Politics

Politics
5:36 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Georgia Republicans Gear Up for November

Gov. Nathan Deal and David Perdue, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
Credit Lisa George/WABE

The morning after the primary run-off, Georgia Republicans came out fighting, gearing up for November’s general election.

Governor Nathan Deal accused his opponent, Jason Carter and Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of running on their family names. “Our opponents are going all around the country raising money because they have good names, and I don’t have a problem with that,” said Deal. “But you know, we believe a candidate ought to stand on their own record, on their own priorities, and the things they have demonstrated that they can do.”

Read more
Politics
4:35 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

WABE's Live Special Report on Georgia's July 22 Runoff Election

The WABE news team meets in the afternoon of July 22 to prepare for the special live report on the runoff election results.
Credit Lisa George

This is the archival audio from WABE's special live news coverage of the results of Tuesday's runoff election. This program was broadcast July 22 between 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on July 22, 2014.  

Read more
Politics
2:56 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Perdue Tops Kingston In GOP Senate Runoff

Businessman David Perdue addresses supporters after being declared the winner of a tight runoff race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday night in Atlanta.
Credit Michell Eloy / WABE News

Businessman David Perdue came out on top against Congressman Jack Kingston in Tuesday night’s tight runoff race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, making the Savannah congressman the third and final sitting House member to fall to the political newcomer.

The results went back and forth between Perdue and Kingston well into the night, with a clear winner looking doubtful at times. But in the end Perdue edged out the 22-year-veteran lawmaker with just over 50 percent of the vote.

Read more
Politics
1:10 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Loudermilk Easily Beats Barr for 11th Dist. Seat

Barry Loudermilk thanks supporters at his victory celebration in Acworth Tuesday. He easily beat former Congressman Bob Barr.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

Former U.S. Representative and Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr kept supporters waiting at his run-off party until a bit after 9 PM Tuesday. Even though he was trailing by some 30%, Barr put on a hopeful face, citing returns coming in slowly from Cobb County.

“We don’t want to make any announcements based on partial numbers,” he told the crowd. “We want to see what the actual numbers are, and there are still a lot that are coming in.”

Despite his strong name recognition, Barr’s hopes to return to Congress were dashed.

Read more
Politics
12:05 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Valarie Wilson Wins Democratic Runoff In Superintendent Race

Valarie Wilson speaks to supporters Tuesday at her Decatur headquarters.

While the state schools superintendent race on the Republican side remains too close to call, Democrats have their candidate.

By a vote of 54 percent to 46 percent, former Decatur school board chief Valarie Wilson scored a decisive win Tuesday night over state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan.

Wilson rode a wave of support from Democrats who were deeply uncomfortable with her opponent’s openness to charter schools and other school choice options.

Speaking at her Decatur headquarters, Wilson told about 100 supporters public education needs to be protected and strengthened.

Read more
Politics
8:01 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

July 22 Primary Runoff Election - Live Updates

Credit Chris Ferguson/WABE

  FINAL UPDATE: 11:55 p.m.  

With over 98% of the vote counted, this will be the final update for tonight. We understand that the winner of the incredibly close Republican race for state school superintendent will not be decided tonight because of a problem with counting the votes in Muscogee County (Columbus).  

Below are the most recent numbers we have for both statewide and the local races we have been following.

On behalf of the WABE news team, thank you for joining us this evening.

Update 11:35 p.m.

Read more
Politics
12:40 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Voters' Guides to State School Superintendent, DeKalb School Board Races

For today's primary runoff election, we have brought back our voters' guides for the state school superintendent's position as well as for the three DeKalb County school board posts that are still contested.

Georgia School Superintendent

Read more
Politics
12:28 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Low Turnout Expected for Georgia Runoff Elections

Credit http://nonprofitvote.blogspot.com

Georgia voters are heading to the polls to cast ballots in several run-off elections.

There are more than 200 polling locations and about 1,600 poll workers helping Georgians vote today.

However, officials expect numbers are expected to be low.

“We’re on pace for probably 21,000 to 24,000 voters today, unless the turnout picks up as the day goes on,” says Fulton County Registration and Elections Director Richard Barron. 

Nearly 9,000 people voted early for this runoff.

Read more
Politics
8:24 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Today's Vote Will Decide Key Primary Runoff Races

Voters heading to the polls today will decide a number of highly contested primary runoff races.

Read more
Politics
3:09 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Fulton, DeKalb Make Polling Place Changes

Credit Georgia.gov

There are some changes in polling places for tomorrow’s run-off election.

Fulton County is changing nine of its locations; the changed polling places are in several areas of the county. DeKalb County is making last-minute changes due to lack of air conditioning at two of its regular precincts.

East Point

  • Brookview Elementary changes to Woodland Middle School, 2845 Stone Road.

Atlanta

Read more
Politics
3:10 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Attorney General Olens Facing Scrutiny Over Withholding Memo

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens.
Credit Orlando Montoya

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens is facing scrutiny over his office’s decision to withhold a controversial memo from a set of state whistleblower cases.

