The standing ovation the other day at a meeting of the Tri-County Tea Party in central Florida was just one sign that Mr. Reed, who has formed a new group with national aspirations called the Faith and Freedom Coalition , is escaping the political purgatory that even many Republicans had predicted and may be gaining some traction as he seeks to emerge as a player in the campaign. IN , in his first bid for elective office, Mr. Reed suffered a humiliating loss in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor of Georgia , dogged by embarrassing revelations about his close business ties to Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who went to prison for influence peddling and defrauding Indian tribes. But the ensuing five years have been a political eternity, with the election of Mr.
I would like for you to come on staff jsck help make this vision a reality. And Atkinson carries some authority on the subject, because he was until very recently one of Reed's followers. But the ensuing five years have been a political eternity, with the election of Mr. Abramoff is also one of Reed's oldest Abarmoff and closest business associates. Robertson, his son, Gordon P. He wrote, Abramoff jack ralph reed, are these changes okay Reed wrote back, Yes.
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Of course he would support Reed, the man who'd shepherded conservative Christians into the political process. The Raw Story. Jack Abramoff" PDF. Typically, that's anathema to evangelical Christians, considering China's dismal record on religious freedom and forced abortions. I hate hiding behind lawyers—but we are going to do some crazy stuff on this one—so I guess it's ok. Senator, and Sonny Perdue was elected as Governor. At Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff assembled a " dream team " made up of men who had previously worked as staff for Congressional leaders. Retrieved Politics and bedfellows and all. Abramoff jack ralph reed was later profiled in Gang of Five by Nina Eastonalong with Grover Norquist and other jjack activists who got Youtube girdles and nylons start in that s era.
The morning begins with a prayer in Jason's Deli, a strip-mall joint in Atlanta, and we all bow our heads and say amen.
- On a recent radio show--highlighted by a blog from People for the American Way --Ralph Reed was chatting about his halcyon days as part of Jack Abramoff's lobbying machine.
- Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, is accused by Senate investigators of taking money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
- The morning begins with a prayer in Jason's Deli, a strip-mall joint in Atlanta, and we all bow our heads and say amen.
- The Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal was a United States political scandal exposed in ; it related to fraud perpetrated by political lobbyists Jack Abramoff , Ralph E.
- In the last 48 hours Ralph has seen the many lies that he has told to friend and foe alike coming back to bite him right in his ambitious ass.
Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition, is accused by Senate investigators of taking money from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. How does this charge affect the Christian right? John Dickerson wrote about Reed for Slate. He shares his insights with Madeleine Brand. Coming up, vultures circle over NASA's space shuttle launch. First, though, we look at the changing political fortunes of evangelical Christians. As the November elections get closer, Congressional Republicans have been bringing up issues important to many evangelicals, think ban on gay marriage.
But there are signs that conservative Christians are starting to look beyond the usual hot-button issues and the GOP. Joining us is John Dickerson.
He's chief political correspondent for the online magazine Slate, and first, John, let's talk about Ralph Reed. He was the head of the Christian Coalition. He's now running for lieutenant governor of Georgia. And there was a recent Senate report, a pretty scathing report, detailing Reed's dealings with the infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Tell us about that.
That's right. So the Christian evangelicals who Reed was using were actually working against their own interests. Reed says he didn't know what was going on, and the committee report doesn't suggest that he did, but it is a situation in which you had evangelicals working, essentially without knowing it, for the gambling interests they are so against.
I mean, they may be looking at him askance now? Evangelicals have always, in the last years that there's been this rise of this voting block, there has been a portion that's always worried about getting involved in politics because there is something about politics that is worldly and debasing, and this is an example of that, and so there have been many who have argued, even at the height of the evangelical power in the political process, who have argued, Look, we should stick to the local, changing hearts one at a time, and in our churches, and just not get involved in the political business because, inevitably, it's going to lead to this kind of business.
The old-line political leaders have lost some standing in the evangelical movement, and now when I talk to people who are deeply religious people, they talk about pastors like TD Jakes or Rick Warren, that's the Saddleback Church in California, who are working on big, global issues, and they're not so involved in the gay marriage and abortion and school prayer debates that go on in Washington.
They say that one of the things God calls us to do is to be good caretakers of His earth, and that's caused a bit of a split, or at least a public spat within some of the - or among some of the evangelical leaders, as those who say global warming is an important issue get into an argument with others who say that takes focus away from issues like abortion or stopping gay marriage or making sure there can be prayer in schools.
BRAND: President Bush has always been a favorite among evangelicals, and his personal story of religious conversion appealing to them. Any potential Presidential candidates, Republicans, that are similarly appealing to them? In the frontrunners, you have John McCain and Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and evangelicals have trouble with both of those candidates.
John McCain sort of openly criticized this portion of the GOP constituency, and Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and there are many evangelicals who have big problems with the Mormon faith. However, Mitt Romney talks a lot about what he has in common with evangelical Protestants and is trying to break that down.
