Christian Coalition

Ralph Reed "Proud" Of His Work For Jack Abramoff: "It Was Outstanding & It Advanced Sound Public Policy"

Last night I watched "Casino Jack and the United States of Money," a documentary all about the shady dealings of Jack Abramoff and his cronies.  One of those cronies was Ralph Reed, who just so happened to be on Alan Colmes' radio program last night pitching his new novel "The Confirmation."

First, Colmes asked Reed about his infamous "I do guerrilla warfare ... You don't know it's over until you're in a body bag" quote, which Reed claimed was simply a poor choice of words for his method of taking on the boring, ground-level grunt work like knocking on doors and turning out voters - it is not sexy or flashy, but it wins elections.

Colmes then turned to Reed's work with Jack Abramoff exploiting his clout within the Religious Right to protect Abramoff's client's gambling interests, which Reed defended on the grounds that he made it clear that he would not accept any money that was derived from gambling and never was. 

Of course, as I explained several years ago when I wrote a report of Reed and his ties to Abramoff, this explanation is entirely self-serving and frankly rather pointless, as Reed was fully aware of why Abramoff was working on there and where the funding for the effort was coming from, which is why it had to be routed through Grover Norquist in order to hide its origin:

In 1999, Abramoff subcontracted Reed’s firm to generate opposition to attempts to legalize a state-sponsored lottery and video poker in Alabama, an effort that was bankrolled by the Choctaw Tribe in order to eliminate competition to its own casino in neighboring Mississippi. Reed promised that Century Strategies was “opening the bomb bays and holding nothing back” and his firm ultimately received $1.3 million from the Choctaws for this effort, which included engaging the Alabama chapter of the Christian Coalition, as well as influential right-wing figures such as James Dobson, to work to defeat the proposals.

The strategy had one small problem: the Alabama Christian Coalition had an explicit policy that it “will not be the recipient of any funds direct or in-direct or any in-kind direct or indirect from gambling interests.” (Emphasis in original.) Knowing this, Reed and Abramoff worked to hide the source of the $850,000 paid to the Christian Coalition for its anti-gambling efforts by funneling money from the Choctaws through Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington, DC anti-tax organization headed by their old College Republican friend Grover Norquist. When asked why the tribe’s money had to be funneled through conduits such as ATR, a Choctaw representative stated it was because Reed did not want it known that casino money was funding his operation: “It was our understanding that the structure was recommended by Jack Abramoff to accommodate Mr. Reed’s political concerns.”

Nonetheless, Reed repeatedly assured the Christian Coalition that the funding for its work was not coming from gambling interests. This was technically true as the Choctaws were paying for it out of their non-gambling revenue, though their objective was obviously to protect their own gambling interests and revenue. According to emails obtained during a Senate investigation into Abramoff’s activities and reported in the media, Reed was well aware of who was paying for this anti-gambling effort. When the information began to surface in the press and the Christian Coalition learned of the source of the $850,000 it had received, it demanded an explanation from Reed who apologized in a letter saying he should have “explained that the contributions came from the Choctaws,” thus admitting that he had been fully aware of the source of the funding. But by the time Reed offered his “after-the-fact apology,” the gambling initiative had been defeated and the Christian Coalition had been duped.

When word of Reed’s work for Abramoff first broke, Reed claimed that he had “no direct knowledge of [Abramoff’s lobbying firm’s] clients or their interests.” But according to the report recently released by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Abramoff’s bilking of the tribes, Reed was informed by Abramoff as early as 1999 that the money that was funding his anti-gambling operations was coming from the casino-owning Choctaw tribe.

The report published an email Abramoff sent to Reed instructing him to “page me with a page of no more than 90 words ... informing me of your completion of the budget and giving me a total budget figure with category breakdowns. Once I get this, I will call Nell [Rodgers] at Choctaw and get it approved.” A subsequent email to Reed asked him to send “invoices as soon as possible so I can get Choctaw to get us checks asap.”

Thus, Reed was clearly aware that the funding for his anti-gambling work was coming from the Choctaw and that he was indirectly working to protect the tribe’s multi-million dollar gambling interests. Despite the repeated references to the Choctaw in Abramoff’s emails, Reed continued to publicly insist that he did not know the source of the funding.

