66 comments

  1. 4ofspades says:

    Bull,
    You said it all. She is the most solid choice. She is the only one in the race with the combo of business and political experience which is required to run the SoS department.

  2. Beth says:

    Bill.
    You forgot about the all knowing – Ben – and the wonderful insights of Law and Jackets….

    I can’t wait to hear the same old – he’s a state Senator so that means he’s a great fit for SoS, no matter how ethically challenged he is.

  3. Pinetop says:

    Karen has more support outside of Atlanta than you may think. People are speaking highly of her down here in Southeast Georgia, and I saw her bumper sticker on an SUV between Waycross and Brunswick the other day.

  4. Bill Simon says:

    Previous conversations with you, GAWire. Do I have my opponents mixed-up? If so, I know there is at least one race out there that we have butted heads on.

  5. Beth says:

    Bill,
    I think you might be confused on Wire, not sure that Wire has picked a side in this race yet.

    Just in case anyone forgot –

    Handel ’06

  6. debbie0040 says:

    Karen Handel will win. She is well liked by moderates, conservatives and women. She is very intelligent and articulate. She is extremely well qualified and has already done her research on SOS.

  7. Bull Moose says:

    HJ Bailey you are wrong. If Georgia Republicans vote based on qualifications, experience, and ability the nominee will be Karen Handel.

    As CEO of one of Georgia’s largest and most diverse counties, Handel has the practical experience to handle almost any position in state government. We’d be lucky to have her serve in this position.

    Plus, given one of her opponent’s ethical fines in the past, it seems odd that that candidate would be overseeing elections…

  8. atlantaman says:

    I’ll be very curious as to how this race shakes out. I think in the Repub primary it’s going to be who is able to win the big 3 counties (yes I know a real unique statement). Don’t get me wrong, you need to campaign across the state – but in my opinion you need to spend 2/3 of your time in Cobb, Gwinnett, and N. Fulton.

    I know Karen is heavily counting on N. Fulton (which is a great base), I just wonder how she’ll stack up in Cobb and Gwinnett.

    Stephen’s is well known in Cherokee which is a real up and coming Repub county.

    Question for folks:

    I’ve been told Karen voted for healthcare benefits for domestic partners of Fulton Employees. Does anyone know if this is true? Bill Simon – before you jump on my case for being obsessed with Gays, I only ask because I’ve heard from Stephen’s supporters he plans to make this a central issue of the race.

  9. Tommy_a2b says:

    My concern for Karen and Bill is that neither will be able to raise any more significant money. The Dem’s are going to focus on State wide races being they know they can’t regain the Legislature. Expect this race to be expensive. Also to the dismay of most who have posted, if I were going to place a bet, I’d go with Bill. His infrastructure appears to be stronger. Please no one get panties in a wad just explain how I am wrong.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    I don’t believe Karen could have. From my recollection, the vote for benefits for domestic partners came-up when Mike Kenn was CEO, which was before Karen Handel got elected.

    BUT, Clint Austin and Katie Groves (Stephens’ campaign consultants) are NOT above lying their asses off in a campaign. They started-off their guerilla warfare with Handel last year by first carrying on a whisper campaign that she was a lesbian.

    THEN, when her husband of many years started showing-up to all of Karen’s events, that shut them up.

    But, trust me, Clint Austin will lie like a rug in a campaign and Stephens is stupid enough to go right along with it. Clint got his campaign tactics from Ralph Reed and Linda Hamrick. With Ralph and Linda, the ends justifies the means. So it does with Clint Austin as well.

  11. Tommy_a2b says:

    Clint is one I have seen trip over himself for a while. How does he keep getting work??

  12. HJ Bailey says:

    i think georgia voters will see bill as the conservative candidate and karen as the liberal who supports gay rights. The choice is clear for me.

  13. DoubleDawg3 says:

    I think it’s going to be an extremely close race — I for one like Bill Stephens, so I hope he wins— However, regardless of which GOPer wins – what’s the General going to be like if Shyam Reddy is the Dem Candidate. He looks like he’s got a pretty solid base, plus he just might have the most money of any of them. I think it’s going to be a dogfight all the way till November.

