Brain fried. TV debate looms. Send questions. Quick.

The brain is fried, and a Republican runoff debate between Karen Handel and Nathan Deal looms — live at 10 a.m. Saturday on Channel 2 Action News.

You’ve come up with questions before. This is how we know that Nathan Deal would sign legislation to permit the Sunday sales of beer and wine in grocery stores. (Handel didn’t attend that particular fracas.)

You can come through again. Post yours in the comment area below.

Journalists from the AJC and other outlets – composing lines of inquiry in other debates — may also be checking this post for inspiration, so don’t limit yourself to the governor’s race.

In fact, here’s the schedule for the Atlanta Press Club/GPB debates through the weekend:

– Public Service Commission, District 2, Republicans: Friday, August 6 from 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Invited candidates include John Douglas and Tim Echols. This debate will tape and be posted online at

– Secretary of State, Democrats: Friday, August 6 from 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. Invited candidates include Gail Buckner and Georganna Sinkfield. This debate will air live on GPB-TV.

– Insurance Commissioner, Republicans: Friday, August 6 from 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. Invited candidates include Ralph Hudgens and Maria Sheffield. This debate will air live on GPB-TV.

– Governor, Republicans: Sunday, August 8 from 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. Invited candidates include Nathan Deal and Karen Handel. This debate will air live on GPB-TV.

– Attorney General, Republicans: Sunday, August 8 from 7:30 – 8:00 p.m. Invited candidates include Sam Olens and Preston Smith. This debate will air live on GPB-TV.

Nine stations across Georgia will broadcast the Atlanta Press Club/GPB debates: Atlanta – Channel 8.1; Albany – WABW/14.1, Augusta – WCES/20.1, Chatsworth – WCLP/18.1, Columbus – WJSP/28.1, Dawson – WACS/25.1, Macon – WMUM/29.1, Savannah – WVAN/9.1, Waycross – WXGA/8.1.

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61 comments Add your comment


August 5th, 2010
5:11 pm

For Karen Handel: Will your proposed 10% cut to state agencies apply to the Department of Education and more specifically to funding passed along to local school districts?

Falcon Fan

August 5th, 2010
5:21 pm

For Karen Handel: Much has been made of the issue of what constitutes being pro-life in this campaign. Two questions… 1. Would a Governor Handel sign SB 529 (referred to as The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act) that passed out of the Senate this past session? 2. What specific policy proposals would a Handel administration promote to advance the pro-life cause?


August 5th, 2010
5:22 pm

For both of them: Which of you remembered to wear “big boy pants” this morning?

Ugly Mental Picture

August 5th, 2010
5:29 pm

For Both Candidates:

Have either of you ever been out on a date with Preston Smith?

Ever been drunk on the job with Preston?


August 5th, 2010
5:32 pm

Would either canidate endorse pay caps on state gov jobs. Convert all defined pension plans to 401K’s so as to encourage state personnel to move on after they become bored or too expensive, secretary making 60K, answering a phone.

i'd like to know...

August 5th, 2010
5:34 pm

What was Deal thinking when he closed the Dalton (???) debate by stating that
Handel doesn’t finish the job by resigning from her last 2 jobs to run for her next. What about him planning to resign prior to the health care vote because he thought the ethics committee was ready to pounce. He decided to vote first, then run away from his ethics mess. This shouldn’t go unchallenged.

Roy Barnes

August 5th, 2010
5:42 pm

Can either of you out promise me?
I will give teachers the pay and respect they deserve.
I will cut class size.
I will restore property tax relief to local government.
I will eliminate the backlog of State inmates in county jails.
I will reopen all of the crime labs.
I will expand the Georgia State Patrol.
I will pump millions more into mental health services.
I will add millions more into LARP to fund local road improvements.
I will expand funding for the DNR.
I will build numerous reservoir all around metro Atlanta.
I will increase funding for MARTA.
I will give State Employees merit pay increases.
I will improve services at DHR and DFACS.
Finally, I will cut taxes.


August 5th, 2010
5:43 pm

Pay caps on state gov jobs? Salaries are already way behind the public sector and falling further behind every day. Secretaries making 60k? Not a chance.

Jim, why don’t you ask Karen Handel which counties are going to lose the thousands of jobs she claims she will cut, and how she expects to cut them after she finishes antagonizing almost the entire legislature.

Logic 88

August 5th, 2010
5:45 pm


Apparently, you forgot you will also walk on water.


August 5th, 2010
5:47 pm

How will you end teacher furloughs, and how will you encourage small-business growth in Georgia? I don’t want “pie in the sky” rhetoric. I need concrete plans with details, even if they may turn off some voters.