Reed told Colmes that he would not accept this sort of work today, which is not surprising given that it was this very work which caused him to lose his race to be the GOP nominee Lt. Governor of Georgia, but insists that he did nothing wrong and that the work he did for Abramoff "was outstanding, I'm proud of it, and it advanced sound public policy":

Right Wing Leftovers

  • International Burn a Koran Day has been canceled.
  • Which makes the trip by Faith and Action and the Christian Defense Coalition to Florida rather moot now, doesn't it?
  • Bryan Fischer continues to demonstrate just what a tremendous asset he is to the American Family Association.
  • Rick Scarborough has joined the line-up at WorldNetDaily's Take Back America Conference.
  • Rep. Steve King of Iowa, Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, author John R. Lott, and Kris Kobach will speak at the annual Eagle Forum Leadership Conference this weekend.
  • The Christian Coalition sure is web savvy.
  • The Family Research Council wants pharmacists to refuse to stock the new emergency contraceptive pill, ella.
  • Finally, it looks like Mike Huckabee's daytime TV program did not fare too well: "Needless to say, there is no reason to believe The Huckabee Show will return at a later time."

Ralph Reed's FFC Conference Is Going To Change Your Life!

Ralph Reed may have seen his political aspirations go up in flames thanks to his years of exploiting his Religious Right cronies for the benefit of corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff but, as we noted last week, that hasn't stopped a slew of right-wing leaders from signing on to participate in his upcoming Faith and Freedom Conference.

And Reed, whose ego and penchant for hyperbole have been the one constant throughout his career, is here to tell you, the ACLJ's Jordan Sekulow, and anyone who will listen that they had better plan on attending his awesome conference because it is not only going to change America, but it will change the lives of all those in attendance:

As you know, I was at the Christian Coalition in the 90s and I worked on the Bush campaign in 2000 and '04 and I decided to take that knowledge and that experience and, for lack of a better term, create a 21st Century Christian Coalition meets with a smattering of the NRA.

So the Faith and Freedom Coalition is a grassroots permanent public policy organization that combines pro-family activists with what we might call the Tea Party activists uniting on the economic agenda as well as the pro-family agenda. We now have 400,000 people involved in the organization; we have state organizations in 23 states and as you mentioned, we're having our meeting, national gathering in DC September 10-11.

We're going to have over 60 of the leading conservative and pro-family activist leaders and organizers in the nation and I urge you to be here. It's going to change the life of our nation and it will change your life if you are able to be there. 

Right Wing Leftovers

Robertson Warns The Muslims Will Do What His Christian Coalition Did

Today, The 700 Club ran a segment on the attempt by Muslims to build a new Islamic Center in Murfreesboro, Tennessee that was nothing more than a collection of baseless insinuations that funding for the development was coming from overseas and that Murfreesboro was being targeted by Muslims because it is such a strongly Christian community:

Mosque officials say the money was raised in the community. But local journalist Rebecca Bynum said she isn't convinced.

"In other mosques, like in Boston and other areas where there's been huge mosques built, the funding did come from overseas, principally from Saudi Arabia, rich individuals from countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE," she said.

Murfreesboro is not alone. two more mega-mosques are now being planned for Tennessee--one in Memphis and another the town of Antioch, near Nashville.

"It does seem to be part of a larger strategy to build mosques in rural areas and create Islamic communities--large Islamic communities--in rural areas for some larger purpose," said Bynum, a columnist for the New English Review


Cardoza-Moore believes the purpose is clear in middle Tennessee.

"You have Bible book publishers, you have Christian book publishers, you have Christian music headquartered here," she said. "So this is where the Gospel message goes out. And the radical Islamic extremists have stated that they're still fighting the Crusaders--and they see this as the capital of the Crusaders."

But nothing quite captures the absurdity of this piece like the fact that, at the end, Pat Robertson claiming that Muslims are bribing local officials in order to build these sorts of complexes while warning that Muslims are going to move into this sorts of communities in order to take over city councils so that they can turn their religious views into law. 

That, by the way, was the exact purpose of the Christian Coalition, which Robertson himself founded:

Gingrich, McDonnell, Rove Sign on For Ralph Reed's Political "Minicamp"

Why is it that when Ralph Reed is involved, nothing can ever just be what it is? 

For instance, his new Faith and Freedom Coalition is not just a new Religious Right group, but rather the "Christian Coalition on Steroids."

And Reed is not just another Religious Right operative, but the Religious Right's Steve Jobs.

And Reed's works is not just standard voter mobilization, but rather guerilla warfare and saturation bombing.

And so, of course, his upcoming Faith and Freedom Coalition Summit is not just a political conference, but "the political equivalent of NFL minicamp":

The Faith & Freedom Coalition will hold its first national Conference and Strategy Briefing with top grassroots leaders, pastors, and activists in Washington, DC, on September 9-11. The Faith & Freedom Coalition, founded by Ralph Reed, will inform and train its state and chapter leaders, activists, and supporters in preparation for the 2010 elections.

To date confirmed speakers include former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former White House senior advisor and Fox News contributor Karl Rove, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia, former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie, Congressmen Randy Forbes, Tom Price, and Lynn Westmoreland, among many others.

