Attention General Assembly Members Who Think The General Public Doesn’t Get The Problems, Or Thinks They Are Already Behind You

Expect a lot more of this between now and November. Govern yourselves accordingly.

88 comments

    • Mozart says:

      I especially like this paragraph:

      But ethics aren’t a matter of degree; they’re an absolute, and they set an exacting standard that exists outside whatever the rules might allow. Sure, Handel was working within the system with regard to the campaign contribution and lobbyists’ expenditures noted above, but she can’t – or at least she shouldn’t – claim any appreciable degree of moral superiority over her gubernatorial opponents.”

    • I Am Jacks Post says:

      Ohhhh man, you are SO going to get some serious red check marks for that post. Don’t come to Handel.circlejerk.blogspot.com and bust on the chosen one.

      • Progressive Dem says:

        Amen Jacks. Can the Handel trolls please dispense with the red checks on any criticism. I know this may be a biological challenge, but grow a pair. It’s the internet, and sometimes negative comments are made.

  1. Technocrat says:

    A serious problem is the majority of GA voters would vote for Obama or even Roy vs ANY woman as Governor.
    It appears that Handel has set a new record staying in an elected job for just shy of 3 years…………..will be a major mistake.

    The BIG problem is none of any parties candidates have any Charissma or a viable economic revenue growth plan. The next 5 years will s__k in GA regardless of who is elected.

    • Debra says:

      This was not her first term in office as the SOS. This was her second term as the SOS. She will have been in an elected job (SOS) for just shy of 7 years

    • A serious problem is the majority of GA voters would vote for Obama or even Roy vs ANY woman as Governor.

      People seem more interested in Debra’s erroneous reply than in the original post itself, but Technocrat has a point.

      I remember a few years ago when Cathy Cox ran against Mark Taylor for the gubernatorial nomination. I was talking to an older female relative and asked who she was voting for, and he said Taylor. I chuckled and asked why she wouldn’t support her fellow sister in making some history.

      I can’t remember her exact response… but what it basically boiled down to was that she had made children and family her priority in life rather than career, and women like her REALLY resent career-minded ambitious women who are seen as looking down on them.

      Now bear in mind, this was a Georgia DEMOCRAT talking! What do you think really goes on in the hearts on minds of people on the right-wing side of the fence? Make no mistake, this state will elect a black man as governor LONG before it ever elects a female.

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        Steve,

        With your survey sample of 1, how could you be wrong? I’m sure that if I looked hard enough, I might find 1 person who will say that they will never elect a black man. Therefore, according to your logic and sample size, Georgia will never elect a black man.

        I think Karen is perfectly capable of getting the GOP nomination and winning in November. I think almost any GOP candidate will have to do is trot out the old gerrymandered maps Roy signed off on and ask the question: “Is this the action of a fair man?”

        If Roy is the Dem nominee, he’s going to have to run on his record, and that doesn’t look that great, IMO.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Doug,

          As a Republican, I was much more concerned about a Democrat-nominee Cathy Cox than a Democrat-nominee Mark Taylor. To me, Cox was clearly the superior candidate. I’m curious, were you more worried about defeating Taylor or Cox?

          Anyway, even though Steve’s sample size is a bit anemic, those people do exist. I also think there may be some who would vote strictly along gender lines in favor of a woman.

          We’ll see how it goes. I still don’t have a horse in this race, neither officially and personally so I simply want the best candidate and am still in “think mode.”.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          Ken,

          Hindsight being 20/20; I think that Cox was the stronger general election candidate. I will agree that there are some people in Georgia who will never vote for a woman and some who wouldn’t vote for a back man, and there are some people who wouldn’t vote for either. I’ve voted for women and black men, so I don’t fall into any of those groups.

          Statewide, given the right candidate, I think we could elect a black or female Governor. However, I don’t look at it in terms of candidates being back or female. I look at candidates in terms of being qualified and electable.

  2. fishtail says:

    When is Karen going to come clean on this gem:

    Handel’s speech follows an interview she gave after Richardson resigned in which she said that in 2007 she was told the best way to move her agenda in the Legislature was to hire a “young hottie as my legislative person.”

    Handel campaign spokesman Dan McLagan would not identify the person who told her to hire a “hottie” as a legislative aide….

    http://blogs.ajc.com/gold-dome-live/2010/01/05/handel-decries-sex-lies-and-lobbyists-at-capitol/?cxntfid=blogs_gold_dome_live

    PS – Weren’t Handel and McLagan working for Sonny when Glenn Richardson was his floor leader?

  3. Georgia Judge says:

    The key word in the coming election will start with an E but it’s not ethics its the ECONOMY.The candidate that defines his Economic Developement and Jobs growth plan the best WINS.
    The average guy in Bainbridge or Blairsville could care less about what legislator is doing what,they are concerned about making a mortage payment or meeting their monthly obligations.The sooner the discussion turns to these issues the better we are.Period.

