Well, We Now Know Why Ben Harbin Attacked Karen Handel

It appears to be a smoke screen for his desire to expand government inside the Secretary of State’s office, while also cutting the Secretary of State out of the loop. At the same time Ben Harbin is attacking Karen Handel for cutting 20% of her budget to avoid furloughing staff, Harbin is introducing the heavily lobbied for HB 1117. Former Secretary of State Handel opposed the legislation while in office.

The legislation would strip from the Secretary of State’s office the regulatory oversight of engineers and create a licensing board of the engineers, by the engineers, and for the engineers. The group would still have minor obligations under the Secretary of State’s office and should there be a scandal I’m sure the Secretary of State will get the blame, but the Secretary of State will have no say in who the executive director is, etc.

You will not be surprised to learn that just prior to the start of this legislative session, Ben Harbin received a health dose of contributions from engineers, related lobbyists, and the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Who knew getting legislation was so easy. Everyone learns in school that it takes time and effort. They left out the part about campaign contributions, female lobbyists in short skirts, and the occasional DUI.


    • Debra says:

      I think Harbin did this because he knows that the OX is out and Karen is Eric Johnson’s closest contender. Eric Johnson and the Reynolds family will be paying back Mr. Harbin big time.

      • I’m sure you have a reason for posting this, but I’m not sure about your facts. First, Deal is still 2.1% ahead of Johnson and therefore he and Handel both are currently in a better position than Johnson.

        Second, I’m not sure you substantiated any ties between Harbin and Johnson, Harbin and the Reynolds family or how you are aware that “the Reynolds family will be paying back Mr. Harbin big time.”

        If your purpose is to promote Karen Handel, then please try again.

    • Mozart says:

      Should that word be “rapid” or “rabid?”

      Hey, and Erick forgot to prefix Ben Harbin’s name with the appropriate ad hominem attack phrase.

  1. drjay says:

    i thought that was how most professional licensing boards in ga were set up, on the surface this bill does not seem all that
    “contraversial” what am i missing here?

  2. Chris says:

    If cosmologist screw up, you have a bad hair cut. If civil engineers screw up, that bridge your on falls into the river.

  3. chefdavid says:

    This is all about money. If this passes, let the witch hunt begin. I bet they will have some great retreats at Jeckly Island. After all, money recieved on fines will go back into their budget.

    “(m) Funding for the operation and administration of the State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors shall be a separate and distinct budget unit as defined in Part 1 of Article 4 of Chapter 12 of Title 45, the ‘Budget Act.’ It is the intent of the General Assembly to appropriate all fees collected by such board to that budget unit solely for the operation and administration of such board.”

    Most professionals will tell you it is fine the way it is set up now. They board doesn’t get a lot of money but it doesn’t need a lot of money. It reminds me of a case I heard about on erosion control a few years back. The attorney who was defending the offender did some digging and found out the fines went back to epb budget and they were having some great training oppurtunities.

  4. Steve Garveys Child says:

    Anyone venture a guess on how many other bills will have a similar provision this year? Every other funding bill in the last couple of sessions always has an out that allows the General Assembly to use the money for other purposes, regardless of the reason for which the money was collected, i.e., public defenders standards council. Not a good move for the Appropriations Chair.

  5. chefdavid says:

    The committee substitute just pass the house regulated industries committee. I know it sounded like a lot were for the bill but if they understood the potential ramifications they would be agianst it. Testimony was given that currently there are 18,000 registered at $25 a year and they are planning on upping the fee to pay for the board. How much money do they need? That equals 450k by my math. If you are registered and this passes hold on to your wallet this will be like any other entity that will keep growing and fee increasing to pay for it’s paradigm.

  6. SouthGAConservative says:

    Well, none of the other candidates ever get critcized so obviously this is HUGE news! Worth two articles, at least!

    I know, I know. Erick has endorsed Handel but coming on a little strong here? Yep.

    • polisavvy says:

      Have you received your invitation to the coronation, yet? Just checking because I haven’t received mine.

  7. SouthGAConservative says:


    No, not quite, I can only hope that Queen Karen and her top advisor, Erick might bestow such an honor on me.

