Politics

Why anti-Pelosi attacks could be losing their edge

Why anti-Pelosi attacks could be losing their edge

All those attack ads linking Georgia Democrats to Nancy Pelosi may not pack the same kind of punch they once did -- at least according to a CNN poll. The poll of 921 registered voters found that while the House minority leader remains singularly unpopular among Republicans, she has a marginal impact on how people will vote in November. It found that only a third of registered voters see Pelosi...
Georgia election officials warn of ‘chaos’ if judge orders paper ballots

Georgia election officials warn of ‘chaos’ if judge orders paper ballots

The upcoming general election in Georgia will be “plunged into chaos” if a federal judge grants a request to immediately switch the state to paper ballots, according to attorneys for Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The court filing Tuesday came in response to a lawsuit that is trying to prevent Georgia from using its 27,000 touchscreen voting machines, which the plaintiffs say are...
DNC Chair Tom Perez hits Kemp while speaking to DeKalb Latino voters

DNC Chair Tom Perez hits Kemp while speaking to DeKalb Latino voters

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez visited a small group of Hispanic and Latino voters at Buford Highway’s Plaza Fiesta on Wednesday, urging them to support gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and down-ballot Democrats.  Perez, alternating between English and Spanish, advised them to defy what he called efforts to increase voter suppression by Secretary of State Brian Kemp...
Inside the Georgia governor election 2018

Inside the Georgia governor election 2018

See how the race for Georgia governor is shaping up.  Monitor the latest polls, expert predictions and funding reports in the race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp.  The few polls taken after Kemp’s GOP runoff victory show a tight race. Stay tuned for more polls, including several from the AJC.  Most elections analysts haven’t shifted their take on...
The Jolt: ‘State citizenship’ matters, Georgia’s high court rules

The Jolt: ‘State citizenship’ matters, Georgia’s high court rules

House Republicans at the state Capitol just preserved one of their number from an anticipated blue November wave. From our AJC colleague Mark Niesse: The decision is an important one, if only because of the emphasis placed on state citizenship as something additional to and separate from U.S. citizenship. We’re not talking state residency, but state citizenship. Palacios’ attorneys...
Amazon HQ2: While Atlanta debates incentives, Ga. poised to add more

Amazon HQ2: While Atlanta debates incentives, Ga. poised to add more

Note to Georgia lawmakers: The lucrative package of incentives that Atlanta could put forth to stimulate a mini-city worthy of Amazon’s second headquarters won’t excuse state officials from dangling their own goodies.  That was the implicit message that Gov. Nathan Deal’s administration sent after Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms went public with what could be a 10-figure...
Why Georgia Power's nuclear project could survive the November election

Why Georgia Power's nuclear project could survive the November election

Grab a cup of coffee and settle in, boys and girls. This is going to get complicated. Last week, Georgia Power announced that its cost of finishing two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle, which just eight months ago had been set at $7.3 billion, had increased by $1.1 billion. For Georgia Power customers, the good news is that stockholders are covering the added cost. The picture may be different for...
Georgia Supreme Court rejects appeal from disqualified candidate

Georgia Supreme Court rejects appeal from disqualified candidate

The Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday unanimously declined to consider an appeal from a former state House candidate who was disqualified because she only became a U.S. citizen last year. Maria Palacios, a Democrat, was removed from the ballot in May by Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp because the Georgia Constitution requires House candidates to be “citizens of this state...
Without legal way to buy medical marijuana, Georgians turn to CBD

Without legal way to buy medical marijuana, Georgians turn to CBD

It’s against the law to buy medical marijuana in Georgia, but you don’t have to drive far to find a similar product for sale in stores. Stacked in smoke shops and nutrition stores, customers can buy cannabidiol droplets, capsules or creams to treat minor aches and pains. Meanwhile, there’s no way for patients suffering from severe seizures, intractable pain or deadly cancer to legally...
Millionaire candidates stud Georgia’s ballot

Millionaire candidates stud Georgia’s ballot

From the top of the Georgia ticket to the bottom, voters in November will decide between millionaires and candidates with more modest economic backgrounds. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution analysis of financial disclosure records found more than half the candidates on the statewide ballot have a net worth that tops seven figures. Those six Republicans and two Democrats have a combined net worth of...
Why Georgia’s protracted water rights battle just got a little cheaper

