Big brave Ralph Reed got up in front of a bunch of teenagers and told them why he took $5 million in gambling money:
"In 1999 I was building my small business, Century Strategies," Reed said in the speech."Small business." "Grassroots." "Marriages and lives." The "children were spared." Oh I am touched by the simple homilies of an honest man.
"A friend of almost 20 years, then working at one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation, came to me and offered the opportunity to serve as a grassroots subcontractor to the firm."
"I knew the law firm had tribal clients who had their own reasons for opposing new casinos. I was assured by the law firm at the outset of the work that the funds contributed to our efforts would not derive from gambling activity," Reed said.
The speech does not address the fact that in several e-mails between Reed and Abramoff, made public by the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the tribal sources of some of the money were discussed. Reed never disclosed the origin of the cash to his religious allies.
Reed pointed to the good he said his work had accomplished: "We will never know how many marriages and lives were saved, or how many children were spared the consequences of compulsive gambling."
But the fact that his campaigns were secretly fueled with gambling funds has raised the ire of many religious groups, which Reed said he regrets.
"I cannot change the past, but I can certainly learn from it," Reed said. "I am a better man and a better leader as a result."
Did Ralph offer to give back the $5 million he made off his fundie shake-down racket? Well no.
All I ask for is a titty bar, a toilet seat, an 8-ball and a camera. And since it's Christmas, what the hell -- Jeff Gannon.
(via Roger Ailes)