Ralph Reed Knee-Deep in Influence-Peddling Scheme
A bipartisan Senate report detailed more than $5.3 million in payments to the former director of the Christian Coalition (who’s now running for Lt. Gov. in Georgia), aimed at helping now-convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff’s Indian clients block the casinos of other Indian tribes. The report doesn’t actually accuse Reed of wrongdoing, but it’s a tawdry mess for the Republican Party strategist.
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WASHINGTON, June 22 ? A bipartisan Senate report released on Thursday documented more than $5.3 million in payments to Ralph Reed, the former director of the Christian Coalition and a leading Republican Party strategist, from an influence-peddling operation run by the corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff on behalf of Indian tribe casinos.
The report by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee portrayed Mr. Reed, now a candidate for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in his home state of Georgia, as a central figure in Mr. Abramoff’s lobbying operation, the focus of a criminal investigation by the Justice Department.
Mr. Reed was depicted as having used his contacts among conservative Christian groups in the South and Southwest beginning in the late 1990’s to block the opening or expansion of casinos that might compete with the gambling operations of Mr. Abramoff’s clients.
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