Karen Handel on Government Reform



Defended and implemented photo ID for voting

As Georgia's first elected Republican Secretary of State, Karen successfully defended and implemented photo ID for voting during the 2008 presidential election cycle, which saw record minority and overall voter participation.
Source: 2014 Senate campaign website www.karenhandel.com, "About" , Jun 6, 2013

Implemented ban on Georgia legislative gifts & nepotism

[As Georgia's Secretary of State], my disdain for the atmosphere at the capitol was well-known. Sordid scandals--womanizing, lobbyist affairs, drunken-driving arrests--were in the news with increasing frequency. And each time, the matter was brushed off. Lobbyist-paid gifts, event tickets, lavish dinners, and trips for legislators were drawing increasing scrutiny and criticism--in the media and from voters.

I couldn't control the ethics rules of the state legislature, but I did control the ethics within the secretary of state's office. My 1st month in office, we implemented a ban on gifts, abolished the time-honored tradition of nepotism, and even established a one-year cooling-off period during which no former staffer could lobby the agency. And these rules applied to me as well.

Source: Planned Bullyhood, by Karen Handel, p. 35 , Sep 11, 2012

No "secret orders"; no nepotism; no revolving door

Karen established a new ethics policy in 2007, which limits gifts to employees (including herself!), establishes a nepotism policy to address cronyism, and requires a one-year "cooling off" period before employees can take lobbying positions with companies seeking to do business with the agency.

It is also important to Karen for government to "let the light shine in." Georgians turn to the Secretary of State's Office for important consumer information regarding license holders and securities professionals. Unfortunately, a decades-old policy of allowing "secret orders" kept this information in the dark. The public now has access to the information on most of the Office's actions and can find much of this information on the agency's website. Open records requests are approached with the attitude of determining what can be provided instead of focusing on how not to provide information.

Source: 2013 Senate campaign website, karenhandel.com, "Issues" , Aug 1, 2010

Signed term limit pledge: 6 years House; 12 years Senate.

Handel signed pledging 6-year term limit

Organizational Self-Description: U.S. Term Limits, the nation's oldest and largest term limits advocacy group, announced that 14 new signers of its congressional term limits amendment pledge have been elected to the 114th Congress. The group includes five new senators, eight new House members and one House incumbent who signed the pledge for the first time this cycle. The pledge calls for members to co-sponsor and vote for a constitutional amendment limiting House members to three terms (six years) and Senators to two terms (12 years). The USTL President said, "The American people are fed up with career politicians in Washington and strongly embracing term limits as a remedy. Gallup polling shows that 75% of Americans support term limits."

Opposing legal argument: [ACLU, Nov. 7, 2014]: In U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton (May 22, 1995), the Court ended the movement to enact term limits for Congress on a state-by-state basis. The Court held that the qualifications for Congress established in the Constitution itself could not be amended by the states without a constitutional amendment, and that the notion of congressional term limits violates the "fundamental principle of our representative democracy 'that the people should chose whom they please to govern them.'"

Opposing political argument: [Cato Institute Briefing Paper No. 14, Feb. 18, 1992]: Several considerations may explain political scientists' open hostility to term limitation:

Source: Press release from U.S. Term Limits 16-USTL on Nov 8, 2014

Other candidates on Government Reform: Karen Handel on other issues:
GA Gubernatorial:
Andrew Hunt
Brian Kemp
Casey Cagle
Hunter Hill
Jason Carter
Nathan Deal
Sonny Perdue
Stacey Abrams
Tom Price
GA Senatorial:
Amanda Swafford
David Perdue
Jack Kingston
Michelle Nunn
Paul Broun
Phil Gingrey

GA politicians
GA Archives

Retiring in 2014 election:

Retired as of Jan. 2013:
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