Karen Handel’s e-mails with a Log Cabin Republican

Marc Yeager, former president of the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, last night sent over three sets of e-mail exchanges he had with Karen Handel – now a GOP candidate for governor — in 2002 and 2003.

See the e-mails: Exchange No. 1, Exchange No. 2, and Exchange No. 3.

Former secretary of state Karen Handel

Former secretary of state Karen Handel


In Exchange No. 1, Handel expresses her support for domestic partnership.

“As I’ve told you, I do support domestic partner benefits, and confirm my position here, although I do have concerns about a domestic partner registry. Bottom line is that I will work with you and other GLBT leaders to develop workable legislation,” Handel wrote in July 2002, when she was a candidate for a district seat on the Fulton County Commission.

Attached to that e-mail exchange is a draft of a questionnaire to Georgia Equality, a gay rights group.

Handel spokesman Dan McLagan said that the e-mail and the draft of the questionnaire – which McLagan said was never submitted – were composed by Matt Montgomery, Handel’s campaign manager at the time.

“Karen never supported domestic partnership benefits. The one opportunity she had to vote on the issue, she voted against them. And she did not send the e-mail,” McLagan said.

Minutes later, Montgomery called to assume responsibility for the e-mail. He did not remember typing the closing phrase – “fondly, Karen.” Possibly, he said, it was an automated signature on the e-mail.

“I was going back and forth with Marc Yeager at the time,” said Montgomery. He is currently a state employee with the governor’s Office of Highway Safety, which is why — Montgomery said — he had not been drawn into the dispute until Monday.

McLagan said he could not confirm or deny the legitimacy of the other e-mail exchanges.

In Exchange No. 3, Handel wonders at then-congressman Johnny Isakson’s support for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the United States.

“I was a little surprised since I always thought that Johnny was fairly moderate about the gay community and specific issues….has that changed???” she asked in 2003, when she was running for the chairmanship of the Fulton County Commission.

Yeager also said that he accepted a check from Handel, for membership in the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, a GOP group for gays and lesbians.

This is from a May article in the Savannah Morning News:

Deal says she backed adoptions by gay couples and county employee benefits for gay domestic partners – and joined the pro-gay-rights Log Cabin Republicans.

If she did, that might have played well in Fulton County – but wouldn’t with most conservatives likely to vote in the July 20 GOP primary.
But she didn’t support such adoptions or benefits, said spokesman Dan McLagan. Like other Republicans, she spoke to the Log Cabin group, McLagan said, but – as far he knows – didn’t join.

My AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin just got off the phone with Yeager.

Asked if he spoke to Handel face-to-face specifically about domestic partner benefits, Yeager said, “Oh, several times.”

The issue was an important one for Log Cabin Republicans in the race for county commission.

“There were several conversations with myself and Karen, Mansell McCord, who was [former] chapter president at the time, that was a conversation that was fully vetted. There was no question as to where she stood,” Yeager said.

As for her campaign manager’s claim that it was he, and not she, who wrote the July 30, 2002 e-mail indicating support for domestic partner benefits, Yaeger is dubious.

“Clearly, in all the e-mails I have between myself and Karen, there was never, ever any thought I was e-mailing to anybody else other than Karen,” he said. “I have numerous e-mails between Karen Handel and myself unrelated to these issues. Never, ever, was I under the impression there was someone responding for her. I had her personal cell phone number. I was able to reach Karen directlyi. There was never any thought I had at the time. And I still don’t now.”

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89 comments Add your comment

D-Boe

June 8th, 2010
12:42 pm

Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!

Georgian

June 8th, 2010
12:43 pm

Ah, Karen Handel will say and do anything to get elected. Can’t trust her at all.

Jim

June 8th, 2010
12:44 pm

Another example of a candidate having to run to the right (or left) in the primary. The fact that she is unable to admit the rather moderate position regarding same sex relationships and benefits speaks volumes about how out of touch the GOP primary electorate is….the Democratic Primary would probably be the same way (except to the left) if they weren’t sick of losing in this state.

goox-and take handel with you...

June 8th, 2010
1:02 pm

Which is it: does she support gay partnerships or is she a (pretty bad) liar?

lmno

June 8th, 2010
1:06 pm

These issues are always where the GOP leaves me. On some issues I can follow their ideas and find common ground. However, on social issues like gay rights, they are always so regimented against tolerance that it becomes a deal breaker for me.

Its the social issues moreso than even the, always stand for the corporation attitude of the GOP, that turns me off to the whole party.

