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Ultra conservative political operative, and all-around sleazeball Ralph Reed is back, on the Romney political scene. And he brought his shears.

Hope -- or is it "forgetfulness" -- that does spring eternal, in some circles ... eh?

What Next for Ralph Reed?

by David D. Kirkpatrick, NYTimes -- July 22, 2006

His campaign [for GA Governor] had struggled for months to overcome the disclosure of e-mail correspondence between Mr. Reed and the lobbyist Jack Abramoff that suggested a mercenary streak at odds with Mr. Reed’s Christian image. When the evangelical newsmagazine World carried a series of reports on the subject, the accusations became impossible to dismiss as mere liberal media bias.

And from the first returns in the Republican primary, Mr. Reed knew that the suburban Atlanta precincts with the biggest megachurches, the conservative Christian strongholds essential to his campaign, had turned against him, [...]

Ralph will have to totally reinvent himself,” said Matt Towery, a political analyst based in Atlanta who once worked as campaign chairman for Newt Gingrich.

And "reinvent himself" he has. Ralph Reed has a very sketchy Billionaire to sell to multitudes. Given his own sketchy background, Reed is just the guy to develop a nationwide marketing campaign, for this newfangled "golden fleece" ...

Ralph Reed Sees 275 Seat GOP Majority -- June 18, 2012

Ralph Reed, the founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, the increasingly powerful grassroots conservative activist group, said his conservative group will turn itself into a national organization with a role in the Republican takeover of the American government in the 2012 election and beyond.

His goal is 5 million members, an annual budget of $100 million, and full-time lobbyists in all 50 state capitols. Republicans, he said, would reap the rewards:

Ralph Reed: 17 Million Evangelical Votes Can Lead to Obama's Defeat

by Patrick Hobin,  {ugh.} -- 15 Jun 2012

Some 17 million Evangelicals failed to vote in 2008 when Democrat Barack Obama beat the GOP's John McCain -- and now the fight is on to get them there this November, Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed says.

“We had, in 2008, about 17 million self-identified Evangelicals who didn’t go to polls either because they weren’t registered to vote or because they were registered but they didn’t bother,” Reed said.

Conservative Christians and Evangelical conservatives will play a big role in the upcoming election, Reed said, and they support Romney by about 60 percent, compared to previous support for John McCain (73 percent) and George W. Bush (78 percent).

Reed said Romney needs to get into the 70 percent range. “We’re not really telling Evangelicals how to vote. We’re leaving that to the campaigns to do. But what we are doing is making sure they’re educated on all these issues we’re talking about so that they know where Obama stands and where Romney stands so they can make an educated and informed decision.

Given how little anyone connects the money-trail dots anymore -- Ralph Reed just might 'rise from the ashes' of his own demise, and convince the faithful that Mitt Romney is "their guy" this time around ... you know, in that big picture way.

SOOO, what did Ralph Reed actually do, that was SO Bad?

Well how much time do you got?  

Have you heard of convicted felon Jack Abramoff?  Well Grover was his "bag-man" ... and Ralph was the guy with the seemingly endless "Christian Rolodex" they needed to coerce ...

Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal -- wikipedia

Guilty plea -- confirmed corrupt lobbying practices

Abramoff and his partner Scanlon are alleged to have engaged in a series of corrupt practices in connection to their lobbying work for various Indian Casino gambling tribes. The fees paid to Abramoff and Scanlon for this work are believed to exceed $85 million.

In particular, Abramoff and Scanlon are alleged to have conspired with Washington power broker Grover Norquist and Christian activist Ralph Reed to co-ordinate lobbying against his own clients and prospective clients with the objective of forcing them to engage Abramoff and Scanlon to lobby against their own covert operations. Reed was paid to campaign against gambling interests that competed with Abramoff clients. Norquist served as a go-between by funneling money to Reed.

All Ralph had to do was fan the flames of "moral outrage" on behalf of Jack Abramoff's "online" clients ... No problem.  Reed knows how to feign outrage.  Most superficially pious operators do ... Some Gambling is better than others, don't you know?

Ralph Reed: The Crash of the Choir-Boy Wonder
Playing the eLottery -- Faith, Family and Fraud

by People For the American Way

In 2000, Abramoff was hired by eLottery, an online gambling services company, to fight the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.  The legislation was designed to make it easier to stop online gambling and appeared headed for easy passage, at least until Abramoff and Reed went to work.  [...]

Abramoff instructed eLottery, just as he had with the Choctaw Tribe, to send money to Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform; only this time, the money went from Norquist to a small right-wing group in Virginia called the  Faith and Family Alliance before finally ending up at  Century Strategies.[79]

The money went to the Faith and Family Alliance at Reed’s insistence.  The organization had been set up by two of Reed’s colleagues  [...]

Reed claimed that he was unaware that his work for Abramoff was being done on behalf of eLottery and didn’t even learn of it until 2005, but emails obtained by The Atlanta Journal Constitution show that he was told of “the elot project” as early as 2000.

Hey Jack, about that "Rolodex" -- you know it's going to cost you -- Big time.  Let the clients know. This ain't "beanbag" -- duping the shills ...

("Psst. Keep my 'good name' out of it," Reed whispered often, no doubt.)  

Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal -- wikipedia

Allegation of double dealing

Reed proposed to Abramoff some work which he and his firm, Century Strategies, could perform. Reed could access "3,000 pastors and 90,000 religious conservative households" in Alabama, as well as "the Alabama Christian Coalition, the Alabama Family Alliance, the Alabama Eagle Forum, [and] the Christian Family Association." Reed would require a $20,000 per month retainer for his services.[citation needed ... {OK, try this.}]

On June 22, 2000, Susan Ralston e-mailed Abramoff,

"I have 3 checks from elot: (1) 2 checks for $80K payable to ATR and (2) 1 check to TVC for $25K," [...] "Let me know exactly what to do next. Send to Grover? Send to Rev. Lou?"[19]
Thus eLottery money went through Norquist's foundation, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the Faith and Family Alliance, and Reed's company, Century Strategies, [...]

So who is Susan Ralston?  Just one of the insiders, who turned state's evidence that sent Jack to the Big house, for a spell.
Susan Ralston was hired in 2001 as the most senior assistant to Karl Rove. Ralston was the Special Assistant to the President and a deputy to Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor at the White House for almost six years. [...]

Ralston resigned October 6, 2006 after it became known that she had accepted gifts and passed information to Abramoff.[7]

In May 2007, Ralston sought immunity before testifying in front of Representative Henry Waxman's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Ralston was the Rove's fly on-the-wall. Behind-the-scene political operations take cash.  Lots of it.

Congress even did a big old investigation -- about this payolla-racketeering operation.  Not that anyone noticed it. Not that anyone remembers it, even now.

It has impressive things to say about Reed's "moral outrage" fleecing skills, too ...



JUNE 22, 2006

[pg 26]

By mid-April, things were moving. In an e-mail entitled “Disbursement on behalf of Choctaw Indians,” Abramoff assured Reed that the money was on its way.[73] Using the Choctaw’s money, Reed paid for grassroots activities including, telemarketing (patch-through, tape-recorded messages and call-to-action phone calls), targeted mail, legislative counsel and local management, rallies, petitions, “voter contact, television and radio production, the remainder of phones, the statewide fly-around, the pastor’s and activist rally, the church bulletin inserts, and other items.”[74]

Reed also claimed that he was leveraging his contacts within the Christian community for the Choctaw’s benefit. Reed reported to Abramoff that there would be “a saturation statewide radio buy with a new ad by Jim Dobson that he will record tomorrow.”[75] Reed assured Abramoff, “We are opening the bomb bay doors and holding nothing back. If victory is possible, e will achieve it,”[76] and, one day later, again promised, “All systems are go on our end and nothing is being held back.”[77]

By May 10, 1999, the Choctaw had paid Reed $1,300,000 through Preston Gates, with another $50,000 outstanding.[78] For reasons unclear to the Committee, in late 1999 the Tribe discontinued paying Reed through Preston Gates. Rogers recalled that there came a time when either Reed or Preston Gates (or both) became uneasy about money being passed through Preston Gates to Reed.[79]

And it's not like Reed didn't earn his "sleazy bona-fides" on the way up either, before he tapped Jack's boundless resources.  Ralph's actually got quite the operator's Resume ...

Ralph E. Reed, Jr.  -- wikipedia

Reed is credited with attacks on Senator John McCain in the 2000 South Carolina presidential primary [...]

Reed's $20,000 per month contract with Microsoft[12] 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.

Some conservatives 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.[dead link] 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."

Ralph Reed's Resume was so notable that even an evangelical newsmagazine, decided to expound upon it. Here's the link, if you're so inclined.  

It seems they don't much like being "fleeced" either.  Ironic, that.  Given their GOP base.

Here's is wikipedia's summary of that "unbiased" Reed expose (as NYTimes called it) -- which manages to connect a few more of the money-trail GOP dots ... back to their not-so-humble C-Street beginnings ...

World (magazine) -- wikipedia

The Fellowship

In an August 29, 2009, cover story,[11] WORLD reported on the scandal-tainted C Street house in Washington, D.C., and the secretive organization behind it, the Fellowship, a.k.a. "The Family." Scott Horton of Harper's Magazine noted,[12] "As the lede makes clear ('an organization big on protecting its own and small on church ties and theology'), [WORLD's] attitude is critical and exacting. The piece looks like serious journalism, much like the publication’s exposé work on Ralph Reed and other scandals in the past." WORLD's coverage of C Street house also caught the attention of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who on her August 17, 2009, show said,[13] "The article exposes The Family‘s mysterious money trail and describes the C Street scandals using the word 'scandal' and argues that The Family subscribes to a, quote, 'muddy theology' and it harbors, quote, 'a disdain for the established church.'"

Of course that was then (2009: "ancient history" in Media-years) -- and this is Now (you know that "brief season" when average citizens start to pay attention to political messages again.)

Whether Ralph Reed gets away with his latest "ethical incarnation" or not, is still yet to be seen.

Afterall, the "product" he's selling this time around is hardly 'as pure as the driven snow.' But then again when was the last time THAT was a criteria for office, or for sheep-wrangling "salesmanship" either?

I suspect Ralph will find a way -- especially since his GOP messaging "retainer" depends on it. His future career income too, no doubt.

And Career Make-overs are such hard work, as hopefully Ralph Reed is about to find out -- especially since he's stepping into the role of Sheriff, the shadowy and misty land of Romney-hood.

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