Typhoid Ralph Reed's friend aren't returning his calls. They aren't hanging out with him in public. And they certainly aren't passing out endorsements after Jack Abramoff's plea on January 3. Seems folks in Georgia no longer want to take Ralphie to the dance.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Reed's fundraising is lagging behind his no-name-recognition opponent, and that the bulk of the monies raised by Reed over the last six months have been from out-of-staters. Reed has support from only 5 of Georgia's top pols, to his opponent State Sen. Casey Cagle's 63 -- out of a total pool of 133 Republican lawmakers in the state capital.
And to make matters worse for Reed, even his supporters are saying things like this: "We don't need another four years of ethics inquiries." and "What should have been a shoo-in is a tough uphill battle." Ouch.
What has made such a dent in the Christian Coalition Poster Boy's halo?
Documents released by the committee also shed light on Abramoff's relationship with Reed, currently a candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia. The committee included Reed in its investigation after learning that Abramoff and Scanlon paid him to lobby the Texas Legislature to close the Tigua tribe's casino in El Paso. The Tigua tribe had paid Scanlon roughly $4 million to help it win back a casino license.Oh yeah. That's some ethical company to be keeping, now isn't it? Of course, Reed can blame it all on Abramoff and company and claim to be duped, right? It was never about the money for Ralphie Reed, right? Well...erm...Ralph's own words and actions tell a different story.
"On the political front, did Ralph spend all the money he was given to fight this _ or does he have some left?" Scanlon asked Abramoff in an e-mail, the subject of which is blacked out on the documents released by the committee.
"That's a silly question! He 'spent' it all the moment it arrived in his account. He would NEVER admit he has money left over," Abramoff e-mailed Scanlon. "Would we?
"I need to start humping in corporate accounts," Reed wrote to Abramoff in 1998. "I'm counting on you to help me with some contacts."...Well, praise the Lord and pass the collection plate, that's a pretty damn good retirement scam. (Reed says he was joking, just FYI. Some joke. I'm sure the Tiguas think it's hilarious.) Kind of tough to claim you didn't know where the money was coming from when there's a big, long e-mail trail, isn't it? Hypocrisy much?
Reed also depended on Abramoff to help his political campaigns. In one e-mail exchange in 2001, he asked Abramoff to contribute to his successful bid to become state Republican chairman in Georgia. When Abramoff asked where to send the donation, Reed joked, "The actual committee is `The Reed Family Retirement and Educational Foundation.' The address is 200 Bay Drive, Grand Cayman, BCI, R59876."
Typhoid Ralphie is having some trouble finding political dance partners these days. Could be because the latest polling has him trailing a Democratic candidate -- ANY Democratic candidate -- should he make it through the primaries. And right now the primaries are looking like a bigger and bigger "if." Or maybe it's just because no one in Georgia is in the mood to dance the two face.