Handel Brings Message Of House Cleaning; Incumbents Prefer “Lived In” Look.

And so it was a little odd last Tuesday morning when I got a call directing me to an event for Karen Handel. It had not been on my calendar, though I knew she was having several events that day. I’ve been trying to attend events hosted by the individual candidates that I am open to supporting, as well as public forums where candidates would be speaking. I have attended events thus far for Handel, Johnson, and Scott, and plan to continue to do so.

This one, however, was a bit different. I wasn’t really sure why I was invited to the “Women for Karen Handel” luncheon, but I think I now get it.

I’ve tried to be as frank with each candidate of why I have reservations about their campaigns in person as I am here on these pages. And in my first conversation with the Handels, as well as multiple follow up conversations with them and/or their campaign staff, the same topic has come up: I think the people of Georgia are not looking for the third term of Sonny Perdue. It’s fairly clear to me that I can take that issue off the table now.

Tuesday, January 5th, marked a turning point in not only Handel’s campaign, but it appears most Republican campaigns in the state. Fresh off her resignation and now a full time Candidate, Handel wasted no time in setting a message that framed her campaign around recent events, and has drawn a line in the sand to distance herself from not only Sonny Perdue, but the current “good old boy” system in general.

The message delivered, verbal and nonverbal, was as subtle as a ball-peen hammer upside the head, and judging from the reaction of many incumbent (male) legislators I’ve spoken with during the past week, I think she hit her target.

The event, emceed by Betty Rose Bowers, featured retired Navy Admiral Marsha Evans as the introductory speaker. Among her career highlights was that Admiral Evans led the task force that produced the after-action report on the Navy’s Tailhook scandal. She seemed to have a decent grasp of the magnitude of the news that had come from the general assembly, and worked the theme into her speech:

Speaking from experience, I know that isn’t always easy. You’re often caught in a bind…you want to work collaboratively with the guys because that is how you get things done…you work with “the good ole boys” but you don’t want to be one of “the good ole boys” when that means doing things you think are non consistent with your values or wrong. Karen has faced that dilemma and has stayed true to her values and not compromised her integrity. And she has gotten the job done…”accomplished the mission” as we say in my former life in the Navy. As I look over the list and qualifications of those running for Governor, it is pretty clear to me Karen is the only candidate who is not, shall we say, “ethically challenged.”

Subtle? Not so much. I can say that those at my table, which included one local elected official but mostly non-political types, went from being politically disinterested to being quite engaged during the above passage. When Handel followed with this, they seemed to be mad at every man that had ever done them wrong:

When one group of people … one type of people … controls an organization for too long, problems eventually develop. The group in charge begins to see itself as all-powerful with no real sense of accountability to anyone other than themselves. The group’s focus on staying in power overshadows the power of the mission.

This happens in politics too. It happened in Georgia when one party controlled the legislature and the Governorship for well over a Century. Ultimately, voters demanded accountability; demanded change. And, the result was dramatic change at the State House and across the state.

Sadly, it has taken only a few short years for some in the new Republican majority to adopt the same inept or self-serving style of leadership and for the same out of control culture to be re-established.

We’ve all heard or read the stories of “sex, lies and lobbyists” at our State Capitol where legislation passes or fails based on the size of contributions or the elegance of a dinner or trip. This is not public service. It’s not what we elect our leaders to do. And, we need to clean it up and refocus our energies and efforts on putting the business of the people of Georgia first.

If we are going to end this cycle of abuse and corruption … if we’re going to get real progress on the issues our state is facing … it’s going to take radical change and reform. And, ladies, it is time for exactly that. it is time for leadership that will shake things up and clean things up! Ladies, it is time!

This event, covered by Atlanta television, newspaper, and the Associated Press, drew immediate reaction from competitors. Austin Scott challenged Handel’s record versus his, while others focused on Handel’s own lobbyist connections.

Beyond our world of inside baseball, the words seemed to have hit their target. And left a mark. The men of Georgia Government have taken this one personally, and seem to be unifying against Handel.

Throughout the Wild Hog Supper, the Peach Pundit Road Show, and calls, texts, and emails both before and after, I have heard one central theme from members of the General Assembly: “We’re not all like that.”

They are taking this one personally, and they feel like they are being damned by the conduct of their colleagues. They are. My parents always taught me I would be judged by the company I keep. You don’t have to keep but one or two of the wrong folks around and condone their improper actions before you suffer guilt by association.

