Karen Handel

First, my apologies. Mrs. Handel was kind enough to call me several weeks ago and I have written nothing about it. Between colds, travel, work, etc. I just haven’t put the mental focus in to writing something in detail.

I don’t think I can put a ton of details in now, but let me say that I was impressed with her. I had never had any contact with her before. I found her very well spoken, very sharp, and on the issues.

Here’s what stood out the most to me — she has a great plan to deal with election issues, but that was not her only focus. I practiced law for five years and dealt with the Secretary of State’s Office on a near daily basis — particularly the corporations division. Mrs. Handel went straight into talking about the corporations division and licensing divisions without me even asking. That actually impresses me, because frequently people only focus on elections. It tells me that she really is taking a well rounded view of that office.

She told that she is hitting the trail hard. She is not just focusing on the metro-Atlanta area. The week we talked she had been all over the state. Interestingly, she told me she kept running in to people who did not even know Bill Stephens was running. At first that surprised me, but the more I thought about it, Stephens was in session and really hasn’t been able to campaign.

Needless to say, Karen Handel struck me as highly competent, knowledgeable of the issues, and willing to fight for the job. I certainly appreciate her willingness to call me and I am certainly sorry I just haven’t had time to sit down and write a lengthy post about our conversation.

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  1. midtowndem says:

    I do not believe Karen Handel has ever obtained a college education and I noticed she has worked with former Vice President Dan Quayle’s wife during their administration. So my question is can Handel spell?

  2. TheAngryBeaver says:

    Yes, she can spell. She can also speak circles around her “Republican Opposition” regarding the issues.

    The primary opponent in this race, Sen. Bill Stephens, has a college degree and MBA. What did nearly a decade of formal, higher education get him? Legal bills, a divorce or two and an ethics complaint.

    Personal issues aside, and there are many with her opposition, Handel is far and away more equipped to run this office with the right balance of ethical leadership, tact and conservative minded principles than anyone else in this race.

    Your pathetic comments don’t deserve to be on the same page as the name Karen Handel.

  3. JRM2016 says:

    Karen does seem to be proficient at mathematics, cutting $35 million from the Fulton County budget during her tenure as Fulton County Commission Chairman.

    She also seems to be willing to actually take action to implement a reform agenda–witness her efforts to expose the corruption in the Fulton County Sheriff’s office, leading to the resignation of the Sheriff and the fight with the Tax Assessors office to insure Fulton County property owners are receiving fair tax assessments.

    She is the only candidate, Republican or Democrat, to outline a concrete plan for reform in the office of SoS. See it at http://www.karenhandel.com/docs/pr/2006-04-17_BASICs.pdf

    She has been an executive at a Fortune 500 Company (CIBA Vision) and worked in Govermental Affairs for KPMG & Hallmark. She served as CEO of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. She has also served in government, for Marilyn Quayle during the Bush-Quayle administration and for Governor Sonny Perdue as a Deputy Chief of Staff.

    I think that prepares one for being Chief Executive of one of the State’s largest departments more than being a lawyer for five years and having a debating club with relatives of ex-Presidents.

    Yes, she can also spell.


    I don’t know who Karen is, but I think Bill Stephens is cute for an old guy!!!

  5. CoastalGa says:

    While Handle was working for Bush/Quayle, Stephens was working for Clinton/Gore. If you are going to make spelling jokes, be ready for Clinton jokes!

  6. Demonbeck says:

    Midtowndem asked:
    “So my question is can Handel spell?”

    That was a pretty lame attempt at humor, but at least it was an attempt. It would have been funnier if you had added “Can Ralph Reed?” somewhere in there.

  7. midtowndem says:

    Karen Handel worked for CIBA Vision which was involved in an antitrust lawsuit that accused CIBA of artificially inflating the prices of contact lenses by providing them through restricted channels. Plaintiffs alleged that, because of this illegal agreement, consumers had more difficulty buying replacement lenses. As many as 25 million consumers were overcharged $600 million between 1989 and 1994, attorneys general in twenty-two states sued.


  8. Bill Simon says:

    MidtownDem, you sound like a complete f***ing moron, and you probably HAVE a college degree, don’t you? What good did it do you?

  9. midtowndem says:

    Karen Handel is running for an office that overseas corporate filings, securities, business regulation, and elections and does not have a college education?

    College usually provides an individual with a broad understanding of business principles which I do not believe Handel obtained working in governmental affairs. Handel has also worked for a company who was involved in antitrust and price fixing schemes. That’s like letting the “Fox

  10. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Bill Stephens wiil be the next Secretary of State..I was told by a close friend that attended the Women’s Month Fourum at Georgia Tech. Comisioner Handel (In a synical way) said “Men sould have no say so in the abortion issue, they control the debate over all other issues, this one they shouldnt because it dosnt concern them”…Sounds Pro-Choice to me. I know Abortion has nothing to do with the Secretary of State’s office, nor does the fact that she is pro-gay rights. But I believe Bill Stephens offers the expierence and capabilty to do great things. He was the driving force behind Voter ID, and picked up where Tom Price left off on the paper trail voter reciept.

