Reed expresses “regret”

From the AJC:Reed admits misstep in work, Says he shouldn’t have taken job for Abramoff.

“In 1999 I was building my small business, Century Strategies,” Reed said in the speech.

“A friend of almost 20 years, then working at one of the most prestigious law firms in the nation, came to me and offered the opportunity to serve as a grassroots subcontractor to the firm.”

“I knew the law firm had tribal clients who had their own reasons for opposing new casinos. I was assured by the law firm at the outset of the work that the funds contributed to our efforts would not derive from gambling activity,” Reed said.

The speech does not address the fact that in several e-mails between Reed and Abramoff, made public by the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee, the tribal sources of some of the money were discussed. Reed never disclosed the origin of the cash to his religious allies.

Reed pointed to the good he said his work had accomplished: “We will never know how many marriages and lives were saved, or how many children were spared the consequences of compulsive gambling.”

But the fact that his campaigns were secretly fueled with gambling funds has raised the ire of many religious groups, which Reed said he regrets.

“I cannot change the past, but I can certainly learn from it,” Reed said. “I am a better man and a better leader as a result.”

I realize I’m treading into dangerous territory by writing about the Lt. Guv race, but this AJC story requires discussion.

I endorsed Ralph Reed some months ago, before the Abramoff story was in full swing, and I will admit the information that subsequently came out about it has caused me a great deal of concern. However, I’ve not been convinced Reed broke any laws but rather he’s guilty of bad judgement. He should have never gotten involved with Abramoff and he’s paying a price for that mistake. His acknowledgement of this is refreshing, as few politicians ever admit their fallibility. I take him at his word when he says he’s learned from his mistake, and I remain supportive of his campaign.

I don’t agree with those who say the left-wing press is cooking up the Abramoff story to discredit Reed, and I don’t think the AJC has a vendetta against Reed. It’s a serious story that should be followed wherever it may end up. The AJC will never name Reed “man of the year

20 comments

  1. Booray says:

    The question is this race is not whether Reed is guilty of “breaking a law.” It’s whether his good judgment qualifies him to hold high office in this statement.

    You yourself said this shows bad judgment.

    That’s an understatement.

    I don’t want anyone who plays that loose and fast helping run my state.

    Cagle’s just as conservative (I know him because he represented my area on and off for a while), just as competent – and none of this baggage.

    Why is this so hard to figure out?

  2. grassrootsguy says:

    I think Reed’s statement shows class and why he will weather this and win.

    Booray, you are making more of this than the average Republican voter will.

  3. larry smith says:

    Buzz,

    I am finally glad to see a Reed supporter make a rational post that’s well argued. Must be lonely company having your head screwed on straight in that crowd. I feel like I’ve just spotted the Loch Ness monster or something.

    Now, as far as the substance of your post goes, do you really think that bilking a bunch of tribes out of millions and then lying about it constitutes merely “hanging out with bad people?” In point of fact, Ralph has gone well beyond merely making bad choices in associates.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    First of all, to those who do not fully understand or know the internals of politics, this is such insider baseball stuff it likely won’t make any sense. Ralph Reed, prior to 1999, was very involved in politics — he had served as Executive Director of the Christian Coalition — one of the largest political organizations in the country.

    If what Ralph suggests were true, it would be acceptable, however, the record of email exchanges between Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed directly contradict even this latest “excuse”. Those emails demonstrate a clear knowledge of what was going on with the tribal money and the reasons why it was being spent.

    Ralph Reed wants to suggest that it was to “stop casinos”. Again, if that were true, how noble it would be. Abramoff, Scanlon, and Reed were stopping COMPETING casinos from the ones that Abramoff represented. Not exactly matching up with Ralph’s latest comments…

    In addition, it was Reed who time and again directed Abramoff how to route the money so as to not raise suspicisions… Again, this doesn’t match up with his latest comments…

  5. GAWire says:

    This will look genuine to some, and will keep some potential lost voters on RR’s side. But, what does this tell the rest of you? Apparently, the RR campaign is starting to see some consequences of his past “issues” and the current scandal that is growing OR they are getting ready for it to hit the fan, and are figuring out their next tactical move to avoid going DOWN fast.

    One key thing this tells me, that many are missing so far: THIS IS AN ADMISSION!! He is outright admitting bad judgement, but what about the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would put it? What else happened in that “bad judgement?” What was the result of that “bad judgement?” Who got royally screwed, but more importantly who got rich from that “bad judgement?”

