Your late jolt: Karen Handel levels the first attacks in the GOP race for governor

In her bid for a place in an August runoff, Karen Handel apparently couldn’t decide which one of three GOP rivals for governor to attack.

So Handel has gone after all three, in an expensive, eight-page glossy “magazine” that Republican voters – perhaps women in particular – are receiving in their mailboxes this week.

Consider it the first media-based attack of the GOP primary.
handelpic

A high-priced mailer like this is sometimes a sign that a candidate has opted out of a full-bore TV campaign – the kind that state Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine and former state senator Eric Johnson of Savannah are currently engaged in.

But Handel campaign spokesman Dan McLagan denies that the magazine is a substitute for a TV campaign, and said his candidate’s spots will surface soon enough.

The magazine’s content:

– The campaign went to the trouble to create a specific Fulton County edition – only the cover and back page are different — that touts Handel’s battles as chairman of the county commission. Fulton County supplied 8 percent of GOP ballots in the 2006 primary.

— Page Two is biographical, laying out Handel’s decision to leave home and a dysfunctional family at age 17, before finishing high school. The account of her life story says she “attended college at night pursuing a degree in accounting,” but glosses over the lack of a diploma.

Front and center is an endorsement from endorsement from Marilyn Quayle, wife of the former vice president, whom Handel served as deputy chief of staff.

Throughout the magazine is the theme of running against the good ol’ boy network that dominates the state Capitol, including her January denunciation of “sex, lies and lobbyists.”

Page Seven is devoted to attacks on her three rivals:

– Nathan Deal, she says, resigned his seat in Congress “to avoid an ethics investigation after he used his power to protect a lucrative state program that was making him hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

– Oxendine “illegally funneled more than $120,000 to his campaign from shady insurance political action committees in Alabama.”

– Johnson “made almost $1 million for his company off of state contracts. He illegally failed to report almost $300,000 as the law required him to do.”

A non-Fulton County version of the Handel mailer was addressed to a female member of the Galloway household. And the closing language below, found on the back page, appears aimed at mothers and wives who have picked up one too many pairs of boxer shorts off the floor:

“While the good-ole-boys are busy with smoke-filled rooms, their sweetheart deals, cover-ups and politics as usual, Karen Handel is cleaning up the mess, setting Georgia in a new direction.

“She’s won tough elections, cleaned up corruption wherever she finds it, and is ready to be a new, next-generation, problem-solving, conservative governor.”

A competitor pointed us to this Page 6 quote, drawn from a blog called Election Advantage:

“Former secretary of state Karen Handel seems to be slowly asserting herself as the Republican frontrunner, as she seems to lack the baggage of Nathan Deal and seems better liked…than Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine.”

The author of Election Advantage, the competitor said, is a 22-year-old student at the University of Maryland — according to the web site. But the biography was written 18 months ago. So the blog author is at least 23, and perhaps has graduated.

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99 comments Add your comment

GoKaren

July 2nd, 2010
11:43 am

I received this as well. It’s awesome, does a great job of laying out why Handel is going to be the next Governor of Georgia.

GoOx

July 2nd, 2010
11:47 am

Her fundraising must have sucked. If she is spending this much on mail, she cant afford to be on TV. My man Ox gores her in the primary. At this point my man Ox may win without a run-off.

Steve

July 2nd, 2010
11:48 am

I’m embarrassed for our state that the “best” we can come up with is Karen Handel. Her personality is reprehensible, and she even subjected poor Governor Brewer to the “Bring It On” nonsense. Looks like its just about time to move…

Ethical

July 2nd, 2010
11:56 am

The best candidate that will be on the ballot is barely on the radar yet he has a track record for supporting “The People”, is ethical, has real experience running a profitable business and simply will not stoop to mud slinging. I have attended several meet and greet events were I met him and his family. I know who has my vote…..Jeff Chapman with out a doubt.

Mr. KnowitAll

July 2nd, 2010
11:59 am

I was fine w/ her campaign until she started slinging mud. Now she’s going to have to earn back my respect.

