Politics

Californians bring anti-gerrymandering message to Georgia

Californians bring anti-gerrymandering message to Georgia

Voters in Georgia would benefit from a more accountable and democratic government if they’re given the power to draw the state’s electoral maps, according to members of California’s independent redistricting board who are visiting Georgia this weekend. They’re bringing a message that government should be run by the people, not by politicians who draw districts to ensure their...
U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of internet sales tax

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of internet sales tax

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday cleared the way for states such as Georgia to collect sales taxes on most internet purchases, something that could prove a financial boon for governments but cost consumers millions. Georgia, under a law passed during this year’s General Assembly session, can now with the high court’s blessing begin collecting taxes Jan. 1 on sales from internet retailers...
After NRA fight, Delta sidesteps immigration debate 

After NRA fight, Delta sidesteps immigration debate 

Delta Air Lines sidestepped what could have been another testy political debate on Wednesday.  As four major competitors - America, Frontier, Southwest and United - declared they would refuse to fly immigrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border, the Atlanta-based company took refuge in President Donald Trump’s timely reversal of his policy. “Recent reports...
The Jolt: After defending border flip, Trump talks up tariff on luxury car imports

The Jolt: After defending border flip, Trump talks up tariff on luxury car imports

At a campaign rally in Minnesota, President Donald Trump was expected to defend the reversal of his administration’s policy of separating parents and children who cross the U.S. border illegally. And he did that. From the Associated Press: But 50 minutes into that speech in Minnesota, Trump also revived his talk of a 25 percent tariff on imported luxury vehicles, a matter of great...
Georgia court case focuses on what is dentistry and what is overreach

Georgia court case focuses on what is dentistry and what is overreach

The state investigator with the bulky belt was an unlikely client at Jessica Julien’s business. Once he got past the door, he quickly told her the truth: He was there to shut her down. People came to Julien’s office in Duluth to get whiter teeth through her advice and instruction while they sat in comfortable chairs and applied the products she sold. Teeth whitening has become a gold mine...
Isakson, Perdue livid about blocked Georgia judicial pick

Isakson, Perdue livid about blocked Georgia judicial pick

It’s pretty rare to see U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson publicly fume about anything. It’s even more unusual to see him openly criticize the actions of a fellow senator.  But that’s been the case on Capitol Hill this week as Isakson and his colleague David Perdue have pushed to secure the confirmation of Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt Grant.  Grant last month sailed...
Two days, two seismic Georgia political shifts on display 

Two days, two seismic Georgia political shifts on display 

Gov. Nathan Deal stood in the statehouse Tuesday to announce a first-of-its-kind $100 million mass transit investment and pointed toward a future when such spending doesn’t feel so revolutionary. A day later, he stood in the same spot to talk about another political shift that once seemed unthinkable but is now deeply woven into the fabric of the state.  It was the 25th anniversary...
 Cagle, Kemp pick a fight with Atlanta mayor over detainee order

 Cagle, Kemp pick a fight with Atlanta mayor over detainee order

The two Republican contenders for governor slammed Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ decision to block the city jail from housing more federal detainees facing deportation.  Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle tagged the mayor in a tweet late Wednesday declaring he has “led to outlaw and defund sanctuary cities and WE WILL uphold our laws.” And Secretary of State Brian Kemp said the...
Georgia GOP lawmakers seek to expand on Trump’s border action

Georgia GOP lawmakers seek to expand on Trump’s border action

Georgia Republicans on Capitol Hill are aligning themselves with an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that reversed a contentious family separation policy on the southwest border. And many are urging Congress to take additional steps to bolster border security, improve conditions at federal detention centers and hire more immigration judges to handle asylum cases for migrants who cross...
Atlanta won’t take more ICE detainees while families are separated

Atlanta won’t take more ICE detainees while families are separated

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms on Wednesday signed an executive order blocking the city jail from housing more federal detainees facing deportation, citing her objections to the separation of immigrant families on the southwest border. The Democratic mayor announced her decision just minutes after President Donald Trump signed his own executive order reversing his administration’s controversial...
Georgia 2018: Kemp spends $1M for new round of ads  

