Ralph Reed’s Rank Hypocrisy: Nothing New


Ralph Reed’s bid for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia is looking even iffier today after the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas sued him and Jack Abramoff, among others, for millions of dollars of losses incurred from a casino the tribe says was fraudulently closed in 2001. (NYT)

We reported on this a couple of years ago. Basically, Abramoff, Reed and three others appear to have cooked up a fake religiously themed moral crusade to mobilize the forces of righteousness to block the legalization of gambling in Indian casinos in Texas–their real motive being to protect a competing casino in Louisiana.

Peter Stone’s piece on Reed for Mother Jones in late 2004 showed that this was no one-off for Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition and an insufferable moralizer, who often used his credentials with the religious right to further his clients’ business agendas–even when the latter were at odds with Christian values.

Since its founding in 1997, his consulting firm, Century Strategies, has racked up millions in fees from companies including Enron, Microsoft, Verizon, and other Fortune 100 companies, according to sources familiar with its client list. …

Reed’s political ties have allowed him to carve out a special niche among political influence merchants. “Ralph has cornered the market in corporate strategic communications and grassroots using his social conservative base combined with his personal communications skills and his influence in the Bush reelection campaign,” says lobbyist Scott Reed (no relation), who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. “This is a unique role for a GOP operative that has huge value for corporate America.”

Among Reed’s clients is Channel One, a company that provides television equipment to schools in exchange for airing 10 minutes of news and 2 minutes of commercials daily. Prominent conservatives have blasted the company for exposing children to junk-food ads and explicit movie promos. In response, Channel One turned to Reed, who in 2002 helped the company deflect a proposed Texas Board of Education resolution that would have urged schools to jettison Channel One. Reed, who points out that Channel One also runs ads promoting abstinence and anti-alcohol messages, phoned several board members and dissuaded them from voting for the resolution, much to the dismay of conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly, a longtime critic of Channel One. “I’m surprised that any conservative would work for it,” Schlafly said. “They’re all advertising things that I wouldn’t want my children to buy.”

reed_200x195.jpg

Oh, and Reed also helped a powerful coalition of business groups lobby Congress to normalize trade relations with China, which has supplanted the Soviet Union in the Christian conservative universe as a Godless, human rights-abusing evil (would-be) empire.

Read the full article here.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.