Tuesday, January 17, 2006

p m carpenter's commentary: Sleaze on a Cross

The Washington Post has an excellent piece on Ralph Reed’s self-made political and legal predicament. The boy is going down – fast – and the article makes clear not only why he’s going down, but, implicitly, that Reed is intent on greasing the skids of his own demise. Hallelujah.

He was asked at a recent GOP coven in Georgia, where he’s running for lieutenant governor, if he had “accept[ed] any gifts, commissions or other payments of any kind from [Jack] Abramoff, and are you likely to be a party in the unfolding investigation?”

Reed’s response was, “No. No to all these.

“I was building my small business in 1999 when I was approached by a friend [Abramoff] of almost 20 years from one of the most respected and prestigious law firms in the nation. I agreed to [work with him] having been assured that none of the funds used to pay my firm were derived from gambling activities.”

Keep talking, keep explaining, Ralph. Your explanations may appease a few local voters, but federal prosecutors are likely to take a nasty view of your comments about pure innocence colliding so harshly with the record.

Such as emails – like the one Ralph zipped off to Jack in 1998: “I need to start humping in corporate accounts!… I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts.”

As the Post then notes: “Within months, Abramoff hired him to lobby on behalf of the Mississippi Band of Choctaws, who were seeking to prevent competitors from setting up facilities in nearby Alabama.”

Continues the Post …

In 2004, when the casino payments to Reed were disclosed, Reed issued a statement declaring “no direct knowledge of their [Abramoff’s law firm’s] clients or interests.” In 2005, however, Senate investigators released a 1999 e-mail from Abramoff to Reed explicitly citing the client: “It would be really helpful if you could get me invoices [for services performed] as soon as possible so I can get Choctaw to get us checks ASAP.”


And how can we know beyond any doubt that Reed is one of the world’s worst sleazebags? When even Jack Abramoff had had enough of him, that’s how.

One of the most damaging e-mails was sent by Abramoff to partner Michael Scanlon, complaining about Reed’s billing practices and expenditure claims: “He is a bad version of us! No more money for him.”

Voters, even GOPers, have had enough. “A recent Zogby poll performed for the [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] had troubling findings for Reed: When voters were asked to pick between ‘Republican Ralph Reed’ and ‘a Democrat,’ the generic Democrat won 36 percent to 33 percent, although the state leans strongly Republican.”

Reed is just the tip of dung heap. There are dozens, hundreds, perhaps thousands of little Ralph Reeds dug deeply into today’s self-righteous Republican establishment – all of them wrapped in a Patton-sized flag and drenched in phony Christian purity.

One by one, they eventually crash and burn. Their hunger for power assures it.


Burn, Ralphie, Burn!!!!


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