  11. bowersville says:

    Midtown Dem,
    “College usally provides an individual with a broad understanding of business principles?” You are kidding, right? Colleges provides a huge glossary of words and meanings, yet the application of those words and meanings only comes when we enter the market place. Surely your “broad education” provided you with the knowledge that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln( 1ST Republican President) had no college education and that President Herbert Hoover graduated from Stanford. History records his administration. You are simply hoping Stephens is your opponent. No way.
    Your “reliable Source” needs to step forward and explain what the meaning of “IS…IS.”

  12. Charlie says:

    Midtown –
    Like the typical Stephens supporter you have no idea what the facts are. Handel did work for Ciba Vision and was there when the law suit was pending, she was not a Ciba employee during the period which the law suit alleged that Ciba had issues. You should also check your facts about what the result of that lawsuit was.

    College education may mean something when you are trying to get you first or maybe second job. After that it doesn’t mean anything.

    Your leadership and ability to execute is what counts after that. Handel has demonstrated her leadership ability and her ability to execute.

    When has Stephens ever been in a position to execute.

    If you want to cast stones about working with a company that has had serious issues, let’s discuss Stephens and HealthMaster. Google that…..

  13. Maurice Atkinson says:

    I’ve spoken to Karen on a couple of occasions. Erick is correct. She is sharp, versed on the issues but more importantly, has the problem solving skills to make this department efficient and effective.

  14. 4ofspades says:

    Stephens driving force behind voter-id…. Cecil Staton sponsered the bill. Stephens jumped on when he thought it would help him for SoS.

    I really don’t understand how you can take that quote and call it pro-choice. Handel has stated and is pro-life. How is she pro-gay rights? What facts do you have?

  15. midtowndem says:

    Just to provide evidence that Karen Handel flip flops on issues.

    Handel takes a position supportive of gay rights in 2003 in order to win an election in Fulton County and then reverses course in 2006 to try to win another.

    Do we really want politicians we cannot trust like Handel?


    “I’ve had strong support within the gay and lesbian community,

  16. Beth says:

    So quotes from a gay publication are proof that Handel is pro-gay? No where in any of the articles is there a quote from Handel supporting gay issues.

    Show me a vote.

    It also very clearly states that she is against gay marrage and always has been.

    No where do you show any flip flop on the issue.

  17. Beth says:

    Speaking of flip-flop. How does Stephens go from campaigning and fundraising for Clinton/Gore to be a “true conservative”?

    How about Stephens $14,000 in fines for ethics violations. That is the largest fine by any elected offical in the State of Georgia.

    You want to trust Stephens?

  18. debbie0040 says:

    midtowndem, your statement about college degrees is laughable. One of the richest men in the WORLD, Bill Gates, does not have a college degree. According to your logic, he does not have a broad understanding of business principles. Microsoft is one of the most successful business in the world.

    I will match Karen’s intellect against anyone with a college degree.

  19. JRM2016 says:

    midtowndem = Midtown Democrat?

    So the Midtown Democrat wants Bill Stephens to be Shyam’s opponent? I can only wonder why?

    As someone pointed out earlier in the thread, the SoS office is not about abortion nor “gay rights”, but let’s take a look at the comments posted to date.

    MR08: From hearsay, you claim Karen has gone on record with a pro-choice. From nowhere in particular, you claim Karen is pro “gay rights”. Neither of these charges is supported with a scintilla of evidence, and therefore should be properly cast aside until documentation of either is tendered.

    Midtowndem: You say Karen has flip-flopped, but provide no example of where she has taken one position and then changed that position in the 2006 campaign. Your evidence that Karen is pro “gay rights” is that Karen stated that she had support in the gay/lesbian community during her 2003 campaign for County Commission. This is much like stating a candidate who claims to have strong support in the black community is pro-affirmative action. The two do not have to go together. The gay/lesbian community may have seen Karen as the best option available to them because she was most qualified for the office, though I know you may feel that is a stretch. I don’t know about her attending any gay pride events and once again, the potentially most damaging charge is simply asserted without any evidence. As I understand it the AIDS walk is an event designed to raise money for AIDS research to eradicate this horrible disease. If participating in events to raise money for that cause is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

    Finally, let me point out once again that the criticism on this site and elsewhere of Karen Handel has nothing to do with her ability to do the job of the SoS or her platform that she issued on April 17. It is simply repackaged rumor and innuendo on issues that the SoS does not handle, and for which little to no evidence has been tendered. Also, those who are devoting such time to criticizing Karen have yet to offer me or anyone else reading this site a single reason to vote FOR Bill Stephens. Let’s hear it and engage in a debate on the issues about this campaign, not a gutter fight on who can make the other guy look the worst.

