SofS

I’m going to chime in at this point and voice my support for Bill Stephens for Secretary of State. I do think that the record speaks for itself in reference to Karen Handel. I do believe she came out of the proverbial “no-where” to become the Governor’s deputy COS, and then chair of one of the largest counties in the state. I do believe the reason that the Governor needed to “muscle” her into that spot was because of her liberal bent. However, there have been no apparent blights on her ability as a professional, or as an administrator.

In contrast, Bill’s (that’s Stephens, not Simon) leadership ability, and capability at forming and leading coalitions was seen clearly during the last session, and also during previous sessions as he served as the Governor’s floor leader. I still think it would be interesting to know just exactly WHO the Governor is supporting for this office.

A couple of caveats to those statements. First, Handel may not lean so far to the left that she’ll alienate the mid-stream, moderate Republican voter. Second, the vast concentration of those “pragmatic” conservatives live within the doughnut. My conclusion is that, should the race come to a run-off, which it very well might, Karen Handel would beat Bill Stephens. Her support will largely be concentrated in the metro – Atlanta area, and for a statewide race, the vast majority of the run – off votes will come from metro Atlanta. Demographically, voters in metro Atlanta are much more likely, and able, to vote in run – off elections.

Finally, I don’t remember who brought it up, but I would look out for Perry McGuire. All technical details aside, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see McGuire edge one of the others out for a run – off spot.

58 comments

  1. Booray says:

    Maverick,

    I happen to agree with you on the SoS race. Live near Mr. Stephens and followed him and his races. He’s been a mover and real team player in GOP politics much more than any other candidate in this race, and his record is perfect for SoS (long history of involvement in ballot reform issues, ethics reform, etc.)

    I disagree with you about the demographics of GA GOP primaries. When Perdue and Chambliss won the primary in 2002, they brought a lot of new, out-state primary voters into the party – remember seeing some analysis about that then. Plus, while there are a lot of GOP primary voters who consider themselves “moderate,” even they haven’t taken the very liberal positions Handel has (gay adoption? that’s a loser in a Dem primary! Just look at the vote in DeKalb last year on the gay marriage amendment – passed strongly in the most Dem county in the state).

    Plus, in a runoff, the rules say the most conservative voters are most likely to turn out.

    Bottom line – I think Stephens wins this in a walk unless another unexpected heavyweight jumps in. Haven’t heard any names like that but it’s a long time until the primary too.

  2. Anonymous3 says:

    I will agree that all three candidate are well qualified, and should be well funded. It will be a close race, no matter who ends up in the runoff.

  3. Bill Simon says:

    Handel came from administrative duties in Vice-President Dan Quayle’s office, hardly from “nowhere.” And, Quayle was pretty darned conservative in his politics.

    Compare that to Bill Stephens who worked for the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, as well as attended the inaugural in 1993, and supporters of Bill Stephens are going to start having major foot-in-mouth disease problems trying to claim Ms. Handel is “liberal” and Mr. Stephens is “conservative.”

    With regards to the claim by Booray that Handel is in favor of “gay adoption”, once again, an anonymous poster is spitting out his beliefs of facts without really checking if they are facts. And, the fact that he doesn’t assign his real name to the commentary is all the more reason why one should not assume anything about it to be true.

    Heck, we may find out down the road that “Booray” is “Bill Stephens” himself.

  4. Anonymous3 says:

    Well, apparently Simon and Booray aren’t one and the same, because Simon lives in Cobb, and Booray must live up around Canton.

  5. Booray says:

    Mr. Simon,

    I posted this down below when you questioned the authenticity of the comments I put up here from Handel. Doing it again here. You can question my beliefs, but you shall not question my integrity without basis.

    I am not failing to “check the facts.” The newspaper reporter says the Log Cabin Republicans endorsed Handel in part because she supported gay adoption. Handel is a member of the Log Cabin Republicans and boasts of attending a number of their events. This isn’t a stranger talking about a stranger here.

    But I will not play your game of nit-picking. When an objective observer (which is apparently not you) reads these stories, the overwhelming impression is that Handel is very, very supportive of the political agenda of homosexual activists (including gay adoption).

    Like I said below, if you agree with that – fine. She’s your candidate. But bottom line is that it makes her unelectable in BOTH the primary and general election. I also happen to disagree in principle with gay adoption and domestic partnership benefits, so it is another reason to avoid Handel’s candidacy.

    “The Georgia Log Cabin Republicans threw its support behind Handel as soon as the campaign began, citing Handel’s continuing support of domestic partner benefits and gay adoptions.� Southern Voice 10/31/03

    http://www.sovo.com/2003/9-26/news/localnews/fulton.cfm

    “Handel is a member of Log Cabin Republicans and attends numerous gay events, including Atlanta Pride in June and a Human Rights Campaign barbecue in August. ‘I don’t think, perhaps as a party, [Republicans] have been as open-minded about things as we should have,’ Handel said Monday. ‘Even though I’m a Republican, I don’t agree 100 percent with the things in the platform.’� Southern Voice 9/26/03

    http://www.sovo.com/2003/10-31/news/localnews/election.cfm

    Now, if you agree with Ms. Handel, good for you. But most GA Republicans will not, and therefore Handel is completely unelectable even if you agree with her. Cathy Cox isn’t even that liberal.