The resentment from GOP women has been simmering for some time. I still hear about the treatment of State GOP Chairwoman Sue Everhart who was blocked from joining Saxby on stage during his victory speech last cycle. Many are still looking to claim a scalp for that transgression as revenge.

The “scorned woman” card is a tough one to play, but it seems to be working in this situation. Handels’ speech received immediate coverage on the AJC’s main blogs, and was teased from 3:00pm on for the 6:00pm news cast. It was guaranteed earned media, and it cut through the clutter with ease so that the average viewer, one that doesn’t even know there is a term for “inside baseball” could easily understand.

And so, there are a lot of members of the General Assembly who have been quite defensive over the last week. They’ve done nothing wrong. They come to Atlanta for low pay, long hours, get yelled at by everyone for not voting exactly the way someone else wants, and their thanks is that they are painted with a broad brush of corruption, sex, and lies.

It’s easy to get demoralized when you’re receiving the punishment for something done by another. It’s often even harder to clean up the mess. Rather than aim the frustration at the messenger – be it blogger, press, or candidate – the energy must be maintained and focused on changing the system.

If the members of the General Assembly don’t like Karen Handel’s message, then take it away from her. Fix the problems now, this session, before qualifying begins.

If the problems remain beyond the end of this session, she is liable to hang you with them on the gallows of earned media.

90 comments

  1. I Am Jacks Post says:

    ” . . .she is liable to hang you with them on the gallows of earned media. ”

    Earned media is about all the media she’s going to be able to afford.

  2. Harry says:

    Good comments. I’m predicting Handel pulls considerable female primary crossover votes. Sorry guys our appeal could use a bit of update. Somebody said Ox had a lock on the fems with his “good looks”….get real. Karen is going to redefine politics in Georgia.

    • macho says:

      Somebody said Ox had a lock on the fems with his “good looks”

      I’m guessing that was probably the Ox under an alias.

  3. I think this will ultimately be a bad strategy to employ, both for Handel and the party. I realize that Handel is fairly popular here and I’m in the minority, but I don’t believe in shutting up 🙂

    Like it or not, Handel is exploiting a base that she has built in – women. And she is using her status as a woman to push herself out as a candidate. You might call it, pandering to a base. You know, like how we accuse Deal, Oxendine, and everyone else of doing?

    Perhaps I just don’t get the message. Perhaps I have become too cynical. But last I checked, the Governor doesn’t really control the legislature – nor ethical searches of the legislature. They propose policy, sure. The AG is the office that dishes out Justice.

    Going around promulgating how bad things have become just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Why didn’t she do something about the good ole boy system as SoS, by allowing more ballot access? She’s a member of the party in power she is now railing against. If we are to believe what has been read here, she likely knew about these scandals to some degree months ago.

    Instead now we see Handel touting the corruption, and positing that she’s the only candidate for Governor that can do anything about it. It’s a perfect move for a primary, but there is some truth to Ox’s campaign about “Who Can Beat Barnes?” – it seems to me, making your own party look worse will only hurt her and all Republicans at the ballot box come November. It’s a precarious precipice she treads, and she needs to be careful.

    Oh shoot, what do I know – law school has fried my brain.

  4. No Fan of Baseball says:

    Some of these legislators doth protest too much… If you aren’t corrupt, what’s the problem? All of Georgia benefits from strong ethical guidelines.

    Given what has transpired of late, the ones who really should be on the defensive are those who are defending the status quo of what happened for the past few years at the Capitol. If I were them, I’d welcome a lifeboat out of this situation, however, I can see where they’d view Handel’s remarks as more of another pounding versus a life jacket.

    I hope that Handel turns the page on what’s next in her playbook – she has people listening and watching – don’t squander the opportunity or it really will have been nothing more than a political stunt. The House has elected new leadership and it’s time to work in a collaborative fashion with that leadership, including the Lt. Governor, and demonstrate that she can play well with others on the playground and not fall into the sterotype that is being painted of her as one who cannot play well with others.

    She has upped her profile and now needs to start addressing the real core issues of what people are talking about at their kitchen table which are the fact that the budget cuts are really having an effect in their communities in terms of public safety and education, property taxes have gone up, and their seems to be no hope on the horizon.