Nail on the head

July 2nd, 2010
12:00 pm

Can’t vouch for her comments on Deal or Johnson, but saying John Oxendine is “shady” is putting it nicely. That guy might be one of the most crooked politicians out there. The guy’s staff would shake people down for campaign contributions outside his office in order to speed up application processing.

Atlantan

July 2nd, 2010
12:01 pm

I’ve never heard of Jeff Chapman. Oxedine would be an embarrassment to the state – he seems to be quite unethical and is certainly a clown.

My vote is with Handel. If Ox wins the nomination I’ll go with the Libertarian and look to see what the Pompous King Roy will do with a Republican house – it might actually work. Like Clinton with the Repubs in the 90’s.

Paul

July 2nd, 2010
12:03 pm

@Steve: I’m not really surprised that this is the “best” that we can come up with among the candidates in either the Republican or the Democratic primaries. I’ll be voting for John Monds in November, a principled, upstanding candidate who takes the high road.

Prankster

July 2nd, 2010
12:03 pm

How many of these bloggers are paid by McLagan?

Port O'John

July 2nd, 2010
12:11 pm

Umm. none of the above?

Our current crop of candidates (dems and republicans) would make Lester Maddox a shoe-in. At least he could ride a bike and wield an axe-handle.

Ethical

July 2nd, 2010
12:12 pm

Atlantan…I urge you to check out Jeff Chapman. He has not made the “media list” because he simply does not have the “war chest (I guess we can call money how ever it is come by…war chest) that the other 3 candidates have…..You notice that even in this headline there are only 3 listed. Everyone will vote based on either “lesser of evils” or “best candidate for the job”. I encourage you (everyone else too) to simply look at Chapman for yourselves. Look at his voting record and credentials. We need a leader like Jeff now.

kevin

July 2nd, 2010
12:14 pm

no questions about the authenticity of her claims?

carmikal

July 2nd, 2010
12:15 pm

How can she mention going up against the good ol boy network? She is a white woman in the south that became secretary of state without a degree??? Should I believe that she made it that far strictly through hard work and dedication, lol???? Obviously, she had some help which puts her in the same boat as the hand outs the good ol boys in GA give to their brethren.

Logic 05

July 2nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Anyone but the Ox Man and King Rat Roy!!!!

Zinc

July 2nd, 2010
12:19 pm

I look forward to reading it while on the can in the morning. Crap in, crap out.

Mark

July 2nd, 2010
12:21 pm

Karen has not moved an inch in the polls, has no money for TV and her only hope is a runoff. Like it or not, the Ox is goring her.

joe

July 2nd, 2010
12:25 pm

Definitely a weak year on the R side. But let me tell ya, if Barnes thinks he’s going to win with commercials about teachers or any govt employees and their salaries, no furloughs/layoffs etc he will lose. I couldn’t give a flying you know what about any govt employees benefits. Their crap never gets cut or taken away. Welcome to my private world where our incomes have dropped 50-80% a year over the last two years. No one gives a crap about us or cares to represent us.

Good ol Gal

July 2nd, 2010
12:28 pm

All these people running for Governor and I’m having to do any, many, miny,mo to decide which sub par candidate to vote for. Water, water everywhere and nary a drop to drink!

[...] opponents. Handel, after all, has three, therefore, in an expensive, 8 pages of beautiful … Read More Share and [...]

Toes the Line

July 2nd, 2010
12:32 pm

You can’t gloss over the lack on inherent skills to run this state. It is not a personal attack, but seriously, would you hire someone with just a bacehlor’s degree to be CEO of a $17 billion corporation? Would you invest in such a company?

Compared to Deal, Oxendine, and Johnson, yes she does compare well, but that is really speaking to how low the Reps have dug to come up with a handful of lousy candidates.

GOP should start over.

BIOMASS

July 2nd, 2010
12:36 pm

So Galloway is a Democrap. It sounds like you need to take a dump, tubby.

Paddy O

July 2nd, 2010
12:38 pm

I’ll probably vote for Chapman in the primary, but I am very comfortable with Eric Johnson. Handel is as shady as Oxendine & Deal – she denies membership in Log Cabin Repubs, which she did out of desperation to win election in Fulton County. Now, this propoganda magazine is a desperate attempt to reach the run off. In a run off, if Johnson is there, he will get my vote.