    • Icarus says:

      “The sooner the discussion turns to these issues the better we are.Period.”

      And you say “we”, you mean the politicians who have been screwing around, and their high dollar enablers, correct?

      • Mozart says:

        One problem Karen will have is that she has a record of absolutely promising to do something during a campaign, and then doing a 180-degree turn on it when she takes office.

        E.G., her admission many times during the 2006 race that the Diebold election machines had significant issues with them, and she was going to see to it that they were replaced, as several other states have done.

        She gets sworn-in, hires Rob Simms, former lobbyist for Massey-Bowers ( the lobbying firm that helped Diebold get into this state and received commissions from the sales of the machines), and Handel promptly turns a deaf ear to what she originally promised while on the campaign trail.

        Handel is just like any other politician before her: promises one thing, and then breaks her word. That may not be “unethical,” in terms of Georgia’s codified legal definitions, but it may make her quite immoral that she ignores her own promises she made during a campaign to obtain a position.

        • Mozart says:

          Of course, I wasn’t aware of the Steve Butler connection until today. Handel’s relationships are looking more and more like nothing but cronyism at the expense of the voters.

        • SamsDad says:

          If the Massey-Bowers firm received “commissions from the sales of the machines” that would be a crime. If your statement is false, it is libelous per se.

          • ready2rumble says:

            Nice spin on Voting Machines. Barnes and Cox bought them, and they were first used in 2002. Where were Simms and Bulter in 2001/2002?

          • Mozart says:

            Why would the Massey-Bowers firm receiving “commissions” be a crime, exactly?

            And, if the “commissions” were bundled into “win-bonuses” for getting the SOS to retain the machines, how would that be illegal? Diebold can set-up any agreement it wants to with outside consultants, lobbyists included. Nothing illegal about that kind of deal at all.

          • Mozart says:

            Rumble,

            No spin at all. Rob Simms quit Massey Bowers after Handel won, went to work for her as Deputy SOS in 2007, and got Steve Butler into representing Diebold to the SOS’s office.

            Despite multiple lawsuits by other states against Diebold, and the subsequent de-certification of the Diebold voting systems in those states (CA, FL, OH), Karen turned around on her 2006 campaigning and decide to defend the Diebold machines.

            It’s not the machines per se that’s the problem. It is the back-office vote counting process that’s the problem. It is the software that is horribly flawed because Diebold uses an unsecured database system to manage the vote count.

      • Silent Outrage says:

        AMEN. These folks have been using tax money and inside deals like Nathan Deal’s to become wealthy off of taxpayers. What’s unfortunate is that some of these guys are genuinely good people, but are getting tarnished by the few bad ones who are all in this for SELF SERVICE, not PUBLIC SERVICE.

        That’s not just a bad deal for Georgia, it’s stuff that should be downright illegal.

    • Fawkes says:

      It’s hard to focus on the economy when our tax dollars are given to lobbyists who are merely whoring themselves off for their cause. Showing fiscal restraint and using tax dollars wisely is a step in the right direction for helping our economy. This isn’t going to be done while the same Fat Cats are sitting under the Gold Dome. Both ethics and the economy will play a role. But in order to get to Point B (fixing the mess in GA such as the economy) we have to take care of the place we are now, Point A (corrupt legislators). It is unfortunate that things have come to this, but I only see Georgia moving in the right direction once the corruption and rot is thrown out of the Gold Dome.

    • Silent Outrage says:

      This is all about the economy.

      What we need is honest reform of government and the PROCESS of government so that the end result is a smaller, leaner, and more efficient government which leads to lower taxes, less state spending, greater efficiency for citizens and business owners, which translates into greater job growth and entrepreneural expansion.

      However, when the process itself is corrupt, which it is right now, not all Georgians are prospering and nothing gets done and Georgians suffer.

      Ethics is about the Economy or else it would be a mute point.

      • Mozart says:

        The Georgia economy is affected by the US economy and does not operate too independently from that.

        Changing governors is not going to have any effect on Georgia’s “economy” unless that Governor does something extraordinary: Gets the legislature to drop the corporate tax rate, and truly slices state government spending by implementing zero-based budgeting across the board.

        Of course, no one has dared point out that no one really knows how to start a budget from scratch, so there will have to be massive training required of department heads, as well as a standard for how the zero-based budgets must be assembled.

        Anyone on the “zero-based budgeting bandwagon” actually thought that far down the road yet? Doubt it.

        • gasteelmagnolia says:

          zero-based budgeting would be a good start and, trues, a huge learning curve for legislators and state employees. I am sure there are a number who do not have the capacity to fully understand the complex mathematical processes required.