  8. stars and stripes says:

    is this really an issue? am i missing something here? to me, it seems that karen handel simply eliminated __ positions from the SoS office, which she should be commended for. ‘a trimming of the fat,’ if you will, of govt.

    by doing this, she saved jane q taxpayer $____ in fewer salaries to have to cover……

  9. Mayonnaise says:

    If campaigns were won on the blogosphere, Handel would be a shoe-in. Unfortunately, Insider Advantage’s newest poll and the Cash On-Hand numbers reveal that Johnson is about to pass Karen and Mr. Deal.

    OXENDINE – 25% – $1,952,423
    HANDEL – 10% – $439,998
    DEAL – 9% – $690,275
    JOHNSON – 7% – $1,300,032
    SCOTT – 3% – $39,827
    MCBERRY – 1% – $17,986
    CHAPMAN – 0% – $17,834

    • ByteMe says:

      That is, if campaigns were won by having the most money….

      Your numbers are from December, right? Who on the list has been able to raise money since the legislature went back into session?

      • macho says:

        Everyone but Oxendine and Scott can raise money. Oxendine needs to stay in office for as along as possible to keep all the insurance industry folks from talking and to get a little more shakedown action in after the session. Plus the Oscars are coming up in a few weeks and he wants to see Elton John and Puff Daddy again.

    • NorthGAGOP says:

      What are the name ID numbers of the various candidates?

      I would bet that Ox and Handel and #1 & #2 in name ID. The others are far behind. They have to raise a lot more $$ to make up for the lack of name ID.

      • Mayonnaise says:

        If you factor in name ID, I think that makes even a better case for Johnson. Deal and Handel both have name ID built into their polling number. For Johnson to be so close to them with very little name recognition and before spending a dime is impressive. It’s all upside for EJ. Also, with Ox not raising money in this reporting period, EJ may be sitting at the top come Mar 31st reporting.

        • Mayo,

          I don’t think Deal’s name ID is that high statewide. It’s higher than Johnson’s and Austin Scott’s (and Jeff Chapman’s or Ray McBerry’s) but it’s still nowhere close to Oxendine and not as high as Handel’s name ID.

          Oxendine’s name ID is very high because of holding statewide office for so long and the uniqueness of his name for a candidate. I believe that some people polled still say “Oxendine” because it’s the only name in the group they recognize.

    • polisavvy says:

      Mayonnaise, I have a question for you (and, if you don’t know, would anyone who does respond), is there any way to find out how much of the money you referenced above is from former campaigns from previous elections, and how much of the cash on hand is from this particular election? Just curious and would appreciate you (or anyone else) sharing this. Thanks in advance.

      • NorthGAGOP says:

        You have to go through all the disclosures from prior offices to see who got refunds, then match them to the current office contributions.

        I believe the number is about $400,000 for Johnson, Ox is did the same thing, but I haven’t seen what the numbers were.

        In the insurance Commissioners race Hudgens did it, although there are some questions about how he did it.

  10. Mozart says:

    The Ox just continues to slide. Note to self: If I ever run, be happy being last place until the 2nd half of the race, and then turn on the afterburners.

      • Mozart says:

        As Harry “Dirty Harry” Callahan once said: “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

        Ox would have been able to stay forever as Insurance Commissioner.

  11. South Fulton Guy says:

    To all you Handel haters, who jab Erick even though he’s been very open about who he supports, who do you want to be the next Governor?

    Why not advocate for your candidate instead of validating the charge that Rebuplicans eat their offspring like guppies do?

    Is it really reasonable for Erick to recuse himself from posting anything about any Gubernatorial Candidate on his BLOG until November?

    Grow up….

    • polisavvy says:

      Just for the record, I had Handel on my radar, along with Johnson and Scott, until recently. I wish her absolutely no ill will whatsoever. I still think that she and one of the two others I mentioned will be in a runoff. As far as Erick’s opinions, well he’s just as entitled to his and anyone else. My comments yesterday were all in good humor and spirit, and no ill was meant for either Erick or Karen. Sometimes I guess that people have a tendency to equate humor with cynicism. As an aside, Icarus has received the same bashing from the same people who bashed Erick. Politics can bring out the best and worst in people, can’t it?

    • griftdrift says:

      It’s usually the Democrats that go cannabalistic early. And I admit it’s fun to watch the Republicans do it this time. In some ways they are far meaner. Which means more fun for me.

  12. Technocrat says:

    I’ve decided to work full time [60 hours per week] for my candidate beginning April first – without pay. Putting my money where my mouth is.
    Maybe Eric will do the same for his candidate.
    They both will need such dedication from new and oldtimers to win July.

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