Paddy O

July 2nd, 2010
12:40 pm

joe – what do you want the nanny state to do for you? Personal subsidy? What was your salary prior to the income drop, and what did you do with all that $$?

Elliot Garcia

July 2nd, 2010
12:40 pm

I will be voting for Karen Handel…everybody else is a college-educated crook

Jim 007

July 2nd, 2010
12:43 pm

Karen for Governor

All the rest are ????

Not My Real Name

July 2nd, 2010
12:47 pm

Through my job, I’ve met her a few times. She is not a very nice person. “Aloof” is a great description.

Think “Newt” with a different set of plumbing.

Johnson makes more sense.

NO OX!

Good move

July 2nd, 2010
12:48 pm

Got mine yesterday..very well done and a good investment, as proven by the neysayers in these posts. GOP has several very good candidates for Governor. Karen is the best in my opinion and the mailer highlights the reasons why. Bring It On, indeed.

20something

July 2nd, 2010
12:52 pm

Karen’s story about growing up in a broken home and having to make it on her own was what made this piece memorable, and is well-directed to a female audience. Not earning a degree doesn’t detract me at all. Having been through college in the past decade I remember that it’s the experiences, meeting new people and fresh ideas that develops you as a person, not the piece of paper at the end. I personally did get my BA but colleagues who went the certification route at the end of studying (as she did) have gotten to where I have in my field even faster — which is no small consideration when you are paying your own way through life.

GreatATLGuy

July 2nd, 2010
12:58 pm

Who would vote for someone running for governor without a college degree?

joe

July 2nd, 2010
12:59 pm

Outside of getting out of my way and lowering my taxes and govt spending I don’t want anything from them. I don’t take stuff that was forced from others.
If you need to know I saved & thrifted like an SOB over the years but I have spent over $120K in savings over the last two years just to try to survive but that has almost tapped out.
People like you have no idea what a lot of us are going through.

Jboy

July 2nd, 2010
1:00 pm

Go Karen Go — UH HOME that is. You don’t stand a chance and have aleinated State Employees with all the talk of layoffs. What then? Maybe contract with some of your “good ole friend Contractors”? It’s the same ole ssshhhh with a twisted spin. I’m voting Democrat this year for the first time. Repub’s just don”t get it? Cutting taxes yes \ Balancing the budget yes. The reason we don’t have funding for DOT is they have been neglected by the Repubs for the last 10 years. Funding for the gas tax rebate came from DOT money. It’s the Repub’s fault we haven’t raised the gas tax to reflect other State levels. I hate to admit it but the Republican ideal is okay in “normal” times, but during the unprecedented economic times, we need leaders that are willing to do the right thing and raise some of the user friendly taxes like the gas tax to shore up our Divisions. The Repub’s have dropped the ball this time and I’m voting Democrat this election. I’m tired of starving!!!

goox-and take handel with you...

July 2nd, 2010
1:02 pm

Reeks of desperation. Out of money, almost out of time. That Election Advantage endorsement is pathetic. We are done with Sonny Perdue and his minions Handel and McLagan…

joe

July 2nd, 2010
1:04 pm

If she delivers an illegal immigration stance like AZ, she’s got my vote…esp. if she goes after the illegals in our state.

Dave Dawg

July 2nd, 2010
1:06 pm

“The account of her life story says she “attended college at night pursuing a degree in accounting,” but glosses over the lack of a diploma.”

Well, that blatant misrepresentation took balls. Or not.

HE'S THE WINNER

July 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

Courtney

July 2nd, 2010
1:07 pm

I would never vote for Johnson or Oxedine. So she has my vote.

Jim

July 2nd, 2010
1:13 pm

I’m a retired Us Army Officer, male, collage degree, older [70's] and could care less about her “personality” etc, etc. She strikes me as a no non-sense, honest hard working, committed individual. She’s got my vote!

