Since one race in particular is on everyones mind right now. Whether it is on topic or not…Here you go, SoS-nicks

Post away. You will actually be on topic. 😉

22 comments

  1. Tommy_a2b says:

    I would rather talk about the GA State Legislature. Does anyone know if any particular legislator has a bill that has passed or is close to passing that will make us have more freedoms in this state? I am being serious. All I see is the same ol’ same ol’.

  2. law303peachtreeroad says:

    Brian,

    Since you have obliged us with such a nice forum for debate, or Stephens-bashing if you’re a Handel supporter, it is most appropriate that I point out Bill’s legislation that will “make us have more freedoms in this state”.

    Without proactive leadership from Stephens, and VERY close work with Cathy Cox (Bill used to be a Democrat) this state would not have put one HUGE step in the right direction towards making our right to vote as honest and tamper-free as any state’s in the nation.

    Our opponent has done nothing but talk about implementing Bill’s legislation. It would seem that he is most qualified to implement his own legislation…

    Thanks,
    Law

    ~Stephens ’06

  3. nubie says:

    Why doesn’t Handel run for a state house or senate position first instead of running for a statewide position? All of the people in the top 3 positions served in the state house and/or senate first before jumping to the statewide position. And all of them were successful in their particular professions or businesses outside of government jobs before running. I’m not trying to be antagonistic, but something’s just not right and I’m trying to figure out what it is. I’m sure you political insiders can help out an average voter who hasn’t met either candidate, but has read a lot and heard a lot about each.

  4. Jackets over Dogs says:

    GOOD QUESTION

    The voters of Fulton County know a thing or two about Karen Handle and she is afraid she can’t get re-elected by her own constituents so she feels the need to try fooling the rest of the state. She thinks that just because Sonny Perdue is supporting her, she will have the support of the Sticks.

    Honey, it ain’t gonna happen. I’ve said it a thousand times, Bill Stephens knows too many people in this state. Maybe when he’s elected he’ll be a good sport and let her be a Deputy somewhere in his department!

  5. stephaniemills21 says:

    You know, I am really confused by the whole stephens/cox thing. If I remember right, Stephens called Cox a flip flopper on the paper ballot thing. Now, stephen’s changes his bill (he switched it from Decatur County – Cathys Home county- with Camden.)

    Any thought? I cannot see the upside for either one of them.

  6. GAWire says:

    I will say this one thing about Handel – her responsibilities as Fulton Co Chair extends beyond many obligations in numerous statewide offices. Not saying she is the best or whatever, but I don’t know that serving as a state rep will make her serve any better as SoS, especially since she now represents far more people than any State Rep or Senate district.

    Readers of this site know me, and you know that I am never hanging on the fence, but this SoS race has baffled me. For months, I thought that Stephens will out-raise, out-support, out-grassroots, and out-gotv better than Handel, b/c he has the infrastructure and support behind him to do so. However, when I saw Handel’s last financial reports, I began to wonder. Moreover, I have seen a lot of organization get behind her, but then have to remember that most of that is in Metro Atlanta. Can Stephens beat Handel in Atlanta? I really don’t know. And, will his suport out of Metro Atl be enough to defeat her inside the Atl support? The other point I have to consider is the impact that Stephens can have thru his work in the Session, but even though he has been active, I don’t think a lot of it is turning into a ton of votes, except in rural areas, where folks are interested in Voter ID, and that just goes back to the inside the metro area vs outside the Atl.

    I am a polling/numbers person, and there has not been any real tracking in this race so far, so I guess that is why this race has me frustrated, b/c normally I would just call it. Ultimately, most people aren’t concerned with this race anyways, so in the end, who knows?

    I will make this one call, though: If Reed wins, then Handel will win. If Reed loses, then I think Handel will lose. I don’t mean to say that Handel and Reed are connected or anything like that – I just see them as similar candidates for two different offices. The only difference is that Handel doesn’t have a scandal attached to her, so I don’t necessarily know for sure if Reed loses, then Handel loses too, but I am calling right now, that if Reed wins – Handel will also win.

  7. Jackets over Dogs says:

    “The only difference is that Handel doesn’t have a scandal attached to her…”

    I’m pretty sure she has some nasty ethical baggage. Political Insider this past Monday made the point that about 1/4 of her “record-breaking” contributions were illegal.

