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Ralph E. Reed, Jr.

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Ralph E. Reed Jr. is president of Century Strategies, a political consulting firm. He has served as president of the Georgia Republican Party since 2001. Reed was Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) 1983-1985, founded Students for America in 1984, and was Executive Director of the Christian Coalition 1989-1997.

He lost his 2006 bid for lieutenant governor of Georgia, acknowledging Senator Casey Cagle's victory in Georgia's Republican primary on July 18, 2006. Reed promised to support Cagle's bid for lieutenant governor. [1]


Quotes

  • "Hey, now that I’m done with the electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts." -- email to Jack Abramoff, 1998.
  • "I want to be invisible. I do guerilla warfare. I paint my face and travel at night. You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag. You don't know until election night." --Ralph Reed, The Hill, December 17, 1997.[2].
  • "What Christians have got to do is take back this country, one precinct at a time, one neighborhood at a time and one state at a time. I honestly believe that in my lifetime, we will see a country once again governed by Christians...and Christian values." --Ralph Reed, Los Angeles Times, April 1990.

Controversies

Gaming-Related Legislation: eLottery Inc. and the DeLay, Abramoff, Reed Connection

Serving God and Mammon

Although in August 2004 Reed "acknowledged that his consulting firm did business with two men now at the center of a federal gambling investigation," he denied any "'direct knowledge' that Jack Abramoff, a Washington lawyer and lobbyist, and Mike Scanlon, a former spokesman for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, were working for Indian casino interests." [3]

"Reed said he knew the Washington lobbying firm that later fired Abramoff was also recruiting coalition members, but 'we had no direct knowledge of their clients or their interests. ... Our efforts were designed to stop casino gambling, pure and simple.'"

"Reed said he ended the business relationship with Scanlon and Abramoff about 2 1/2 years ago. He said he did not think that his former activities would affect his current position in the Bush-Cheney campaign."

It is said that the Coushatta tribe of Louisiana was trying to prevent the Jena Band of the Choctaw tribe from building a casino that would threaten the monopoly that the Coushattas had in Louisiana. It is further alleged because the Jena Band hired Haley Barbour to plead their cause in front of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Coushattas hired Reed to counteract Barbour's influence. Reed is said to have successfully mobilized local ministers and Christian radio against the Jena's proposed casino, all to help the Coushatta casino retain its monopoly.

According to the allegation, Reed wanted to deny any connection to this matter, and so his payment was laundered. His company, Century Strategies, is said to have received $250,000 from Capitol Campaign Strategies, one of Michael Scanlon's companies. Another Reed company, Capitol Media, is said to have sent an invoice to Jack Abramoff for $100,000 for "Louisiana Project Mgmt Fee." Source.

Serving God and Enron

In January 2002, it was revealed that "Karl Rove, President Bush's top political adviser, recommended the Republican strategist Ralph Reed to the Enron Corporation for a lucrative consulting contract as Mr. Bush was weighing whether to run for president ..."

Rove associates said "the recommendation, which Enron accepted, was intended to keep Mr. Reed's allegiance to the Bush campaign without putting him on the Bush payroll. Mr. Bush, they say, was then developing his compassionate conservativism message and did not want to be linked too closely to Mr. Reed, who had just stepped down as executive director of the Christian Coalition, an organization of committed religious conservatives."

At the same time, they said, "the contract discouraged Mr. Reed, a prominent operative who was being courted by several other campaigns, from backing anyone other than Mr. Bush."

Reed was paid "$10,000 to $20,000 a month, the amount varying by year and the particular work, people familiar with the arrangement [said]. He was hired in September 1997 and worked intermittently for Enron until the company collapsed." [4]

Students for America

"Students for America is a self-described conservative student group with a particular emphasis on Judeo-Christian values. It was formed by Reed in 1984 as a political action committee for the purpose of conducting campus-based efforts to support the reelection campaign of Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina," according to FEC v. The Christian Coalition, (Civil Action No. 96-1781 (JHG), footnote page 4).

Reed "worked on the re-election campaign of racist homophobe Jesse Helms in 1984 and 1990 and, indeed, the formation of Students for America was for the express purpose of getting Jesse Helms reelected." [5]

Rise of the Phoenix

"The Christian Coalition rose from the ashes of Pat Robertson's failed 1988 presidential run." Although claiming to be a "nonpartisan political advocacy group", it was, "in reality, ... a christian-right, white-dominated pressure group within the Republican party" with the mission "to drive the GOP as far to the right as possible, and thus pave the way for a christian-right takeover of all political power in the United States."

