Below is a flyer -- a voter slate, really -- of Democratic candidates produced by the local party. Who's missing? Jim Barksdale, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate. See for yourself:


If you're hankering for a behind-the-scenes look at campaign speechifying, the Wikileaks hack has been a treasure trove of information. Consider this Oct. 29, 2015 email from Hillary Clinton aide Dan Schwerin that was forwarded to campaign co-chair John Podesta about her campaign stop in Atlanta:

"Hi all, I'd love your thoughts on this draft for tomorrow in Atlanta. Per guidance from the team this speech 1) honors the legends of the civil rights movement and ties HRC to that history; 2) re-ups some of the more effective stuff we've said previously about race in America and puts it under our umbrella of the problems that keep families up at night; 3) rolls out new criminal justice reforms; 4) hits Bernie on "course correction." Please take a look. I'd love to cut a few hundred words out, so suggestions welcome."

At that Atlanta visit, Clinton called for a ban on racial profiling, but the event was overshadowed by "Black Lives Matter" protesters who interrupted her rally.


The powerful ride-sharing service Uber is backing Tuesday's MARTA referendum to expand mass transit in the city of Atlanta. The company posted the following endorsement on Thursday:

Reducing congestion and improving transportation options are priorities for Atlanta residents – and they are for us at Uber too.  We are proud to do our part by getting more people in fewer cars through products like UberPOOL – but we know that reliable and accessible mass transit is crucial for the city.  That’s why Uber supports the MARTA expansion and T-SPLOST measures on the ballot this Tuesday.  


Ridesharing goes hand in hand with public transportation.  For Uber, that means working together with MARTA to get more people to their destinations safely and efficiently.  For Uber rider Gerald, that means taking an 11-mile Uber ride from his home to the Indian Creek station, followed by a MARTA ride to his job in Buckhead.  And there are riders like Gerald across metro Atlanta:     


Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson and Gov. Nathan Deal are joining forces this weekend as the senator embarks on his final flurry of campaigning ahead of the election and the governor makes a final push for his failing schools initiative.

Isakson’s campaign announced a six city fly-around tour over four days as the two-term incumbent looks to put in some last-minute face time with voters before they hit the polls.

The excursion begins with a tailgate in Augusta on Friday evening, a stop in Savannah on Sunday and a blitz through airports in Columbus, Macon and Albany on Monday, culminating in a rally in Isakson’s home base of Marietta.

In addition to Deal, other Republican pals will be joining Isakson at his various stops, including a handful of his House colleagues and longtime confidante Saxby Chambliss.


Meanwhile, we that hear another one of Isakson’s colleagues on Capitol Hill, Gainesville Republican Doug Collins, will be out of town.

The congressman is swinging through the Midwest with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as they campaign for Republican candidates in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

Collins doesn't face an opponent on the ballot next week and has been sending money to help out Republicans in competitive state House and local races, according to his campaign. Beneficiaries have included state Reps. Mike Cheokas, R-Americus and Brian Strickland, R-McDonough, as well as GOP candidates Meagan Hanson and Deidra White.


Georgia's Democrat elites are huddling this morning for a planning breakfast in Atlanta before disbursing for a final bout of campaigning before the election.

Slated to attend the kickoff for the "Georgia Together GOTV road trip" are current and U.S. Reps. John Lewis of Atlanta, Hank Johnson of Decatur and former congressman John Barrow. Also there will be state Capitol leaders Steve Henson, the state Senate minority leader from Tucker,  and Stacey Abrams, the House minority leader from Atlanta, as well as the Rev. Raphael Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and other party leaders.

Reader Comments ...

About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.