Olens defended the decision Tuesday, arguing attorneys who were representing the whistleblowers didn’t make the necessary requests in order to compel his office to turn over the memo.

The attorneys in those cases strongly disagree and contend it should have been disclosed.

Read more
Politics
9:04 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Attorney General Rejects Claims He Withheld Deal Ethics Memo; One Plaintiff's Attorney Responds

Attorney General Sam Olens (R-Georgia)
Credit Georgia Attorney General's Office

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens issued a statement Tuesday responding to questions about whether his office withheld a 2012 memo written by Holly LaBerge, the current head of the state ethics commission.  In the document, which was entitled "Memorandum of Record," LaBerge gave her version of conversations with Gov. Nathan Deal's chief counsel Ryan Teague, and his chief of staff, Chris Riley.

Read more
Politics
3:28 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Deal Defends Staffers In Wake Of Memo

Democrat Jason Carter reiterated prior calls for the attorney general's office to open an independent investigation.
Credit Evan Changhwan Jang

Fallout continues from the surprise allegations of state ethics commission chief Holly LaBerge, who claimed Monday two top aides of Gov. Nathan Deal pressured her to settle an ethics investigation into his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Tuesday, Deal defended his lead attorney, Ryan Teague, and chief of staff, Chris Riley. LaBerge alleges Teague threatened her to resolve Deal’s ethics case or else a legislative priority of her commission wouldn’t happen.

Read more
Politics
11:00 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Fresh Questions For Deal and Others In Light Of LaBerge Memo

Ryan Teague, executive counsel to Gov. Nathan Deal.
Credit tgcf.org

Gov. Nathan Deal and the attorney general's office face new questions in an ongoing saga involving the state ethics commission. The commission chief Monday alleged a top Deal aide threatened her in order to settle an investigation into Deal’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Ethics commission chief Holly LaBerge said Deal’s executive counsel, Ryan Teague, called her personal cell phone in July of 2012 and issued the threat.

Read more
Politics
5:14 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Republican U.S. Senate Candidates Battle in Heated Debate

Credit Wikipedia; perduesenate.com

Republican U.S. Senate candidates Jack Kingston and David Perdue squared off Sunday in a heated televised debate. The Atlanta Press Club debate is only time the two will face off before next week’s primary runoff.

During the debate, Kingston painted Perdue as an untested elitist who is inaccessible and out of touch with average Georgians.

Read more
Politics
3:55 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Ethics Chief Says She Was Pressured By Deal Aides To Settle 2010 Investigation

State ethics commission chief Holly LaBerge and Gov. Nathan Deal.

An internal memo surfaced Monday alleging top ranking officials in Gov. Nathan Deal’s office pressured the current state ethics commission chief to settle an investigation into Deal’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

Ethics commission director Holly LaBerge wrote the memo, which was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and later obtained by WABE. The PDF can be found here.  

Read more
Politics
3:46 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Jason Carter Outraises Gov. Deal By $750,000 In Most Recent Quarter

State Sen. Jason Carter, left, and Gov. Nathan Deal

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter outraised Gov. Nathan Deal by about $750,000 in the latest three-month filing period.

Political observers note it’s rare for a challenger to outraise an incumbent governor. They say it’s a sign the race between Deal and the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter will stay close until November’s election.  

Read more
Politics
4:32 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Solution Still Unclear As Atlanta City Council And APS Discuss BeltLine Contract Dispute

Members of the Atlanta City Council and APS board met Tuesday to discuss the contract dispute over BeltLine debt.

A joint meeting Tuesday between the Atlanta City Council and board members of Atlanta Public Schools ended with both sides acknowledging the need to solve a contract dispute over Atlanta BeltLine debt.

The solution, however, remains unclear.

APS says it’s due millions for giving up a portion of its property tax money for the BeltLine, but the city disputes the school system's figures. 

Read more
2:01 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

More Than 44,000 Georgians Have Already Voted in General Primary Runoff

Lead in text: 
Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced that 44,342 people throughout the state have voted in advance of July 22nd's general primary runoff election through early voting or through vote-by-mail as of today. Cobb and DeKalb counties have had the largest number of early voters so far.
  • Source: Ga
  • | Via: Georgia Secretary of State
Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the offices wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders.
11th Congressional District Race
2:55 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Former Candidate Wants Loudermilk's Military Discharge Papers; Loudermilk Sends to WABE Instead

Retired U.S. Army Col. Larry Mrozinski
Credit Lisa George/WABE

Georgia’s 11th Congressional District covers parts of four counties in the suburbs north of Atlanta. With less than a month before the Republican run-off, the race for the 11th District seat is getting ugly.

A former candidate is questioning a current candidate’s military record. And that candidate’s spokesman says his candidate’s run-off opponent, is behind the whole thing.

Confused? Please bear with us.

