This One Is Personal

February 3, 2012 9:00 am

by Charlie · 114 comments

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

I have met a lot of people because of my work in and around politics. Candidates are among the hardest to really get to know.  An astute observer realizes that a candidate is always campaigning, and you’re never really sure if they’re in campaign mode or you’re getting a look at the “real” person.

It’s been my experience that you learn much more about a person after they lose a race than after they win.  If they won, you ask “Did they keep their promises? Do they remember the people who helped them succeed?  Did they “change”?”  But how a person handles defeat says a lot more about them.

I didn’t know Karen Handel before she ran for Governor. While I spoke to her occasionally during the campaign, most of my contact was through her husband Steve.  I got to know him fairly well then.  He was the spouse of a candidate and I was a political writer, so while our conversations were direct, we both understood there were limits to where the conversations would go.  Over time, most of our conversations became non-political, as we both were in need of a break from the constant discussion of politics in general and the Gubernatorial campaign specifically.  We became and remain good friends.

After the race I got to know Karen better.  I’m confident she’s the person I had hoped she was when she was campaigning.

It’s clear both she and Steve still wish she had won, but neither dwell on it.  They have moved on, with purpose.  I am proud to now call them both my friends.

Karen is now the Senior Vice President for Public Policy for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  With this position, she has been able to dive into a cause she believes in with equal vigor to that of her past campaigns.  Breast cancer is personal with Karen.  It has touched the lives of many close to her.  As for the job, it was also a position that allowed for a lower profile – until yesterday, when it was reported that the Komen foundation will no longer fund Planned Parenthood with Komen grant money.

Planned Parenthood quickly turned the news into a fundraising opportunity.  As such, they’ve cast Handel as the villain, with the Planned Parenthood PR machine having every morning program I could scan on Thursday indicating Komen’s new “right wing extremist” VP was to blame for Komen getting political.  Planned Parenthood has clearly made Karen Handel and her pro-life views the central issue in this controversy.

The problem is, Komen became political when they first started contributing to Planned Parenthood.  It makes no sense for an organization such as Komen to entangle their narrowly focused mission with that of the wider scope and much more controversial Planned Parenthood.  And even before Karen was hired there, it was already an issue in conservative circles.

As such, in whatever role she played, Karen Handel was a part of the executive team that restored the Komen foundation back to its original mission.  In the short term, both organizations have claimed donations are up.  In the long run, Komen can return to a being the leading organization trying to cure breast cancer – something those who are pro-life and pro-choice can equally support.

The irony of this situation is that less than 2 years ago, Handel was being openly called a pro-abortionist murderer by pro-life advocates here in Georgia, despite her views matching the national Right To Life standards.  Georgia Right To Life President Dan Becker got extra personal, calling Handel “barren” and “infertile”.  His Executive Director, Melanie Crozier, later claimed that Handel would have felt it was OK for Sarah Palin to have aborted her last child.  They went so far as to endorse every Republican candidate except Handel, including one who had been accused of an inappropriate relationship with his 16 year old student, just to underscore their point.

Georgia Right To Life remains unrepentant, telling the AJC Thursday that ”If Ms. Handel has been involved in this decision, we’d love to see some credible documentation of that. Unfortunately we have seen none.”

And yet, less than 2 years after Handel’s campaign, these same leaders have announced they are re-branding as the “Peach Tea Party”, as their former mighty influence at the capitol has been significantly diminished.  No significant pro-life legislation has passed the legislature since Republicans took control.  Yet Karen Handel, branded pro-abortion by this organization, is being denounced as pro-life zealot for her role in stopping a flow of funds to Planned Parenthood.

To be blunt, Karen Handel has done more for the pro-life movement since losing her election than all of Georgia’s pro-life “leaders” and their cadre of endorsed elected officials have.

The election is long over, and the main players have moved on to new roles.  In hers, Karen Handel remains the same person, committed to her important issues. Vilified by the far-left and denied by the far right, she continues to work as a private citizen toward goals she expressed as a candidate.

I’m glad I’ve gotten to know her, not just as a candidate, but for the person who she is.  And quite frankly, I’m very proud of her today.

bowersville February 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

Why has Congressional candidate for the 9th Martha Zoller friended this group with her Facebook?

Why is Julianne Thompson of the Tea Party Patriots & the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots a contributing editor?

John Vestal February 3, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Yet another group hijacking and bastardizing the “TEA Party” moniker. Wonderful.

Cassandra February 3, 2012 at 9:19 am

Net out the nice words and what is left?

