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Ralph E. Reed, Jr.

Ralph Eugene Reed, Jr., (born June 24, 1961) is a conservative American political activist, best known as the first executive director of the Christian Coalition during the early 1990s. He sought the Republican nomination for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, but lost the primary election on July 18, 2006 to State Senator Casey Cagle. Reed is also a part of, and implicated in, the ongoing Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal. Reed and his wife, the former JoAnne Young, were married in 1987 and have four children. __FORCETOC__

High school and college education

Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, to Navy ophthalmologist Ralph Reed and his wife Marcy, Reed moved often as a child, spending most of his childhood in Miami, Florida. He moved with his family to Toccoa, Georgia, in 1976, graduating from Stephens County High School in 1979. He attended the University of Georgia where he earned a BA in history in 1985. Reed was a member of the Demosthenian Literary Society, the Jasper Dorsey Intercollegiate Debate Society, and College Republicans. He was also a columnist for The Red & Black student newspaper. Later, Reed attended Emory University where he received his Ph.D in American History in 1989.

Plagiarism incident

On April 14, 1983, Reed wrote a column for The Red & Black student newspaper attacking the late Mohandas K. Gandhi. Titled "Gandhi: Ninny of the 20th Century," it denounced the motion picture Gandhi for its favorable treatment of the life of the pacifist leader of the Indian independence movement. A graduate student complained to the editor of The Red & Black that Reed had plagiarized a Commentary article by film reviewer Richard Grenier. After an investigation, Reed was fired from the paper. Reed wrote a final column acknowledging his failure to cite sources but accusing the graduate student who complained of "the most shocking, profane form of personal attack I can imagine." (Nina J. Easton, Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Crusade, page 130-31)

Early days as political activist

Reed spent much of his college career as a political activist, taking six years to earn his undergraduate degree. He started with the University of Georgia College Republicans, steadily rising to state and then national leadership. He was later profiled in Gang of Five by Nina Easton, along with Grover Norquist and other young activists who got their start in that era.

The triumvirate

In 1981, Reed moved to Washington, D.C., to intern for Jack Abramoff, the newly elected Chairman of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) and later the central figure in the Indian gaming and Congressional bribery scandal that would cause problems for Reed's campaign for Lieutenant Governor.

At the CRNC, Abramoff, Norquist and Reed formed what was known as the "Abramoff-Norquist-Reed triumvirate." Upon Abramoff's election, the trio purged "dissidents" and re-wrote the CRNC's bylaws to consolidate their control over the organization. Abramoff promoted Reed in 1983, appointing him to succeed Norquist as Executive Director of the CRNC.

Reed roomed with Abramoff in Washington, D.C., and later introduced Abramoff to the woman who would become his wife. Reed participated in the weddings of both Abramoff and Norquist. Norquist would later serve as President of Americans for Tax Reform, an anti-tax nonprofit lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.

Election-rigging allegations

In the spring of 1983, Reed was accused of rigging the election of ally Sam Harben as his successor as president of the College Republicans at the University of Georgia. Promising a keg party, Reed recruited a number of new "members" to vote in the election, submitting their membership paperwork on the last night before the deadline for the election. The defeated presidential candidate, Lee Culpepper, wrote to the College Republican National Committee calling the election a sham. The CRNC investigated the matter, reprimanded Reed and ordered a new election. However, in the meantime, Culpepper "led an angry exodus" out of the UGA College Republicans and into a newly formed Young Republicans of Clarke County club. Harben admitted later, "We ran a dirty election."

Religious experience

Reed has said that, in September 1983, he had a religious experience while at Bullfeathers, an upscale pub in Capitol Hill that was popular with staffers (and, to a lesser extent, members) of the House of Representatives. Regarding the experience, Reed said "the Holy Spirit simply demanded me to come to Jesus". He walked outside the pub to a phone booth, thumbed through the yellow pages under "Churches," and found the Evangel Assembly of God in Camp Springs, Maryland. He visited the next morning and became a born-again Christian.

