Stephens on the attack.

From an email I received today:

While conservative Senator Stephens has an unassailable record of support for traditional conservative family values issues such as the ban on same sex marriage, other politically opportunistic politicians will try to use this popular issue to cloak a clear record of past support for gay rights issues.

“It’s an unfortunate fact of life that in an election year some politicians will use such an important family values issue as a political chess piece,


  1. 4ofspades says:

    As I asked Brian in his post. Show me documentation that any of these statements are true –

    “Fulton County Commissioner Karen Handel has a long and documented history of support for gay rights and other liberal issues. From her support of same-sex adoptions to her membership in a well-known gay rights group to her backing of taxpayer-funded domestic partner benefits”

    I guess when you don’t have a platform to run on you just make stuff up.

  2. elaine says:

    Sounds scared to me. I think Stephens shouldn’t worry about what Karen Handel thinks about Gay Marriage. He should be more worried about getting out to see the people and letting people know what he plans to do as Sec. of State. Karen Handel has been campaigning and talking about what she will do as the next Secretary of State all over Georgia. I’ve talked with her several times. I haven’t seen Stephens. Not once. Why? Because he hasn’t shown up. He gave some “dog ate the homework” excuse for several events that he was supposed to attend but ditched. I know what Karen Handel plans to do in office. I appreciate that she spends her time talking about the job, talking about her qualifications and providing real solutions.

  3. Political Aardvark says:

    Making stuff up? How about Karen Handel making up her sudden opposition to gay initiatives. Her positions on the issues are about the only things made up in this race.
    Her real stances will come out eventually.

  4. Political Aardvark says:

    Yeah, we all know Handel can be at every event, every day, the entire time, and talk with every person. Handel is the greatest person alive, blah, blah, blah. Please, I’ve been to plenty events where I haven’t seen Handel, but have seen Stephens. I’ve seen Cagle at plenty of events where Reed is a no show, and vice versa. Same with all the people running for Ag Commish. Only Handel can bend the laws of the universe and be everywhere, all of the time.
    I’m sure Stephens makes it out all over the state. Your assertion of Karen Handel making it all over Georgia means she’s probably come to your local meeting several times. Yeah, your neighborhood really counts as a making it all over the state. Get real.

  5. JRM2016 says:

    The statement from Bill Stephens just shows he is running scared. At the start of this race, many people I spoke to informed me it was his to lose. First he allowed his campaign dollars to be frittered away, allowing Karen to roll up a huge fundraising advantage. Then he stood by as Karen rolled out her BASICs plan for the SoS office. Over a month has gone by without any concrete proposals to respond to BASICs from Stephens on what he would do if elected. Now he appears just plain angry that he is being beaten in the money race, the campaign trail and in the arena of ideas. I will await as others have stated any scintilla of evidence to back up new bogus claims from the Stephens campaign.

    Karen is campaigning hard, having made four trips to my neck of the woods (Muscogee County) in the last two months, with two appearances on local radio here and a large campaign presence at our biggest public event in the Spring, RiverFest.

    I am still hoping for a Where’s Bill website, as his last public appearance on record appears to have been at an AYR meeting in April.

    Handel ’06

  6. debbie0040 says:

    What on earth does the Secretary of State have anything to do with gay marriage or other gay issues?

  7. 4ofspades says:

    Just received this email from the Handel campaign:

    “Bill Stephens Continues Negative Campaign

    Former Clinton Democrat’s Attacks Untrue (Again)

    While Republicans were joining together in denouncing this week’s ruling by a judge that throws out the Georgia’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Bill Stephens used the issue to falsely attack Fulton County Chairman Karen Handel – yet again.

    “I continue to be dismayed, but not surprised, by Bill’s repeated false attacks. Apparently the Stephens campaign thinks this is the only way that he can divert attention from his significant ethics problems and troubling history which includes actively campaigning for Bill Clinton and raising money for the Democratic Party.

  8. bowersville says:

    Will someone post a comment on a sighting of Bill Stephens anywhere, anytime, since April?

  9. Tammi Metzler says:

    I literally just got Karen Handel’s press release via e-mail, almost a quarter after 4pm. So, 4 of Spades, exactly how did you get your hands on this press release and be able to post it almost an hour before?

    You guys are ridiculous! Accusing Stephens of not appropriately campaigning, yet a Karen Handel staffer is wasting their time posting on blogs! You cannot tell me Handel’s campaign is covering the state and meeting all of the people of Georgia, when her staff is wasting their time on these blogs! I definitely do not want to support a candidate who wastes time and resources like that. Only someone who is scared would use paid staffers to surf the internet and attack their opponent.

