Karen Handel finishes like she started — and Sarah Palin slams Georgia Right to Life

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a rally for GOP runoff for governor candidate Karen Handel. AP/John Bazemore)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a rally for GOP runoff for governor candidate Karen Handel. AP/John Bazemore)

If the tone of Karen Handel’s campaign of the last three weeks has surprised political veterans, perhaps it is because it has violated an unwritten rule – that frontrunners should present themselves as good cops.

 Let the underdog play bad cop, and make the attacks.

But if Sarah Palin’s visit to Atlanta this afternoon did anything, it made clear that Handel would finish the runoff campaign as she started it – with a furious volley aimed at Nathan Deal and members of the state Legislature who back him.

Said Handel, after climbing the stage to appear with her husband Steve, Palin and her husband Todd:

“Governor Palin was underestimated, too. She took on the powerful career politicians. And no one thought she could win, but she did. And she pushed through real ethics reform that had the political elite screaming in their smoke-filled backroom. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do in this campaign.

“My opponent has virtually the entire political establishment working with him, for him, and attacking me. And they’re doing it because they’re terrified of change. They wanted to keep doing business with the state and having their secret deals and keeping the free trips and free meals. They are fighting with everything they’ve got to keep the status quo. Well, I’ve got some news. They’re going to lose.”

Now, just to keep in touch with reality – those attending the Buckhead event included Eric Tanenblatt, Gov. Sonny Perdue’s former chief of staff, and Fred Cooper, the longtime Republican leader and former party chairman. You will not find a pair of more influential members of the GOP in Georgia.

Palin also hewed to the anti-good-ol-boyism theme:

“Why do so many of us have an opinion on this race? Because it’s epic, it’s historic. The eyes of America are on you, Georgia, to see if you really do want that positive change – and to get rid of that good ol’ boy network that really gets in the way of doing the things that the people…expect from their government.

“When you take on the status quo, and career politicians – they have an entitlement mentality – they’re going to fight you, and they’re going to fight you really hard. And they’ll say some crazy things about you. And some of them, with buddies in the media, will hook up with them, and then – you never know – they may even make things up about you. They’ll make you sound so bad that even your own momma won’t want to vote for you.”

Palin also took a very specific shot at Georgia Right to Life. Handel was the only candidate in the GOP field for governor that the anti-abortion group refused to endorse – Handel favors the right to abortion in cases of rape and incest, and opposes restrictions that GRTL would place on invitro fertilization.

Georgia Right to Life actively campaigned against Handel in the primary. “[Palin] has a son with Down Syndrome (sic), and under Karen Handel’s laws, Handel would have felt like it was OK to go in and abort that child, ” the news website Politico quoted Melanie Crozier, the executive director of GRTL’s political action committee, as saying.

Crozier later said she regretted her remark.

Palin was not assuaged today — though she didn’t mention GRTL by name:

“I know that Karen Handel is pro-family. She’s pro-life. You’ve got really great pro-life organizations here in this state that make a positive difference…Unfortunately, a few – maybe one of these organizations, kind of crossed a line, using my baby Trig in a pretty disgusting, certainly unnecessary attack on your candidate.”

Palin said bringing her kid into the contest – specifically, she said it was a case of “drawing an innocent into a vicious smear” — was reason enough for her to make the cross-country trip to Georgia.

One last note: State Sen. John Douglas of Social Circle, who is in a runoff Tuesday with Tim Echols for a seat on the Public Service Commission, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Not bad face time on the day before a vote.

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92 comments Add your comment

Beyond The Rhetoric

August 9th, 2010
3:49 pm

The Liberal Media and the Democratic Machine have carefully avoided any ethics charges against Karen Handel. Why? Because they have a ‘treasure trove’ of ethics complaints and rumors involving Handel. Handel’s campaign is wrapped around her ‘Snow White’ image and when the Democrats go on the attack, she will be proven a hypocrite. Already, the Democratic Party’s ‘whotheyrepresent.com/handel’ has a few items they will begin with. They are saving the best, for last.