  6. Bill Simon says:

    Being a member of an organization does not mean one endorses everything about that organization (See: Party, Republican).

    Number 2, Ms. Handel is allowed to have personal beliefs outside of the political party. That doesn’t mean she intends to push those beliefs as an agenda item. Or, are you one of those Nazis I talked about in another post?

    With regard to your “integrity,” people who have integrity are unafraid to speak their mind whilst SIGNING their name. Since you have yet to do so, I will continue to question, not only your “integrity,” but pretty much everything else about what you state. Because, it all sounds like too much rhetoric without the guts to back it up with a real name.

  7. Tater Tate says:

    I have to wonder how much of the Senate endorements of CC is based on the “club” factor. They are in the senate club with CC, so they feel like they have to support him. I guess he will be in the senate for the next session and they will have to work with him. I have made a couple of calls and sources I trust indicate that several south Georgia senators are already having second thoughts about supporting CC because of RR’s strength. And I still think that Tommie Williams’ name was “used” on a fundraiser, but he did not attend and did not mean for that to be an endorsement.

    And what about the House. With Speaker Richardson attending a RR fundraiser in Paulding county, someone could claim he supports RR. Does anyone know the number of house members who have come out for either RR or CC?

    My view is that with all at stake, CC ought to leave the senate now and concentrate on this race if he is to have a chance. It will take every thing he can come up with to defeat RR, who will be out campaigning while he is locked in Atlanta during the next session. Being in the senate from this point forward will be a problem for him and hurt his chances.

    I find Bill Simon’s explanations regarding Handel very much straining reason. He can try and explain away her positions, but I doubt it will be that easy when political mailers and commercials start running in less than a year. In fact, I predict it will not take that. The network of grassroots folk in GA will take care of her for Stephens or McQuire long before she they have to spend a dime. You may disagree, but Republican primary voters in GA will not elect someone with such far-out positions. There is enough to do her in in the posts elsewhere that list the statements from publications that are damning in their consequences. Sorry Bill, you are backing a dead horse.

  8. SenateAide says:

    Glenn Richardson is not supporting Ralph Reed. He has publicly cautioned House members against getting entangled with Reed because of the developing casino scandal. As best I can tell, only David Graves is supporting Reed from the House. Even Jerry Keen is neutral.

    Casey Cagle is also beating Reed among senators (25 to 2) and sheriffs (15 to 1). Tommy Williams has made it very clear to the caucus that he is supporting Casey Cagle.

  9. Bull Moose says:

    Don’t know much about Handle other than the rhetoric… Perry Meguire looks more appealing the more I listen and learn. The fact that he’s coming out of working for Chick-Fil-A is a good sign. At least he’s held a real job unlike Stephens and Handle who both have been government workers…

    I think Meguire is going to win my support on this one.

  10. Maverick says:

    A source with the Majority Leader: Senator Williams has not endorsed anyone in the race, nor has he expressed an public support for anyone. Even sources close to him don’t know who he’s supporting.

    SenateAide: what is this example of when Senator Williams made it so clear to the caucus that he was supporting Senator Cagle?

  11. Bill Simon says:

    Now, hold on there lil’ Bull Moose…Bill Stephens has held some private sector jobs. He worked at an Augusta company by the name of “Healthmaster” after he was pushed out of Zell Miller’s office in 1991. Of course, the fact that Healthmaster and its president were indicted by the feds while Bill Stephens was there shouldn’t give anyone cause for alarm.

    Then, there was his stint with Hayslett-Sorrel as a vice-president that lasted right up until he…got fired, or so the rumor goes.

    Now, I’m not entirely sure of what you claim about Handel either. As I recall, she was chairman of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce as one of her leadership positions prior to her running for Fulton County Chairman. And, if you, Bull, happen to be knowledgable in any way about chambers of commerce, they elect people chairman who have a business…not government hacks.

    That being said, those of you who wish to run to Bill Stephens’ side should know that Mr. Stephens has quite the unethical record when it comes to both personal and political finances.

    I’m not talking about just the ethics fine of around $14,000 by a Republican-dominated Ethics Commission.

    I’m talking about a man who took loans from a couple of banks and didn’t bother to pay back any of the money or the interest. The banks sued him (individually), delivered the notices of the lawsuits to him, and he just ignored the orders to appear in court. These are contained in records by the Cherokee County Court. When I obtain electronic copies of those court records, I’ll make sure to point them out to you.

    In short, this is a man not quite up on minimum standards of ethical conduct. Believe me, there will be just as much stuff in the mail about Brudda Bill’s unethical and illegal behavior as there is about the fabricated assumptions about Karen Handel.

    My guess is, Karen and Perry McGuire will exit the primary for a runoff. And, then, it will be a numbers game.

  12. Bill Simon says:

    Ah, pardon me for revisiting this, but I have located Karen Handel’s resume online: She worked for Ciba Vision Corporation where she was Worldwide Head of Corporate Communications just prior to becoming chairman of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce in November 2000.

    So, Bull, now you can converse in the big wide world a little bit more informed about the working habits of some of the candidates you discuss.

  13. Tater Tate says:

    Confirmed to me by a source very close to Williams late last night, the Majority Leader has not endorsed CC, but is simply supportive in the way he would have to be for any Senator in his caucus. “Good luck.”

