Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ralph Reed, Abramoff, and the Texas Christian Coalition--All Mobbed Up

Mathaba.Net News Links

Evidence is mounting that former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed Jr., along with a former leader of the Texas Christian Coalition, may have illegally lobbied Texas state officials on behalf of crooked federal lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients.

Three Austin-based reform groups—Common Cause Texas, Public Citizen Texas, and Texans For Public Justice, the latter of which employs the author of this article—urged Travis County prosecutors last December to investigate whether Reed violated Texas’ lobby-registration laws four years ago. Correspondence between Abramoff and Reed—the ex-Christian Coalition leader now running for lieutenant governor of Georgia—suggests that Reed lobbied Texas officials on behalf of Abramoff’s Indian gambling clients without registering as a Texas lobbyist. The $5 million in gambling money that Abramoff reportedly paid Reed for his services would make it one of the largest lobby contracts ever made public in Texas.

Ralph Reed

The Reed campaign, which did not respond to three requests for comment for this story, previously issued a statement saying that Texas’ lobby registration law does not cover the kind of “grassroots” organizing that Reed’s firm conducted in Texas. Travis County Attorney David Escamilla told the Observer at press time that his office was still investigating the complaint.


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