    What are the thoughts on that one, is he going to get the D nomination? Will he have to spend much $ to do so? I hate to say it, but will voters in rural GA go for this guy, or for Karen Handel for that matter? Remember, Bill Stephens has lived in Cherokee for a long time, but he can always claim his “roots” are in the mountains — which might help when it comes to meeting with rural voters. (But then again, these voters probably aren’t going to make up a large enought % to impact this race as much as the GOP suburbs will)

  14. Beth says:

    Bill,
    I believe you are correct, Handel did not vote for DP benefits. It is the typical Stephens smear tactic.

  15. Maurice Atkinson says:

    What’s unfortunate is that only one candidate has campaigned outside of the metro area. Georgia does encompass more than Atlanta…..

  16. Charlie says:

    Handel did NOT vote for DP benefits. I bet that Clint and Katie just looked at the year and not who was in place for the vote. I wouldn’t expect much more from a campaign that spends more than it raised in an off year cycle. Or came up with the lame voter outrage of the week.

    If you look at the last disclosure period, which was Handel’s first, she raised more than anyone else in the that period, Dem or Republican. She had more cash on hand than Stephens, which can should have grown. I bet she raised $100k this period, which would be a faster pace than Stephens.

    With 6 people on the Dem side of things, it’s looks like a pretty sure bet for a run-off. Reddy will have to expand his base of fundraising to be credible. Also, be interesting to see how the demographics work out on the Dem side.

    If you look at Pinetop’s comment you’ll see Handel is gaining traction outside of the metro area.

  17. 4ofspades says:

    I did forget to mention that she did all that while running the largest county in the state.

  18. True Conservative says:

    Wow, Bills been endorsed by Sadie Fields and Lynn Westmoreland now also. He is the conservative candidate. Karen is a Liberal.

  19. UGA Wins 2005 says:

    The campaign hasnt really even started, except for the cash flow. Once Stephens begins to nail Karen as the pro gay, left wing Atlanta candidate, she will melt like snow in June. All of you who think otherwise are just whistling in the dark. Bank on it.

  20. debbie0040 says:

    No one will ever buy the fact Karen is liberal. She worked for Marilyn Quayle when Dan was VP, Stephens can try it all he wants to , but it will not work. Stephens has the ethics matter to contend with.

  21. jackson says:

    I would hardly qualify a role working with Marilyn Quayle as a solid statement that she is a conservative. I can name you a few moderates and liberals that have worked with every Republican president.

    “Stephens has the ethics matter to contend with.” While true, it is funny that you should mention this Debbie, so you are such a die-hard Reed fanatic. THAT GUY has a serous ethics matter to contend with.

    While I am leaning toward stephens, I do think the ethics matter is serious. However, I would much rather support him than someone that pretty much caved into the homosexual lobby as a county commissioner and vote to increase spending every year.

  22. Tommy_a2b says:

    The endorsement by Lynn Westmoreland made me scratch my head. Lynn is someone I respect, I grew up on the Southside and watched him for years. Lynn has been making good decisions for years even we he would go against the bulk or superior in his party (ie the Governor when he was a Rep or The Reps in Congress on the budget.) I wonder if he truely believes in Bill’s race or if he is just convinced Bill will win.

  23. Charlie says:

    Explain how Handel “caved into the homosexual lobby”. She did not vote for DP benefits.

    When it comes to the Fulton County budget she has CUT taxes since she has been in office. She proposed the first balanced budget in the past 20+ years at Fulton County. If you look at the facts this years budget is smaller than last years. All of this while she has been in the minority, which is a true test of leadership.

    I believe the Westmoreland endorsement is based on the fact that Dylan Glenn endorsed Karen and members of her team worked on his campaign. Also, let’s not forget the bad blood between Westmoreland and Sonny.

  24. atlantaman says:

    I’ve done a little research and it appears Handel did not vote for DP benefits. The confusion may be attributable to the fact she met with Gay groups while campaigning for Fulton Chair and may or may not have given them the impression she was sympathetic to their cause. The bottom line is the gay groups were not happy while she was in office as she voted against them on their bills.

    I remember hearing the Karen is a lesbian smear campaign and now lying about her voting record.

    The irony is Karen was able to put the coalitions together to win a county that went 43% Bush and yet still have a very Conservative voting record. Sounds like a good statewide candidate to me.

    These folks that throw the term out “true conservative”, I’d love to know what that means. Some candidates can talk a great talk, but their personal actions might be contrary to at least the Christian Conservative perspective.