    Don’t look for Williams to be active in any way in the CC campaign. Meanwhile, two of his closest people are working hard for RR in south Georgia where county after county is being ticked off in the RR column–at least inso for as worker bees, activists, and money are concerned.

    Again, I suggest CC needs to get out of north Georgia and live in south Georgia if he is to have a chance. Unfortunately for him, I fear he is following the advice of the RR haters in his midst who think that Indian gambling issues will do RR in. No chance of that working now. It’s a dead issue.

  14. Maverick says:

    Word on the street has it that Ralph Reed is out campaigning Casey Cagle somewhere around 85 counties to one, having concluded yet another listening tour just yesterday.

  15. Tater Tate says:

    I discovered a few weeks back the ability to go online at the SofS office and see who gives what to political candidates. Was looking at the S0fS candidates this morning. There are numerous contributions from senators to Bill Stephens, so I assume that if their endorsements are helpful to CC, they will also be helpful to Stephens.

    One odd discovery, Sen. David Shafer made a contribution to both Perry McGuire and Charlie Bailey. Why is he breaking ranks and slapping Stephens in the face by doing this? Wonder what Handel’s entry means to this situation.

  16. Booray says:

    Mr. Simon –

    You make the kettle look white. You call the things about Handel “fabricated” (when they are from public sources) but then spout off rumor, innuendo, and implications intended to smear Bill Stephens

    For example, that Healthmasters implication you make. I have no idea about it, but I suspect if they would indict all those other people, they would have indicted Stephens if he was guilty too. As easily as you can imply Stephens was a criminal, I could imply Stephens was the whistleblower – and my implication would have slightly more circumstantial evidence than yours!

    Again, I am not the “insider” you claim to be, so I can’t refute your claims. However, I can tell you many of the rumors and charges you make are just like the things the trial lawyers said against Bill in the his Senate campaign last year. I must have gotten 10 of those mail pieces. Bubba McDonald said a lot of those things too.

    Bottom line – all this personal stuff has been run at Bill a few times now and the voters did not believe it. I’m guessing they saw it for what it was – a personal smear job.

    p.s. The things about Karen are from a public source and relate to her public positions. Sorry, hoss – supporting domestic partnership benefits is not a “personal life” issue especially when it’s for county employees and therefore taxpayer money.

  17. Booray says:

    Tater –

    I made an interesting discovery on the SOS website as well. If you run a search who Karen Handel has given money to, there are only two: Governor Perdue and Bill Stephens.

    That sures makes Mr. Simon look bad, especially since Handel apparently gave during the middle of the campaign last year when all those trashy things were being said about Stephens.

  18. Rebel says:

    Sorry I haven’t posted in a while – been on vacation. 🙂

    I’m impressed with the amount of posts and the addition of new (possibly elected) folks. It’s taken some time to catch up. I won’t comment on earlier stuff (though I’d like to) since this is about Karen.

    Went to the Southern Voice link. She’s toast in our primary. And I’ve heard the rumor that someone else is thinking about jumping in.

  19. Bill Simon says:

    Here’s a interesting quote from Karen: “My record as a conservative Republican is solid,â€? Handel said. “Let’s keep in mind that Log Cabin Republicans are Republicans.â€?

    You folks who are gay-phobic should look toward examining yourselves a little more fully in light of the teachings of Jesus. That is, if you like to claim you are “Christians.”

  20. landman says:

    I dont know what street Maverick gets his info from but 85 counties to one,I dont think so.Tommie has not publcly endorsed anyone yet and that is no surprise but he has made it clear to those close to him who he would like to see win.I dont know who Tater speaks of when he says people close to him are working hard for RR,but its a fact that Tommies campaign mannager is not only supporting CC but is helping in a big way in Wayne and Pierce counties.CC’s support in both the house and senate is very solid and its this type of support that will make the difference in the end,its grassroots at its best.No objective thinking person was surprised that the President did not and will not endorse RR, but by not even acknoweledging RR is a clear indicator that the White House is going to leave it to the locals to handle this race,as it should be.

  21. Maverick says:

    B.S. – How, in every instance you type, does the discussion work it’s way back around to sodomy? I don’t get it? Handel made the statement, it’s public record. Seems to me you seemed awful eager to crucify both Cecil Staton and Bob Barr during the 2002 election for public statements they made years ago…has the standard changed?

    Landman – I spoke to Tommie’s campaign manager yesterday, and he was on Ralph’s listening tour as I was talking to him. You sure you’re from Georgia?

  22. Doug says:

    A friend just called and told me about this site and the conversation about Senator Tommie Williams. Not sure who everyone has been speaking to, but I am Senator Williams campaign manager (no one has spoken to me about any of this) and we will be making an announcement on Monday.

    [Erick’s Note] Tommie Williams’s campaign manager is named Pat and his consultant is named Jim. Doug, care to clarify your relationship to the campaign?

  23. landman says:

    Maverick, 100% born and bred Georgian and wouldnt have it any other way. Doesnt surprise me at all that he was at the listening tour,Ive known him for a long time and he is very politically astute and likes to stay informed but theres no doubt who he is supporting.The feed back from the listening tour in that part of the world seems to be really favorable for CC.

