Planned Bullyhood: How Planned Parenthood Set Up The Komen Foundation For Political Gain

Today’s Courier Herald Column:

Former Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel’s book, Planned Bullyhood, hits store shelves on Tuesday.  It is her account of the time spent as the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy, and the organization’s attempt to distance itself from Planned Parenthood.

Handel’s critics will paint the book as a tell-all designed to settle scores.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Handel is critical of many inside and outside the Komen organization, but she is toughest on herself.  She was the one who was hired to help navigate a peaceful separation between Koman and Planned Parenthood over the less than $700,000 given to them as pass through grants.

The results were anything but peaceful.  Quite the contrary.  Handel says several times in the book that she should have been more aware of the mounting signals that Planned Parenthood was planning an ambush.  They were not only aware of the strategy but were working with Komen on helping script the timing and public message of the change in direction.  Ultimately instead of cooperating, Planned Parenthood used the Komen Foundation as part of this years contrived “War on Women” political meme, in coordination with those who have direct ties to the Whitehouse.

That is the story of Planned Bullyhood.

At the center of this controversy is Democratic National Committee communications and media consultant Hillary Rosen.  During the time Rosen was advising Komen on how to “create appropriate messaging” that would appease those on the left, in effect acting as the “Planned Parenthood point person”.  During this time Rosen’s firm was also working with Planned Parenthood, representing Sandra Fluke as her publicist and Rosen was a regular visitor to the White House.

Rosen’s team for Komen included Emily Lenzner, a former Executive Communications director for ABC News who handled the publicity for George Stephanopoulos, among others.  It was Stephanopoulous, we are reminded, who had the lengthy yet awkward and out of place exchange with Mitt Romney during an ABC Republican debate over whether contraception should be illegal.  This was months after Planned Parenthood director Cecile Richards had been informed of Komen’s decision, and months before the well coordinated firestorm was unleashed on Komen by Planned Parenthood.

The book details firsthand accounts and the amazing amount of “coincidences” between the time Komen informed Planned Parenthood of its decision to eliminate a small number of grants that were later transferred to third party health care providers.  The amount of coordinated effort from Planned Parenthood across media and political allies on the day of the AP “leak” is impressive.  And in the end, the Democrats clearly have the message that they and their well paid media consultants were crafting.

The Democratic National Convention featured both Sandra Fluke and Cecile Richards prominently.  This display was enough even to make ABC’s Cokie Roberts observe that she thought the Democrats went “over the top” with respect to abortion.  Regardless, the President is appreciative of the efforts of Planned Parenthood to move the election narrative from the economy to an issue that was contrived at the expense of the Susan G. Komen foundation. According to a tweet from Richards, the President called her to thank Planned Parenthood “for all we’re doing”.

Planned Bullyhood is required reading to understand all Planned Parenthood is doing.  In addition to offering up the premier women’s charity for sacrifice, they are also using tax dollars to lobby for increased tax dollars.  Handel details how the organization – which takes in roughly a half billion per year in government money – makes millions in “donations” to related 501(c)4 political action funds to secure the friendships of those who continue to provide ever increasing taxpayer involvement to the organization.  Not only are taxpayers funding Planned Parenthood, but taxpayers are funding Planned Parenthood’s lobbying activities.

Handel’s book essentially is an admission that she was a bit naive that she and those on the left could put partisan and ideological issues aside in order to advance the charitable cause of eliminating breast cancer.  It should also be viewed as a textbook to understanding the deeply entrenched infrastructure designed to protect Planned Parenthood, and ensure that tax dollars continue to fund its operations and defend its prominence.


      • retro says:

        a pathological liar will tell you things repeatedly that aren’t true and leave out the truth ( a liar by ommission ) That way they are convincing you and themselves that this REALLY is the truth. The book Decision Points does exactly that. It is a shame that when given the opportunity to set the record straight, this person chose to address us as idiots, as he always has. You can find the book in the ” fiction ” area of the library.

    • rrrrr says:

      Absolutely NOT! It has many things going for it in a “broader” application…

      “they are also using tax dollars to lobby for increased tax dollars.”

      Seems that this tawdry act is to be left to the Chambers of Commerce and CIDS in GA.

  1. Good grief. I’m guessing the comments on this thread come from people who would watch a TV show they don’t like rather than change the channel. If you folks don’t want to read the book or don’t like Handel, don’t.

  2. swingstater says:

    Oh, come on. The Right is constantly whining either about how they are “victimized” (oh, poor rich people) or how everyone shouldn’t complain about the way they victimize others.

    YOU were the ones that wanted to defund Planned Parenthood and ordinary people got really upset about it. Case closed. And that should be a lesson for the GOP, who, under Mitt, wants to defund Planned Parenthood again.