Read more
Politics
7:48 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Reed Slams APS For Lawsuit Threat Involving Beltline Debt

Outgoing APS chief Erroll Davis, left, and Mayor Kasim Reed.
Credit usg.edu & City of Atlanta

A contract dispute between Atlanta city government and Atlanta Public Schools is getting heated and threatens to slow the progress of the Atlanta BeltLine.  

At a June 11th BeltLine board meeting, Mayor Kasim Reed had strong words for outgoing APS chief Erroll Davis, who wasn’t in attendance.

"Nobody is going to negotiate at the end of a gun so if you’re going to take hostages you better be prepared to shoot the hostages," said Reed.

Read more
Politics
11:18 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Atlanta City Council Approves FY15 Budget

Atlanta City Hall
Credit Wally Gobetz via flickr

The Atlanta City Council Monday approved a $567 million spending plan for the fiscal year starting July 1st. Revenues are up due to the recovering economy so residents need not worry about a tax hike.

Instead, the city is looking to bolster services - an issue that sparked some rare disagreement between Mayor Kasim Reed and some of his traditional allies on Council.

As Council debated the mayor’s proposed budget into the evening, Reed felt the need to add some perspective.

Read more
Politics
6:03 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Union Reps Dissatisfied As Atlanta City Council Looks To Finalize Budget

Atlanta Councilwoman Felicia Moore
Credit facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002261916547

The Atlanta City Council is expected to finalize a budget for the upcoming fiscal year Monday.  No tax hikes are expected. City revenues are on the upswing due to the recovering economy.  

But a few issues remain unresolved.

Among them, Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration needs to fill a $5 million budget hole. To do that, Reed originally planned to retire the Eastside Tax Allocation District, which is designed to help spur redevelopment in a part of downtown including the Sweet Auburn neighborhood.

Read more
Politics
3:03 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

State To Pay Out $1.9 Million for Ethics Commission Whistleblower Cases

One of three former state ethics commission staffers Friday reached a big cash settlement with the Attorney General’s office. The other two staffers are reportedly close to their own settlements.

All are connected to a now-closed investigation into Gov. Nathan Deal’s 2010 campaign.

Former ethics staffer John Hair alleged he was fired after refusing to destroy documents related to the Deal investigation.

The state will pay Hair $410,000 to avoid a trial.

Read more
Politics
10:37 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Price Won't Seek House Majority Leader Spot

Credit U.S. House of Representatives

Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price says he won't be among those jockeying to replace outgoing Virginia Rep. Eric Cantor as House Majority Leader.

After a stunning primary election defeat to Tea Party-backed candidate David Brat Tuesday, Cantor yesterday announced he'd be stepping down from the position in July, prompting a flurry of speculation as to who might replace him. Price was considered by many to be on the short list of contenders for the spot. 

Read more
Politics
3:37 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Pitts Files Lawsuit in Fulton Chairman's Race

Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts
Credit Lisa George/WABE

Fulton County Commissioner Robb Pitts is suing the county, and Commission Chairman John Eaves, to try to force another round of voting for the chair’s seat.

  Pitts lost the primary election for the post by about 300 votes, and a recount did not change that.

Read more
Politics
5:23 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Do Gubernatorial Candidates Have Crossover Appeal?

Recent polls show Carter (left) and Deal are in a dead heat.

Polls show Georgia’s gubernatorial race is a dead heat between Republican Gov. Nathan Deal and Democratic state Sen. Jason Carter. Recently, a former Georgia mayor started a Facebook group called Republicans for Jason Carter. But does either candidate have enough crossover appeal to steal votes from the other party?

Read more
Politics
8:45 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Deal Responds to USDA Rebuke of Food Stamp Law

Credit U.S. Department of Agriculture via flickr.com / https://flic.kr/p/83r1Zc

  The Georgia General Assembly passed legislation this year requiring some food stamp recipients to submit to drug testing. This week, The U.S. Department of Agriculture sent a letter to state officials saying the law violates federal regulations.

Read more
Politics
6:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Reed 'Not A Parent' When It Comes To Council Spending

Credit Michell Eloy / WABE News

With a spotlight on city council spending accounts, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he’s staying out of the way.

Reed said regulating council spending is a legislative issue, not an executive one.

“I’m not a parent, and I’m not going to speak to other adults about how they should conduct and comport themselves,” the mayor said Wednesday at an unrelated press conferece.

Read more
GOP Senate Runoff
1:18 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

Gingrey Endorses Kingston in U.S. Senate Race

Phil Gingrey (left), endorsing former rival Jack Kingston today.
Credit Lisa George/WABE

Another Republican U.S. Senate candidate who failed to make the run-off has thrown support behind Congressman Jack Kingston.

Kingston is running against businessman David Perdue for the party nomination.

Phil Gingrey came in fourth in the Republican primary. He said on primary night he wasn’t sure whether he would endorse anyone in the Kingston / Perdue run-off. 

Read more

Pages