  24. Tater Tate says:

    landman,

    You’d better talk to Pat Tippet and Kay Godwin. No one knows south Georgia better and no one is closer to Tommie Williams. RR owns south Georgia and the listening tour is going great.

    I am not anti CC, but he’s got his work cut out for him down here.

  25. landman says:

    Tater,you are absolutely right about these two being tied in.I think Godwin hurt herself with some high profile peole in Wayne and Pierce ,I dont know all the details so I want speak out of school,I just know it goes back to her campaign for state rep.I disagree with you on RR owning South Georgia.CC has set up a much better organization on the Coast and I would be willing to bet you CC carries Chatham,Effingham, Bryan, Liberty,Long,Glynn and Wayne Counties.It will be fun to see this race unfold.

  26. Erick says:

    Beware those who claim they are something they are not. We try to have an open forum here for comments, though we ask you to be civil and avoid profanity. However, the situation arises when we get comments like this one. Knowing Tommie’s people, I doubt the claim, but I do want to say that I can’t be the full time monitor. Caveat Emptor.

  27. Doug says:

    Calm down, Erick. It was meant as a joke. Someone did call me and tell me about all of Tommie’s close, personal friends, who know where he stands, his campaign manager, etc. We all know Pat well and found it hard to believe she was campaigning for Cagle in Wayne and Pierce Counties. It is just interesting to read who has the “in” with Tommie. The best was the SenateAide who keeps spelling his name incorrectly.

  28. jackson says:

    I love all the folks that challenge Ralph Reed as being Ralph Haters. I especially love the comments that Casey Cagle is being out worked. Are you kidding me? They guy raised MORE than Sonny Perdue (on his first disclosure when he ran 4 years ago)ONLY to be out a less than spectacular showing by Ralph Reed.

    Tater Tate – Are kidding me that the gambling thing is a dead issue? Ralph Reed lied, plain and simple. If Republicans want to forgive him for that, that’s fine. But trust me, hypocritical christians are NOT liked by average voters who vote in general elections. And the Dems will go after him on this big time. This guy will take down our ticket if he makes it out the primary. Mark my words: Jackson Phong – 7/28/2005

  29. Bill Simon says:

    Maverick, please be so kind as to refresh my memory of the statements of Cecil Staton and Bob Barr and the comments I made about them…?

  30. Bill Simon says:

    Interesting capability Erick has…he can insert his opinion into a post by someone else. Good job on “outting” the knucklehead who claimed he was Tommie Williams’ CM with the truth.

  31. Bull Moose says:

    Wow — funny how no matter what the topic is it turns to Ralph and Casey…

    Anyway, Bill Simon, thanks for the additional information about Karen Handle. Seriously — I did not know that. I will continue to keep my powder dry on that one…

    As for Ralph and Casey — you know I’m a Casey guy — so, take this as you will, but it’s certainly not spin. Ralph is out there doing what he’s doing but the word I’m hearing back is not many business leaders want to get involved with that effort. Casey is working hard and is gaining a lot of traction — he’s growing while Ralph is fighting just to keep people on board.

    Word out of Washington is that the Indian Affairs hearings will start back up after the Supreme Court Justice is confirmed and that the final report will be released this spring. I don’t see how Ralph survives this. But that’s not the most concerning issue to me — what concerns me is that Ralph takes two sides of the same issue depending on who he is talking to. That isn’t cool.

    I don’t know Pat Tippett or Kay Goodwin, but I will tell you I think some of the Williams people are playing both sides of the fence. I know for a fact that a Williams staffer was on the GA Ports tour with Ralph and I know that there are some that are helping Casey.

    All I can tell you folks is that the business people out here like bankers, realtors, etc… don’t want Ralph and they are just learning about Casey — and liking what they hear!

  32. Bill Simon says:

    Booray: My apologies for seeming to ignore you, but I’ve just had time to go back and read all of your recent posts.

    How exactly do I look bad if Karen Handel gave money to Bill Stephens? Since you clearly admit that you are not an “insider,” (i.e., one who actually follows the inside baseball stuff with some regularity), perhaps you are not aware that on any one race, there will be people who take certain sides. 2-4 years after that race, the people who were on opposite sides may be on the same side of another race. That’s the nature of taking sides. It’s not like baseball where the fans remain die-hard and you can always predict who someone will be supporting.

    With regards to the “mud” on Bill Stephens, one thing is for certain: Banks don’t file imaginary lawsuits. Now, if you’re the type of individual who thinks sloppy financial habits are a GOOD thing for someone in charge of a $50 million operation to possess, then, no amount of convincing will cause you to change your mind. I do hope one day to find out who you are so I will make sure I avoid anything you’re managing.

    Also, with regards to the mud for Bill Stephens, a SOS is a statewide race compared to a senate district which is, theoretically, only 1/56th of the state…so, a bigger race means bigger media scrutiny…more interested media means more publication of the bank loan defaults, along with all of the other stuff.

    Add in the fact that people like me who DID support Bill Stephens in his race against Bubba (look it up on the PV’s archives) who now doesn’t, and people will start to wonder why supporters desert him.

    It’s very similar to the fact that former employees of Ralph Reed are so adamantly against him (e.g., Joel McElhannon, Jay Williams, Elizabeth Dewberry, etc.). It’s because most of us get to a saturation point of no longer being able to ignore the repeated evidence of immoral and unethical behaviors.