  8. nubie says:

    I don’t know anything about political numbers and all of that. But, in the Lt. Gov. race, the one I had heard of most was Ralph Reed who happened to have the most negatives in my mind. Again have never met either candidate (I don’t count shaking Casey Cagle’s hand in an elevator at the capitol 🙂 ). But Casey has a good track record, no scandals and has served the public well. So far, I like him. And I like him for the same reasons I like Stephens. I know I may be tomatoes thrown at me for this one, but so far I like Cathy Cox. I think Perdue’s handling of the education funding is just inadequate. Both sides have it wrong in my opinion. Democrats want to throw money at education and have no accountability, but Republicans want to cut funding and then “make” you do better. It takes both. And what business wants to come here if the education level is bottom of the barrell. My only reservation about Cox is why she hasn’t implemented a paper trail. It seems strange that a simple checks and balance to the voting process hasn’t been implemented. And why are the Handel supporters who say they want a paper trail against Stephens attempts to get one. Is it the way the bill is written? If so explain what’s wrong with it and what would be better.

  9. 4ofspades says:

    Wire – I agree with you on her Fulton County responsibilities The FC budget is around $1B, and she represents 900,000 people. It is the largest county in the state by any measure. She has uncovered corruption and passed budgets with no tax increases. She actually proposed the first balanced budget in 20+ years in Fulton, but the dems wouldn’t support it.

    Stephanie – The other interesting note is that Stephens introduced a bill 2 years ago on paper trail to be implemented statewide. Now his bill is only for 3 counties. Why is he backtracking?

    Thought this was an interesting blog:

    http://www.defendersofdemocracy.com/drupal/node/43

    Jackets – as usual you are incorrect. The article stated that there was an ethics complaint filed. My guess is that it turns out to be false, misguided accusations. Something that your an expert at.

  10. Tammi Metzler says:

    Spades-
    I believe Stephens has been on the state budget conference committee for the last three sessions (at least). Isn’t the state budget around $18 billion now? That’s a hell of a lot more than the Fulton County budget, but thanks for contributing.

  11. 4ofspades says:

    Tammi,
    Sitting on the committe that reconciles the budget between the House and Senate is far different from sitting on the committee that creates the budget, then excecutes the budget. Actually this year Handel created her own budget for FC, the first balanced budget in 20 years. Representing the diverse 900,000 people in Fulton is much more complex than representing on State Senate district.

  12. nubie says:

    Each budgeting process has it’s merits and each budgeting process requires staff. It’s not like they’re there crunching the numbers all by themselves. And Handel’s balanced budget was an easy political move. She knew the Democrats wouldn’t go for it, so why not come out swinging with something that makes you look like a the hero with your base. Yeah, it’s been difficult losing Sandy Springs which means cuts were an obvious consequence for Fulton County. The question then was how much to cut and where to cut. She was in a position practically and politically to propose a balanced budget. What takes real guts to cut spending when something not so drastic happens. And for the record, Fulton County should cut the budget to reflect the changing county and the commission’s role in it. Just don’t act like it was her idea.

    Brian you’re not on your job…. where are the Lamutt comments we’ve all grown to expect and love 😉

  13. 4ofspades says:

    Nubie,
    The county manager presented a budget that did not take into account the impact of Sandy Springs. He proposed wiping out the reserves in a number of places to make up for shortfalls. Handel created her own balanced budget that took into account the new realities of Sandy Springs, and possibly Riverside and Milton.

    If it was such an easy political move, why hadn’t anyone else done it in 20 years?

  14. Rusty Paw says:

    Nubie,

    Given your disection of Chairman Handle’s policy decisions, and her responsibilities at Fulton County I have to question one of your previous posts:

    “I’m sure you political insiders can help out an average voter who hasn’t met either candidate…”

    You don’t seem like an average voter operating at below capacity on the issues in this race. In fact you seem more like a very educated voter on the arguments of one side of this race. Are you the lighter side of Jackets or Law? Nubie and Law does have a Siskel and Ebert ring to it, would you give Stephens “Two Thumbs Up” for his legislative experience?

    Remember it’s not La-Mutt, it’s La-Moot.

