Secretary of State – Ethics Matter!

Bull Moose strongly supports Karen Handel for Secretary of State.  I supported her in the primary, and my intensity of support has only increased. 

Karen tried to run a very issue based campaign based on her qualifications, experience, and vision for the Secretary of State’s office.  However, her opponent, Bill Stephens, launched negative personal attacks on Karen, her husband, their marriage, and just about anything else that has nothing to do with the issues. 

The truth of the matter is that Bill Stephens is ethically unfit for this position.  He faced the largest ethics fine in the history of the Georgia State Senate for campaign finance abuses and now he wants to sit in a position over elections?  He attacks Karen and her husband, yet he himself is divorced and remarried.  People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. 

Some on here have said we need to put our strongest team forward for the elections in November.  We don’t need candidates with “personal baggage”.  I agree 100%!  Our strongest team includes Karen Handel for the position of Secretary of State. 

Check out the campaign at

The politics of negative personal destruction need to be rejected by Georgia voters. 


  1. jackson says:

    Bull –

    I appreciate that you have a strong opinion on this. But the FIRST mailpiece I got from Karen Handel was trashing Bill Stephens for, among others things, being a Clinton Democrat. We all know that he was a conservative Senate Republican Majority Leader. So I dont by the bull that Karen was running an issues-only based campaign. I dont care if folks attack their opponent or have issues with their past. But lets not whine about one person running a negative campaign, when your side is doing the same thing, mkay? 🙂

  2. HSC Republican says:

    Is it an attack peice if it is the truth? Bill was a Clinton/Gore supporter when we were all working for HW Bush. It is also intresting to note that Handel worked for the Bush/Quayle(sp?) admin.

  3. Bull Moose says:

    Jackson, you must have not gotten all the mail.

    My first mail piece from karen was a very nice piece on her background and such…

    Sorry, but the Stephens campaign started the slinging and then even started a horrible whisper campaign.

    That’s not how you act in the south.

    Let’s put our strongest team in for November!

  4. MountainThinker says:

    Gov. Sonny Perdue and Congressman Nathan Deal were Democrats back then as well, yet I hear NOTHING bashing them for the exact same thing! Either uphold your ‘outrage’ through intellectual integrity and attack the Governor and Congressman Deal for the same offense, or refrain from such a foolish attack that implies something false and misleading.

    Bill Stephens is a PROVEN conservative state leader, which is more than I can say for Karen Handel, who gave nearly $500,000 to Planned Parenthood to encourage and perform abortions, and who sought the support of the Gay/Lesbian/Transgender community based on her support of the homosexual agenda for civil unions, et al. Bill Stephens can stand proudly on his record in public office; so far, Karen Handel has run from her record and PROVED to have LIED about that record to the people of Georgia, TWICE!

    I’ll take a proven conservative leader like Bill Stephens, who admits he made some campaign finance mistakes and apologized for the mistakes, over a brazen LIAR like Karen Handel who has shown nothing but an unwillingness to face her record and take a stand for whatever her views really are…

  5. Bull Moose says:

    Mountain Thinker… You have conjecture where there are no facts…

    Karen Handel will win because she is our best and most qualified candidate for Secretary of State.

  6. techtrack says:

    perdue and deal didn’t raise money or campaign for clinton. stephens did.

    handel do not fund abortions, it is illegal for the federal, state or county governments to fund abortions. handel has always been a pro-life conservative with the three exceptions.

    in listening to the debate last sunday, i was not surprised to learn that stephens change his pro-life stance from three exceptions to one exception to keep the grtl endorsement.

    also surprised to see ho quickly he flipped flopped on sb5, when that became an issue.

    it is amazing that he attacks handel for changing her position, based on a survey she says she never filled out, yet is the biggest flip flopper around

    stephens flip flops –
    – i’m a liberal democrat – now i’m a conservative republican
    – 3 exceptions sounds good – oops i meant – one – now that grtl has changed it’s stance
    – i’m all for developers being able to take your land i eve signed the bill – boortz goes crazy, and all the sudden he changes direction
    – i’m the most fined politician in the history of georgia for ethics violations, so now i’ll become an admiral with a limp and it will make my ethics violations ok, or i’ll sponsor sonny ethics bill, but water it down so i can still take dinners and tickets from lobbyists
    – i’m just a place holder on the gay marriage amendment to i was a cosponsor of the amendment
    – no flip flop on this one – i cant write a voter-id bill that will pass judicial scrutiny

    that’s not the kind of “proven conservative leadership” i want

  7. Broty says:


    Gov. Perdue and Rep. Deal don’t get called out as former democrats because they don’t brand their primary oponents as liberal while claiming to be the only conservative in the race.

