This is from

This post from was very interesting and I thought I’d post it here…

Ralph Reed’s Slo-Mo Scandal

Josh Marshall asked today why Ralph Reed’s not in more trouble back home in Georgia for his central involvement in the Abramoff/Scanlon Indian Casino Shakedown Scam.

As a native Georgian who’s watched this thing develop for a while, my answer is: Be patient, Josh. Ralph’s political problems may not be shaking, but they’re baking.

You have to remember:

He’s running for Lieutenant Governor of Georgia, which may be Ralph’s stepping stone to an eventual presidential run, but is not a matter of gripping interest to Georgians at this point. Indeed, and ironically, Reed’s Republicans stripped the office of virtually all its once-formidable powers in 2003 after taking over the state senate.

He may be a legendary figure nationally, but he’s actually not universally known among Georgia voters, and even those who recognize him mostly identify him vaguely with the Christian Coalition, which is rapidly shrinking in the rear-view mirror as a major player in Georgia and national politics. Sure, many Republican activists know he was a spectacularly successful state party chair in 2002, but others remember him as the political consultant whose ham-handed negative campaign for another GOP candidate for Lieutenant Governor, one Mitch Skandalakis, helped take down the whole ticket in 1998.

And most of all, Reed’s slow-motion-riot of a scandal is clearly going to be the centerpiece of the primary opponent he wasn’t able to intimidate into withdrawing, state senator Casey Cagle. To be sure, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has given the Tribal Gaming scam a lot of attention, and Georgia Democrats have joyfully piled on, but it’s Cagle’s campaign that’s made it Daily Bread. In fact, the failure, so far, of Georgia Democrats to recruit a truly top-tier opponent for Ralph is not attributable to fear of Ralph, but mainly to the fear that Reed will implode well before the 2006 primary.

Personally, if I were a gambling man, I’d bet big money that Ralph Reed is not going to capture the empty prize of the Lieutenant Governorship of Georgia in 2006, much less grab the brass ring of higher office. Beyond that, I don’t know what his future holds, other than to observe that the Lord does tend to reserve special punishment for self-righteous hypocrites.


  1. Warrior says:

    Reed and Cagle are both good men. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. Any of you guys want to step into the limelight be my guest. Stephens, Handel and McGuire would each make a great SoS. Let’s be proud of our team and that the new majority has a deep bench. Look at the alternatives!

    And Sonny is doing an excellent job steering this state and the people like and trust him even without a cohesive message. Taylor and Cox will tear each other up. This is all good news for the long term realignment of Georgia politics. The congressional team is strong and complimentary. We may be in the best political shape we have ever been. I relish these days.

  2. Rebel says:

    “To be sure, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has given the Tribal Gaming scam a lot of attention, and Georgia Democrats have joyfully piled on, but it’s Cagle’s campaign that’s made it Daily Bread.”

    The dems see what’s going on. And this post is from Casey’s point man in Savannah. Hmmm? Gee, no mention of Casey’s platform or ideas to make the state better – just bash Ralph!

    The reality is the dems are actually afraid of Ralph, not Casey. Go to and you can see for yourself what they say about Ralph. I’ve also pasted it below.

    “As Perdue and his allies run roughshod over education, health care, and the public’s right to know, radical Republican Ralph Reed is preparing his campaign for Lieutenant Governor. Reed’s allies have already indicated to the national press that this campaign is the first one on a road he expects to follow all the way to the White House. We need to stop him now, before he gets a toehold in elective office to advance his brand of radical, right wing politics, first as Lieutenant Governor, then as Governor, and later as President.”

    “Karl Rove has already put the full weight of the Bush White House behind Reed. We have already seen the types of nasty but effective campaigns Reed can run, including the 2002 Senate race that attacked Max Cleland’s patriotism by running an ad with his picture next to pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. With the amount of resources Reed and his allies in Washington will have, we need to start preparing now to stop him.”

    Luckily, the dems have moderate republicans to help them try and stop Reed. But if they are successful, our state becomes Dem Lite (think Jim Jeffords, Christie Todd Whitman, Arlen Specter) rather than truly conservative (think Ronald Reagan, W, Saxby)

  3. Hissy Fit says:

    I think many voters see through Reed as someone who is using the Light Gov as a stepping stone into higher elective office and has higher ambitions. Is that what you are looking for in a Lt. Gov? I am wishy-washy on that one.

  4. Rebel says:

    Sorry, but that’s funny. No one seeks to be the LG and stop there. Not Zell, Pierre, Mark, Ralph or Casey. For that matter, if you want to have some fun, go into the Georgia Senate Chamber while they are in session and call loudly “Congressman” and you’ll see 56 heads turn in unison!

  5. Hissy Fit says:

    But, the difference being that all of those men came up from the House or the Senate to become LG and beyond. RR is carpetbagging.