Georgia Voter

June 8th, 2010
1:07 pm

“And she did not send the e-mail,” McLagan said.

Well her names on it. (”Fondly, Karen”)

Either way Karen Handel is a liar.

You Asked

June 8th, 2010
1:09 pm

I am a very religious (personally) and conservative (fiscally) person and I’ve voted GOP since the 1980’s. However (ARE YOU LISTENING GOP?) if the GOP and DNC only provide me with a choice between different flavors of big brother I’m going to bail on them very quickly.

The GOP needs to avoid being the party that wants to govern my behavior through morality legislation just as the DNC needs to avoid being the party that wants to govern my behavior through income redistribution.

Barry

June 8th, 2010
1:11 pm

Bad thing is, I would have supported Handel if she’d just been honest about it. The whole gay rights thing is moronic for the Republicans anyway. But now that she’s clearly lying, scratch her off the list.

Conservative Democrat

June 8th, 2010
1:12 pm

As Jim @ 12:44 suggested, this story says as much about the Republican primary as it does about Mrs. Handel’s personal character. Kudos to Galloway for pursuing this information. One of the most substantive pieces of political reporting from the AJC in weeks.

[...] According to Jim Galloway of the AJC, Karen Handel’s campaign is attributing her recently-revealed correspondence with gay activists—and submission of a gay rights survey—to a former staffer, Matt Montgomery. [...]

Art Vandalay

June 8th, 2010
1:14 pm

Who cares? Oh my god! Gays getting married not on my watch! Whats next people marrying trees, the hippies would probably like that! Gays are the down fall of the union run for the streets, men marrying men, women marrying women, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria! Oh wait it is completely f*%$ing irrelevant what her stance is on this because you SHOULDN’T LEGISLATE MORALITY. A government on any level has no right to tell anyone who can and cant get married, why don’t we just let the government arrange ALL our marriages gay or straight because they really need a bigger presence in our personal lives. I love the Republicans, “smaller government”,”less intrusion”, “don’t tread on me”, “keep government out of our lives and homes” unless its a man marrying a man, oh no government needs to get involved in that s@*t.

Cutty

June 8th, 2010
1:20 pm

GOPers are for limited government, except for the bedroom.

Art Vandalay

June 8th, 2010
1:21 pm

Lets just go ahead and give the Governor’s office to Oxendine so we can get on back to 1860 where he belongs. If we go ahead and call this race now we can get a head start on paving over every inch of the state, we can beat the nightmarish traffic that his transportation plan will create, we can go ahead and get started on demolishing Atlanta’s thriving and historic intown neighborhoods, after all ViHi is SUCH an eye sore, you know what would make it better? Thats right an elevated highway right over the top of the blasphemous heathens to get us from the airport back to the scenic beauty of Duluth without having to risk life and morality by driving through all those gays and brown people in downtown Atlanta! Yay Ox! And under the over passes of our new shiny 27 lane super highway we can create camps for everyone that doesn’t think like us! Oh, and for people that like mass tranist, ‘mass’ transit hahaha yeah right commies let’s just call them the people’s red line to socialism!

Karen Loses

June 8th, 2010
1:24 pm

Poor Matt, the fall guy. Did he take advice from John Edward’s campaign manager, who claimed to be the father of Edward’s child? BAD choice of an alibi, Karen. No one is buying it.

Michael Marr

June 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

DH

June 8th, 2010
1:25 pm

Two-faced lying creep.

DH

June 8th, 2010
1:30 pm

By the way, I’m sure Governor Perdue put no pressure on state employee Matt Montgomery to take one for Perdue’s Team Handel.

And I’m sure Matt expects no favorable payback if Karen Handel is elected governor.

Jenny Craig

June 8th, 2010
1:38 pm

Karen Handel needs to drop about 30 pounds like Sonny did.

Bobby

June 8th, 2010
1:40 pm

Handel’s new motto: Liar, liar, pants on fire!

goox-and take handel with you...

June 8th, 2010
1:45 pm

The issue is the LYING. If she really is a moderate on some social issues (gay rights, embryonic science), then just be honest about it. But instead, she has been caught in a lie and cover-up. Next please…

Aquagirl

June 8th, 2010
1:49 pm

Handel’s new motto: Not a big enough @#$hole to be the Republican candidate!

Jim really nailed this one, the AJC still has reporters on staff. What a pathetic picture of the Republican party consuming itself pandering to the right-wingers.

