Ben Harbin Attacks Karen Handel for Not Taking the Easy Way Out

Ben Harbin, the drunk driving Appropriations Chairman of the House of Representatives, is terribly, terribly upset that Karen Handel did not take the easy way out of the state budget financial situation.

See, Harbin, who took the easy way out of his DUI by blaming a pedestrian instead of admitting what everyone knew about him and his late night dalliances, believes that state employees should have to go without paychecks in every case and state constitutional officers who dare to think differently than the small thoughts of our state legislators should be ridiculed.

But the lady in the Secretary of State’s Office was smarter than Harbin and he is pissed that she showed him up. She . . . wait for it . . . cut her budget 20% in other areas so her employees would not have to go without paychecks.

Holy crap!!!!! Can you believe a Republican (!!!!!!!!) would cut their own budget TWENTY PERCENT to avoid furloughing employees despite the allegedly best and brightest in the state legislature insisting they not take responsibility for their budgets?

It’s like Harbin brain is preoccupied processing the cup size of lobbyists breasts to think that a woman Secretary of State could actually . . . you know . . .think of doing something to save jobs. How dare she get think!!!

But she did.

And it’s not just her. The Public Service Commission did the same thing. So did other government departments. But then none of them are running for Governor and in need of being put in their place.

Harbin is prototypical of the failures of the Georgia Republicans. He wants government to take the easy way out by denying people paychecks, instead of doing the difficult thing of going through a budget and actually finding things that could be cut. The only mantra he thinks he has to have as a Republican is “don’t raise taxes.” Of course that’s not really true. That’s short cut thinking that runs the GOP off the cliff every time. Certainly we don’t need to raise taxes. But in doing so, there are many other things incumbent on putting in a position where we don’t have to raise taxes — things like cutting budgets and increasing business investment in the state. But the groups that push those issues can’t afford the leggy blond lobbyists the appropriators would prefer to deal with.

So guess what? Now that Karen Handel is gone, Harbin thinks Brian Kemp will be happy to throw his employees out on the street for a few days.

ONE ADDITIONAL NOTE: Secretary Handel didn’t need a law to implement zero based budgeting in her office. Oh to not be part of the Good Ole Boy Network.


  1. Bugs Dooley says:

    Why all the digs at female lobbyists? Was that really necessary to make your point, Erick? I’m aware of the past current events, but to paint all women who follow a particular profession as some kind of modern day Jezebels is just wrong. And in this case, totally beside the point of the post.

  2. Mozart says:

    “Ben Harbin, the drunk driving Appropriations Chairman of the House of Representatives,”

    Ad hominem attacks, now, Erick? Classy.

  3. Mozart says:

    “Holy crap!!!!! Can you believe a Republican (!!!!!!!!) would cut their own budget TWENTY PERCENT to avoid furloughing employees despite the allegedly best and brightest in the state legislature insisting they not take responsibility for their budgets?”

    Holy crap…wonder if she is actually telling the truth here? Has the Department of Audits come out with their reports yet?

  4. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    I’ve never been one to defend Harbin, but one thing Erick fails to mention is that EVERY agency made similar cuts AND furloughed their employees…SoS felt that they were too good to do both?

    I wonder what this post would look like if you substituted OX’s name for Karen’s?

    • janna says:

      Yep, I had the same thought. All this tells me is that the SoS office had more fat to trim than other agencies. If she could cut 20% without even one furlough day then she was grossly overbudgeted in the first place.

      Oh well, it’s a good thing she was. How else could the SoS websitehave been revamped so it could highlight how wonderful Ms. Handel is?

      • Republican Lady says:

        She wasn’t necessarily overbudgeted, she just cut out some necessary expenses so the SoS could function without cutting critical services.

        It’s like eating hamburger instead of steak, or driving that worn out car for another year or two instead of buying a new one.

        As for the SoS website highlighting her being wonderful, don’t hate her for being competent and organized. She can’t help the fact she has talent and skill when it comes to saving money and we are the better for it.

        • janna says:

          Think about what you said. Why did she wait till we were in a crunch to streamline the budget? Shouldn’t that be the first order of business for the head of any agency? Your suggestion implies it is okay for the State to eat steak when the times are good. Sorry, I can’t buy into that.

          As for the beef is that it was revamped after she announced she was running. It was so obvious it was laughable.