Why Georgia’s protracted water rights battle just got a little cheaper

The latest chapter of Georgia’s long-running water rights battle against Florida has cost the state’s taxpayers nearly $50 million -- a price tag that will undoubtedly rise after the Supreme Court punted the case earlier this summer. But legal bills for the two states are likely to mount a little slower thanks to a decision quietly made by the justices late last week...
The Jolt: Stockbridge sold out by its own lawyers, complaint says

The Jolt: Stockbridge sold out by its own lawyers, complaint says

The fight over the creation of a city of Eagles Landing from the existing city of Stockbridge has shifted to a new venue. Lee Stuart, a former mayor of Stockbridge has filed complaints with the State Bar of Georgia against state Rep. Andy Welch and state Sen. Brian Strickland. Both Henry County lawmakers are partners in the firm of Smith Welch Webb & White LLC. (An earlier version of this post...
Opinion: You can make more than lattes with that humanities degree

Opinion: You can make more than lattes with that humanities degree

Matthew Dischinger has taught humanities courses at the University of Alabama, Louisiana State University, and Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a lecturer in the Department of English at Georgia State University. In this guest column, he makes a case for humanities majors.  By Matthew Dischinger If you or your college-bound student are trying to decide what to major in this fall, I have...
That makes three: Carter is latest prez to endorse in Georgia gov race 

That makes three: Carter is latest prez to endorse in Georgia gov race 

Another former president has backed Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign for Georgia governor. Weeks after Barack Obama gave Abrams his full-throated support, Georgia native Jimmy Carter called the Democrat the “right leader for our changing state who has consistently championed the values we share.”  “Stacey Abrams' experience, vision, and proven track record of building...
Political hardball: Why the Braves are co-hosting a Kemp fundraiser 

Political hardball: Why the Braves are co-hosting a Kemp fundraiser 

The Atlanta Braves franchise is wading into the race for Georgia governor by hosting a high-dollar fundraiser this month for Republican Brian Kemp, though the team said it expects to also chip into Democrat Stacey Abrams’ campaign. The team was among dozens of sponsors for an Aug. 27 fundraiser featuring Kemp and U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson at the Georgian Club, which is near the team’s Cobb...
The Jolt: Senate Republicans bury the hatchet -- for now

The Jolt: Senate Republicans bury the hatchet -- for now

Two important things happened at a weekend round of meetings involving state GOP lawmakers.  The first is that House and Senate Republicans who backed other gubernatorial candidates apparently let bygones be bygones and, in a fit of comity, pledged their support to Brian Kemp, their party’s nominee for governor. Many in the House already supported the secretary of state,...
Podcast: Money, ads, calls to resign, and more in Georgia’s governor’s race

Podcast: Money, ads, calls to resign, and more in Georgia’s governor’s race

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. Host Greg Bluestein and The AJC's James Salzer discuss the latest in Georgia's governor's race: money, ads, calls to resign and policy clashes between Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp. If you liked this episode of the Politically Georgia podcast, you may also like: Listen: AJC podcast analyzes Georgia runoff election...
Georgia AG Carr fights drugmaker’s attempt to stop Nevada execution

Georgia AG Carr fights drugmaker’s attempt to stop Nevada execution

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr is opposing a drug company’s effort to prevent its products from being used in executions. Carr is one of 15 state attorneys general who submitted a brief last week in a Nevada death penalty lawsuit. The drug company, Alvogen, sued to prevent the state of Nevada from using its sedative midazolam in its first execution since 2006, according to The...
How a misfired gun-related tweet put Abrams on the defensive

How a misfired gun-related tweet put Abrams on the defensive

An erroneous quote of Stacey Abrams by a gun control activist quickly caught fire with Second Amendment supporters who back Republican Brian Kemp in the Georgia race for governor.  It started at a private event at the Moms Demand Action “Gun Sense University” conference over the weekend, where the group’s founder Shannon Watts tweeted that Abrams told the crowd “we&rsquo...
Torpy at Large: Will DFCS leader continue to be disposable?

Torpy at Large: Will DFCS leader continue to be disposable?