August 5th, 2010
5:47 pm

There are very few ISSUES that Mrs. Handel and Mr. Deal differ on. Why should a recent college graduate, one who has voted in every Republican primary in runoff since he has been allowed to vote, go vote for either of two candidates who alter their opinions to perfectly match each other? What sets you apart from the other candidate besides your carefully-crafted view of gay marriage and abortion?

Roy Barnes

August 5th, 2010
6:05 pm

Vote for me…I have all of the answers.


August 5th, 2010
6:05 pm

What will you do to ensure that voters in Glynn County can get PBS!! Glynn County gets FLORIDA public tv, not GA. Can we join FL instead? I’d rather in FL.


August 5th, 2010
6:08 pm

Mass transit. Yay or nay? Will you push for the regional transpo taxes?


August 5th, 2010
6:12 pm

To both:

Are either the ‘gay’ issue or the ‘abortion’ issue really relevant to the responsibilities of a governor, or is this simply positioning within the Republican Party?


August 5th, 2010
6:13 pm

To both:

Do you support the Atlanta Beltline?


August 5th, 2010
6:24 pm

Jim, here is a question – Ms. Handel, you have been endorsed by Mitt Romney. Mr. Romney’s Massachuesetts health care plan when he was governor provided the template for Obamacare – how do you reconcile his endorsement with your position? Or, Ms. Handel, why do you think that the vast majority of republican legislators and US congressmen have endorsed your opponent and how will you be able to govern effectively with so little support under the Gold Dome?


August 5th, 2010
6:36 pm

Another one – Ms. Handel, you call for the repeal of the state income tax, although it provides 50% of the state’s revenues – how will you replace this, and don’t give me some bs about a “blue ribbon panel”.

Joyce M.

August 5th, 2010
7:36 pm

“During the last legislative session, an important bill on abortion coercion failed to pass, If elected Governor, what will you do to further the cause of LIFE in Georgia?”

Billy Joe Poteet

August 5th, 2010
7:37 pm

For Mr. Deal:

If the federal grand jury votes to indict you and you are subsequently tried and convicted, will you serve your sentence in a federal country club or a real prison?

Billy Joe Poteet

August 5th, 2010
7:41 pm

For both:

Do you plan to end teacher furloughs at the expense of other dedicated state employees?

Ooh La Lah

August 5th, 2010
7:45 pm

What are each of you going to do about restoring the GA state flag that Barnes and the Chamber of Commerce crowd jettisoned?

Larry Craig

August 5th, 2010
8:28 pm

Karen’s motto is “if I only had a brain”. She has handlers. Now, bring me my big bot pants! You have to wear depends.

The Goobernator

August 5th, 2010
8:29 pm

For Karen Handel, How much are you [paying Sara Palin for her visit to Georgia??

Joseph Weathers

August 5th, 2010
8:34 pm

For both candidates:

“What, specifically, will you do as Governor, to reduce the size of government in our state?”

Karen's Husband

August 5th, 2010
9:40 pm

For Karen, it has been reported you have had difficulties in working with state staff and often make a point of criticizing those who have more education than you. Given the majority of the General Assembly do not want you as their leader and employees do not want you as their leader, how do you expect to lead – let alone get anything accomplished?

Randall Farmer

August 5th, 2010
9:55 pm

Ms. Handel,

Of the courses you took in college, which ones have been most relevant to the problems you face now, and how has your perspective on those issues evolved since college.

Randall Farmer

August 5th, 2010
10:00 pm

Mr. Deal,

Would you maintain a system of six salvage title inspection stations if you were governor, or would you modify that? (I believe he will give a legit answer if asked this.)

Ooh La Lah

August 5th, 2010
10:05 pm

Science has proven that being gay is a result of chromosomal/endocrine variations while the fetus is in the womb. Could you support abortion of a fetus that displays these chromosome/endocrine characteristics and will be born homosexual?

Amy Morton

August 5th, 2010
10:33 pm

For both Handel:

What have you done, specifically, to help any woman other than yourself get elected?

Artillery Colonel

August 5th, 2010
10:36 pm

Nathan Deal has said he wished he could have served as a combat arms officer in Vietnam but was prevented by his eyesight. As long as your eyesight is correctable to 20/20 with glasses your vision can be pretty bad and you can still serve as an artillery officer or infantry officer and you could have served in Vietnam. You are pretty obviously a man without vision but was it really bad enough to keep you out of Vietnam and were you really forced to serve as a REMF at Fort Gordon and how hard did you really “try” to serve in Vietnam in the combat arms when you completed ROTC at Mercer? Frankly he’s lying about trying to go to Vietnam. He could have gone there if he really wanted to and indeed you had to really want to not go and pull a lot of strings to keep from going even as a JAG officer.

Artillery Colonel

August 5th, 2010
10:40 pm

Enter your comments here
When you were endorsed by the NRA, you said that you had “honed your marksmanship skills as a soldier.” JAG officers don’t typically spend a lot of time on the rifle range honing their skills. Did you qualify as a marksman during service (not during ROTC) and how much time did you really spend on the range as a soldier “honing your skills?” Didn’t think so.