          • Republican Lady says:

            Hmm, I don’t think it was revamped after she announced she was running. As for the steak comment, I was attempting to make a point about choices but I don’t think you got it.

            Bottom line is when the crunch came, she re-did her budget to cut the fat without furloughing employees. That is what people are critizing her for, having the courage to make the tough choices and following through.

    • Republican Lady says:

      When you find ways to significantly streamline the budget why furlough employees? Why critize her for doing something the others didn’t think about? Is it because she she tried worked?

      • Making Sense says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more Republican Lady. It’s as if some of these folks down at the Gold Dome forgot what they were sent there to do.

        As a Conservative Republican, I want the size of government to shrink, not expand. I want more efficient and effective government and one way you do that is to reduce the bureaucracy and eliminate waste and overlap. If that results in people losing their jobs, so be it. The last time I checked, the state isn’t a a job bank for those who can’t find employment elsewhere.

      • janna says:

        There is no link to reply to your message just above so I had to drop down one.

        I can assure you the website most certainly was changed after she announced. I visit the SoS website several times a week to hit the corporation search website..I am very familiar with it. Shortly after she announced pages were changed/added touting what a great Commish she was and what a tight ship she ran. I sure wish I had screen shots.

        As for the steak comment, I got it but you did not get my point. We are talking about State government and taxpayer dollars here. State offices should never have “steak”, they should be run a leanly as possible. If the budget has 20% fat that can be slashed, then it was an over-funded budget.

        • Republican Lady says:

          I just had a thought and it is that we may not look at the term “steak” the same way.

          When I say steak, I am referring to any extra capitol reserves being set aside for a wish list, like protecting sunk costs by updating software programs on older computers rather than buying new computers, or phasing out older equipment and replacing it with newer models. There comes a point when it is cost-prohibitive to continue repairing old equipment and buying new, like cars for example, makes better financial sense.

          How do you view the steak term?

  5. Apparently Ben Harbin is doing his best to secure the GOP nomination for Karen Handel.

    Harbin’s personal credibility is on crutches and to do this is equivalent to painting a fat bulls-eye on his chest after handing Handel a loaded elephant gun and saying, “Hey *@*^%! Bet you shoot like a girl!”

    A smart man would have found a willing surrogate, but in fairness perhaps Harbin tried to find one but everyone passed the IQ test by saying, No!”

  6. Sherman County says:

    We should allow our elected constitutional officers to use of their best judgement to make cuts the legislature request. Forcing furlough days rather than making substantive long term cuts is nonsense.

    Does the legislature really have the power to mandate furlough days?

    I guess separation of powers got left on the side of memorial drive next to Harbin’s telephone pole.

  7. Erick,

    Do you think you might have gone a wee bit over the top with this one? I’m not a Harbin fan and he is obviously not anyone’s political genius (see my comments above), and your candidate is going to come out of this smelling like a rose but I think you may have come down a little hard here.

  8. fishtail says:

    And Georgia is still the only State in the country to furlough teachers. If Karen had been the the State School Superintendent, maybe we wouldn’t be seeing teacher furloughs.

  9. polisavvy says:

    Does this mean that all the good ‘ole boys should take their balls (no pun intended) and go home and convey upon her the GOP nominee?

      • polisavvy says:

        You wish, Mozart. Nope, I’ll stay right here (and engage in bantering with you) until it’s time to turn out the lights. It’s too early for a coronation. Nothing’s etched in stone, yet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. fishtail says:

    This whole Karen Handel things stinks of hypocrisy. But the best part is the comments from her flack, Dan McLagan, Sonnyโ€™s boy.

    Dan, who along with Karen worked for Perdue when Glenn Richardson was their floor leader, tries a time-honored trick, changing the subject. There should be a term for this โ€“ Danpocrisy. Ole Dan has put in to practice the adage that the biggest lie is the one that is most believable

  11. John Konop says:

    What I like best about Karen is her no non-sense style of management. We are facing very tough budget times. And we need a Governor who will break down walls between state agencies to create efficiencies ASAP! I have news the current budget Sonny proposed was based on growth we will not see this year leaving even bigger shortfalls. Look at the declining tax revenues last month. This is the time for a very tough pragmatic leader, not a soft pandering feel good Governor! If you need warm fuzzy friend get a dog.

  12. TPNoGa says:

    What does the fact that he has a DUI in his past have to do with the topic? Is that really fair to bring this up just because he disagrees with your beloved Handel? W & Cheney have like 4-6 DUI’s between them, does this mean their opinions are void. This line of attack just seems to be over the top.

