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Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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Karen Handel: The Definition of a ‘Political Opportunist’

by Bill Simon

A LOT of people involved in politics use words and terminology they really do not understand. Take, for example, the term “political opportunist.”

Many ill-informed political activists think the definition of this means “someone involved in politics who takes advantage of an opportunity that comes their way.” Not even close.

A political opportunist is a political person who sacrifices his/her principles to gain a position for expedient purposes only.

Take, for example, Karen Handel. She has two previous races, at least one of which she won through employing the convenience of political opportunism.

Please set your political history clocks back to mid-2003: Republican Mike Kenn had resigned as Fulton County Commission Chair, opening-up the seat to be filled in a special, non-partisan election that November. The race was filled with many candidates several of whom were Republican. Karen Handel, who had served for a few months as Deputy Chief of Staff of newly-elected Governor Sonny Perdue, was one of those candidates.

Fulton County had been run by left-wingers forever, with them consistently holding a majority of 4-to-3 over the Republicans on the Commission. The chairman’s spot had been occupied by a Republican since early 1990s when Mitch Skandalakis first won. Mike Kenn replaced him when Mitch left to run for Lt. Governor in 1998.

Lest I bore you too much, let’s all visit an article written by Ryan Lee, a reporter with the (now defunct) Southern Voice newspaper/online publication: August 15, 2003 (click the link to the PDF). At the bottom of that first page, it starts to read as follows:
[Begin Excerpt #1]

Georgia Log Cabin Republicans is endorsing Handel, something the gay GOP group did in last November’s race.

“We will be continuing our support for Karen Handel,” said Marc Yeager, the group’s president. “She demonstrated in her last run that she was supportive of domestic partner benefits, and she’s supported same-sex adoptions on the basis of the best interest of the child.”

Handel also received an endorsement from the bipartisan gay rights group Georgia Equality during the Republican primary in 2002, according to Allen Thornell, the group’s executive director.

In the candidate survey Georgia Equality distributed last year, Handel indicated support establishing a domestic partner benefits policy, but opposed creating a domestic partner registry, citing privacy concerns, Thornell said.

“I’ve had strong support within the gay and lesbian community,” Handel said. “I’d like to not put people in boxes and categories because at the end of the day we’re all citizens.”

“We may not always be able to agree, but there will always, always be an open door and a seat at the table,” Handel said.

[End Excerpt #1]
When she ran for Secretary of State in 2006, she flipped on ALL of these positions and re-branded herself as a “hard-charging, the-gay-and-lesbian-community-are-lying-and-Bill-Stephens-is-lying-and-I-hate-gays-and-I-hate-lesbians-and-they-should-all-go-to-Hell” type of conservative Republican that this party just loves to follow into battle, regardless of whether the candidate has any kind of true integrity.

BUT, the proof is in the article I cited above, as well as in a follow-up article on September 26, 2003, that she did support a slew of gay issues when she was running for Fulton County Commission Chair (from Page 3 of this 9/26/2003 article):
[Begin Excerpt #2]

“We remain having a great relationship with Karen,” Yeager said. “She’s definitely on board with Log Cabin and a lot of our issues. She’s been visible and active in the gay community with her campaigning and has made herself known.”

Handel is a member of Log Cabin Republicans and attends numerous gay events, including Atlanta Pride in June and a Human Rights Campaign barbecue in August.

“I don’t think, perhaps as a party, [Republicans] have been as open-minded about things as we should have,” Handel said Monday. “Even though I’m a Republican, I don’t agree 100 percent with the things in the platform.”

[End Excerpt #2]

The reason why I introduce all of this to you is that Karen has a lonnnnnnng track record of being a political opportunist, and should be regarded as a professional political panderer.

My viewpoint on these two stories is NOT the gay/lesbian issues that so many members of the GOP have some kind of serious problem with. Frankly, I don’t care what someone does with their own penis or vagina as long as whatever they are engaging in is not with a child or an animal (since neither can give consent). (And, I don’t understand why so many members of the GOP, lots of whom I’ve come into contact in Georgia over the last decade, who are chock-full of their own personal flaws…most of which involve violating at least one of the Ten Commandments on a weekly basis…think that the gay folks are the be-all to end-all that’s wrong in the world.)