Mike Huckabee, the Governor of Arkansas, used to be a Baptist minister, and so he would be one that would certainly be a favorite. The problem is he's a big long shot for the Presidency. Either evangelicals can decide that they'll be sort of transactional, that they'll go along with a frontrunner that they may not really love but they still want to be in a part of the conversation.
Some may just leave and not be involved in politics at all, or some may back these kind of long-shot candidates like Huckabee, and they'll participate in the process and they'll get their man some votes, but in the end not determine who gets the nomination.
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Abramoff specifically suggested the tribe work with Republican Ralph Reed but, according to a tribal leader, he warned that "it can't get out In emails now made public by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs , which is investigating his activities, Abramoff repeatedly referred to Native Americans as " monkeys ," " troglodites ," and "morons. The tribe discontinued paying the money through Preston Gates when Abramoff suggested that they use Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform as a conduit, to which the tribe agreed. Senator Cagle is running for the same office, and he'll talk to any reporter who rings his campaign office. On March 23, , J. Fair enough. He's chief political correspondent for the online magazine, Slate.
Abramoff jack ralph reed. Named in a suit Wednesday, Reed faces Georgia primary voters next week
The Sins of Ralph Reed | GQ
The morning begins with a prayer in Jason's Deli, a strip-mall joint in Atlanta, and we all bow our heads and say amen. We—me, the Atlanta reporter, and all the Buck Springs Republicans—stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and the fine a cappella rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner," and then we—me and the other reporter—sit down in our booth and scribble notes throughout the short, civil debate between the two candidates who are seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Georgia.
One of the candidates is state senator Casey Cagle, who was a businessman before he was first elected twelve years ago. The other is Ralph Reed. Hardball Republican operative. Cherubic embodiment of the religious right. He may not have created the movement, but he was the one who mainstreamed it. After a decade of TV-preacher scandals and jowly old scolds wagging moralizing fingers, Reed was slick and sensible.
He was young and smart and erudite, and he had that face , that unlined diamond under a swoop of Big Boy hair that had writers struggling for something, anything, other than choirboy or altar boy or angelic to describe it.
Just 33 years old, and Reed was an icon. No one then would have guessed that Ralph Reed would end up chasing a second-tier office in a down-ballot race in an off year in Georgia. Or that he might lose. The debate ends. The BuckSprings Republicans are pushing back from their tables, and Reed is right there in the aisle next to our booth, shaking hands and clapping shoulders.
He's slight, maybe five eight in the cowboy boots he's taken to wearing. The hair has calmed down since the '90s, but he still has that face. Reed's 44 now, but in his blue blazer and open collar, he could pass for a graduate student. He's smiling and friendly, and we start to stand up so we can say hello and begin with our questions. At which point, a guy appears at the edge of our table. His name is Art Morris, and he's Reed's finance chairman. Chatty fellow. Loves Reed. Says lots of nice and not particularly interesting things about him.
But mainly, he's got us pinned in our booth, and he keeps us there until Reed has worked his way up the aisle to the front of the room and into a thick, insulating knot of Republicans. Art's a blocker. Maybe it's an eager coincidence—his timing, his body placement—but it works out well.
Because Reed doesn't talk to reporters anymore. His campaign manager, a boyish redhead in a turquoise golf shirt named Jared, has already made that clear. Jared says that as if it's the most obvious fact in the world, as blatant and transparent as the giant red pickup Reed's driving as a campaign prop.
It's also silly. Senator Cagle is running for the same office, and he'll talk to any reporter who rings his campaign office. That's what candidates do, and usually with the same grace and charm with which they shake hands and kiss babies and ask for money. Not Reed, though. He hasn't given an on-the-record quote of any substance to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in six months, and he hasn't granted a serious interview to any paper big enough to have a Nexis account in at least as long.
And sit-down interviews Not a chance. The reason he doesn't talk to reporters is that he can't afford to. If he does, they'll just start asking him all those uncomfortable questions that have nothing to do with being lieutenant governor. Mostly, they'll ask about his relationship—his multimillion-dollar relationship—with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
And that's if they're only skimming the surface. Give them some time and they'll ask about his work for eLottery or Enron or Microsoft; or his shilling for China; or his close call with the statute of limitations in Texas; or the way John McCain got slimed in the South Carolina primary; or something called the Black Churches Insurance Program. Maybe they'd even ask how he squares up his professed salvation through his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with…well, with everything else.
So Art talks and distracts. He stays right with us as we shuffle after Reed at a harmless distance. America's twice-divorced, gay-rights-supporting, pro-choice, gun-controlling mayor stumping for the former head of the Christian Coalition. Politics and bedfellows and all. A year ago, Reed was expected not so much to win the nomination as to claim it.
The glory days of the Coalition had long faded, but he was still a star in the Republican Party. He is a prodigious fund-raiser and an industrious organizer with an extensive base of conservative Christians, and he is given much credit for delivering the Southeast to George W.
