Political Insider

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

The Jolt: In the Atlanta race for mayor, connecting dots isn’t hard

People, people. If you’re going to pretend you’re acting independently of each other, you can at least make it a little harder to connect the dots.

There’s no challenge here.

Today, the Democratic Party of Georgia launched a full-scale online attack against another mayoral candidate, Mary Norwood, labeling her “Mary the Republican.” The effort labels her a far-right conservative who has a web of connections to GOP figures.

As Detective Obvious might say, put the two together, and you're encouraging a binary formula in a multi-candidate race for mayor of Atlanta. Also this morning, we have the following:

The mayor is preparing to formally endorse City Councilwoman Keisha Lance Bottoms, and he could make that announcement as soon as Saturday, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.

Reed’s office declined to comment, but such a move would come as little shock. He’s long given Bottoms his tacit support – and hosted a fundraiser for her earlier this year – even as he’s sharply criticized many of the other contenders in the 13-person race.

Now, if you’re Ceasar Mitchell, Cathy Woolard, Peter Aman, Vincent Fort, or Kwanza Hall, you can’t really complain to DPG chairman DuBose Porter about what he’s doing – which is a repeat of what the party did to Norwood in 2009. Only earlier.

And Bottoms’ fortunate anticipation of that very move? There’s no law in Georgia politics against insider trading.


Also in the Atlanta mayor’s race: In the newspaper biz, we would say she buried the lede, but Cathy Woolard includes this in a note to supporters:

Perhaps most impressively, we have exceeded our fundraising goal of $1 million. I am extremely grateful to the 2,443 individual donors—many of whom contributed small dollar amounts—that have helped us achieve this. The grassroots support has inspired all of us, and your contributions will help us expand our efforts during this final stretch.


U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Atlanta, was unsparing Wednesday in his denouncement of lawmakers on Capitol Hill who refuse pass new gun restrictions in the wake of recent mass shootings. A transcript from his D.C. press conference, per Politico: “This Congress has failed the American people. As in Newtown and Aurora and Charleston and Orlando, now in Las Vegas, how many more must die? A hundred? A thousand? 10,000? A million? What is your blood price?"  (Tamar Hallerman)


But actually, a slight shift in the attitude of Republicans in Congress to firearms has been picked up by the New York Times:

“I own a lot of guns, and as a hunter and sportsman, I think that’s our right as Americans, but I don’t understand the use of this bump stock,” Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, said, adding, “It seems like it’s an obvious area we ought to explore and see if it’s something Congress needs to act on.”


Rahul Bali of WMVG Radio sends word that the Milledgeville station will carry Saturday’s Republican gubernatorial forum live. All five candidates are expected to attend. You can listen via AM 1450, online by clicking here, or on your smartphone via the TuneIn app. Coverage begins at 10 a.m., and the fun begins a half-hour later.


How's this for a dose of bipartisanship? State Reps. Scott Holcomb, D-Atlanta, and Scot Turner, R-Holly Springs, have teamed up to ask Gov. Nathan Deal to set aside funding in next year's budget to replace the state's voting machines. "We are serious about addressing the serious flaws that have been brought to light this year in our current technology," wrote Turner. Check out the letter here. (Greg Bluestein)


One more bit of news from Scott Holcomb, posted on his Facebook Page: "Extremely pleased to learn that Georgia has been awarded another grant of $3,000,000 to help with our initiatives to address sexual violence and the backlog of untested rape kits. This is a HUGE deal."


We told you Wednesday that Nick Ayers, a former Georgia political hand and the vice president's chief of staff, had suggested the "purging" of congressional Republicans who lack enthusiasm when it comes to the Trump agenda. His remarks were recorded, and the recording was made available to Politico.com. This morning, Playbook includes some reaction we had to scrub before it was suitable for a family blog.

Attributed to a "top Republican" was this: “Fair to say both sides of the Capitol are perturbed. … Not because we see an actual threat, but because who the [blank] are you?” (TH)


If you boys and girls want to know how real journalism works, read Politico.com's account of how it broke the story of Tom Price and his private jets. A taste:

Price’s lack of transparency made our job harder. In the initial months following his confirmation on Feb. 10, he hadn’t made his schedule public, unlike past secretaries. Bare-bones reports of events outside Washington usually were posted on the agency’s website after they happened. But there were few places and times – not enough information to take either to charter services, sources inside HHS or anyone else in a position to know about the flights. And we faced a further problem: Because the planes Price was taking were private, their arrivals and departures weren’t recorded on public databases.

That meant we had to recreate Price’s schedule from scratch if we were to have any hope of matching his trips to chartered flights. We reviewed the HHS summaries of Price’s meetings. We scoured news sites for reports of Price speeches outside Washington. We obsessively tracked his appearances on social media. Putting all this information together, we built a database of Price’s trips.


The Trump administration asked Congress yesterday for another $30 billion in emergency funding to help the victims of recent natural disasters, including hurricanes Maria and Irma. Lawmakers approved an initial $15 billion down payment last month. (TH)

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About the Author

Jim Galloway is a three-decade veteran of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution who writes the Political Insider blog and column.