Your morning jolt: A test of clout for Georgia Right to Life

The Republican runoff for governor on Aug. 10 will be major test of influence for Georgia’s most aggressive anti-abortion organization.

Georgia Right to Life has already made it clear – in a couple hundred thousand re-election robo-calls – that the group will oppose Karen Handel in favor of Nathan Deal.

And Deal has already indicated that social conservatives are at the heart of his runoff strategy.
So this message from GRTL president Dan Becker is worth noting:

Throughout the state [Tuesday], voters supported an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that said the “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death” and that right should be protected by law.

In all 46 counties where the amendment was presented, it passed overwhelmingly by an amazing 75%! Georgia is the first state in the nation where voters have said “yes” to the personhood question.

The presence of the question was made at the county GOP level. (One Democratic county, Butts, included the question on its primary ballot, and approved it.)

Becker said he’ll use the stats to lobby the Legislature for a proposed constitutional amendment next year. But making the difference in a statewide GOP primary for governor would be a stronger statistic to flash around.


Chris Riggall, who served as spokesman for former secretary of state Cathy Cox, e-mailed this morning to correct some misinformation floating about.

Tuesday’s vote was not – repeat, not – the first time that Republican ballots exceeded Democratic ballots in a general primary vote:

In the 2002 general primary, Republican voters outpaced Democrats in both the top two statewide races — U. S. Senate and Governor. That’s when both Saxby Chambless and Sonny Perdue won hotly contested races.

“For example, in the 2002 governor’s race, total Democratic votes (Barnes) were 434,892. Total Republican votes (Perdue, Schrenko and Bryne) were 511,463. In the Senate race, Republicans outpaced Democrats as well, by about 40,000 votes.”


Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes is headed to Enigma on Saturday for what’s being billed as a major south Georgia rally.

Barnes now has three spare weeks to campaign, while Karen Handel and Nathan Deal snipe at each other in the GOP runoff.

But the state Republican party will try to take up some of the slack. Obviously, the party will try to wrap President Barack Obama around Barnes’ neck.


But on Wednesday, the state GOP – in an e-mail to Republicans around the state – indicated that Barnes’ ‘08 support for John Edwards, the Democratic candidate with great hair and not-so-great morals, will also be a target.

Also, with President Barack Obama in Atlanta on Aug. 2, look for some loud GOP wondering over what Barnes’ schedule will be that day.


Smart Media Group of Alexandria, Va., serves as the purchaser of TV time for the campaign of Karen Handel. On its blog is a (somewhat self-congratulating) assessment of cost per vote in Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor.

Costs cited apply to TV only, and Handel probably spent far more than Deal and Oxendine on direct mail:

In a field of four major candidates, more than $3.05 million was spent and 679,572 ballots were cast making the statewide average cost per vote $4.49. If we look at the cost per vote (CPV) of the individual candidates, we find that Karen Handel was unquestionably the most effective candidate in the race.

Handle’s CPV was $0.65 – a feat of efficiency when compared to the other candidates. The runner-up, Congressman Nathan Deal, paid $2.37 per vote, or 3.6 times what Handel paid. Moving down the list of candidates, third-place finisher, former State Senator Eric Johnson, paid $8.85 per vote. That’s 13.65 times what Handel paid and 197% more than the statewide average.

Finally, fourth-place finisher and current statewide office holder John Oxendine paid a shocking $11.86 per vote, or almost 18 times what Karen Handel paid. Oxendine’s CPV was 256% above the statewide average of $4.49.


Mary Norwood this morning announced that she’s filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court in an attempt to get her name on the ballot as an independent candidate for commission chairman.

The Fulton County board of elections refused her candidacy earlier this month, citing her failure to meet a state-mandated qualifying deadline.

In her court plea, her lawyers argue that the Board of Registration and Elections had the discretion to allow Norwood on the ballot under Georgia law, and should have. “Well over thirty thousand signatures gathered in 90 days speak volumes about what the people want,” Norwood said in a press release. “Voters clearly want to see more choice on the ballot.”


Finally, we’ve been shown an interesting portion of a Fulton County poll that measures the endorsement clout of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young, and Democratic nominee for governor Roy Barnes.