          And I believe you are mistaken when analyzing zero-based budgeting. It actually is more of identifying specifically where all expenditures go, not just and increase or decrease int he previous appropriation. Have you really ever read the budget? You can only see what was given in previous years, not how many employees, etc. And my favorite of all budget lingo…slots. Really what in the hell is a slot? You ask one person in one service and it means one thing and another person in another service area and means something different.

          I don’t know about you, but it reminiscent of the another time and place that dehumanized an abhorrent process.

  4. Georgia Judge says:

    Icarus,
    You are always such the smart a**,but hey there are some people out there that havent done as well as you in this economic down turn.Im sure they are more concerned about where their Rep had dinner last night than they are about how thay are going to pay their bills.

  5. Dickson says:

    frankly, I think the history of the revolving door/chair of GA SOS is a disappointment, see Massey and Cleland, et al. (you older folks might know of Ben Fortson) She could have remained effective staying put, at least for now.

      • Mozart says:

        Now hold on a cotton pickin minute. I was being a gentleman, but if I get negatives for that, screw it. Here’s the comment I bit my tongue on: “How do you know she doesn’t?”

          • Mozart says:

            Fair enough. But like I said, being a “gentleman”earned me negative points, so I figured being a juvenile would earn me positive points in this Matter vs. Anti-Matter world of the PP Community.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Anonymous anti-Karen creeps sticking to the issues. Just because a woman would not be caught dead with you does not mean one could not make a good governor.

      Remember, misanthropes are the creators of their own misery.

      • fundy1611 says:

        What??? Handel is the one who is playing the “gender card”. Your knee jerk reaction to accuse me of sexism is no different than what the race-batiers do when they are called out for the same thing.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          fundy1611 on Karen: ‘Vote for me, I don’t have a penis’ …. Karen Handel”

          No, you didn’t bring up sex. Not at all.

          • Mozart says:

            Handel played the gender card when she referred to the legislators as “good ole boys

            Good ole’ girls are just as dangerous a possibility, except they smile sweetly to your face and then lie about you to others behind your back.

            Catty, catty.

      • HowardRoark says:

        For the record, I am a creep, but am not exclusively anti-Karen. I’m more “anti-everyone currently seeking the Republican nomination for governor. “

      • Mozart says:

        As a corollary, just because there might be a gender change in the governorship. it doesn’t mean anything will get improved as a result of that.

  6. Cameron Crazy says:

    The good old boy network that she is attacking is the same network that put her in office.

    Political Notes: Lobbyist contributions are a way of life
    by Tom Crawford on 1/6/2010

    When gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel denounced the capitol culture of “sex, lies and lobbyists” in a fundraising speech Tuesday, she didn’t mention that her own campaign has received contributions from numerous lobbyists and their firms.

    In fact, it would be difficult to find any major candidate for statewide office who hasn’t, at some point in time, solicited or received campaign contributions from lobbyists. That’s because lobbyists are a major source of political money in Georgia.

    The disclosure report filed by the Handel campaign last July listed contributions from such lobbyists or firms as Steve Butler ($3,000), Brad Carver ($1,000), Dwight Davis ($1,000), Georgia360 ($500), GeorgiaLink PAC ($1,000), Douglas Hopkins ($250), Craig Lesser ($500) and Robb Willis ($250).

    Handel also listed a $1,000 contribution from Eric Tannenblatt, a major GOP fundraiser who’s affiliated with lobbying powerhouse McKenna Long. Tannenblatt is a fundraiser for Handel.

    Rob Simms, formerly a lobbyist with Massey & Bowers, was Handel’s chief deputy when she served as secretary of state and is also involved in Handel’s campaign.

    Handel’s lobbyist contributions were not unusual, as an examination of other candidate reports showed.

    Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine listed contributions in his June 30 report from GeorgiaLink, Gould Hagler, Maria Sheffield, the Southern Strategy Group and Allan Hayes.

    Eric Johnson listed contributions from Dwight Davis, Georgia360, GeorgiaLink, Lee Hughes, Hurt Norton & Associates, Laura Jones, Craig Lesser, Mathews & Maxwell, Pete Robinson, Robb Willis, and David Simons.

    U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal reported contributions from David Cook of the Medical Association of Georgia, Deb Bailey of Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Georgia360, GeorgiaLink, Craig Lesser, Pete Robinson, Robb Willis and Lindsay Thomas of Atlanta Gas Light.

    “Karen even has lobbyists running her fundraising effort,” said state Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton), another Republican candidate for governor. “I have already returned every contribution made by lobbyists to this campaign and I challenge Karen to do the same.”

    Handel’s campaign did not respond to media inquiries about whether she planned to return contributions from lobbyists.

    In her Tuesday speech, Handel lambasted her opponents over the lobbyist issue, saying, “They’ve been part of the good old boy network that created this mess, where solving the real issues facing our state has taken a backseat to the smoke-filled backroom deals that benefited themselves as politicians and the lobbyists rather than benefiting the hard-working taxpayers of this state.”