Students for America

After receiving his B.A. in History in 1984, he moved that same year to Raleigh, North Carolina to help start Students for America, a conservative activist group supported by U.S. Senator Jesse Helms. Reed emerged as a leader of SFA.

SFA became largely dominated by members of Maranatha Campus Ministries, and this brought Reed into contact with Ed Buckham and Jim Backlin, the current Legislative Director of the Christian Coalition. This forged Ralph Reed's links to Tom DeLay through Buckham and Backlin.

Students for America established chapters on college campuses up and down the East Coast and held conferences. Among other issues, SFA supported Helms' bid for re-election and organized abortion clinic protests. After Ralph Reed left SFA for a bigger job at the Christian Coalition, SFA faded out of existence by the early 1990s.

Arrest

In March 1985, as part of a nation-wide movement spearheaded by Operation Rescue, Reed organized members of Students for America and College Republicans to picket the Fleming Center (an abortion clinic) in Raleigh, and the nearby home of its founder, a Dutch-born doctor. Clinic staff reported that protestors "screamed epithets and intimidated patients with mock baby funerals." Reed was arrested after bursting into the waiting room of the clinic. He signed an agreement promising to stay away from the clinic and was not prosecuted. (Nina J. Easton, Gang of Five, page 205)

Role in the Christian Coalition

Reed was then hired by religious broadcaster and unsuccessful Presidential candidate Pat Robertson as the first executive director of the Christian Coalition, headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Even though the Christian Coalition resulted from Robertson's campaign for President, Reed had played no role in Americans for Robertson.

Reed led the organization from 1989 to 1997, achieving national prominence which included an appearance on the cover of TIME. He resigned and moved to Georgia after federal prosecutors began investigating allegations by the Christian Coalition's chief financial officer, Judy Liebert. At this point, the group's finances were collapsing, and the IRS and Federal Election Commission were investigating it.

Building on the remnants of Robertson's Presidential campaign, the Coalition organized former Robertson supporters and other conservative people of faith to oppose political liberalism. Eschewing the confrontational tactics of street protest learned as a College Republican, Reed projected a "softer" public face for Christian conservatism. Reed repeatedly described himself as a "guerrilla fighter" who "traveled at night" and put "enemies" in "body bags" before they even realized he had struck.

Both Reed and the Christian Coalition rose to national prominence in the early 1990s, protesting against the Clinton administration's policies. Reed and the Coalition were widely credited with helping mobilize Christian conservatives in support of Republican candidates in the 1994 Congressional elections.

The influence of the Coalition had waned by the 1996 Presidential election, when Reed helped Senator Bob Dole win the Republican nomination for President. Dole lost the general election to President Bill Clinton. Reed's "Contract with the American Family," an imitation of Speaker Newt Gingrich's 1994 Contract with America, failed to ignite activists.

At the pinnacle of his power, Reed appeared on the cover of TIME on May 15, 1995, under the banner "The Right Hand of God: Ralph Reed of the Christian Coalition."

In 1996, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) brought an enforcement alleging that the Christian Coalition "violated federal campaign finance laws during congressional elections in 1990, 1992 and 1994, and the presidential election in 1992." Reed called the action "baseless." In part because of the allegations, the Internal Revenue Service denied tax exempt status for the Coalition.

Judy Liebert allegations

In 1996, the Christian Coalition's chief financial officer, Judy Liebert, "went to federal prosecutors with her suspicions of overbilling by Ben Hart, a direct-mail vendor with close ties to Ralph Reed, then the coalition's executive director." (Norfolk Virginian Pilot, September 26, 1997)

Liebert alleged that Hart, "a close friend with whom Reed regularly golfed and vacationed," was "regularly marking up the Coalition's bills." "Liebert also charged that Reed had turned over, free of charge, the Coalition's entire mailing list to Hart's firm." The Coalition subsequently offered Liebert a severance package that included a "letter of recommendation, a year's salary of $80,000, and another $25,000 to cover legal expenses, provided that she agree not to publicly disparage the Coalition.

