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Planned Bullyhood: The Truth Behind the Headlines about the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle with Susan G. Komen for the Cure Hardcover – September 11, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Handel built her career on sound fiscal and organizational management in both the public and private sector. With tremendous perseverance and determination, she has had a successful political and business career. Karen has held senior management positions with several major companies and served as president of one of Georgia’s largest chambers of commerce. Most recently, Karen served as Senior Vice President of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, overseeing its federal and state policy efforts. She has served as Georgia’s first elected Republican Secretary of State, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Sonny Perdue. Karen and her husband Steve have been married for twenty years and reside in Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451697945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451697940
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,081,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

SECRETARY OF THE STATE OF GEORGIA (2007 - 2010)

FORMER SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC POLICY AT SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE

Karen Handel built her career on sound fiscal and organizational management in both the public and private sector. With tremendous perseverance and determination, she has had a successful political and business career. Most recently, Karen served as Senior VP of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, overseeing its federal and state policy efforts. She has served as Georgia's first elected Republican Secretary of State, as well as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Sonny Perdue.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I had trouble deciding how many stars to give this often interesting but very uneven book. I almost gave up during the introduction, but I persisted and found the book very interesting, except when Handel went into histrionic partisan mode. Handel has led a very interesting life, and if she has done all she says, she has a lot to be proud of.

Karen Handel is the one blamed for leading Komen to drop Planned Parenthood (PP). The thing is, even if it was Handel's idea (she insists it wasn't), she couldn't have done it by herself. She is left in the position of an outside lover whom a reconciling couple has agreed bears all the blame for the infidelity. That saves face and makes it easier to reconcile, but it isn't true. Say what you will, it remains that the infidel agreed to the affair and is the real betrayer. Set up as the scapegoat, Handel is understandably bitter.

Komen, according to Handel, couldn't make up its corporate mind. They wanted to dump Planned Parenthood for a number of reasons including dissatisfaction with their work and also because they were under enormous pressure from the prolife/antiabortion forces. This is a point at which I have problems with Handel. If PP was a bully, so was the Roman Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, et al. They were the other pincher putting pressure on Komen and Handel. Handel goes into the most detail about the Catholic church's backlash, beginning on p.83. Komen has worked with numerous Catholic organizations in the past, both in giving them grants and getting their help raising money. Then the Church, and like-minded organizations, cut all ties unless Komen cut ties with PP.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles where the man puts a gun to his own head and threatens to shoot.
If the objective of this book is to bash Planned Parenthood the author pulled the trigger. Planned Parenthood comes across as politically savvy with a strong message and one voice. The Komen organization is portrayed as amazingly out of touch, prone to hiring numerous expensive political PR firms, disorganized and unable to come up with a coherent message. Komen's founder is portrayed as out of touch and not really in control. The author is clearly out of her league and should have stayed in local politics. No matter which side of the debate you are on as to whether Komen should have been founding Planned Parenthood their strategy, decision making and inability to deal with the issue effectively make me question how well the organization will function in the future. To those breast cancer patients hoping for progress or a cure that is a real shame.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Handel's great at corporate spin. After voluntarily assuming an executive vice presidency, she pretends that she had no direction in subsequent policy making. Somehow everybody else just ordered her to take the position--and required her to withdraw funding from community organizations assisting with the provision of breast cancer services to low-income women

Huh?? This is where the public outrage over her hire began. And she does not understand that the foundation's mission was supposed to provide breast cancer services to women, period. I'm left scratching my head because this woman is no political newbee. Prior positions included President/CEO of the Greater Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Policy advisor to Georgia Governor Sonny Purdue, and Georgia Secretary of State. She was supposed to have come in already knowing how the public sector works.

But she never comprehends that money from any foundation only goes to a very specific project. Or the profound ramifications withdrawing the foundation money ultimately did create--until it cost her job--and the organization's once-stellar image. Komen's top public health official, who had been aware of the impact this would create, immediately resigned when the policy was first implemented.

Fundraising to the Komen Foundation dropped because masses of women now believed it was not concerned with their health. It was playing politics with their lives. So they donated directly to other organizations which were providing the cancer screening services.

This book does not have me coming away feeling sorry for her. It has me concerned that the Komen Foundation threw away their long-standing image on somebody lacking political-financial savvy.
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7 Comments 19 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
It's often said "There are no second acts in American Politics" and aside from the Lazarus-like rebirth of Richard Nixon that's largely true. With "Planned Bullyhood" Karen Handel is attempting a sort of personal and political redemption and revival but in the process she is also driving nails in her coffin. As a Georgian I'm well familiar with Ms. Handel's political curriculum vitae, a former Fulton County commissioner and past Secretary of State. Her quick rise was staggering and her equally fast flameout equally predictable. Handel has no qualms about speaking her mind, which she does in abundance here in "Planned Bullyhood". The problem is Handel is an odd mix of direct honesty, naïveté, and a very fundamental and undiplomatic grasp of how politics works. All are on display here and it is a fascinating snapshot of a politician who rose quickly despite a lack of political guile; a rarity in politics today. Certainly she was the odd man (woman) out in Georgia politics as she bristled at the old-boy political system at work in the Georgia Assembly and which infuses politics at the state level. She rather naively thought she could transcend it and change it, yet when she attempted to rally troops and lead the charge she looked back and found few supporters. The net result was she was marginalized by the old-boy network. Sad indeed, yet what did she expect would happen? Entrenched political interests don't give up so easily. "Planned Bullyhood" fairly drips with recollections like this and it is somewhat astonishing that Handel genuinely believes that by force of will and her convictions she can demand change and reform. Handel recounts her nearly successful 2010 campaign for governor that won the endorsement of Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and Jan Brewer.Read more ›
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