Overall, Reed comes out on top – but the way the quartet’s influence varies according to the race of the audience is fascinating:

On whether an endorsement is more or less likey to move a voter:

Kasim Reed

More Likely – 57%

More Likey White – 47%

More Likely AA – 72%

John Lewis

More Likely – 50%

More Likely White – 29%

More Likely AA – 79%

Andrew Young

More Likely – 51%

More Likely White – 41%

More Likely AA – 66%

Roy Barnes

More Likely 49%

More Likely White – 41%

More Likely AA – 60%

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79 comments Add your comment

Flip Flop Deal

July 22nd, 2010
10:26 am

When Deal was a Clinton Democrat he was all for abortion as well as no bid contracts, now that he is running for Governor, he is anti abortion but still for no bid contracts. How can anyone ever believe this corrupt Washington politician.

Go Ox

July 22nd, 2010
10:29 am

“Finally, fourth-place finisher and current statewide office holder John Oxendine paid a shocking $11.86 per vote, or almost 18 times what Karen Handel paid. Oxendine’s CPV was 256% above the statewide average of $4.49.”

We should have spent more money.


July 22nd, 2010
10:31 am

Regarding the repub race for Governor, it is too bad abortion can’t be retroactive.


July 22nd, 2010
10:33 am

Lets just pray to God in Heaven that this is the end of the Oxendine nightmare.


July 22nd, 2010
10:37 am

The only thing necessary to defeat Handel is for Georgia Right to Life to expose her pro-abortion leanings to their quarter of a million identified GA pro-life HOUSEHOLDS. Many, many pro-lifers were fooled by her pseudo-pro-life endorsers.

One big elephant sitting in the room is WHY the nation’s premier pro-life organization tasked to identify, endorse AND fund pro-life women around the nation (Susan B Anthony List) have REFUSED her their very respected endorsement. And when you consider they endorse women who take rape and incest exceptions the mystery only deepens.


July 22nd, 2010
10:40 am

When Barnes was governor last time, he attacked the teachers, tried to steal the GA 400 tolls for other projects, committed a redistricting felony and practially sold the governor’s office to donors for access. In the presidential election he supported his fellow trial lawyer, John Edwards. In the mayor’s contest in Atlanta, Roy worked hard to inject race into a supposedly non partisan election. For eight years, Barnes has been a donor for liberal causes in GA.
We know what Roy Barnes is and don’t want any more. Can he please just dissapear.


July 22nd, 2010
10:50 am

Dan “Baron von Barren” Becker is a moonbat in the mold of Sadie Fields. If GRTL wants to gain back any semblance of credibility they would kick the loon to the curb.

If Becker had his way the Utero-Police would be going door-to-door searching for and seizing all your birth control pills, too.


July 22nd, 2010
10:51 am

My bet is we will see Roy moving back to the Governors Mansion in the near future.


July 22nd, 2010
10:54 am

If Republicans want to win this general election, they should really keep their eye on the ball: jobs, jobs, and jobs. Handel and Deal should be trying to outsmart each other on the best way to bring jobs to Georgia, since that’s what Barnes will be focusing on for the next 3 weeks. The fights over who’s more pro-life or anti-gay marriage are just a distraction from what will really bring votes to the Republican side of the ticket.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be the first time I naively assumed that Republican voters will vote rationally.


July 22nd, 2010
11:18 am

Karen Handel is pro-gay and pro-abortion. She has not received the Georgia Right To Life Endorsement and has not received the Susan B. Anthony list endorsement, which is an endorsement given to pro-life women. Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney have betrayed social conservatives.

If you are a SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE, don’t be fooled. DO NOT vote for Karen Handel. Vote for Nathan Deal in the upcoming run-off on August 10. Deal may not have been your preference, but he has the Georgia Right To Life endorsement and will help defend socially conservative values of life and marriage.

clear choice

July 22nd, 2010
11:19 am

Well, I suppose it’s Barnes for Governor, given that the alternatives are an uneducated woman and a corrupt business man that awards government contracts to his own business.


July 22nd, 2010
11:30 am

Only…the question appeared on GOP ballots only.

GRTL is a fascist organization!

Peter Griffin

July 22nd, 2010
11:33 am

Roy Barnes will be getting my vote for governor, since apparently the two Republican candidates don’t think a woman should have domain over her own body. Not everyone in this state is an uninformed religious nut.