Reed himself resigned in April 1997 while the investigation was pending. Reed denied that his resignation was related to the "Judy Liebert thing." He was never charged with any crimes. In December 1997, after Reed's resignation, the Christian Coalition sued Hart's firm, Hart Conover, for using its mailing list to entice donors away to other organizations. The Coalition blamed its own subsequent decline on Hart's misuse of the list. In March 1998, the Coalition and Hart reached an out-of-court settlement.

New start in Georgia

On resigning as executive director of the Christian Coalition, Reed moved to the Atlanta, Georgia suburb of Duluth to begin a career as a political consultant and lobbyist.

Skandalakis campaign leader

In late 1997, Reed joined the campaign of Fulton County Commission Chairman Mitch Skandalakis for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, becoming its General Consultant. In addition to plotting campaign strategy, Reed himself appeared in advertisements, identifying himself as the former head of the Christian Coalition and vouching for Skandalakis' conservative credentials and personal integrity.

Skandalakis was a moderate Republican who had openly courted gay voters in earlier campaigns. He was opposed in the Republican primary by the staunchly conservative State Senator Clint Day, a devout Christian whose parents had founded the Days Inn motel chain.

In the primary, Skandalakis placed first among the five Republican candidates, but did not receive a majority of the vote and was forced into a run-off with second place finisher Day. The other three candidates endorsed Day, but Reed orchestrated a series of negative attacks on Day that included charges that Day had "desecrated Indian graves" on a plot of land owned by a Day family foundation. He even staged a news conference at which tribal leaders, wearing headdress and other ceremonial clothing, attacked Day as a "vandal" and "grave robber." Day chose not to respond in kind.

Reed's strategy initially met with success, as Skandalakis narrowly defeated Day in the Republican primary run-off. However, Skandalakis went on to lose the general election in a landslide and was widely blamed for the defeat that year of heavily favored Republican candidates for Governor and Attorney General. Skandalakis ran television advertisements calling the black Mayor of Atlanta a "buffoon" and promising to "kick Atlanta's ass," helping to stir an anti-Republican backlash among black and urban white voters. Another Skandalakis advertisement accused the Democratic candidate, Senator Mark Taylor, of drug abuse. Taylor sued for libel, and Skandalakis paid a $50,000 settlement after the election.

Skandalakis subsequently pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to federal investigators in a public corruption investigation and was sentenced to a six month prison term. Reed distanced himself from Skandalakis after the campaign, saying that he had not been responsible for the television advertising and that all his activities had been "legal."

Century Strategies founder

While running the Skandalakis campaign in 1997, Reed founded Century Strategies, a political consulting firm which describes itself as "one of the nation’s leading public affairs and public relations firms." It appears to have initially been engaged primarily in campaign consulting for Republican candidates, but after performing poorly in the 1998 elections, its mission evolved into advocacy and lobbying.

Its clients have included now-bankrupt energy trader Enron, software giant Microsoft, educational programmer Channel One News, the Puerto Rican statehood movement, business interests advocating normal trade relations with the People's Republic of China, the eLottery Internet gambling firm, and at least two Indian gaming tribes introduced to Reed by Abramoff. Century Strategies was most recently hired by the cable industry to fight newly proposed federal decency standards.

Reed's initial foray into campaign consulting met with failure; virtually all of his general election candidates were defeated. In addition to his involvement in the Skandalakis campaign, Reed helped Alabama Governor Fob James win renomination in a bitterly contested Republican primary, only to become the first Republican in over a decade to lose the Alabama governor's election. Reed's two challenger clients for Congress, Gex Williams of Kentucky and Cary Hofmeister of Indiana, were also defeated. Reed was accused of running "some of the most vicious and racist campaigns of the election season." Reed blamed the failed impeachment attempt against Clinton for Republican setbacks. (Nina J. Easton, Gang of Five, pages 398, 400)

Immediately after the 1998 election, Reed shifted gears to corporate work, writing an e-mail to Abramoff asking for help "humping" corporate clients.

In 1999, Abramoff helped Reed get hired as a consultant subcontractor for Preston Gates & Ellis, a large law firm founded by the father of Microsoft's Bill Gates.

