Dignan on Reed

Dignan has been a blogger friend for about a year. He’s in Georgia too. He also has up a post on Ralph Reed that won’t go over so well with the Reed fans, will probably be championed by the Reed haters, but is in any event worth considering.


  1. Karla Stuckey says:

    What’s the big deal. All the liberal media and surprisingly some Republicans seem to be joining in the ant-Ralph rhetoric. He has been charged with no wrong doing or crime. So he knows how to make money and get things done. I thought we liked that in politics. So he’s not a choirboy. Who cares?

    The stuff in DC is just an opportunity for McCain to grandstand and everyone knows he hates Ralph because of the SC primary.

    Ralph plays hardball and wins. He also knows how to make money–a lot more than the political wanabees on this blog and the paid guns who are out to get Ralph, who are jealous.

    Fortunately this blog does not represent political reality in any sense. This is fun for those of us who love the inside game, but otherwise has no impact on this race. I think Ralph wins and from working with him when he was chairman, I think that’s good for good old GA.

  2. Bull Moose says:

    Yeah, Ralph lies and you think that’s McCain’s fault. Get real. Between Ralph Reed and John McCain only one of them was willing to fight for his country. Don’t even go there you kool aide drinking follower.

    Ralph has shown bad judgement in his business practices and that’s not what we need in Georgia government — it’s that simple.

  3. Dignan says:

    Karla: I have known Ralph for about 15 years and have always liked him. I even had lunch with him last year. So I’m not out to get Ralph. I think that Ralph would really help himself he if would be more be more forthcoming about his involvement with Abramoff, even to the point of admitting some poor decisions. If he indeed did not break any laws, I believe that he could get past this problem fairly quickly.

    I don’t believe any of us or the media can say whether or not Ralph has broken and laws. Probably only Ralph knows and maybe some of the people he works with. But it is becoming more evident that he has made some poor decisions in his lobbying business.

  4. Karla Stuckey says:

    Bull Moose,

    Ralph lies? Even if he has done so are you suggesting that liars are disqualified from being elected officials? What world do you live in? That would disqualify many I have known and worked for. Pardon me, but I think you are naive. From reading your posts I would think you have other motivations for your hatred of Ralph.

    Dignan, I actually thought your post was pretty benign. But I see other journalists who are suggesting as true what they do not know to be true by their carefully crafted words. They imply that Ralph is guilty of some great crime when what I read sounds like a discussion of some pretty petty stuff.

    Let’s let it play itself out, and if Ralph is found guilty then I’ll say it best he not be our candidate. But in the meantime, I don’t like they way some Republicans are joining in the crusade against Ralph. I think they have other motives and are not as pure as they want to seem.

    I don’t think this is Cassey v Ralph as much as it is “we hate Ralph.”

  5. billy says:

    “So he’s not a chiorboy” – but there in lies the point.

    Reed’s transgretions would be a lot less important if he weren’t touting himself as a choir boy. As the former head of the Christian Coalition, his best message is to present himself as the pillar of morality. However, since we all know that he is far from that, he’ll be seen as a hypocrit. The more that it is presented that he has lied, been dishonest, or meanspirited (read: less Christian) the more of a hypocrit he will appear.

  6. Karla Stuckey says:

    I don’t think his time as head of the CC was about being a choirboy. He was very frank then about what his agenda was and ruthless–a good quality in my opinion–in accomplishing his objectives. That, my friends, makes for a successful politician. That is what I want to get our agenda accomplished in GA!

  7. Bill Simon says:

    Sooooo, Karla, if “lying”, or being a hypocrite, is “okay” with you in your world of deciding who is an acceptable candidate or not, exactly WHAT standards do you have in deciding whether or not to support a candidate?

  8. Bull Moose says:

    Blah blah blah … Karla — Don’t you think it’s time to EXPECT more than lying politicians? Do you not think that you are worthy of having someone serve in office who is honest and won’t lie?

    You can call it what you want, but in my world, I appreciate characteristics of honesty and integrity.

    Perhaps you think so low of yourself or the people around you where it’s a situation of who lies the least, but I will not stoop down to that level. Sorry.

    And — I do not hate Ralph Reed. I just don’t think he should run for office. If I were a corporate chieftain, I’d want Reed on my team as my lobbyist. If I were running for office, I’d want him helping me with strategy. But as just a citizen, I don’t want him serving in an office of PUBLIC TRUST.