    Handel’s other challenge is fundraising. This is the most important part of a campaign and based on rumblings, her operation is lacking in terms of fundraising. Some could draw that as an indication as to how she will conduct herself as Governor.

    The other candidates in the race aren’t choir boys so she has that going for them too, albeit I don’t know much about Chapman or McBerry, but have had word passed along that Mr. Austin hasn’t always been as pure as he so boasts.

    • Jeff says:

      “All of Ga benefits from strong ethical guidelines”

      Like accepting a $900 meal from lobbyists less than a month before proposing a ban on anything above $25?

      Or like accepting $300 Rolling Stones tickets while campaigning for statewide office?

      I’m with Ron, she’s pandering to a built in base and is no better than Ox. Indeed, she’s shooting herself in the foot come August (IFF she can survive July), because she is cutting the commercials now for whoever the Dem nominee will be then.

      • Silent Outrage says:

        Why do you care Jeff, you’re a Libertarian. You are also, as usual, very wrong on your facts. Is everyone in SW GA this obtuse?

        • Jeff says:

          I’m wrong on my facts?

          They’re on the SEC website. The subtractions on those two lobbyists gifts only happened AFTER the story of their existence broke… how convenient!

          The Rolling Stones tickets remain undisputed. That concert was in October 2005, she had filed to run for SecState in July that year.

  5. mitchmartin says:

    This is the kind of thoughtful analysis that a site like this can produce that makes me want to come back every day. The juvenile attacks, rumor mongering and just flat out lying makes me want to trade politics for 18th Century English Literature.
    Icarus, I enjoyed the read, though I didn’t quite connect the dots between how this speech proved she won’t be a third Sonny term. I’m an unashamed Sonny supporter (I know that makes me the minority here, but with the majority of Georgians, which is amazing given how incumbents are viewed around the nation). Without him we lose in 2002 and certainly don’t flip the Senate and then the House two years later. Would we be there by now? Possibly, but possibly not, and true grassroots Republicans that were in the fields for years as the minority party working on local, state and national campaigns like me will never forget his taking down of the unbeatable Roy Barnes.
    Having said that, I obviously disagree with some of the decisions he has made and I certainly have the intellectual honesty to disagree with someone while still supporting him.
    I’m also leaning towards Handel, though I really like Eric as well. I think Handel’s message was directed more at the legislature, not at Sonny, who to my knowledge has never been accused of “sex, lies and lobbyists.” I can make some good arguments as to why a Handel win would not be a third Sonny term, but I don’t think this speech is one of them. Just my two cents.
    Mitch

    • Icarus says:

      “Icarus, I enjoyed the read, though I didn’t quite connect the dots between how this speech proved she won’t be a third Sonny term.”

      Thanks Mitch. Sorry, the post was running way long, and thru bad editing, I didn’t connect those dots. It wasn’t all in the Speech, but it was the icing on the cake for me. It’s late, and I won’t even try to connect them now, but I will get back to it soon.

  6. Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

    I find this all very amusing. Like this place is a stage.

    The sacred cow was just the sound of a mouse that roared until Glenn Richardson zipper made the sacred cow the lion that roared.

    All the world’s indeed a stage,
    And we are merely players,
    Performers and portrayers,
    Each another’s audience
    Outside the gilded cage.

  7. Ken in Eastman says:

    They are taking this one personally, and they feel like they are being damned by the conduct of their colleagues. They are.

    Now if they will recognize that the voters are not the problem; corrupt, unethical, immoral politicians are the problem.

  8. Progressive Dem says:

    There is a big bag Karen Handel carries around with her, and it says Atlanta-Fulton County all over it. When did this state ever elect someone from Fulton County?* For decades, politicians have been attacking Atlanta and Fulton County and dividing this state culturaly into big city versus rural; black versus white; and have’s versus have-nots. Regardless of her politics, Handel and any candidate from Fulton County will have to bridge this divide. It will be a burden to bear.

    *(Lester Maddox was from Fulton County, but in later years lived in Cobb County. His notoriety as a staunch segregationist clearly set him apart from the racial progressives in Atlanta. In a sense he was always running against Atlanta even though he came from Atlanta.)

  9. Jace Walden says:

    When exactly is the domain name of this site going to change to http://www.handelpundit.com?