Reed's $30,000 per month contract with Enron was arranged in 1999 by Karl Rove, principal campaign advisor to Texas Governor and future President George W. Bush. Rove did not want Reed to work against Bush, but he also did not want Reed to be publicly associated with Bush in the early stages of the campaign. The existence of Reed's contract was revealed in 2002, when a federal investigation was launched into Enron's bankruptcy.

Reed is credited with orchestrating attacks on Senator John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina presidential primary, together with Roberta Combs, then head of the South Carolina Christian Coalition, who later took over the national Christian Coalition. Bush's defeat of McCain in that primary came at a key moment and ended McCain's early momentum from an upset victory in the New Hampshire primary.

Reed's $20,000 per month contract with Microsoft proved a minor embarrassment to the Bush campaign in the summer of 2000 when it was revealed that the software giant, which was being prosecuted for antitrust violations, had hired a number of Bush aides as consultants and lobbyists. Reed apologized for the "appearance of conflict" but continued to accept the money until early 2005, when Microsoft terminated Reed in the midst of the Indian gaming scandal.

The greatest controversy about Reed's business dealings has come from his fellow conservatives, who have criticized Reed's choice of clients and suggested that he has inappropriately profited from his credentials as a conservative Christian leader. A conservative Alabama group called Obligation, Inc. is a fierce critic of Reed's client Channel One News, arguing that the company pumps classrooms full of "commercials for junk food and sleazy movies."

Century Strategies received over $4.2 million via Abramoff for work in Texas and Alabama opposing the opening of new Indian casinos. The work was commissioned and paid for by tribes with competing casinos, represented by Abramoff. Reed later claimed he did not know that the funds came from gambling proceeds.

Reed's company was also paid by another Abramoff client, eLottery, to oppose the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, although Reed subsequently denied knowledge of this.

Yet another controversy revolves around activity in August 1999, when Reed's firm "sent out a mailer to Alabama conservative Christians asking them to call then-Rep. Bob Riley (R-Ala.) and tell him to vote against legislation that would have made the U.S. commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands subject to federal wage and worker safety laws." This proved controversial as the United States Department of the Interior reported that workers were exploited, including being "subject to forced abortions and ... forced prostitution. It also alleged that the garment industry and other businesses set up facilities on the Northern Marianas to produce products labeled 'Made in the USA,' while importing workers from China and other Asian countries and paying them less than U.S. minimum wage under conditions not subject to federal safety standards. Abramoff represented the commonwealth as a partner of Greenberg Traurig and received $4.04 million from 1998 to 2002. Greenberg Traurig, in turn, hired Reed's firm to print the mailing.

Georgia Republican Party chairman

In 2001, Reed mounted a campaign for State Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, a volunteer job. His candidacy attracted national media attention, two opponents and an independent "Anybody But Ralph" campaign.

Reed's principal opponent was David Shafer, a former executive director of the Georgia Republican Party recruited to the race by Congressman John Linder. Shafer campaigned on Republican gains made when he served as state executive director in the early 1990s, but was hampered by his subsequent association with the failed campaigns of Mack Mattingly, Guy Millner and Clint Day in the later half of the decade.

The state convention, held at the Cobb Galleria in May 2001, was the most heavily attended and longest running in the history of the party. Reed won on the first ballot, capturing almost 60 percent of the delegate vote against Shafer, who won 40 percent, and a third candidate, lobbyist Maria Rose Strollo, who won one percent.

Reed was endorsed by the "Confederate Republican Caucus," a block of almost 500 heritage activists who had participated in the state convention as a protest against the removal of the Confederate battle emblem from the State Flag. Associated with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the Confederate Republican Caucus claimed credit for both Reed's victory and the large margin. They would later claimed that they were "double-crossed" by Reed.

Documents released by federal investigators in June 2005 show that Reed's 2001 campaign for State Chairman was secretly financed with contributions from the Choctaws, an Indian gaming tribe represented by Abramoff.