“In January 2010, Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel gave a speech railing against the corruption in the Capitol. But where was Handel before she gave up her duties to focus on her campaign for Governor? Nowhere to be found. She may talk a good game on ethics, but Karen Handel is just one of the same old crew that tainted our state government. She wants you to think she’s the solution, but she’s just part of the problem.

In 2005, while Chair of the Fulton County Commission, Handel received a contribution from an engineer connected with Unique Design and Construction. Four months after the contribution, a zoning modification requested by Unique Design and Construction sailed through Handel’s Commission. Other entities with business before the Commission also contributed to Handel’s campaign. Handel even received $10,000 in contributions from Fourth Quarter Properties, a real estate company involved in a shady land deal with Handel’s former boss, Sonny Perdue.

As Secretary of State, Handel also received numerous gifts from lobbyists, including tickets to a Rolling Stones concert, courtesy of mortgage giant Ameriquest.” The Democratic Party has about eight legitimate references for their information.

‘The best for last’:

“The state Ethics Commission is investigating three complaints filed against former secretary of state Karen Handel alleging she repeatedly accepted campaign contributions exceeding the $6,100 limit for a single election.”, from Peach Pundit, Ron Daniels.

“Political blogger Bill Simon has filed a complaint against Republican candidate for governor Karen Handel with the State Ethics Commission, alleging that she illegally paid $13,200 to advisors of her gubernatorial campaign with money raised as a candidate for secretary of state.” From AJC, Jim Galloway.

Another item you will see, “In 2004, Free Congress Foundation rated Georgia as having the worst voting systems in the nation in regards to “system reliability and recount preparedness”. Handel was aware of this, campaigned on replacing the un-auditable machines, and once elected as SOS, fought all efforts to replace the current voting systems. Why? Because she had a connection to Diebold, the manufacturer of the machines, through a local lobbyist firm. (defendersofdemocracy.com and countpaperballots.com)

How about the unnamed, former Handel supporter, who published an open letter to the public. The former supporter, lists various investigations in the State of Georgia regarding fraudulent counts and security testing on voting machines, during Handel’s watch. Other accusations such as connections to Diebold lobbyists, appointees, etc. are also indicated by this person. This is from, ‘Count Paper Ballots’, a nationwide citizen group dedicated to proving that privatized election leads to mistabulated and fraudulent vote counting”. (countpaperballots.com)

Handel decided to run for Governor sometime before December of 2008, yet she didn’t recues herself from her position as Chairman of the Board of Elections. Ethical? A Secretary of State running for Governor and controlling the Board of Elections at the same time? This ‘conflict of interest’ continued for 12 months until she resigned her position as Secretary of State to campaign for Governor.

In the minutes of the Board of Elections meeting on August 27, 2009, Handel made it quite clear that she did not want ethics reform. “Y’all are not even elected. I am. I want to make it abundantly clear as well, that the Code most certainly does not in any way, shape, or form, prohibit me, as a duly elected Secretary of State, from running for any other office simultaneously”. Apparently, ethics reform is OK until it touches Handels positions as Secretary of State and Board of Elections Chairwoman. (Board of Elections, Meeting Minutes, August 27, 2009)

Mark my words, you will see all of this and more in a general election with Barnes. That’s why you need to vote, tomorrow, for Nathan Deal. The only alleged negative for Deal is one ethics investigation, which he has been beaten over the head with since January of this year.

Note: The national poll, Rasmussen Reports, has Deal winning over Barnes by 6% of the vote, whereas Handel is statistically tied with Barnes.

Grandpa Right

August 9th, 2010
3:57 pm

That’s a big post by the Deal Campaign. I was undecided until I began to see the nastiness of the Deal supporters in their personal- not issues-driven- attacks on Handel. And then Nathan’s pettiness of refusing to say he’s back her in the general election pushed me over the edge.

I’ll vote for Handel and I think she’ll beat ole Roy unless Deal’s supporters show their true colors in November.

Joyce M.

August 9th, 2010
4:01 pm

I think Mr. Deal is the right person we need. Mrs. Handel just doesn’t seem to know enough about the issues and I don’t think she gets it.