A strong woman, known as a lightening rod to controversy, who was savagely, unfairly, personally attacked by Georgia Right to Life in Georgia’s last gubernatorial election now finds herself in another imbroglio.

A woman who sunk her own political battleship by literally impugning the integrity of all in the Statehouse. That person would be unable to do what Gov. Deal has accomplished because she would have no support from the House or Senate.

Georgia dodged a bullet. Judging from new contributions to the Komen Foundation, it may have dodged a bullet as well.

Time doesn’t favor dodging bullets. . .

Cassandra February 3, 2012 at 1:14 pm

AS I said, time disfavors dodging bullets…. Komen reverses course, never a good thing for any org.

Toxic Avenger February 3, 2012 at 9:29 am

I love you, Charlie, but you just keep perpetuating the stereotype that Planned Parenthood is somehow this overtly political organization with only pro-abortion goals. Please remember that only 3% of what they do are abortions, and 97% of their actions consist of things like providing birth control, breast exams, and other women’s health services. What PP does is exactly what Komen expressly aims to do, except now Komen somehow has warped themselves into the Republican sense of reality that PP is just an abortion clinic.

Cassandra February 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

According to their own Annual Report, in 2008, Planned Parenthood performed 324,008 abortions. 3% = 134 abortions for every adoption.

“Only” is a fatally bothersome adjective in your example….

Toxic Avenger February 3, 2012 at 9:45 am

Yeah, not really. There are actual abortion clinics out there, and then there’s Planned Parenthood. If we go off of your “fatally bothersome” example, Planned Parenthood performed 10,476,258.7 other vital women’s health procedures the very same year. Almost 10.5 million. So…yeah.

Doug Grammer February 8, 2012 at 5:40 am


If the KKK only focused 3% of its efforts on bigotry, and provided breast cancer screenings, should SKG fund it?

Baker February 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

So the takeaway from all this seems to be that abortion trumps breast cancer?

seenbetrdayz February 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I think they were just trying to figure out how they came to be related causes. Unless, a fetus somehow developed breast cancer before birth. Talk about a dilemma.

Justin Tomczak February 3, 2012 at 9:32 am

From the article…

On a Thursday conference call Nancy Brinker, the founder and CEO of the Komen Foundation, told reporters that the organization is “singularly focused” on combating breast cancer, and that the politics of the decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood has been distracting from their mission.

Nevertheless, since cutting ties, Brinker announced that Komen’s donations have gone up in the last two days — by 100 percent.

kyleinatl February 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

That’s going to last all of about a month…controversial decisions in the political realm by non-profits are tricky beasts and best avoided altogether. The people you make happy stick around for a month or two as ardent supporters, the people you piss off are gone for 10 years or more….

Cassandra February 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Boy is that ever accurate. Now Komen has managed to reverse itself, creating even further goodwill issues based on new donations.

Short of stealing or misappropriating donated funds, this is a non-profits worst possible nightmare.

Dave Bearse February 3, 2012 at 9:55 am

At least one sentence that concerns a matter of public record presented as fact in this column is in error, which in turn undermines the credibility of other assertions herein:

“No significant pro-life legislation has passed the legislature since Republicans took control.”

The Woman’s Right to Know Act of 2005, and its amendment in 2007, constitute two pieces of significant legislation:

Calypso February 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

And what crap pieces of legislation they both are.

ricstewart February 3, 2012 at 9:57 am

The way folks on the left are reacting, you’d think Karen robbed Planned Parenthood at gunpoint and Nancy Brinker drove the getaway car.
It’s not like SGK and its lobbyists are suddenly going on an anti-abortion crusade; they’re simply not continuing a grant. It happens.
Planned Parenthood has an annual budget of $1.1 billion. The grant from Komen was only $690,000 (only 0.1% of the $93 million in community grants Komen gives each year). If PP wants to provide cancer screenings, they’re more than capable of funding them without Komen’s help.
It was Komen’s money to start with and they’re not obligated to give it to PP. What makes Planned Parenthood think they’re obligated to Komen’s money?

This sends a message to other businesses and organizations: don’t ever give a grant or donation to Planned Parenthood, because if you ever stop, we’ll kick and scream and throw a fit and bully your executives with misogynist slurs.

griftdrift February 3, 2012 at 9:59 am

It also sends the message that if you do business with Komen, all it takes is one congressman on a crusade to scuttle that relationship.

Engineer February 3, 2012 at 10:25 am

That is only partially true. They also have to be a chairman of a committee, otherwise, they don’t have as much power.

griftdrift February 3, 2012 at 10:27 am

Fair enough. One nutty committee chair.

