Archive for the ‘2010 governor's race’ Category

A Twitter feud over Karen Handel’s new book

On Twitter last night, it was Karen Handel’s husband versus Eric Johnson.

In her new memoir about her short tenure at Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the breast cancer group, and her fight with Planned Parenthood, Karen Handel reprises the 2010 GOP race for governor as proof that she’s willing to take on unsavory characters.

Like Nathan Deal, who is now governor. Or Johnson, another rival who once ruled over the state Senate. Specifically, Handel accused Johnson of sitting on his hands when confronted with an ethics complaint against House Speaker Glenn Richardson, who resigned in 2009 (and is now engaged in a GOP run for the state Senate).

The book was released on Tuesday. Johnson, who has been known to let fly, started the conversation last night on Twitter. Steve Handel, the author’s husband, finished it. To wit:

Eric Johnson, at 20:38 Tuesday:

Only Karen Handel could make Susan G. Komen a villain and turn Planned Parenthood into a victim. She’s like Obama. It’s all about …

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Your morning jolt: Tuesday was a good day for Nathan Deal, Zell Miller

To no one’s surprise, the 12th District contest to pick a Republican opponent for U.S. Rep. John Barrow, D-Augusta, turned out to be the closest race of the evening.

State Rep. Lee Anderson of Grovetown, with the help of Gov. Nathan Deal, edged out Augusta businessman and self-funder Rick Allen by a mere 154 votes out of 27,406 cast.

The Associated Press indicates that six precinct boxes are outstanding.

But if those results hold, Gov. Nathan Deal would emerge as the winner of Tuesday evening. State Rep. Doug Collins, the governor’s choice in the 9th District race, easily defeated former radio talk show host Martha Zoller.

Worried about the anti-incumbent fever that still lingered from the TSPLOST debacle in July, Deal kept a low profile in each contest until the final weekend, when he boosted Collins and Anderson in robocalls throughout the two districts.

The former governor of Alaska is now 0-for-2 in Georgia races. Sarah Palin had endorsed Zoller, though she made no …

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Sarah Palin endorses Martha Zoller in 9th District race

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin this evening endorsed former talk radio host Martha Zoller, who has been positioning herself as a tea party favorite in the GOP race for the new 9th Congressional District.

The endorsement is an effective comeback for Zoller. Only last week, her chief rival, state Rep. Doug Collins, had been flashing his endorsement by former U.S. senator and Gov. Zell Miller.

Says Palin, as reported by the Zoller campaign:

“If you agree that it’s time our elected officials stopped talking at us and started listening to us, then I hope you will join me in supporting Martha Zoller….

“Martha is running against the establishment, which, as we know, is an uphill battle; but with all of our support she can win. In Congress, she’ll vote to cut spending, lower taxes, and repeal Obamacare. In addition to being pro-life and a firm defender of our Constitution, including our Second Amendment rights, Martha is a strong fiscal conservative….”

Zoller says she began seeking …

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Judge tosses libel suit by former GOP candidate for governor

A Henry County Superior Court judge has thrown out a libel suit filed by former Republican candidate for governor Ray McBerry against the mother of a 16-year-old with whom Berry had an affair while he was a high school teacher.

Here’s the order by Judge William Ison.

Before McBerry jumped into politics, the student’s mother, Linda Pittman, successfully lobbied to have his teaching license suspended. During the 2010 campaign, she referred to him as a “child molester” on her Facebook page.

In arguments made earlier this month, John Rains, Pittman’s attorney, argued that, as a political speech, such language was protected by the First Amendment.

Pittman’s attorney also argued that, given McBerry’s low reputation in the community, the former candidate for governor qualified as a “libel-proof plaintiff.”

Berry also filed suit against the southwest Georgia writers of a now-defunct political blog. It’s not clear what impact the judge’s ruling has on them.

- By Jim Galloway, Political …

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Kasim Reed and the fairy tale of a sewer tax

This is the grim fairy tale of a one-cent sales tax, approved by 86 percent of voters in the city of Atlanta last week — in the midst of a Republican presidential contest that has made taxation less popular than grandmother-chomping wolves.

The moral of the story is one that, with luck, might be applied to the statewide referendums for a transportation sales tax that are now only five months away.

Fortunately for you, this is a brief tale. Because the strategy that set the campaign in motion was conceived only last month, fewer than 30 days before the vote.

The issue was the renewal of a four-year, one-cent sales tax to continue improvements to the Atlanta sewer system that have been mandated by federal courts. Core opposition of 25 percent to 30 percent was assured.

