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Opinion
Column: Ralph Reed used 'wackos' to fight tribes


"Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, a longtime friend of Reed who became known in Washington as "Casino Jack" for representing so many Indian casinos, also found [Ralph] Reed useful. If anybody tried to open a casino that might compete with Abramoff's tribal clients, Reed's job was to block it by ginning up Christian conservative opposition.

Abramoff's partner, Michael Scanlon, described the process in pretty rough terms in an e-mail made public in a Washington corruption scandal:

"Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them," Scanlon wrote. "The wackos get their information [from] the Christian right, Christian radio, e-mail, the Internet and telephone trees," all of which Reed was expert at deploying.

However, Reed also wanted to pretend that he wasn't being paid with gambling money, so he and Abramoff arranged to have millions of dollars laundered through a series of nonprofits. The transactions got pretty complicated. In one e-mail exchange from March of 2001, Reed bugs Abramoff for a missing check, complaining that funds have run dry."

Get the Story:
Advise Reed not to keep hope alive (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 11/7)
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Watch Hearing:
Senate Indian Affairs Committee

Relevant Documents:
Senate Witness List / Testimony

Relevant Links:
Century Strategies - http://www.censtrat.com

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