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Thursday, December 01, 2005

The War on Christmas and the Battle of Ralph Reed

The War on Christmas is working, despite the best efforts of Bill O'Reilly to dam the floodwaters of father-raping secularists who would strip the baby Jesus of his throne as poster boy for the annual retail crap bonanza that bears his name. I know it to be true because my non-denominational winter solstice wish list is already being fulfilled.

Ralph Reed is in deep shit.

It seems that while professional fundie flogger Ralph was sucking in $4.2 million in lobbyist fees from Jack Abramoff to whip the gun-rack-and-Gaither-set into a full-on anti-gambling lather that gave John Cornyn cover as Texas AG to shut down the Indian casinos competing with Abramoff's clients, he failed to register in the state of Texas as a lobbyist:
Under Texas law, Reed was required to register as a lobbyist and disclose his client and his fees if he was compensated more than $1,000 in a calendar quarter for lobbying Texas officials. Reed was reportedly paid many times that amount. Failure to register is a Class A misdemeanor and can bring a civil fine of up to three times the amount of unreported compensation.
Let's see, $4.2 million times three...carry the one...that's...well, a shitload more money than Ralph's gonna want to part with, that's for sure.
In electronic correspondence released by the U.S. Senate, Reed repeatedly told Abramoff that he was in direct contact with Cornyn's office, including the head of Cornyn's criminal division, over the casino closure battle. Reed's correspondence also indicates that he was in direct contact with Gov. Rick Perry's office and with unnamed state lawmakers who were willing to introduce helpful legislation.

The Texas Observer has reported that a 2003 Abramoff memo credits Reed with persuading then-Lt. Gov. Bill Ratliff to kill a 2001 bill that would have kept the Tigua casino in business. Ratliff acknowledged speaking with Reed but said that they discussed redistricting rather than gambling legislation.
You better step it up, Bill, 'cos if Rick Perry goes down too we'll all be eating tofurkey and hoop cheese for Kwanzaa this year, big fella.

Update: And Bill heardeth our plea and he answereth our entreaties. "Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for being born," he says, rendering all attempts at satire irrelevant. It's so reassuring to know the counteroffensive is being launched by someone who really gets what Christmas is all about. (via Atrios)