Barbara

August 9th, 2010
4:02 pm

“Beyond the rhetoric” – work for Deal much? In comparison to the criminals that GOP had running in this race, Handel IS a snow white. Ain’t no way to get around that… The only place for Deal is behind bars.

Grandpa Right

August 9th, 2010
4:02 pm

Beyond the Rhetoric-

Is there nothing positive to be said about Deal? Is this all that you have?

This why so many people are sick of politics and politicians, and so few good people will run…..

Jimmie

August 9th, 2010
4:03 pm

Nick was behind the curtain, I guess.

janet

August 9th, 2010
4:03 pm

Anyone know how much Palin was paid to come across the country to speak on behalf of Handel? She didn’t do it to be a “real American”, I am sure.

The Real Politico

August 9th, 2010
4:04 pm

Beyond The Rhetoric-The best thing about Tuesday is that anti-women people will not still be against Handel. They will fall behind her in Nov. Glad to see drivel like this go away.

Grandpa Right

August 9th, 2010
4:04 pm

Janet-

You think her fee is bigger than Mike Huckabee’s?

judi

August 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

Sarah, GO Home..

Real Ethics

August 9th, 2010
4:05 pm

Nathan Deal supports a complete ban on gifts from lobbyists to lawmakers. Under Deal’s proposed ethics rules, the lobbyists from Ameriquest would not be allowed to give Karen Handel any more Rolling Stones or UGA tickets.

judi

August 9th, 2010
4:06 pm

go home, Palin

Buckhead Betty

August 9th, 2010
4:07 pm

I was there and it was magic! Handel is inspiring in her speach and message! I am so proud to be a Georgian today! Go Karen, go!!!

Real Ethics

August 9th, 2010
4:07 pm

No money at all ($0.00) should be allowed to change hands between lobbyists and lawmakers.

That is Nathan Deal’s stance. What’s yours Karen?

Johns Creek resident

August 9th, 2010
4:08 pm

Karen Handel has stated that she will support Nathan Deal against Roy Barnes. I guess all those allegtions against Nathan Deal don’t bother her all that much. It is pretty clear that Nathan Deal will be better able to work with the legislature than Karen Handel. Since Karen Handel considers everyone in government corrupt except herself, why would anyone want to work with her?

Mike

August 9th, 2010
4:11 pm

When I saw the TV ad where Nathan Deal goes after YouthPride and makes it sound like NAMBLA, I was more confident than ever that I wanted to support Karen Handel.

She might want to play down her affiliation with the Log Cabin Republicans, but at least she’s not calling them perverts.

I urge everyone who didn’t vote in the Democratic primary to show up tomorrow and keep Deal out of the general election. A candidate for governor years ago said, “I’m a segregationist, but not a damn fool.” Deal, apparently, is a bigot and a damn fool.

Beyond The Rhetoric

August 9th, 2010
4:11 pm

Grandpa Right:

While watching the debate on FOX 5 News Sunday night, I realized Nathan Deal’s command of the issues and his plans to bring Georgia back from ‘the abyss’, were well thought out and detailed. From Karen Handel, I kept hearing the same key phrases, “bold, sweeping”, ” We have to fundamentally change”, “We need to retool our efforts”, “nibbling around the edges”. Reminded me of the 1984 Wendy’s commercial, ‘Fluffy Bun’, when 82 year old Clara Peller shouted, “Where’s the beef?”.

When asked about the economy and creating jobs, Deal said, “Mine is the only plan that has been scored by an outside group that said it would have positive effects. The Tax Foundation which scores Georgia and other states, ranks us in the bottom half of states in terms of a favorable business climate.”

“They said that If the reforms I proposed were adopted, we’d move ahead to the top one third. I think that it is a very positive, concrete, proposal that no other candidates put forward. It has been tested, it has been addressed by leading economists around the country. We have to grow ourselves out of this downturn and that’s one way to do it.” Deal’s seven page, eleven point plan to ‘Lower taxes and Enhance Georgia’s Business Competitiveness’ can be found on the ‘Vision’ tab of his website nathandeal.org.