    By the way, even though her press release is in reaction to Stephens’, she is still also participating in negative campaigning.

  10. 4ofspades says:

    Sorry – I’m not a Handel staffer. I received the press release at 3:15. Email distribution lists take time to send, what I assume, to be thousands of emails. During the entire campaign Handel has responded to Stephens attacks.

    As far as Handel’s travel schedule you may want to check out her website, it lists some of the places that she has visited in the state. It also contains Handel’s plan for improving the SoS office. Interesting that I can’t find either on Stephen’s website.

  11. Three Jack says:


    You are flat wrong about Karen. She is working as hard as any candidate traveling the state of GA. Guarantee she has been to more places twice than Stephens has visited once.

  12. 4ofspades says:

    Three Jack,
    Remember she’s a Stephens supporter, just like their candidate, they don’t let facts get in the way, they only deal in false rumors and attacks.

  13. Sandy Brothers says:

    I think it is pretty much all over the state now that Karen is in bed with the gay folk. Sorry, bad metaphor.

    She is sympathetic to them, or at least as sympathetic as a so-called Republican can be.

    Stephens was in the trenches as we took our majority in the legislature and has been all over the state campaiging for Senators in previous elections. I think he is well known. I know he has an event in my area soon.

    I know he use to work for Zell Miller, but then our Governor use to be a Democrat too. I don’t think that attack really sticks given how we are only recently a solid Red state.

    Stephens is more conservative than Karen. If that is not the case, she better get to work now changing the perception, because that is where grassroots Republican activists are on this race.

  14. SouthernConservative says:

    The same talking point keeps coming up from McElhannon’s people on here, in relation to Handel, Kemp, AND Cagle – “Our opponents are running scared!”

    If I had time, I’d link to the other posts, referring to the other two statewide races, where this theme has been used.

  15. 4ofspades says:

    What’s McElhannon have to do with Handel’s race?

    It’s gets boring asking the same thing…. Show me some real facts. Show me a vote, show me a Handel quote, show me something other than a SOVO article quoting gays on where Handel stands on gays.

  16. Tammi Metzler says:

    4 of Spades,

    Show me some evidence, show me a quote, show me some real facts that Handel originally supported the constitutional amendment on gay marriage. We all know that she supports it now in an election year, but what was her positon and where is evidence of her original position. Or is she a flip-flopper on it like Cathy Cox? We all know where Stephens originally stood, and where he still stands.

  17. 4ofspades says:

    Since your team likes to quote SOVO, I’ll give you a SOVO link with a direct quote from Handel.

    I’ll make it easy for you her quote is:

    “I’ve been straightforward on my position,” Handel said. “I do define marriage as being between a man and a woman.”

    Still waiting for your facts…..

  18. Tammi Metzler says:

    “Handel said she would “have to look into” whether she might oppose the constitutional amendment yet still support the current state law that bans gay marriage.”

    She might have said she wouldn’t speak out against it, but she’ll still have to “look into it,” when deciding on whether or not she would oppose the amendment. Exactly how is that straight forward?

    From your article, she doesn’t sound very firm in her stance on the amendment, and that was in 2004. Now all of the sudden, she is for the amendment? Your article has proven nothing other than that in 2004 she was too afraid to make up her mind. That’s a complete lack of leadership skills.

  19. jacewalden says:

    Tammi Metzler,

    I’m not going to criticize you for your support of Stephens…I’m on the fence there. But I will criticize you for this:

    “You guys are ridiculous! Accusing Stephens of not appropriately campaigning, yet a Karen Handel staffer is wasting their time posting on blogs! You cannot tell me Handel’s campaign is covering the state and meeting all of the people of Georgia, when her staff is wasting their time on these blogs!”

    –Like it or not, “these blogs” are one of the fastest growing sources of information in the world. You can see it here better than anywhere. It’s definately not a waste of time. If you still have problems coming to terms with that, click on the rainbow colored box at the bottom of the Peach Pundit site. It’s a site meter. Look at the section about unique visitors…it’ll give you a pretty big number. Then tell me that blogs are a waste of time.

  20. Maurice Atkinson says:

    I am impressed with the leadership Karen Handel has shown in Fulton County and am equally impressed with how she has conducted her campaign. She has been working feverishly and providing a proactive vision. She maintains commonsense conservative values which is sorely needed in the Secretary of State’s office.