    They also show proper respect to former republican vice presidents.

    If Stephens didn’t want people bringing up his support of Bill Clinton, perhaps his campaign shouldn’t have taken the cheap shots at VP Quayle.

  8. techtrack says:

    the real issue in any campaign is who is the most qualified person for the job.

    the office os the sos is not a legislative position, it is the head of a department that has at least a couple of hundred employees and about a $35mm budget (i think those numbers are close)

    that requires someone who has business leadership ability, proven experience in being able to get the job done, and legislative experience.

    it also requires someone who has a vision and a plan for what they want to achieve when they get in the office.

    handel is the only person in the race who has a vision and a plan, plus the right combination of experience to run the office.

    additionally, she will be a huge asset to sonny in november

  9. conservativecore says:

    Ok let me set a lot of these factual errors straight.
    1) Sonny and Zell (yeah I know no official switch) and Nathan all campaigned for Bill Clinton.
    2) When Nathan Deal wanted to switch parties he went to Bill Stephens to help him
    3)When Sonny Perdue wanted to switch parites he went to Bill Stephens to help him
    4) I will address this and answer any questions any of you may have but the fact is the “ethical issue” for his campaign was a problem that a college intern and a new kid on the block caused by transposing numbers in the excel spread sheet. This lead to a math problem, which in turn lead to more math problems each time a new report was filed. This is the fact I know I was there. I was also there when the law was changed in 2005 so that this kind of stupid mistake doesn’t get compounded.

  10. debbie0040 says:

    Karen and Bill will debate Saturday on WGKA. 920 am on the radio dial from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Moderators will be Anthony-Scott Hobbs and Jim Galloway with the AJC. Bill and Karen will be taking calls the second half hour . 404-231-1190 is the call in line.

  11. techtrack says:

    i find it hard to believe that the ethics commission would levy the largest fine in the state’s history for simply transposing numbers in a spreadsheet. call me a skeptic

  12. GrandOleDawg says:

    Karen Handle is my choice for SoS as well. Her work as the CEO of Fulton County has prepared her to run a huge department like the SoS office. Even as a legislator, I could take or leave Bill Stephens. And if ever there was a department where we DO NOT need ethics issues, its the SoS office.

    Plus, Stephens ran a horrible campaign. Not just negative, but ineffective. I’m not about to reward him with my vote.

  13. conservativecore says:

    He was with many of the legislators of middle Georgia, including Larry Walker and others for a rally in 1992 at the behest of then Governor Miller. I unfortunately no longer have the photos available. And if you search early nineties contributions you will see he contributed as well to many national figures in Democratic Party as well as the DNC.

    As for doubting the ethics commission up to you but there was no finding by them, it was settled without the finding and a fight over it while ugly probably would have been the best political decision back then given the myopic approach of many. Instead of being so cocksure of what is, especially when the comments are directly from the mouth of Bobby Kahn, do a little research, talk to the folks involved and try just once to have an open mind and not parrot what the AJC and Bobby Kahn have told you.

  14. techtrack says:

    what are you talking about with right from the mouth of bobby kahn. a simply question. what person received the largest fine for ethics violations in the state of georgia. then had to pay an additional fine because he didn’t pay that fine on time.

    let me answer for you – bill stephens.

    as far as other folks campaigning for clinton, i haven’tt seen any pictures of them in the rose garden or at the democratic national convention waving signing supporting clinton.

    the other interesting fact is that stephens wasn’t working for zell in 2002. according to his own bio he left in 2001,

  15. techtrack says:

    this following cut and paste right from stephens offical bio on the senate website.

    “Bill served as Director of Communications and spokesperson for Governor Zell Miller from 1989 to 1991.”

    sorry for the cut and paste clayton….