Later in the debate, Deal had a chance, again, to “nibble around the edges” of his economic plan. “For startup entrepreneurs, we waive the tax on them for the first years of their existence.” “Let’s do away with the marriage tax penalty” “I believe we can move toward a more consumption based approach (on taxes), but you have to do it incrementally”. Earlier, Fox’s Russ Spencer cited that State Income Tax was 50% of the State’s income.

When asked the same question, Handel said, “Well, first of all, Nathan’s plan is nice, but……”. At that point, Handel went on to say, “the 21st Century Tax Reform Commission, had its first meeting last week. I am optimistic that, under the leadership of AD Frasier, that they will come forward with some very bold, sweeping tax reform changes for Georgia. We have to fundamentally change our approach to taxes in this state, it should not be about just generating money for government to do stuff.”

This was a red flag statement for many conservatives, independents and some democrats. This is called ‘Governing by Consensus’. President Obama creates a czar or task force whenever an issue arises and a decision has to be made. Thirty days after the Gulf Disaster this year, while we waited for a government response, James Carville got on YouTube and lambasted the President for not addressing the BP oil spill. The result? His decisions are generally too little, too late.

Handel continued, “We need to use it (’money generated for government to do stuff’) as a tool to drive economic development, but it’s more than just tax reform. We need to retool our efforts in the economic development department, so that we have a stronger focus on small business, on entrepreneurialism, and existing businesses. And then be aggressive in repositioning ourselves to take advantage of emerging industries such as bio-ag and life sciences with our strength at CDC and the Shepherd Center, as well as our existing strengths in logistics and distribution”. I heard some targeted industries for growth, but no plan on actually accomplishing growth and jobs.

The rest of the debate was the same, Handel with the ‘Fluffy Bun’ and Deal with the ‘beef’

Deal. Real.

August 9th, 2010
4:13 pm

Karen Handel is about as big of disgrace to the Republican Party as Palin. Handel like Palin never states any real political views but tries to get voters with catch phrases like taking on the career politican. Deal is a career politician with a track record being an ethical person who has made decisions based on his christian morals. Now if it that is a good ol’ boy or a career politician, that is who I want as my governor.

OBAMA SUCKS

August 9th, 2010
4:19 pm

Mike the Democrat who apparently voted for Obama is telling all Democrats who did not vote in the last election to vote for Handel. This person obviously knows that Handel would be an easier opponent for Barnes. Then he goes on to call Deal a biggot.

Got to have balance

August 9th, 2010
4:20 pm

With the General Assembly endorsements indicating that Deal continues to “deal”, electing him governor will really leave the fox to guard the hen house. God forbid. I’d prefer Handel to offset the good ole boys over King Roy. If Deal wins tomorrow, here’s hoping enough independents swing to The King to bring about another coronation so there will be somebody down there to hold the Assembly’s feet to the fire….a little at least.

The Penguin

August 9th, 2010
4:23 pm

Barnes will crush both of these loons.

Ray

August 9th, 2010
4:24 pm

I got a photo of the REAL DEAL kissing Bill Clinton’s liberal arse back in the ninetie. And another of him sitting in Bush’s lap in 2004.

The sad truth is that Deal would fluff bin laden if it brought him votes. He needs to sober up and grow a spine.

Go Roy!

August 9th, 2010
4:26 pm

I love it that Handel slams Nathan Deal as a “corrupt relic” but, as soon as she loses, promises to vote for him against Barnes. I suppose we can look forward to Handel (or Deal) trying to compare themselves ethically with Roy Barnes, someone who (unlike Sonny) put his assets in a blind trust throughout his time as governor. . . whose first executive order as governor was to ban all gifts to either himself or members of his administration. . . Who refused to accept a state pension a lot of his peers in the General Assembly took . ..Who would never DREAM of doing deals against the state’s interests (Sonny, Deal, etc.) or screwing around–literally (Glenn Richardson, Preston Smith, etc., etc.). To quote Mrs. Handel, if this election is about ethics, you Republicans can “bring it on.”

