Political Insider

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

The Atlanta Braves go deeper into the real estate business

Their 2015 season might justify a cynic who says that, having given up on baseball, the Atlanta Braves have moved into real estate.

More seriously, this move in Florida is proof that a revamped business model that sent the baseball club to Cobb County wasn’t done simply to tick off the city of Atlanta. A larger cash stream was at stake. From the Tampa Bay Times:

The Atlanta Braves, former baseball star and Tampa native Gary Sheffield and a local developer want to build a stadium, arena, practice fields and hotel rooms on the former Toytown landfill, transforming the 240-acre property into the county's third MLB spring training complex.

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And the county appears interested. An evaluation committee recently ranked the Braves plan first out of three competing bids from developers responding to the county's request for proposals. The landfill has been closed since 1983, and the county has struggled to find a use for the massive mid-county site. In 2008, officials approved a mixed-use development that fell victim to the recession.

The Braves even suggested potentially revamping their plans to accommodate another major-league team. Two teams sharing spring training facilities is a growing trend. The Toronto Blue Jays considered leaving Dunedin and joining the Houston Astros in a shared complex in West Palm Beach before that deal fell through last year.


An all-important community meeting on what to do after the Braves depart Turner Field will be held tonight:

The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority will hold the meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the stadium’s 755 Club at 755 Hank Aaron Drive, Southeast. The meeting is expected to include discussion about the anticipated timeline for the authority to seek ideas and a developer for the ballpark and surrounding land.


And now the city of Macon may be ready to join the bread-and-circuses trend. From the Macon Telegraph:

A study to look at the feasibility of bringing a minor league baseball team back to Macon will now go before the full Macon-Bibb County Commission Oct. 6.

The commission’s Operations and Finance Committee approved the resolution 3-2 Tuesday morning after a 30-minute debate. The resolution proposes spending $50,000 on a market analysis and economic feasibility study that would take about 10 weeks to complete.


It's Family Day on the GOP presidential campaign trail, as Jeb Bush Jr. and Janet Huckabee, wife of Mike Huckabee, visit Georgia.

Jeb Jr. will meet with Georgia State University students on campus at 4 p.m., then attend an Atlanta Young Republicans event at Five Seasons Brewing -- Westside at 7 p.m.

Janet Huckabee visits MUST Ministries in Canton at 10 a.m., Varsity Restaurant in Kennesaw at noon and has dinner at Calvary Baptist in Ball Ground at 7:30 p.m. She continues on to Columbus tomorrow for a GOP luncheon.


U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, continues to pick at the carcass of the Scott Walker presidential campaign. Cruz announced the addition of former Walker state co-chairs Julianne Thompson and Rachel Little to his team Tuesday, in addition to previously announced Louie Hunter. However, the Wall Street Journal this morning notes that Cruz' colleague in the Senate, Marco Rubio of Florida, is poised to sweep up two-thirds of Scott Walker's major donors.

Also on Tuesday, state Rep. Mark Hatchett of Dublin, chairman of the House Republican caucus, declared himself for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- following the example set by his leader, Speaker David Ralston of Blue Ridge.


Exactly one year ago, Michelle Nunn, then the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, was running a television spot that declared her support for the Keystone XL pipeline.

“[T]oo many Democrats play politics by dragging their feet on the Keystone Pipeline, while Republicans block renewable energy initiatives that would reduce our long-term dependence on fossil fuels,” Nunn said – in a what turned out to be a fruitless search for middle ground in Georgia.

One wonders if Nunn’s experience played into the following decision. From the Washington Post:

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton declared opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday, ending a long and politically uncomfortable silence on an issue that has become a touchstone for environmentalists and liberal voters.

“I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it is – a distraction from the important work we have to do to combat climate change,” Clinton said at a community forum here.

The debate over Keystone “interferes with our ability to move forward,” Clinton said. “Therefore I oppose it.”

It’s worth noting that the Clinton and Nunn campaigns have something important in common -- Gordon Giffin, a Dentons operative based in Atlanta who is a major Democratic fundraiser, and a former U.S. ambassador to Canada.


Donald Trump passes the Donald Trump quiz, from "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert":


Susan Coppedge, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in Atlanta, had her Senate hearing Tuesday on assuming a new post at the State Department leading the office to combat human trafficking.

No apparent roadblocks to her nomination emerged at the hearing, which began with an effusive endorsement of the Dalton native by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga. Said Isakson:

"She understands the sensitivity of the chairman and the ranking member to the manipulation of numbers in terms of the State Department’s [Trafficking in Persons] report and is going to be committed to seeing to it that we have unfettered, unvarnished information and we do the right thing when it comes to those rankings every single time."

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., also chimed in with support: "I've watched her for the last decade attack this [trafficking problem] with a vigor."

Coppedge was an AUSA in Atlanta since 2001 and led Atlanta's human trafficking office for six years.

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