  20. Bill Simon says:

    The ignorant masses (i.e., Bill Stephens’ supporters) believe that if somoene talks to a reporter for a gay publication, that must mean they are pro-gay.

    Maybe I should sign-up for Bill Stephens’ monthly beat-up-a-gay-at-random events.

  21. Kate says:

    I have had the opportunity to see both Handel and Stephens speak. Handel clearly has a better understanding of the SoS office. She has a plan (which JRM2016 has linked to) for fixing the entire elections process.

    She spoke in-depth about other parts of the organization. She has a vision for economic development, business licensing, and testings for business licenses. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her roll out plans for the rest of the office as well.

    Stephens spoke in sound bites, with no details, and no vision.

  22. GAWire says:

    “””College usually provides an individual with a broad understanding of business principles”””

    Actually, college usually provides an individual with the opportunity to goof off, drink a lot, make stupid decisions, and think that they know everything b/c they are in college. I can attest – I do have a degree.

    Why are you really concerned about this race, midtowndem? Apparently, you are a little worried that Handel could hurt your boy in the General, or why else would you care?

    Changing gears … most people know that I have not yet stated who I am supporting in this race. Since I know GA Wire’s endorsement is a highly sought after component of every candidate’s strategy, I should come out with my support at some time.

    While I’m not yet ready making an endorsement, I should say that I am much more impressed with Karen Handel than Stephens at this point. Stephens, it seems to me, is relying upon his name ID from the Senate and big name supporters. Handel, on the other hand, has been out there – everywhere, presenting a plan and ultimately showing that she has what is needed to be SoS – not just going after a stepping-stone statewide office.

    Stephens comes across as a Ralph Reed type – acting bigger than he really is, with an attitude of arrogance and entitlement. Maybe this isn’t true, and if not, then please describe.

    The reason I haven’t decided yet is b/c I am hearing things about both candidates’ histories that are positive and negative, and I am still questionable on a few things.

    My analysis on this race, which is different from my personal thoughts, tell me that what was Stephens’ race to lose is now turning into a competitive horse race, with Handel really showing her leadership and communicating with voters. Stephens has less name ID than he and his supporters think – he might be popular in his district and under the dome, but other than that, Handel has him beat there. She has also proved to be a great fundraiser, and really put it to Stephens financially during the session.

    My projection at this time: Too close to call.

  23. Three Jack says:

    Will Karen give gays two ballots? Will she restrict the rights of pro-lifers by voiding their votes? Will she fail to grasp complex issues because she did not go to college? No, No and No…end of story.

    Karen Handel will do more to bring the SOS office into the 21st century than any SOS in history. She’s an innovator, problem solver and consensus builder proven by her tenure as the Chairman of the Fulton County Commission. The GOP is fortunate to have such a high quality candidate seeking this office.

  24. bowersville says:

    Please!!! Hillary Clinton is planning to sell herself… as a commonsense, iron willed, family values candidate. (Carl Limbacher, newsmax.com) and now you are trying to sell me Stephens on family values. Give me a break. You simply know the issues that Stephens has with Handel will go away in November, but the issues with Stephens remain.

  25. 4ofspades says:

    I’m a simple guy and for me it’s a simple choice – Handel.

    She is the only person in the race with the right mix of experience to be the next SoS in GA.

  26. John Konop says:


    Are you saying that every employee at CIBA Vision knew what was going on ? Do you have any proof Karen Handel had any direct involvement as to the decision that created the lawsuit.? If I follow your logic anyone whoever worked for a company that had a lawsuit is not qualified for office even if they had nothing to do with it ? Try sticking to issues ,not personal attacks.

  27. JRM2016 says:

    midtowndem, would love to hear from you on the various posts doing a better job than I of picking apart your last missive.

    Karen came down to my neck of the woods last night, Muscogee County. Several of our local elected officials were on hand, as was a Justice of our State Supreme Court. The venue was filled to capacity by local folks who had come to see her. She is taking this campaign all over the state and I can tell you after fielding calls all night from people meeting her for the first time, she is making an impression that will be seen on July 18.

  28. Beth says:

    Just received this email from the Handel camp. This is a great contrast between the candidates.

    Karen Handel Offers Voters Solutions

    Bill Stephens Only Offers Outrage!

    Last month, Karen Handel unveiled her comprehensive plan for elections reform in Georgia. Karen’s plan calls for Georgia to get back to the BASICs with Ballot Accessibility, Systems Integrity, and citizen Confidence.

    Karen is traveling the state promoting the reforms she would make in our elections system. She is the only candidate to offer a real vision and practical solutions.

    Her opponent, Bill Stephens, continues to be busy himself. . . with petty attacks, false allegations, misleading claims, and meaningless “Outrages of the Week.

  29. bowersville says:

    Post this on the front page under Handel/Black please. Also, I couldn’t get the links to work.

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