1383Fwd: [utepprogressives] Will Georgia be spared Ralph Reed?
- Jan 13, 2006Ram, from your position in Georgia, does this seem
--- Julie Keller <jakeller@...> wrote:
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> From: "Julie Keller" <jakeller@...>
> Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 23:15:36 -0000
> Subject: [utepprogressives] Will Georgia be spared
> Ralph Reed?
> 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
> governor, who was once a colleague of Reed's on
> Capitol Hill. ``Ralph
> faces a very difficult and now problematic
> 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
> 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
> 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
> ``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
> 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
> Abramoff and Scanlon used the organizations so Reed
> wouldn't be paid
> directly by their clients, who wanted to block new
> 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.''
> 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
> 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,
> 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
> 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
> 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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