Bush in and Bush and the White House to come in and support him and squash the li'l ol' state senator. Abramoff was until recently a rich and successful lobbyist, partly because he was extremely well connected on Capitol Hill and partly because he bent, broke, and otherwise mangled a variety of laws and regulations as well as the general code of ethics by which honorable people conduct their lives. Because of that, he has created an epic, multitentacled scandal that will likely occupy prosecutors and congressional investigators well into the next administration.
Abramoff is also one of Reed's oldest friends and closest business associates. They go way back, to their days with the College Republican National Committee in the early s. When Reed opened his own consulting firm fifteen years later, he turned to Abramoff for help. Hey, now that I'm done with the electoral politics, he wrote in a November 12, , e-mail, I need to start humping in corporate accounts!
I'm counting on you to help me with some contacts. Which Abramoff did, primarily with lucrative contracts involving Indian casinos and for which Reed and Abramoff left voluminous records. Those records started dribbling out as the Abramoff scandal unraveled—and that, in turn, elevated the Republican primary for lieutenant governor of Georgia into a national story. A corrupt lobbyist and the pious former head of the Christian Coalition tied up in gambling scandals That's good copy.
And bad news for Ralph Reed. The tide of black ink rose so high that in April The Wall Street Journal , under the headline the Abramoff effect, wondered if Reed might "become the first campaign casualty of the Abramoff scandal. But that's framing the question rather generously. If he loses the July 18 primary, wouldn't he actually be a victim of Ralph Reed. The one thing everyone says about Ralph Reed is "You can't question his faith. It's not exclusive to him, of course, but rather more of a general rule, a commandment by which polite and even impolite society has agreed to abide.
Fair enough. Private faith is a mysterious thing—much like marriage—and the republic would be better served if reporters kept their snouts out of both. A person's true faith is impossible to know, anyway. If, to use a convenient example, a man repeatedly calls gambling immoral and then takes millions of dollars to work surreptitiously for the benefit of casinos, those are merely two conicting actions that evidence hypocrisy. They prove nothing about what he believes. Though they do suggest he suspects the Almighty is a forgiving deity.
But public professions of faith—a faith Reed espoused in two books and countless interviews; a faith upon which he built his reputation and his mailing list; a faith Reed used to rally conservative Christians and to change the tenor of American politics—can and should be questioned. In the beginning, which was , Reed was living in Washington, part of a pack of young conservatives reveling in the Reagan Revolution.
At 21, Reed was already a seasoned operator: He had campaigned in Georgia for Gerald Ford in against native son Jimmy Carter, been elected senior-class president at Stephens County High School, organized Republican rallies at the University of Georgia, and in served as the ecutive director of the College Republicans, the chairman of which was Abramoff.
Reed had been raised a Methodist, but he wasn't particularly devout. Then, one Saturday night, he was sitting in a bar on Capitol Hill called Bullfeathers when, as he wrote in his book, Politically Incorrect , he "felt a gentle tugging in my conscience that I should start attending a local church. That's the sum total of pre-church introspection revealed in Politically Incorrect.
In later interviews, the story would expand to include Reed's being tired of partying and, even later, his witnessing a married congressman stepping out on his wife. As a random choice, it made sense: Randy Miller, who was an associate pastor at the time, remembers that Evangel had placed a display ad in the phone book, and Assembly of God would have been in one of the first church subcategories.
After the sermon, pastor Jack Cain gave a call from the altar "for people I described as not walking with Christ" to come up and be saved. Reed went forward.
It is an important ritual, that march to the altar, that public salvation. Reed didn't attend Evangel for long—probably less than a year, Randy Miller remembers—before moving to Atlanta to begin work on his doctorate in American history at Emory University.
And he may have continued on the academic path, as he tells it in Politically Incorrect , if not for a seemingly chance encounter at the inauguration of George H.
Bush in January with Pat Robertson, the religious broadcaster who had run for president the year before:. After dinner, Pat motioned me to follow him out of the ballroom.
As we walked to the elevator, he said, "I'm going to start this new organization, and I think it will change politics in America. The evangelicals and Roman Catholics have more grassroots supporters than anyone, but they need leadership and direction. I would like for you to come on staff and help make this vision a reality. Reed said he was reluctant, that he was through with politics.
But clearly it was still in his blood. Over the next few days, he composed a memo to Robertson outlining a strategy to build a grassroots organization "by region, state, county, precinct, all the way down to block captains. Seventeen years later, that memo seems a fine place to begin questioning Reed's public faith. The most obvious question has dogged Reed for years: Was the Coalition meant to advance a Christian agenda in the political arena, or was it about using conservative Christians, with their "explosive potential," to advance Reed's political career.
Granted, it's probably not a strictly either-or proposition. But it is worth noting that Reed found politics before he found God and discovered, as countless wags have snickered, that God agreed with his politics. It's also worth pointing out that less than three years after he wrote that memo—by which time he was the Christian Coalition's ecutive director—Reed favorably compared his work to guerrilla warfare.
Chip Berlet, a senior analyst at Political Research Associates, outside Boston, who has been tracking right-wing groups for more than thirty years, suspects Reed created his own gray area between the terrestrial and the spiritual.