myAJC Voices


Three-year-old Honduran boy separated from father on border located

A 3-year-old boy who was separated from his father amid enforcement of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” border policy has been located by Honduran consulate officials, who are seeking to reunite the two asylum-seekers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned. Jose, whose father asked that he and his son’s full names not be published because of the dangers they...


The Jolt: Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp duel over loyalty to Donald Trump

The Jolt: Casey Cagle, Brian Kemp duel over loyalty to Donald Trump

Poll after poll has shown that President Donald Trump’s hold on core Republican voters isn’t something to be doubted. Yet to see the consequences jump up in front of one’s nose is another matter. As we told you earlier this morning, Secretary of State Brian Kemp, one of two candidates in the GOP runoff for governor, has returned “Jake” to the TV screen in a...
In Kemp’s first runoff ad, Jake and that shotgun make a comeback 

In Kemp’s first runoff ad, Jake and that shotgun make a comeback 

Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s pickup truck and shotgun are back. And so is “Jake,” the young actor who helped him gain national attention - and this time he’s doing much of the talking.  Kemp’s first TV ad of the runoff cycle opens with the two leaning on the back of his truck, a shotgun perched on Kemp’s shoulder. He quickly unleashes on Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle...
Torpy at Large: Why Clay ‘The Mole’ Tippins went commando against Cagle

Torpy at Large: Why Clay ‘The Mole’ Tippins went commando against Cagle

Clay Tippins, the vanquished gubernatorial candidate, smiled awkwardly during an interview last week and brought up the question everyone is asking. “Is Clay a sneaky SOB or a Boy Scout?” he asked. Tippins — a businessman, Stanford University swimming star and former Navy Seal — looks like the latter. But a good number of folks, including many in his own Republican Party, lean...
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...
Capitol Recap: Proponent of Atlanta airport takeover to lead study

Capitol Recap: Proponent of Atlanta airport takeover to lead study

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle announced his appointments to a committee tasked with studying the potential control of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport by a state authority, and it looks like this idea could already be building speed on the runway. Cagle, who is running against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in the July 24 GOP runoff for governor, tapped state Sen. Burt Jones as the...
Police ready to enforce Georgia’s new distracted driving law

Police ready to enforce Georgia’s new distracted driving law

If you want a hair-raising glimpse of the crazy things we do while driving, talk to a cop. They’ve seen us reading books and newspapers while speeding down the highway. They’ve seen us putting on make-up or eating off plates in our laps behind the wheel. Mostly, they’ve see us with our hands and eyes glued to our phones – talking, texting, messaging and all the other ways we...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Costs of starting and not finishing college are high

Costs of starting and not finishing college are high

It pays, literally, to finish what you start when it comes to education. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, who have 1,800 economists, policy experts and others at their disposal to study, monitor and describe U.S. economic health, say that a post-high-school degree — any degree from an associate to a Ph.D. — is the key to boosting earning. And the higher the degree...
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...
Research shows Georgia voters smart to reject state school takeover

Research shows Georgia voters smart to reject state school takeover

Gov. Nathan Deal and the GOP leadership were disappointed with the resounding 2016 defeat of the Opportunity School District, a state takeover plan modeled after Tennessee’s Achievement School District. Turns out Georgia voters got this one right.  An ongoing evaluation released today by the Tennessee Education Research Alliance at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College finds...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
The Jolt: In May, two-thirds of new voters chose Democratic ballots

The Jolt: In May, two-thirds of new voters chose Democratic ballots

Three weeks later, some of the juicier numbers from last month’s primary have begun rolling in. Chris Huttman is a Democratic operative now crunching numbers on behalf of Lucy McBath of Marietta, one of two Democratic candidates in the Sixth District congressional runoff. She faces Kevin Abel, a Sandy Springs businessman, in the July 24 runoff. Huttman sent over a spreadsheet on Wednesday...
Stacey Abrams calls herself the “public education” governor

