Jay Bookman

Jay Bookman

Jay Bookman covered Georgia and national politics for nearly 30 years for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, earning numerous national, regional and state journalism awards. He has been awarded the National Headliner Award and the Walker Stone Award for outstanding editorial writing, and is the only two-time winner of the Pulliam Fellowship granted by the Society of Professional Journalists. He is also the author of "Caught in the Current," published by St. Martin's Press.


Bookman: Sometimes, it’s not about the money. Take Music Midtown, for instance.

By: - August 11, 2022

“The cancellation of Music Midtown will cost Georgia’s economy $50 million,” says Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor. “It’s shameful, but not surprising, that the governor cares more about protecting dangerous people carrying guns in public than saving jobs and keeping business in Georgia.” On the issue itself, Abrams is right. It’s a scandal […]


Bookman: No guts no glory if Herschel weasels out of Warnock debate

By: - July 28, 2022

Back in the primary, Herschel Walker wanted nothing to do with a debate against his Republican opponents, but at least he had a lame excuse of an excuse. With polls showing Walker with an insurmountable lead among Republicans, he could shrug off calls for a debate on the grounds that none of his opponents had […]


Bookman: Georgia GOP puts Herschel Walker in bad position

By: - July 12, 2022

The nomination of Herschel Walker to be U.S. senator was an act of cynical disrespect, not just to the important office that he seeks, but also to Walker’s legacy and to Herschel Walker the person. In sports terms, a coach who cares about his players will put them in a situation where they are most […]


Bookman: Mark Meadows could come to regret acquiescence to Trump coup attempt

By: - June 30, 2022

For two hours Tuesday, former Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson calmly, matter-of-factly testified to the commission of high crimes by the former president and by many of those around him. She told her fellow Americans that Trump had been informed on the morning of Jan. 6 that the mob assembled by his command had […]


Bookman: Why wait till next session to pass an outright abortion ban in Georgia?

By: - June 27, 2022

I have a question for Gov. Brian Kemp: When’s the special session? Last week’s monumental ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade has swung the gates wide open to Georgia’s conservative governing party, giving Republicans permission to enact the anti-abortion legislation that they claim to have always wanted. I have no doubt […]


Bookman: Evidence builds that Trump knew he lost, so attempted coup was criminal

By: - June 16, 2022

We can’t know what’s happening inside the secret, special-purpose grand jury convened at the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta. We can’t hear the sworn testimony being given about Donald Trump’s multiple efforts to overturn the 2020 elections here in Georgia; we can’t read the documents being subpoenaed; we can’t know what revelations the investigation might […]


Bookman: Responsible gun owners know it’s nuts to permit firearms that scare police

By: - June 2, 2022

Last week an untrained 18-year-old kid, armed with an AR-15 and multiple high-capacity magazines, intimidated an entire police force into doing nothing while he slaughtered their town’s helpless schoolchildren. For more than an hour, while kids frantically texted and called 911 begging to be rescued, the “good guys” did nothing. They did nothing because they […]


Bookman: Rooting against David Perdue and other Trump-devoted, GOP insurrectionist candidates

By: - May 19, 2022

In Pennsylvania, Republican primary voters have nominated a radical, full-blown insurrectionist as their candidate for governor, a man who conspired with Donald Trump to illegally switch that state’s 20 electoral votes and who has publicly committed to doing the same if given the opportunity in 2024. In another targeted state, Arizona, they’re likely to do […]


Bookman: Roe v. Wade’s rights guarantees not settled law after all. They lied.

By: - May 6, 2022

For almost five decades, Roe v. Wade has been established American law, guaranteeing the constitutional right of choice to all Americans. Even those Supreme Court justices now ready to toss that precedent aside have previously testified under oath during their Senate confirmation hearings that they believed Roe is established law that ought to be respected. […]


Bookman: Kemp enjoys ‘special’ access to campaign cash flowing from donors coveting state favors

By: - April 21, 2022

One of the running themes of the Stacey Abrams campaign has been her claim that Georgia Republicans are abusing their authority by undermining fair elections and tilting the playing field in their favor. It’s a claim that GOP officials dismiss as ungrounded. So let’s take a closer look at one potential example: Under Georgia law, […]


Bookman: Georgia GOP lawmakers sacrifice gun carry law at altar of the Cult of the 2nd Amendment

By: - April 7, 2022

Correction: An earlier version of this column about the 2022 state Legislature passing Senate Bill  319 incorrectly characterized some aspects of the measure’s changes to Georgia gun restrictions. The law would not change an unlicensed gun owner’s ability to legally carry loaded weapons in their vehicles. The law would not allow possession of hunting rifles in […]


Bookman: Private school vouchers provide students a better chance to excel? Prove it

By: - March 17, 2022

Bit by bit, inch by inch, year by year, Republicans in the Georgia General Assembly and in legislatures across the country have been moving toward passage of full-fledged school-voucher systems that would inevitably undermine public education. This year, at least for the moment, and at least in Georgia, that incremental advance has been stalled. Perhaps […]