Gov. Nathan Deal just appointed longtime child advocate Tom Rawlings as interim director of the Division of Family and Children Services, a job also known as Human Cannon Fodder. Heading the agency charged with protecting vulnerable kids in awful homes is arguably the toughest and most frustrating job the state has to offer. The gig often explodes in the face of the dutiful leader, despite his or...
CONTINUING COVERAGE: Ga. Tech response to latest scandal due Wednesday

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Ga. Tech response to latest scandal due Wednesday

Georgia Tech president George “Bud” Peterson has a deadline of Wednesday to present a plan to state officials about how he’ll prevent ethical abuses like the ones that ended with him firing an executive vice president and also to the resignation of three highly paid staffers. While Peterson has already announced some organizational changes and asked another organization for advice...
Oxendine caught up in lab testing dispute

Oxendine caught up in lab testing dispute

Georgia’s former insurance commissioner John W. Oxendine says he walked away from a deal with a Texas company called Next Health that is embroiled in a $100 million fraud lawsuit playing out in Dallas. But a paper trail that revealed Oxendine’s plans to work with the company is part of the ambitious civil case against Next Health filed by UnitedHealthcare, the giant health insurer that...
Georgia Tech had warning about looming ethics problem

Georgia Tech had warning about looming ethics problem

Last December, Georgia Tech’s president learned about an ethics complaint involving a contract with a German software company, so he talked with one of his highest-ranking administrators.  He didn’t tell Steve Swant why he was asking him about the company, called RIB, but he knew an important fact: Swant was on the company’s board.  George P. “Bud” Peterson...
In Georgia, ‘Moms’ gun control group preps members for public office

In Georgia, ‘Moms’ gun control group preps members for public office

More than 1,000 gun-control activists gathered Friday in downtown Atlanta with their focus on a single political message: The time is now to run. Organizers with the fifth annual Moms Demand Action “Gun Sense University” conference spent the day encouraging attendees to transition from activism to political office — or to find and back candidates who support changes to the country&rsquo...
As Amazon opens new facility, Georgia sees chance to boost HQ2 chances

As Amazon opens new facility, Georgia sees chance to boost HQ2 chances

The Amazon distribution hub in Jackson County has already been open a year. But a ceremonial grand opening Friday gave top Georgia officials another opportunity to pitch the state to the e-commerce giant on an even bigger prize. The company’s “HQ2” second headquarters project, a $5 billion proposal promising up to 50,000 high-paying jobs, loomed large over the event as Gov. Nathan...
A secretive debate to decide if the race for lieutenant governor will matter

A secretive debate to decide if the race for lieutenant governor will matter

For the next 12 weeks, we will have what is likely to be a raucous campaign for lieutenant governor. Constitutionally, the office is the second-most important in the state. The lieutenant governor is the spare tire we keep in a state Capitol trunk, just in case the governor goes flat. Millions of dollars will be spent by and on behalf of Republican Geoff Duncan and Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico. The...
The Jolt: A former chewing gum CEO shakes up debate over medicinal pot

The Jolt: A former chewing gum CEO shakes up debate over medicinal pot

Foes of the medical marijuana push in the state Capitol are noting the presence of a new force in the debate, one that has already become a source of financing in this year’s campaigns. We’ll start with a bit of background from Monday’s AJC: The medical marijuana movement is opposed by many religious conservative activists at the Capitol, one of whom passed along the contents...
Election officials correct error that gave Doraville voters wrong ballots

Election officials correct error that gave Doraville voters wrong ballots

Election officials are mailing new precinct cards to 864 Doraville voters, an acknowledgement that they’ve been assigned to the wrong state House district for years. Those voters in the Doraville North precinct live in state Rep. Scott Holcomb’s District 81 but cast ballots in state Rep. Tom Taylor’s district. The error didn’t affect the outcome of any election...
Raising cash outside Georgia both a strength, vulnerability for Abrams

Raising cash outside Georgia both a strength, vulnerability for Abrams

The election is nearly three months away, but you’ve already heard the pitch from Republicans: Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor, is a radical liberal bankrolled by lefty fat cats from California and New York. It’s true that liberal megadonor George Soros of New York has already pumped about $1.5 million into Abrams’ campaign, a political action committee supporting...
Capitol Recap: Immigration has a campaign moment in Georgia gov race