Stacey Abrams calls herself the “public education” governor

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams wouldn’t touch the controversy swirling around a GOP opponent caught on tape admitting he put his election ahead of public policy, but on Wednesday she proclaimed herself the “public education” candidate. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said in a surreptitious recording that a former rival released last week that he supported “bad&rdquo...
Republican lawmakers want criminal probe into Cagle’s ‘bad’ policy push

Republican lawmakers want criminal probe into Cagle’s ‘bad’ policy push

Two Republican lawmakers urged federal authorities and Fulton County’s prosecutor to investigate whether Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle engaged in a “pay-to-play” scheme when he admitted to pushing legislation he didn’t support to influence a super PAC.  The letter by state Sen. Bill Heath and state Rep. Susan Holmes, both supporters of Secretary of State Brian Kemp,...
CDC: Women show biggest increase in suicides

CDC: Women show biggest increase in suicides

Suicide rates since 1999 have risen sharply in nearly every state, including Georgia, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week. The CDC is now revealing more disturbing news: The trend is worse among women. Suicide among women in Georgia increased 30 percent from 2000 to 2016, the latest year available, according to figures the CDC released this week. Nationwide, the...
Planned Ga. spaceport tied to jobs, but some see threat to way of life

Planned Ga. spaceport tied to jobs, but some see threat to way of life

For Steve Howard, developing a commercial rocket launchpad could mean hundreds of jobs for Camden County residents searching for good-paying employment in an exciting industry. “The spaceport is the catalyst,” said Howard, who serves as the county’s administrator and Spaceport Camden project lead. “What you want is everything else — tourism, manufacturing. It’s...
Work begins to replace Georgia’s digital voting system

Work begins to replace Georgia’s digital voting system

An effort to trash Georgia’s electronic voting machines got underway Wednesday amid disagreements over how to make the state’s elections secure and accurate. The first meeting of a group that will recommend a replacement voting system showed divides over whether Georgia should use pen-and-paper ballots or touchscreen machines to print ballots. Brought together by Secretary of State...
What South Carolina’s vote says about a new Southern political narrative  

What South Carolina’s vote says about a new Southern political narrative  

  The primary last night in South Carolina showed us both the limits and the extent of the Donald Trump effect in a GOP electorate that somewhat resembles Georgia’s conservative bloc. On one hand, Gov. Henry McMaster failed to avoid a Republican runoff against an outsider challenger, despite boasting a late endorsement from the president and a record of loyalty to him. McMaster, who was...
Emails show unified opposition to Georgia hacking bill before veto

Emails show unified opposition to Georgia hacking bill before veto

Before Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed an anti-hacking bill, he heard about nationwide opposition from tech experts who feared it would make the internet less safe. Everyone who contacted the governor’s office said the bill to outlaw computer snooping shouldn’t become law, according to 65 pages of emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution under Georgia’s Open Records Act. More...
The Jolt: Johnny Isakson, David Perdue split over Donald Trump’s tariffs

The Jolt: Johnny Isakson, David Perdue split over Donald Trump’s tariffs

Georgia’s two U.S. senators have placed themselves on opposite sides of an internal GOP fight about whether to stop President Donald Trump’s tariffs. Both Johnny Isakson and David Perdue had previously voiced displeasure over the commander-in-chief’s moves to impose duties on imported steel and aluminum. But whereas Isakson signed on as a cosponsor of a bill from U.S. Sen. Bob...
Georgia 2018: Abrams nabs endorsement from Barnes

Georgia 2018: Abrams nabs endorsement from Barnes

Democrat Stacey Abrams earned the endorsement Wednesday of her former opponent’s highest-profile supporter. Former Gov. Roy Barnes endorsed Abrams’ campaign for governor, calling her a progressive who can also work with GOP leaders to “harness the full potential of Georgia.” "Too many have made this election about a choice between working with Republicans to maintain our...
Abrams embraces ‘public education’ mantra as Cagle deals with fallout