    I will probably vote for Karen Handel, but the amount of coverage she receives on here is absolutely ridiculous. But most of you won’t see this comment because too many of Handel sockpuppets are going to give this the thumbs down.

    • Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

      I will probably not vote for Karen. Why elect someone I already voted for that quit? Why elect someone that got all self-righteous about ethics when the time was right and used her gender for political gain ? Where was her ethics when her former boss was getting himself a retroactive tax break? Working shady land deals ?

      The Pundit’s sacred cow had no vision and no direction. There was nothing to run on until Glenn Richardson and girly men state wide thought only an Annie Oakley and a person void of a penis could fix what was wrong in the state.

      She had nothing but a slogan that got GW Bush in trouble. She does have you turtle neck wearing neutered guys that drank the koolaid . 🙂 Worked with Obama.

  10. gopgal says:

    Handel’s assertion that she’s a different from the rest rings hollow especially when you consider, among other things, that her deputy is a former lobbyist with the firm that lobbied for Diebold while she was in office. Too me, she represents more of the same.

  11. macho says:

    I get a little sick of the, “We’re not all like that” comments by that House members. Do I think that most of the House members were doing Lobbyists and fathering out-of-wedlock children with them; of course not. But the two most notorious scandals were from the two highest ranking House members. The leadership affairs were as common knowledge as the fact the sun rises every morning. You guys had an opportunity to vote Richardson and Burkhalter out last year and you overwhelmingly voted them in for another term. So no, you’re corrupt and you’re not having “ally cat” sex with the lobbyists, you just like to elect those types to lead you.

      • anewday says:

        While in a way I agree with you, I still believe that you cannot work on rumors. I have to believe that some of y’all are in business or even in politics. Rumors are not grounds for dismissal. Once there is some evidence then you can dismiss. I mean for goodness sakes it went through ethics and they couldn’t prove it. I just think that you have to cut some slack for rumors. This isn’t a high school class president we are talking about, this was the Speaker of the House.

    • Mozart says:

      I get a little sick of “all the good ‘ole boys do this, that, and the other wrong.”

      No, they don’t. Individually, both men and women have the same propensity to act in unethical and immoral ways. And, there is no study out there that proves women are any less prone to be unethical once elected.

  12. PaulRevere says:

    Of all the viable Gubernatorial candidates, Handel is by far and away working with the lightest pockets. They’re going to have to get creative to get her name out there. Banging the ethics drum will do it. Give her credit for jumping on it early and loudly.

  13. Haha… is it that time of the week again? The time for Icarus to feign reluctance toward Handel’s campaign, but declare that some exciting news has changed his mind and made it “a BRAND new race!”? I thought you had settled into a Wednesday schedule for these releases, Icarus… you’re early!

    I know that Peach Pundit “officially” has no unified editorial voice, but its “unofficial” over-the-top shilling grows tiresome. There is also clear sockpuppetry and astroturfing going on here… because any comment indicating support for Handel gets plus-signed up to +5 or more no matter what it says, while any comment about Handel that is even NEUTRAL tends to be minus-signed into oblivion.

    We get it… there’s a corps of people on this website with passion for Handel and plenty of idle time to burn. Why don’t you guys change out of the bathrobes and go direct that passion toward moving surveys and straw polls out in the real world, so all of this on the blog wouldn’t smell so fake?

    • Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

      Amazing isn’t it? Instead of engaging in the debate the handelbots go after your content.

    • John Konop says:

      The issue is not a simple as you make it. You have two of three top candidates with alleged ethical issues. You have the GOP dealing with the Richardson fallout. I read it more that many Republicans want to have a candidate without the scandal issues on this site.

      I have talked too many of them privately and this is less about being pro Karen and more about being against the past ethical issues. The reason it centers more on Karen is she is the leading candidate without any ethical issues. Also Karen is qualified and has done a good job at the SOS office.

      My take is they want the best chance of winning combined with a credible candidate they think will do a good job.

      I have not giving money or thrown support behind anyone. I am still waiting on if they will support the below bill from Steve Davis on education. Also what they plan to do about the economy and transportation.

      http://www.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/sum/hb215.htm

      • Those are all well-articulated arguments in favor of Handel. My point was not that she’s a poor candidate, or would make a poor governor, or anything like that. My point was simply that the enthusiasm of the front-page posts as well as the plus-n-minus signs is grossly out of sync with surveys and county straw polls almost EVERYWHERE else.

