Politics

Politics
3:13 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Voter Registration Group Questions Kemp on Transparency

Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, said she was confused by Secretary of State Brian Kemp's recent comments. Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is to her right.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Leaders of a voter registration group said Monday they’re confused by recent comments made by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp.  The group, called the New Georgia Project, sued Kemp’s office and five counties over thousands of voter registration forms they say are missing. 

Kemp denied that last week, saying officials have added 40,000 new voters to the rolls.

Group founder and Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams Monday asked Kemp for clarity.

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Politics
8:11 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Do Political Endorsements Help Candidates?

Experts say endorsements can say a lot about a race, even if they don't produce votes.
Credit WABE

With elections coming up next month, some Georgia candidates are racking up endorsements. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was in town this week to support Republican Senate candidate David Perdue. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in Atlanta Thursday stumping for Gov. Nathan Deal. But do endorsements really give candidates an edge?

It may be nice for a nominee to get a pat on the back from a big-name politician or even a celebrity. But does it matter to voters?

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Politics
2:37 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Kemp Fires Back at Critics: Eligible Voters Have Been Processed

Brian Kemp denied that more than 50,000 voter registration applications have not been processed.
Credit Martha Dalton / WABE

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp Thursday shot back at critics who accused his office of failing to register thousands of voters. Last week, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights sued Kemp's office and five Georgia counties over 55,000 'missing' voter registration forms. Kemp called the lawsuit frivolous.

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Politics
9:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Are Atlanta Voters Ready for Next Month's Election?

Credit Chris Ferguson / WABE

It’s less than a month until November's General Election. But are Atlanta voters tuned into the races? WABE asked some registered voters if they’re ready to cast a ballot.

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Politics
11:37 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Perdue And Nunn Spar In Perry Debate

Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn

Georgia’s U.S. Senate hopefuls faced off Tuesday in Perry, Georgia. It was a raucous evening that highlighted some of the central themes of the campaigns.

Thousands packed the auditorium at the Georgia National Fairgounds. Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn both have roots in the area and it showed.

Perdue: "Wow, it’s great to be home. Welcome to Perdue country."

Nunn: "I am really grateful to be here just a few miles from our family farm."

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Politics
11:33 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Deal And Carter Face Off In Debate

Sen. Jason Carter, left, and Gov. Nahan Deal.

The first formal debate between the candidates for governor was a rowdy affair. It took place at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry.

Republican incumbent Nathan Deal had more supporters in the auditorium than Democrat Jason Carter and Deal used it to his advantage, confidently rebutting attacks about the state’s unemployment rate, which recently fell to worst in the country.

“Senator Carter, I know you’re young and inexperienced but obviously you’re trying to hold me accountable for the great recession,” said Deal.

He touted his record on jobs.

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Politics
6:10 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Gov. Deal Endorsed by Former Rival Karen Handel

Karen Handel endorsed Governor Nathan Deal during an event at the State Capitol on Monday.
Credit Gov. Nathan Deal

Governor Nathan Deal gets an endorsement from a one-time political rival.

Former Secretary of State Karen Handel announced her support for the incumbent Republican governor during a “Women for Deal” rally at the State Capitol on Monday.

According to a release from Deal’s office, Handel praised Deal for creating nearly 300, 000 private sector jobs during his term.

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Politics
4:14 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Fate Of Ellis Now In Jury's Hands

Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.
Credit facebook.com/burrellellis2012

After three weeks of testimony, attorneys for both sides in Burrell Ellis’ corruption trial delivered their closing arguments Monday. Whether Ellis goes to prison or retains his position as DeKalb County CEO is now up to a jury.

Ellis faces charges of extortion and bribery, the latter of which carries a sentence of up to 20 years. Three county contractors testified Ellis shook them down for campaign donations. Another contractor testified Ellis wanted a bribe of $25,000.

Ellis denies all wrongdoing and his lawyers claim the charges are politically-motivated.