    One day, Booray, when you actually demonstrate your testicle fortitude to place your real name on this board, or somewhere else, I will probably find out that you are Bill Stephens’ first cousin, or his general consultant, or, something else that ties you directly to Mr. Stephens and would explain your undying loyalty to him.

  33. Booray says:

    Mr. Simon:

    Do not confuse being fair with “undying loyalty.” Folks in my neck of the woods heard all we wanted to hear about Bill Stephens last summer and gave him about 60% of the vote. That may only be “1/56th” of the state, but we heard it all – and gave the guy a landslide (by the way – folks in Forsyth and Cherokee are pretty smart – some pretty “upscale voters” as they say). I suspect everyone else will feel the same when they hear the trash you are running.

    Plus – I hardly qualify as a “undying” either – because if you will recall I mentioned Stephens’ contribution to Howard Mead with some skepticism. But I think you may have passed the point where facts really matter.

    Stephens has gotten it done on all the issues I care about (pro-business, pro-family, actually done something on voter reform which is HUGE for me). Handel has done very little in either the Republican world or the elected world, and what she has done has had a very liberal slant to it (particularly on family issues).

    But I guess because she’s a woman, we should ignore all that and vote for her anyway… 🙂

    Booray Bussey (how’s that for you!)

  34. Bill Simon says:

    Booray: Please point out to me exactly what part of the job of Secretary of State deals with “family issues?”

    Cherokee County and Forsyth went for Bill against Bubba. That does not mean they will go for Bill against Karen. Apples ain’t oranges, no matter what part of the state you’re in.

  35. Tater Tate says:

    Bull Moose, the Indian thing is dead. RR’s campaign is giddy that this came out when it did. RR is off the hook in those hearings.

    You may think RR is duplicitious (SP?), and maybe he is, bit we love a charismatic winner and RR is that. There is no way CC will have enough money to raise his own name id statewide, much less tear RR down and raise his name id. He’ll have to make a choice, and like many, if he picks tearing RR apart, he’ll waste badly needed money to get his name id up.

    If you think the average Republican primary voter is paying attention to the Indian junk you are crazy. I’ve polled every worker bee and money person in my neck of the woods and they just don’t care. Let the AJC come on, that just helps RR. What they do care about is the word of people like Tippet and Godwin and all those close to Tommie Williams who are telling people RR is the guy.

    Again, I think CC is a good and able guy. Heck, he’d make a good Lt. Gov., but he’s got to get down here and live down here, roll up his sleeves, and in my view get out of the Senate and into a pick-up truck, and work the highways and hedges of this state. He will not do it, because the RR haters–yes I call them that– will convince him that the AJC will do his work and that he can relax in Gainesville, or where ever and enjoy his last session of the senate while RR runs over him like a freight train.

    The state Republican power brokers are supporting RR and so is the money. Sorry, I’ve had a little too much beer tonight, so my typing may leave a lot to be desired. I admit my perspective is not that of metro Atlanta, and maybe not even Savannah, but people in south Georgia don’t even know who CC is.

    Support your guy. I will support him if a miracle occurs and he wins. But don’t fool yourselves. RR is in this game to win and it is uphill all the way for CC, bless his heart.

  36. Bull Moose says:

    Tater Tate — you have a bad source of information — the hearings aren’t over on the Indian issue… But that doesn’t matter really, I mean to some it does, but not to me…

    This is July — the election is next year — Ralph and Casey are barnstorming and working hard! They both have strong supporters, they both have natural constituencies.

    I will say this yet again, if we want to single handidly destroy the Georgia Republican Party, we will forsake all the hard work of everyone across Georgia by putting Ralph Reed up as Lt. Governor.

    Does anyone remember 1998? As for the power brokers supporting Reed –I don’t care.

    Tater Tate — just mark my words, when the Indian hearings start back up and the controversy picks back up you and everyone else will be finally realizing that you’ve got a problem on your hands as it relates to Ralph Reed.

    In closing, let me say this, there are some people who care about the whole state and how they can help the whole state improve and then there are some people who care about themselves and their role in the state and how they can benefit from the state. Would you rather have someone looking out for you or someone looking out for themselves?

    Answer that and tell me which one you think Ralph Reed and Casey Cagle are…

  37. Bill Simon says:

    I love it when kiddies start dropping terms like “power-brokers” in the mix of their dialogue to make people THINK they know what the heck they are talking about. Not that they do, of course, it just sounds like good manure.

  38. Booray says:

    Mr. Simon –

    Let me make it clear. Handel said she favored domestic partnership benefits for county workers and others. That means she supported spending TAXPAYER dollars to subsidize homosexual partnerships. That’s a public policy issue.

    In addition, granting domestic partner benefits would mean homosexual partners getting access to state aid and state dollars on other fronts. Again, taxpayer dollars.

    Moreover, what a person believes in a critical area of life says something about that person’s viewpoints in general. If you believe we should discard thousands of years of moral teachings and allow gay adoptions (as the Southern Voice claimed for Handel), I simply do not trust that person’s value system. You can if you wish, but I will not. No way children should ever be pawns in the game of homosexual activists, and I will never support a candidate who believes they should.