        Accordingly, as it is so easy to create multiple fake accounts on a WordPress blog… my suspicion is that a small hardcore number of folks are using such tactics to astroturf the appearance of a bandwagon that thus far doesn’t exist in real life. No other topic on Peach Pundit… not abortion, not Sunday sales, not even the Ox or college football… generates anything close to this phenomenon. Accordingly, I’m just saying that some people aren’t exactly being all that smooth about it.

        • John Konop says:

          Steve Perkins

          I do not think anyone is playing games with voting on any major scale. The tone of the blog has changed a lot since I started posting on it. Many of us who were outspoken about the going along get along attitude were not received well years ago. And now it seems on both sides people are waking up and challenging the status quo.

          And I do think this mood is also a reflection of society.

  14. Tireless says:

    Once again the repub’s form a tight circle and start shooting at each other. Candidly, I think repub women are less prone to be attracted to gender pandering as liberal women. If Handel’s message is “Vote for me, I’m a woman and every man is a cad”, she will continue to lag in campaign funds and more importantly, a message that resonates…..at least that is what my wife told me, and she’s never wrong. Don’t believe me, ask her.

    • She’s advertising all over the conservative web. How else do you spend $400k in a quarter with nearly 20% of it going for “the web.”

      Frankly, I don’t understand why she’s doing any web advertising. It was clearly hard enough to build a national profile for herself with conservative donors when she was secretary of state and could plausibly carry the message “Give me money so I can stop illegals from voting”. But now she isn’t even in office to do that. Spending $400k to raise $500k isn’t a very sustainable plan. In bailing from SOS she seems to have realized that, yet I wonder why the ads still run.

  15. BillonCapitolHill says:

    I agree with Chris, spending half of your money raised is not a good sign, the end of the road coming soon for Handel?

  16. GOPGeorgia says:

    I don’t live in Atlanta. I don’t go to many events in Atlanta while the legislature is in session. I didn’t see Richardson with a woman. It’s obvious he was, now that his wife dropped the bomb and his reply was to resign.

    There are lots of rumors out there that are not true. To hang the rest of the legislature for supporting him before the facts were out and un-denied is not fair. If it were so obvious and had to be true without a doubt to all concerned, including Karen, why did she wait until she was running for Gov. before she started pointing out obvious flaws in their ethics?

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Doug,

      Glenn Richardson was Tom Murphy Lite. Long before the lobbyist affair came to light, members knew that Richardson’s bullying, threatening, vengeful style was not leadership. He needed to go!

      The “Hawk” system was wrong because it took power away from them and gave it to the speaker – that also meant it took power away from the citizens of their districts.

      Punishing representatives for doing what they believed was right is not the way to get what is best for the state. How many good members were stripped of their office locations and committee chairmanships because Glenn Richardson would rather bully than lead?

      Stifling debate and floor amendments hurts Georgia and keeps good ideas from surfacing. We need every good idea no matter where it comes from.

      I’m a Republican but I am an American and a Georgian first. If we do what is best for this state then what is best for the party will follow. In my opinion, Glenn Richardson was bad for the party, bad for the state and bad for the people.

      I believe the former speaker needs help and I wish him no harm. I hope he overcomes his demons and lives a long, healthy, productive life. He has talent and drive and he may go far – but he was a terrible Georgia Speaker of the House.

      • anewday says:

        Unfortunately Ken that is how politics is. If you can name me one Speaker of the House from Newt Gingrich to Nancy Pelosi from Glenn Richardson to David Monson (North Dakota’s Speaker of the House) that hasn’t used there power to make legislation happen the I would be surprised.

        There are so many people on this board that “know” about politics, but are very confused about the political process. While I agree that these actions aren’t the best I am not foolish enough to believe that these occurences do not happen every where and aren’t part of the tried and true American process.

        • Ken in Eastman says:

          Hi anewday,

          I don’t think you’re wrong at all. That’s the problem.

          I refuse to accept that we cannot make it better. I’ll keep working at it and if I’m bailing the ocean with a tea cup, then so be it.

          But, I have to add, we have accomplished positive things in this state that people told me were impossible. At heart, I have a deep belief that good triumphs over evil. I have enough experience to know that it’s a messy process when it does happen.