    Some of you might think this is Reed’s way of nipping the stories, conspiracies, and accusations in the bud; but, folks, I got news for you: THIS IS ONLY JUST THE START OF RALPH REED’S PROBLEMS!!! We still have 8 months for this story to grow, and get worse, and trust me, it will – I don’t care what you say about “Read about Reed” or Casey Cagle, or what you think about average voters.

    He might only be guilty of “bad judgement,” Buzz, but if you ask me, “bad judgement” is enough to lose my vote, in and of itself, and it should be enough for you, too! Many politicians have had “bad judgement” and they always pay for it. Ralph’s “bad judgement” whether it was illegal or not, affected many people, and was certainly unethical, if not flagrantly wrong, so why isn’t that enough?

    And, grassrootsguy … you think these are issues are stuff that average voters won’t care about? Well, I submit to you that there are just as many average voters that don’t care about Reed’s scandalous past, as there are voters that do care about that past, and don’t trust this “statement”. More importantly, I think there are even more voters that will consider “bad judgement” sufficient enough to put their confidence in Cagle and vote likewise.

  6. Jack S says:

    First, i want to commend Buzz. He puts forward a well reasoned position in a respectful way to both Reed and Cagle.

    I disagree with him, but congrats to Buzz who offers intelligent commentary rather than Silence’s irrational nonsense.

    Now to one key point where I disagree, Buzz. Read about Reed. We could argue about the political merits of this website but I think it is a very necessary thing. Ralph Reed has a problem telling the truth. For example, he says in his “regret statement” that Abramoff approached him for his services, but his very own emails as documented by the US Senate committee and the AJC show that Reed emailed Abramoff right after he flopped as a campaign consultant in 1998 saying something about needing to hump corporate clients. Ralph is lying. Cagle has it right in pointing out where Ralph is clearly not telling the truth.

    If Ralph were truly sorry, he would say he screwed up and most importantly he would apologize for not telling the truth for the last year to the press and his supporters.

    I will give a guy a lot of slack and accept his apology when it is offered in a sincere manner. But this was no apology, this was political dodge, spin and cover.

    And it only proves exactly why Ralph Reed should not be elected Lt. Governor.

  7. Jack S says:

    One other comment. I just got off the phone with a young woman who attended the event where Ralph spoke. She tells me that while Ralph is a great speaker that few were impressed that night. That a lot of the alumni and parents of this home school group left there very disappointed and conflicted about Ralph.

    This didn’t get Ralph anything but a deeper hole.

  8. Romegaguy says:

    So he apologizes because some internal poll is probably showing that it might keep some of his support so he half-heartedly says “Mea Culpa” but keeps up with the lie that he didnt know where the money was coming from despite the emails that have been released in the Abramoff hearings… Did I miss anything?

  9. It is great that Chairman Reed is finally starting to feel the pressure. I admire him for admitting this, but is was out of political stragety and not of sincereity. Surely Ralph would have made the same decision had he known about all the particulars – after all it was a multi-million dollar deal. I would be remiss in not mentioning that most of us here would probably take a similar deal. I am a poor Republican so I certainly would consider it.

    That is not to defend Mr. Reed though. I think this could be dangeroius to the Cagle campaign if it became a daily part of Ralphs life – admitting where he was wrong and apologizing, but I do not see that happening. The other side of the campaign is if Ralph starts focusing on retention, by apologizing, he gets off message and loses potential votes.

    Something the Leadership Institute taught me (and something that Ralph surely knows and has always used) “when you have an issue like this, you “do not cut the dogs tail off all at once…snip, and then snip, and finally snip agian.” ”

    Folks, use common sense and vote for a proven experienced and very Conservative tax-cutting , pro-life, balanced budget Republican….Vote Casey Cagle.

  10. Dignan says:

    Buzz: I made this very point in a post recently about Pat Swindall. The parallels are interesting. This is certainly a good step for Ralph. But it will only work if he is truly innocent, which none of us know yet. Nice post.

  11. landman says:

    Buzz,while I strongly disagree with you I commend you on your post.What RR did was basically throw his longtime friend Abramnoff under the bus,while acknowledging nothing he did.This will cause him residual problems as once again he has the opportunity to come clean and stop the lying and he didnt.The problems this will create for himis two fold 1.it comes across as major CYA tactics and 2.Abramoff Im sure is pretty ticked off with his buddy,right about now.

    It shocks me that some people have to have a guilty verdict before they can see the hypocrisy in Reeds actions.Pimping out your influence within the Christian community for a fast buck is indicative of character traits not worthy of any public office much less the number two position in the State.Trust is a major component of effective leadership,and I dont see how any logical person could trust Reed when you look at the facts of this ongoing and evolving case of uncontrolable GREED and CORRUPTION.

