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13 July 2010

Handel Campaign Responds To Oxendine Attack Ad

Earlier this morning, the latest advertisement from the Oxendine gubernatorial campaign was released and post here on Georgia Politics Unfiltered.

The campaign of Republican Karen Handel responded to the charges leveled against their candidate. Below is the press release:

Squealing Like a Stuck Ox

Hours After Gov. Palin Endorses Karen, Georgia's Most Corrupt and Ethically Challenged Politician Throws Hail Mary in Attempt to Save Floundering Campaign

Reeling from media reports of federal and state corruption investigations, questionable fundraising practices and contributor shake-downs, Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine is putting those funds to use in a desperate, last minute "Hail Mary" to stop Karen Handel's momentum one week before the primary.

Utilizing campaign funds he strong-armed from insurance executives and others he regulates, Oxendine has launched a negative campaign attack against new front-runner Karen Handel. Recycling old and already debunked accusations concerning Karen's views on life and spending, Georgia's own "walking ethics complaint" hopes that by smearing Handel he can stop his own campaign's free fall.

Oxendine's new attack ad is laughably and provably false. A point by point debunking of its claims follows.

Claim:
"Under her (Handel's) leadership, Fulton County spending has skyrocketed." [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 29, 2004]

Reality:
The article cited was published on January 29, 2004, at which point, Karen had been County Commission Chairman for two months. In it, Karen is shown to be championing budget cuts and calling for less spending while Democrats on the Commission fight her. The article is clear, and it is attached in its entirety. The article also says: "One faction on the county Board of Commissioners, led by new GOP Chairwoman Karen Handel, says the county's spending is out of control and must be reined in before disaster strikes."

Claim:
"She gave nearly a half a million dollars to an abortion provider."

Reality:
These funds were a pass-through grant from Congress to the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Division of Public Health -- ironically when Nathan Deal was in Congress and Eric Johnson was in the State Senate -- to provide screening for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical and breast cancer. Federal and state law, as well as State DHR regulations prohibited the funds from being used for abortion services, referrals or information.

Claim:
Karen "supported taxpayer benefits for gay couples."

Reality:
Fulton County's Domestic Partner Benefits program was passed prior to Karen Handel taking office as Fulton County Chairman. When the issue came before her as Chair, Karen voted no. [Agenda Item 06-0558, Passed 4-2. Commissioners Pitts, Lowe, Boxill and Edwards voted Yes. Commission Chair Handel and Vice-Chair Darnell No. (August 16, 2006)]

"John Oxendine is the most corrupt politician in Georgia's history and is far more likely to serve a term in prison than he is to serve as Governor," Handel spokesman Dan McLagan said today. "He sees the campaign slipping away from him and he has hit the panic button to spend millions on false, negative ads. It's pathetic and the voters will see right through him."