Political Insider

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

The politics of a U.S. citizenship ceremony

 In a piece on Wednesday’s swearing-in of 1,000 new U.S. citizens during a pre-Braves ceremony at Turner Field, the AJC’s Jennifer Brett noted a bit of partisanship that accompanied the festivities:

Edward Jennings, Southeast regional administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, injected some politics into his keynote address, saying President Barack Obama plans to address congressional “unwillingness” to enact immigration reform.

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“He plans to take executive actions that are within the president’s authority,” Jennings said. “We must do whatever we can to make U.S. immigration smarter, more humane and do whatever we can to keep families together.”

She wasn't the only one to notice. An email arrived late last night from Greg Williams, chairman of the Buckhead Young Republicans, who was there with friends to watch his wife take the oath of citizenship. Wrote Williams:

"[Jennings] prepared remarks were about 10 minutes long, and he made several comments polticizing the event, stating that Republicans were standing in the way of immigration reform and that he was personally proud of Obama for pledging to circumvent Congress and push immigration reforms with executive orders.

"This event is supposed to be a non-partisan celebration of citizenship, and I and many others were incredibly offended by these political slams. Georgia GOP 2nd Vice Chair Ron Johnson was in attendance, along with several other friends, and we all heard the same thing."

We take no position on this, but welcome those thousand new citizens to the fray. Do your homework, as we’re sure you will, before you pick a side. You probably already know more than most of us natives.


Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Michael Boggs and his U.S. Senate interlocutors continued their dance last week over his nomination to a federal district judgeship, with another round of questions and answers that can be gotten to by clicking here.

One question from U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Cal., focused on a 2004 article in the Waycross Journal-Herald about a judicial candidate forum in which Boggs touted his opposition to same-sex marriage.

The follow-up from Feinstein: “Was conveying your position on an issue of this sort of manner during a judicial campaign a frequent practice for you in 2004?

Bogg’s response, in part: “No. Making statements such as this was not a frequent practice for me in 2004 and was not a practice at all in my later judicial campaigns and I regret these comments.”

But it was common enough that Boggs included the phrase in a 2004 campaign flyer that can be seen here and here. The relevant portion:



The list of Democrats who endorsed state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan's bid for superintendent turned plenty of heads within the party's establishment - including at least one who was surprised to be included.

Beyond former Gov. Roy Barnes and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, more than a dozen rank-and-file Democratic legislators were trumpeted as supporting their House colleague in a primary bid against Decatur school board member Valarie Wilson, who is seen as the party's pick for the state's top education job partly thanks to her opposition to charter schools.

State Rep. Pam Dickerson, among those listed as endorsing Morgan, tells us she never consented to being on the list. In fact, she adamantly opposes Morgan's candidacy.

"I never endorsed her, and if I told her I supported her, I don't remember it. If you look at our records on education, there are a lot of differences," said Dickerson, a Conyers Democrat. She says after a "heated conversation" with Morgan - more than a few choice words were involved - the superintendent candidate refused to drop her name from the endorsement list.

"It's very frustrating. And it's just not fair," said Dickerson. "She's desperate and she's doing desperate things."

Morgan said in a statement that both she and state Rep. Winfred Dukes, D-Albany, "indicated that they supported my candidacy at the time that the list was published." Both were removed from the list of supporters, including this online tally, after our inquiry.

As for Dickerson, she already feels like she exacted a measure of vindication. She taped a robocall for Wilson that's been lighting up metro Atlanta households.


We received a note forwarded from Jeanne Seaver, a Savannah GOP activist and David Perdue supporter, demanding an apology from the wife of Perdue's GOP Senate rival, Jack Kingston.

Seaver claims that Libby Kingston warned a Perdue volunteer at a Savannah women's luncheon not to speak against her husband and that, if it happened, she would ensure Perdue "doesn't get one vote in this room." The volunteer spoke nonetheless.

From the email:

"Libby Kingston came to the podium, criticized and was less than honest about David Perdue on her presentation to the crowd and should be ashamed of her actions to those in opposition.

What happen to freedom of speech?  What happen to respect of individuals rights? Isn't that what our freedoms are all about?"


The July 4 holiday is the turning point for the mad runoff sprint on TV. Jack Kingston just plunked down $120,000 for 85 spots on WSB-TV alone, just for the week of July 6-13.


As noted in PeachPundit.com, the U.S. Senate campaign of Democrat Michelle Nunn has received a letter from the Federal Elections Commission, asking for more info about some campaign contributions that may have exceeded the allowed limit.

Nunn spokesman Nathan Click said the campaign has addressed all of the FEC's questions and the results will be reflected in the campaign's forthcoming campaign finance report through June 30.

The Perdue and Kingston camps also were questioned by the FEC last year about various aspects of their disclosures.


The Club For Growth, the fiscally conservative insurgent group fresh off of losing a high-priced battle in the Mississippi U.S. Senate race, is pumping $358,000 worth of television ads into the First Congressional District GOP runoff to attack state Sen. Buddy Carter with the above ad.

The Club, which has endorsed Savannah surgeon Bob Johnson, is the first outside group to advertise on TV in the First -- and its buy might exceed the candidates'. Carter is spending $16,000 next week on Savannah TV.


Ed Lindsey, who lost in the 11th Congressional District Republican primary, is stepping down six months early from his state House seat to serve as a civilian member of a Joint Study Committee on Critical Transportation Infrastructure for Georgia. Speaker David Ralston appointed him to the post.

In an email to supporters, Lindsey said his pal neighboring state Rep. Joe Wilkinson has agreed to take on constituent requests and since the House is not in session and he is not running in November, his resignation won't trigger a special election.


Eugene Yu, who dropped out of the U.S. Senate race to run in the 12th Congressional District and lost in a GOP primary there, is reminding his political network that he's still around. Yu sent a "Happy July 4th" email to supporters that included directions for fireworks displays in the Augusta area, a Ronald Reagan quote and a call to action:

"Celebrate with your family and friends this weekend and come Monday, let’s fight with our voice and our vote to bring back the glory we know is still achievable before it is [too] late."


Need any more proof that there's no love lost between Gov. Nathan Deal's aides and Jason Carter's camp viscerally dislike one another? A war of words - or tweets, to be precise - erupted on Twitter over the Politifact finding that rolled out yesterday.

The finding determined Jason Carter campaign manager Matt McGrath's blast that "Gov. Deal has the worst record on education in the history of this state" was rather overstated. Gene Talmadge, Georgia's off-and-on governor in the '30s and '40s, easily wins that award.

It led to a celebratory press release from Dealies and some pooh-poohing by CarterLand. But this Twitter tiff between Deal spokeswoman Jen Talaber and McGrath was the highlight:


Later, in a tweet to an RGA heavy, McGrath added:




U.S. Rep. John Lewis made a Twitter stir of his own on the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Rights Act. Conservatives were not pleased:

If the Civil Rights Act was before the Congress today, it would not pass, it would probably never make it to the floor for a vote.

— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) July 2, 2014


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