GEORGIA UPDATE: RALPH REED THROWING THE GOVERNOR'S RACE TOWARDS THE DEMOCRATS?
Although he hasn't been indicted yet (at least not at 11:30AM West Coast time, Tuesday, April 28, as I'm typing this report), Georgia Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Ralph Reed, is said to be dragging down the whole GOP ticket in the Peach State. The new Rasmussen poll shows that incumbent Governor Sonny Perdue has lost his commanding lead over his two would-be Democratic challengers, Secretary of State Cathy Cox and Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor. Perdue's 20% lead has been basically cut in half, although in a theoretical match-up he only leads Cox by 8 points.
Many Georgia Republicans-- particularly those seeking re-election-- have been trying, desperately, to get Reed to drop out of the race for the good of the party. The nutty professor, Marvin Olasky, who came up with the blatantly misleading "compassionate conservative" monicker for Bush in 2000 (and should be prosecuted for a truth in advertising scam), says Reed "has damaged Christian political work by confirming for some the stereotype that evangelicals are easily manipulated and that evangelical leaders use moral issues to line their own pockets." This is as good a summary as any of how people-- rightly-- perceive Reed's aggressive collaboration with Republican lobbyist and admitted crook Jack Abramoff (arrested/indicted/confessed/singin' like a jaybird/not yet imprisoned) and his partners in crime.
Republicans up and down the state ticket are nervous that Reed's taint will impact their own races, especially if they are asked by the press whether or not they support their running mate. 21 Republican state senators have already signed a petition asking Reed to get out of the race before it's too late. They are petrified that voters will start paying attention as the date of Abramoff's sentencing approaches. Remember, Abramoff admitted paying Reed at least $4 million in order to get him to bamboozle dumb-as-doornails right-wing evangelicals to help with the fleecing of American Indian tribes in a pointless series of casino turf battles-- pointless except for the huge payments extracted from the Indians for Abramoff, Reed and their Republican cronies. Abramoff and his partner Michael Scanlon (an ex-DeLay aide who has also plead guilty) have no respect for Christianity-- the real thing with Jesus, not the political hate-based crap purported to be Christianity by the likes of Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed, George Bush and Fred Phelps-- and even referred to the suckers who Reed was bringing into their scheme as "the wackos [who] get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees. 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." Even evangelicals in Georgia know that when someone refers to them as a "wacko," it is probably unfriendly.
Only 43% of Georgians now approve of the way Bush is handling his job, and in a theoretical match-up between a Democrat and a Republican most Georgians now would feel better voting for a Democrat than a Republican for Congress. It's unlikely that Ralph Reed's rapidly mounting ethical and legal problems are going to help turn those numbers around.