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Politics
8:41 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Campaign Targets Korean American Voters in Gwinnett

Helen Ding registers to vote at the Super H Mart in Doraville.
Martha Dalton/WABE News

Monday is the last day to register to vote before next month’s election. With some tight races in Georgia this year, voter registration groups have ramped up their efforts. One group tried to sign up thousands of Korean Americans in Gwinnett County.

A Grassroots Campaign

Volunteers stand outside a Korean supermarket in Duluth. They’re trying to catch the attention of potential voters.

“Are you registered to vote?” They ask in Korean and English. “Are you 18 or older?”

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Politics
11:12 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Romney Visits Georgia to Support Perdue Campaign

David Purdue campaigning earlier this year.
Credit Evan Jang / WABE

Mitt Romney raised money in Georgia on Wednesday to help U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue as the former Dollar General CEO seeks to help Republicans keep a key seat in a nationally watched race.

The private fundraiser was followed by a lunchtime stop at The Varsity restaurant in downtown Atlanta to campaign with Attorney General Sam Olens, an early supporter of Romney during the 2012 presidential race. Olens is up for re-election this year.

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Politics
5:23 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

House Committee Wants To Consolidate Inspections For State Childcare Providers

Say you want to help care for children who’ve been placed in state care.

First you’d have to undergo a license inspection from the state Department of Human Services, along with some follow up inspections.

There’s also a federal licensing process that requires its own inspection.

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Perdue vs. Nunn
6:00 am
Mon September 29, 2014

U.S. Senate Ads: A Short Analysis of Negativity

InsiderAdvantage C.E.O. Matt Towery.
Credit InsiderAdvantage

  It is clear the gloves have come off in Georgia’s U.S. Senate race.

A short clip from a recent campaign ad from Republican David Perdue: “She funded organizations linked to terrorists.”

And Democrat Michelle Nunn’s response: “That’s a terrible lie.”

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Politics
7:45 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Film Makers Get Drone Approval: Are Georgia Lawmakers Ready for the Expanding Technology?

State Rep. Harry Geisinger (R-Roswell)
Credit Georgia General Assembly

  On Thursday, September 25, 2014, Federal officials gave six movie and TV production companies permission to use drones in their film shoots, with some restrictions.  

It's a major step toward wider use of drones in commercial operations.  And it increases the attention on Federal and state lawmakers as they scramble to come up with rules for this rapidly-expanding technology.  

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Politics
8:15 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Carter Meets with Jobless Georgians

Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter (far right) meets with Georgia job seekers to hear their stories.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Atlanta’s unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a percent in August. The state’s jobless rate also rose about a half a point. Thursday Democratic state Senator and gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter met with some of the jobless to hear their stories.

At the Silver Skillet in Midtown, Carter spoke with five Georgians who’ve had trouble finding work after losing their jobs. 

Lamont Hawthorne has two associate degrees and a bachelor’s in construction technology. He’s been laid off three times in three years and said he’s worked 15 months out of the last 36.

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Politics
5:54 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Georgia Coalition Rallies to Register Voters

Deborah Scott, executive director of Georgia STAND-UP, speaks during National Voter Registration Day at the state Capitol.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day. And with midterm elections just over a month away, a coalition of groups gathered at the state Capitol to urge Georgians to sign up.

The NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and Georgia Equality were just some of the groups that showed up. Roland Carlisle is with 9 to 5, a group that fights for workplace equality. He invoked the struggle of Civil Rights leaders, such as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Politics
5:08 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Burrell Ellis Assistant Forced To Testify

Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.
Credit facebook.com/burrellellis2012

The former assistant of suspended DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis was forced to testify Monday in Ellis’ corruption trial, despite invoking her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.

Sitting beside her attorney on the witness stand, Nina Hall held back tears as she repeatedly cited the Fifth Amendment.

"On the advice of my counsel I’m exercising my right to remain silent," said Hall.