  16. Bull Moose says:

    The fact that he had to pay another fine because he didn’t pay his original fine on time is pretty damn insane… Imagine if he runs the Secretary of State’s office the way he ran his campaign finances?

    Granny bar the door, the office will be going to hell in a hand basket…

    Don’t go down the path of the unethical candidates — nope — don’t do it! Karen Handel is the way to go!

  17. conservativecore says:

    Yes I know I have heard and he made many friends back then who kept him involved. Including Governor Miller, who originally, along with the leaders in the Senate and House supported Clinton.

    Look we can screech about this as the distraction from the fact that you are unvilling to admit you Senator Stephens to a different standard. Either it is this way for all party switchers and you should rant about them all or not.

    And if we are going down this path, my research shows that Ms. Handel worked for Marilyn quail in the office of the second lady and not as chief of staff for the VP. What does the chief of staff to the second lady do anyway? Make sure the tea is earl grey?

    Are you ignoring Sonny’s past because it is inconvenient and will make people wonder about Ms. Handel’s judgement working for someone who is so evil as to have once been a Democrat in the South?

    Have an honest discussion with an open mind it is much more interesting

  18. Broty says:


    I have no problem with the fact that Stephens is a former democrat. I think the south has a lot of former conservative/moderate democrats who’ve found a home in the republican party over the last 1-15 years.

    What I don’t like is the fact that Stephens likes to say he’s the only conservative in the SOS race and then cries foul when pictures of him pop up with Bill Clinton. The same goes for taking pot shots at Dan Quayle. You’re practically begging your opposition to pull out the photos of you at the DNC convention when you make such boneheaded moves.

  19. RL says:

    Karen Hanel is a a complete LIAR who is trying to have it both ways… SHE CAN NOT BE TRUSTED…

    Stephens has my vote!

  20. conservativecore says:

    I have never been to the DNC convention. I am sure you meant Stephens. You are right there are a lot of reformed and recovering democrats who were chased from their party.

    My point is that Bill has never run from or quite frankly thrown those of us who were involved way back in 97 & 98 under the bus for those mistakes. Karen on the other hand portrays her time in the Whitehouse as working for Dan Quayle when all I can find when I look is that she worked for Marilyn Quayle. I am just suggesting that the same standard be applied. And again on the civil union issue she has yet to embrace her mistake or change. Which is worse, the fact that Bill made a mistake paid the fine and has admitted it or the fact that Karen gives a false perception of what she did in Washington for the Quayles and continues to deny what is a proven fact with her name all over it. One or two quotes in the paper ok but repeated quotes of support to the gay community and the survey responses?

    At some point the conversation just needs to end if you are not willing to be critical of both and use the same standard

  21. Broty says:


    You’re right – I was using “you” to reference a candidate, not necessarily just Bill Stephens, but anyone who doesn’t expect an opponent to counter after making questionable comments.

    I’ve always understood that Karen Handel worked as Mrs. Quayle’s COS. If she’s portrayed it any other way she’d be wrong. But I don’t think she has. I’m sure through the course of her job she had interaction with the Vice President which is why he gave his endorsement.

    I think you have me confused with another blogger. I haven’t mentioned Sen. Stephen’s ethical lapses at all and I don’t see a double standard in my view. My problem is with Sen. Stephens repeated claims that he’s the only conservative in the race. I don’t think he is.

  22. techtrack says:

    your second paragraph hits the nail on the head. stephens is claiming he’s the “only conservative” in the race.

    he’s attacking handel for flip flopping yet flip flops from supporting one of the most liberal presidents in modern times to becoming a “conservative”.

    how about this tidbit. stephens has claimed numerous times that he would “put cynthia mckinney in jail”. sunday during the debate, charley bailey had to educate stephens, and told stephens that the sos cant arrest anyone. guess there goes one of the four things that stephens claims he’ll be remembered for.

    if you want to compare stephens to handel, just go to both websites and see who has a plan and who has sound bites

    go with a proven leader that has a vision and a plan – handel

  23. techtrack says:

    what civil union issue? handel has made it very clear that she believes marriage is between a man and a women.

  24. atlantaman says:

    Even if Karen has become more Conservative during this race, which I’m not saying she has, what’s the big deal?