August 5th, 2010
11:04 pm

You are probably a military man Artillery Colonel, and being as such I cannot believe that you would come on this site and discredit an Army Veteran. Who cares about what capacity he served in the army? He served in the army and that is all that matters. I hope you are a Veteran and not just posing as one….wait no I don’t, because if you are a veteran you are doing American servicemen a disservice.


August 5th, 2010
11:54 pm

Given the desperate state of the Georgia economy, and the fact that teachers are being furloughed and critical state functions are being curtailed because of budget shortfalls, will you support the continuance of the more than 200 tax breaks that have been enacted by the legislature since 2002 to benefit special interests, such as berry growers?


August 6th, 2010
12:02 am

Thanks Arty Colonel. As a former Army Personnel Officer I has similar thoughts, but you put it best.
Spent more time shooting in the USAR than on actiive duty.
Mr. Deal’s 4 page flyer hit the mailbox today. In it he claims that Karen Handel “Illegally Misused Campaign Funds” with ref to AJC.
Based on what investigation did she do this?
When was she charged by the Ethics Committee?
So, Nathan are you lying now or were you lying then?

He also states “Never Finished A Full Term” – I know Nathan did not quit a day before the Ethics Committee got him – he “retired”.
He also has his former judge line in there. How many years ago was he a judge and at what level?
We assume that is not relevant, 20 or more years later.


August 6th, 2010
12:13 am

@ Frank – We care about what capacity he served because like many politician they stretch their military service. Some more than others. Case in Point – the Cobb County top cop who could not produce records of his Silver Star. Anyone with a silver star would have:
1. Military orders and citation awarding the medal;
2. The actual medal with name engraved on the back;
3. DD 214 or DD 215 with the award listed;
4. Photos of the Award Ceremony.
Is that enough proof for you? If you can’t produce any of this, and the Pentagon cannot send you a certified document, then you are probably a liar.
The same goes for veterans who say they really, really wanted to serve in Vietnam and never did; or worse, say they did when they did not. During the war all you had to do is go to the personnel office and volunteer and we would have cut orders the same day. Be on an airplane in 3 days.
Get shot at in one week and earn your in-country medal.

Are you lying now or were you lying then?


August 6th, 2010
12:23 am

@Ted so you just assume that he is lying. What a pitiful life you must live if you believe everyone is lying based on your above post. Sorry that you must be cynical, but believe it or not some people may be telling the truth. Now go back to your lonely, the world is out to get me, no one can ever tell the truth, life. I really do feel sorry for some of you. Cynics to the end.

As an Army vet myself, and as one in a much more recent war, I am sorry that anyone would discredit a Veteran with at least not giving them the benefit of the doubt first. If you have concrete proof that Deal was lying please produce it, if not shut up.

Alan Rabinowitz

August 6th, 2010
12:26 am

For Karen Handel:

You’ve accused your opponent of corruption, relying of the words of a Washington special interest group that files ethics complaints against members of congress based on media reports, often with few facts. Tonight, can you back up your campaign rhetoric with facts? Did you personally read the Office of Congressional Ethics report? And if you did, can you identify a specific incident or action engaged in by Nathan Deal that would qualify as corruption?

Fire Eater

August 6th, 2010
7:32 am

For both GOP candidates: Where do you stand on the proposed “Whitney’s Law” in the Georgia General Assembly? This is a badly needed measure to reform the death penalty sentencing phase of a trial to allow 10-2 or 9-3 jury votes for death. It is so named for 20 year old Whitney Land and her two-year old son who were carjacked, kidnapped and burned to death in the trunk of their car several years ago. An urban thug was convicted of the crime but was spared a death sentence by a Gwinnett county jury because two jurors with a racial agenda lied to get empaneled.

This measure is strongly opposed by the Democratic party.

Bill Orvis White

August 6th, 2010
7:39 am

Representative Deal: I’m from Mississippi and I think all of our Southern states have a lot in common in that most of us support the FAIRTax, religious freedom, school vouchers etc.

Would you be in favor of getting together with fellow Southern governors to create a Southern Coalition whereby these great states –MS, TX, LA, AL, AR, FL, TN, GA and the Carolinas form a partnership? If this would happen, do you feel that this would help in getting a water sharing agreement between AL, GA and FL?

While on the water note, would you be in favor of digging into the Tennessee River to pipe down water into Atlanta?

God Bless,
Bill Orvis White

Young Lady

August 6th, 2010
8:20 am

“Do you plan to end teacher furloughs at the expense of other dedicated state employees?”