She repeated that more than two dozen times. In almost every case, the judge ordered her to answer the prosecution’s questions.

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Politics
7:32 am
Fri September 19, 2014

As Scotland Rejects Independence, Cameron Promises More Autonomy

Dejected "yes" supporters sit in George Square, Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday. Scots voted decisively against independence from the U.K.
Robert Perry EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 11:27 am

Updated at 11:27 a.m. ET

British Prime Minister David Cameron said the Scottish vote to remain in the United Kingdom has put the question of independence to rest "for a generation," but he pledged constitutional reforms to give Edinburgh greater control over its own affairs.

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Politics
5:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Deal Says HOPE Grant Expansion on Second Term Agenda

Gov. Nathan Deal wants to expand the HOPE Grant to cover film-related fields. He's standing in front of the former state archives, which is being turned into a movie set.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

There are several weeks until the November elections, but Gov. Nathan Deal is already planning for his second term in office. The governor Thursday announced an expansion of the HOPE grant program, set to take effect in 2015.

The HOPE grant is a scholarship awarded to technical college students. It already covers full tuition in some high-demand fields, such as education and healthcare.

Standing in front of the former state archives building, which is being transformed into a movie set, Deal said he wants the grant to cover film-related fields too.

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Politics
5:10 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Perdue Pushes Back Against Neil Bush's Ad Criticism

Credit Evan Jang / WABE

Georgia’s U.S. Republican Senate Nominee David Perdue is pushing back against criticism he’s received from a member of the Bush family over a recent television ad.  

The ad claims Perdue’s Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn admitted in a leaked campaign memo that the foundation she heads gave money to groups tied to terrorists.

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Politics
6:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Voter Registration Group Accused Of Turning In 25 Forged Voter Applications

The Ga. Secretary of State's office says the New Georgia Project turned in 25 fraudulent voter registration applications. The group brought copies of more than 51,000 applications it says it turned in but have not been processed to the state Capitol.
Michelle Wirth/WABE News

During an emergency election board meeting Wednesday, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office said it has discovered dozens of voter registration applications submitted by the New Georgia Project have been forged. Last week, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp issued a subpoena to the voter registration group, which was founded by Democratic House leader Stacey Abrams. As part of the subpoena, the group is supposed to turn over all documents related to voter registration efforts and canvass sheets.

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Politics
5:10 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Reed: Atlanta Will Welcome Immigrants

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced he plans to implement 20 recommendations to help integrate immigrants.
Credit Martha Dalton/WABE News

Immigrants are welcome in Atlanta. That’s the message Mayor Kasim Reed sent Wednesday when he announced the recommendations of the Welcoming Atlanta Working Group he appointed in April.

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Politics
3:13 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Attorneys Deliver Opening Statements In Ellis Corruption Trial

Suspended DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis.

Lawyers in Burrell Ellis’ corruption trial delivered opening statements Tuesday in a DeKalb County court room. It comes 15 months after the suspended DeKalb CEO was indicted on felony charges of bribery, extortion, and theft.

Speaking to a jury of ten women and two men, DeKalb prosecutor Lawanda Hodges said Ellis used his position as CEO to solicit campaign contributions, retaliate against those who didn’t give, then lied about it afterward.

"Power. Punishment. Perjury. That, members of the jury, is what the evidence will show you this case is all about," said Hodges.

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Politics
7:33 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

A Fact Check on the Latest Ads in the Senate Race, with PolitiFact Georgia Editor Jim Tharpe

Jim Tharpe, editor of PolitiFact Georgia
Credit Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  With polls showing the race for Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat is very close, both of the major party candidates--and the outside groups that are helping them--have unleashed a blitz of media ads.  WABE's Denis O'Hayer got a fact check on some of the newest ads, with Jim Tharpe, editor of PolitiFact Georgia, the non-partisan fact-checking arm of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and myAJC.com.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Fulton Chair Seeking To Ease Tensions With Atlanta On Affordable Housing

Fulton Commission chair John Eaves
Credit johneaves4fulton.com

Fulton County Commission chair John Eaves says he wants to pass new affordable housing legislation by the end of the year. Part of the aim is to ease tensions between the development authorities of Fulton and the city of Atlanta.

