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: Time to spike the football on Georgia’s ‘reopening’? Recall 28-3

By: - May 21, 2020

“The opening seems to be going very well, Brian,” President Donald Trump told Gov. Brian Kemp in a conference call this week. “I’m hearing your numbers are going down as you open. That’s a pleasant thing to hear.” The praise had to be pleasant for Kemp, who had been harshly criticized by Trump after he […]


Bookman: Arbery case’s true horror is safe harbor given for modern lynching

By: - May 11, 2020

Only in recent years has white American culture become willing to stare the horror of lynching in the face, or at least glance at it sideways. It has done so only because time’s passage has made it feel safe to do so, allowing us to pretend that it was perpetrated by people utterly unlike ourselves. […]


Bookman: Waycross DA’s judgment of Brunswick shooting video ‘insane’

By: - May 7, 2020

Somebody thought the video of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery had to be made public if Arbery and his family were to get a chance at justice. That unknown somebody was right. The 36-second video of Arbery’s death is a brutal, difficult thing to watch. It looks for all the world like a modern lynching.  […]


Bookman: Kemp’s rush to lift business restrictions both risky and bizarre

By: - April 23, 2020

“I can tell you that I don’t give a damn about politics right now,” Gov. Brian Kemp said this week as he announced his decision to try to reopen Georgia businesses and ease shelter-at-home restrictions. I suspect that’s true, but only Kemp knows for sure. However, if his decision wasn’t motivated by politics, it also […]


Bookman: I’d hate to think opponents of vote-by-mail are politically cynical

By: - April 9, 2020

Georgia Republicans, like Republicans nationwide, seem terrified by the possibility of broader vote-by-mail efforts in response to the coronavirus. According to House Speaker David Ralston, for example, broader use of voting by mail in the November election would be “extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia” because it “will certainly drive up turnout.” President […]


Bookman: Time for Kemp to side with sparing life over economic pain

By: - March 25, 2020

“Look at us today,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned the rest of the country on Monday. “Where we are today, you will be in four weeks or five weeks or six weeks. We are your future.” If so, that future is frightening, because New York is in a very bad place. Its medical system […]


Bookman: COVID-19 tests in short supply; making it worse, so is the truth

By: - March 21, 2020

Two weeks ago, President Trump stood outside the Centers for Disease Control here in Atlanta and promised the nation that “anybody who wants a test can get a test” for the coronavirus that has since shut down America’s economy and has its people shuttered behind closed doors. As we know, that was a lie, a […]


Bookman: Kemp’s election hacking claim proven bogus, but it worked

By: - March 5, 2020

Just days before the 2018 gubernatorial election here in Georgia, Brian Kemp publicly accused the state Democratic Party of trying to hack into the state’s election system and rig the final outcome. His campaign condemned the alleged hacking attempt as “a fourth-quarter Hail Mary pass that was intercepted in the end zone” by state staff, […]


Bookman: Georgia in play as health care worries meet tax cut squeeze

By: - February 27, 2020

The Democratic National Committee has added Georgia to its list of states targeted for millions of dollars in spending in the 2020 campaign, and the Georgia General Assembly continues to flirt with a second consecutive big-dollar tax cut that favors corporations and the rich. These are not unrelated developments. For example, one of the biggest […]


Bookman: Sneering TV ads painting Collins as Pelosi ally beyond dumb

By: - February 20, 2020

Personally, I have no rooting interest in the Senate battle between Republicans Doug Collins and Kelly Loeffler, because the outcome simply does not matter. One candidate is male; the other is female. One has long, flowing hair; the other has a crewcut. But in pragmatic political terms, the differences between them stop right there, and […]


Bookman: State budget crisis is product of lawmakers’ blind ideology

By: - February 12, 2020

Wishful thinking is a dangerous thing, as Georgia’s Republican leadership can attest. The budgetary crisis that has now forced the temporary shutdown of the 2020 legislative session is entirely the product of their own bumbling incompetence and their addiction to blind ideology. Because really, there’s no reason that any of this should be happening. Take, […]


Bookman: History will remember the time Romney stood up to the bully

By: - February 7, 2020

I went to junior high in a tough, ethnically mixed and working-class town in southeastern Massachusetts, the kind of school where fistfights were a daily occurrence and getting jumped felt like a constant danger. You either fought back, or you didn’t. One of the kids who didn’t was a boy we’ll call Joe. He was […]