The Wall Street Journal Wonders If It's Almost Over for Ralph Reed
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Apr 20, 2006 at 01:15:05 AM EST
The Wall Street Journal has joined a chorus of national publications chronicling the political woes of Ralph Reed, once the boy wunderkind of the Christian Right, who is running for his political life in the GOP primary for Lt. Governor of Georgia.

Several surveys show Mr. Reed still holding a narrow lead, but with high unfavorable ratings and many voters undecided.... Will Mr. Reed, a star of the national Republican Party, become the first campaign casualty of the Abramoff scandal when he squares off with state Sen. Casey Cagle in the July 18 primary?

We could be wrong, but here at Talk to Action, we think we smell burning toast.
Jonathan Hutson has even seen sure signs that The End is Near.  Two weeks ago, I highlighted a report from The Nation about how Ralph Reed is not only going down -- but he is taking large chunks of the once mighty Christian Coalition with him.  Carlos, Max Blumenthal, Jonathan and I have been writing about this for months. Win or lose, Mr. Reed will leave a diminished, divided, and significantly discredited Christian Right in his wake -- at least in Georgia, and to some extent nationwide.

Republicans once close to Mr. Reed aren't satisfied with his explanation of his role in Mr. Abramoff's work. Maurice Atkinson, a Christian Coalition activist, quit the Reed campaign after the scandal became public and signed up with Mr. Cagle. "Nobody likes to be a hypocrite and nobody likes to follow a hypocrite," he says.

Erosion of support from religious activists could signal trouble for Mr. Reed as he heads into the primary's home stretch.

That is, of course, a devastating understatement. And the story of how he laundered funds to conceal the fact that they came from gambling interests is being told once again, not by "leftists" as his campaign likes to claim, but by the leading business newspaper in the U.S. Here is a sample:

Mr. Reed first worked alongside Mr. Abramoff in 1981 when they were active in the College Republicans National Committee. Mr. Reed went on to make his political mark in the 1990s by orchestrating the rise of the Christian Coalition political action group, as executive director to founder and evangelist Pat Robertson. In 1997, he returned home to Georgia to open a lobbying firm, Century Strategies, and emails show he turned to his old friend to juice up earnings. "I need to start humping in some corporate accounts!" he wrote in 1998 to Mr. Abramoff.

Between 2001 and 2003, Mr. Reed collected more than $4 million in fees from Abramoff clients with gambling interests, including Indian tribes. Mr. Reed's specialty was ginning up opposition from religious leaders to tribes trying to elbow into Abramoff clients' turf. Payments to Mr. Reed's firm were funneled through organizations such as tax-exempt or charitable groups aligned with Mr. Abramoff, which obscured their source.

After Mr. Reed complained about a tardy payment in 2001, Mr. Abramoff emailed this explanation: "The originating entity had to transfer to a separate account before they transferred it to the entity which is going to transfer it to you."

If Reed is defeated in the GOP primary it will be a significant blow to the Christian Right political movement he helped to create. The leaders of the Christian Right have maintained a stony silence about Reed's role in the Abramoff scandal: as he took money from gaming interests while pretending not to; and now claiming he didn't know and wouldn't have taken the money if he had.  Uh huh.  National Christian Right leaders are apparently too embarrassed to defend him and too frightened to denounce his apparent corruption. But some, are standing by their man.

Sadie Fields, head of the Christian Coalition chapter in Georgia, considers Mr. Reed a friend and champion of the religious conservative cause in politics. "He's apologized," she says, and the chapter is closed for her.

When they want to sit back and enjoy the opposition squabble, they say something like, 'break out the popcorn.'

The political demise of such a hypocrite surely qualifies as a moment just about anyone can enjoy -- with a little popcorn of course.

by Frederick Clarkson on Thu Apr 20, 2006 at 01:37:20 AM EST

It's like the hypocrisy jumps out at you!

by jhutson on Thu Apr 20, 2006 at 10:27:04 AM EST

The early demise of many of these folks has regularly been declared, only to see them squeak by or resurface very soon after. Not winning public office he has ever sought won't keep Reed for being involved in Republican politics - his Machiavellian training from Leo Strauss in Chicago (with classmates Norquist and Abramoff) has been too valuable to the Christian Coalition as well as the Republicans.

They are perfectly happy to govern with mandates after getting their 1% majority in elections, whatever it takes. There are many dirty tactics out there, and Reed is a Rove-class operative. Make some extra popcorn, keep washing your hands and hold on this November!

Morality accepts that the MEANS JUSTIFY THE ENDS, as opposed to ethics that reject this philosphy. Reed is a moral man, but NEVER an ethical one. Perfect for US politics.

by joelp on Thu Apr 20, 2006 at 02:25:11 PM EST

The Wall Street Journal published a national publications chronicling of the political uproar of Ralph Reed, who is currently running for his political life in the GOP primary as Lt. Governor of Georgia. Many studies have proved that Mr. Reed has a narrow lead because of unlikable ratings and many voters who are still not decided. Is there any possibility that Mr. Reed, a star of the national Republican Party would become the first campaign casualty of the Abram off scandal in Sen. Casey Cagle in 18th July? There were many politicians who called him hypocrite and stressed upon the idea that nobody wanted to follow his footsteps. Infect, You may see my website where you able to get more relevant information.

by sarwarmonaf on Mon Nov 26, 2018 at 04:08:29 AM EST

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