David C February 3, 2012 at 10:33 am

Actually, subcommittee, which is what Stearns runs. There are 23 total committees, and over 100 subcommittees. So yeah, all it takes is one nutty congressman out of over 120. Not great odds for sanity, is it?

Engineer February 3, 2012 at 10:40 am

Well, and there is the matter that it has to be relevant to your committee or subcommittee, so that should narrow down the numbers a bit.

David C February 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Yeah, but it’s not like you would think Oversight from the Energy and Commerce Committee would have first shot at Planned Parenthood, as opposed to say the other subcommittees that actually have Health or some variation in their title / mission statement. And that’s not to say someone else could make a BS investigation of whatever group from whatever field and they’d still have to drop it under that asinine logic. I mean, hasn’t Congress been investigating steroids in baseball, and yet they still have pink bat day and whatnot?

Dan Becker February 3, 2012 at 10:12 am


Lets get some facts straight: Karen Handel met with GRTL for over an hour and a half in a private meeting at her campaign headquarters 4 months before the election. During that interview facts came out that clarified her personal view on the sanctity of life:

She believed that a child could be executed under the law based on its manner of conception. There was not one, but three occasions when she believed the killing of a pre-born child was permissible:

1. As a leftover product of the treatment of infertility. She defended the unfortunate statement that a child at an early embryonic stage (prior to implantation) is NOT a child! She held, at the time, to the pro-abortion doctrine that an embryo is not a child UNTIL it implants in the womb. This IS NOT the position of National Right to Life or any other prolife group.

2. As to the manner in which a child is conceived. No prolife group in the nation believes that a child should be aborted even if they are the result of a violent act against the mother. Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich recently changed their lifelong political stance and declared that they no longer believe in abortion for “rape and incest”. Rick Perry stated 3 weeks ago that his change came as a result of actually meeting Rebecca Kiesling whose biological father was a serial rapist. She asked the Governor point blank why he advocated for her execution INSTEAD of the execution of the serial rapist who caused her mother so much suffering.

3. Karen advocating for a child to be executed who was conceived through incest. It is a fact that the vast majority of abortions on child victims of incest are paid for by the perpetrator himself. This allows continued access to the girl and further victimization. Even DEFACs recommends that the pregnancy go forward so that the girl is protected by the larger family rallying around her and giving her protection.

4. Karen held to an extreme position that fewer and fewer politicians are willing to defend. The NO “rape and incest” exception is held by ALL 9 statewide officers. (Gov. Lt Gov, Attny Gen, Sec of State, etc.) It is the predominant mainstream political prolife position in Georgia.

5. I NEVER was guilty of calling Ms. Handel “barren and infertile”. Jim Galloway was responsible for that myth. When I confronted him, his defense was “I can’t help it if someone CONFLATES what I write.” It was his way to generate controversy at our expense. It worked very well.

I have penned a check to Susan B Komen for a sizable donation (sizable at least by my means). I have always wanted to support their work “for a Cure”, but was unable to do so because of their funding of an organization that gave to Planned Parenthood . . . my wife died of breast cancer six years ago.

Dan Becker
Georgia Right to Life

Calypso February 3, 2012 at 10:20 am

Mr. Becker, thank you for detailing and expounding upon why I think you and your group and nuttier than squirrel sh!t.

Three Jack February 3, 2012 at 10:30 am


CobbGOPer February 3, 2012 at 10:52 am


TheEiger February 3, 2012 at 10:35 am

Please tell the truth and you ARE GUILTILY of saying “barren and infertile.” Did you happen to forget that you had this gem of a news clip telling the world that you did in fact use that term. Please explain to me in what context is it ever okay to use that phrase towards a woman?

Engineer February 3, 2012 at 10:56 am


Three Jack February 3, 2012 at 10:43 am

beckerhead writes, I NEVER was guilty of calling Ms. Handel “barren and infertile”.

beckerhead’s exact quote as reported by Jim Galloway —

“Someone’s desperate right to parenthood – because they’re infertile, they’re barren, whatever term you want to use(emphasis added by me) – is an emotionally fraught subject that has our highest sympathy. But it should never be attempted to be addressed where a life is taken in the process.”

This quote was in response to a very emotional press release put out by Karen and Steve regarding their attempts to get pregnant. As I posted on PP at the time, beckerhead would still be better off replying w/’no comment’ instead of exposing his ignorance for all to see.

John Vestal February 3, 2012 at 10:56 am

Lying makes Baby Jesus cry.