    She contended that the other Republican candidates “can’t and they won’t clean up the mess, because it is their mess, it’s their culture, the one they know, the one they’re comfortable with. They know how to work the system because they can.”

    “I have every confidence that the voters of Georgia will separate fact from fiction,” said Tim Echols, Oxendine’s campaign manager. “Ethics reform should be more than a talking point for some cheap headline. The voters of Georgia will express their verdict on a candidate who employs Clinton-style tactics instead of offering positive solutions to the issues facing Georgians.”

    “Eric’s got a long and proven record of standing up for tougher ethics laws in the Senate,” said Ben Fry, campaign spokesman for Eric Johnson. “He will continue that stand as governor.”

    Handel’s strongly worded remarks are already drawing comparisons to the Democratic primary race in 2006, when Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor defeated Secretary of State Cathy Cox in a campaign that was so nasty it effectively killed any chance he had for getting Cox’s support in the general election against Republican incumbent Sonny Perdue.

  7. Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

    Austin Scott Responds to Karen Handel’s Charges

    In response to allegations of corruption by a fellow Republican gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Austin Scott (R-Tifton) issued the following remarks:

    “Mrs. Handel’s comments were misguided, because in fact she accepted more money from lobbyists in 2009 than I have accepted over the past five years combined. I am not corrupt, nor are the vast majority of my colleagues. Furthermore, she has one of the most entrenched lobbyists in the state heading up her campaign fundraising efforts. As for me, I have already returned every contribution made by lobbyists to this campaign, and I respectfully submit that Mrs. Handel and all candidates for governor should join me in doing so. The Georgia taxpayer should be the first priority of every candidate for governor.”

    The total amount received by Scott over the five-year period is just over $1000, including almost $200 to provide Georgia Aquarium tickets to House pages stranded when the legislature adjourned unexpectedly.

    Scott, a candidate for governor, is a Republican from Tifton who has served House District 153 for 14 years. He is Chairman of the House Governmental Affairs Committee. As a ranking Republican leader, he has never done business with the state, any political subdivision of the state, or any organization that receives funding from the state.

    “There will be only one special interest in the Scott administration,” he said. “The Georgia taxpayer.

    • HowardRoark says:

      In sum:

      “Just because you don’t have a penis, doesn’t mean you can’t screw the voters”

  8. Progressive Dem says:

    Atlanta Unfiltered is reporting that Glenn Richardson can put his MMV Pac (slush fund) money in his pocket. On Dec 31 he transferred about $220,000 from his campaign fund into his MMV PAC. According to the former Executive Secretary of the State Ethics Commission, Richardson can spend it anyway he wants. On a car, boat or girlfriends. It’s good to be the king!

    http://www.atlantaunfiltered.com/2010/01/05/no-rules-apply-to-spending-by-ex-speakers-220k-political-fund/

  9. Silent Outrage says:

    Most people who are serving in elective office have forgotten their responsibility to also educate the electorate – thus we have dumbed down the electoral process to lowest common denominator sound bytes.

    Yes, voters are concerned about making ends meat and keeping their jobs. That’s what makes what is going on at the Capitol that much more dissapointing. These people are entrusting people to go and do the “people’s business” and instead, what is happening is that the “special interests” business is what gets done at the expense of the common person.

    The guilded interests of lobbyists and capitol insiders should be mindful that they are on borrowed time and that the people of Georgia, like the American Electorate, will only be taken for a ride so long.

  10. Game Fan says:

    This is for any politicians reading this:
    Stay away from those women. They’re DANGEROUS.

    …Raised from childhood in small cages beneath Denver International Airport where they’re schooled in the art of power and seduction. Only the best make it to adulthood. The rest are fed to the aliens. (yum yum) Then distributed throughout the country to adult establishments where they make the “chance encounter” with the “recruiter” from the lobbyist firm. And the rest is history. In fact, I’ve found a video of these creatures. (beneath Denver International Airport)

  11. Game Fan says:

    Send these women to me. I know how to deal with this type. And our “relationship” would pose no danger to the GA taxpayer. Or my marriage. (because I’m not married)

  12. IndyInjun says:

    For 5 of the last 10 years, Georgia was ranked #1 or #2 in mortgage fraud, always staying in the top five states in this unsavory class.

    This is a large factor in Georgia homeowners losing $13 billion in home value in the next 2 years.

    The General Assembly chased tail, probably banker supplied, for 10 years in a great orgy of irresponsibility, while this looting was going on.

    Teachers on furlough and taking pay cuts are now paying the bar tab and the pimp service.

    • ByteMe says:

      Look deeper into who is on the Banking committee in the House and which bank boards they serve on. Note which banks in Georgia failed and the House members serving on the boards of those banks.

      The truth is out there 🙂

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