Ralph Reed rides on taxpayers’ nickel

Sheriff’s car took him from the airport to the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

Larry Peterson
(912) 652-0367
[email protected]

The sheriff’s department drove lieutenant governor candidate Ralph Reed from the airport to Savannah for Friday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Chatham County Sheriff Al St Lawrence said he had a car pick up Reed at Signature Aviation and take him to the parade’s starting point.

The Republican candidate then rode with St Lawrence, a Reed supporter, in the parade.

More here… http://savannahnow.com/stories/032106/3726066.shtml


  1. Bull Moose says:

    Just so you know, St. Patrick’s Day is the biggest crowd Savannah gets and lately we’ve had quite the crime problem. Funny how everyone else, both office holders and candidates can get around but Ralph Reed needs a taxpayer paid driver?

    My point is, this man is a walking hypocrite.

  2. GAWire says:

    I’ve never heard of a more appropriate place for Ralph than a police car!

    You can’t pay for better irony (or perhaps foreshadowing)!!!!!

  3. HowardDawg says:

    and next up on Cops in the ATL – we arrest Ralph Reed at his mansion in Sugarloaf. Watch has Joanne goes nuts on a Gwinnett Deputy and they have to to TASER Ralph’s dog.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    From The Editorial Page of the Savannah Morning News…

    No ‘free’ rides

    A CHATHAM County Sheriff’s Department car whisked Ralph Reed, a candidate for Georgia lieutenant governor, to Savannah’s St. Patrick’s Day parade last week. But it was local taxpayers who were taken for a short ride.

    Sheriff Al St. Lawrence, a Reed supporter, authorized the vehicle to pick Mr. Reed up at the airport and transport him downtown to the parade’s starting point. The candidate then rode with the sheriff in the parade.

    The public picked up the tab. Although gas isn’t cheap these days, the cost to taxpayers was minimal in terms of dollars and cents.

    It’s the principle that matters most.

    The sheriff argued that giving Mr. Reed a ride was part of his traditional practice of getting people where they need to be on Savannah’s busiest and most congested days. While such courtesy is laudable, it creates a perception of favoritism, especially when the sheriff has already taken sides in a hotly contested primary race.

    Chatham County Republican Party official Jerry Loupee, also a Reed supporter, argues that giving Mr. Reed a ride to the parade is no different than chauffeuring U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston or U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who also rode in the parade.

    However, the difference is those two men hold elective office.

    Mr. Reed doesn’t.

    He’s in a race with State Sen. Casey Cagle of Gainesville.

    It’s inappropriate for local public officials to use taxpayer dollars to seemingly favor one candidate over another, even for something as minor as a 20-minute car ride.

    The sheriff or any elected official has the right to back any political candidate in any race. However, they must refrain using public resources to show that support, even when it means being less hospitable.

    Candidates should arrange for their own transportation. It’s not the politician who’s ultimately paying for these free rides. It’s taxpayers.

  5. GAWire says:

    Jerry “Loupee” earned his name well (even if there is some spelling variation, you get the point). Nice defense, Jerry. That’s great to know our local GOP person doesn’t know the defense between an elected US Senator and a candidate for Lt. Gov.

  6. HJ Bailey says:

    I try to stay out of the arguments of this race. I will say that I am leaning towards cagle but I will say this, if this sheriff would have driven cagle around, all you you would have been fine with it, but since its Ralph, yall have a problem with it. Just my thought.

  7. GAWire says:

    Wrong. If it was Cagle, I would ask the same questions.

    Fact is, though, Bailey, it wasn’t Cagle. It was Ralph Reed, who is known for over-stepping boundaries, having questionable ethics, and considering himself more important and deserving of special treatment than others. Typical.

  8. larry smith says:

    Wire is right. This is just another bit of evidence that Ralph Reed’s interest in this race has absolutely nothing to do with public service, and everything to do with Ralph Reed’s ego.

    Savannah really does have a major crime problem … numerous murders, including a young girl who was shot by a mugger at her debutante ball. The two hours it took to drive Ralph around didn’t directly contribute to this, but it speaks to an overall attitude that politics is more important than law enforcement. Plus, it makes every taxpayer in Savannah a Reed campaign donor … whether they support him or not.

  9. Bull Moose says:

    Loupee is a good and decent man, he’s just unfortunately dead wrong on his continued support of Ralph Reed and his request of the Sheriff to drive Ralph Reed around.

    I want to know how all these Reed people can support him given the Abramoff connection, Enron, Channel One, Indian casino’s, and now his abuse of taxpayers by using a patrol car as his personal tourist vehicle around Savannah?

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