“We certainly have an open mind and we probably will be exploring this in pursuing some sort of policy change in the near future,” said Eaves.

The comments come as Atlanta officials say the lack of an affordable housing policy by the Development Authority of Fulton County is lowering the bar for developers and costing the city development deals. 

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Politics
3:57 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

George HW Bush Endorses David Perdue In US Senate Race

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, left, Monday endorsed Georgia Republican nominee David Perdue in the race for the state's open U.S. Senate seat. Perdue is facing Democrat Michelle Nunn, who heads the former president's nonprofit Points of Light Foundation.
Credit Office of George Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush Monday announced he is endorsing Georgia Republican U.S. Senate Nominee David Perdue.

In endorsing Perdue, Bush praised the former Dollar General and Reebok CEO’s business experience, saying it “gives him the kind of real-world experience that Washington, DC is sorely lacking today.”

The former president also said he’d lost faith in the Senate Democratic leadership, and called Perdue “an independent voice for Georgia.”

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Politics
7:51 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

AJC Poll Shows Tight Contests: A Look Behind the Numbers with the AJC's Jim Galloway

Atlanta Journal-Constitution political columnist Jim Galloway
Credit Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  A new Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll--the paper's first of the general election campaign--shows very close races for Georgia Governor and U.S. Senator.  Democrat Jason Carter and Republican incumbent Nathan Deal are statistically tied in the Governor's race; while Republican David Perdue holds a slim lead over Democrat Michelle Nunn in the Senate race.  In both contests, the Libertarian candidates are polling strongly enough to force runoffs, if the elections were held today.  WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with AJC political columnist Jim Galloway.

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Politics
4:19 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Abrams Defends Her Voter Registration Group Against Fraud Allegations

Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.
Credit Kerri Battles - Barbara Jordan Forum 2012

The state House’s top Democrat, Stacey Abrams, is defending her voter registration group against allegations of voter fraud. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Brian Kemp opened an investigation into Abrams’ group.

The New Georgia Project is one of the state’s largest voter registration drives. Its goal, as Abrams puts it, is to sign up Georgia’s 800,000 unregistered minority voters. So far the group has helped submit more than 85,000 registration forms. But Abrams says Kemp’s actions could have a “chilling effect” on those efforts.

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Politics
7:52 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

After the President's ISIS Speech: Conversations with Sen. Saxby Chambliss and Rep. David Scott

Rep. David Scott (D-Atlanta)
Credit U.S. House of Representatives

  On September 10, 2014, President Barack Obama outlined his strategy for a counterattack on the terror group which calls itself The Islamic State (acronyms include ISIL and ISIS).  For a look at how Congress received the speech, and what will happen next, WABE's Denis O'Hayer spoke with Democratic Congressman David Scott of Atlanta, and Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, the ranking GOP member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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Politics
6:00 am
Thu September 11, 2014

DeKalb Elections Board To Decide On Sunday Voting Plan

Credit DeKalb County Government

DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May has recommended early voting on Sunday October 26 at South DeKalb Mall. If approved by the County’s Board of Elections Thursday, the county would be among the first counties to let citizens vote on Sunday. But the lone state Republican Senator representing a portion of DeKalb says the move appears partisan.

Republican state Senator Fran Miller said May’s recommendation to place Sunday voting at the South DeKalb Mall ignores northern DeKalb and is clearly aimed at getting more Democrats to turn out in November.

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Middle East
10:10 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Transcript: President Obama On How U.S. Will Address Islamic State

President Obama delivers a prime-time address from the White House on Wednesday about his plan for fighting the Islamic State.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 10:32 pm

The prepared text of President Obama's speech, as released by the White House:

My fellow Americans — tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.

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