Political Insider

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

Take note, Arthur Blank: There's a high price to host a Super Bowl

As Atlanta aims for the 2019 Super Bowl, it's safe to say a glitzy new stadium isn't the only thing on the NFL's wish list. Take a look at the price that Minneapolis had to pay to win the 2018 event.

Says the report:

Free police escorts for team owners, and 35,000 free parking spaces. Presidential suites at no cost in high-end hotels. Free billboards across the Twin Cities. Guarantees to receive all revenue from the game's ticket sales — even a requirement for NFL-preferred ATMs at the stadium. ...

The “Government Guarantees” section, in addition, also demands that public officials create “clean zones” that cover at least a one-mile radius around the football stadium and a six-block radius from the NFL’s headquarters hotel. Creating “clean zones,” according to the NFL, typically “restricts certain activities” and “provides for the temporary suspension of new, and possibly existing, permits for such activities.”


If you want to get a sense of the aggressiveness of Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for governor, consider remarks he made to a group of Democratic activists in Savannah late last month. As we mentioned in a Sunday column, the event was recorded by Marcus Howard of the Savannah Morning News.

First Carter delivers a strong populist argument:

“The people at the state government, when they talk about the economy, they talk about a tiny group of people that have a bunch of lobbyists in Atlanta. That’s who gets served by the state government right now, instead of the average, every-day, middle-class person – the working people of this state, and the small businesses….”

Then he brings in the message of Republican incumbent Nathan Deal’s primary, which cost the sitting governor more than a quarter of the Republican vote:

“We’re not the only ones that see what we see. You just saw, last week, the chief education official in our state, a statewide-elected Republican, was running against the governor in his own primary because of how badly the governor has mishandled public education. That’s real. That’s not just a bunch of Democrats sitting in a room….”

And finally, there’s the news that, the day after the May 20 primary, Carter called David Pennington:

“The other person that ran against the governor in that primary, who claimed to be a tea-party businessman, was the [former] mayor of Dalton. I talked to him on the day after the primary…. And he says, on the phone, ‘Jason, when I travel the state, let me tell you what I see. We are getting too poor to have a business environment that works.’

“That’s the far right, saying we can’t continue down this path, because we have to have prosperous people again. That means we have a real, generationally significant moment to deal with.”


So when exactly did Jimmy Carter send out his first text? It's a question Gov. Nathan Deal's camp raised over the weekend.

You'll recall that Jason Carter's camp got a lot of attention in March when it broadcast a "first text" sent from the president after his appearance on Colbert Report:

Who says you can't teach an old President new tricks? pic.twitter.com/HZwSIp1mlH

— Jason Carter (@carter4governor) March 26, 2014

Jason Carter's team promptly used it as part of a fundraising pitch, urging donors to follow the lead of his "Papa" and support the campaign.

Just this weekend, though, Deal aide Jen Talaber dug up an earlier tweet that the younger Carter sent our way last August on his grandfather's texting prowess.

Caught red-handed (or red-thumbed?), Carter campaign manager Matt McGrath responded with a link to the French phrase "l'esprit de l'escalier."

And though our colleague Dan Malloy was the one who went to France over the weekend, we'll give a crack at defining what he meant: Would've been the perfect comeback - three months ago.

Alas, we hear Jimmy Carter didn't address text-gate at his Sunday sermon in Plains over the weekend ...


Sen. Saxby Chambliss, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, complained on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the White House had failed to share key information with Congress about the prisoner swap with the Taliban that led to the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

From the Washington Post:

Chambliss said the Obama administration has "acted very strangely" about Bergdahl and the prisoner swap that led to his release.

"Nobody has made any effort to contact me from the administration, but then, you know, I learned about this [prisoner swap] after the fact," Chambliss said. "Dianne [Feinstein] and I were both called on Monday night, after Bergdahl was released on Saturday, and told that it had happened."


Amy Henderson of the Georgia Municipal Association sends word that she was in China when she read last week’s post marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Wrote Henderson:

“I was actually in China this past week with Walt McBride from the Carl Vinson Institute. While we could read your post, the video was blocked to us.”

Says she:

“We met so many wonderful Chinese people, many students, and it seems so hard to believe this part of history, their history, is a complete blank to them.”


Michelle Nunn-watcher Leslie Shedd tracked the Democratic Senate candidate to Ohio this weekend, where she attended fundraisers with Sens. Sherrod Brown and Cory Booker.

Shedd, who works for a GOP outfit that puts a bullseye on Nunn's back, said the venture was a sign that "she will take money from every liberal super PAC and Washington insider who will write her a check - including left-wing liberals like Sherrod Brown."


Chuck Williams of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer has a lengthy Q&A here with Pete Robinson, whom many say is the most influential lobbyist in the state Capitol. It’s worth checking out.

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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.