1. Beth says:

    Stephens is making this an issue by making the campaign about who is a more conservative republican. He brought in on himself by blasting the Vice President. He was working for Clinton, while Handel was working for the Qualyes. The Vice President was a conservative before being a conservative was cool.

    I don’t think Sonny campaigned for Clinton.

    I still haven’t seen anyone of this blog, give any reasons why Stephens is qualified to be SoS, other than he’s been a State Senator.

  2. 4ofspades says:

    Here’s what the Handel campaign sent out. Looks to me like Stephens attacked and Handel responded.


    April 7, 2006

    Vice President Dan & Marilyn Quayle Endorse Karen Handel

    Stephens Responds with Cheap Shot….Against Vice President

    One thing about campaigns, they often bring out the true character in a candidate. What we are learning about Bill Stephens is more disturbing by the day. In case you have missed it, we will update you on the past week.

    Dan and Marilyn Quayle Endorse Karen Handel

    The Quayles said, “During the Bush-Quayle Administration, Karen Handel was an invaluable member of our staff and friend to our family. Karen’s strength of character, her traditional conservative values and her determination to do what is right are what are needed in political office today. We enthusiastically support Karen’s campaign for Secretary of State. She’ll make Georgia proud.”

    Bill Stephens Continues Negative Campaign by Ridiculing Dan Quayle

    In what has become a consistent pattern from Bill Stephens, his response was to launch a negative attack. When Karen Handel announced for Secretary of State, he immediately went negative. When Karen filed her financial report showing she had significantly out-raised Stephens, and had more cash-on-hand, his response was another negative attack.

    In response to the Quayles endorsement Katie Grove spoke for Bill Stephens and said, “In a Georgia election or a spelling bee, I’ll take Congressmen Deal, Norwood and Westmoreland and 100 state legislators over Dan Quayle any day. At least all of Bill’s endorsers can spell ‘potato.’ ” (From on-line newsletter, Insider Advantage)

    When it was pointed out that this was disrespectful of a leading Republican conservative in our party, the Stephens campaign remained unapologetic. “Grove says she stands by her statement. And her spelling.

  3. Booray says:

    Actually, the photo was sent out by Handel’s campaign to everyone in the e-world. AJC said they got it from Handel.

    Which raises the question: how did Handel get this photo?

    It was used in a bunch of smut mailers the Trial Lawyers Association sent against Bill Stephens last year (and got themselves in trouble for). The other person in the picture is Jim Butler, one of the trial lawyers involved in the mailers against Stephens.

    Handel playing ball with the trial lawyers, who hate Stephens? Sure makes all her crying about “negative campaigning” by Stephens seem like just so much horse-hooey…

    Booray Bussey

  4. Beth says:

    I hate to take a shot at you, but… It’s an insult to President Reagan to compare him in any way with Stephens, with all of his ethical challenges.

  5. Beth says:

    Read the post from Spades, you’ll see that Hnadle responded to Stephens negative attacks.

    Stephens made this an issue and is attacking Handel every chance he gets. I would bet that she would be very happy to make this a debate about who is the most qualified to be SoS, she’d win hands down.

  6. Bill Simon says:


    Booray isn’t concerned about niggling things like “qualifications” or “skills” for office. He is more concerned with whether or not he can find a leader to follow who is as uncomfortable and intolerant of Blacks, Jews and Gay/Lesbians as he and the rest of his neo-KKK pals in Forsyth County are.

  7. HJ Bailey says:

    Just bear in mind that yalls governor whom yall love and adore and that reject of a state party chairman are both former liberal democrats and yes, they campaigned for Clinton/Gore, Carter, Mondale and so forth. If you want to comdemn someone, condemn them. Bill Stephens may have been a democrat but has now proven himself as a conservative state senator.

    I like Karen too honestly. I am just saying, simply show Stephens the same respect as yall show our party leaders.

    Handel and Stephens are both great candidates. Let’ talk about that.