    And since these seem very popular:
    ~Bailey ’06

  15. nubie says:

    Paw,

    The truth is I’m not a political insider. I just have a new found interest in politics. Though, I do have quite a few friends in local politics and I get to hear what they have to say about things. And I have been reading a lot.

    That’s it.

  16. Rusty Paw says:

    nubie,

    If you really had a new found interest in politics you would not “like Stephens for the same reasons you like Cagle” as you yourself so eloquently put it. You mention Casey Cagle’s lack of scandal as a reason to support his candidacy versus the tainted campaign (whether wrongly or not) of Ralph Reed.

    If you had been reading, as you claim, you would know that Bill Stephens is the most fined State Legislator in Georgia history. In fact he has been proven guilty in courts of law where Ralph Reed has been proven guilty only in the jaded court of public opinion.

    And regardless of how much reading you have been doing, if you have friends in local politics and do in fact “hear what they say about things” then you would know that Casey Cagle and Bill Stephens do not like each other at all, and for good reason. In Bill Stephens arrogant mind Casey was foolish to challenge him for Majority Leader when he did. In the minds of Casey Cagle’s supporters, Bill Stephens is an atrocious businessman who repays personal debt with campaign funds.

    All of which brings us back to your brilliant commentary about running first for a position in the legislature. While Bill has been wasting time and taxpayer money on weak Paper Audit Trail bills in the Legislature, Karen has been keeping taxes in Fulton County from increasing.

    I’d give Karen “two thumbs up” but I guess that is for you and Jackets to decide.

  17. Jim M. says:

    Handel has ethics charges pending against her. She is running the same “guilt by association” campaign against Bill Stephens that Cagle and Chubby are running against Ralph Reed.

    ~Stephens ‘06

  18. 4ofspades says:

    Jim – How is it guilt by association? It’s a fact that Stephens is the most fined State Legislator in Georgia history. Seems like a Stephens tactic to me

    Here’s an excerpt form the Inside Adavatage column:

    “It’s a long way between a complaint and final disposition by the ethics commission. The commission first must find probable cause to look into the complaint and then conduct a hearing.

    And it also is that time on the calendar when ethics complaints begin proliferating. It has become a standard tactic in political campaigns.

    Said one political insider: “Without even addressing the merits or lack therefore, this is the beginning of the season in which complaints are filed to try to catch elected officials off balance in ethical dilemmas. In this case, Sen. Stephens encountered some ethics issues in past years. My best guess is, this would have the effect of offering him some protection in case Handel raises it at some point.

  19. Jim M. says:

    Bill Stephens was cleared of all wrongdoing by the State Ethics Commission, except for minor bookkeeping mistakes. He did not accept illegal campaign contributions, as Handel has been formally charged. Handel practices “guilt by associaton” by comparing minor bookkeeping mistakes with actual wrongdoing. Her “politics of personal destruction” will fail. Even Fulton County is turning against Handel. Rusty Paul has endorsed Bill Stephens.

    The GOP can only be saved by the grass roots of Ralph Reed and the media savvy of Bill Stephens.

  20. Beth says:

    Jim –

    So a $14,000 fine, which is the largest fine in the history of GA for an ethics violation is OK, and indicates that you have been cleared of wrongdoing. If it was just a minor book keeping error why the largest fine in history. Charles Walker was only fined $6,000 – he’s in jail.

    I’ll refer you back to Spades post —

    “It’s a long way between a complaint and final disposition by the ethics commission. The commission first must find probable cause to look into the complaint and then conduct a hearing.

    And it also is that time on the calendar when ethics complaints begin proliferating. It has become a standard tactic in political campaigns.

    Said one political insider: “Without even addressing the merits or lack therefore, this is the beginning of the season in which complaints are filed to try to catch elected officials off balance in ethical dilemmas. In this case, Sen. Stephens encountered some ethics issues in past years. My best guess is, this would have the effect of offering him some protection in case Handel raises it at some point.

  21. elaine says:

    I recently met Karen Handel at GOP meeting in my county. I must say I am very impressed with her. I’d already heard great things about her, but her plan to improve the SoS office is not full of mere political generalities. She has thoroughly assessed the SoS and how it works and what its shortcomings are. And she has very detailed plans that can be readily implemented to fix the problems. I look forward to learning more about her and supporting her campaign.

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