Kay

July 2nd, 2010
1:27 pm

I cannot stomach the thought that if Handel wins and Cagle remains Lt. Gov., the two most important elected officials in the state will be high school graduates.

southernbutnotstupid

July 2nd, 2010
1:31 pm

Handel is a flip flopper in the John Kerry-like mold (or as he was reputed to be) – she supported the GLBT agenda, because she needed their votes; now, she’s against their agenda. Please don’t call her honest; she didn’t just change her mind because of a change of heart; she’s now going after convervative voters, so now she’s anti-GLBT.

Republicans have gone way too far out to the right when you’ve got people like Rand Paul and Sharon Angle winning primaries – there’s just no more common sense there and willingness to work on both sides of the aisles to get stuff done – Republicans are now just a bunch of opportunists that shrill out crap they really don’t believe just to cater to the wingnut fringe of the base -

southernbutnotstupid

July 2nd, 2010
1:31 pm

Handel is a flip flopper in the John Kerry-like mold (or as he was reputed to be) – she supported the GLBT agenda, because she needed their votes; now, she’s against their agenda. Please don’t call her honest; she didn’t just change her mind because of a change of heart; she’s now going after convervative voters, so now she’s anti-GLBT.

Republicans have gone way too far out to the right when you’ve got people like Rand Paul and Sharon Angle winning primaries – there’s just no more common sense there and willingness to work on both sides of the aisles to get stuff done – Republicans are now just a bunch of opportunists that shrill out crap they really don’t believe just to cater to the wingnut fringe of the base -

GOPvotingdeminthiselection

July 2nd, 2010
1:39 pm

Ive been a hard line Republican all my life but I will be voting for Dubose Porter in this election. Id ask you to check him out if you dont know much about him.

Bill

July 2nd, 2010
1:42 pm

If you don’t like any of your choices on the republican side, look at General Poythress on the democratic side.

Just Peachy

July 2nd, 2010
1:46 pm

Mark, do you watch the polls? Karen has moved up in the polls Ox has moved as well…. down! I’d watch the news tonight…

Georgiareason

July 2nd, 2010
1:46 pm

people degreed,does not make a person qualifed,more voters without a degree,so what ever we do lets not let spend-roy in office.

Republican

July 2nd, 2010
1:55 pm

I’m a college grad, but I think all this concern over Handel’s lack of a degree is just a smoke screen. If she can be half as effective running the state as Lincoln was in running the country and as Bill Gates has been with Microsoft, we’ll have the best governor I’ve seen. My worst nightmare would be having to choose between Oxendine and King Roy.

Alabama Communist

July 2nd, 2010
1:58 pm

Meanwhile , the other Republican candiates sent out a mass mailer to Truck Stops listing Handel phone number on the Men’s restrooms Walls……….

GW

July 2nd, 2010
1:59 pm

Please lord, not Karen Handel. I hope that every state worker, teacher and anyone that has had to furlough remember her at the polls. She “exempted” herself and her SOS staff from those. The fact that she doesn’t have a degree is not an issue with me….but the above is.

Good ol Gal

July 2nd, 2010
2:04 pm

Questions for Karen:
1- Do you buy lipstick on sale? You seem to use a good bit.
2- You say you came from a broken home. Please outline your efforts on repairs.
3- You say you are running against a bunch of “good ol boys”. What terminology do you use for yourself?
4- Did you not go to college because your highschool grades would not warrant acceptance.
5-Is it true or faulty information that you changed your name from Handle after being called Axe Handle and fearing voters would relate you to a former Governor?
6- What is your relationship with Courtney Fuhrmann?

Sick of Republicans

July 2nd, 2010
2:05 pm

Two kinds of Republicans – millionaires and suckers. Some probably fit both categories.

The Goobernator

July 2nd, 2010
2:12 pm

I agree with ‘Ethical’. Take a Look at Jeff Chapman. His standing up to the powerful developers to save Jekyll Island is worthy of attention. He will not, however, make a solid statement on illegal immigration or how hard line he is on Pro Choice though.

All these candidates that are mudslinging their own party candidates just make the entire lot look bad.

The media should be investigating these claims and reporting them, not just quote spin in a ‘he said, she said’ story that has as much credibility as a TV attack ad. But alas, AJC wants ad revenue from candidates as much as anybody, so good bye investigative reporting and buy your full page ads now.