  8. Bill Simon says:

    HJ, I think you’re a tad inaccurate. At the time of “Clinton/Gore” in 1992, Alec Poitevint, I believe, was either already state party chair of the GOP or entered that seat in May 1993.

  9. True Conservative says:

    The “lifelong republican line,” I remember well when Bil Byrne used to quote that in 2002. I remember Sonnys response too, as it came out of the mouth of Nick Ayers… “Ask him where he is from, no one who was born and raised in Georgia in the 1950s is a lifelong republican” *Bill Byrne if from New York.

    Boy how things have changed. Lets remind folks… Where is Karen from?

  10. Bill Simon says:

    This from Karen’s bio online: ” Karen Handel was born in Washington, DC, and grew up in Upper Marlboro, MD.”

    What’s your point, Brian, ignorant though it may be?

  11. Bill Simon says:

    This is a copy from her Website about her business experience:

    “Business Experience
    Before joining Governor Perdue’s staff and running for public office, Karen Handel served as the President and CEO of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. As the CEO of one of the state’s largest Chambers of Commerce, Karen put her financial and management skills to work to lead the organization from the brink of bankruptcy to a position of stability with a growing membership base. Additionally, Karen was directly responsible for working with state and local leaders, as well as national and international corporations, to bring job growth to the North Fulton area. Karen’s efforts helped lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs for Georgia citizens. Karen Handel has also served as a business executive for several Fortune 500 companies, managing international communications and holding several other management positions with the global eye care company CIBA Vision. Karen also managed government and community relations for KPMG and worked in government affairs for the Hallmark Company. ”

    TC/ Brian: What business experience, other than working on political campaigns putting-up signs and such do YOU have?

  12. Bill Simon says:

    And, for that matter, let’s look at Bill Stephens’ “business experience” to get a glimmer as to what he can bring to the business table of running a multi-department agency charged with maintaining corporation filings, securities registration, professional licensure of a wide range of disciplines, elections and voter files, and archives:

    “Bill served as Director of Communications and spokesperson for Governor Zell Miller from 1989 to 1991. He was first elected to the Georgia State Senate in 1998 in an election for an open seat against two other Republicans and one Democrat. He went right to work in the Senate. In his freshman term he took on the status quo by creating the “Georgia Stuck Pig Award,” given annually to highlight wasteful government spending. He also earned former Governor Roy Barnes’ designation as “number 56 of 56″ in the Senate on the Barnes loyalty scale.

    At the beginning of his second term, his colleagues elected him Chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. From that post, he and a small group of Senators, including then Senator Sonny Perdue, laid out a strategy and campaign that in part was responsible for the historic results of the 2002 elections and the present GOP Majority in the Georgia State Senate.

    On the Friday following the November 2002 elections, then Governor-Elect Perdue named him Senate Administration Floor Leader. Bill also served on Governor Perdue’s Transition Team, even acting as spokesperson for the Transition for a number of weeks. As Administration Floor Leader, Senator Stephens, along with Senator Dan Lee of Lagrange, was responsible for successfully guiding Governor Perdue’s legislative package through the Senate during the 2002 legislative session.

    His colleagues elected him as Senate Majority Leader in a 2003 special election to succeed Senator Tom Price, who successfully won his bid for Johnny Isakson’s Congressional seat. Earning an even deeper respect from his colleagues, Bill successfully managed his increased legislative responsibilities and was re-elected to a second term as Majority Leader for the 2005 Legislative Session.

    As Senate Majority Leader, Bill was responsible for Caucus fundraising, issues development, messaging, recruiting, and all other responsibilities that go with maintaining a GOP majority in the Senate. In addition to all of this, he was charged with managing the day-to-day Senate operations in partnership with Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson of Savannah. Bill has announced that he is a candidate for Secretary of State in the 2006 general election.”

    WOW-EE!! Bill Stephens is a big time political guy. Look, he can manage other senators. He can work on “message.” He can fundraise. ALL activities that might mean he is good for the Senate, but do not qualify him one iota for taking on the managment of the Secretary of State’s office.