Georgia 2018: Kemp spends $1M for new round of ads  

The GOP candidate for governor, whose provocative ads helped earn him a runoff date against Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, has purchased $1 million worth of ads in the runup to the July 24 contest. The secretary of state’s campaign said he’s snapped up broadcast airtime in metro Atlanta and other major markets, along with Fox News spots statewide. That includes the Columbus market, where the...
Democrats urge Deal to not send National Guard troops to border

Democrats urge Deal to not send National Guard troops to border

Some Georgia politicians have called on Gov. Nathan Deal to not send National Guard troops to the southwest border until President Donald Trump ends his policy of separating children from their parents when they cross into this country illegally. The Republican governor has yet to dispatch any troops to the U.S. border with Mexico and said Tuesday that he has not had any “specific requests&rdquo...
Georgia candidate seeks anonymous tips on opponent ahead of GOP runoff

Georgia candidate seeks anonymous tips on opponent ahead of GOP runoff

Lieutenant governor candidate Geoff Duncan is challenging his GOP runoff opponent, state Sen. David Shafer, to release his taxes and further specify how he became a multimillionaire. Not only is Duncan calling on Shafer to release tax returns from the 16 years he has served in the state Senate, but the Cumming Republican also is encouraging anyone with information about how the senator earns a living...
Georgia Dems demand that Deal refuse to send troops to U.S. border 

Georgia Dems demand that Deal refuse to send troops to U.S. border 

A pair of prominent Democrats urged Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday to refuse to send Georgia National Guard troops to the U.S. border until President Donald Trump ends his policy of separating children from their parents when they cross into this country illegally.  In the letter, state Rep. Scott Holcomb and state Sen. Elena Parent pressed the Republican governor to “stand on the right...
Podcast transcript: Inside the allegations rocking Georgia’s governor’s race

Podcast transcript: Inside the allegations rocking Georgia’s governor’s race

The AJC’s James Salzer joined Politically Georgia host Greg Bluestein to discuss the latest on Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, state Sen. Lindsey Tippins, the charter school measure and the secret recording.  Below is a lightly edited transcript of the episode. If you like this podcast, be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. *** Greg Bluestein: Hello and welcome...
The Jolt: The new wrinkle in Trump immigration policy --‘tender age’ shelters

The Jolt: The new wrinkle in Trump immigration policy --‘tender age’ shelters

We’ve got a new phrase in the debate over President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. From the Associated Press: *** Meanwhile, U.S. Sens. David Perdue and Johnny Isakson are being drawn into the debate. Given that Perdue has made a name for himself as one of the president’s closest Capitol Hill allies, especially on immigration, he’s been a much sought-after...
New Ga. 400 transit line could become key to Amazon pitch 

New Ga. 400 transit line could become key to Amazon pitch 

The state’s plan to develop a mass transit expansion along the spine of Ga. 400 through north metro Atlanta has already become a key part of its pursuit of Amazon’s second headquarters.  The state has kept Amazon updated on the state’s $100 million down payment to build interchanges for commuter buses along the highway, along with other recent legislative votes...
Trump administration rule allows cheaper, skimpier health plans

Trump administration rule allows cheaper, skimpier health plans

The Trump administration on Tuesday finalized a controversial exception to Obamacare rules that will give more freedom to people who want less health insurance for less money. Starting September 1, small businesses and individual business owners will more easily be able to form “association health plans.” Among other things, such plans are stripped of the requirements imposed by the ACA...
Georgia lawmakers engulfed in firestorm over family separations

Georgia lawmakers engulfed in firestorm over family separations

Georgia lawmakers on Capitol Hill were consumed by fallout on Tuesday over a Trump administration immigration policy that’s led to children being separated from their parents on the nation’s border with Mexico. Many of the state’s 12 GOP members of Congress had sought to maintain distance between themselves and the heartbreaking images of tent cities, caged-in detention facilities...
John Barrow's promise to protect your right not to vote