The Coalition's "primary political weapon" was the "distribution of heavily biased voter guides to churches ... generally believed to have decided many close electoral races in favour of extreme right Republicans, such as the reelection of Senator Jesse Helms in 1990. It played a pivotal role in the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress."

Coalition success was due "largely to the 'stealth' tactics of its 1989-1997 executive director Ralph Reed. Reed succeeded splendidly in disguising the ugly face of the Christian Coalition, selling an image of tolerance and moderation to the media and the general public. In reality, though, the Christian Coalition was never mainstream, or about as mainstream as a bunch of right-wing 'christian' hatemongers, white racists, supporters of neo-Nazi David Duke and radical pro-lifers can get.

"In a nutshell, it was Reed's strategy to grab political power by deceiving the public about the true nature of the Christian Coalition's agenda and that of its candidates." [6]

FEC and the Christian Coalition

"The Federal Election Commission filed this suit against the Christian Coalition, accusing the group of committing numerous violations of election laws in recent years. The coalition, founded by evangelist Pat Robertson, is accused of improperly aiding the campaigns of several Republican candidates including former President George Bush and House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Coalition director Ralph Reed called the lawsuit 'totally baseless'." [7]

In 1996, the Federal Election Commission brought an enforcement (Civil Action No. 96-1781 (JHG)) alleging that the Christian Coalition "violated federal campaign finance laws during congressional elections in 1990, 1992 and 1994, and the presidential election in 1992."

According to the enforcement, Ralph Reed "served as the Executive Director of the Coalition from October 2, 1989 until June 11, 1997. Reed also joined the Board of Directors in 1994. As Executive Director, Reed supervised the day-to-day operations of the Coalition and formulated policy for legislative projects. Reed was responsible for fund raising activities and publications, press communications, and various other supervisory tasks. The voter guides, congressional scorecards and training sessions were all the brainchild of Reed." The FEC also claimed that the Coalition had "the additional purpose of influencing elections at the federal, state, and local levels."
The first issue in the case involved Reed and a 1992 speech he made in Montana "using general treasury funds to finance communications that expressly advocated the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate" and "whether 'express advocacy' by corporations and labor organizations is limited to communications that use specified phrases, such as 'vote for Smith' or 'support Robinson,' or whether a more substantive inquiry into the clearly intended effect of a communication is permissible."
The FEC alleged, in part, "that the Coalition used general corporate funds to expressly advocate the election or defeat of certain candidates through" Reed's speech. Judgment on this issue was in favor of the Coalition.

"Ralph Reed, at the 1991 Road to Victory Conference, reiterated the organization's emphasis on electing specific candidates to public office: 'Folks, I really need your attention for this panel, because there probably isn't an opportunity in this country that exceeds our opportunity this year to elect more people like Jesse Helms and Bill Dannemeyer to the United States Senate.'

"Speaking before the Montana Christian Coalition in January 1992, Reed openly advocated the defeat of U.S. Representative Pat Williams: 'If we will move forward in unity and if we will be persistent, victory will be ours. It will be ours in Montana and it will be ours all across America ... We're going to see Pat Williams sent bags packing back to Montana in November of this year, and I'm going to be here to help you do it.'

"That's an interesting statement, as are the others, in light of the CC claims that it is not out to 'advocate the election or defeat of any candidate.'

"Regarding the Senate race of Jesse Helms in 1990, Ralph Reed is quoted at the 1991 Road to Victory Conference as having stated: 'I had access to internal tracking, and I knew Senator Helms was down by eight points. So Robertson called me up and said, quote, 'We have got to kick into action.' Bottom line is, five days later we put three quarters of a million voter guides in churches across the state of North Carolina, and Jesse Helms was reelected by 100,000 votes out of 2.2 million cast.'" [8]

The Anti-Abortion Hard Right

During the primaries for U.S. presidential election, 1996, Pat Buchanan "relentlessly raised the anti-abortion issue, appealing to voters who [cared] more about taking away women's reproductive rights than anything else and forcing Dole to deal with the issue. Fearing the loss of the ultraconservative Christian voters to Buchanan, Dole competed with him for the votes of the Christian Coalition and other anti-abortion voters."

