Today’s AJC has more on the latest email trail.
For months, Ralph Reed offered a consistent %u2014 albeit carefully parsed %u2014 account of his anti-gambling work across the South.
The political consultant acknowledged he had conducted the campaigns for his friend Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist. Reed said he knew Abramoff’s law firm represented American Indian tribes. And when asked whether the millions of dollars he collected came from tribes that operate casinos, he repeatedly said he had “no direct knowledge” about Abramoff’s clients or “their interests.”
Documents from a congressional investigation released last week seem to contradict Reed’s frequently told story, however, complicating his attempts to distance himself from a scandal involving Abramoff and the Indian money. Reed finds his veracity under attack just as he is seeking to define his campaign for lieutenant governor of Georgia by citing his personal values.
Reed, a former leader of the Christian Coalition, knew as early as March 1999 that his anti-gambling work in Alabama was being bankrolled by the Mississippi band of Choctaw Indians, according to documents released by a U.S. Senate committee looking into allegations that Abramoff swindled tribal clients. The Choctaw, who owned one casino near Philadelphia, Miss., in 1999 and have since opened a second, feared competition if neighboring Alabama authorized new forms of gaming, records show.
Apparently Reed now says that the money, though it came from Choctaw Indians, came from non-gambling interests.
The AJC is making it harder and harder for Reed to keep on keeping on. But, let’s not forget that the AJC can pursue this story because of Ralph Reed’s business relationships. It was not the AJC involved in the matter.
Right now Ralph needs to change the story. He may be hoping the disclosure period gives him that new story. Unfortunately for him, the AJC will continue its dogged pursuit.