Lori Geary of WSB-TV polished off the Karen Handel-Wikipedia affair on Thursday evening, with an interview with the secretary of state, who is also a Republican candidate for governor.
“For the record, yes, I have a high school diploma,” Handel said.
All this started last week, with a Roll Call column by Stuart Rothenberg, in which he wrote that Handel had finished high school in Maryland with a mere GED. (Handel took a limited number of college courses, but didn’t finish with a degree.)
Rothenberg cited Georgia sources for the statement about the GED, but acknowledged that the same information is contained in a Wikipedia entry on Handel.
According to Erick Erickson, who operates the PeachPundit political blog, the person who made the Wikipedia change used a computer with an IP address traceable to one of the state’s two “Sloppy Floyd” towers adjacent to the Capitol.
Staffers for state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, a rival to Handel for the GOP nomination, have offices at Sloppy Floyd. But so do several thousand other state employees.
Erickson has fingered Brian Laurens, a north Georgia field director for the Oxendine campaign, as a probable suspect in the Wikipedia adjustment. WSB didn’t name Laurens, but the Oxendine campaign sent over an affidavit signed by Laurens, denying his involvement.
In a shot of the affidavit, Laurens’ name is clearly shown.
The Oxendine campaign denies all and blames the Handel campaign for spreading misinformation, Geary reported:
“This is politics at its worse and one of the reasons that people are so turned off to being involved in political campaigns,” said Oxendine’s campaign manager Tim Echols in a written statement. “We believe that the real story here is that a supporter of Karen Handel has initiated a negative attack without offering any evidence.”
“I have no idea who did this… all I would like to really believe is that one of my opponents would not have engaged in something this low,” said Handel.
“If anyone from my team did anything like that, that individual would be fired,” said Handel.
Thus endeth the foodfight.
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