Capitol Recap: Immigration has a campaign moment in Georgia gov race

It was a week when Democrats and Republicans fought over whether somebody should quit a job and what’s the financially responsible thing to do, but immigration also had its chance to shine in the Georgia governor’s race. Democrat Stacey Abrams favors allowing “dream kids,” the young immigrants who have been shielded from deportation by the Obama-era Deferred...
‘I hate this county.’ Democratic House candidate convicted of DUI unloads on cops 

‘I hate this county.’ Democratic House candidate convicted of DUI unloads on cops 

A Democratic candidate for Congress in a conservative north Georgia district who was convicted this week of drunken driving challenged the officers who stopped him to a fight and repeatedly insulted the county he was running to represent. Steven Lamar Foster boasted about how many times he’s been arrested and called the officers who arrested him “Barneys” in dash-cam footage of the...
Deal pitches Trump on Georgia’s criminal justice overhaul  

Deal pitches Trump on Georgia’s criminal justice overhaul  

Gov. Nathan Deal touted his criminal justice initiatives Thursday with President Donald Trump and a group of mostly Republican leaders, highlighting a decrease in incarceration rates and new education programs for inmates. The governor used the meeting at a New Jersey golf club to promote an eight-year overhaul that kept more nonviolent offenders out of prison, set up a system of accountability courts...
Ethics complaint targets dark money group supporting Geoff Duncan

Ethics complaint targets dark money group supporting Geoff Duncan

A conservative activist has filed an ethics complaint against what she says is a dark money organization backing the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor. Debbie Dooley, an early tea party organizer in the state, said Georgia Swamp Drainers violated state law by not reporting that it spent tens of thousands of dollars in support of GOP lieutenant governor nominee Geoff Duncan and defeated...
Politicians exploit charter school’s step back from Pledge of Allegiance 

Politicians exploit charter school’s step back from Pledge of Allegiance 

An AJC story today about a local k-8 charter school eliminating the Pledge of Allegiance from its morning ritual is riling readers and politicians.  The Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School will use a later classtime for the pledge rather than at its schoolwide gathering of parents and students, citing the increasing number of participants not standing or reciting the pledge.  Among...
Abrams and Kemp tangle over HOPE awards for ‘Dreamers’

Abrams and Kemp tangle over HOPE awards for ‘Dreamers’

  Democrat Stacey Abrams on Wednesday reinforced her position that “dream kids” -- children whose parents brought them to the U.S. illegally -- should be eligible for HOPE scholarships.  At an education press conference, she said her policy would live up to the “legal obligation” under the state constitution to provide an education for every child.  &ldquo...
Douglas County debate shows metro Atlanta transit remains a divisive issue

Douglas County debate shows metro Atlanta transit remains a divisive issue

This week Douglas County joined the growing ranks of metro Atlanta communities hoping to expand mass transit, and it wasn’t a pretty scene. At the Tuesday county commission meeting, the room was divided, with transit supporters in white shirts and opponents in red. Commissioners bickered about the merits of a plan to launch local bus service. After they voted 3-2 to accept a federal grant to...
Georgia teachers, employees won’t see hike in health premiums in 2019

Georgia teachers, employees won’t see hike in health premiums in 2019

Health care costs always seem to be rising, but Georgia teachers and state employees may not notice in 2019. The Department of Community Health, which runs the 650,000-member State Health Benefit Plan, won approval from its board Thursday to keep premiums flat for the upcoming year for teachers and state employees. They also won’t see an increase in deductibles or co-pays. Some education and...
The Jolt: Be careful with those rocks hurled at Stacey Abrams’ finances

The Jolt: Be careful with those rocks hurled at Stacey Abrams’ finances

So you know that Brian Kemp and his Republican allies have begun attacking his Democratic rival for her personal financial decisions. From a Wednesday post: The Republican Governors Association picked up the cudgel this morning with a missive that included this line: And Thursday Georgia GOP chair John Watson added his voice: The criticism isn’t unexpected. Even Abrams’ allies...
Georgia solicits companies to replace electronic voting machines

Georgia solicits companies to replace electronic voting machines

Voting machine companies will submit proposals this month to replace Georgia’s touchscreens with hand-marked paper ballots or ballot-marking devices. The Secretary of State’s Office posted a request for information Wednesday to review companies’ voting systems and their costs, which could range from roughly $30 million to $150 million. A competitive bidding process could...
Atlanta City Hall: Former Reed aide charged with bribery

