For two decades, Ralph Reed made his mark as a squeaky-clean political operator and a driving force behind the Christian right. Now he's trying to get himself into elected office amid allegations he raked in money from the same gambling interests he once called "a cancer on the American body politic."Reed has recently been accused of taking consulting fees from casino money despite the fact that he is as an anti-gambling crusader. Granted he admits that he knew the money came from an Indian tribe, via Grover Norquist, but he claims he didn't know it was casino money. But guess how he got the money? His very close, very crooked pal-under-investigation-for-fraud, Jack Abramoff helped set it up. So I wouldn't exactly put any money down on Ralph Reed becoming Georgia's next lt. governor.
The former organizer for the Christian Coalition and adviser to presidential campaigns is seeking to become Georgia's first Republican lieutenant governor since Reconstruction, a largely powerless post that could serve as a stepping stone to higher office.
One former Republican state legislator, Bob Irvin, has called on Reed to withdraw from the race, arguing in an op-ed piece for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Reed is too divisive and will drive thousands of Republicans into the Democratic column if he wins the nomination.
Marshall Wittmann, who worked with Reed at the Christian Coalition but now works for the Democratic Leadership Council, thinks Reed wants to be president.
"He knew he couldn't go from the Christian Coalition, so he became a political consultant, then Georgia GOP chairman, then coordinator for the Bush campaign. The next logical step is to win a political office. This is what's available, but it's clearly a stepping stone to higher office," Wittmann said.
Monday, June 20, 2005
zoe kentucky | Monday, June 20, 2005 |