Political Insider

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

Tom Price on reporter's arrest: 'That gentleman was not in a press conference'

Health Secretary Tom Price defended the West Virginia police officers who arrested a journalist for yelling questions at him during a walk through the West Virginia state capitol on Tuesday. Per the Boston Globe: 

“I want to commend the West Virginia Capitol police. They did what they felt was appropriate, and we thank them for the work that they do,” Price said at a press conference in New Hampshire Wednesday. “It’s important to appreciate that gentleman was not in a press conference, we were walking down a hall and the Capitol police acted as they felt necessary.”

This is interesting. Price is President Donald Trump's point man on generating a replacement for Obamacare. If constant motion provides protection from Fourth Estate inquiries,  we're about to see a whole lot of walking in Washington.




An advocacy group has released a video that shows Secretary of State Brian Kemp has directed traffic from his official website to his gubernatorial campaign page on Facebook.

The Voter GA group, led by operative Garland Favorito, called it an attempt by an incumbent to gain an "election advantage" with the link.

It's a common practice among Georgia politicians, even if questionable. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, also running for governor,  links to his campaign page from his official site. So did Gov. Nathan Deal during his re-election campaign.

"Garland Favorito is an agenda-driven activist with an axe to grind," he said. "Brian Kemp is a man of unquestionable integrity and this accusation is nothing more than fake news."


On Wednesday, Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed House Bills 131 and 132, a legislative pair intended to give the new city of South Fulton dominion over the Fulton County Industrial District. At the expense of the city of Atlanta.

Here’s how the governor explained the rejection in his veto message:

The FCID is the only portion of Fulton County that remains unincorporated after the creation of the City of South Fulton in 2016. The FCID, however, cannot be annexed by any municipality due to a pre-existing local constitutional amendment to the Constitution of Georgia and enabling legislation.


There has been continued debate between the City of Atlanta and the City of South Fulton as to which city this district should belong[. T]he cities and property owners involved, though, need to first come to an agreement to determine the future of the FCID.

The legislation would have actually addressed the legal concerns the governor expressed. In essence, Deal has sided with his good friend, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Allowing the legislation to progress would have capped Atlanta’s growth on its south side.

The Fulton County Industrial District is sparsely populated. The added tax base is the main attraction, both for Atlanta and the city of South Fulton. Still, another factor may be in play.

Emory University has yet to file that long-anticipated petition to have itself annexed into the city of Atlanta, an essential puzzle piece in extending MARTA rail through the Clifton Road corridor.

If there is concern within the Atlanta City Council that an eastern expansion of the city could upset the city’s racial/political balance, a southward extension of Atlanta’s borders could mitigate those objections.


No surprise here: The National Rifle Association has endorsed Republican Karen Handel in Georgia's Sixth District race.

“Karen Handel supports our right to keep and bear arms,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the gun rights group's political arm. “She has fought for the values and freedoms that Georgians hold dear. In Congress, she will defend our right to protect ourselves and our families.”


Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black will be in Washington today to testify before Congress about … wait for it … pesticide registration.

Black is set to testify before the Senate Agriculture Committee at 9:30 this morning. We hear U.S. Sen. David Perdue is scheduled to introduce him.

Black’s last high profile appearance on Capitol Hill came two months ago, when he appeared as a guest of former Gov. Sonny Perdue during his Senate confirmation hearing before the same committee.

Agriculture Secretary Perdue, as it turns out, has a big Capitol Hill appearance scheduled not too long after Black.


A bill championed by U.S. Sen. David Perdue, aimed at blocking an Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regulation, appears to be dead.

Perdue had targeted a regulation that would require companies that offer prepaid credit cards to disclose to consumers up front their various fees, and cut down on a customer’s loss when a card is lost or stolen.

Proponents said the rule would extend basic account protections to tens of millions of predominantly low- and middle-income customers, but Perdue and Republican allies said the policy would end up raising prices and limiting options for customers.

A major beneficiary had the regulation been stopped was the Columbus, Ga.-based Total System Services, which has donated thousands to Perdue’s campaign. The business model of its subsidiary, Netspend, relies in part on overdraft fees from such prepaid credit cards.

Perdue’s office played down the lack of action on his bill. They pointed to the Bureau’s April announcement that it would delay the effective date of the rule for six months in order to receive more industry feedback.

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.