James Salzer

James Salzer has covered state government and politics in Georgia since 1990.

Latest from James Salzer

‘Pet projects?’ How Deal has transformed his hometown of Gainesville
 Gov. Nathan Deal stood before a crowd of dozens of Gainesville’s elite on a chilly fall afternoon and told the crowd he hadn’t expected to see them again so soon. “I keep thinking it’s my last address here as governor,” he told the audience at an event announcing another multimillion-dollar investment in his...

Posted: 14 hours ago

Gov. Nathan Deal stood before a crowd of dozens of Gainesville’s elite on a chilly fall afternoon and told the crowd he hadn’t expected to see them again so soon. “I keep thinking it’s my last address here as governor,” he told the audience at an event announcing another multimillion-dollar investment in his...
Lobbyists spend big feeding lawmakers during Georgia’s special session
 Last month’s special session of the General Assembly cost the state about $40,000 a day to pay lawmakers, but taxpayers weren’t the only ones stuck with a bill. Lobbyists spent about $20,000 during the five-day session in mid-November, mostly for feeding lawmakers and their staffers, according to a review by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...

Posted: 2 days ago

Last month’s special session of the General Assembly cost the state about $40,000 a day to pay lawmakers, but taxpayers weren’t the only ones stuck with a bill. Lobbyists spent about $20,000 during the five-day session in mid-November, mostly for feeding lawmakers and their staffers, according to a review by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution...
Georgia inspector general asked to look into gifts to state employees
 A government watchdog group asked Georgia’s inspector general to look into whether a group that did work for the State Charter Schools Commission violated state law by not reporting it paid for agency staffers to attend events across the country and offered them stipends. The filing by Common Cause Georgia on Tuesday was the second...

Posted: 3 days ago

A government watchdog group asked Georgia’s inspector general to look into whether a group that did work for the State Charter Schools Commission violated state law by not reporting it paid for agency staffers to attend events across the country and offered them stipends. The filing by Common Cause Georgia on Tuesday was the second...
Court case strikes at Georgia Legislature’s ability to exempt its staff
 State lawmakers have long passed laws that don’t apply to them, but a new case before the Georgia Court of Appeals raises questions about one of their most controversial outs: an exemption from following the Open Records Act transparency statute that most other government officials have to obey. A three-judge appeals court panel heard...

Posted: 9 days ago

State lawmakers have long passed laws that don’t apply to them, but a new case before the Georgia Court of Appeals raises questions about one of their most controversial outs: an exemption from following the Open Records Act transparency statute that most other government officials have to obey. A three-judge appeals court panel heard...
Democrats double Republicans’ fundraising in Tuesday’s Georgia runoff
 Republicans have run Georgia for more than a decade, but the Democrats in Tuesday’s runoff far outraised their opponents in the four-week campaign. Democrat John Barrow and Republican state Rep. Brad Raffensperger face off in the secretary of state’s runoff, while Republican Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton, in his bid...

Posted: 11 days ago

Republicans have run Georgia for more than a decade, but the Democrats in Tuesday’s runoff far outraised their opponents in the four-week campaign. Democrat John Barrow and Republican state Rep. Brad Raffensperger face off in the secretary of state’s runoff, while Republican Public Service Commissioner Chuck Eaton, in his bid...
Nuclear power group now has $1m in Georgia utility regulator runoff
 The Washington D.C.-based nuclear power group hoping to influence the outcome of next Tuesday’s runoff election for a seat on the utility regulating Public Service Commission is continuing to pour money into the race, hitting the $1 million mark in the past two weeks. Nuclear Matters, which has ties to Georgia, pumped more money into...

Posted: 15 days ago

The Washington D.C.-based nuclear power group hoping to influence the outcome of next Tuesday’s runoff election for a seat on the utility regulating Public Service Commission is continuing to pour money into the race, hitting the $1 million mark in the past two weeks. Nuclear Matters, which has ties to Georgia, pumped more money into...
Pro-nuclear power group pumps $750,000 into Georgia PSC runoff
 An “independent committee” funded by a nuclear-power industry group is plowing at least $750,000 into next week’s Public Service Commission runoff in support of incumbent utility regulator Chuck Eaton, a backer of Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle project. The Georgians for a Brighter Future committee, which was formed...

Posted: 18 days ago

An “independent committee” funded by a nuclear-power industry group is plowing at least $750,000 into next week’s Public Service Commission runoff in support of incumbent utility regulator Chuck Eaton, a backer of Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle project. The Georgians for a Brighter Future committee, which was formed...
Pro-nuclear power group pumps $750,000 into Georgia PSC runoff
 An “independent committee” funded by a nuclear-power industry group is plowing at least $750,000 into next week’s Public Service Commission runoff in support of incumbent utility regulator Chuck Eaton, an advocate of Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle project. The group, which was formed the week after the general election...

Posted: 18 days ago

An “independent committee” funded by a nuclear-power industry group is plowing at least $750,000 into next week’s Public Service Commission runoff in support of incumbent utility regulator Chuck Eaton, an advocate of Georgia Power’s Plant Vogtle project. The group, which was formed the week after the general election...
Decades late, Georgia lawmakers could vote to end Prohibition, poll taxes
 It might surprise Georgians tailgating at UGA games, or out on the town in Atlanta, or ordering bloody marys at Sunday brunch, but a lawmaker said the state never ratified the end to Prohibition. Or to poll taxes, for that matter. And Georgia Rep. Scot Turner, R-Holly Springs, is just the nerd to try to rectify that, decades after amendments...

Posted: 24 days ago

It might surprise Georgians tailgating at UGA games, or out on the town in Atlanta, or ordering bloody marys at Sunday brunch, but a lawmaker said the state never ratified the end to Prohibition. Or to poll taxes, for that matter. And Georgia Rep. Scot Turner, R-Holly Springs, is just the nerd to try to rectify that, decades after amendments...
Bill filed to name new Georgia court complex after outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal
 House Speaker David Ralston didn’t wait until the upcoming General Assembly session to file legislation honoring outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal. Ralston, R-Blue Ridge and House Majority Leader Jon Burns, R-Newington, filed a resolution naming the state appellate courts complex under construction down the street from the Capitol the ...

Posted: 24 days ago

House Speaker David Ralston didn’t wait until the upcoming General Assembly session to file legislation honoring outgoing Gov. Nathan Deal. Ralston, R-Blue Ridge and House Majority Leader Jon Burns, R-Newington, filed a resolution naming the state appellate courts complex under construction down the street from the Capitol the ...
Calling it a ‘tax cut’ helped jet-fuel measure clear Ga. Legislature
 Legislative backers of a tax break for air carriers such as Delta Air Lines made all the same arguments in last week’s special session that they did in February, when the General Assembly rejected the proposal because the company had broken marketing ties with the National Rifle Association. But they added a new one guaranteed to win...

Posted: 25 days ago

Legislative backers of a tax break for air carriers such as Delta Air Lines made all the same arguments in last week’s special session that they did in February, when the General Assembly rejected the proposal because the company had broken marketing ties with the National Rifle Association. But they added a new one guaranteed to win...