    Sorry Karla, we just have different values.

  9. Hammertime says:

    If the AJC hates a candidate they must be good. What will y’all say when they go after Casey? Saxby? Then do they go back to being a liberal fishwrapper?

  10. Maurice Atkinson says:

    I do have some questions. I’ve been an on then off Reed supporter. I supported him vigorously in 2001 for the Party Chairman, but have gotten off the wagon this time. I have no animosity toward him, but I do have concerns. Out of boredom at the office I clicked on Hecht’s link below.

    If his comments are not true wouldn’t Ralph have the ability to file an ethics charge or a slander suit? This is some pretty viscous stuff.

    And, if it were true, wouldn’t the Governor be vocal on the race? I’ve not heard any negative comments from the Party nor from the Governor’s office. Not like I would get any inside info, but you would think the rumblings would be flowing.

    “””””Republican activists and contractors working for the State Party have accused Reed of diverting large amounts of State Party Funds to his own company, Century Strategies. In one such incident, it was alleged that he placed direct mail contracts with a front man in Washington who would then outsource the bulk of the business to Century Strategies after taking his cut. Opponents claim that if Reed has sought to run for reelection as State Party Chairman, he would have been asked to resign by the State Executive Committee.

    Reed was replaced as State Chairman after the 2002 election by the newly elected Governor Sonny Perdue, whose long shot candidacy was largely ignored by Reed. As chairman, Reed focused his attention on federal races, including the campaign of Congressman Saxby Chambliss, who unseated Senator Max Cleland””””””””””

  11. Bill Simon says:

    Maurice, the Governor has his own race to run. If he were to publicly vocalize oppositon to Ralph (assuming he has any), and then Ralph gets the primary nod, then Perdue would look pretty weak on his own…which would lead to a tougher election trial than he is already facing.

    My observation of some Republicans is that they quietly plot for revenge…like, I would imagine that if Ralph got the primary nod, the State GOP WON’T be spending any money on promoting Ralph…just like Ralph did to the Governor back in 2002.

    Not everyone is obvious in their intentions in politics. It is usually better to keep your mouth shut until you are ready to fully engage all resources.

    I, of course, do not have that ability, but don’t look to me as an example of what to do…I’m the blackest sheep in this flock. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. GAWire says:

    Karla is apparently one of the only people that worked with Ralph when he was Chairman and still supports him . . . For most, that experience convinced us to NEVER trust Ralph Reed with any office of influence ever again!

    You talk about wannabes . . . Ralph is the epitomy of a wannabe and he always has been since his CR days. You think Ralph is the only one that knows how to play hardball? Well, his experience as the candidate will teach him everything he will ever need to know about hardball.

  13. Maurice Atkinson says:

    karla Stuckey,,, I hope its not always about the money. It should be about leadership with integrity. Government has been dominated by manipulation from people who say one thing and do another. Besides ignorance, hypocrisy and manipulation has been the cause of much of the apathy toward government. Frankly, this will also be the downfall of our society.

    I’ve been reading a lot lately on the Declaration of Independence and the development of our Constitution. While our forefathers were necessarily purist they sacrificed their lives and livelihood, and we are the beneficiaries. Many gave their all for the cause of freedom.

    The criticisms of Ralph seem to be justified. While one one hand he worked the Christian crowd by giving them what they wanted to hear, the other he was “humping” his agenda which had nothing to do with his public message.

    Seemingly from the moment he exited the Christian Coalition he was on a mission to manipulate the system. His alliance with Abramoff, setting up bogus “entities” to funnel his fees was a pattern he worked before.

    Ok, maybe there is some animosity. Some of us who worked from the early years to enable Conservative Christians to have a voice in government do feel betrayed. It’s really not the betrayal, we’re all human. But it is the apparent rationalizing out the deception and blaming everyone else for his current troubles.

    I checked out http://www.obligation.org, a conservative organization that in Alabama that is working to reform the educational system in Alabama. While Ralph was working for Channel 1, which promotes anything but education, he gave a deaf ear to the same bunch or conservatives he was supposedly aligned with. Here are some telling reports. http://www.google.com/search?q=ralph+reed&domains=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.obligation.org&sitesearch=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.obligation.org

  14. Bill Simon says:

    Money will be important in the Lt. Governor’s race, but only for Casey. I predict that if Casey shows that he can raise $1,000,000 thru December 31, 2005, it will be Game On in the race to July 2006.

