Ralph Reed: Pat Swindall Part Deux

I have hesitated to comment on the Lt. Governor’s race since so few people seem to be able to discuss it without having a conniption fit. But I’d like to add a different perspective to some of the questions and concerns that many people have about Ralph Reed.

For obvious reasons, Ralph has been vilified by many in the mainstream media and by most on the left as a budding theocrat. (Of course any Christian who doesn’t vote Democrat is labeled a theocrat these days.) Even quite a few on the right have become quite critical of Ralph in recent years. Ralph has also found himself embroiled in the Jack Abramoff scandal, particularly as it relates to his lobbying on behalf of gambling interests. Unfortunately, Ralph has not learned the great lesson that my friend, former Congressman Pat Swindall, learned.

Pat Swindall was an up-and-coming leader in the Republican party in the late ’80s. He was quite conservative and I was privileged to have not only worked on Pat’s campaigns but to have become friends with him. During his second term as Congressman in the 4th District, Pat became caught in a Federal sting operation involving drug money that appeared to be laundered through a house purchase of his. Pat was prosecuted by another former Congressman, Bob Barr, and ended up being found guilty of perjury and served a year in prison. I actually sat through most of the trial and to this day do not feel that Pat was guilty of perjury. However, Pat was guilty of some very poor decisionmaking and that was enough in my mind to disqualify him as a Congressman. Over the years, Pat has been very forthright about the mistakes he made. Pat’s willingness to be honest about his mistakes garnered him tremendous respect.

The parallels between Pat and Ralph are uncanny. Both are baby-faced conservative evangelical politicians from Georgia. I can’t help thinking of Pat as Ralph Reed continues to be attacked because of his relationship with Jack Abramoff. I have no idea if Ralph is guilty of breaking any laws. I suspect that he is not. But it certainly appears that Ralph is guilty of making some poor decisions.

I first met Ralph over 15 years ago and have always thought him to be a good man. My respect for Ralph would grow even greater if he would be more forthright about his questionable business dealings over the past few years. And I suspect others would feel the same.


  1. debbie0040 says:

    Ralph is not like Swindall. Just keep grasping for straws. Reed will win.

    I think Reed can be compared to Reagan.


    Senator Tom McClintock
    Date: December 9, 1998
    Publication Type: Column GO BACK

    For California Republicans, whose fortunes are lower now than at any time since 1958, there is the best of news and the worst of news.
    The best of news is that eight years after 1958 Ronald Reagan swept the governor’s race, carrying virtually every constitutional office. The worst of news is that eight years is also the period between the election of the last Whig president and the demise of the Whig party. Both cases are important for Republicans to understand as they contemplate their party’s future.

    Reagan often urged Republicans to “paint our positions in bold colors, and not pale pastels.

  2. jerm says:

    Haha debbie with that one Reagan just rolled over in his grave. Please do not disrespect our greatest president again.

  3. LINDA says:


    This is the Code of Ethics that some may want to take the time to read. I am 99.9999% sure that a few people posting on this blog are violating III of this code, but I am not surprised becaause that is the way things go in Georgia. There are 2 votes in my household, and they are both for Ralph Reed. The GOP members on the national level that are standing by their guy are doing so because they are sweating bullets that they do not get found out about their own money deals.

  4. The Busdriver says:

    Ralph, I served with Ronald Reagan. I knew Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan was a friend of mine. Ralph, you’re no Ronald Reagan.

  5. larry smith says:

    Nothing like a lecture on ethics from a racist nutjob.

    Erick, I can’t believe you’re letting a holocaust-denying, David Duke loving nut post repeatedly on your site. It’s disgusting.

    Glad to know the “Racists for Reed” campaign is alive and well.

  6. LINDA says:

    I meant to say that our two votes are not for Ralph Reed, and btw Larry, I am not a racist nut job. And nor am I a holocaust denying person, you are the nut from what I surmise from reading your comments.

  7. LINDA says:

    And I am very ethical. What did I get your feathers in a ruffle about the fact that some are actually holding posts in our Georgia government and posting on this blog, while they are working on the taxpayer’s dime?

  8. jerm says:

    Linda I was getting really confused there for a second… the only thing I could find on ethics page are Ralph violations.

  9. LINDA says:

    Yes, Jerm leaving out a few words were confusing. I had a hard time posting the entire Ethics outline, and then just posted the link. I did not proof before hitting submit.

