McCain gets in bed with Abramoff scumbag,world class "Christian" hypocrite Ralph Reed
I used to be an admirer of John McCain, but he's gone way down in my book. Ralph Reed should be in prison, that rat crook bastard, and McCain, who seems to have forgotten it was the independents who got him where he is, crawls into bed with him in order to suck up to the Pat Robertson crowd. Yeah, Ralphie, former head of the Christian Coalition, who got caught talking payoffs from gambling interests, using his Christian Suckers to protest casinos in Texas because he was taking payoffs from casinos in Lousiana. A lowlife piece of shit.
McCain ignoring calls to cancel controversial fundraiser
By Susan Crabtree
Posted: 08/12/08 06:42 PM [ET]
Republican presidential candidate John McCain so far is ignoring calls from several watchdog groups to cancel an Atlanta fundraiser promoted by Ralph Reed, a longtime friend and business partner of imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Public Citizen, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and Campaign Money Watch are urging the Arizona senator to cancel plans for the Aug. 18 fundraiser at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta and remove Reed from McCain’s Victory 2008 Team.
Reed lost his 2006 campaign for Georgia lieutenant governor in large part because of details about his relationship with Abramoff — much of the information uncovered by McCain’s Indian Affairs Committee investigation into the wide-ranging lobbying corruption scandal.
The Senate probe discovered $4 million in payments Reed accepted to run a bogus anti-casino campaign aimed at reducing gambling competition. An Indian tribe with a competing casino made payments to Reed, which according to the Senate investigation’s final report, were “passed through” Abramoff’s firm, Preston, Gates, Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, and another organization, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform.
On the campaign trail, McCain often touts his work tackling Abramoff’s corrupt lobbying practices as evidence of his commitment to cleaning up Washington and a straight-shooting style that transcends politics.
The watchdog groups reacted to a “special invitation” Reed sent to friends and political contacts, inviting them to the fundraiser and asking them to contribute to the McCain campaign by sending checks to Reed’s address.
“Attached is a contribution form and a fact sheet that details the event,” Reed wrote. “Please complete the contribution form and return it to me at [address], Duluth, GA 30097. If you select (sic) to use your credit card, you may fax the form to me at [number].”
In the invitation, which was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Reed also said he had agreed to serve as a member of the McCain Victory 2008 team.
“John McCain also believes that tax cuts work best when tied to spending restraint,” Reed wrote in the e-mail solicitation. “He has a 26-year pro-life voting record and has pledged to appoint conservative judges who will interpret the law, not legislate from the bench.”
Watchdog groups are floored that McCain, who has worked with them for years to reform campaign finance law, has called on Reed to help bundle contributions.
“[Reed’s] hypocrisy is legion — now matched only by John McCain’s attending a fundraiser he’s helping host,” said Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director. “You just have to wonder who’s the bigger hypocrite.”
Public Citizen’s Craig Holman called on McCain to cancel the fundraiser immediately.
“[Reed] was involved in money laundering and McCain’s investigation uncovered it,” Holman said. “This is a mistake by the McCain campaign. I would be very surprised if he doesn’t cancel this event.”
An official at the Republican National Committee (RNC) returned a call to McCain’s campaign. The official said Reed’s name is not on the event’s official invitation and would not confirm whether the Georgia Republican is a member of the McCain 2008 Victory Team.
He referred to a quote RNC spokeswoman Katie Wright gave the Journal-Constitution: “I find it laughable [watchdog groups] would go this route, considering Sen. McCain chaired the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that investigated Jack Abramoff. I suggest they take a closer look at Barack Obama’s friends, like convicted felon Tony Rezko, or his National Co-Chairman Harry Reid, who took nearly $68,000 from Abramoff.”
Democrats said Abramoff’s contributions to Reid occurred before news of the scandal broke, and any effort to equate the two relationships is ridiculous.
“Calling yourself a maverick and claiming credit for fighting corruption while raising money with one of the central figures in the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal is not what most voters have in mind when they think of ‘straight talk,’” said Damien LaVera, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. “It is, however, one more example of why John McCain is offering more of the same failed Republican leadership.”
Reed, for his part, said he doesn’t believe he is an official host of the event.
“I don’t think I am,” he said. “I am just strongly supporting Sen. McCain. I’m contributing to him and encouraging others to do so.”
Federal Election Commission records show no contributions from Reed to the McCain campaign or the RNC in the election thus far.
Reed explained that he is good friends with Jamie Reynolds III, McCain’s Georgia finance chair, and was contacted and asked whether he wanted to come to the event and ask others to contribute.
“I said, ‘Absolutely,’” Reed recalled.
Reed doesn’t believe McCain’s Senate Indian Affairs Committee accused him of any “wrongdoing” in its final report so he doesn’t see anything unusual about wanting to help the Arizona senator’s presidential election.
“How many people have been charged or indicted or accused of wrongdoing in that matter?” he asked. “I fully cooperated with the investigation and I was never accused of wrongdoing.”
When asked whether he accepted laundered money, Reed replied only: “I stated at the outset of the work that I would not be paid with any gambling revenues … and none of the funds paid by me through the law firm or anyone else were from gambling.”
He also stressed that he has no formal role or title in McCain’s campaign. The reference in his e-mail to being a member of “McCain’s Victory 2008 Team” was simply “draft language that was pre-approved and provided for people raising funds for the campaign,” he said.
“What is the Victory 2008 Team, anyway?” he asked.
Reed also refused to say how many people he solicited in the e-mail.
“I really don’t even know … I couldn’t give you a number. Look, they were just friends — people I’ve worked with over many years,” he said.
Some Republicans say they understand why McCain is turning to Reed, despite his fall from grace.
John Feehery, a former House GOP communications strategist who has bemoaned Abramoff’s corrupting influence on the party, said Reed maintains strong ties to Christian conservatives, a key GOP demographic McCain needs to attract. For instance, in the Indian Affairs Committee’s Abramoff report, Reed boasts of having contact information for 3,000 pastors and 90,000 religious conservative households in Alabama alone.
“He is connected with Christian conservatives and he’s a pretty savvy political operator,” Feehery said. “This is the time when you’ve got to get all the forces in the party together.”
Other Republican stalwarts agree, although they recognize the political expediency of the relationship.
“There’s no indication that Reed did anything illegal,” said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union. “I do find it interesting that the two of them are now getting together. [The investigation] was a cause celebre for McCain. Maybe that means McCain is forgiving his former enemies. … I should get in line.”
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address