    Booray Bussey

  39. landman says:

    Tater,the beer disclaimer was smart I think it was affecting more than just your typing.I dont know who you are referring to when you mention the “Power Brokers” are behind RR, I assume you are speaking of Tippett and Godwin since you seem to reference them repeatedly and they are obviously out front for Ralph,but your statement about all of those around Tommie supporting RR is not accurate.Godwin is actually going to cost RR votes in a couple of counties,as far as the money people down that way you will need to look at the 12/31disclosures to see how much some of the big contributors gave, you will be surprised.Which brings me to the point you made about money.CC will raise more than enough to take care of the primary in fact alot of those that gave early to RR are now hedging their bets ,this has led to the impressive numbers that CC had going into the 6/30 filing to continue their track upward. CC will not be leaving the Senate and does not need to,because unlike your assertions of him sitting in Gainesville he is developing an excellent organization that will be there for him as he upholds his obligations to his constiuents.

  40. Maverick says:

    That’s the whole point, Landman. Any candidate who relies on his organization to win for him, instead of his own blood, sweat, and tears, is going down in flames.

    Consider this: let’s say that the primary is to be held Septmeber 1, 2005. Casey has roughly 600,000 on hand, a full time staff of five, a consultant, and a statewide voter base to reach. He has enough to purchase campaign collaterals, pay his staff, and do maybe two average quality GOP – base mailers (at roughly 175,000 apiece). That leaves him enough run ONE set of media buys in either metro Atlanta, or rural Georgia. That’s not even enough to pay for a good GOTV program!

    Impressive numbers? That’s not even enough to support a good media campaign…and just ask David Shafer, Casey’s godfather, and Joel McElhannon, his consultant…they don’t even believe in grassroots outside the doughnut!

  41. Ike1 says:

    Just trying to keep up with who is who and who they are supporting. I went back and reread some of the comments – I thought Landman had said Senator Williams’ campaign manager, who had been identified as Pat Tippett, was supporting Casey Cagel, which would leave me to believe that Williams was, too, but then Landman references above that Tippett is “out front” for Ralph Reed, but it seems like someone else referenced that there were other Williams’ staffers pretending to be for Reed, but are really for Cagle. How many staff members does a state Senator have?

    Is there an actual endorsement list by state Senators/Representatives?

  42. landman says:

    Ike1,to answer your question the confusion is my fault concerning Pat ,I mistakenly referred to Tommie’s Campaign Mgr. as being CC’s guy in Wayne/Pierce.The mistake is on his title only, anyone who knows Tommie’s support structure will know who I am talking about and will know his role with Tommie, it goes back to day one and he definitely is a major go to guy for TW, the point I was making was in rebuttal to Taters claim about all of TW’S people supporting RR. Maverick if you do not consider 600,000 plus raised in three months in a Lt.GOV race that was over a year out you are not as politically astute as I once thought.Of course 600,000 isnt enough to run a statewide campaign, it will take around 3 million to get the finish line in this race and money will not be an issue with CC.I dont know what your beef is with Joel,but I think you have a major tendency to underestimate his ability to run an effective campaign,I think his winning percentage is around 75%. You are absolutely correct concerning the comment about winning requiring blood,sweat and tears….. Its too early to tell who will be the winner in this race eventhough we all have our strong opinions,but RR will not out work CC.There,s an old saying that there are two kind of horses,a work horse and a show horse I know what my guy is how about your’s?

  43. landman says:

    Rebel,No spin here,1.4 is a good number and I think had RR,s team not built up the expectation of eclipsing the 2 million mark they would have gotten alot more bang for it.When you look at it from a time period of actively fundraising they are both raising dollars at about the same clip.It will be interesting to look at the 12/31 disclosures to see how the numbers continue to track,and where the money flows from geographically.Money will not be the deciding factor here,as its clear both camps will raise enough to run an aggressive primary race.

  44. Rebel says:

    Landman – I agree that the 12/31 will be the next telling report. Until then, it’s just a guessing game about what’s going on or who’s doing what. One point to consider: from Jan through March, Casey can’t raise $, but Ralph can. Either in this thread or another post, someone suggested CC resign to run full-time. I wonder if he’s considering that?

  45. SenateAide says:

    I cannot account for every Tomme Williams campaign worker, but Tommie Williams himself is backing Casey Cagle. He joined 25 other caucus members and the Insurance Commisioner in hosting a fundraiser for Casey. It was a public show of support, which in my book trumps anonymous blog postings.

  46. Maverick says:

    First, let’s deal with the Tommie Williams situation once and for all, and get a clear establishment of where the situations rests with both our beloved Majority Leader and his staff. To this point, Tommie only maintains 3 or so staff, and one consultant. Tommie has yet to come out in support of anyone in the LG’s race. His staff is fully in support of Ralph. They are working for Ralph, talking about Ralph, raising money for Ralph, and generally what I would call core Ralph Reed supporters.

    Jack Hill, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has also yet to come out in support of anyone in this race. If his appearance on Casey’s disclosure constitutes an endorsement, I suppose then, that it would stand to reason that Karen Handel has endorsed her worthy opponent, Bill Stephens, by contributing to his campaign just over a year ago.