    I’m looking forward to voting in July for her.

  21. bowersville says:

    Sandy Brothers,
    You think wrongly, what’s out is Karen has a plan and Stephens has his hypocracy. Stephens is nowhere to be seen, Karen is everywhere. Please someone tell me where Stephens has made an appearence since April. Tell me of one fundraiser I can verify.

  22. 4ofspades says:

    This is the last time I’m going to waste my time responding to your false attacks.

    What don’t you understand about:

    “I’ve been straightforward on my position,

  23. Three Jack says:

    Anybody who bases their Secretary of State voting decision on the gay marriage issue needs to turn in their voter registration card. For those like Tammi having a hard time understanding the function of the SOS, here is the link to the SOS site

    Karen has a plan, Bill has three precincts with paper ballots.

    Karen has experience as the CEO of a county government, Bill has a TV anchor wife.

    Karen is married to a man, Bill thankfully is not.

    Karen has never been a democrat, Bill supported Bill Clinton.

    Both have conservative credentials. It boils down to who is the most qualified to lead one of the most important agencies in government. Karen has a proven track record of doing just that, Bill does not.

  24. bowersville says:

    No one has answered my question, “Who has a sighting on Bill Stephens actually campaigning or hosting fundraisers?”

  25. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    Even as a Stephens supporter, I will have to admit..the e-mails I recieved from his campaign today were filled with exesive attacks..I was disapointed today, and I hope he gets a little more positive before he looses some supporters.

  26. McCain-Rice\'08 says:

    However, Handel’s attack on Stephens for supporting Clinton is unfair in a way..Because Im sure even Sonny supported Clinton in ’92 and ’96..seeing as how he was as a Democrat President Pro-Tem of the Senate and didn’t switch parties till 1998… I don’t blame him for what he did, he was in my mind forginven the day he switched parties.

    Plus Bill Clinton really sounded like a great candidate in ’92, thankfuly I followed my gut insticts and voted for Bush..but I’d be lieing to you If I said I wasnt tempted. However, America soon found out that Bill Clinton was a man who would say anything to get elected and then turn on you.

  27. Bull Moose says:

    You know, the Secretary of State has nothing to do with marriage in the state of Georgia. Maybe if Bill Stephens had a clue what the position was he wouldn’t waste time with such a useless email…

  28. Booray says:

    FACTUAL NOTE: Karen Handel injected herself into the gay marriage issue in the last two days when she unilaterally beat her chest about “overturning the judge’s decision.”

    Stephens didn’t do it to her – she did it to herself, while she was carrying some serious baggage about gay adoption, partner benefits, etc. Not very smart on her part.

    p.s. You are also missing the point on these SOVO articles – those articles cite questionnaires performed by gay rights groups, who endorsed her based on her answers to those questionnaires, not her answers to a SOVO interview. Handel was without question pro-gay rights two years ago and any assertion to the contrary is ridiculous.

  29. Charlie says:

    MR08 –
    Not sure your correct about Sonny. One of the issues with Stephens and the Clinton campaign is that he claimed that he was working for Zell and on Zell’s behalf when he was campaigning for Clinton. The problem is he left Zell’s office in 2001, and wasn’t working for Zell at the time. His response to that was – “that was 14 years ago I don’t remember”. Sounds like he learned a lot from Clinton.

  30. Charlie says:

    You may want to check 4ofspades quote, it comes from an article in 2004.

    Sorry I missed any direct quotes from Handel that show her as “pro-gay”.

  31. Booray says:

    Good Lord, Charlie! Read the articles cited in Stephens’ email!

    How many different people from different gay organizations have to openly say “Handel is for gay adoption” or “Handel is for expanding domestic partnership benefits” before it has credibility?

    Why would these people lie about Handel’s position on gay rights, when there were other pro-gay (even openly gay) candidates they could have supported and would have been naturally inclined to do so?

    If you are pro-gay rights or don’t care that Handel was 2 years ago, then fine. But pretending she was not pro-gay at that time is fantastically ridiculous.

  32. Charlie says:

    I have read the SOVO articles. Keep in mind that SOVO is a gay publican pushing gay issues. You think they might spin something to meet their goals?

    Show me direct quotes from Handel that she was for gay adaption (she wasn’t) or for expanding domestic partner benefits (she wasn’t).

    If she was so pro-gay, why didn’t she expand the benefits while she has lead the Fulton County Commission? Why didn’t she take part in pro gay proclamations?