    Those Ralph supporters who think that if Ralph raises more than Casey, he will have the better shot at winning, have no regard for the recent past in Georgia politics.

    Roy Barnes thought he could win reelection by spending $20+ million…Sonny defeated him with about $3 million.

    Again, if Casey hits $1 million or above this January (and, input I have been getting from different sources around the state show that he is dead-on track to hitting that number), it won’t matter how much money Ralph can raise and spend. $1 million will be the indicator that the Cagle Campaign is a player, and his fundraising will accelerate up to the start of the 2006 Session (where he has to follow state law and quit fundraising).

    All that money over $1 million will just be more gravy to get the truth out about Ralph Reed to every nook and cranny of Georgia…and, all the money in the world Ralph spends on making himself out to be a “mainstream Republican” won’t help him one bit.

  15. Karla Stuckey says:

    Maurice and Bill,

    It will be about money and substance this year. 2002 was an anomoly in politics. I think money in the G and LG races will be a big factor.

    And apart from your moral platitudes about Ralph’s work, he has gotten a lot done that is positive and appreciated by Georgia Republicans. He’ll need money to defend himself from the liberal media, but the good news is that he will have it.

    And by the way, the Governor’s people are not all behind Cagle. I may work in DC mostly, by I have been around some meetings where this was discussed and I know many who think that our Governor needs Ralph on the ticket–now more than ever. Ralph’s not the choirboy some of you seem to demand in your candidates, but he get’s things done and moves our agenda forward.

    Cagle is too in with the Shaferites and that is where the control issue really is. They want to take over control of the Senate and dump Johnson and Williams and put their guys in. But their focus on the Senate is a weakness that will allow Ralph to do what he needs to do to overwhelm Cagle in spite of the AJC/Atlanta b.s. about Ralph’s consulting work. Bill, are you a part of Shafer’s team too?

    Plus, women like Ralph. Look at those who attend his events.


  16. Dignan says:

    Karla said “And apart from your moral platitudes about Ralphโ€™s work”

    Karla: Is it too much to ask those we vote for to be honest? Or not crooks? I’m not saying that Ralph is a crook or is dishonest. But it certainly is a legitimate question to be asking about Ralph because of his lobbying efforts. You would be wise to think about what Morton Blackwell of the Leadership Institute has to say about negative campaigning. I recall him saying in a training seminar I attended that negative campaigning isn’t a problem if it is true. And I would bet that you have no idea if the accusations against Ralph are true or not.

  17. Karla Stuckey says:

    Funny Dignan, but I think you just did call him dishonest and a crook and I don’t think you know that it is actually true either.

    I think another possible interpretation of his business activities could be something this simple. He is very ruthless and very effective in reaching success for his clients. And he makes a good living doing it. Enough said.

    When transferred to politics today that is a good thing in my view. As I have suggested previously, I don’t want choirboys in those positions. There are too many of those who just take up a seat and are glad to be there. I don’t think Ralph’s business approach is different than when he was with the Christian Coalition. He is just a damn good organizer and gets things done. For some who have worked at this for a while and who are diappointed by where Republican politics seems to be right now, Ralph’s abilities look pretty darn good.

    I met Cagle once and he seems like a nice guy and all, but he is no Ralph Reed when it comes to leadership.

    I think this is really just about the Cagle campaign using the ready accomplice of the liberal media to tear down someone who is a Christian because they find some of his business actions to be less than what they think is “Christian.” Of course, it is their liberal definition of “Christian” for the paper and the conservative definition that Cagle and others are using in order to chip away at Ralph’s natural base of support.

    But I don’t think this helps Republicans in the long run because the liberal media simply tries to imply that all Republicans are really crooks and hipocrits.

  18. Maurice Atkinson says:

    Karla, so the ends justify the means? No one is questioning Ralphs ability to organize. That is why i supported him for so many years, going back to ’92. I’ve been a beneficiary of his organizational skills (attending his workshops both in the CC and the GAGOP). Those events and the education received are invaluable.

    What I have a problem with is the mafiaesque manner in which he conducted his business. It is not a myth that Abramoff and Reed worked over the Indians. That was a slick maneuver.

    For me its about Principles and Integrity.

    Casey Cagle is not a sloppy second. He is a good man and has achieved much in business and politics, the ethical way.

    What comes to mind after reading the Senate Oversight Committe documents is the old Native American mantra, white man speaks with forked tongue.