    I would like to go back and comment on something that SenateAide brought up a few posts ago regarding the level of “fear� being exhibited by the Cuacus currently. I think it’s rather humerous, and a great point, because despite all of the vitriolic comment and controversy surrounding the race for LG, it really DOESN’T matter that much. It’s not THAT valuable a seat. The LG will still be a figurehead, and the balance of power will continue to rest where it rests now: with Eric Johnson, Don Balfour, Tommie Williams, and the Committee on Assignments. That’s why I said what I said about the endorsements from the Senate “leadership.� It matters not what title a person holds, necessarily, in the caucus. The balance of power rest with those who have paid their dues, are proven, seasoned legislative and political veterans, and who have proven to display an interest in the issues that benefit the entire caucus and the people of the state of Georgia. The LG will answer to Johnson, Balfour, Williams, Seabaugh, and Hill. Interestingly enough, this same group is the one who hasn’t endorsed Cagle…I wonder why?

    Allow me to answer that question by taking you back months before the election, even years. I’m going to disclaim some of this as my opinion and speculation, based on inside information I’ve been given. Much of it, however, is fact. I would also like to say up front that I bear no ill will towards the parties about whom I write in these comments. I know all of them personally, and I can honestly say that I like and respect all of them as individuals. Their politics, however, are a different story. It was discovered, by the Senate leadership, several months subsequent to the last election, that one of the companies who printed mail pieces for Lauren “Bubba� McDonald (who ran against Bill Stephens in the last primary; Stephens, at that time, was currently serving as the Governor’s floor leader, and, having proven to be a capable leader, had been strongly advocated for majority leader), was associated with one of the other legislators within the caucus. Interestingly enough, this same Senator had caused quite the split in the party several years earlier, by running for Party Chairman against…Ralph Reed. Is anyone beginning to see the common denominator in these situations? As irony and fate would have it, Stephens won the election anyway, and proceeded to run for Majority Leader against none other than our Casey Cagle, who was closely associated with the aforementioned legislator, Senator David Shafer. So, we first have Shafer running for Party Chair. Several years later, we have another attempt as he and his friends attempt to take the Majority Leader’s office. Shortly thereafter, the Senate Leadership “chastised� Shafer by forcing him to remain as chair of Science and Technology, when, by all rights, he should have progressed to becoming chair of a much more influential and prestigious committee. Why else would an excellently qualified and experienced Senator remain as chair of a “secondary� committee? Just a short time ago, we had yet ANOTHER attempt by Shafer and those associated with him as the Chip Caucus made another attempt at the Majority Leader’s spot. This is strictly my opinion, but I believe that Preston Smith was their candidate of choice at that point, and had they been able to garner the support of the entire freshman caucus, they could have pulled it off with votes from Shafer, Mullis, Smith, Cagle, and Kemp. However, when they failed to get the required number of freshman votes, Preston pulled out, wisely, leaving yet another attempt at “higher power� by Shafer high and dry. This now brings us to the race for Georgia’s next Lt. Governor. Hence we have Cagle running against Shafer’s greatest nemesis within the Republican Party. It seems we’ve got David Shafer, Casey Cagle, Bryan Kemp, Chip Caucus, Joel McElhannon, and Karen Handel (and Bill Simon) “facing off� against Bill Stephens, Ralph Reed, Gary Black, etc.

    There are several notable players who have yet to declare their support, including most of the Senate Leadership and our honorable Governor. I don’t honestly think that Sonny will been seen as supporting ANYONE in the primary. However, there is one little connection that makes me think that on a pain of death decision, Sonny would side with his former Majority Leader and Ralph Reed: Sonny’s general consultant is not only formerly a business partner of McElhannon, but he’s also general consultant for Gary Black. That’s strictly my opinion, but follow the logic and see where it leads.

    That brings me to my main question: Where is Sonny in all of this? I’ll admit, it almost keeps me up nights 😀

    And speaking of McElhannon, Landman, my beef with Joel is the simple fact that his methods of politicking aren’t really that great. He doesn’t believe in grassroots, which I think is a slap in the face of many Republican activists around the state. I’ll be honest. I’ve worked with Joel before, and he’s a nice fella. I believe, however, that he’s getting a little too confident for his own sake, and has joined a proverbial “losing team.� I also think the tactics he’s using within the context of both the Cagle and Kemp campaigns are substandard, and a blight upon the name of our party.

    The fundraising aspect of this campaign mess is now going to be defined by the simple fact that the low hanging fruit has now been picked. The easy grabs are gone. Now, it comes down to true fundraising ability, not making phone calls to pre-committed supporters to ask for large checks. Much of Ralph’s money came from metro Atlanta, but another large portion came from outside the doughnut. Only 1/5 came from outside the state. A large portion of Casey’s money came from the metro-Gainesville area. If Casey continues to raise at his current rate, he might raise another 400-500 the rest of this year. That gives him a little over 10 months to raise the additional 1.9 million of which you speak. Can he do it? The simple fact of the matter is that Cagle cannot raise the required funds to get his name ID in rural areas of the state, while still being a Senator, and continuing to meet the people of Georgia on their level as a statewide candidate should. News flash: that’s too much for ANY candidate. In his position, Ralph Reed would be in the exact same pickle. It doesn’t make Casey a loser, it just means he’s literally getting snowed under! Casey’s a nice, decent, intelligent, professional sponge, as they would say in Britain. But he’s climbing a mountain, and it’s not going to get any easier. For this reason, I’ll support Casey should he make it out of the primary. He’d make a good Lt. Governor. But he can’t be a Senator, raise 1.5 million in 8 months, have a family, raise his statewide name ID, listen to the issues of the people of Georgia, and fight the Reed machine. It simply can’t be done.

