Cross posted: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/4/18/0219/67943
Ralph Reed’s Zeal for Lobbying Has Shaken His Christian Base
Reed is running for Lt. Gov. in Georgia. His connections to Jack Abramoff can’t be helpful.
It’s good to see the national coverage expand beyond DeLay. Now, Ohioans, get your state Democratic party to send out daily press releases on Ney’s Delay/Abramoff connections. Other OH Republicans are caught up in the web, too.
Don’t forget to push your local newspapers (even the tiny ones that have circulations of 4,000) to cover DeLay, Abramoff, Reed, Ney, and other cronies!
In 30 years of culture wars, few conservative Christian standard bearers have traveled further in American politics than Ralph Reed. The former head of the Christian Coalition has been a high-priced communications consultant, a top Bush campaign adviser, chairman of Georgia’s Republican Party and now a candidate for lieutenant governor here.
But as he completes his journey from Christian advocate to professional politician, Mr. Reed, 43, finds himself carrying some baggage: his ties to an old friend, the Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
In Washington, federal investigations of Mr. Abramoff, a close ally of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have revealed that Mr. Abramoff paid Mr. Reed’s consulting firm more than $4 million to help organize Christian opposition to Indian casinos in Texas and Louisiana – money that came from other Indians with rival casinos.
Mr. Reed declined to comment for this article; he has said publicly that he did not know that casino owners were paying for his services and that he has never deviated from his moral opposition to gambling. But the episode is a new blemish on the boyish face that once personified the rise of evangelical Christians to political power in America.
Some of Mr. Reed’s past patrons – including the Rev. Pat Robertson, the Christian broadcaster who set Mr. Reed on the national stage by hiring him to run the Christian Coalition – say his work with Mr. Abramoff’s Indian casino clients raises questions about how he has balanced his personal ambitions with his Christian principles.
“You know that song about the Rhinestone Cowboy, ‘There’s been a load of compromising on the road to my horizon,’ ” Mr. Robertson said. “The Bible says you can’t serve God and Mammon.”
In Georgia, Mr. Reed’s rival in the Republican primary is playing up his links with Indian casinos to try to revive longstanding criticism from conservative Christian purists that Mr. Reed has sometimes put his own ambitions ahead of their goals. At the meeting near Atlanta, for example, his opponents were doing their best to sow doubts in the crowd.
“The Christian Coalition, they may have some shady background,” said Robert McIntyre, the treasurer of the Spalding County Republican Party, who still wore a Ralph Reed sticker on his lapel. “I was being loyal to Ralph Reed, but since now some things have come up, I need to listen. I am now wavering.”
Mr. Abramoff was “a conservative firebrand,” Mr. Reed wrote in his book “Active Faith.” The men became so close that Mr. Reed sometimes slept on Mr. Abramoff’s couch and later introduced Mr. Abramoff to his future wife.
For more coverage on Reed and his connections to Abramoff, Click here
To donate to the Georgia Democratic Party: Here
Other donation links:
- Donate to the DNC
- Donate to the Democratic Governors Association
- Donate to the DSCC
- Donate to DCCC.
- Unofficial/Official Democratic Websites/Blogs
Other relevant links:
- Tom DeLay’s House of Scandal
- Jack Abramoff and Friends
- Drop the Hammer on DeLay
- ACTION ALERT on DeLay. DKos Throws DeLay an Anvil!
Now, sit back, folks and watch the fireworks.