eddy

August 9th, 2010
4:28 pm

Deal is a career politician and a lawyer. That’s a double whammy! He has fed at the public trough long enough probably 14 years too long. Ethics, ethics…..we don’t want ‘no ethics otherwise how could Deal continue to scam the system for his personal gain here in Georgia…..all of that money from my salvage business…why I don’t ‘no where it all came from….sarcasm off. Please we need to get rid of all of the career politicians including King Roy.

fultonrighty

August 9th, 2010
4:28 pm

Remember how John McCain was a media darling as long as he was running against more conservative Republicans? Then when he faced Barack H. Obama the long knives came out against McCain.

Media Strategy 101: Shoot the most conservative cnadidates in the Primary and the General. That means they are hitting Deal now, and will hit Deal later. Or Deal now and Handel later, if she wins. All the Handel negatives will come roaring out on Wednesday if she is the nominee. We have already seen any Deal negatives.

Grandpa Right

August 9th, 2010
4:29 pm

Beyond the Rhetoric-

That’s better, though you still couldn’t promote Deal without slamming Handel. It’s a shame I had to ask you for positives about you candidate before you provided any.

I don’t have a strong position in this race- I wish we had better than Deal, Handel or Barnes from which to choose. I finally decided to vote for Handel because of the hypocrisy of Deal attacking Handel for her negativity when my observations found the Deal campaign to have the greatest amount of attacks.

I am toubled by Deal’s thin skin and his refusal to agree to support the winner- that strike’s me as childish, and he should be trying to strike a more mature stance as the “elder statesman”.

Please tell me- if Handel beats Deal, who will Deal support in November?

Grandpa Right

August 9th, 2010
4:33 pm

BTR-

In response to a direct question to tell me why I should support Deal, you wrote 8 paragraphs- 3 praising Deal and 5 criticizing Handel. I find that telling and troublesome.

Reality

August 9th, 2010
4:42 pm

Grandpa Right, what about this news segment from last Fall regarding a decision that Handel was supposed to make as SOS, but ignored for several more months before resigning in the midst of her only elected term, much like that other charlatan that came to town to support her today?

http://www.bibbmonroebattle.com/vidWMAZ101409.html

How is Handel qualified to be Governor? Being clever enough to navigate your way to even have shot at the Governor’s office without any real credentials is all you can say about Handel. She has no real credentials.

Gman

August 9th, 2010
4:48 pm

Boy this is better than an episode of Dallas. Two ethically challenged candidates slamming one another in a cage-match to the death! Now that’s what I call good ole’ hillbilly politics.

Older And Wiser

August 9th, 2010
4:51 pm

Time to kick the good old boys, and their shady back room “Deals”, to the curb. Karen Handel is the obvious choice to clean house at the Georgia Capitol.

curious

August 9th, 2010
4:51 pm

At today’s rally, a popular song was played, reinforcing Karen Handel’s theme of “not taking it any more.”
This song is copyrighted. Did Handel get permission to use it? If so, did she report the donation or expense on her disclosure report?
If Handel violated a copyright or failed to report it, one might call it an ethics violation from a “relic of Georgia politics.”

ordinary citizen extraordinary time

August 9th, 2010
4:56 pm

I will not vote for Tim Echols then….since he got that facetime…I hope others will join me.I believe Sadie Fields has already backed his opponent.

fultonrighty

August 9th, 2010
5:00 pm

Wasn’t it John Douglas who got the face time at the Palin event? Not Tim Echols? Or don’t I understand Ordinary Cit.?

MU in GA

August 9th, 2010
5:02 pm

Looking forward to seeing Handel and Porter in November……this is one guy that thinks it time for the good ol’ boys to step aside and let some women prove that they can do it better!

rj

August 9th, 2010
5:03 pm

Well I for one will not support Handel if she wins the runoff. Being married to her might be the only worse thing than her being our Governor.

Diehard

August 9th, 2010
5:04 pm

Every undecided voter left out there should HAVE to watch the full video (FOX5 has it) of Sarah Palin’s speech. And if Deal doesn’t win after that, you only have yourselves to blame.

