I am not a journalist. I am someone who might be considered on the inside of politics, but that doesn’t really mean anything. I perform analysis and comment on various political issues, but sometimes I just like to pass on information. Here is some – you can take it as you want. I’m sure there can be plenty of debate, but this is just me passing on info (oh, and consider this the Lt. Gov race thread for today) …
It seems that Ralph Reed had a good event yesterday with Rudy Giuliani. Apparently a good amount of money was raised, and there was certainly press coverage.
I would first like to comment on the press coverage. I did a Google search on this and read many of the stories that came up; most were like this:
Reed’s campaign was looking for a boost before the July 18 Republican primary after being dogged by ties between Reed and Jack Abramoff, the powerful Washington lobbyist now facing prison time for conspiracy, tax evasion and fraud (Giuliani Headlines Ralph Reed Fundraiser, Forbes).
In light of this event, I decided to call an old contact of mine to see what the buzz about this was like on Rudy’s main turf. I was told that this event was actually an effort on Rudy’s behalf to gain more conservative attention, as a strategy that his exploratory committee recommended to boost religious conservative support, despite the former Mayor’s socially liberal stance. Interesting thought.
But, there was something else bugging me. Earlier this week, I received a CQ Alert that had stayed in the back of my mind (and I just happened to keep in my email , just in case). The Alert was about the fact that the House Ethics Committee, which has been dormant for a year and a half now, has decided to re-open and launch formal investigations into such matters as LA Democratic Rep William Jefferson and Ohio GOP Rep Ney. It appears that the investigations around Rep Ney are to get down to the bottom of his associations with Jack Abramoff and his “lobbying team,” as the Washington Post calls it.
This was interesting, so I decided to make another call to another old contact. This person could only tell me what some of the unofficial talk around the Hill was sounding like. I was told that the unofficial buzz on the Hill is that the Ethics Committee waited to open these investigations until after the OH Primaries, but planned them all along to take place before the General Elections in November. Why is that? Because apparently now that Tony Rudy, Scanlon, and Jack himself are all out of the picture, the Committee plans to focus on others that might have been apart of the Abramoff circle, and let me attest, Georgia is on the mind of many folks on Capitol Hill right now.
Will there be formal indictments for Ralph Reed? Who knows? I don’t. Personally, I doubt the Ethics Committee will get around to doing anything formal before November, primarily b/c we need to keep Ney’s seat. But there are “fishes left to be fried,” as one staffer put it, and while the GOP needs our House members, they also need to show resolve on the Abramoff scandal and there apparently is not a lot of concern what happens to a prima-donna running for a downticket seat in a certain Southern State … as a matter of fact, he might be the perfect scapegoat that the GOP is looking for.