  13. buzzbrockway says:

    In the grand scheme of things this photo doesn’t mean a whole lot. There a plenty of former Democrats in Georgia. However, I think it sends a message to Stephens that Handel is prepared to fight back and fight hard for the nomination. Stephens’ people best not think they can get away with comments like they made about Quayle. This is a very interesting race – and fun to watch.

  14. emily says:

    As the “Shyam is Sexy” post illustrates, no one is more qualified and wants it more than Mr. Reddy. Let the Republicans battle themselves out of the seat. Fine by me. He can raise money and has more knowledge than any other candidate in the race about the specifics of the job. And, Mr. Stephens was sexy once too–am I the only one that remembers why he really “left” the Miller administration?

  15. JRM2016 says:


    Come on now. What part of that post indicated Mr. Reddy is most qualified? The fact that some magazine had him on their Sexiest Man (Person) List? Or perhaps it is that he has raised gobs of money from Atlanta area attorneys/large corporate law firms? He is 31 years old, has no prior public sector experience nor from what I can tell any experience as an executive managing a department of this state with a multi-million dollar budget and numerous employees within several divisions (Licensure, Corporate and Elections). If Reddy is the Dem nominee, I think that Karen Handel will be able to clearly demonstrate her superior qualifications for this office. We should recognize Mr. Reddy’s run for what it is–a trial run to build a network around the state to run for something else down the line. His motives for running for this office are unclear, and certainly have not been made clear when I have seen him speak on the topic.

    As for the Stephens photo, I think his support of Bill Clinton is fair game once he brought the conservative credentials of his opposition into question. Hopefully, the Stephens camp will now realize that they don’t want to get into a “who’s more conservative” contest with Karen Handel.

  16. Charlie says:

    Interesting news on your site. Handel’s numbers are awesome! Stephens doesn’t even have enough cash on hand to fund his campaign through July 18.

    Emily – what’s Reddy done? Nice degrees, but there is no real experience. Reddy has done a good job in fundraising, but Handel has outraised him every disclosure period since she’s been in the race.

  17. HJ Bailey says:

    There is a debate to be had on which is more conservative. Karen Hadel who supports Gay and Lesbian rights or Bill Stephens who supported Clinton/Gore.

    Hell, Charlie Bailey may win. HAHA

  18. Bill Simon says:

    HJ, if someone is not of the opinion that gays should be exterminated from the face of the earth, does that, in your feeble mind, mean they are in “support of gay rights?”

  19. Charlie says:

    When did Handel support Gay rights? You should go back to the earlier post when Erick asked why Handel should be the winner. She clearly is the most qualified. No one has shown outlined why Stephens is the most qualified candidate for the SoS office.

  20. atlantaman says:

    I don’t think anyone is expecting a lifelong Republican, but Clinton / Gore are still fresh in everyone’s mind. Let me tell you, if you were a Conservative Democrat from Georgia in 1992 it was perfectly fashionable to be casting your vote for a Republican President. It’s not like it was 1960.

    I think if Stephen’s is going to try to start throwing “you’re a liberal” stones then he should expect to see more photos of his smiling face next to a Bill Clinton campaign sign…who at the time was campaigning to be a Co-President with his wife Hillary.

  21. Beth says:

    atlantaman – well stated, add that to his ethical baggage and Handel’s 2-1 advantage in cash. I’d say she is the best positioned and most qualified candidate for SoS.

    Handel ’06

  22. midgajim says:

    One of the primary reasons that Sonny changed parties WAS Bill Clinton, so let’s not confuse “life-long Democrat” with Stephens’ support that ticket.

  23. Bill Simon says:

    Jim, I believe you are mistaken on that. The primary reason Sonny changed parties was because he was butting heads too much with Georgia Dems in the legislature.

    Now, I’m not sure of the subject matter of the issues, but I doubt very seriously it was related to Bill Clinton since Sonny switched in March of 1998, and Clinton had demonstrated far more left-wing stuff way before then.

    Perhaps Mr. B. Kahn could give us some insight from his insider knowledge of what was going on back during the 1998 Session…?

Comments are closed.