Truth-Serum

June 8th, 2010
1:52 pm

You are scared to write about stances on illegal immigration. Why do we just clean up the community’s red light district and sexual perversion as well as stopping and reversing the onslaught of illegal freeloaders who have lowered the quality of life and burdened us with outrageous taxes while lowering the compensation of our wages… Is this what Mr Obama meant by redistributing the wealth? Taking from the lower middle classes and giving to the welfare dependent illegal aliens? Gee, Now thats change, I believe. Thanks obama. Thanks for rewarding me for being hardworking and honest. Azz hole!

No ms handle we need someone who is willing to clean up Georgia not promote sexual perversion!

Debdoes

June 8th, 2010
1:52 pm

Food for thought: Domestic Partnership does not only pertain to gays….what about heterosexual unmarried couples sharing the same home? Some insurance companies support this concept and some other groups (AAA) do not. This has to change. p.s. Her weight has nothing to do with the story above, so back off pea for brains!

Art Vandalay

June 8th, 2010
1:52 pm

Guy’s we should give her a break, Jesus teaches us to give people second chances. Sure she spewed satan’s message of homosexuality but she now realizes the error of her ways and has corrected herself and stepped back on the path of christian values! Now she realizes that we should accept all through christ’s love except those who don’t think like us! To those who don’t share our values or faith we should pray they burn for eternity but in the mean time we can deny them basic human and constitutional rights!

The General

June 8th, 2010
1:53 pm

The Gop’ers are running out of feet to shoot and mouths to stick them in. God, I’m dreading the next four years.

DrivebyDawg

June 8th, 2010
1:55 pm

Folks it has nothing to do with her support, or not, of gay rights. As she likes to point out in her campaign stump speeches – this race is about ethics. She’s right and ethical people don’t lie.

Art Vandalay

June 8th, 2010
1:58 pm

Hey since we are ignoring the parts in the constitution about men being created equal, the right of the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness and all that other BS that some marxist at independence hall snuck in there why don’t we pray reeeeal hard that we can ignore the part about term limits too! Then maybe we can make Bush president for life! The only way to prevent imperialism, communism, and uphold democracy is to make sure liberals can’t have their voice heard, duh! Soooometimes we have to squash the voice of the many to uphold the voice of the righteous few!

Teetime

June 8th, 2010
2:03 pm

OK you scum sucking right wingers….. you asked for it. Karen Handel has a heart! Imagine that, in this age of bible thumping, pedophile endorsement accepting, gay hating religious zealot biggots.

Really, who freakin’ cares if she shows compassion ( as our lord and saviour did) for her fellow man. She’s just a woman… and we all know the extreme right in the state of Georgia will do anything…. even endorse a pedophile, rather than support a woman.

Really

June 8th, 2010
2:07 pm

With all the issues facing our state, who cares? It appears that at the end of the day she voted against domestic partner benefits. Isn’t that the true test?

Art Vandalay

June 8th, 2010
2:08 pm

Hey Teetime why don’t you take a look at the Bible! It condemns homosexual relationships everyone knows that! It says nothing about meeting up with a man in an airport bathroom! If the bible said it was wrong then my pastor and congressman wouldn’t do it! It also says nothing about 50th birthday tickle fights with teenage boys, so thats ok too! What is NOT ok is a loving, monogomous, relationship between too consenting adults of the same sex…gross!

Nope

June 8th, 2010
2:13 pm

Art Vandalay… this is not a religious country like say Afghanistan or Iran. It is a Democracy. If you want to live in a Theocracy, I suggest a move to a more intolerant location. And you remind me of the old adage that those who protest too much typically have more to hide.

Marty

June 8th, 2010
2:21 pm

Sorry Karen. You DO remember supporting domestic partnership in Fulton County. Now you’re on the big stage and you’ve made the decision to lie. Now take your ball and go home.

Abe

June 8th, 2010
2:21 pm

Liar! Liar! Log Cabin on fire!

Where's Herman Talmadge when you need him?

June 8th, 2010
2:29 pm

So Handel is hoping the good people of Georgia would rather have a sloppy liar in the Governor’s Mansion than a fiscal conservative who supports domestic partnerships? Instead of alienating one group of Republicans (social conservatives), she’s now eliminated two (social conservatives and social moderates). Good job, Karen.

Jere

June 8th, 2010
2:32 pm

And this is an issue why? So, what if she supports them. There are bigger issues. I for one want to see a governor that can deal with the traffic and the budget. Handel is not getting my support, due to her slanderous attack on Ray McBerry. She also was unable to correctly answer a question about the consitution asked once.