Three Jack February 3, 2012 at 11:58 am

ruh roh, better call your bank to stop payment on that ‘sizable donation’ becker —

“We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives,” a Komen statement said. “We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants,” the statement said.

lukethedrifter February 3, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Sorry to hear about your wife. It’s not necessary for folks to agree with you here, but that went unoticed in their rush to spew vitriolic anger at you and the group you represent.

It appears now that the liberal media has shamed Komen into reversing their decision. Figures!

CobbGOPer February 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Sure, it’s the media’s fault. Any other boogeymen you’d like to drag out and blame while we’re at it?

griftdrift February 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm


SallyForth February 3, 2012 at 3:18 pm

Al Sharpton!

kyleinatl February 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

teh gayz!!

benevolus February 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm

George Soros!

Taylor Bryant February 3, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Global warming?

John Vestal February 3, 2012 at 9:20 pm

FDA Red #2

John Konop February 3, 2012 at 8:23 pm


In all due respect, can you not understand how your comments come across as very judgemental? If I follow your logic we should give everyone free healthcare for life and if you disagree would you not be pro birth and not pro life?

Harry February 3, 2012 at 10:15 am

The tide is slowly turning in America. The opposition to abortion is becoming more intense – not only from traditional groups of social conservatives including the Catholic Church, but from immigrant communities such as Haitians, Muslims, and Hispanics. Especially the Hispanics are starting to make their voices heard. Roe v. Wade is definitely ripe for overturn in the not so distant future. If Obama can be removed it will only be a matter of time.

David C February 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

And once Roe v. Wade is gone, all abortions will end, just like it was before 1973! Oh wait, no…. It’s amusing how the party that thinks that government can’t do anything right thinks it will magically make abortion cease to exist as a practice.

CobbGOPer February 3, 2012 at 11:39 am

It’s funny how all these pro-lifers care so much about the fetus, but they could give a damn how many women will die in back-alley abortions. Real pro-life.

AMB February 3, 2012 at 10:28 am

If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. That is the full extent of your right and responsibility. You nor anyone else has any right or responsibility over anyone else’s body or decision.

It’s none of your business. That is a true conservative position.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 10:31 am

Thanks for telling me what is my responsibility and business. Not.

Taylor Bryant February 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

No one uses “not” anymore. Just a tip. Makes you look like a teenage girl from 1993.

Calypso February 3, 2012 at 10:59 am

Maybe she is, and ‘Harry’ has been fooling us all along.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Thanks for the tip.

NoTeabagging February 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Amen, sister!

Three Jack February 3, 2012 at 11:09 am

Have any of the SGK leaders offered an explanation for cutting the grants to PP beyond the BS about an ongoing investigation?

Seems to me both Planned Parenthood and SGK do great things for women, especially those most in need of assistance. It would be a damn shame if this turns into an all out political battle due to a few malcontents raising hell over such a relatively small movement of funds between the groups.

Jackster February 3, 2012 at 11:09 am

You lost me at “She believed that a child could be executed under the law”.

Somehow I have to think that is not what was asked.

Dan Becker = D.B. = Douche Bag

Which ironically is an alternative to abortion.

benevolus February 3, 2012 at 11:20 am

Ahh, that was a gubernatorial race to remember!
Roy Barnes flogging his Matlock impersonation for all it was worth, Nathan Deal leaving DC in the middle of the night, Carl Camon, Randall Mangham’s malpractice problem, John Oxendine, and who can forget Ray McBerry!

The finest entertainment politics can provide!
Ah, those were the days!

Cassandra February 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Not to forget Horsely’s mule. Good times!

David C February 3, 2012 at 11:21 am

And now, the climb down, even as they’re still talking out of their ass:

“We want to apologize to the American public for recent decisions that cast doubt upon our commitment to our mission of saving women’s lives.

The events of this week have been deeply unsettling for our supporters, partners and friends and all of us at Susan G. Komen. We have been distressed at the presumption that the changes made to our funding criteria were done for political reasons or to specifically penalize Planned Parenthood. They were not.

Our original desire was to fulfill our fiduciary duty to our donors by not funding grant applications made by organizations under investigation. We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.

Our only goal for our granting process is to support women and families in the fight against breast cancer. Amending our criteria will ensure that politics has no place in our grant process. We will continue to fund existing grants, including those of Planned Parenthood, and preserve their eligibility to apply for future grants, while maintaining the ability of our affiliates to make funding decisions that meet the needs of their communities.

It is our hope and we believe it is time for everyone involved to pause, slow down and reflect on how grants can most effectively and directly be administered without controversies that hurt the cause of women. We urge everyone who has participated in this conversation across the country over the last few days to help us move past this issue. We do not want our mission marred or affected by politics – anyone’s politics.