Abrams embraces ‘public education’ mantra as Cagle deals with fallout

Talk about counter-programming.  As Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle grapples with fallout over his role in education debates, Democrat Stacey Abrams is charting a different course.  The party’s nominee for governor announced a 7 p.m. town hall Wednesday at her campaign’s headquarters to focus on her fight against “public school privatization.” Her tag-line of choice: &ldquo...
What to expect as the Supreme Court rules on Georgia’s water fight

What to expect as the Supreme Court rules on Georgia’s water fight

The U.S. Supreme Court could weigh in as soon as this week on the Southeast’s long-running water wars, a decision that could have a major impact on the region’s environmental and economic development. But don’t expect the justices’ decision to end decades of legal and political fighting between Georgia, Florida and Alabama, observers say. Here’s a breakdown of the water...
Two tales of betrayal now drive the GOP race for governor

Two tales of betrayal now drive the GOP race for governor

A sense of betrayal is one of the stronger emotions in politics, if not the strongest. Two episodes, both involving trust abused or trust misused, are now driving the Republican race for governor. They are closely linked. You may know of one, but not the other. On May 24, Clay Tippins, the former GOP gubernatorial candidate, walked into a conversation with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the man who had whupped...
EXCLUSIVE: Cagle backed charter bill to nab support from outside group

EXCLUSIVE: Cagle backed charter bill to nab support from outside group

A Republican state senator said Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle demanded the passage of a contentious charter school measure because he said it would help him secure millions of dollars in outside help for his campaign for governor. State Sen. Lindsey Tippins said in an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he resigned as chairman of the Senate Education Committee after Cagle insisted...
The Jolt: Days after unsettling G-7 session, Sonny Perdue heads to Canada

The Jolt: Days after unsettling G-7 session, Sonny Perdue heads to Canada

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, who as secretary of agriculture has earned a reputation as one of the most affable members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet, apparently has been assigned to the patch-and-mend squad. Two days after an ally-splitting G-7 appearance in Quebec City, which ended with an exiting Trump insulting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “dishonest&rdquo...
Invest Atlanta review of $40K spent on Reed South Africa trip stalls

Invest Atlanta review of $40K spent on Reed South Africa trip stalls

Two months ago, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ordered an outside review of a payment by a city-tied nonprofit to cover luxury airfare for former Mayor Kasim Reed and staffers who traveled to South Africa last year on a costly jobs mission. Now, people familiar with the matter have told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News the probe has stalled, as city officials balked...
Defeated Georgia legislator alleges voters were given wrong ballots

Defeated Georgia legislator alleges voters were given wrong ballots

A member of the Georgia House who was defeated in last month’s primary is seeking a new election because dozens of voters allegedly received the wrong ballot. State Rep. Dan Gasaway, R-Homer, filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that at least 67 votes — the margin of his defeat in the Republican primary — were cast on ballots that listed state House districts that didn’t match...
Supreme Court allows voter purges in states like Georgia

Supreme Court allows voter purges in states like Georgia

Georgia and other states can target people who haven’t cast ballots in a while in efforts to purge their voting rolls, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday in an Ohio case that has drawn wide attention amid stark partisan divisions and the approach of the 2018 elections. By a 5-4 vote that split the conservative and liberal justices, the court rejected arguments that the practice violates...
Atlanta ‘die-in’ gun-law protest canceled due to weather

Atlanta ‘die-in’ gun-law protest canceled due to weather

An Atlanta group that planned to stage a “die-in” Tuesday to call for gun-law changes announced on social media it cancelled the event because of weather.  The protest, organized by the group that conducted Atlanta’s March for Our Lives, was to have taken place at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Liberty Plaza in downtown Atlanta.  The group announced on various social...
Feds approve record funding for Savannah harbor deepening

Feds approve record funding for Savannah harbor deepening

A key federal agency on Monday announced plans to set aside a record amount of funding for the Savannah harbor deepening project following an intense lobbying campaign by the state and its allies. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it plans to spend nearly $35 million on the roughly $1 billion project in its 2018 budget work plan. That’s in addition to the $50 million Congress had carved...
Georgia’s increased recreational wildlife fees bring in $8.2 million