John Barrow's promise to protect your right not to vote

John Barrow thinks you have a sacred right not to vote for him, or for anyone else. And that the government ought not be allowed to erase you, should you decide to exercise that right. “There’s no need to be purging lists of voters who choose not to vote for any one of a thousand and one reasons,” said Barrow, a former congressman who’s now a Democratic candidate for secretary...
Georgia to spend $100 million on Ga. 400 transit line

Georgia to spend $100 million on Ga. 400 transit line

Georgia officials Tuesday announced a major down payment on a transit expansion along Ga. 400 in north Fulton County. The state will spend $100 million over the next several years to build four new interchanges for commuter buses along a 16-mile stretch of the busy highway between I-285 and McFarland Parkway in Alpharetta. Many of the details – including where the interchanges will be built...
Georgia secures AAA bond rating for another year  

Georgia secures AAA bond rating for another year  

Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday Georgia has maintained the AAA credit rating needed to get low interest rates on the debt, despite questions about whether legislative decisions would jeopardize the state’s financial standing.  The governor announced that the three main credit-rating agencies gave Georgia the high marks at a press conference unveiling his decision to spend $100 million...
Candidate for Georgia secretary of state retracts inaccurate claim

Candidate for Georgia secretary of state retracts inaccurate claim

A Republican candidate for Georgia secretary of state, David Belle Isle, quietly corrected his campaign website this week to remove false claims that he was a descendant of a prominent Atlanta businessman who started taxicab companies in the early 20th century. Belle Isle, a former mayor of Alpharetta, had refused to change his website until he was interviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on...
John Lewis decries ‘unbelievable, immoral’ family separations on border

John Lewis decries ‘unbelievable, immoral’ family separations on border

Atlanta Congressman John Lewis is ramping up pressure on the Trump administration for its latest actions on the Southern border, assailing its new zero tolerance policy as “unbelievable” and “immoral.”  The Democrat said President Donald Trump is using the families illegally crossing the border to seek asylum, and particularly children who are being forcibly separated...
The Jolt: In metro Atlanta, Cobb County is an early-voting desert

The Jolt: In metro Atlanta, Cobb County is an early-voting desert

When early voting starts next month, one thing is certain: A voter in Cobb County will have less time to do it than many voters elsewhere in metro Atlanta. Today’s Marietta Daily Journal attributes the following information to Michael Owens, the number-crunching chairman of the Cobb County Democratic party: The newspaper makes clear that Janine Eveler, the county official who oversees...
LOCAL UPDATE: State to spend $100M on new bus rapid transit system on Ga. 400 

LOCAL UPDATE: State to spend $100M on new bus rapid transit system on Ga. 400 

Gov. Nathan Deal said the state will spend $100 million in bonds to build a series of four new bus-only interchanges along a 16-mile stretch of Ga. 400, hailing it as a “groundbreaking” state investment in mass transit. The sum is included in the governor’s 2019 budget - Deal cited a need to keep up with a “21st Century economy and workforce” - but until Tuesday it wasn&rsquo...
Study: Fewer Georgia kids lack health insurance

Study: Fewer Georgia kids lack health insurance

The number of uninsured children in Georgia dropped by 32 percent following the implementation of the Affordable Care, according to a new study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. In 2016, Georgia had 85,000 fewer children without health insurance than in 2013, according to the study. Only three other states added more children to health insurance — California, Texas and Florida. Researchers...
On separating migrant families, a sharp difference from Georgia gov candidates 

On separating migrant families, a sharp difference from Georgia gov candidates 

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said “uncontrolled immigration” triggered by legislative failures led to the Trump’s administration’s policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border. Secretary of State Brian Kemp blamed the “same Democrats who are grandstanding and playing politics” for the approach, and said he “unapologetically” stands...
Georgia Republicans pinched on immigration as family separation stories proliferate

Georgia Republicans pinched on immigration as family separation stories proliferate

Georgia’s GOP lawmakers are walking a delicate line as images of tent cities, caged-in detention facilities and crying children being separated from their parents continue to dominate the news cycle.  The state’s 10 House Republicans had aligned themselves with the White House and Republican leaders in recent weeks as the GOP embarked on an unexpected debate over immigration...
A Georgia gun-seller’s credit issues suddenly in GOP gov race focus