Dole faced "a major political dilemma" as his record was consistently "hard line against abortion rights [which would] alienate moderate Republicans as well as strongly pro-choice voters, the same voters whose defection cost George Bush the presidency in 1992." Moderating that position would "infuriate the religious conservatives who are the single-issue anti-abortion voters, and Democrats [would] point out that he has flip-flopped on this important issue—a fear that Buchanan [had] planted in anti-choice voters' minds."

Ralph Reed, said to have "plenty of muscle" and "not shy about flexing it, ... helped Dole win the nomination by standing by him—rather than by Buchanan—in the primaries," making "it clear that Dole [owed] him plenty."

The expected payback for Reed and Robertson was "an anti-choice nominee for vice president, preserving the anti-abortion plank in the party platform, and a major say in the selection of Supreme Court and federal judges should Dole be elected."

Reed's position in February 1996 was "that the Christian Coalition would not support the Republican ticket if either candidate supported abortion rights, and that has become a mantra. Since 1976, the Republican Party platform has called for a constitutional amendment banning virtually all abortions and the appointment of anti-abortion judges; Dole [would be] unlikely to try to change that." [9]

The "Ralph Reed" Factor

Walter Shapiro wrote November 3, 1998, for Slate's Chatterbox that "Nothing in the early returns gives Chatterbox more pleasure that seeing the collapse of candidates advised by the over-rated and over-quoted GOP consultant Ralph Reed. Alabama's nut-case, ten-commandment-loving, right-wing Gov. Fob James went down to defeat, despite Reed's sage counsel. And in Indianapolis, Democrat Julia Carson turned back a challenge from another Reed client, jewelry-store owner and conservative zealot Gary Hofmeister. Carson, one of the few black House members to represent a majority white district, survived Hofmeister playing the race card in a particularly heavy-handed, Willie-Horton-esque ad. In the spot--a new low in Reed's conviction-driven, right-with-God politics--a picture of Carson melds into images of hypodermic needles and prison doors. Alas, Chatterbox is convinced that pundits will promptly forget Reed's sorry record next time they lovingly quote the boy genius on GOP presidential politics." [10]

Burning Bush

According to NPR on April 11, 2000, the "political consulting firm of former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed said today it had been hired by software giant Microsoft -- but not for the purpose of influencing another Reed client, Texas Governor George W. Bush. Reed's firm apologized for asking what it called 'a small number of individuals' to express views to the Republican Presidential candidate on the anti-trust case pending against Microsoft." [11]

On April 24, 2000, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Mark Shields wrote that Reed, while acting as "senior consultant to and frequent television spokesman for the presidential campaign of Texas Gov. George W. Bush," had also "been on the payroll of both the Bush campaign and Microsoft Corp." for most of the year.

Reed's company internal documents showed that "the mission was to identify and recruit prominent Bush supporters to personally write and lobby Bush to back Microsoft, the losing defendant in an antitrust suit brought by the Justice Department."

Commented Shields: "It's not a bad deal if you're Reed. First, you get paid to develop the no-holds-barred -- and winning -- South Carolina primary campaign strategy for Bush against Sen. John McCain, which included phone banks branding McCain as untrustworthy on abortion and for being a little too cozy with gays. And second, Microsoft compensates you handsomely for conducting a secret lobbying campaign with your own candidate. Double dipping for a double agent."

Reed's spokesman said that Reed should have been more "sensitive" about his business dealings and "Bush campaign spokesman Scott McClelland [sic] reported that neither Bush nor anyone else in his campaign had been lobbied on Microsoft by Reed or any of his company employees (which, of course, was not the company's stated mission) and that Reed would remain with the campaign, adding, 'The matter is closed.'" McClellan told [Shields]: "Reed's Microsoft contract 'was an unpleasant surprise'" for the Bush campaign. [12]

"Bearing False Witness"

Blogspot Pandagon reported September 29, 2004, that Reed had appeared on John Stewart's The Daily Show the night before "and let loose with a complete misrepresentation of the 9/11 Commission Report. Normally, this would be unsurprising, but the way he did it (specifiying page numbers) coupled with the confidence that no one would look it up and prove him wrong (the specified page number rebutted his assertions) really made it something special." [13]

Pandagon's Nick Simonds wrote further that Reed "found himself attempting to rebut Stewart's instinct that Iraq was a diversion from the War on Terror. In his quest to do just that, Ralph mentioned page 66 of the 9/11 Commission Report no less than three times. By repeatedly referencing the extensive and incriminating ties supposedly documented on a specific page of the authoritative document, Ralph both employed the old debater's trick of hinting at extensive knowledge by virtue of knowing insignificant details (hence the repetition of the page number) and drilled viewers with the knowledge that the 9/11 Commission had, in fact, found terrific examples of cooperation and thought them important enough to report.