The Republican television commercials this year are the most appalling that I have ever seen. If their message works, perhaps it’s time for all the sane people to flee this hick-infested state…

Jon Lester

July 22nd, 2010
11:35 am

All the GRTL endorsements and non-binding referenda in the world won’t make Georgia residents any better at choosing their partners, which is the real root of the abortion problem. I suspect some of the same people who are the most activist in the ‘pro-life’ camp would also be the most resistant to the cultural changes that would be necessary to bring abortion numbers down, if that’s what they really want to see happen.

Just Peachy

July 22nd, 2010
11:36 am

Spidey, you shouldn’t be fooled. Deal was once a pro-choice fighter on the Dem side. He was ranked one of the top 15 most corrupt congressman. Used political contributions to pay legal fees for his ethics investigation. Used his congressional influence to profit from what should have been public bid jobs but somehow just managed to be contracted to him. He’s not going to bring jobs to GA, he’s going to bring more foul play to the dome, take jobs for his own company. Karen is going to rid the state income tax like Florida & Tennessee which are KILLING us in jobs right now because companies are relocating there just because that don’t have to pay a state income tax. There’s a clear winner here. It’s Karen Handel.

DJ Sniper

July 22nd, 2010
11:38 am

Can somebody give me some background info on Dan Becker and the GTRL? From what I’ve read, I gather that he and the whole organization are some ultra right wing religious zealots who are stuck in some sort of time warp, but I’d like to know some of the stuff that he’s done/said for people to form this opinion of him.

dawggie stile

July 22nd, 2010
11:41 am

Why is Nathan Deal and Dan Becker so obsessed with sex?

Pro Life Atlanta

July 22nd, 2010
11:45 am

I was having trouble understanding the dust up between Handel and Georgia Right to Life. It looked like quite a fight over minor technicalities. I did my research and found that Handel voted to give $425,000 to planned parenthood when she was on the Fulton County Comission. That explains her not getting that endorsement and she has spun it to make GRTL look like bad guys. By doing this, she has lost my trust and confidence.

Conservative Thinker

July 22nd, 2010
11:46 am


Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Go join the fruits and nuts on the left coast.


July 22nd, 2010
11:46 am

You want scoop on GRTL and Dan Becker go to www.


July 22nd, 2010
11:48 am

I heard on the radio this a.m. that Georgia is one of the top states in the nation to start your own business. That doesn’t sound the least bit “hicky”. But that is beside the point. . .

What difference does any of it make, if we kill our posterity in abortion? Imagine if there were more than a half million more taxpayers in Georgia? That’s how many people we are missing due to abortions.

I am all for choice but not once a baby is conceived. That baby (who is a separate and distinct human being from his/her mom) has no choice. They can be destroyed for no better reason than they are inconvenient or their mom’s birth control failed. I find that incredibly sad for both the baby and the mom. I really think that women deserve better than that.


July 22nd, 2010
11:55 am

Pro-Life Atlanta,

It was $1.2 MILLION that Handel earmarked for Planned Parenthood . . .but who is counting? She can claim that the money didn’t go to fund abortions, but that is the equivalent of saying that a donation to a terrorist group won’t go to make bombs. It still pays for the overhead and is not something that a true “pro-life” candidate would ever consider!!!


July 22nd, 2010
11:56 am

Peter Griffin, agree with you 100%. I am no big fan of Barnes but he sure is a better choice than the alternatives. I despise the way Republicans want to beat people over the head with their bibles.


July 22nd, 2010
11:57 am

True conservatism means you only have to care about a person until they’re born. Then everything is their own fault.

Real Deal Real Steal

July 22nd, 2010
12:08 pm

Looks like Dan “Baron von Barren” Becker will be getting a big no bid contract if Deal is ellected. Deal is just too corrupt for Georgia.


July 22nd, 2010
12:14 pm

Just remember how he got the name, “King Roy”……do we really need another four years of that? Put Roy and Kahn back under the dome and the kingdom will not be good……


July 22nd, 2010
12:17 pm

Remember, Deal was a DNC Super Delegate in 1992 against George H. W. Bush… He also voted against parental notification for minors wanting an abortion.

Pro Life Atlanta

July 22nd, 2010
12:21 pm

What is Karen Handel’s official defense of giving money to planned parenthood? Right now it appears she just accuses Nathan Deal of fraud and hopes that voters forget about her giving a huge chunk of funding to planned parenthood. Why did she give money to planned parenthood when she says she is pro-life?