    We can forgive a guy for campaigning and voting for Bill Clinton, but if you happen to adjust another view you’re a liar or not being intellectually honest.

  25. techtrack says:

    if you don’t have a platform to run on (stephens) you have to resort to double standards and double talk.

  26. techtrack says:

    here’s something else i’m having a problem reconciling.

    stephens has stated numerous times that he will fight for georgia. according to you, he decides to settle the ethics charges without a fight. he wouldn’t fight for himself to clear his name of ethics charges, yet he’s supposed to fight for georgians.

    which am i supposed to believe? that he’ll settle when it’s easier, or he’ll fight for georgia. actions speak louder than words.

    how much will his settling cost georgians? it cost him $14,450.

  27. conservativecore says:

    Her platform that she now runs from when campainging for Chair was to support civil unions and she lied.

    I have no problem with someone growing and changing and learning to think right. I have a probelem with the ones who choose to lie and blame others and not take responsiblity. That is my point.

    The difference is Bill Stephens has been man enought to own up to his mistakes and Karen Handel has not, to the point of telling lies and changing stories. Thas all.

    To be forgiven on must fist ask for forgiveness.

  28. techtrack says:

    please show me where that is documented. for arguements sake i’ll even take a georgia equality survey. any research that i have done shows that she has always believed that marriage is between a man and a women.

  29. techtrack says:


    please review this quote from SOVO

    “By RYAN LEE
    Friday, January 30, 2004

    State Sen. Bill Stephens, sponsor of a proposed amendment to Georgia’s constitution that would ban gay marriage, is in no position to defend the “sanctity of marriage,” his former wife told Southern Voice this week.

    The woman, who asked that her name not be published, said she and Stephens were married for 15 years and had two sons before the couple split in 1991, in part because she heard persistent allegations that he was having an extramarital affair.”

    and this one from creative loafing

    “Yet his ex-wife told the press she divorced Stephens, in part, because of rumors of marital infidelity. The ex-wife called his pious “defense” of marriage “a bunch of baloney.””

    Is marital infidelity considered a lie in your book?

    Would that be considered lying to you?

  30. Bull Moose says:

    Anyone notice no one has really defended Stephens, they’ve only attacked Karen Handel?

    Funny huh?

  31. bowersville says:

    I did Bull. It’s same old mumbo jumbo I’ve heard over and over from the Stephens crowd. Nothing new, no vision, four broad position statements, so broad that a tractor trailer could be driven safely between them. Same old I don’t know what to do so I’ll bash Handel. Techtrac’s been doing well, so I have stayed mum. By the way, is that position statement paper Stephens keeps waving around the same one Chamberlin waved upon his return to Britain from Berlin? The defense of Stephens lack of ethics being based on a spredsheet error is laughable.

  32. Dawgsrock says:

    I agree that ethics matter. In additon to ethics the person matters. I knw that the AJC is a liberal rag, but they had an intresting comment about Handel on Wed. Here’s the quote:

    “Aware that he couldn’t attack Handel on competence and brains, both of which she has in spades over him,”

    We want leaders with competence and brains, incompetant idiots with ethical challenges.

    Handel ’06

  33. bowersville says:

    Who accused Stephens of having ethics and brains? No one. I can hear it now if this dip is SoS. Sorry, the intern made a mistake on the spreadsheet for the vote returns. Once this mistake was made, the returns grew exponentually and Bozo won. Talk about oversight from the Feds and the continued renewal of the voting rights act. Hell, the Feds will require a vote counter cause Bill sure can’t add! Why doesn’t he just claim the dog ate his homework?

  34. bowersville says:

    Besides, why did Stephens take up the Bill Cilinton, Al Gore line and poke his thumb in the eye of Dan Qualyle? Because Stephens is an affirmed Clintonista. You may wish to forgive Stephens, but I don’t. Stephens only saw the tide of change in Georgia and took up his surf board. He will say what ever it takes to get elected, including allowing a whisper campaign of personal destruction directed at Handel to continue. That is not being a southern gentleman, I reject Stephens. BTW, moutainthinker, has Stephens promised you a job?

  35. Dawgsrock says:

    My last sentance should read –

    We want leaders with competence and brains, not incompetant idiots with ethical challenges

    Handel ’06

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