"Very good Ralph, very convincing," Simonds remarked. "And while page 66 does talk about the few links between al Qaeda and Iraq, it concludes 'to date we have seen no evidence that these or the earlier contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States.'

"Ralph deliberately misrepresented the Commission's conclusion (imagine how f..ked his point would have been had Stewart whipped out the report and read the three paragraphs aloud), misled Stewart's audience and, quite frankly, sinned. Is this really the sort of guy the Bush campaign wants representing them?," Simonds asked. [14]

Microsoft Version 2

Microsoft is in the news again and Sarah Kershaw, in the April 27, 2005, New York Times wrote: [15]

Critics "have also attacked the company for paying Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition and a close ally of the Bush administration, as a communications consultant.
"Company officials said Mr. Reed had been on retainer for several years. He earned $20,000 a month over the last six months, according to invoices obtained by AMERICAblog.com, a left-leaning Web log run by John Aravosis, a writer and political consultant.
"Mr. Reed remained on the Microsoft payroll even after a controversy erupted in 2000 over his lobbying Gov. George W. Bush, who was then a candidate for president, on behalf of Microsoft during its antitrust battles, while also serving as an adviser to Mr. Bush's campaign. Mr. Reed later apologized for creating the appearance of a conflict."

See AMERICAblog, April 26, 2005.

Biographical Profile

CRNC

Reed was "involved in dozens of campaigns throughout the nation, including six presidential campaigns. He has served as an adviser and consultant to members of Congress, the U.S. Senate, members of the Republican leadership in Congress and Governor [President] George Walker Bush.

"As Executive Director of the College Republican National Committee in [sic] from 1983-1985, Ralph assisted in managing one of the largest grassroots efforts in the history of the committee. Ronald Reagan's reelection effort in 1984 saw more college students voting and working for a Republican in modern memory. Ralph founded Students for America after leaving the College Republican National Committee and immediately found success. The organization grew to one of the largest grassroots groups in the nation seemingly overnight.

"As Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, he built one of the most effective grassroots organizations in modern American politics. During his tenure, the organization's budget grew from $200,000 in 1989 to $27 million in 1996. Its support base grew from two thousand members to two million members and supporters.

"Acknowledged as one of the leading political strategists in the nation, Reed has been named one of the top new political newsmakers in America by Newsweek and one of the fifty future leaders in the country by Time. He received his B.A. from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in history from Emory University. He is the best-selling author and editor of three books, a sought-after speaker, and his columns have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and National Review. A frequent television commentator, he has appeared on Meet the Press, Nightline, This Week, Hardball and Larry King Live." web Source.

Century Strategies

"As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party (2001-present), he helped elect U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss, Sonny Perdue as the first GOP Governor in 130 years, and gained control of state Senate for first time since Reconstruction. During his tenure, the state party budget increased from $5 million to $10.7 million, the donor base grew from 12,000 to 34,000, and the party built a grassroots network of over 3,000 volunteers.

"Reed has worked on 6 presidential campaigns and served as a consultant and senior advisor to the George W. Bush for President campaign in 2000. He has consulted on 88 campaigns for U.S. Senate, Governor and Congress in 24 states."

"He has appeared on numerous television programs and his columns have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is the author and editor of three best-selling books."

"Reed serves on the board of directors of STI Knowledge and is active in SafeHouse, a faith-based organization helping the poor in inner city Atlanta. Reed grew up in Toccoa, Georgia, and has a B.A. from the University of Georgia and Ph.D. in American History from Emory University." biography Source.

Boards

According to the World Economic Forum website, in 2003-2004, Reed currently served "on the board of directors of the American Conservative Union and is a former board member of American Center for Law and Justice." [16]

Books

Nina J. Easton, Gang of Five: Leaders at the Center of the Conservative Crusade Simon & Schuster 2000 ISBN 0684838990:

"RALPH REED, the hardball politico who helped turn an organization called the College Republicans into a kind of communist cell of the Right, in the 1990s tried to give the Religious Right a softer face as leader of the Christian Coalition but was thwarted by his thirst for power and the narrow fundamentalism of his activist followers."

SourceWatch Resources

Reed-Ashcroft axis

Reed-Abramoff-Norquist axis

Jesse Helms & the FEC

External links

Biographical

Websites

Articles & Commentary