Starting this afternoon, we will have calls with our network and key supporters to refocus our attention on our mission and get back to doing our work. We ask for the public’s understanding and patience as we gather our Komen affiliates from around the country to determine how to move forward in the best interests of the women and people we serve.

We extend our deepest thanks for the outpouring of support we have received from so many in the past few days and we sincerely hope that these changes will be welcomed by those who have expressed their concern.”

CobbGOPer February 3, 2012 at 1:40 pm

“We will amend the criteria to make clear that disqualifying investigations must be criminal and conclusive in nature and not political. That is what is right and fair.”

They forgot to say: “But after the criteria are amended, Planned Parenthood will still have to re-apply for the grants, applications which will be denied.”

jiminga February 3, 2012 at 11:53 am

SGK today announced their reversal of the policy suspending support for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the world. I wonder if all those increased contributions will wind up being refunded.

SGK’s backtracking is evidence of the MSM’s power, and the left’s enthusiastic support for murder of innocents.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm


Harry February 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Komen should know that the large majority of babies being aborted are female.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Komen should know that there is a correlation between abortion and breast cancer.

John Vestal February 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm

That’s been shown to be erroneous, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Other studies not influenced by government funding show a correlation. There is certainly a correlation between various cancers and high-risk sexual activity which are aided and abetted by the abortion industry.

We live in a sick society.

CobbGOPer February 3, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Then go somewhere else and stop pestering us with your nonsense.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

You do realize that the vast majority of the world population believe my version of nonsense, and not yours. And the people who believe your version have a negative birthrate.

Three Jack February 3, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Polling data disputes your nonsense —

Calypso February 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Now don’t go screwing up the world in Harry’s head with facts.

CobbGOPer February 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Facts will only confuse him.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Your link refers only to the opinions of the US population, not total world population.

benevolus February 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Who cares what they think in France.

NoTeabagging February 3, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Speaking of negative birthrate, you do realize most of the world population, reading Peach Pundit, believe Harry is a latent crib death.

Chris Huttman February 3, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Charlie – sorry but the fact is organizations like Komen are kind of like the bundlers of the non-profit world. They generally have a narrowly tailored focus in order to raise money and must find partners to redistribute that money to. A group like Planned Parenthood that performs breast cancer screenings is the perfect partner – and for that matter if there was/is/are a pro-life equivalent of Planned Parenthood that provided other health services including breast cancer screenings they would be a great target for money from Komen as well.

You can spin this all you want – the reality is that when Karen Handel took her job at Komen they were already giving money to PP and no one except ultra loons like Dan Becker thought of Komen as a partisan organization. Left wingers didn’t think of Komen as partisan and right wingers didn’t think of them as partisan. They thought of them simply as a non-partisan organization focused on a highly tailored mission. And in America, we care very much about the status quo in making decisions and assumptions about groups. So Komen WAS considered non-partisan and they also gave to PP – THAT is the baseline from a PR perspective that needs to be maintained.

To put it another way – let’s say they had never given to Planned Parenthood before and Jennifer Granholm became the President of their board and they started. That would certainly have caused a firestorm equal to what happened. But that wasn’t the baseline, and that wasn’t what happened. If I was Handel, I’d be wondering where my paycheck was going to come from. Sure they got a few new donations from crazies like Becker in the last few days, but based on my scan of facebook relatives that were huge supporters of this group (and this group isn’t consistent on its partisanship) this could cause longterm harm. If I was Handel, I’d take the blame, step aside, become a hero to the right wing and let this group continue it’s mission unblemished by her bad decision.

Cassandra February 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Smoking gun?

“Hammarley was laid off by Komen last year as part of a reorganization of the group’s media division, but he says he has no bitter feelings toward the group: “This organization has saved lives and raised consciousness all over the world. It’s an extraordinarily successful story, and I couldn’t find a single bad word to say about its work. But it has had some growing pains in its politics and we see that with the Planned Parenthood story.”

He called the controversy over Planned Parenthood funding “a burr in the saddle of Komen, but it withstood the issue for years and years.” Hammarley said the issue became newly urgent after Handel was brought on last year. “The internal debate on a senior level rose in the past eight months or so, coinciding with her hiring.” “

CadeThacker February 3, 2012 at 1:08 pm

This whole issues makes me mad for reasons very different than those stated above.
Lets summarize the facts:

People give money to Non-Profit A,
Non-Profit A in turns decides to give money to Non-Profit B.