    And no, I have never had a DUI, so I guess my opinion should be worth gold.

  13. Steve Garveys Child says:

    When Harbin gets the rest of his pals in the House to take a furlough day, he can fuss at someone else about not taking one. This does nothing but remind folks of the hypocrite that he is.

    • AnyoneElse2010 says:

      Pretty sure that the all did take a furlough. The only exceptions would be a couple of democrats that “forgot” to file the paperwork.

  14. Republican Lady says:

    Why Karen girl, how dare you have a brain and come up with a solution that the good ole boys didn’t think of on their own? I mean you cut the fat and saved everyone’s job, something the guys didn’t do because rather than scrutinize where the fat might be, it is easier to furlough people. Besides, that’s how everybody else did it, you know, the weak following the weak by furloughing rather than find a different solution.

    Don’t you know you embarrassed them by showing them up? And how dare you use critical thinking skills to come up with a solution that takes courage to implement without asking one of the guys if he thought it was okay? Don’t you know that is an ego bruiser?

    I noticed when you were asked why you didn’t furlough employees and answered, the Channel Two news reporter’s tone changed and she coldly asked you at least twice why you didn’t take a furlough day. When you patiently tried to explain it a second time, she cut you off and said something like, “It’s a yes or no question!” Clearly, she didn’t want to hear what you had to say because it was not the answer your competition would have told her.

    I guess you know your intelligence, exceptional critical thinking skills, courage, along with thinking for yourself without seeking permission, is going to make you a great governor. Don’t change a thing. Let the guys sweat, their reaction to your competence is their problem, not yours.

    • ByteMe says:

      I give up: how do you cut the budget of a department by 20% without laying off anyone? The biggest cost of any organization is usually the people running it (this doesn’t hold true for manufacturing, but it’s almost always true for any service organization).

      Were enough people fired so that other people didn’t need to take a furlough day?

      • Republican Lady says:

        I would like to know it if was due to attrition, like how many people retired or found other jobs.

        • ByteMe says:

          20% attrition in one year would also make me wonder. That happens in retail and low-end restaurants, but not in government agencies that have incentives to keep people around (like pensions).

          There’s more to this story. Don’t know what, but the numbers aren’t making enough sense given the data we have.

          • Republican Lady says:

            We may have to see if a more indepth explanation is forthcoming to understand the 20%, so you have a valid point. None of my degrees or experiences are in finance so I defer to you.

          • Republican Lady says:

            I watched the newscast when it was mentioned a second time and she said some of the people were laid off. As I recall, she said 30 but as you mentioned there are more numbers somewhere.

            I still have to commend her for coming up with a solution that did not include furloughing.

  15. Making Sense says:

    I will cede that at first glance this issue caused me an “uh oh” moment. When everyone else is feeling the pain and sharing in the crisis, it at first seemed rather arrogant for someone to seem to put themself above sharing in that situation, even if symbolic.

    However, after hearing the whole story, I have to say that our leaders, both in the legislature and in other agencies, should be making a B line to Karen Handel and asking her how they can make similar reforms in their operations as to achieve meaninful budget savings to the state and taxpayers.

    Imagine if Karen Handel’s leadership were applied throughout government? Not only would teachers and those on the front lines of public safety not be experiencing furloughs, but the property tax grants would have been able to be saved.

    Georgia is in desperate need of a true conservative who will cut waste and excess in government. Someone who will practice zero based budgeting without being “legislated” and save taxpayers money.

  16. Making Sense says:

    And a final comment about this Ben Harbin. Isn’t this the same guy who was caught with a girlfriend and got a DUI? Perhaps he should spend more time focusing on saving taxpayers money and less time chasing skirts and getting drunk.


    I think Harbin and his droogs want to do a little of the old “in-out, in-out” , with a little of the old ultra violence.

  18. Ludwig Von Beachbum says:

    This would have had more substance had it not started with the drunk driving slam.

    Reminds me of the elder Bush asking Dan rather if he would like his career measured by the one time Rather walked off a live set because his news cast was delayed by a sporting event.

    And asking a quitter how she would make reforms gives me a chuckle.

  19. I liked Erick a lot better a few years ago, before his writing style turned became Glenn Beck’ishly retarded. There may actually be a valid point or two in this post, but the way it’s written I just don’t care.

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