  33. GeorgiaBoy says:

    Not that I really want to be accused of supporting Stephens he did just have fundraisers in Albany, Moultrie, Eagles Landing, and I think he has another one in Atlanta June 15th or 16th.

  34. GeorgiaBoy says:

    I have no idea about amounts raised or number in attendance just that he did have those three this week or last week.

  35. Beth says:

    Something to consider. There are 6 democrats in this race. Funny, I don’t see any of them attacking each other. One of them responded to Handel’s BASIC program. A second one announced a program of his own, after she announced hers. A third has a program around the state archives.

    Be nice to have an issues based discussion or race.

    The same could be said for the Lt. Gov’s race…

  36. 4ofspades says:

    No, just a friend of Handel’s. I’m on her press release email tree, Chairman’s email tree, and general SoS email tree.

  37. Ben Raspail says:

    Strange… I’m on her Chairman’s email list and general SoS email list, as well, and I haven’t received anything…

  38. elaine says:

    Ben, I’m just on her regular update list and I received the email at 1:27 PM.

    As I’ve said in past posts, Karen Handel is the only candidate with a plan of action for all facets of the Secretary of State Office. Like many others have said including spades, go to her website to see a very comprehensive plan that will take the secretary of state office to the next level. You’ll find no such plan from anyone else.

  39. Ben Raspail says:

    It’s 2:30 and I still haven’t received anything. Hey, one of you Handel staffers, can someone make sure that “[email protected]” is still signed up for your campaign emails?

    Can someone explain to me the logic of quoting a man’s ex-wife and trying to pass it off as a valid, newsworthy item? Now that’s desperate! Seems to me all the Stephens camp has done is present the facts as reported…

  40. 4ofspades says:

    Your candidate made it an issue. Tough to throw stones when your in a glass house. I’d be very happy to discuss who is more qualified for the job of SoS. I know I’m repeating myself, but:

    Where’s his plan? Where’s his proven ability to execute? Where’s his ethics? Where was he in 2002? Where’s his facts in these false attacks?

  41. Booray says:

    FACTUAL REMINDER: Karen Handel started this gay marriage discussion by unilaterally beating her chest about “overturning the judge’s decision.”

    4 of spades – some answers:

    1. Where’s his plan? Dumb question.

    2. Where’s his proven ability to execute? See Senate Majority Report for the past four years, including tort reform, gay marriage amendment, voter ID law, etc. etc.

    3. Where’s his ethics? Come on – anyone Republican who cites the Ethics Commission in a GOP primary is ignorant of the Ethics Commission – no way Stephens deserved a fine bigger than Charles Walker. That’s why they ran off Teddy Lee…

    4. Where was he in 2002? Serving as transition spokesman for Perdue’s Administration and first GOP Gov’s Floor Leader.

    5. Where’s his facts? This shows how big a moron you really are. You can support Handel in spite of the facts, but denying them makes you an idiot.

  42. Ben Raspail says:

    Okay, I’m no brain surgeon or campaign staffer, but your questions are pretty darn easy to answer just from what I have gathered so far…

    1) Where’s his plan? The Senator has been articulating it at every event and appearance I have attended for the past YEAR. Thank God he doesn’t need a glossy, bound dissertation to do it!

    2) Where’s his proven ability to execute? Let’s see, he was Senate Republican Caucus Chairman, Sonny’s first Floor Leader, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Transportation Chairman, and a State Budget conferee. Looks like he’s been gettin the job done for years.

    3) Where’s his ethics? To use your phrase, those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Hasn’t Chairman Handel been the subject of multiple, serious ethics complaints just so far during this campaign!?

    4) Where was he in 2002? Thanks for asking. He was Senate Republican Caucus Chairman helping elect Sonny Perdue and the first Republican majority in the Senate since Reconstruction.

    5) Where’s his facts in these false attacks? He put a few of them in that last press release! I’m sure there are more to come…

  43. 4ofspades says:

    Where do I get a bound copy of her plan? I pulled mine off the Handel’s website. I checked your campaigns website, it’s hard to find any information on there.

    Sounds like he’d make a good Lt. Gov. The Lt. Gov. runs the senate. Not sure any of those positions prove he has ability to run anything, much less an organization the size of the SoS office.

    Complaints? Is that the same as a $14,000 fine?

    His last press release quotes a pro-gay publican, no quotes from Handel. Seems he ha some very interesting direct quotes in there.