This a private decision to be made by the organization. Once you give your money, you have little say so. Period!

Why do senators feel they have the right to demand where SGK gives its money? Oh yeah, because they rule the world. I forget my place.

Internal private decision made by management. If you don’t like it don’t give.

Now, if I was in charge of SGK, I would not have cut cold turkey, just cut 10% each year, until gone, nobody would have said a word.

I hate it when an outside group dictates how a private group should spend/give the money they have.

griftdrift February 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Decisions have consequences

apsmith76 February 3, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Absolutely! The PP grants were ostensibly pulled based on a new policy not to fund institutions under govt investigation. But it became clear that their decision was more about being anti-choice and not so much about the new policy when it was revealed that, despite the fact that Penn State is under numerous investigations, including federal ones, there were no publicly stated plans to pull their funding.

So, for all the talk about non-profit foundations having sovereignty in choosing who to fund and who not to fund, so be it, whatever. Just be transparent and don’t misguide the public about why funding is being pulled from organizations that have long benefited from it. The reality is, SGK knew it would be too risky to give the true reasons for pulling the funding, so they lied. Come to find out, though, women of all political stripes will fight for their right to make decisions about their own bodies, and they will fight like hell when they see a trusted, well-respected organization like SGK cave to those who want to take these rights away.

ricstewart February 3, 2012 at 1:35 pm

After ending ties with Planned Parenthood, Komen saw a 100% increase in donations. Now they’ve reversed that decision? Doesn’t seem like a smart move to me.

John Vestal February 3, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Short-term gains vs long-term losses.

A 24-48 hour influx of donations from 1st-time donors is very visible. The loss of donations from folks who’ve been giving consistently for years wouldn’t be apparent in the short-term, but would become very apparent in the long-term. I also tend to believe that an analysis of the overlap in the demographics of those that support each organization would lend itself to the same conclusion.

ricstewart February 3, 2012 at 2:16 pm

That’s true. Only time will tell. Both Komen and Planned Parenthood saw huge increases in donations in the fallout this week.

SallyForth February 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Harry, where DO you get your “facts?” ‘See them written on the lining of your colon walls?

Please, all you “keep government out of our lives” people, why are you so anxious to put government inside a woman’s uterus? If men had to go through nine months of their body being pained and distorted for gestation, then go through giving birth just one time, you’d see them shut this crap up immediately.

SallyForth February 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm

And Charlie, you got it right with the title – This One IS Personal! What a woman does with her body is totally personal, and it’s covered by that pesky old Constitution’s right to privacy provision.

apsmith76 February 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm


Harry February 3, 2012 at 7:13 pm

What a woman does with her body is totally personal
What is done to kill a separate human being temporarily inhabiting a woman’s body, is murder.

benevolus February 3, 2012 at 7:37 pm


SallyForth February 3, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Harry sounds like he’s talking about Martians “temporarily inhabiting a woman’s body”!
Reality check: If it were “a separate human being”, it would be walking/talking/eating/living independently, no need of a woman’s body whatsoever. Unless it was for sex mebbe….
Geez – now he’s got me on the crazy train with him!

Jane February 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Susan G. Komen Foundation by caving to Planned Parenthood cannot win for losing. Now, that churches and schools that just found out they helped fund PP indirectly will be the subject of political pressure to stop supporting Susan G. Komen Foundation. Karen who is trying to win points with the Social conservatives will probably be forced to resign.

brianshipman February 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm

A good point you bring up Charlie. Is the candidate on the campaign trail the same person we would know without an office to win? For me the answer can be found in the words of the candidate. Yes, I know what your thinking, candidates are all talk who will say anything to get elected. Well, you’re mostly right. But like you, I have known a few candidates and elected leaders who meant what they said and their words were genuinely aimed toward improving the public good. The chance of losing the election did not change or influence their message. Which, coincidently is what we’re studying in an ethics communication class I’m taking at Drury University. It turns out there is a way to determine whether political rhetoric is ethical. According to modern day scholars it’s all about consideration for others. Does anyone remember that concept?

From author Dennis K. Mumby, we learned the need to “create the dwelling place or openings where collaborative deliberation, conscience-formation and civility become possible.” I know it all sounds like a grandiose fantasy during this time but here in The Ozarks I’ve known candidates who embodied Mumby’s philosophy to the core. They come from both parties and coincidentally were both recently ousted from office by candidates who adopted an all or nothing platform with no option to compromise. They are the still the same people they were as elected officials. True to the the belief of valuing others and working for the collective good. I do hope we see more like them in the future.

