Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

07 January 2010

Uh Oh! Athens Paper Calls Handel A "Good Ol' Girl"

Wednesday, former Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel was in Albany for a private fundraiser where she railed against the so-called "culture of corruption" in state government, and vowed to remove the "sex, lies, and lobbyists" from under the gold dome [Smith, Romney (2010-1-6). Karen Handel in Albany for a private fundraiser . WFXL-TV. Retrieved on 2010-1-7.].

A scathing editorial appearing in the Athens Banner-Herald, however, suggests that Handel may have her own ethics problems to deal with pointing to several instances where the Fulton County Republican has taken gifts and contributions from the same lobbyists she's criticizing now.

. . . lobbyists' expenditure reports filed with the State Ethics Commission show that the culture [Handel] slammed so vociferously this week is one with which she has more than a nodding acquaintance.

Take, for example, the 2005 report that shows a mortgage company, Ameriquest, gave Handel - who then was chairing the Fulton County Commission - tickets to a Rolling Stones concert valued at $336.

Then, there's a 2006 report showing that Handel received a $1,000 campaign contribution from American International Group for her campaign for Georgia secretary of state.

Handel may not be a "good ol' boy," but the distinction she's trying to make between herself and her opponents in the race turns out to be more about gender than about personal conduct. In short, there's plenty of "good ol' girl" in Karen Handel.

Athens Banner-Herald (2010-1-7). Editorial: Handel can't make her case on ethics issues. Athens Banner-Herald. Retrieved on 2010-1-7.

The essence of the Athens Banner-Herald editorial seems to be that a candidate for governor can't be critical of "sex, lies and lobbyists" when that same candidate appears to have benefitted from the same sex and those same lies from many of those same lobbyists.

Still, one might think that Handel could gain some serious traction on the ethics front if she pledged not to accept campaign contributions from corporations and refused gifts from lobbyists. In other words, if Handel practiced what she preached, then maybe others wouldn't scoff at her bid to be Georgia's "most ethical" gubernatorial candidate.