  10. northside elephant says:

    The question with Pat Swindall and a character that is certainly very similar in some ways, Ralph Reed is this: “do public values trump private character?”

    Are the positive contributions that Swindall and Reed made to the GOP more significant than their grievous ethical lapses?

  11. Bill Simon says:

    Soooo…you’re telling us that Pat Swindall DID NOT get convicted of using government workers to build a home addition and swimming pool for his personal use, Dignan?

  12. LINDA says:

    Compromise is what this country was founded on, not absolute power. The Red/Blue divide in the United States is much like the Civil War Map before the Civil War. I did not come to my senses about the craziness of supporting party over principle, until it divided me and my three sisters. The GOP in Georgia is very much a power grab by white elitists and the rest of us are taken along on the ride because we want moral values upheld. A leopard does not change its spots, and nor do people. The same people that clung to power in the Democrat Party in the past switched to the Republican Party to retain power. Now, there are some fine people in the Republican Party of Georgia. I admire Cecil Staton very much and many others.

    But it is wrong to assume that there are no God fearing Democrats in Georgia, as I know many wonderful Democrats that would do anything for their friends and family and strangers, too. Politics are very divisive, and all I try to do is to cast my vote for the best of the worst in many cases.

  13. rightofcenter says:

    Dignan, Thanks for a very thoughtful and well-reasoned post. Debbie, I wish I could say the same for you. Do you know what the word “nuance” or the phrase “shades of gray” mean? It doesn’t take a Cagle supporter to say, “hey, Ralph did some boneheaded things in regards to Abramoff.” Apparently through your eyes, he’s never made a bad decision or done anything less than perfect. Hosanna to Ralph.

  14. debbie0040 says:

    rightof center, I have stated in earlier threads that Reed made the bad decision of trusting Abramoff. Why don’t you investigate before you go spouting off?


  15. northside elephant says:

    Debbie I will agree with you that Ralph was easily manipulated by a convicted felon.

    Ralph was an easy mark for the beltway power-brokers who used him to funnel money between casinos and non-profit groups.

    I am glad that Ralph is remorseful about being complicit in a scheme to manipulate federal regulation to help casinos.

  16. debbie0040 says:

    Abramoff was not a convicted felon when Reed had business dealings with him. Abramoff was a friend.

    Provide proof of your last sentence.

    The Senate Committee found no wrong doing on Reed’s part.

  17. northside elephant says:

    That is really profound Debbie. Abramoff was not a criminal until he committed a crime, you are right.

  18. larry smith says:


    I am calling you a racist nut because of things like your opinion that David Duke is — I quote from your website here — “fighting for the preservation of Europeans worldwide.”

    Anyone who would say that about a former KKK leader and active racist poster-boy is a pathetic racist nut (e.g. you) who ascribes every ill in the world to people with ethnicity other than your own. As for the holocaust denial, I recall a post from you recently where you were carrying water for a holocaust-denying German historian.

    You’re so obviously looney tunes that it’s scarcely worth mentioning. What is less obvious is why Erick continues to allow you to use this site as a platform for your drivel.

  19. northside elephant says:

    Debbie, what I am trying to say is that I agree with the Reed supporters that Ralph was taken advantage of by powerful beltway lobbyists.

    E-Lottery and the Casinos threw millions of dollars in dirty gambling money at Ralph. They exploited Ralphs naivety and ignorance of the political realities.

  20. politicalwidow says:

    Ronald Reagan is rolling over in his grave right now. What an insult to a great president.

  21. politicalwidow says:

    Sorry Germ-I did not see your post before I wrote mine. I was so outraged after reading the first few lines of Debbie’s that I just immediately reacted with the first thing that came to mind.

  22. MountainDawg says:

    Northside elephant-Just remember, according to Debbie “Abramoff was not a convicted felon when Reed had business dealings with him.” It’s funny how things can change once you’re around Ralph.

  23. Demonbeck says:

    By keeping the $5.3 million Ralph Reed took from Casinoes, he is admitting he had no problem with the business he did. If Ralph Reed truly feels that he would have not taken the job, “Had he known then what he knows now,

  24. northside elephant says:

    Ralph should give the $5.3 million to charity. It is interesting that he regrets what he did yet he hires a defense attorney?!

  25. JP says:

    Debbie, comparing Reed to Reagan is an insult to Reagan.

    That said, Ralph does resemble Pat–maybe he should be called Ralph Swindle.

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