Friday, June 9, 2017

Karen Handel Unfiltered

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

A special election is occurring in Georgia to fill the 6th District House of Representatives seat that was vacated by Congressman Tom Price when he left to join Trump's cabinet as the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  The actual date set for the election is June 20th, but Georgia has "early voting" and ballots are already being cast.

Georgia's 6th is in the suburbs of Atlanta and has been represented by Republicans for the past forty years.  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich held the seat for twenty of those forty years.  But demographics are changing, and the young people of the district are proving to not be nearly as conservative as their parents and grandparents.  While Price won the seat comfortably in 2016, Donald Trump eeked out a bare win in the district by less than two percentage points over Hillary Clinton.

The two candidates who placed first and second in an April primary and thus earned a spot in the runoff election are Democrat John Ossoff, who received 48.1 percent of the primary vote, and Republican Karen Handel who pulled out 19.8 percent of the vote.  If Ossoff had received over fifty percent of the vote in April he would have won the seat outright, but as a result of not hitting that mark he now has to face Handel in the runoff.  Most political strategists agree that the race is very close, with a few giving a slight edge to Ossoff.

John Ossoff, who resembles a young Abe Lincoln without the beard, is a former congressional aide as well as a journalist and documentary filmmaker.  He has a bachelors degree from Georgetown University and a masters from the London School of Economics.  He is on record as opposing the American Health Care Act, also known as "Trumpcare."  Ossoff has raised massive amounts of campaign cash in small donations from across the United States.

Karen Handel is a career Republican politician who one time served as Georgia's Secretary of State.  She lost the Georgia Republican primary for governor in 2010, an election in which one of her campaign platforms was the elimination of funding to Planned Parenthood.  Shortly after that political race, she accepted an executive position with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, but resigned when that organization became embroiled in a political controversy after it cut off grants to Planned Parenthood.  Handel, who supported the move to drop financial support of Planned Parenthood, left  the Komen group when it reversed itself on the matter.  She was widely credited with throwing Komen into turmoil during her brief tenure there.  Handel is on record as saying she would have voted to support the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare).  She has also raised large amounts of campaign cash through donations, but from a much narrower donor base than the one assembled by Ossoff.

Karen Handel made national news this week when she gave an honest answer, one that apparently came straight from the gut, to a question posed by a journalist during a debate with John Ossoff.  The questioner asked Handel about her position on minimum wage, and the Republican candidate responded:

"This is an example of a fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative.  I do not support a livable wage."

Those actual words came from her mouth - the candidate does not support a "livable wage."  No one should be guaranteed survival just because they hold down a job - what an outrageous concept!  The gospel according to Karen Handel would have us believe that business is about profits, and it has nothing to do with meeting the basic needs of the workers who produce the goods and services that actually power the American economy.

She did add that she is a proponent of low taxes and fewer regulations on businesses - positions that would feed into maximizing profits and decreasing employer responsibility for things like worker safety and fair labor standards.

Get to the polls, Georgia.  This election is too important to sit out.  Our national redemption begins with you!

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