Georgia’s increased recreational wildlife fees bring in $8.2 million

Georgia wildlife officials are using an extra $8.2 million they’ve collected after boosting hunting and fishing licenses and boating registrations to improve the state’s public sites and hire more rangers. After nearly a year with higher rates, the Department of Natural Resources collected $33.9 million in hunting and fishing license fees and boat registrations from July 1 through the...
There’s no grace period for Georgia’s distracted driving law

There’s no grace period for Georgia’s distracted driving law

No, there isn’t a 90-day grace period for enforcement of Georgia’s new distracted driving law.  That’s the word from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, the agency charged with educating the public about the Hands-Free Georgia Act, which takes effect July 1.  The act (also known as House Bill 673), which passed the General Assembly in March, prohibits...
Jamie Dupree, silenced by illness, harvests a new voice from old tapes

Jamie Dupree, silenced by illness, harvests a new voice from old tapes

Radio reporter Jamie Dupree, 54, sat at a gate in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and downloaded his new voice. Hampered for two years by a rare disease, unable to manage more than a few words at a time, he’d been waiting a long time to hear himself speak a full sentence. The executable program had been in his inbox all that day, but the day had been a busy one, having...
The Jolt: ‘We deserved better,’ hometown paper says of Casey Cagle recording

The Jolt: ‘We deserved better,’ hometown paper says of Casey Cagle recording

Many, but not all, Republicans have rallied to the side of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, whose campaign for governor was shaken last week when a recording made by fourth-place finisher Clay Tippins caught the GOP frontrunner in a quintessential gaffe. In other words, Tippins’ activated smart phone caught Cagle telling the truth about a forbidden subject. Among Cagle’s harshest weekend...
Podcast: Casey Cagle, the secret recording, and what it all means

Podcast: Casey Cagle, the secret recording, and what it all means

A secret recording showed that Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle supported a bill that he described as bad “a thousand different ways” to prevent Hunter Hill, a political rival, from receiving financial support in the GOP primary race for governor.  The AJC’s James Salzer joined Politically Georgia host Greg Bluestein to discuss the recording. In this episode, they provide...
New Cagle ad snipes at Kemp: ‘Get that big truck outta here.’ 

New Cagle ad snipes at Kemp: ‘Get that big truck outta here.’ 

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle is getting steady use out of a Secretary of State Brian Kemp lookalike. His campaign for governor launched an ad over the weekend mocking Kemp’s macho pickup truck, featuring a stammering knockoff Kemp trying to explain to an elderly voter his record as the state’s top election official. The exasperated voter ends the 30-second spot with an admonishment: “Shame...
Hazing death of Roswell teen leads to tougher laws. Should colleges ban frats?

Hazing death of Roswell teen leads to tougher laws. Should colleges ban frats?

I have written a lot over the years about Greek life on college campuses, most often about the research showing higher levels of binge drinking among fraternities and sororities. Increasingly, I’ve been writing about deaths due to fraternity hazing, including that of Maxwell Gruver of Roswell at Louisiana State University. Nine months ago, Gruver was found unconscious on a couch at the Phi Delta...
Cagle faces unsettled voters in home territory after ‘bad’ recording

Cagle faces unsettled voters in home territory after ‘bad’ recording

Gainesville - Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle had a warm reception Saturday at a GOP meeting in his native Hall County, but several voters said they were unsettled about his remarks admitting to voting for a “bad” education bill to hurt a rival candidate for governor. The GOP candidate didn’t directly address the recording during his 15 minute remarks, and other invited speakers veered...
U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gerrymandering could impact Georgia

U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gerrymandering could impact Georgia

An upcoming U.S. Supreme Court decision on gerrymandering could affect Georgia districts that were redrawn to benefit Republican state legislators. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on whether it’s unconstitutional to change district borders to benefit one political party over another. That’s what happened in Georgia in 2015, when the state Legislature ...
Georgia has a lot on the line with ACA lawsuit

