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Abramoff Scandal
Garrison Keillor: Ralph Reed's cold-hearted greed

"If a preacher secretly accepts a bucket of money from a saloonkeeper to organize a temperance rally at a rival saloon and maybe send in a gang of church ladies to chop up the bar with their little hatchets, this would strike you and me as sleazy, but others are willing to make allowances, and so Ralph Reed's political career is still alive and breathing in Georgia. He has bathed himself in tomato juice and hopes to smile his way through the storm.

The facts are fairly simple. Mr. Reed left the Christian Coalition in 1997 as it was sinking, and he was paid by Jack Abramoff to organize opposition to a gambling bill in the Texas legislature, which would have opened the door to competition for Mr. Abramoff's client casinos in Louisiana. So Reed got the good Christians of Texas ("We have over 50 pastors mobilized, with a total membership in those churches of over 40,000 -- that includes Second Baptist, which has 12,000 members," he reported breathlessly) to bombard the legislature with phone calls and letters denouncing gambling, for which Mr. Reed was paid millions of dollars in gambling money, by way of Abramoff's bagman, Grover Norquist.

Reed also helped defeat a state lottery and video poker in Alabama, in behalf of casinos in Mississippi. In Alabama, he told Abramoff, he had "over 3,000 pastors and 90,000 religious conservative households." He enlisted these Baptists in a fight against one saloon while he was on the payroll of another.

The sexual trespass of a president is a story any mortal can understand, and the use of your father's influence to sneak you into a military unit where you're less likely to face combat is an act of cowardice all of us cowards can appreciate. But the chutzpah of Mr. Reed in wheedling money from Abramoff to snooker Christians into an uproar against gambling is cold-hearted greed. And his work in behalf of the sweatshops and sex factories of the Marianas, arguing that the Chinese women imported there were being given the chance to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ, takes us to yet an entirely new level."

Get the Story:
Garrison Keillor: A Peach Of A Scandal In Georgia (Tribune Media Services 7/6)

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Abramoff Report:

Pre-2001 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | Undated | Finance

Misisssippi Choctaw/DOI Letters:
Chief Martin/Jim Cason Correspondence

Relevant Links:
Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians - http://www.choctaw.org
Read About Reed - http://www.readaboutreed.com
Stop Ralph Reed - http://www.stopralphreed.com
Ralph Reed - http://www.ralphreed.com
Century Strategies - http://www.censtrat.com

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