          Finally, I know that some people refuse to get messy no matter how great the cause. That’s life, but it doesn’t mean we stop fighting for our beliefs.

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        Hi B Balz,

        First it was a true pleasure to speak with you at Vesuvius.

        Second, as for bringing the 11th Commandment to mind; it does indeed. I do believe, and I guess this is obvious from my above post, that there are some exceptions to that.

        Before a person criticizes a fellow party member, it’s wise to have the facts at hand and to limit the criticism to the facts.

        Broad sweeping criticism of groups of fellow Republicans are not productive. If a candidate is not willing to name the individuals he or she is criticizing then he or she needs to simply raise his or her mandible silently until it closes and keep it there until he or she has the courage to name specific people.

        Wouldn’t that be a lot better?

        I also believe it is wrong to use broad criticism to gain political advantage. It would be a shame for an individual to gain the Governor’s Mansion only to either have a weakened GOP majority in the legislature or possibly lose that majority.

        • B Balz says:

          Great to meet with you as well, we truly are ONE Georgia.

          Be it Jaxx at Piedmont Park or the Watermelon Festival in Cordele (Hey Gator!) we compete against SC, AL, and other states for international business.

          The worst presentation one can make is one where you appear to be at war with your own.

          • Ken in Eastman says:

            Hi Provocateur,

            I try to differentiate between greed and self interest.

            Greed bad, as in avarice.

            Self interest good and necessary for survival.

            Gordon Gekko is not my favorite philosopher.

          • Provocateur says:

            Hi, Ken

            “I try to differentiate between greed and self interest.”

            Not really sure you can differentiate. To someone, any act of “self-interest” may be viewed as being “greedy” even when your own conscience doesn’t think you are being that.

            “Greedy” is something someone else decides you are doing or are not doing. “Self-interest” is what you feel is driving you.

            They are two sides of the same coin, methinks.

      • Provocateur says:

        Erick Erickson (via Colbert Report show) doesn’t think 11th Commandment applies to anything other than the context in which Reagan pulled it out of his hat during a debate.

        It means no more than that. A debate ploy. Erick says so. It must be true.

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      Doug,

      Having said what I did about Richardson, obviously I believe that his public actions as Speaker were more than enough reason to “fire” him. I think he was allowed to accumulate so much power that the weak-willed and overly pragmatic stopped fighting him and went along. They need to be evaluated, as well.

      I do agree with you on your major point: It’s wrong to paint everyone with a broad brush.

      When people are lumped together like that, Karen Handel also punishes those who stood against Glenn Richardson. Standing against Richardson was an act of political bravery that I have yet to see many – if any – in the governor’s race equal that stand.

    • John Konop says:

      GOPGeorgia

      The bigger issue was not that he cheated on his wife but he did it with a lobbyist while pushing her legislation. As a tax payer you should be upset that the above was happening!

      • Ken in Eastman says:

        Doug,

        I’m sorry if what I wrote led you to believe I put you in the retain Richardson camp. I don’t.

        I just wanted to pint out that there were other good reasons to “fire” Richardson even before the lobbyist affair came to light – and I got carried away because I feel so strongly about someone hijacking the rights of the people.

        I do appreciate you writing that resolution, too.

        I have no idea how many newspaper columns I wrote on Tom Murphy’s actions and Richardson (reportedly a Murphy admirer) was no better, just shorter termed.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          No problem. I penned one draft by myself, and I was not a happy camper when I wrote it. It was scathing. The final version was a mix between myself, Kevin Harris, and a few other members of the Ninth. Giving credit where due, I think Kevin wrote the majority of the one that got passed.

  17. B Balz says:

    Some forward looking pol operatives (polyps) ask “Who are the most viable GOP gubernatorial candidates?” They might answer Rep. Austin Scott and Ms. Karen Handel.

    Mr. Oxendine did not look like he had thrown in the towel whilst working the Wild Hog Dinner crowd, yet certain polyps ASSUME he cannot win. That may be the case, but has yet to occur, and currently the Ox leads the polls with a fat campaign war chest.

    Rep. Scott and his lovely wife Vivien, gave PP’ers their time graciously the other night. I was impressed with them both. Very impressed.

    Clearly both Rep. Scott and Ms. Handel have an upward climb against a well financed opponent unless Mr. Oxendine’s campaign disintegrates. There are roughly 120,000 reasons that might happen, but it has yet to occur.

