Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ralph Reed "just flat-out wrong"

The latest edition of that excellent news weekly, WORLD Magazine, has a wonderful article about Ralph Reed, disgraced former associate of federal inmate "Indian Jack" Abramoff:

Maurice Atkinson learned everything he knows about politics from Ralph Reed. The vice chairman of the Bibb County Republican Party in central Georgia cut his teeth on political activism in Indiana, where he was an active member of the Christian Coalition when Mr. Reed was executive director of the organization. When Mr. Atkinson moved to Georgia six years ago, he delved into local politics and supported Mr. Reed in his successful bid for state party chairman. ...
Supporting Mr. Reed for lieutenant governor of Georgia was initially a "no-brainer" for Mr. Atkinson.
But a year later, he's changed his mind and now supports Georgia senator Casey Cagle, Mr. Reed's Republican opponent. Switching camps, Mr. Atkinson says, was a "no-brainer" as well: After reading multiple reports that Mr. Reed made millions from anti-gambling work backed by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his casino-rich tribal clients, "I realized that he's just flat-out wrong."

You should read the whole thing, but suffice it to say the wheels have so obviously fallen off the Reed bandwagon, I believe the Cagle campaign should start printing bumper stickers with this slogan: "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin." To wit:

Last month 21 out of 34 Republican state senators signed a letter calling on Mr. Reed to withdraw from the race "for the good of the Republican Party." ...
Mr. Reed's campaign brought in $1.4 million in the first six months of 2005, but only $400,000 in the second half of the year, according to the Associated Press. Mr. Cagle raised more than $600,000 in the same six-month period.

Reed's fundraising is drying up, in other words, and from Erick Erickson at Peach Pundit (recently added to our "Blogger Buddies" list) comes this "News of the Weird" item:
I just got an invite to Ralph Reed’s kick off event. Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, will be present to speak for Ralph. The hosts of the event are Fred Cooper, Pete Correll, Jim Edenfield, Bernie Marcus, Guy Millner, Bob Nardelli, and Joe Rogers. That’s a pretty swank list of hosts. Tickets are $1000. Co-Chairs pay $5,000.00.
I'm looking at some of the names on that list and saying, what are these guys thinking? Bernie Marcus is co-founder of Home Depot and Bob Nardelli is the company's CEO. Joe Rogers is CEO of Waffle House. Jim Edenfield is a Chamber of Commerce type. Pete Correll is CEO of Georgia-Pacific. Fred Cooper is successful businessman who has a place down on Sea Island and was official host of the 2003 G-8 Summit.

In other words, these are some of the biggest business brains in Georgia, and they're still willing to put money into the Ralph Reed campaign? What is interesting, though, is what this says about Reed's strategy: Having alienated his Christian conservative base by prostituting himself to Indian Jack, now Reed is prostituting himself to the same Chamber of Commerce crowd that backed Johnny Isaakson (R-Youkiddingme), who is such a notorious RINO he should be in the Atlanta Zoo instead of the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, during my search for background information about Casey Cagle, I discovered an article that mentions (a) Cagle once walked on as a tackle for Erk Russell's Georgia Southern team; and (b) a gay-rights activist calls Cagle "a right-wing extremist."

That's the kind of endorsement that goes a long way in Georgia!


UPDATE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that e-mail messages clearly contradict Reed's claims that he didn't know he was working for Abramoff's gambling clients. (Hat tip: PEACH PUNDIT.)

UPDATE II: Linked by Basil's Blog.