The party experienced success in the 2002 elections under Reed's leadership. Saxby Chambliss was elected as U.S. Senator, and Sonny Perdue was elected as Governor. Reed, however, was asked to relinquish his job as State Chairman by Perdue, whose long-shot candidacy was largely ignored by Reed in favor of Chambliss.

Reed supported the candidacy of Congressman Bob Barr, who had moved into the neighboring district of Congressman John Linder and challenged his renomination. Linder decisively defeated Barr.

Reed was also criticized by some Republican activists because of the alleged business activities of his firm, Century Strategies. Critics claim that if Reed had sought to run for reelection as State Chairman, members of the State Executive Committee were ready to publicize the details of these allegations.

Campaign for Lieutenant Governor

Initial Success

Speculation about a Reed candidacy for Lieutenant Governor began building shortly after the 2004 general election. Republican party leaders were unenthusiastic about the candidacy of Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, who had been "exploring" a race for Lieutenant Governor for over a year. Aides to Governor Sonny Perdue tried to recruit House Republican Leader Jerry Keen as a candidate for Lieutenant Governor, while State Senators Casey Cagle and Bill Stephens jockeyed for support among Senate Republicans.

Reed claimed support of the White House, access to the Bush fundraising apparatus and command of a large grass roots organization. His official declaration of candidacy on February 17, 2005 largely cleared the field of opposition; Keen, Stephens and Oxendine all left the race. Keen, a former state chairman of the Christian Coalition, was the first to drop, followed quickly by Stephens. Although insisting at the time of Reed's entry into the race that he would "never" withdraw, Oxendine ended his candidacy two weeks later. Only Cagle, a relatively unknown lawmaker, remained in the race to challenge Reed.

Early signs of trouble

A poll conducted for Oxendine was the first indication of trouble for Reed. Released shortly before Oxendine's exit from the race, the poll showed Oxendine defeating Reed among likely Republican voters by a large margin. It also showed Reed losing the general election to the only announced Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, former State Senator Greg Hecht. Little attention was paid to the poll because Oxendine folded his own candidacy shortly after it was released. Reed himself dismissed the poll as a face-saving gesture by an embarrassed Oxendine.

Loss of momentum and turning tide

Reed's campaign experienced a loss of momentum with revelations about his role in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal. Email documents released in the investigation reveal details about Reed's financial relationships with Abramoff.

Reed's early lead in fundraising evaporated by December 31, 2005, when disclosure reports showed Cagle raising almost twice as much money as Reed in the last six months of the year.

Defections and calls for withdrawal

Bob Irvin, a former House Republican leader, was the first prominent Republican to publicly call on Reed to withdraw from the race.

In a widely publicized act, 21 state senators signed a letter in February 2006 calling on Reed to withdraw from the race, "declaring that his ties to Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff could jeopardize the re-election of Gov. Sonny Perdue and the rest of the GOP ticket.... Reed rejected the petition as a useless stunt, and expressed confidence that his record and ideas would prevail."

Aides to Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson, ostensibly neutral in the race, released a poll that showed Reed's mounting negatives could hurt Perdue and the Republican ticket. On March 21, 2006, political consultant Matt Towery of Insider Advantage released a poll showing Reed represented an eight point drag on the Perdue ticket.

Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, whose own ambitions had been upended by Reed's candidacy, endorsed Cagle in June 2006, saying that Reed's nomination threatened the success of the Republican ticket.

Two dozen members of the Reed steering committee, including a Reed State Co-Chairman, resigned their affiliation with the Reed campaign and endorsed Cagle, but Reed continued his pursuit of the nomination.

After Reed attacked Cagle for accepting contributions from the real estate development industry, Senator Chip Pearson, a developer and former Reed backer, sent Reed a letter demanding the return of over $6,000 in campaign contributions.