    Should Ralph win the nomination and get elected you can expect 4 years of rehashing the various scandals from the casinos, channel one, Enron etc. etc. And you think that would be good for getting anything accomplished in the legislature. I don’t think so.

  19. Karla Stuckey says:

    I suggest you call Ralph and talk about it. I think your interpretation of those events are not the same as his. I think you are drinking the koolaide of the liberal media and I regret that.

    I think Ralph has integrity and I know what his principles are–those I share that will make GA a great state while holding back the tide of liberalism that is taking over our country. This is a time for strong leadership. Conservatives generally get far less than what they really want when they fall victim to the scam that Cagle and the liberal media are pulling right now. Don’t be fooled. This is a struggle between moderate and conservative Republicans and the moderates are trying to pick off conservative Christians by their attacks on Ralph. Don’t be fooled, unless you want a version of Republican light in Georgia, the old dems who now just call themselves Republicans.

  20. Maurice Atkinson says:

    I have read enough documentation that send enough caution flags. Whatever his agenda was previously his deeds with Enron, Channel One and of course his close alliance with Jack Abramoff on a number of issues is enough to make any fool question his principles.

    I hardly believe Cagle is a moderate. And, you don’t see the pattern of deception in Reed’s opponent. Good Lord, one only needs to do a little research and pick up the phone and talk with some of the prinipals involved.

    Calling Cagle’s campaigning a scam is a bit much considering the facts surround Reeds host of issues.

  21. Bill Simon says:

    Karla…I can tell you this: I am on NOBODY’S “team.” I operate quite on my own and if, on occasion, there is an intersection of what I’m feeling with what a whole bunch of others are feeling about someone, that is a random intersection that is A) unplanned, and B) uncoordinated, and C) not likely to last for any length of time beyond one election cycle.

    Who knows, Karla…maybe in one or two cycles in the future, you and I might appear to be on the same “team”…whatever will you do or say then? ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Karla, Karla, Karla,

    If you are in Washington so much, perhaps you will like this analogy:

    Jerry Kilgore, while not the “choirboy,” was Washingtons pick. He had as much money as he needed. Tons. It was one of the most expensive gubernatorial races in the country…ever. What was the result?

    Money does not win elections. People do. Elections are still about grassroots. Do not be remiss and assume that you do not need money, but it does not matter as much as people. I would rather have 300,000 people send me a dollar, than 30, 000 people send me checks for 2,000 each. See the differnce?

    And who do you know around the Governor that is supporting Reed and openly admitting it? I am close to the Governor, I was one of those “kids” who got on board early with Sonny down at PDK, when you wre prob still talking abou thow Qualified Bill Byrne and Linda Shrenko were. And everyone I know, from Nick to Paul to the Governors staffers and even as low as his county chairmen, have either very quietly stayed out of it, or are very quietly supporting Cagle. I am not so quiet. I am urgin our county chairs to remember their first allegiance is to the Governor, and hence we need to support Cagle so as to get the Governor reelected.

    As the State Party gets ready to buy signs for these races, a big indicator will be whether they chose to buy theconjoined signs this year like they used for BUSH/ISAKSON. I have it on good authority, that if it is Cagle, look for the Governor and Cagle to run in a PRES/VP like matter. And if it is Reed for the Governor to stay as far away as possible.

  23. Silence says:

    Brian, the only reason the Governor is supporting Casey is the simple fact that he knows he can control Casey. He can’t control Ralph, hence his fear of Ralph, which necessitates his “support” of Casey. This is all moot, however, because the reality is, as young as the Governor’s staff is, they are not, and will not be stupid enough to get caught up in taking sides in a vitriolic statewide race. The Governor has not taken sides. The interesting and ironic dichotomy of this whole thing is when one realizes just how much the Governor would benefit from Ralph’s grassroots ability and organization. That would be a huge incentive for him to “support” RR.

    Does Casey have any grassroots network to speak of? That would remove RR’s leverage in that arena…

  24. Silence,

    Apparently you have not been around the state. Ralph “the super grassroots organizer” Reeds grassroots infrastructure has been non-existant in most of the state. I attended aourn 30 event in th epast week and a half from South Fulton to the Tennessee line. One candidate–Cagle was represented at 29 of these events, Reed was represented at only 2. Now my definition of Grassroots might be differnt from everyone elses, but I see that as a huge show of grassroots support for Cagle in these areas that the Republican nominee will be chosen.