    Really sounds like your a member of the Stephens campaign. Marshall or Katie?

  44. Ben Raspail says:

    Really sounds like you’re (correct usage of “you are”) a member of the Handel campaign. Marty or Nick Ayers’ wife?

  45. bowersville says:

    Stephens articulating “sound bites?” Put it on paper, ie., electronic, I want to read it. Fire the chairman of the Ethics Commission because Charles Walker got a less fine? There’s an issue, Walker got prison, where are you telling me Stephens is headed?

  46. JRM2016 says:


    Let me respond to your response:

    1)–I saw Stephens at a forum on the SoS office in Atlanta and at one other GOP function in the Columbus area. At neither appearance did he state anything about what he would do as SoS. He talked about his much-vaunted paper trail audit pilot program, which according to my local Elections Board Director is not going to work and would require massive spending to implement statewide.

    2)–OK, I will concede the man has held legislative leadership positions in which he has successfully shepherded some legislation through the State Senate. What does that have to do with being an executive? It is the same reason that the U.S. Senate does not produce many Presidents…

    3)–Hey another vague charge that has no evidentiary backing. What a surprise!

    4)–Great. Where was he in 1992? 1996? Supporting Bill Clinton and hanging out with Jim Butler, king of the state trial lawyer mafia.

    5)–Exactly a few quotations from an anti-GOP rag. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  47. Booray says:


    Charles Walker went to federal prison on 100 something counts of maliciously breaking numbers of laws. Stephens was found guilty of unintentional violations (for those who don’t know, if an ethics violation involves willful intent it must be sent for prosecution – Stephens was never sent for prosecution and the ethics commission openly stated his violations were unintentional).

    Yet, Stephens gets twice the fine of Walker?

    No matter how you feel about Stephens, there is no way that’s a fair outcome. Stephens – nor any other person in this state – should be stuck with a bigger fine than that crook.

    Just shows the long-time endemic problems at the Ethics Commission (which, by the way, had to be threatened at financial gunpoint by the gov to leave it’s high dollar surroundings near Teddy Lee’s house and come to free state office space in Atlanta about the time the Stephens thing came down – shows how ridiculous those folks have been).

    GEtting an ethics violation is almost a badge of honor at this point in GA Republican politics. one should at least be fair in assessing what has happened there.

  48. 4ofspades says:

    FACTUAL REMINDER: Handel reaffirms her position on gay marriage, as do Sonny, both Dem’s and countless others.

    Instead of reaffirming a stance – Stephens attacks Handel.

  49. Tammi Metzler says:

    4 of Spades:

    Stephens doesn’t have to reaffirm his stance, we all know it.

    Don’t respond to me, that’s fine, because when you do respond, you keep making terrible arguments based on false logic. How am I making a false attack on Handel?

    Okay, let’s get it straight. Handel, in your article, said she thinks marriage is between a man and a woman. Alright, that’s fine, glad she thinks that. In the very same article that you cited, she says said she’d have to look into whether or not she’d support the amendment from 2004. She said she wouldn’t “speak out against it,” but also said she’d “have to look into” whether or not she’d support the amendment.

    Then, now in 2006, when the amendment gets overturned, she all of the sudden is outraged and upset by an amendment being thrown out, and she never supported it in the first place.

    Please explain how any of that is false or an attack. You can’t, because it is not false, and it isn’t an attack because it is the truth. You are simply taking the parts you like, constructing a bad arguement, and then incorrectly pointing your finger at me as being false.

    Now, give all of that, how is Stephens wrong for pointing out that she all of the sudden supports this amendment in an election year when she knows voters care about it, even though she never originally supported the amendment? That’s not wrong, he’s just pointing how she changed her stance on this issue in an election year. You’re just pissed that she got called out on it.

  50. Tammi Metzler says:

    Also, all of you are saying that this issue has nothing to do with the SOS’s office or campaign. Right? That is what all of you are arguing.

    Well, then why did Handel originally issue a press release expressing her dismay at this decision? She and her campaign obviously think this is important enough of an issue to the voters to bring it up. And, as you guys have said, it doesn’t directly deal with the SOS office or her plan for it. So, why did she even bring it up?

    Obviously because she knows it is important to voters, and that her plan isn’t enough. Problem is, on issues that many average primary voters care about, Stephens has her beat. Plain and simple. That is why SHE brought this issue up. Stephens then called her out on it.

    So, if you support her, stop trying to argue that this doesn’t matter to the race for this office, b/c your own candidate thinks it does.

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