For more insights into Dennis Mumby try The Handbook on Communication Ethics by authors Chaney, May and Munshi 2011.
Brian R Shipman
Springfield, MO

analogkid February 3, 2012 at 10:15 pm

One thing that hasn’t really been discussed is what this means for Handel’s political future. Cynical or not, I’ve always assumed her taking this position at SGK was just a way to kill time until the next gubernatorial election or until a congressional seat opened up.

I’ve come up with four possible scenarios, assuming she does intend to run for another office someday:

1. Handel was responsible (or claims to be responsible) for the termination of support to PP and resigns after the reversal. She later argues that she tried to lead SGK to a more pro-life position, was a victim of the media (or whatever), and resigned on principle. This is her best case scenario, IMO.

2. Handel was responsible (or claims to be responsible) for the termination of support to PP but does not resign after the reversal: She later argues that she attempted to lead SGK consistent with her conservative views, was a victim of the media, but decided that the organization does enough good that it was worth staying on. Her opponents say that a paycheck was worth more than her principles and further proof that she is soft on pro-life issues and supports PP.

3. Handel was not responsible for the termination of support to PP but resigns after the reversal: Handel argues that she wasn’t in a position to effect that kind of change, but stood by her principles when SGK resumed funding. Her opponents say she’s not a leader, wasn’t actually an executive, and is soft on pro-life issues.

4. Handel was not responsible for the termination of support to PP and does not resign. Same as #3, but even worse.

My best guess is that she will resign. If she doesn’t resign, it’s a pretty good indication that she doesn’t plan to seek another high-profile public office.

Of course, another scenario is that abortion will not be as big of an issue in the future in Georgia, and she won’t have to answer to it.

Nah. :)

Calypso February 4, 2012 at 8:23 am

You’ve given this particular scenario way too much thought, I believe.

Harry February 3, 2012 at 11:04 pm

“It’s unfortunate that political pressure is building to provide money to an organization that goes out and actively is the number one abortion provider in the country. That’s not health care. That’s not health care at all. Killing little children in the womb is not health care.” – Rick Santorum

Calypso February 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

That thought process shows why Sanitarium is doing so well in the primaries.

NoTeabagging February 4, 2012 at 12:12 am

Amazing how many people are so passionate about the sanctity of life. The issue seems to focus not on the living people, plural, that are affected by these decisions but on the potential of one life. We have forgotten how to teach respect, act with responsibility, and live with consequences of our sometimes bad decisions….and live with them for life.

We rarely get bent out shape over killing for war, and whether or not such wars are justifiable. Do we respect life when we allow commercial enterprises free reign to poison our food, air and water? Oh no, that is the realm of the free market which must never be policed by too much regulation.

Yet some want laws that force women into childbirth, no matter the circumstances. These same people do not want laws that insure society will take of these children and provide them with a healthy home, education and comforts that will rear them to be good citizens.

bowersville February 4, 2012 at 8:11 am

The story line is simple. Komen makes a decision to no longer send money to PP. The media attention is intensified and Karen Handel is singled out and castigated as being the reason behind the decision.

Dan Becker agrees with the decision by Komen but his organization can’t resist jabbing a bare fisted thumb into the eye of Karen Handel. Why is that?

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The primary election for Governor is long over. The General election is behind us. We have a Governor and so far so good. Georgia has moved on, but not Becker.

caroline February 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Handel has blown up SKG’s brand in one fell swoop. SKG had a reputation of not being partisan and now it does. That being said, what really damaged SKG is this stupid decision actually made people look at what SKG is doing with the money and seeing that they only send 20% of their money to research, that they have actually fought against poorer women getting treatment under Medicaid and many other things. All this had been flying under the radar until this blew up and now it’s splashed all over the place. Forget PP and just looking at what they do with the money is a good reason to NEVER give them any money again.

seekingtounderstand February 4, 2012 at 2:02 pm

United Way gives more money to PP than SKG………….hope this story reminds pro-life and pro abortion people research where their money really goes.
The United Way gifts to PP would really upset the apple cart…………….seeing as they have the corporate and chamber of commerce market locked.

saltycracker February 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm

United Way is a personal shopper of charities with highly paid officials that pass out money to both PP and Komen which have specific charitable activities.

Outside donations by employees, maybe government needs to stay out of the highly personal, religious and/or emotional birth control issues, including related medical payments.

