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The Political Insider is moving to a new home

Ladies and gents:

Pardon the dust, but we’re shifting to a new blog home. The new platform for the Political Insider is here:

http://www.ajc.com/weblogs/political-insider/

Please bookmark it. We’ll be operating from that URL from here on. For now, old entries for the Political Insider will remain at the current location – just in case you get nostalgic.

I’ll be sending out the proper links via Twitter and Facebook with each post, but those of you who rely on RSS feeds will need to update your link.

You’ll notice the new home has a different look, but the biggest change is the fact that you’ll now have to register in order to comment.

Once you’re registered, you can comment as many times as you like on any AJC story or blog, as long as the civilities are observed. If you run into problems or have suggestions, shoot me an email at jgalloway@ajc.com.

Thanks for reading.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with …

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Another name in the mix to replace Saxby Chambliss: Sonny Perdue

Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich are out. U.S. Reps. Paul Broun and Tom Price have formally begun pondering their futures, now that U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss has decided to step out of their way.

But here’s another name that’s only just surfacing: That of Sonny Perdue, modern Georgia’s original Republican governor.

“The governor is really concerned about the current course of the country, and is very much analyzing today’s news,” a close associate said this afternoon.

Consider the potential: Perdue presided over a pretty good economy, he has immediate statewide name Id, he’s had three years to put his family affairs in order, and he’s already taken on Grover Norquist.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

Continue reading Another name in the mix to replace Saxby Chambliss: Sonny Perdue »

Your daily jolt: ‘We’ve got to stop being the stupid party’

Let a very necessary conversation begin. From the Associated Press:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party” on Thursday as GOP leaders promised fundamental changes to help stave off future losses.

In the keynote address at the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting, Jindal said the GOP doesn’t need to change its values but “might need to change just about everything else we are doing.”

“We’ve got to stop being the stupid party. It’s time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults,” he said. “We had a number of Republicans damage the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments. I’m here to say we’ve had enough of that.”

Jindal, thought to be a potential 2016 presidential contender, offered little detail in the 25-minute address. He called on conservatives to shift their focus from Capitol Hill number crunching to “the place where conservatism thrives — in the real world beyond the …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: ‘We’ve got to stop being the stupid party’ »

Your daily jolt: 122,949 white Georgia voters went missing in 2012 presidential race

Black voters in Georgia turned out for the November presidential election at nearly the same rate as they did in 2008, while white voter turnout dropped measurably, according to demographic statistics released this week by Secretary of State Brian Kemp.

Usually calculated in the weeks following an election, a spokesman for Kemp said the statistics – gathered as required by the Voting Rights Act — were delayed by incomplete numbers from Fulton County. But the breakdown remains doubly important for political wonks, given that Georgia wasn’t included in any exit polling.

Last November, Republican challenger Mitt Romney beat Democratic incumbent Barack Obama in Georgia by 53 to 46 percent, doing slightly better than John McCain against Obama (52 percent to 47 percent) four years earlier.

But behind the percentages are some numbers that, in a state where race and voting preference run parallel to each other, ought to concern Republicans. White voter participation dropped by …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: 122,949 white Georgia voters went missing in 2012 presidential race »

Your daily jolt: GPB producer resigns over hiring of Chip Rogers

News that former state Sen. Chip Rogers has been given an executive position at Georgia Public Broadcasting with a hefty starting salary of $150,000 has prompted the resignation of a longtime executive producer at the network.

Click here to read the resignation letter from Ashlie Wilson Pendley to GPB President and CEO Teya Ryan, sent to us this morning by Bryan Long of Better Georgia. Here’s the meat:

I know that you have faced a variety of challenges and difficult decisions in the last four years since you assumed leadership of GPB. I’ve witnessed four rounds of layoffs. I’ve watched the outsourcing of the sales staff, the IT helpdesk and most recently, Master Control operations. I have loyally accepted stagnant wages for the last five years, even while the cost of my benefits has increased- even in the times when furloughed- because I believed GPB was an organization that was worth the sacrifice and the hard work.

In December, it became public that GPB was hiring …

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Your daily jolt: Paul Broun, Saxby Chambliss trade jabs on spending

You have to wonder if the first salvo in the 2014 race for the U.S. Senate, between Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss and presumed primary challenger Paul Broun, has just been fired. Roll Call, the D.C. newspaper, has these paragraphs from an interview with the Athens congressman:

Asked whether Chambliss understands the big issues of debt and deficit the country is facing as he does, Broun paused for a moment.