  25. Karla Stuckey says:

    Brian, Brian, Brian,

    I have it on good authority that many on the Governor’s team strongly prefer Ralph and know that he will be of far more help in the general because of his grass roots campaign.

    I know Cagle’s staffers and his manager want everyone to think what you have said is true, but it is not.

    Many Georgians in DC are watching this carefully and the money is still very much on Ralph and on the idea that the Governor will do much better if the base is energized by Ralph’s campaign.

    It’s going to be a long and difficult year, but it is simply not true to say that the Governor and his people are on board with Cagle. They will play neutral during the primary, but they know the outcome that helps Perdue win a second term.

  26. Ralph will energize a base alright. Every Lefty in the country will send checks to “Elect Hecht,” not to mention the people that would turn out jsut to vote against Ralph…hmmm, I wonder how those people would vote in the Governors race?

  27. Silence says:

    Brian, there IS another half to the state, not sure if Joel briefed you on that part yet. Besides, y’know what? I think you’re blowing smoke. 30 events in a week and a half? Care to explanify and specify a little bit on those?

  28. Karla Stuckey says:

    Hecht is a non-event. We win this with either Cagle or Ralph. No question about it.

    You will not scare anyone with that crap. It could just as easily be said that Ralph can raise money from all over the country too.

  29. Karla Stuckey says:

    Word is Marshall will wait and take on Saxby in a couple of years to revenge his loss to Saxby the first time he ran for congress.

    I almost wish he would jump into the LG race. That would help Collins and we could drive the last nail in his coffin. Marshall is the lone “white” hope for the dems statewide.

  30. Silence says:


    First word out of your mouth so far that has made any sense about Marshall. Good call. IN fact, I’ve heard that rumor, too, and that is the one move that could really upset our apple cart.

    Hecht is a non – issue. Even Casey could beat him.

    Joel is MacElhannon. He’s consultant for Casey and Kemp, quite talented from what I’m told.

  31. Slience I do not feel like I need to justify my appearances to you. But just so you do know.

    I am the chairman of a county YR club (2 event), 1st vice chair of a County (3 events), an Exec member of a District party (1 event), an Exec member of the GYRFC (1-2 events) and a Lion (2 events).

    *all events are on a per month basis.*

    In addition to those stated positions above. I attend the Cobb (2 breakfasts), Cobb womens (1 lunch) North Fulton (1 breakfast), Bucksprings (1 breakfast) Cherokee (2(a breakfast and a Critical Issues Forum)) Republican events on a monthly basis. Buckhead YR (2 events), Atlanta YR (2 events), Cherokee YR (1 event)

    In addition to those I attended this past month: the Paulding Chili cook-off (1 event), the Cobb Women Veterans Ceremony (1 event), the Max Davis party (1 event), 1 Tech game and 2 UGA games (3 Events), 4 highschool football games (4 events). a GFYRC Board Meeting (1) a Hall YR (1 event) Macon and Bibb YR (1 event). Unfortanetly I did not get to the Fulton Dinner last night because I attended a fundraiser for Judson Hill (1 event)

    Well, that only seems to be 36. But you know, I am getting old and can not remember everything. And everyone involved in politics knows that events always seem to happen the same days, so most of these are days packed full of 2 or 3 events.

    Silence, should I keep going or do you feel validated now? BTW, Bill can confirm several of these.

  32. Silence says:

    Sounds like a full time campaign staff position, to me. You really need to get them to pay you more for that kind of time. How did Judson’s fundraiser go? I think Cecil Staton had one last night, as well. Word has it that Jack Hill, Erick Johnson, and Tommie Williams were down there. I think Don Balfour went to Judson’s.

  33. Well Silence I am currently not on a campaign. So any money would be good ๐Ÿ˜‰ These dues are adding up.

    Oh, and Bill you know I meant the infamous & nortorious, the teller of the hard cold truth, the beholder of *rumors*, the creator and operator of the Political Vine of course…Simon

  34. Bill Simon says:

    Wow! There’s an introduction!

    Wonder where Stephanie is these days…? What kind of “bitter old man” would be able to impress Brian to the point of that kind of response? Hmmm…

    By the way…not that I will be deserting this blog, but, FYI to all: I am working on a re-vamp of the PV into a blog type of format…one that people can log their responses online to articles posted. Should be online in 2-4 weeks.

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