A Georgia gun-seller’s credit issues suddenly in GOP gov race focus

A credit card processor’s role in handling a Georgia gunmaker’s financial transactions has suddenly become a hot issue in the race for governor, a sharp example of how Second Amendment rights continue to help frame the July runoff. Both Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp slammed Intuit, a financial firm that processes credit card payments, for “discriminating&rdquo...
In Pierce County, hard times and a push to “secede” from Georgia

In Pierce County, hard times and a push to “secede” from Georgia

Will South Georgia rise again? That’s the hope of Pierce County GOP leaders and a sizeable chunk of Republican voters here who want the counties south of Macon to secede from Georgia and form a new state. The provocative question appeared on ballots in the Pierce County Republican primary last month: Should the counties south of Macon join together to “form the 51st state of South Georgia?&rdquo...
Georgia 2018: Cagle tries to shore up Cobb support

Georgia 2018: Cagle tries to shore up Cobb support

Just before the weekend began, the Republican gubernatorial campaign of Casey Cagle produced the endorsement of Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon. Sayeth the press release: “Mayor Bacon joins Cagle's growing network of elected officials and grassroots leaders in Cobb County.” Only a day before, the Cagle campaign had rolled out the support of Steve “Thunder” Tumlin, the mayor of Marietta...
Georgia gerrymandering cases unresolved after Supreme Court ruling

Georgia gerrymandering cases unresolved after Supreme Court ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to decide Monday whether it’s constitutional for states to create electoral maps that give an advantage to one political party over another, preserving district boundaries in Georgia and across the nation. The court’s decision leaves in place partisan gerrymandering — the practice of state legislators drawing districts to help ensure the election of...
The Jolt: Bill Curry on use of Bible ‘to justify cruel, inhumane treatment’

The Jolt: Bill Curry on use of Bible ‘to justify cruel, inhumane treatment’

Republicans in Georgia’s congressional delegation remained mum this Father’s Day weekend on President Donald Trump’s policy of separating parents and children who cross the southern U.S. border to claim asylum, or without the proper paperwork. Given what happened to U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., last week, the reluctance to engage can be understood, even if not accepted. But...
Podcast: Inside the controversy rocking Georgia’s governor’s race

Podcast: Inside the controversy rocking Georgia’s governor’s race

Catch up on the stories impacting Georgia's race for governor and how politicians on both sides of the aisle are responding.  The AJC’s James Salzer joined Politically Georgia host Greg Bluestein to discuss the latest on Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, state Sen. Lindsey Tippins, the charter school measure and the secret recording.  “In one instance, (Cagle is) trying...
Kemp takes aim at credit services that ‘discriminate’ against gun-sellers  

Kemp takes aim at credit services that ‘discriminate’ against gun-sellers  

Secretary of State Brian Kemp said he’ll demand legislation if elected governor that would make it harder for credit card services to restrict payments to gun retailers.  The GOP candidate called for a measure to prevent “discrimination” of firearms sellers by credit card processors Sunday after he said Gainesville gun manufacturer Honor Defense was dropped by financial services...
Five things to know about Georgia’s new fireworks law

Five things to know about Georgia’s new fireworks law

Beginning next month, local governments can choose how to regulate the use of fireworks in their cities and towns. The General Assembly approved a law this year that gives the power to local officials after some complained about neighbors setting off the devices year-round. Here are five things you need to know about the law: As with many of the state’s new laws, local governments had to...
The inevitable, demographic hand-off that’s headed Georgia’s way

The inevitable, demographic hand-off that’s headed Georgia’s way

Several weeks ago, before the year’s last bell had rung, I found myself in front of a group of very bright students at North Cobb High School. I sidled up to my topic carefully, beginning with George Washington and the virtue of restraint. Of all the Founding Fathers, Washington is most famous for what he might have done, but didn’t. After the Battle of Yorktown, he didn’t declare...
Atlanta cut from list of finalists for Army Futures Command

