Abramoff Scandal is Albatross for Ralph Reed
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 04:54:06 AM EST
Bloomberg News is reporting that the growing Washington, DC scandal centered around GOP superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, is damaging the campaign for Lt. Governor of Georgia, of former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed -- who has been caught-up in the scandal for months.
Reed, who is the chairman of the Georgia GOP, is making his first run for public office. Since leaving the Christian Coalition in the late 1990's he has worked as a political consultant, heading a firm called Century Strategies. Among other candidates, he worked for George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign; and he also ran the Bush campaign in the Southeast in 2004.

Disclosures that Reed once ran an anti-gambling campaign that was secretly financed by casino-owning clients of his friend Abramoff have damaged his ability to raise funds for a bid to become Georgia's next lieutenant governor, other Republicans say. That may undercut his chances of winning an office that he could use as a steppingstone to national political ambitions, they say.

Campaign-finance reports filed this week show that Reed, 44, lagged behind opponent Casey Cagle in fundraising for the July 18 Republican primary during the past six months, after collecting more than twice as much money as his rival before that. Cagle raised $667,000 from June 30 to Dec. 31 to Reed's $404,000.

``A lot of those big corporate donors are now hedging their bets,'' said Matt Towery, the 1990 Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, who was once a colleague of Reed's on Capitol Hill. ``Ralph faces a very difficult and now problematic candidacy.''

An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll last month showed Cagle and Reed would perform about equally well against the Democrats in the November election. The poll was conducted by Zogby International before Abramoff pleaded guilty to fraud and conspiring to corrupt public officials....  Reed's fund-raising slowdown in the past six months coincided with the drumbeat of news about Abramoff and Reed's connections to him. Those ties are gaining more attention in the aftermath of Abramoff's Jan. 3 guilty plea and the widening probe into the potential bribery of lawmakers.

While so far there has been no suggestion that Reed has done anything illegal, his fronting for gambling interests represented by Abramoff, and as the article notes, arranging for money from casino and other gambling interests to be paid to his company indirectly so as to obscure the source of the funds, has tarnished his image as a conservative Christian opponent of gambling.

[Tip o' the Hat to Chuck Currie at Street Prophets.]

that this is a powerful matter that has received relatively little attention.

Ralph Reed is running for statewide office for the first time and he might not make it out of the primary. He is known to have national ambitions.


Wouldn't it be better to stop him now, with an insurmountable issue tying him to an enormous DC corruption scandal?

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Jan 12, 2006 at 10:18:35 PM EST

Fred, that's a very apt metaphor for Ralph Reed's state of being, suffering withering looks from old and young, who view him no longer as a man of God but as a man of greed.

I gather that you were referring specifically to the great bird in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere, when the Mariner says:

Ah wel-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young;
Instead of the Cross the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

by jhutson on Sat Jan 14, 2006 at 08:22:06 AM EST

Jack Abramoff did great as political consultant but and now he has joined the GOP group and willing to take out bad things from it. You should visit is it illegal to write papers for money for more information. I think can raise the positive changes in it.

by Abbot45558 on Tue Sep 24, 2019 at 01:21:17 AM EST

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