Ralph Reed Joins Health Care Fight

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As the future of health care reform seems to be coming down to the very last wire, the high-stakes political battle seems to be drawing out of the woodwork long lost activists and groups once associated with the disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramhoff. Yesterday we noted the participation of the National Center for Public Policy Research, which has put out some slick new campaign materials for health care opponents. That group was accused of flacking for Abramhoff clients in exchange for big donations. Today comes none other than Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition leader who helped Republicans take over Congress in 1994 but then crashed and burned after revelations about his work for Abramhoff. (Reed famously took millions from an Indian tribe represented by Abramhoff to run a religious-based anti-gambling campaign that was actually designed to prevent a rival tribe from opening a competing casino.)

Reed is now head of a new group called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, which today sent out an appeal to readers of WorldNet Daily soliciting “FaxGrams of Protest” against Obamacare to members of Congress. The email comes with all the doomsday predictions about the bill. Reed writes, “This vote is happening any day or hour now. It is do or die for freedom’s survival in America! We are now at D-Day for Obamacare. Will America become another failed Cuba-style Socialist state? Or will freedom and respect for Constitutional government make a comeback in America? The next few hours and days will answer that question.”

Links from the WND email lead through Reed’s website. Naturally, this being a Reed endeavor, the fax grams don’t come free. In order to send one, health care opponents have to provide a credit card number to make a “donation” to the Faith and Freedom Coalition. Whether Reed is simply capitalizing on the health care debate to raise money or whether he’s been hired by some desperate anti-health care forces to fight the bill isn’t clear. (Could be both.) But one thing’s for sure: If Indian tribes start to chime in, we should really start to get suspicious. 

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In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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