    But on the flip side Jim Bakker had many similar issues.

  25. Charlie says:

    atlantaman – well stated. in 2002 when Bush got 43% of the vote she got 49% (more than any other Republican except Mike Kenn). In 2003 with 4 people in the race she took 56% of the vote.

  26. Beth says:

    I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised that Stephens supporters are just like him, none of them are bothered by the facts.

  27. Beth says:

    This just in from the Handel campaign:

    For Immediate Release Contact: Marty Ryall

    Wednesday, April 5, 2006 (770) 452-8580

    Dan and Marilyn Quayle Endorse Karen Handel

    Cite Handel’s Conservative Leadership

    Vice President Dan Quayle and Marilyn Quayle today announced their endorsement of Karen Handel, Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, for Secretary of State.

    Handel said, “It is a significant honor to have the support of Dan and Marilyn Quayle, and I am humbled by their confidence in me. They are champions of conservative leadership in our party. My time in the White House working with them was exciting and rewarding, and really set the foundation of my own conservative principles. Their support and friendship is appreciated

  28. jsm says:

    Funny… I hadn’t even heard that Handel was in the race. Apparently, the word hasn’t made it to some parts of the state.

  29. Bill Simon says:

    The belief that Sadie Fields is a “conservative” demonstrates the ignorance of “True Conservative” as to what a conservative is.

    TRUE Conservatives do not seek to use the force of government to proslytize their religious beliefs on the population.

    Bible studies, Ten Commandments, et al. will ALL use government funds (i.e., MONEY, cash from taxpayers) to be implemented. That’s bullshit on a stick and anyone with half of a conservative’s brain would know that by sight.

    Parties that have a majority do not, by default, “own” the government. But, the people who call themselves “Republicans” now think they do. They are all neoconservatives who are nothign but true socilaists in practice.

    Show me one freaking conservative we have in our state legislature OR Governor’s office? Can anyone?

  30. jackson says:

    I love facts. Thanks for pointing things out. My understanding was that the budget grew under Handel. Is this not correct? If not, then I stand corrected.

  31. Bill Simon says:

    Jackson, here are the facts about the Fulton County Commission:

    There are 7 Commissioners, including the Chair. Each one gets one vote on the commission.

    For the past 25 some-odd years (at least), the commission has been dominated by a majority of Democrats. Currently, the count is 4 Democrats to 3 Republicans.

    I don’t know if the budget, as you ask, has increased or decreased under Karen because it really doesn’t reflect on what she PERSONALLY has control over. She can propose a cost-cutting budget (and, I think she has done that), but she and Lynn Riley and Tom Lowe can be out-voted on everything they want.

    Do you now understand these facts, Jackson?

  32. debbie0040 says:

    I would like to ask a question of those trying to smear Karen as being liberal.

    What does her views on gays, abortion or anything else have ANYTHING to do with the Secretary of State’s Office? You guys could make your case if she were running for legislature, Attorney General, Governor or even Lt. Governor.

    How will her views on these issues effect the job she does as Secretary of State?

  33. Bill Simon says:

    Debbie, Debbie, Debbie…c’mon now. You know the reason. Because the Stephens’ crowd likes the concept of Group-Think and if anyone strays outside the lines of their dogmatic view of life, then that person should be put to death, or, political death, as the case may be.

  34. Beth says:

    Erick,
    A question for you given your legal background. Is it legal for Sadie to endorse a candidate? Could that impact the 503c status of the Christian Coalition?

    I’m not slamming Sadie or the CC, just would like to know how involved a 503c (hope I have that right) can be involved in a campaign.

  35. Bill Simon says:

    501(3)(c), Beth. And, Sadie herself can endorse, but not use funds of the CC in the campaign. Of course, the CC has a habit of ignoring laws…

  36. True Conservative says:

    hahaha. Debbie just admitted that Karen is weak on family values. Thanks Debbie Ellis. Also Thanks Bill for once again attacking Christians. We appreciate that. Could you do a commercial for Karen. We would appreciate that.

    As for a list of Conservatives….

    Chip Pearson
    Chip Rogers
    Judson Hill
    John Wiles
    Ross Tollesson
    David Shafer
    Bobby Franklin
    …are a few… there are many more. But I agree that the Republican party has a lot of moderate to liberals….like Karen Handle.