Harry February 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm

“Abortion is the closest thing Dems have to a sacrament – Planned Parenthood is their church.” – livins

Dave Bearse February 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

The Komen brouhaha illustrates why conservatives talk of bipartisan solutions is increasingly meaningless. Komen, which spends $300,000,000 annually on women’s health initiatives, grants $700,000 (0.3%) in furtherance Komen’s core mission. Planned Parenthood receiving the grants spends a tiny fraction of its efforts supporting a non-conflicting women’s right to choose, none of it with Komen money. Any connection, however small, is increasingly too much bipartisanship for the social conservative base.

Handel, who may have orchestrated helping a GRTL objective of defunding Planned Parenthood, is demonstrative of the base moving so far right that elected conservatives like Handel or Romney are forever condemned for the sin of actually representing constituents that elected them.

Charlie, I respect you and thus what you write about Handel. I don’t think Komen or Handel has said anything publicly about Handel’s role. That leaves opinions to based on circumstances in the absence of assertions, let alone objective facts.

Outsiders don’t know with certainty if Handel led severing ties with PP, or even supported severing ties. Handel expressed her public policy disapproval of PP when running for Governor however, so it’s absolutely logical to conclude Handel likely advocated within Komen that Komen not make grants to PP.

Handel as Komen VP of Public Policy absolutely would have been deeply involved in the formulation of the policy that grants would not be given to organizations under investigation, the reason for the decision. Outsiders don’t know with certainty if Handel developed or led the adoption of the policy. It’s illogical to think she didn’t have a central role in the internal discussion however.

The Komen organization made the decision. The circumstances are that public policy decisions central to Handel’s Komen employment have damaged the Komen organization. If Handle was important in the adoption of those decisions, her moving on as soon as the spotlight turns away would be the right thing to do. The flip side is Handel’s demonstration of a lack of influence and leadership in her central role within the organization, if the policy was implemented despite her conuseling otherwise.

Harry February 4, 2012 at 5:13 pm

“Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred.” Jacques Barzun

Harry February 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

“The seven sacraments of their secular culture are abortion, buggery, contraception, divorce, euthanasia, feminism of the radical type, and genetic experimentation and mutilation. These things they unabashedly espouse, profess and promote. Their continuance in public office is a clear and present danger to our survival as a nation.” – Bishop Doran

AMB February 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

What office is Doran running for?

NoTeabagging February 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm

Supreme ruler of Zardoz. Pass the Soylent green., please.

Doug Deal February 8, 2012 at 2:48 am

I don’t know, but I loved his music back in the day, particularly Rio and Hungry Like the Wolf.

Calypso February 8, 2012 at 6:16 am

That was Doran Doran.

Doug Deal February 8, 2012 at 11:01 am

Well, then I like his stuff half as much.

chamblee54 February 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm
Charlie February 5, 2012 at 10:22 pm

We ask that you not post links without context or comment. Ask Harry if you need further details.

Doug Deal February 8, 2012 at 2:47 am

He is trying to push his blog, Charlie as he has pasted his garbage all over the site today. I don’t think he cares much about your rules.

bowersville February 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I’m not getting into the right or wrong of Komen’s decision. But I’m relaying for all to read. Huffpo has confirmed that Karen Handel was behind the decision for Komen to cease funds to Planned Parenthood. From Galloway at the AJC.

Dave Bearse February 6, 2012 at 11:24 pm

It’s Huffpo and the sources are anonymous, so it’s perhaps as much spin as anything:

Jeff Yoder February 7, 2012 at 7:22 am

After reading these Blogs, I’m totally convinced that leaving the 3rd world state of Georgia was the best decision of my life! While Georgia sinks like a hullesss one of the highest unemplyement rates, forclosure rates and home depreciation folks are more concerened with legislating morality and other non-sense just as the legislative and executive branch do! Never mind the fact that Republicans rant and rave about less Govt. regulation and intrusion into the personal lives of citizens, yet don’t bat an eye passing regulations when it suits their far-right Christian zealots. Does Terry Shavo ring a bell! Good luck on the way down Georgia..LMAO!

Cassandra February 8, 2012 at 8:12 am

N E W S F L A S H !!!

8FEB12 0811 (ATL,GA)

We don’t care, Jeff.



AMB February 8, 2012 at 10:29 am

You better care. Take Jeff ( however rude he may be) and put him in corporate offices, board rooms, real estate offices, planning sessions, and the living room of kids trying to decide where to attend college.
Image matters.

Cassandra February 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Of course, you are right about image/brand/reality. My comment was more at the rudeness factor…

saltycracker February 8, 2012 at 7:46 pm

No apology necessary, Jeff has long made up his mind and opinied in a way that makes folks not hear past the “….you ignorant slut…”

Doug Grammer February 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

Jeff’s name is Jane?

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