Georgia has a lot on the line with ACA lawsuit

Georgia health insurance customers have a lot on the line with a court case the state has joined trying to repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, also known as Obamacare, requires every American to have health insurance. It also requires every health insurance company, among other things, to offer coverage regardless of customers’ pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes...
Georgia Libertarian candidates see much to gain, even without winning

Georgia Libertarian candidates see much to gain, even without winning

Their chances of winning are slim to none, but that isn’t stopping Libertarian candidates from running for seats up and down the ballot in Georgia elections. With candidates vying for governor, secretary of state and eight other down-ballot positions, Georgia Libertarians hope to broadcast their message of tax cuts, deregulation and voter reform — and their candidacy could shape the election...
Read the highlights of Cagle’s response to secret recording 

Read the highlights of Cagle’s response to secret recording 

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle sat down Friday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News for an exclusive interview about his remarks in a secretly-recorded conversation released by a former rival in the race for governor. The interview came a day after the AJC and Channel 2 reported that Cagle acknowledged he supported “bad public policy” - a controversial education...
Cagle tries to limit damage after secret audio recording

Cagle tries to limit damage after secret audio recording

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle tried Friday to limit the fallout of a secret recording that acknowledged he supported what he called “bad public policy” to hurt another rival for governor, as his political opponents seized on the audio to cast him as an opportunist who crossed legal and ethical lines. In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News...
School safety heating up as political topic

School safety heating up as political topic

The second of two legislative school safety study committees held its first public meeting Friday. About 100 people showed up for the Georgia Senate School Safety Study Committee, headed by Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell, at North Springs Charter High School. About 100 parents, students, teachers, law-enforcement officers and other interested people heard the discussion from school safety professionals...
The Jolt: Kemp says Secret recording raises ‘ethical and legal’ questions about Cagle’s role

The Jolt: Kemp says Secret recording raises ‘ethical and legal’ questions about Cagle’s role

There was swift political fallout from the release of a secret recording of Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle acknowledging he supported a controversial education measure that was “bad public policy” to block another rival for governor from outside help. (Read the full story here.) Former State Sen. Hunter Hill, who Cagle aimed to hurt by pushing a private school tax credit increase, said the...
Court finds ‘compelling’ evidence of race-based redistricting in Ga.

Court finds ‘compelling’ evidence of race-based redistricting in Ga.

A federal court found “compelling” evidence that Georgia lawmakers redistricted black voters to preserve Republican power at the state Capitol, according to a recent ruling. But the three-judge panel denied a request for a preliminary injunction to halt upcoming elections in the affected districts in Gwinnett and Henry counties, where state Rep. Joyce Chandler and former state ...
Read transcript of secret recording of Cagle backing ‘bad public policy’ 

Read transcript of secret recording of Cagle backing ‘bad public policy’ 

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told executive Clay Tippins he supported “bad public policy” to deprive another rival of supposed help from an outside group, in a recording obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.  Cagle’s conversation with Tippins, who finished fourth in the race, took place two days after the May 22 primary in Cagle’s campaign...
New mission for Robins offers protection for Middle Georgia base

New mission for Robins offers protection for Middle Georgia base

Robins Air Force Base will play host to a new intelligence and surveillance system in the years to come, the Air Force announced this week, a mission that will help insulate the Middle Georgia base should the Pentagon launch a new round of base closures. But Wednesday’s announcement from the Defense Department still left many questions unanswered about the future of a separate but related mission...
Secret recording shows Cagle backed ‘bad’ bill to hurt gov race rival

Secret recording shows Cagle backed ‘bad’ bill to hurt gov race rival

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle told a former rival in a secretly recorded conversation that he engineered the passage of a bill he described as bad “a thousand different ways” because it would deprive another opponent in the race for governor of millions of dollars in support. Cagle told Clay Tippins in the recording that he circumvented the state Senate’s top education leader and swallowed...
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