    [What does her views on gays, abortion or anything else have ANYTHING to do with the Secretary of State’s Office? You guys could make your case if she were running for legislature, Attorney General, Governor or even Lt. Governor.]

  37. jackson says:

    Like I said, I like facts. I was only making an observation. I have no problem admitting I am wrong. 🙂

  38. Beth says:

    TC,
    Maybe I missed something, but where did Debbie say anything that implied Handel is weak on Family Values?

  39. Bill Simon says:

    TC, attacking the Christian Coalition is NOT attacking “Christians.” The CC is nothing but a religious fascist organization masking itself as “conservatives.”

    With regards to Bill Stephens and his supporters, it should be interesting to note that Quayle-bashing seems to be a pretty natural thing for Stephens. After all, back in 1992 when he was supporting Al Gore over Dan Quayle for VP, that’s exactly what he spent his time doing.

  40. Beth says:

    Forgot to ask HowardDawg to share the picture of Stephens w/Clinton.

    Is it possible to post it here?

  41. True Conservative says:

    Bill,

    John Garst has it. He used in a direct mail peice for Bubba when he ran last time.

  42. True Conservative says:

    But just for the record Sonny supported Clinton then too. After all that was before 96.

  43. atlantaman says:

    It is funny how Bill Stephens switches parties a few years ago to run for State Senate it’s fine. When Bubba McDonald switches parties a few years after Stephens the attitude is, “How dare that Democrat switch parties to run against a Republican.”

    Both of them were opportunists, Stephens just happened to beat Bubba to the punch.

    I welcome the folks that have joined our Party recently, but lets try to be a little more respectful of the folks that were fighting the good fight back in the days of Dan Quayle. It certainly takes a lot of gall for someone that’s pulled that “D” lever for folks like Al Gore to be throwing “you’re a liberal” stones.

  44. GeorgiaEagle says:

    As for Mr. Stephens, the key was how he dealt with the vote verification issue. This issue was low-hanging fruit for the state GOP three years ago when problems started cropping up nationwide regarding electronic voting and Diebold’s hardware in particular. It could have really taken the wind out of Cathy’s sails if the Georgia GOP leadership did what Maryland did and throw the machines out this year and did what was necessary to address the inherent problems with their current voting systems. The Maryland GOP earned some real credibility with the citizens by their bold action and leadership on this issue.

    As for Stephens, his SB 500 pales in comparison. The GOP leadership could have saved face with Geisinger’s HB 790 (not as expensive as Maryland’s action, but addresses the root problems), but alas now most of Georgia has to face another major election cycle without auditable elections. Handel was a supporter of HB 790 and hopefully she’ll make this a key issue in the election.

  45. Rusty Paw says:

    56 comments, and nothing substantive. If I wanted to watch High School. scratch that, Middle School debate tactics dissolve into a spitting contest I would have turned on any number of Springer-like shows this afternoon.

    Staffers, please return to your corners and do some work for the next 100 days. Whoever follows that advice is working for the candidate due to win.

    I’m voting Bailey.

    Go Charlie Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. one big D says:

    “if Shyam Reddy is the Dem Candidate. He looks like he’s got a pretty solid base” – what base of voters does Shyam Reddy have? He has a base of donors, but as we all know, that doesn’t translate into a base of voters. Exactly what does a Shyam Reddy voter look like. The Dems are in for a butt-kicking if Reddy wins the nomination.

  47. Bull Moose says:

    Karen Handel for Secretary of State. She is a REAL conservative and not a “johnny come lately”. Not to suggest that Stephens is one either, but I mean, come on, she worked for Marylin Quayle. The Quayles are the real thing in terms of bona fide conservatives.

    At this point, I would support Dan Quayle for President in 2008. Besides McCain, I don’t really care for our current field.

  48. Bill Simon says:

    Bull, Stephens IS a Johnnie-come-lately in the Republican world. Karen’s been a Republican at least 3 times longer than Stephens.

    Except for being an elected political hack, what exactly has Bill Stephens done for the world?

  49. True Conservative says:

    Bill, jsut stating a mid nintys year since that is when the majority of Southerner politicians started switching…What year was the Contract again?

  50. Chief says:

    Walter Ray called on other SoS candidates to support the National Model for Archivists.

    Katrina clearly demonstrated why Georgia needs to be more prepared.

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