Bush factor

Reed backers counted on the rumored intervention by President George W. Bush but were disappointed when Bush seemed to distance himself from Reed in an attempt to disassociate himself from Abramoff. During a July 2005 visit to Georgia, Bush pointedly ignored Reed, who attempted to get his attention during the President's speech. In a March 2006 appearance at a Georgia Republican Party rally, Bush further tried to distance himself from Reed, saying that Georgia had two candidates for Lieutenant Governor and naming Reed's opponent, Casey Cagle, first. (Insider Advantage Georgia)

Casey Cagle

Reed's Republican opponent, Senator Casey Cagle, was at first viewed as an underdog with little chance of defeating Reed. However, he led Reed in endorsements from Republican elected officials and attracted substantial support from the business community.

Reed responded to his difficulties by criticizing Cagle for "negative campaigning." Cagle's staff includes several former employees and associates of Reed, whom the Reed campaign has labeled "disgruntled."

Trouble with the flaggers

Reed had courted the Southern Heritage Movement in his campaign for State Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party. He won the endorsement of the "Confederate Republican Caucus" and a block vote from their 400 delegates to the State Convention, giving him a surprisingly large victory in the hotly contested race.

Reed incurred the wrath of the Southern Heritage Movement by failing to keep any of the campaign promises he had made to them, and when he began his campaign for Lieutenant Governor four years later, they struck back with a vengeance.

The Georgia Heritage Council, Southern Heritage Political Action Committee, and Southern Party of Georgia, three leading organizations comprising the Southern Heritage Movement, all declared "guerrilla" war on his candidacy. Reed's campaign appearances were the repeated subject of protests and demonstrations called "flaggings" because of the use of the Confederate Battle Flag as a protest symbol.

The Georgia Heritage Council published a series of cartoons lampooning Reed. These cartoons compared him to Judas and denounced his role in the Abramoff gambling scandal.

Last gasps

Reed attempted to revive his campaign with high powered endorsements. Hoping to make himself more acceptable to Christian conservatives in the 2008 Presidential race, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani traveled to Georgia to campaign for Reed. A Democrat, conservative former United States Senator Zell Miller, also endorsed Reed.

Election results

On July 18, 2006, Reed was decisively defeated in the Republican primary, losing the nomination to State Senator Casey Cagle. Final returns show Reed losing by twelve percentage points, collecting 44 percent of the vote to Cagle's 56 percent. According to Politics1.com, Reed indicated he would not likely seek elective office ever again.

Indian gambling scandals

Reed was named in the scandal arising from lobbying work performed by Jack Abramoff on behalf of Indian gambling tribes. The scandal arose from the discovery that Abramoff and his junior partner Michael Scanlon had fabricated an artificial threat to Native American tribal gambling casinos in order to then bill those same tribes for lobbying efforts to 'save' them. Abramoff may have received as much as $82 million from the tribes to defend their casinos from a non-existent threat.

E-mails released by federal investigators in June 2005 revealed that Reed secretly accepted payments from Abramoff to lobby against Indian casino gambling and oppose an Alabama education lottery. However, just as damaging were revelations that Abramoff and Scanlon, and to a lesser extent Reed, celebrated the billing of massive amounts of money to the tribes. Additional e-mails released in November 2005 show that Reed also worked for another Abramoff client seeking to block a congressional ban on Internet gambling. These cases are being investigated by multiple federal and state grand juries and by the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Abramoff pled guilty to three felony counts in federal court, raising the prospects of Abramoff testifying against others.

Those e-mails and other evidence revealed the participation of the Christian Coalition in the alleged fraud, particularly the Alabama chapter of the Christian Coalition, which received large amounts of donations from the casino money. It is alleged that Abramoff engaged Ralph Reed to set up an anti-gambling campaign to include the U.S. Family Network, the Christian Coalition, and Focus on the Family in order to frighten the tribes into spending as much as $82 million for Abramoff to lobby on their behalf.

To represent him in connection with the scandal, Reed has retained white collar criminal defense attorney W. Neil Eggleston of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Eggleston served as White House associate counsel during the administration of President Bill Clinton, a one time Reed nemesis. Reed's campaign spokespeople insist that his conduct in the scandal was legal.