The issue here is Karen’s proven track record for political pandering that concerns me and should concern everyone. What I care about is a concept that very few candidates seem to possess: a consistency of character. A point-by-point following where you can say THAT person demonstrated a principled consistency in their decision-making process of taking action.

Politician Karen Handel clearly does not possess a consistency of character or integrity. Either she was lying to the gay community in 2003 for the specific purpose of getting elected (and if so, do you think that is “okay” to lie to people even if they are “those” kind of people?), OR she abandoned her belief that people should not be put into boxes in order to demonstrate that she COULD put them into the boxes that the GOP always wants to place people in.

And, if she abandoned such a position, on what basis? Gotta have a GOOD reason why you go from “Yeah, I think all people are citizens and should be treated fairly” to “_____ NO! “

It would have been better (“better” as in a demonstration of integrity) if she had come to some conclusion to reverse her previous opinions that they were wrong. But, no. Instead, she denied the positions she had had ever existed, and her peeps accused the reporter (Ryan Lee) of lying or fabricating information.

The flip in 2006 for the purposes of being elected to SOS proves that she does not have enough integrity to fill the governor’s position for the next 4 years. For, what ELSE will she sell-out to in order to quench her thirst for a political position? Where will she draw the line? And, how can you really predict that line? You cannot. No one can. And therein is the danger of electing a political opportunist to the position of governor. Or, even president. Or, any elected position.

6 Responses to “Karen Handel: The Definition of a ‘Political Opportunist’”

  1. Tea Party Alert: Freedom Candidate Shut-out of Freedom Debate « Writeheiney Says:

    […] pandering to ensure she keeps moving up the power ladder. Read more about Karen Handel from the Political Vine […]

  2. Edwin Gravitt Says:

    And this bird Handel is trying to destroy an innocent man’s political career before he even gets started? Bill I’m asking you to divulge the truth about the accusations against Ray McBerry being a child molester, which it has been proven that he is not. He was never tried for this or any other such crime that I’m aware of. And while I haven’t known him very long, I do him and I also know a lot of people that have known this honorable man for as long as 25 years. I have some more that I will add to this later after I do some more research. Thank you my friend.

  3. Jo Says:

    Can Ray McBery expalin the 7 page letter when he is luring the young girl with puppies and asking her to call him on the pay phone. don’t tell me to go th his site for an explanation, there is no explaination. His vindication is just the result of girls being victimized, just more proof that he did do what she said he did. If my understand is correct, there ae more victims. What an embarassment Ray Mcberry is to the GOP.

  4. Edwin Gravitt Says:

    Jo, it’s time to put up or shut up. If Ray McBerry is guilty of child molestation, why were the charges against him dismissed and he is still a free man nine years since the false allegations against him? And who the hell do you think you are to be convicting him in the court of public opinion? And what ever happened to trial by a jury of our peers? Inquiring minds want to know! Frankly, my dear, I think you should be disallowed to vote at all! Where in the constitution are you allowed to?

  5. Dude Says:

    I’ve read about Ray McBerry’s situation extensively. While not “convicting him in the court of public opinion” as you put it, I DO have the right, and obligation, to form my own opinion on the matter. The facts that I’ve seen simply do not support his being innocent. By the way, LOTS of child molesters get away with it without being charged, so that argument is simply illogical!

  6. Edwin Gravitt Says:

    In the real America, a man is considered to be innocent until proven guilty by a jury of his peers in a court of law. The “facts” you have read have not been presented in a court of law because they are not true. God help us from those who think and vote the way you obviously do. Now I have a question for you: If you were on trial for a real crime, who would you rather have on your jury in a court of law; you or me?

Today's Deep Thought

For mad scientists who keep brains in jars, here's a tip: why not add a slice of lemon to each jar, for freshness?


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