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1383Fwd: [utepprogressives] Will Georgia be spared Ralph Reed?

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  • Greg Cannon
    Jan 13, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Ram, from your position in Georgia, does this seem
      true?

      --- Julie Keller <jakeller@...> wrote:

      > To: utepprogressives@yahoogroups.com
      > From: "Julie Keller" <jakeller@...>
      > Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 23:15:36 -0000
      > Subject: [utepprogressives] Will Georgia be spared
      > Ralph Reed?
      >
      > http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?
      > pid=10000103&sid=aG6gHO3vwYZQ&refer=us
      >
      > Abramoff Scandal Threatens to Derail Reed's
      > Political Ambitions
      >
      > Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Washington scandal over
      > lobbyist Jack
      > Abramoff may claim a casualty outside the nation's
      > capital: Ralph
      > Reed, a former presidential-campaign adviser who
      > once headed one of
      > the U.S.'s largest Christian activist groups.
      >
      > 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.
      >
      > For Reed, who once seemed invincible, with broad
      > support in his party
      > and wide name recognition, that isn't good news,
      > said Towery, who now
      > publishes Insider Advantage, a guide to politics.
      >
      > Up the Ranks
      >
      > Reed, who is making his first run for public office,
      > climbed through
      > the political ranks because of his connections in
      > Christian and
      > Republican circles. From 1989 to 1997, he ran the
      > Christian Coalition
      > of America, a then-powerful group founded by
      > evangelist Pat
      > Robertson. Reed served as a consultant to George W.
      > Bush's 2000
      > presidential campaign and oversaw the Southeast
      > region for his 2004
      > re-election.
      >
      > 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.
      >
      > ``There are concerns as to whether Ralph will
      > continue to make
      > headlines that are harmful to the party,'' said Eric
      > Johnson, who as
      > the Georgia Senate's president pro tem is a top
      > Republican. Johnson
      > said he's staying neutral in the primary election.
      >
      > `Significant Doubts'
      >
      > The Cagle campaign is playing off those concerns.
      > ``The polling data
      > we've seen as well as fund raising show how people
      > in Georgia have
      > significant doubts about whether they can trust
      > Ralph,'' Cagle
      > spokesman Brad Alexander said.
      >
      > Reed is still ahead of Cagle, 39, in overall
      > fundraising, having
      > collected a total of $1.8 million to Cagle's $1.3
      > million.
      >
      > ``We raised more from more donors on our first
      > report than our
      > primary opponent has raised in two reports,'' Reed
      > spokeswoman Lisa
      > Baron said. ``It is not uncommon for second reports
      > after such a
      > strong first report to reflect the obvious, which is
      > many donors have
      > already contributed the maximum.''
      >
      > Reed declined to comment for this article.
      >
      > Tarnished Image
      >
      > Reed's image as someone more interested in Christian
      > causes than his
      > own financial well-being has been tarnished by a
      > stream of e-mails
      > released by a Senate committee that investigated
      > Abramoff's bilking
      > of Indian-tribe clients.
      >
      > ``I need to start humping in corporate accounts,''
      > Reed wrote to
      > Abramoff in 1998. ``I'm counting on you to help me
      > with some
      > contacts.''
      >
      > In 2001 alone, he received more than $2.5 million
      > from entities
      > connected with Abramoff and partner Michael Scanlon,
      > according to
      > documents released by the Senate Indian Affairs
      > Committee.
      >
      > Abramoff and Scanlon used the organizations so Reed
      > wouldn't be paid
      > directly by their clients, who wanted to block new
      > gambling
      > competition. The e-mails show that Reed knew
      > casino-owning tribes
      > were the ultimate clients, though he says he wasn't
      > paid with
      > gambling proceeds.
      >
      > ``Had I known then what I know now, I would not have
      > undertaken that
      > work,'' Reed said in the text of a Dec. 9 speech to
      > a Georgia youth
      > group. ``On reflection and with the benefit of
      > hindsight, it is clear
      > it associated my longstanding opposition to gambling
      > with those who
      > did not share it and has caused difficulty for the
      > faith community
      > with whom I worked.''
      >
      > Connections
      >
      > Reed and Abramoff have known each other since the
      > early 1980s, when
      > they were leaders of the College Republicans along
      > with another now-
      > powerful Washington player, anti-tax activist Grover
      > Norquist. They
      > made an odd trio: Abramoff, an orthodox Jew who went
      > to high school
      > in Beverly Hills, California; Reed, a Christian
      > southerner with
      > boyish looks; and Norquist, a Massachusetts native
      > with a penchant
      > for dramatic monologues in his tax-cut crusade.
      >
      > The three continued to work together until word
      > broke that Abramoff
      > may have defrauded his tribal clients. One, the
      > Mississippi Band of
      > Choctaw Indians, in 1999 donated money to Norquist's
      > Americans for
      > Tax Reform, which then wrote checks to Reed's
      > anti-gambling
      > coalition.
      >
      > Cayman Islands
      >
      > Reed also depended on Abramoff to help his political
      > campaigns. In
      > one e-mail exchange in 2001, he asked Abramoff to
      > contribute to his
      > successful bid to become state Republican chairman
      > in Georgia. When
      > Abramoff asked where to send the donation, Reed
      > joked, ``The actual
      > committee is `The Reed Family Retirement and
      > Educational Foundation.'
      > The address is 200 Bay Drive, Grand Cayman, BCI,
      > R59876.''
      >
      > Before the Abramoff scandal, Reed was the best known
      > of the three
      > because of his work for the Christian Coalition. By
      > 1984, he had
      > helped to re-elect Senator Jesse Helms in North
      > Carolina by
      > organizing a Christian conservative constituency
      > that later became
      > the foundation for Robertson's 1988 presidential
      > bid.
      >
      > The young Republicans following in Reed's footsteps
      > -- students,
      > budding activists and campaign managers -- now don't
      > want him to run,
      > said Charles Bullock, a political scientist at the
      > University of
      > Georgia in Athens.
      >
      > ``Without exception, they are hoping he's not on the
      > ticket,''
      > Bullock said. One concern is ``that he gets the
      > nomination, and then
      > sometime in the fall the smoking gun shows up and he
      > brings down
      > Republicans,'' he said. ``The drumbeat is going to
      > be playing
      > throughout the year.''
      >
      >
      >
      >
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