Politics

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

U.S. Senate Ads: An 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

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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Politics
4:45 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Deal Backs Voter Fraud Investigation, Open To Sunday Voting Ban

Gov. Nathan Deal

Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday weighed in on a state investigation into alleged voter fraud and a plan to allow Sunday voting in DeKalb County.

Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp has subpoenaed the New Georgia Project, one of the state’s largest voter registration groups. Kemp says he’s received complaints from several counties of faulty registration forms.

Critics have blasted the move as a blatant attempt to suppress votes.

Deal dismissed the criticism and said any complaints of voter fraud should be fully investigated.

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Politics
6:00 am
Tue September 9, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama Rallies For Nunn

Hundreds turned out for the rally with First Lady Michelle Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Michelle Nunn.
Credit Ryan Nabulsi / twinlensatl.com

  Hundreds turned out for a rally Monday with First Lady Michelle Obama and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Michelle Nunn. The rally was aimed at revving up campaign volunteers, supporters and voters ahead of a highly contested Senate race between Nunn and Republican nominee David Perdue.

Michelle Nunn told the crowd voters are sick of gridlock in Congress. She says after serving as the former CEO of the Points of Light Foundation she’s sees the value of finding common ground.

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon September 8, 2014

First Lady To Campaign And Fundraise For Nunn Monday

First Lady Michelle Obama
Credit whitehouse.gov

First Lady Michelle Obama is in Atlanta Monday. While visiting, she will fundraise and campaign for Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Michelle Nunn.

The First Lady will appear with Nunn at a private fundraiser and a voter registration rally. In a statement about the visit, Nunn said, "As CEO of President George H.W. Bush's Points of Light Foundation, I saw firsthand how the First Lady has been a leader in increasing civic participation and fostering support for volunteerism. I am excited to have her join us in Georgia … as we work to get more people engaged in our democracy." 

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Nancy Jester
2:44 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Former DeKalb School Board Member Runs for County Commission

Nancy Jester
Credit DeKalb County School District

Former DeKalb County Board of Education member Nancy Jester is running to fill the DeKalb County Commission seat vacated by Elaine Boyer.

  “My skill set is needed here,” says Jester, saying her skill set is financial. If elected, she says she will not only work to cut spending, she will help restore trust in DeKalb County government.

“I’ll put an online check register on my website so that you’re not going to have to send a records request and wonder how the money is being spent in District 1’s commission office.”  

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Politics
1:00 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Ethics Chief Still On Paid Leave After Commission Decision To Recess

Credit Michell Eloy / WABE

The state ethics commission Friday adjourned without making a decision on the fate of Commission Chief Holly LaBerge, leaving her on paid administrative leave until it reconvenes Monday morning.

The commission met over conference call Friday afternoon to discuss “pending litigation and personnel matters” just days after LaBerge was sanctioned by a judge for not turning over key documents in a lawsuit against the state.

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Politics
11:51 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Live: President Obama Speaks at NATO Summit

Credit whitehouse.gov

This afternoon, President Obama traveled to Newport, Wales, where he is attending the NATO Summit. The president is expected to discuss Russian actions in Ukraine and the role of NATO as a "global security hub."

WABE will have the full story during All Things Considered this afternoon.

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Politics
10:36 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Blame Game Begins After Judge Sanctions Attorney General's Office and Ethics Chief

State ethics commission executive secretary Holly LaBerge (left) was personally fined $10,000 yesterday, as was the office of Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens (right), for failing to release a memo written by LaBerge in 2012 that would have had a direct bearing on several whistleblower lawsuits.
Credit LaBerge: Michelle Wirth/WABE News; Olens: Georgia Attorney General's Office

  A Fulton County Superior Court judge has sanctioned the office of the Georgia Attorney General, headed by Sam Olens, along with current state ethics commissioner Holly LaBerge.

This comes after a state whistleblower filed a motion seeking the sanctions.

In addition, the AG's office and LaBerge were fined $10,000 each for what the court believed was a failure to submit admissible evidence at trial.

In granting the motion, Judge Ural Glanville chastised LaBerge.

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Politics
6:00 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Bill Clinton, Usher To Fundraise For Nunn

Michelle Nunn's fundraiser will feature Bill Clinton at Usher's Atlanta home.
Credit World Economic Forum; Ames via flickr / https://flic.kr/p/3cGF6g

  Former President Bill Clinton and singer-songwriter Usher are taking part in an upcoming fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Michelle Nunn.

The fundraiser with the former President and the popular singer will take place at Usher’s Atlanta area home on September 13. It’s one of several midterm election fundraisers former President Clinton is taking part in around the country, as President Obama’s approval ratings hover in the low 40s.

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Politics
6:27 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Judge Fines State AG Office, Holly LaBerge $10,000 Each For Withholding Document

Fulton Superior Court judge Ural Glanville
Credit Fulton County Superior Court

  Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville has sanctioned the office of State Attorney General Sam Olens and ethics commission executive secretary Holly LaBerge personally for withholding documents in a whistleblower lawsuit over the commission’s investigation into the 2010 campaign of Governor Nathan Deal.  

The judge has fined LaBerge and the Attorney General’s office $10,000 each.

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Politics
7:28 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Carter And Nunn Stump At Labor Day Luncheon

Jason Carter stumps in south Atlanta Monday.
Credit facebook.com/Carter4GA

More than a hundred workers celebrated Labor Day in south Atlanta at a luncheon hosted by the AFL-CIO’s local affiliate.

Several high-profile Democrats attended, including gubernatorial nominee Jason Carter and U.S. Senate nominee Michelle Nunn.

Carter seemed to shake every hand in the union hall. He criticized Republican Gov. Nathan Deal for not doing enough to address the state’s unemployment rate, which is second highest in the U.S.

“There’s no reason for middle-class families in this state to make $6,000 less than they did ten years ago,” said Carter.

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Politics
4:37 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Push to Register Korean-American Voters as Deadline Nears

AALAC staffers showcase new logo and campaign swag as part of an effort to register more Korean-American voters.
Credit Evan Changhwan Jang

With just over a month left to register to vote in November’s General Election, a local advocacy group is making a final push to help Korean-Americans sign up.

The Asian American Legal Advocacy Center wants to help 10,000 Korean-Americans register to vote in Gwinnett County. AALAC executive director Helen Kim Ho says the group has helped 2,000 voters sign up since launching the campaign last month.

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