BPJ

June 8th, 2010
2:33 pm

Art Vandalay, good job on the summary of the GOP platform!

Deal and Oxendine’s treatment of Handel is starting to remind us of Mark Taylor’s treatment of Cathy Cox in the Democratic primary 4 years ago………we recall how well that worked out, i.e., getting the nomination as a wounded candidate resented by half of one’s own party.

Cutty

June 8th, 2010
2:33 pm

Nope- This country is a Republic, not a democracy.

The Truth Will Set You Free

June 8th, 2010
2:37 pm

Karen Handel would not know the truth if it slapped her in the face. It is amusing to watch her try to lie her way out of a lie…pathetic. She comes across as nothing more than a politician who cares for nothing other than winning an election…she will do our say anything and this time she got caught. I am sure this will not stop her feeble campaign from trying to deflect and lie all the way to primary day.

Intruder

June 8th, 2010
2:47 pm

Honesty – from a politicia in this day and time? Please! Politicians (and I mean ALL of them) will lie to get or keep potential votes. She is no different than any of the rest of them. If there is one candidate in this race that has not or will not lie, name him/her!

The Truth Will Set You Free

June 8th, 2010
2:50 pm

Intruder, please supply a list of lies by other GOP Gov candidates? I’d really like to see the list!!

Teetime

June 8th, 2010
2:57 pm

Art, Jere, TTWSYF, and all you other McBerry the pedophile supporters, go back to the hole you crawled out of. McBerry is not going to win……deal with it.

DW

June 8th, 2010
2:58 pm

Personally, I don’t care about Mrs. Handel’s stance on gay marriage. However, I do care that she’s honest and upfront with her past position.

John Konop

June 8th, 2010
3:01 pm

Studies show gay bashers are gays in the closet afraid to come out. Hey Nathan Deal was raising money with Mark Foley a gay sexual predator and it seems you had have no issue. I my world a sexual predator gay or straight is an issue.

You should just come out of the closet if that is the issue why you gay bash and trust me must of us will not judge you. Most of us let GOD do that and try the best we can focusing on improving our own issues.

Food For Thought

June 8th, 2010
3:03 pm

Art, I bet you wear a W W J D bracelet or tee shirt don’t you? Remember that Jesus doesn’t see any difference in the sin of a homosexual or the man who judges him. If you consider yourself a christian, they by God act like one, rather than a pseudo christian who sits on his thrown of judgement and casts stones at everyone else. God will judge us all…… he doesn’t need your help!

Cleve

June 8th, 2010
3:08 pm

Let’s face it Georgians, we are screwed no matter who wins the Republican primary. Sonny Perdue has most recently proven that to be elected just lie, lie, lie!! We cannot believe anything any of these Republicans say. Unless, it’s another morality confession of an illicit affair. Oh wait, that’s South Carolina! Sorry. Yes, Sonny Perdue just promised to support teachers. What did he actually do? Sonny has also made how much money on land deals through his office as Governor? Any Democrat will be a much welcomed change at this point!

Worst Fooking Nightmare

June 8th, 2010
3:10 pm

Well, it’s definitley election season here if you hadn’t notticed. Art’s here telling us how the the ‘crats love the poooooooooooooor, gays and blacks! I wonder if the plantation crowd in the ‘crat party will fall for it again this time? If you have ask ……………………

Bill

June 8th, 2010
3:11 pm

How about a compromise on the whole gay marriage issue. Here is my idea -
Government should not sanction Gay marriage…or heterosexual marriage for that matter. It is none of their business. There are issues like property and custody which are the governments business, but those can all be covered by a civil domestic partnership. Let the Government take care if its interest through civil domestic partnerships for any consenting adults. Let churches decide who they want to marry.

Middleaged White Republican Trotsky

June 8th, 2010
3:14 pm

Handel has failed the purity test. She must be destroyed, like a sick kitty from the pound, for the good of the Party. The Party knows best for all, and no deviations from the Party line will be tolerated.

Jaye

June 8th, 2010
3:15 pm

Handel still has a chance to win the Republican primary, but she must decide with integrity a platform she believes in and will support – and stick with it. Otherwise, she will end up like Mary Norwood who was front-runner in the Atlanta mayoral race but waffled on several key issues and lost votes because of it.

Bill

June 8th, 2010
3:16 pm

Art,
I am afraid that satire is lost on this audience.