  3. kathynoble says:

    I plan on buying the book. I will stand up for Karen Handel every chance I get. I have seen her fight the good fight and not back down time and time again. She took the time to advise me on standing up against corruption and I owe her a debt of gratitude. Very few people stand for something and Karen Handel is an extraordinary individual in that regard.

    • NoTeabagging says:

      I truly wish Karen Handel had stood up for herself in the vicious governors race. Instead, after a severe and villainous character assassination by Nathan Deal, she drank the kool-aid and did what every nitwit party politician does… endorse their opponent for the ‘good of the party.’ She did not defend herself against his ruthless, and unnecessary, attacks. l wish she had said, “I will urge every one I meet to vote for anyone but the mean spirited and morally bankrupt Nathan Deal.” That would have shown a real ‘no back down’ stance. Karen, your big boy pants are still at the cleaners, please pick them up before they are donated to charity.

  4. Rick Day says:

    So it was all a vast Left Wing Conspiracy. *clutches pearls*

    Noooooooo…Komen brought the field, the rules and the ball. PP brought their Game. And I don’t mean Peach Pundit.

    You don’t leave political PR plums on the ground to rot. Komen stepped in it. PP just played the PR game.

    Someone tell me if KH apologized for devaluing the Komen brand name. Because when I get calls to rent one of the facilities for a Komen fund raiser…well, I’m not so quick to call back.

    Because…Left wing conspiracy!

    • Rick Day says:

      And the rest of you can eat a peach regarding busing Charlie’s chops over this post. It has very much to do with GA politics, directly and indirectly.

      Don’t make me count the ways.

  5. AMB says:

    But why Rick why? Why do women in this state constantly have to fight off attacks on their reproductive rights? Hey pols! Go away. Go create jobs and clean up the rivers. Protect the coast. Fix transportation. But mostly, just go away. Fixate on something else.

  6. DoubleDawg3 says:

    She should have just focused on the Komen/Planned Parenthood side and left out the GA Politics (particularly the Governor’s race) in the book, because she’s unnecessarily continuing to make enemies. I imagine that she did this to help continue to build an “ethics” platform to run for office again in Georgia (Congress, Senate, maybe – when the appropriate openings come around), but she’d have been better off, in my opinion, just letting the Gov’s race go and focusing on her undoing by the Left while at Komen, that stuff appeals to the masses of Conservatives in Georgia and she would have likely won over some of those Deal/Johnson folks that might otherwise hold a grudge (which they still will based on her book).

    • tdk790 says:

      Have any of you read the book? I got mine yesterday. Yeah, Handel goes through the gov race stuff again, it’s a couple pages out of hundreds. Strange to see the whining from the guys over a few paragraphs.

      We can argue if that was good for her politically or not — probably not. It was pretty much statements of fact, although she does express some emotion over Deal, Johnson, etc. standing quiet when Becker made his dumb comments.

      My take is that she was highlighting the fact that in that race pro-life trumped ethics. Not saying it should or shouldn’t. Just saying that it did. You gotta admit there’s a certain irony in Handel getting beating beaten up by GRTL, going to Komen, being called a tool for the pro-life movement by the dems, and then called a pro life hero by the right.

  7. AMB says:

    There is a lesson in all that which is find your position based on your religious views and life experience and stick with it. Don’t blow in the wind as Handel did over the years to appease groups and win elections.
    Of all the things wrong with Romney (and there are many), his notable ability to hold several positions on the same issue will kill him in November.

    • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

      That, and the fact that he hasn’t exactly quite run a robust campaign up to this point, to put it nicely.

      Though I personally don’t know if it is true, I even heard that Mittens turned down the direct help of one Mr. Karl Rove (a guy who just might know a thing or two about helping flawed candidates to win elections), who offered to run his Presidential campaign.

      • tdk790 says:

        I would guess that Mr. Karl Rove’s SuperPAC/PAC/Committee would preclude him from having a role in Romney’s campaign.

        • The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

          From what I understand, Rove offered to run Romney’s campaign earlier on in the primary process when it looked like Romney might be the last one standing, but Romney turned him down so Rove decided to do what he could to try and help the GOP with the SuperPAC.

          • Doug Deal says:

            Rove barely won two elections against two of the worst candidates the Democrats have ever fielded. I have never understood how anyone thought he was anything other than mediocre.

  8. Ken says:

    I put off reading this because I didn’t want to read a re-hash of events. I read it today because 1 – I’m still home recuperating from whatever crud I’ve picked up; and 2 – there were still fairly recent comments. I read the commentary first. That made me want to read the column even less, but I was committed.

    It’s a well- written piece. It brings new info – at least to me – to light. In typical Charlie Harper fashion, it’s critical of all parties involved. It doesn’t make me want to give anyone money or run out and cast a ballot.

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