    Since the end game is keeping the GOP on West Paces Ferry Road, we need someone who can go to the mat with King Roy.

    I’m just sayin’….

    • Ken in Eastman says:

      I also had a really good conversation with Austin and we even covered some non-gubernatorial ground, too. He impressed me with his approach to things.

      Austin, if you read this, here is a suggestion: Start every speech with, “I can be your next governor if you have courage.” You’ll know where to go from there. Your biggest negative is perception, so hit it head-on.

  18. B Balz says:

    In addition to his dashing good looks, Tyler is a fair man. It’s that Icarus character you gotta watch, (;>)…He’s everywhere.

  19. Republican Lady says:

    “Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.” George Jean Nathan.

    I attended Karen Handel’s luncheon event in which the comments mentioned above were made. She is right about the “good ole boy” system. I have four college degrees in addition to 22 1/2 years service with a Metro Atlanta police agency and while interviewing for a position with a new city three years ago , I was told by the newly police chief, “Your education is better than mine.” Needlessly to say, I was not hired for any position. He has since moved on to a city manager position and I have yet to be interviewed for any of several positions in his city in which I have applied.

    When Geraldine Ferrero ran for the presidency, she was skewed in the media as a bad mother because her son was on drugs. She didn’t give him drugs, yet it was still her fault somehow. Al Gore’s son has been arrested numerous times for drugs and it is “poor Al” not “what kind of father are you to allow this to happen?” Are fathers not important or to be held accountable for the way their children behave?

    Our state is currently undergoing the worst economic disaster since the Great Depression. Unemployment is at an all time high because of job scarcity, many public services are non-existent, gasoline prices are sharply rising, we are forty-seven or forty-eighth out of fifty states in education, and food, medicines, and essential services costs are higher than ever before.

    There is the constant barrage of corruption the news media throws at us, stories about men within the “good ole boy” political machines. Curiously, there are none about women holding office. Senator John Edwards has press on his illegitimate child, Illinois has had four governors (Daniel Walker, Otto Kerner, Jr., George Ryan, and Rod Blagojevich with a cloud raised over actions by Jim Edgar) investigated and arrested for corruption, and South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford skipped out on his state responsibilities to visit his mistress because he cannot decide who means more to him, his wife or the other woman. What about his commitment to the people who elected him?

    These actions by the “good ole boys” lead to voter apathy, which is not the answer. We read so many articles about corrupt government officials to the point that some people do not bother to vote or get involved because there is an entrenched feeling that nothing will probably change. This is a dangerous attitude!

    To use a line from the 1976 movie ‘Network’, citizens need to say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!” and follow through with their vote as proof of their discontent for any unethical candidate running for office.

    There is an ethical candidate running for the governor’s seat but she may seem uninteresting because she has no scandalous affairs nor has she been accused of corruptive practices during her career of serving Georgians. She does have a history of cleaning up financial messes created by both men and women without raising taxes or decreasing vital services, like police and fire protection, and education. She clearly has an understanding of not only women’s issues, but the problems of all Georgians and she has a course of action to move Georgia forward.

    Voters have a choice, vote for the status quo and accept the “it has always been done this way so don’t rock the boat,” or vote for the person with a verifiable record of successes, Karen Handel. Karen will rock the boat with workable policies, accountability, ethical behavior, and transparency in her actions as governor.

    Georgia, the choice is yours! Learn about Karen and support her candidacy with your contributions, your time, your support, and most importantly, your vote.

    • Mozart says:

      And, I suppose women “never” deny men the same opportunities for being hired that the “evil men” apparently do?

      • Republican Lady says:

        Women haven’t being in powerful positions long enough to undo the decades of good old boys trying to keep women as sexual objects instead of honoring female brain power.

  20. NorthGAGOP says:

    If everything was so clean at the Capitol, why are there now so many ethics proposals being floated. Last year Rep. Willard introduced ethics legislation, it went no where.

    Handel has a long track record on ethics, she passed the strongest ethics laws of any county in the state when she headed up the Fulton County Commission.

    • Jeff says:

      She also has one of the longer records of ethical lapses of any of the Governor candidates, including accepting $300 Rolling Stones tickets while campaigning for SecState and accepting a $900 lobbyist funded meal less than a month before proposing a ban on any lobbyist funded meal over $25.

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