    And just for the record, the power brokers behind Reed include names like Arthur Blank, Cecil Staton, Zell Miller, Sean Hannity, Nancy Coverdell, Bo Calloway, Mack Mattingly, Lynn Westmoreland, and Sam Olens. I’ll venture to say some of the Senate names we’ve previously mentioned are quietly in support, and will become more vocally so in the coming months.

    Ralph’s on a roll, and Casey’s facing an uphill battle. I’ll say this: if Casey can climb this mountain and win without being unethical, dishonest, or underhanded in his campaign tactics (which I highly doubt, based on past practice by some of his staff, and current tone of their campaign), I’ll more than gladly throw my weight behind him.

  47. Maverick says:

    P.S. Senate Aide, having one’s name on an invitation doesn’t constitute an endorsement. Several other names were on that invitation: did they endorse Casey, as well? Tommie didn’t even stay…he was there for around 5 minutes.

    I think we’re taking some things out of context.

    Have you heard directly from Tommie, either interpersonally or in a group, that he’s supporting Casey?

  48. Bill Simon says:

    Maverick?? Politicallly astute??? Lordy, lordy, I might have to file a lawsuit against landman for the damage to internal organs I will suffer from laughing so hard.

    With regards to Maverick not liking Joel McElhannon, that probably stems from the fact that a) McElhannon is pretty darned talented and has a very high win ratio, especially when compared to any other RR graduate or RR himself, b) McElhannon isn’t anywhere near an arrogant SOB that come consultants in this state are, and c) again, Maverick gets fed a lot of horse manure from the likes of Linda Hamrick, a consultant-turned-lobbyist who cannot figure out why so many people have a memory of what she has said and done in the past to screw over a long list of people.

  49. Booray says:

    Since I live in that neck of the woods, I hear a fair amount about Shafer. From Republican Party circles, I hear he has given money to every candidate running against Bill Stephens (Bailey, McGuire, and now Handel).

    No contribution to Bailey shows up on the SOS website, but a contribution to McGuire shows up and Shafer is also listed on Handel’s website.

    I have also heard the stories about Shafer being involved in some of the things against Bill Stephens.

    It certainly seems Shafer is trying to hurt Stephens at all costs…

  50. Maverick says:

    One other note: while I disagree with Shafer’s politics, and ultimately the stance that his “group” takes, I do have to note that he cannot be condemned for lack of aggressiveness, and is to be commended for his “maverick” nature. If many of our politicians had as much guts to take risks, and be aggresive for what one believes is right, or wants to happen, who knows how much better off we’d be?

  51. Bill Simon says:

    Power Brokers for Ralph: Hey, Maverick, I believe you are dead wrong in stating Arthur Blank is for RR. Bernie Marcus, yes, but I don’t think Arthur Blank is for RR. Two entirely different people.

    Sean Hannity? Power broker? Ah-hahahaha!

    Zell Miller? Not after taking money from the Governor’s Mansion and then giving it back.

    Cecil Staton…I don’t think Mr. Staton can be considered a “power-broker.” Maybe a power-broker in the book publishing business…maybe. But, doubtful in the political business. Will he be able to get some heavy-hitters to back Ralph? Maybe, but it won’t be due to Cecil’s intellect. It may be due to him teaming-up with Randy Evans that makes him appear to be more influential than he really is.

    Oh, Maverick…you forgot about the power of Erick Zaier (sp?) in your list…don’t forget about the big UGA influence that will come out for Ralph just because he has a former QB on his committee…

  52. SenateAide says:

    To Maverick – Tommie Williams joined a fundraising committee for Casey Cagle’s campaign for Lt. Governor. Jack Hill contributed to Casey’s campaign for Lt. Governor. They are supporting Casey Cagle for Lt. Governor.

  53. SenateAide says:

    To Maverick – You dismiss Chip Pearson and Chip Rogers as the Chips Caucus, but they are two of the most powerful members of the Caucus. Chip Pearson runs the Pecos PAC which is the largerst contributor to Republican candidates in the state. Chip Rogers is the Freshmen Leader representing half of the Caucus. Anyone running for statewide office would take the Chips Caucus over Cecil Staton and Ralph Hugens any day of the week.

  54. Bull Moose says:

    ALL YOU: Reed had twice the time to raise money as Cagle — of course he’s going to have more.

    This is July 2005. Please remember that.

    Reed has an organization already in place. Cagle is building one.

    People are falling off the Reed campaign like crazy and signing up with Cagle — checks in hand to demonstrate their strong support.

    Reed talks about living the lifestyle of the rich and famous and is on the retainer of most companies while Cagle talks about building a business and getting government out of the way so private sector jobs can be created…

    Word out of Savannah is that several people who had initially indicated their support to Ralph have switched to Cagle and a very prominent figure on the coast has put his full support behind Cagle too.

    Casey’s a crock pot cooking to a good result while Ralph’s a pot of boiling water — it looks full, but when it simmers down there’s nothing there…

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