In December 2005, three Texas public interest groups filed a complaint with Travis County Attorney David Escamilla on December 1,2005, alleging that Reed failed to register as a lobbyist in 2001 or 2002 when he was working for Abramoff. The groups cite e-mail messages from Reed to Abramoff released by the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in which Reed claimed to have made contact with the Texas Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General. Escamilla said on March 27,2006 "his office had concluded its investigation -- but that a two-year statute of limitations on misdemeanors from 2001 and 2002 had expired."

On June 22, 2006 the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs released its final report on the scandal.

The report states that under the guidance of the Mississippi Choctaw tribe's planner, Nell Rogers, the tribe agreed to launder money because "Ralph Reed did not want to be paid directly by a tribe with gaming interests." It also states that Reed used non-profits, like Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, as pass-throughs to disguise the origin of the funds, and that "the structure was recommended by Jack Abramoff to accommodate Mr. Reed’s political concerns."

On July 7, 2006, The National Journal ran a lengthy article, entitled "Reed In The Rough," detailing the extensive relationship between Abramoff and Reed. The article noted, for example, how Reed helped Abramoff land his influential slot on George W. Bush's Interior Department transition team. The article further detailed how Abramoff prodded Reed for help at the Interior Department even before Bush won the election in 2000. An e-mail to Reed on October 24, 2000, had Abramoff openly asking Reed to help him get on the transition team. "This would be really key for future clients for both of us," he wrote to Reed. "Let's discuss.

Personal use of non-profit funds

E-mails show that in August 2002, Abramoff flew Reed, David Safavian, Bob Ney, and Neil Volz, on a private jet for a golfing trip in Scotland. Abramoff used his nonprofit charity, the Capital Athletic Foundation, to pay for the trip. Safavian was convicted for lying about that trip.

Trivia

During the Georgia Republican Convention in May 2007, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney mistook Reed for Gary Bauer. The Romney campaign later clarified this misunderstanding, explaining that Romney had mistaken Reed for South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer.

Positions held

Quotations

  • "I want to be invisible. I do guerrilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag." -Ralph Reed (Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, November 9, 1991)
  • "Calling gays 'perverts' or announcing that AIDS is 'God's judgment' on the gay community is not consistent with our Christian call to mercy. " (Active Faith)
  • "It's like guerrilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings. It's better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night. You've got two choices: You can wear cammies and shimmy along on your belly, or you can put on a red coat and stand up for everyone to see. It comes down to whether you want to be the British army in the Revolutionary War or the Viet Cong. History tells us which tactic was more effective." - Ralph Reed (Los Angeles Times, March 22, 1992)
  • "Hey, now that I’m done with the electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts." - Ralph Reed to Jack Abramoff in an email messaged dated November 1998, several days after the general election (Washington Post, June 22, 2005)

On Reed

  • "I used to tell people he was going to be either President of the United States or Al Capone. Whatever he did, he was really good at it." - his mother, Marcy Reed
  • "He claimed the high road, took the low road, and all America suffered. The prime example of the Christian Conservative lie: he is neither...not even a good example of an American." - Gordon White, American pundit
  • "Reed transformed the remnants of Pat Robertson's failed 1988 presidential campaign into a potent political force, more than a million strong at its peak." - Atlantic Monthly
  • "[Reed] is a bad version of us! No more money for him." - Jack Abramoff to Michael Scanlon in an email message dated January 4, 2002, questioning whether Reed had properly accounted for funds spent on Indian gambling projects. (Washington Post, June 22, 2005)
  • "I once overheard him say to a friend, a year ago, that if 'they' didn't stop him as he ran for his first public office, he would be 'unstoppable.' 'They' was the political left... Anyway, his defeat this week came at the hands not of 'them,' of the left, but of conservative voters on the ground in Georgia. His loss seems to me another sign of one of those quiet changing of the guards in professional politics. Quietly an older generation recedes, quietly a newer one rises. Good. We need new." - Peggy Noonan (The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2006)

Bibliography

  • Nina J. Easton, Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Crusade, Simon & Schuster, 2000, ISBN 0-7432-0320-8

References

External links

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