  6. GAWire says:

    Give it some more time, folks. We are still a year out from the Primary. RR’s problems will only continue to grow. His little lead is a good thing for Cagle. Reed raised much more money and was supposed to be the far-ahead front-runner from the start, and has only barely proven that he can maintain a lead.

    The Indian Casino stuff WILL NOT go away anytime before the Primary (or the General for that matter). As a matter of fact, word is around DC that it will be a key factor once session starts, and most likely nothing will really heat up on it until New Year Session starts in Jan/Feb, which is even worse news for RR. Also, in GA, Ralph does not have as many allies as he makes it appear.

    As far as the WH being behind him full speed . . . think again!

    Finally, can we PLEASE quit mentioning the idea that RR wants to run for the WH? In one sense, it is like fingernails on chalkboard, while at the same time, it makes me always spill my coffee b/c I am laughing so hard! I am really getting tired of having to take my suits to the cleaners all the time!

    Rebel is correct . . . no one runs for LG to be LG.

    Warrior’s koom-by-ya (sp?) circle-around-the-campfire lesson is nice, but a little unrealistic. He/she is absolutely correct that we all fall short, but that is beside the point and goes without saying. We are looking for the BEST candidate in the field that will do the BEST job! Moreover, Primary politics is just as “deadly” as it is in the General, and rightfully so. Just b/c RR is a veteran GOP operative doesn’t mean he is right for ELECTED OFFICE, and also doesn’t mean that Party faithfuls have to get behind him.

    I have stayed away from this subject (i.e. RR/CC/GA LG) for a while, and now that I have thought about it some more, I want to go back to that place.

    Changing notes: don’t forget that it is still early in the SoS race. Karen Handel does have some ground to gain, but don’t believe for a minute that Stephens has it in the bag. Also, her biggest blame for not having more volunteers, stickers, lit at Sonny’s fish fry is b/c she went there thinking she was going in support of the Gov and not campaigning. A little naive? Sure. Lacking support? Don’t believe it for a minute.

    More importantly, the situation that is facing the Party right now is the Gov’s lack-luster numbers. They should be higher. ‘Nuff said! Still, there is plenty of time for Taylor and Cox to waste all of their money battling each other, but if the GAGOP doesn’t increase that grassroots support soon, it is going to start trickling down and negatively affecting all local, statewide and even federal GOP candidates for next year!

    Warrior is correct in that we (the GOP) might be in the best political shape right now, but historically, that is usually when we start to lose ground. We are in a fight right now, and to neglect that fact is purely hubris! And of course the Greeks have taught us that, following hubris comes __________?

  7. Rebel says:

    I disagree with GaWire about Ralph’s troubles. It’ll come up again in the fall and be forgotten by everyone but the Cagleites by Spring.

    I do agree with GaWire about the Governor. THis is very distressing to me. There is NO enthusiasm about his race. Notice the comments here. If we are talking LG or SOS, people get fired up. Try and mention Sonny, or Mark vs. Cathy and the board dies.

    Sonny was not elected Governor in 2002. The voters “un-elected” Roy Barnes and Sonny was the beneficiary. Right now, the base is unhappy with the Gov. and the Dems are licking their lips. The only advantage for us is the the primary fight between Cox & Taylor.

  8. kspencer says:

    I suspect that Reed’s Casino problem depends on what happens at a federal level – in other words, almost completely out of his hands. If Abramoff’s hearings can be completed and buried before the beginning of March, I think Rebel’s right. If on the other hand it is kept alive past that point, then GaWire’s got it right – Ralph suffers. My suspicion is that it depends on whether Abramoff’s problems get tied irrecoverably to DeLay. Not because of Reed’s ties to DeLay, but because Delay’s compaign would keep Abramoff’s name and background above the background noise level, which in turn splashes Ralph.

    For what it’s worth, while I agree with GaWire and Rebel about the governor’s race, I think he’s got an even harder row to hoe because of Ralph’s problems. That little problem with being convicted of ethics violations would have been a simple bump in the road were it not for this. As it is, the Democrats will be able to tie the legitimate hint of corruption to the GOP because of it. A little – shrug, they’re politicians (common wisdom). A little here and a little there and a little more somewhere else and, well, eventually it all adds up to too much. Fortunately for the GOP Cox and Taylor will undoubtedly have a hard-fought battle, because they’ll need the handicap.

  9. jackson says:

    I guess if you are right Rebel (that only Casey Cagle supporters will remember the Casino issue in the Spring), what does that say about Republicans? We demand so much of the Democrats – that they should be honest and ethical – but we dont demand that of our OWN candidates?

    While I personally don’t believe the casino scandal (or any other Ralph Reed scandal) will go unnoticed in the Republican primary, it will definitely not go away in the General Election. Most folks don’t like hypocrites, especially christian hypocrites.

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