July 22nd, 2010
12:37 pm

Well, you Social Conservatives will have to choose between two candidates of which neither share your views on abortion.

I guess that means that you will have to base your vote on other important social issues.

Like who hates gays more? and Who hates Mexicans the most?

Tough choices lie ahead for you.

What if one hates gays more, but the other hates Mexicans more?

Then I guess you will have to ask yourself, “Do I hate gays or mexicans more?”

Yes, tough choices. Maybe you could ask God. Who would Jesus hate the most?


July 22nd, 2010
12:40 pm

The question is, how are these our choices for governor? It just comes down to a very uninformed, apathetic voter base. Barnes? Really? Handel? Deal? All three have directly contributed to our current state of affairs, yet we’re ready to hand over the reins to one of these three. Fantastic!

Bill Orvis White

July 22nd, 2010
12:42 pm

@Flip Flop Deal
The Honorable Rep. Deal found the error of his ways and changed quite a bit when in Congress. He even voted for Slick Willie’s impeachment — now that’s a true conservative. Furthermore, Mr. Deal believes in a culture of life. I’m sorry, but Mrs. Handel is not committed to life. Anyone with half a brain in Georgia ought to know that if a candidate is not committed to a culture of life, then he is not to be trusted on any issues.

Bobby Anthony

July 22nd, 2010
12:44 pm

I voted for Poythress in the primary election, but I will now vote for Deal if he wins the Republican nomination. I will not vote for Handel or Barnes. The remainder of my ballot will be split in November.

Thurmond will get my vote for the Senate.

Lieutenant Governor – Carol Porter

Secretary Of State – Brian Kemp

Attorney General – the Republican candidate

State School Superintendent – John D. Barge

Commissioner of Insurance – undecided

Commissioner of Agriculture – Gary Black

Commissioner of Labor – undecided

U.S. Representative, District 10 – Russell Edwards

Flip Flop Deal

July 22nd, 2010
12:47 pm

Bill Orvis White, good to see you have seen the light please keep posting for Deal.

A True American

July 22nd, 2010
12:49 pm

Who will press Karen Handel on this: If she is in favor of the right to life amendment, then she should be in favor of crimilalizing birth control pills. Oral contraceptives are abortifacients. Well, Ms. Handel? Will you answer or will you hide?

Flip Flop Deal

July 22nd, 2010
12:50 pm

Bill Orvis White..How much do you figure Deal stole with his no bid contract?


July 22nd, 2010
12:51 pm

@lmno: Strongly worded, but well said. Wake up, Republicans. I respect your views on abortion. If you believe life begins at conception, who am I to argue you’re wrong? But be realistic. The governor can’t do jack about abortion. So why use that as a standard? Republican candidates have been stringing along social conservatives for their vote ever since Roe v. Wade, but deep down the candidates know there’s nothing they will ever accomplish for the pro-life cause in their term.

You Asked

July 22nd, 2010
12:52 pm

I don’t want a social or religious test for any candidate. As a personally religious person I fear that any government that can ban a practice can turn around and require it. Ask the Chinese about their birth policy and then ask yourself- do I really want to give elected officials that much power?


July 22nd, 2010
12:56 pm

Conservative thinker: The left coast has so much on you guys. Fruits and nuts though we may be, the district I came from out there makes $30,000 a year more percapita than the national average, the majority of our counties make something above the national average (the exception is, funnily enough, the red portions), and we don’t have an income tax. Oh, and not only are the red parts of that state the only ones below the national average for percapita, they also make up the majority of the unemployment as well. So I guess you guys are right, all the left knows how to do is tax, take away jobs, and make it so that nobody can make any money. Go Barnes, or else start talking about jobs and stop mincing words over how anti-abortion/anti-gay we are. Social conservatism will be the death of the GOP.


July 22nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Pro Life, try DOING SOME RESEARCH instead of blindly falling for the lies and misinformation spoon-fed to you via the ads of Deal and Oxendine….

Deal Too Corrupt for Georgia

July 22nd, 2010
1:01 pm

Bill Orvis White

July 22nd, 2010
12:42 pm

What do you think about Raw Deal being 1 of the 15 most CORRUPT Washington Congressmen?

Ga Values

July 22nd, 2010
1:02 pm

Deal will say anything to get elected, just remember along with Maxine Waters & Jesse Jackson, Jr. he was selected as 1 of the 15 most corrupt in Washington and that is really saying something about his character.

**Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA)**
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)


July 22nd, 2010
1:04 pm

@ Spidey… you are mistaken regarding your opinion regarding Karen Handel.

In 1993 Nathan Deal voted in favor of the “Abortion Clinic Access Bill”. Vote Smart – Deal on HR 796 – Abortion Clinic Access Bill

Karen Handel is the only True Conservative and our only candidate able to beat King Roy in November.

You Asked

July 22nd, 2010
1:04 pm

I believe that elective abortion is a sin but the wording of the proposed ballot initative worries me.

“Do you support an amendment to the Georgia state constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the earliest biological beginning until natural death?”

Earliest biological beginning? Does this mean peoples right to contraception could be interpreted as falling into this law? Does it also mean that someone could not choose for themselves even in the case of incest or rape or imminent health risk to the mother?

The wording is too vague and could set the foundation for draconian laws. Personally I would hope that elective abortions for convenience are one day considered a barbaric relic of a dark age, but the state cannot define or enforce virtue or morals.


July 22nd, 2010
1:07 pm

True American, you are correct anyone who holds themselves out as “pro-life” (read: anti-abortion…..nobody is actually “anti-life”) would, in fact, be wanting to ban oral contraceptives for that very reason….a point I have raised numerous times.

But, reality dicates that the MINORITY who call themselves “pro-life” (1) understand that little nuance, and (2) would be willing to even give up their OWN pills, much less work to ban them for everyone.

If a candidate was truly “pro-life”, he or she would run on a platform that included “Rhythm & Rubbers!” as the only acceptable forms of birth control.

….and they’d get laughed into the sunset.

……and they’d get laughed into


July 22nd, 2010
1:07 pm

@Bill Orvis White… Nathan Deal is anything but honorable. Have you forgotten that he resigned his seat early just to prevent him from being brought up on ethics charges?

Let’s restore honor to the office of Governor in Georgia and elect Karen Handel as our next leader!


July 22nd, 2010
1:13 pm

“Earliest biological beginning? Does this mean peoples right to contraception could be interpreted as falling into this law? Does it also mean that someone could not choose for themselves even in the case of incest or rape or imminent health risk to the mother?”

Yes. Even crazier, as worded, it essentially prohibits in-vitro fertilization.


July 22nd, 2010
1:19 pm

@You Asked – Thanks for the comment! Actually, as chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, Karen Handel APPROVED and APPROPRIATED $1.2 MILLION to Planned Parenthood of GA, the state affiliate of the largest abortion provider in the United States. China has a 1-child policy. Karen Handel gave tax-payer money to fund abortions. Suddenly things start to look very similar.

To everyone else: As a social conservative, I hold certain values to be true. I am not personally attacking others or trying to throw my Bible at them. However, if a person will waffle on social issues, can you really trust that some person on economic and fiscal issues? You may care more about immigration, national defense, education, etc. If a candidate waffles, I think you would have trouble supporting them as well.

By the way, the Democrat party in some of Georgia’s counties REFUSED to include the ballot initiative. Thank you to the Democrat party of Butts County who included the initiative and it passed with a 72% Yes.

I do not wish to condemn, but I must speak for the children who are killed in the womb. The Governor has the power to sign or veto legislation. The Governor’s budget office, staff, and position make the position very important for the pro-life cause.

RONALD REAGAN began as a Democrat and changed to Republican. Give Nathan Deal a chance.

Please consider supporting Nathan Deal for Governor!


July 22nd, 2010
1:23 pm

“Throughout the state [Tuesday], voters supported an amendment to the Georgia State Constitution that said the “right to life is vested in each human being from their earliest biological beginning until natural death” and that right should be protected by law.” Wow! Who knew that this was about abortion? I thought that we abolished the death penalty. Why can’t we just communicate in plain English instead of hiring consultants to “word” things so that people vote exactly the opposite from the way they feel.

Scattered Smothered and Covered

July 22nd, 2010
1:36 pm

Ga Values,

This list of 15 most corrupt congressmen, where is this from?

Is my congressman tom price on the list? I heard he was being investigated.

Ga Values

July 22nd, 2010
1:50 pm

Scattered Smothered and Covered 1:36 pm

Do a google search on Nathan Deal Corruption & you’ll find the 15 most corrupt. I don’t see Tom Price’s name on the list, it includes John Murtha, who is dead so they must update the list annually.