Ex-Komen VP Opposed Voting Rights | Hillman Foundation

Clear It With Sidney

Notes on journalism for the common good, by Lindsay Beyerstein

Ex-Komen VP Opposed Voting Rights

Karen Handel resigned as a vice president of the Susan G. Komen Foundation amid allegations that she urged the organization to cut off breast health grants to Planned Parenthood. When the news broke that Planned Parenthood had been defunded, suspicion centered on Handel because she had recently campaigned on a pledge to defund Planned Parenthood during her unsuccessful gubernatorial bid in Georgia.

Handel’s links to the anti-choice movement have been well-reported, but her opposition to voting rights remains obscure. Chris Kromm of Facing South has the story:

Who is Karen Handel? A Republican from Maryland, Handel got her start in politics as deputy chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle’s wife, Marilyn. But her rise to national prominence began in 2006, when she became the first elected Republican secretary of state in Georgia.

Handel’s aggressive changes to Georgia’s election systems provoked a quick backlash. She became a leading figure in the push for a restrictive voter ID bill, which was enmeshed in litigation for more than three years over charges that it disenfranchised African-Americans, Latinos, students and the elderly.

Even more controversially, in 2007 Handel engineered a system to “purge” thousands of Georgia voters who didn’t match Social Security Administration and other government data. The purge system, which a federal panel later ruled had been wrongfully implemented without approval from the Justice Department, identifed more than 200,000 “no match” voters. […]

Read the rest at Facing South.

[Photo credit: Jon Scheiber, Creative Commons.]