Atlanta City Hall: Former Reed aide charged with bribery

A second member of former Mayor Kasim Reed’s cabinet has been charged with conspiracy and accepting bribes in the federal corruption investigation at Atlanta City Hall. Katrina Taylor-Parks, a 23-year veteran of City Hall, was accused of accepting a $2,000 bribe in 2013 through a company she owned. Her husband, DeAnthony Parks, also allegedly accepted a $2,000 payment but was not charged. The...
Trade-off of Chinese schools: Top math skills, but force-fed eggs

Trade-off of Chinese schools: Top math skills, but force-fed eggs

In the United States for the summer, Shanghai-based journalist Lenora Chu recently dropped off her son at a New England overnight camp. As he unloaded his belongings, 9-year-old Rainey asked Chu, "Mom, do I need my homework?"  The camp director overheard and assured the boy, "No homework here." "My son just broke into a huge smile," said Chu, in a telephone...
Abrams pledges to end ‘backdoor vouchers’ if elected governor 

Abrams pledges to end ‘backdoor vouchers’ if elected governor 

Democrat Stacey Abrams vowed to fully fund Georgia’s k-12 education formula and end “backdoor vouchers” if she’s elected governor. Abrams, who faces Republican Brian Kemp in November, outlined her education agenda Wednesday at a “back to school” event at her campaign headquarters.  She said she would adopt a “more comprehensive” version of the Quality...
Georgia 2018: Kemp takes aim at Abrams’ finances 

Georgia 2018: Kemp takes aim at Abrams’ finances 

A day after Stacey Abrams’ allies called for Republican Brian Kemp to resign from office, the secretary of state questioned whether his Democratic opponent violated the law by loaning to her campaign for governor even as she carries a federal tax debt.  “Stacey Abrams made over $1 million in the last few years,” Kemp said. “Instead of paying more than $50,000 in back taxes...
Residents in many Georgia cities, counties will vote on ‘brunch bill’

Residents in many Georgia cities, counties will vote on ‘brunch bill’

Officials from cities and counties across Georgia have cleared the way to let residents decide whether they want to have a bloody mary with their Sunday morning brunch. Georgians in counties such as DeKalb and Chatham and cities ranging from Atlanta to Flowery Branch will vote in November whether to allow alcohol sales at restaurants beginning at 11 a.m. Sundays instead of 12:30 p.m. Local governments...
Australian firm at center of insider trading probe has ties to Georgia Republican 

Australian firm at center of insider trading probe has ties to Georgia Republican 

U.S. Rep. Christopher Collins of New York was indicted on federal charges Wednesday connected to an alleged insider trading scheme involving an Australian biotech firm that also has ties to former Georgia lawmaker Tom Price.  Collins was charged with passing inside information about the company, Innate Immunotherapeutics, to his son and another alleged co-conspirator to avoid nearly $800,000...
The Jolt: On gun legislation and the definition of ‘radical’

The Jolt: On gun legislation and the definition of ‘radical’

We told you earlier this week about a YouTube video posted by Georgia Gun Owners attacking Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor. The video is a minute in length, a sign that it’s designed for Internet viewing rather than TV broadcast. The latter is far more expensive. You can watch it here, but this is the key language: Patrick Parsons, executive director of the gun group...
Federal judge: Is it realistic to force Georgia to use paper ballots?

Federal judge: Is it realistic to force Georgia to use paper ballots?

A federal judge is considering whether to switch Georgia from electronic to paper ballots before November’s election. U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg wrote in an order Tuesday that she’ll evaluate the “practical realities” of changing the state to paper ballots less than three months before the election. Totenberg’s order came in response to a lawsuit from...
Kavanaugh previews his pitch at Georgia judge’s ceremony 

Kavanaugh previews his pitch at Georgia judge’s ceremony 

U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh may have offered a glimpse of the case he’ll make at his Senate confirmation hearings during the swearing-in ceremony of Britt Grant to the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.  Kavanaugh slipped back into his judicial robe Tuesday to return to the federal courthouse in Washington to preside over the ceremony for Grant, a Georgia Supreme...
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