    If McElhannon,Dewberry ,or Cagle read these post disregard Buzz’s comments concerning the Read About Reed site.Keep it as you have it ,no commentary just fact,there is nothing wrong with defining your opponent for what he is.I understand 60 Minutes,20\20,and Dateline are working on stories on this mess and plan to air them in late Spring.GERGIA DESERVES BETTER THAN TO BE DRUG THROUGH THIS!!!!!

  12. Bill Simon says:

    Landman, you are correct, and I don’t mean that in a “ditto” way, but in a way that you provoked a thought process in me.

    During the 1990s, when Clinton was in office, all the Republicans were pissed-off at Bill Clinton because he was such a liar and involved in LOTS of shady deals, from Whitewater to the Rose Law firm, etc.

    Now that Ralph appears to be directly involved in misrepresenting his religious principles for cash, all of a sudden, people like Buzz are all into forgiving him and saying it’s okay because “Ralph hasn’t been charged with anything.”

    Well, Clinton wasn’t charged with anything either until he was caught lying under oath about sex. Personally, I’ll take a perjurer for political office over a religious con-man like Ralph Reed.

    But, I don’t have to have that choice in this case. Casey Cagle is an honorable man. Ralph Reed is a lying scumbag. Frankly, I don’t see how there is much to argue about. If Buzz and Silence, et al. cannot see the problem with a liar taking the helm of Lt. Governorship, then there’s no point in trying to reason with them because they’re entirely too immoral for me to try to convince otherwise.

  13. Maurice Atkinson says:

    Ralph had to address the issue. He’s waited far to long and his responses were simplistic and unapologetic. Reed scores well on his apology, many will see this as he owning up to this. However, it’s not as simple as apologizing. What he did was blatantly wrong, quite unethical and yet within the pattern he has conducted with many of his ventures. You have to consider the work he did to defeat JC Watts, Jim Rogan, Robin Hayes and Robert Aderholt with his relationship with E Lottery. Also consider his going after Sen. Richard Shelby for conducting an inquiry into Channel One. These ventures have not gotten the degree of spot light that his relationship with Jack Abramoff have, but are all just as problematic.

    I supported Reed in 2001 and was on board until this info came to a head. Few people knew of this matter. At that point I began to look at the alternative, which I found to be refreshingly competent.

    Friday night I had the pleasure of listening the Senator Cagle at the Coverdell Leadership Institute. The contrast is dramatic. Senator Cagle addressed the attendees with significant candor. He discussed the realities of working together for a better Georgia and the nuts and bolts of being a legislator. What was noticably void was soundbyte rhetoric. It was thought provoking substantive.

    While previously I had been for him simply because he was the alternative to scandal, I feel enormous confidence in his ability to lead and actually get good legislation enacted.

  14. SouthGeorgiaHun says:

    I have a serious question for Buzz Brockway. What do you think Ralph really regrets? His wrongdoing or the fact that he was caught?

    Before you answer, consider:

    1. That when it was first learned in the summer of 2004 that Reed had worked for the gaming tribes, Reed denied knowing that the tribes were his client. He claimed that he was working for Abramoff’s law firm and that he had “no knowledge” as to Abramoff’s clients.

    2. That when it was learned from McCain’s first document dump in the summer of 2005 that Reed very well knew that the Indian tribes were his clients, Reed changed his story and the claimed that the payments from them came from the tribes’ “non-casino” activities.

    3. That when it was learned from McCain’s hearings that Reed had in fact been paid from casino funds, Reed changed his story once again and claimed that Abramoff has assured him that the funds were from the non-casino activities.

    4. That no documents exist to show that Abramoff gave Reed any such assurance and that the numerous emails between Abramoff and Reed show that instead of seeking such assurances, Reed was actively engaged in trying to conceal the source of the funds through front groups.

    It is pretty clear to me that Reed knew at the time that what he was doing was wrong, that he devised strategies at the time to keep it forever secret, that he repeatedly lied about his activities when they were exposed, and that his only real “regret” is that he was caught. I seriously doubt that he will disgorge any of the profits from the work he now claims to “regret.”

    I have told you my opinion. Please tell me what you think he “regrets.” The wrongdoing or getting caught?

  15. landman says:

    Buzz,I have a question for you,do you feel as I do that RR must disclose his clients?Its very obvious that the one constant in all of RR’s ethical deficit dealings is he never disclosed who was payiny the tab to mislead whomever necessary to get what he wanted.Georgia stands to be the next sucker should a Reed administration come to fruition.Wake up people!!!!!!!!

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