“Doesn’t seem so,” Broun said. “He seems to want to raise taxes on people, and he also wants to continue spending. So I don’t know if he does or not, you’ll have to ask him.”

But pressed whether he was interested in challenging Chambliss in next year’s primary, Broun took a pass on answering. “Right now I’m focusing on trying to get our country to be responsible financially as a nation,” he said. “It’s not time to even think about that.”

In the same article, Chambliss denies that the fiscal cliff deal that came out of the Senate amounted to …

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Your daily jolt: Gingrey open to limits on mag clips, says Todd Akin was ‘partly right’

Schmoozing with constituents in Smyrna on Thursday, U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Marietta, had already made news when he said that he was open to some new restrictions on firearms. From the first five paragraphs written by Jon Gillooly of the Marietta Daily Journal:

“There are some problems, and maybe these huge magazines even for someone who says, ‘look, I just use an AR-15 for target practice,’ but do you really need to be standing there shooting at a silhouette a shot a second or even quicker with that kind of weapon? For what purpose?” Gingrey asked. “I would be willing to listen to the possibility of the capacity of a magazine.”

Gingrey, who took the time to praise Adventure Outdoors owner Jay Wallace as the gold standard for running a responsible gun retail business, said he is also open to revisions of the so-called gun show loophole.

But then the Marietta congressman decided to wax eloquent on the most egregious Republican misstep of 2012 – the concept of …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: Gingrey open to limits on mag clips, says Todd Akin was ‘partly right’ »

Your daily jolt: Isakson, Chambliss say White House will have to bargain over debt ceiling

President Barack Obama may not want to negotiate over another increase in the federal debt ceiling, but Republicans nonetheless intend to bring him to the table, Johnny Isakson said this morning, in one of his first interviews as a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Isakson was on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” and first was asked to explain his vote in favor of a fiscal cliff agreement that set tax rates – but failed to address spending. Said the Georgia senator:

”It gave certainty to American business, small business, and families on what taxes would be. It made them permanent for everybody except those at $400,000 – and $450,000 for a couple. It’s good policy to make your tax policy permanent, so there’s not uncertainty every year….

“That was the good part. The bad part is that it was done behind closed doors, between just a very few people, when the issue should have been debated before the American people. That I’m sure will happen on the debt …

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Your daily jolt: A fix for unintended victims of Ga.’s illegal immigration law

State Rep. Dusty Hightower, R-Carrollton, this morning dropped legislation on behalf of Secretary of State Brian Kemp to unclog the processing of half-million professional licenses – unintended victims of Georgia’s illegal immigration statute.

HB 87, passed in 2011, currently requires all license applicants – from nurses to barbers to plumbers – to submit proof of citizenship before new or renewed licenses are granted.

Wait times for licenses have increased five-fold as a result, Kemp says.

HB 32 will only require applicants to submit proof of citizenship only once. A similar measure was attempted last year, but failed when it became wrapped into legislation that would have barred all undocumented students from public universities.

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Meanwhile, the state Senate’s newly configured Committee on Assignments today gets down to the business of doling out chairmanships and committee memberships. The biggest prize: Chairmanship of the Senate Rules Committee, through which …

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Your daily jolt: In Georgia, congressional Republicans split

Each of Georgia’s House Republicans on Tuesday voted to reject the Senate-passed measure to defuse the “fiscal cliff” debacle – highlighting the “yes” votes cast a day earlier by U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss.

Within the delegation, as a matter of courtesy, such splits rarely receive a public mention. But according to Slate, protocol was almost violated after a House GOP caucus meeting, when alternative legislation was still being pondered:

After he left the room, Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston joked that the deal passed only because “it was way past those senators’ bedtimes and they had blurry eyes when they were reading” it. House Republicans? Why, they were “trying to fill in the gaps they might have missed.”

The reply that Isakson and Chambliss can’t make, but would like to: “We don’t have the luxury of designer districts to guarantee our re-election.”

The bill would boost the top 35 percent income tax rate to nearly 40 percent …

Continue reading Your daily jolt: In Georgia, congressional Republicans split »