Atlanta cut from list of finalists for Army Futures Command

Atlanta is no longer in the running for a new military command focused on modernizing the U.S. Army. The Army notified elected leaders Monday the city had been cut from the list of finalists for the Army Futures Command along with Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Houston and New York. That leaves five cities under consideration: Boston, Raleigh, Austin, Minneapolis...
The Jolt: Sonny Perdue heads to Canada to debate the price of milk

The Jolt: Sonny Perdue heads to Canada to debate the price of milk

In the United States, federally mandated ethanol subsidies, which prop up the price of corn in the Midwest, are the big dog in agricultural politics. Sonny Perdue is about to learn that the humble liter of milk has the same level of clout in Canada. One week after President Donald Trump shook up a G-7 meeting and hurled insults at its Canadian host, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Georgia&rsquo...
Why a Kentucky town is in spotlight of Georgia governor’s race

Why a Kentucky town is in spotlight of Georgia governor’s race

In this one-blinking-light town of about 400 people in rural Kentucky, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s name is often greeted with groans. The folks are well-versed on the plight of the seed-crushing plant run by Hart AgStrong that’s fast become a part of the campaign for Georgia governor. And the firm’s struggles threaten to dent Kemp’s campaign image as a successful...
Lawsuit says Georgia congressional maps dilute black voting power

Lawsuit says Georgia congressional maps dilute black voting power

Georgia is one of three Southern states where a national Democratic group has filed federal lawsuits alleging congressional districts were drawn to limit the political power of black voters. The lawsuit challenges maps approved by the Republican-led Georgia General Assembly in 2011, saying state lawmakers gerrymandered the state’s 14 congressional districts in a way that violates the Voting...
Capitol Recap: New blood showed up at the polls for Georgia primary

Capitol Recap: New blood showed up at the polls for Georgia primary

It’s kind of like back when you were in school: If someone new shows up, you take notice. Tens of thousands of new people showed up at last month's Georgia primary, the kind of election that’s generally more appealing to political parties’ most hard-core voters. About two-thirds of them opted for Democratic ballots, according to figures put together by Chris Huttman, a Democratic...
Georgia shrimp harvesting season will open next week

Georgia shrimp harvesting season will open next week

After a brief delay, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will open shrimp season next week. Carolyn Belcher, the chief of marine fisheries with the DNR’s Coastal Resources Division, said the season is opening toward the end of its normal window of early- to mid-June. “We don’t want to put pressure on (the shrimp) too early,” she said. “We want to make sure the...
Cagle bought condo from lobbyist

Cagle bought condo from lobbyist

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle bought a condo in downtown Atlanta a decade ago from a well-connected energy lobbyist who owned the unit next door. The $97,000 condo purchase, first reported by The New York Times, involved a 2008 sale of a unit at the Landmark high-rise, which is known for “hospitality rooms” stocked by lobbyists for lawmakers. It was sold by Terry Hobbs, a veteran lobbyist...
Cagle critics call for criminal probe into support for ‘bad’ policy

Cagle critics call for criminal probe into support for ‘bad’ policy

The fallout reached a new level Thursday over Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle’s admission he pushed legislation he described as bad a “thousand different ways” just to undercut another candidate’s fundraising opportunities, as politicians from both parties urged prosecutors to investigate whether the Republican engaged in a “pay-to-play” scheme. A pair of Republican state...
For Georgians from Korea, skepticism tempers hope for family reunions

For Georgians from Korea, skepticism tempers hope for family reunions

Eun Sung “Grace” Im was just a young girl when she and her family fled North Korea during the war, riding on an overcrowded fishing boat that caught fire and nearly sank before landing safely below the 38th parallel. Her family embarked on the harrowing journey in the middle of the night because they feared persecution by the communist soldiers in North Korea, where her father served as...
Federal judge blocks EPA enforcement of 2015 clean water regulations

Federal judge blocks EPA enforcement of 2015 clean water regulations

A federal judge recently ruled in favor of Georgia and 10 other states that sought to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating the pollution of wetlands and tributaries. Judge Lisa Godbey Wood of the U.S. District Court in Brunswick determined that a 2015 Waters of the United States rule infringed on states’ rights to regulate the land and water within their borders and...
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