Doug

August 9th, 2010
5:05 pm

This left wing socialist, gay, white male hopes Sarah Palin keeps coming to Georgia over and over again until November. Can you say Governor Barnes again? How sweet it is to watch to G-N0-P self destructing.

khc

August 9th, 2010
5:09 pm

both handel and palin lack critical thinking skills pretty obvious from debates and last prez campaign….but at least they are bright enough to know their limitations and hire consultants….deal and barnes for that matter have forgotten more about govt then these two dimwits

You Asked

August 9th, 2010
5:09 pm

Hello all you campaign staffers! Which one of you gets to be press secretary after the election?

khc

August 9th, 2010
5:10 pm

sorry should add ever knew

Jayne M. Barker

August 9th, 2010
5:22 pm

Folks, I had honestly decided to rest my case, but today I received a
hate bulletin from Deal with a pics of the U S Constitution and a Holy Bible and a tube of lipstick and a pocketbook & a robo call from would you believe Pat Boone for Deal. He’s spending some of that $175,000 salary(D.C.) flying all over Ga today speaking in air terminals…

Emily

August 9th, 2010
5:25 pm

Curious…are you serious??? Why were you even there? Is that what we have come to? Deal has been involved for 18 years with nothing to show for it. I am ready for new blood to help our state get back to what it has the potential to be. Attacking someone on a personal level ( not a christian, believes Palin should have aborted her baby, is gay, etc etc.) is why I will never support Deal or anyone associated with him. It was nasty and disgusting and he should be ashamed of him. And then to say he had to think about whether he will support the Republican nominee in November if he didn’t win just showed his true colors. Does that mean he will flip back to a Democrat and join Barnes Campaign?

Influence Ops: Psychic Prediction

August 9th, 2010
5:25 pm

Handel Wins by 10 points.

Rick Patel

August 9th, 2010
5:27 pm

“Politico” had an edited video of the speech online while ago. Sarah Palin was sensational! What a lady, what a star! Let’s get out and vote for Karen Handel.

Jayne M. Barker

August 9th, 2010
5:30 pm

As a Southern Baptist, I have had to pray real hard about my feelings
toward Mike Huckabee and about saying he had lost his moral compass
and some more stuff too. I’m still having a hard time seeing that pic
of a Bible today. Maybe Mike has not lost his marbles and is not
really senile. Maybe you can baptize Deal and Newt soon…

fultonrighty

August 9th, 2010
5:32 pm

So disappointed in Sarah Palin. She has either bought into lies or has sold out for political expediency.

Grandpa Right

August 9th, 2010
5:37 pm

This will be my last comment for today- please note that EVERY Deal supporter is slamming and ridculing Handel and has practically NOTHING to say about Deal’s merits.

My decision has been made to vote against Deal for his attacks while calling Handel negative. I recognize that I may be the pot calling the kettle black, but I don’t think we can get any worse than we have had from the good ole boy system- and if you knew who I was, you would know that I am very entrenched in that system.

Change at the federal level is bringing us socialism, but I think change at the state level will be refreshing. It will be interesting to see.

The Goobernator

August 9th, 2010
5:38 pm

I’m glad Palin called out GRTL. It time people who are pro-life, that can live with reasonable exceptions be heard.

Thanks Goober

August 9th, 2010
5:50 pm

Glad you said it first – the GRTL has been taken over by the far out wackos.
Any sane person would agree that a morning-after-pill after a rape is not an abortion.
And the Wacko GRTL executive who called an embrio a baby is a perfect example.

I wonder if these bloggers, who post 1000 words, think someone reads it all the way through?

Go Karen.
PS = Palin was her magnificant self today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Katie

August 9th, 2010
6:03 pm

I don’t live in GA and have no idea of the issues the state faces or the candidate’s backgrounds. I could, however, come right down there and give a sensational speech about who Georgians should vote for. And I could do a much better job pretending I understand the issues and showing a lot more class than Sarah Palin. My brother, a Republican who lives west of Atlanta, told me so.