I want them to answer this question. Because my fear is yes they will and for agencies like DHR and DFCS who are hemmoraging workers because they can’t afford to work there due to the cuts furloughs are making to their paychecks; they’re going to create a more serious service issue than they already have. The entire state is under a highering freeze and I know some departments that are now running with half the staff they used to. And the expectations are still the same. They need to approach the budget issue in a more constructive way than driving off their workers. Some agencies haven’t seen a cost of living raise in 5 years. This just makes that situation that much worse.

And 60k a year for secretaries? Maybe for the directors up at the dome. The ones I work with make more like 14-16k. Frontline workers barely make 20k.

T Knight

August 6th, 2010
8:26 am

Mr. Deal,

You signed the GRTL pledge to garner their support. Are you aware that they are the only RTL organization in the country who does not follow the NRTL? Are you also agreeing with their stance
of not supporting capital punishment.? I also know that you have NRA support. Do you see a conflict of intrest if your supportinng of the NRA is in conflict with the beliefs of the GRTL? How will this affect your ablility as governor to be impartial if capital punishment issues are brought before you for your decision?


August 6th, 2010
8:29 am

Mr. Hudgens your ad says you passed legislation that stopped Healthcare reform, yet you and the media say there is nothing the State can do to stop the legislation. Could you explain which is correct and why you would use such a statement in your TV ads.


August 6th, 2010
8:42 am

What are the legitimate functions of government and what programs and projects – specifically – would you cut as not being legitimate functions of government in order to balance state spending with the ever-lessening state revenues? What are the responsibilities of the counties and should be funded solely with county funds and without the assistance of state and/or federal funds?
Georgia suffers from an immense oversupply of government. Would you support an effort to consolidate the counties in Georgia to no more than 50, and require consolidated county and local governments so that there would be no more than 50 county/local governments – and their related school districts/police-fire-sheriff offices in Georgia?


August 6th, 2010
9:08 am

Ms. Handel:

You’ve often stated that, as Secretary of State, you made the “difficult choices” and permanently cut the workforce in the Secretary of State’s office in lieu of using furloughs. However, state agencies are granted funding by the legislature for budgeted positions whether or not those positions are filled. Thus, one could eliminate positions without actually making the difficult choice to let an employee go. Not counting unfilled positions, attrition, retirements, and workers fired for cause, how many actual employees did you lay off?

Artillery Colonel

August 6th, 2010
9:10 am

@Frank. I’m pretty sure I spent more time in uniform than you but also appreciate your wartime service and perspective. Any vet who served deserves credit for serving their country but it is when the try to make it into something more than it was that they get into trouble. That was clearly the problem for Mr.Lloyd over in Cobb County.

Deal claims he wanted to serve as a combat arms officer but was prevented from doing so by his vision. I frankly don’t believe that his eyesight would have prevented him from serving as an artillery officer. He is obviously embarrassed about sitting out the war of his generation as a JAG officer at Fort Gordon and he probably started telling people years ago that he really wanted to serve in combat but they wouldn’t let them blah, blah, blah but if you know a lot about the military personnel system and qualifications for artillery service (my vision was 20/400 and they commissioned me as an artillery officer), you know there is something that doesn’t ring true in his story and you also know that if he really wanted to serve in Vietnam it is unlikely they would have said “No Nathan, you’re too valuable here at Fort Gordon.” Frankly, I assume he had to work hard to stay home in Georgia for his entire military obligation while hundreds of thousands of soldiers were deployed to Vietnam and lots of JAG officers among them. He should just say he didn’t want to go and stop trying to be more than he can be.


August 6th, 2010
9:22 am

If you had the ability to rid the state of either gays or mexicans, which would you choose and why?

You know its on the mind of GOP voters.


August 6th, 2010
9:52 am

@Fire Eater, You want to be able to put someone to death with a 9-3 jury?! Where I come from (Not Georgia obviously) you can’t convict someone without a 12-0 jury in cases of violent crime? If your standards are 3/4 to kill someone, this state likes capital punishment a bit too much.

Truth Speaker

August 6th, 2010
9:55 am

Mrs. Handel,

You oversaw the funding of Planned Parenthood to the tune of $1.2 miliion dollars as Fulton County Chairman. You claim that none of the money went to fund abortion. Under the Hyde Amendment aren’t abortions legal as long as the tax payers money goes to pay for abortions that are the result of rape or incest? Isn’t that your stated position? Aren’t you in fact supporting and funding abortions that match your “rape and incest” position?


August 6th, 2010
10:26 am

For both: What will you specifically do to develop regional transportation? I can’t believe they’re just now THINKING about timing traffic lights. Solutions like this seem a no-brainer. In reality, it’s easier to pave than to get Sandy Springs to coordinate with Fulton County, and the both of them with City of Atlanta.

For Nathan Deal: would you really tell a raped 13 year old she’ll be carrying that baby to term? To her face?

For Karen Handel: if elected, will you write a cute little note to Ray McBerry on your official stationery?