“Our challenges are that the ballot language doesn’t work in our favor, the composition of the electorate is difficult to predict, and the intensity of support…is not as high as we’d like to see,” opened the poll …

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A Georgia test of political speech on the Internet

It is dangerous to predict what any jurist will do, but on Thursday, Henry County Superior Court Judge Arch McGarity will be presented with an opportunity to close the books on the 2010 GOP race for governor.

In the process, the judge could also create – or continue — an important precedent for political speech on the Internet.

You will recall that Ray McBerry was one of several Republican candidates for the job of governor. He was the states rights’ candidate on the ballot. You might also recall that it was reported in this space that, while a Henry County high school teacher, McBerry was caught having a relationship with a high school student.

McBerry was 34 and divorcing his second wife. The student was 16 and 17 during the affair.

Before McBerry jumped into politics, the student’s mother, Linda Pittman, successfully lobbied to have his teaching license suspended. During the 2010 campaign, she wrote the following on her Facebook page, accessible to a few hundred …

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Karen Handel and the upside of unemployment in a down economy

In this economy, most people need a job in order to thrive. But not Karen Handel. The former Republican candidate for governor may have revived her political career by quitting hers.

As a public relations disaster, the week’s aborted attempt – the phrasing is intentional — by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to sever ties with Planned Parenthood will quickly become a case study in business schools around the country.

Karen Handel, a former GOP candidate for governor , is interviewed following her resignation from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.  Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Karen Handel, a former GOP candidate for governor , is interviewed following her resignation from Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

The nation’s largest breast cancer charity first announced it would shut off most money to the family planning organization – whose abortion services have long made it a target of pro-life forces. Then, in the face of an unexpected wall of protests, largely Internet-driven, Komen reversed itself.

As the senior vice president of public policy hired to help turn Komen into a Planned Parenthood-free zone, Handel …

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Your morning jolt: What a revived Rick Santorum might mean in Georgia

So Rick Santorum went three-for-three on Tuesday night, sweeping up Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado in those presidential contests. Bad news for Newt Gingrich, but good news for Mitt Romney – even though it may mean a longer slog.

In particular, Santorum’s strong showing could be another enticement for Romney, who makes a short visit to Atlanta today, to make a large commitment in Georgia as we get closer to March 6 and Super Tuesday.

Romney still needs to show he can win in a Deep South state – the Republican party’s geographic base. And no, Florida doesn’t count. A revived Santorum, especially one who does well in blue-collar Michigan on Feb. 28, could weaken the Gingrich campaign here by drawing away evangelicals.

That would give Romney, who won most of metro Atlanta in 2008, a decent chance to win a plurality in the state.

***
The campaign of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich this morning unwrapped an endorsement from former U.S. Sen. Mack Mattingly and his wife …

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Karen Handel: Komen gave Planned Parenthood time to organize ‘shakedown’

I’m now transcribing a pair of interviews that Karen Handel gave this afternoon on her resignation from Susan G. Komen for the Cure – one week after the breast cancer charity reversed itself on a decision to sever financial ties with Planned Parenthood.

Karen Handel, after resigning as senior vice president of public policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is interviewed  by members of the news media in Atlanta on Tuesday. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Karen Handel, after resigning as senior vice president of public policy for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, is interviewed by members of the news media in Atlanta on Tuesday. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Handel said nothing bad about her former employer – far from it. But in essence, she said that, by giving Planned Parenthood notice in mid-December, Komen allowed the group time to organize a national “pre-meditated” operation “that was nothing short of a shakedown to coerce a private entity to give them grants.”

Last week, Komen had said that Handel, hired as senior vice president in April, had nothing to do with the adoption of the charity’s policy. Clearly that’s not true, given her statements below. But Handel said Komen …

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Karen Handel as the prime mover in the Komen decision

Another look at the role of Karen Handel, former GOP candidate for governor of Georgia, in the decision by Susan G. Komen for the Cure to separate itself from Planned Parenthood, just posted by the Huffington Post:

“Karen Handel was the prime instigator of this effort, and she herself personally came up with investigation criteria,” the source, who requested anonymity for professional reasons, told HuffPost. “She said, ‘If we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.’”

Emails between Komen leadership on the day the Planned Parenthood decision was announced, which were reviewed by HuffPost under the condition they not be published, confirm the source’s description of Handel’s sole “authority” in crafting and implementing the Planned Parenthood policy.

Handel’s strategy to cut off Planned Parenthood involved drafting new guidelines that would prevent Komen from funding any organization that was under …

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