Hundreds of grassroots activists will gather for training, workshops and breakout sessions on voter registration, Get-Out-the-Vote tactics, and how to utilize Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites to build a volunteer network. Among scheduled panels: "Mama Grizzly" candidates who are making 2010 the "Year of the Conservative Woman," and leading Tea Party organizers, including Jenny Beth Martin with Tea Party Patriots.

"This is not just a conference or a retreat," said Ralph Reed. "This is the political equivalent of NFL minicamp. We will train and equip our activists on how to block and tackle in the churches and precincts as we prepare for the most important election of our lifetimes."

Right Wing Leftovers

Prayer Finally Stopped the BP Oil Spill

Did Congress declare a national day of prayer for the Gulf oil spill while I was gone?  If so, why can't I find any evidence of it ... especially since it was, according to Christian Coalition of Alabama chairman Randy Brinson, responsible for getting God to finally stop the spill:

About 100 people gathered in a beach pavilion at Gulf Shores early Sunday to pray for people and wildlife on the Gulf Coast.

They also prayed for an end to the oil crisis. The participants said God, not BP or the government, holds the key to resolving the disaster.


The chairman of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, said it wasn't a coincidence that BP announced the cap was working shortly after Congress called for a national day of prayer for the gulf.

Sharron Angle Plays Matchmaker for Tea Party, Religious Right


As we’ve noted before, religious right leaders are desperate to jump aboard the Tea Party bandwagon. Now Tea Party backed candidate Sharron Angle is returning the favor, networking with Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed and attributing her political success to God.

The Tea Party movement is better-known for its alignment with libertarian, anti-Washington sentiment than for its ties to social conservatism. But in an effort to build as broad a coalition as possible in her effort to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle is checking all the boxes.

Over the weekend, Angle participated in an interview with Ralph Reed, the longtime conservative activist, founder of the Christian Coalition, and the man once deemed the "right hand of god" by Time Magazine. And in the course of answering a question about her rise from relative obscurity, the Nevada Republican made a rather bold declaration. Her path to victory, she said, was God's plan.

Liberty Counsel: Churches May Have to Give Up Tax Exemptions to Save America From Turning Into "Communist Romania"

Back in 2008, the Alliance Defense Fund launched its "Pulpit Initiative" designed to encourage pastors to openly endorse political candidates in their sermons and a direct challenge to IRS restrictions.  And ADF is planning to do it again this year right before the elections.

But not all right-wing legal groups are so bold, which is why Mat Staver and the Liberty Counsel partnered with the Florida Family Policy Council and Christian Coalition of South Florida for a series of "Pastors’ Freedom Forums" to explain just what churches legally can and cannot do.

But you have to admit that Staver doesn't seem particularly concerned about the possibility that they might lose their tax exemption if they cross that line, because God will always provide for them:

“So why do we think God depends upon tax deductibility to keep the Gospel going?” Staver asked. “We enjoy tax deductibility now, and that’s fine; but if we ever have to give it up, so what! God owns the cattle on a thousand hills. His resources aren’t limited.”

And while Staver was telling pastors not to worry about losing their tax-exept status, Liberty Counsel's Harry Mihet was urging them to stand up adn fight in the "time of war" or else watch America turn into "communist Romania": 

“Dear brothers and sisters, this is a time of war,” Mihet said. “As citizens of this country and as citizens of the Kingdom, we are engaged in a battle for the very heart and soul of our nation against people and groups that are fighting tirelessly day and night to radically transform our country—to change it from the land of the free into a place that is without God, without values, a place where anything goes except genuine Christianity—to a place that looks more and more like communist Romania.”

Mihet said it would be tragic for “future generations” if the Americans don’t “show up” and, as a result, the battle is lost. “What a powerful testimony to the might of the God we serve it would be if men and women of God would stand up and rise to this challenge and join in the fight for the soul of our country,” he said.

Christian Coalition Wants "Twilight" Books Banned

Imagine that you were the president of a Religious Right organization that was, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, among the most influential political operations in the nation.  Since then, the organization has drastically constricted and lost nearly all of its relevance.  As such, as president of said organization, you are constantly on the lookout for ways to make an impact and announce to the world that you are, in fact, still a group to be reckoned with. 

How would you go about trying to do that?

Well, if you are Roberta Combs of the Christian Coalition, you do so by announcing that you want to see the Twilight series banned because the books are luring the nation's teens into the occult: 

Meanwhile, conservative Christian organizations that sought to ban the Harry Potter books because they're about wizards and witches are divided about criticizing Twilight.

Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America, which called for a ban on the Potter series, says she's considering a similar campaign against Twilight because even though it's pro-abstinence, it's also pro-vampires.

She says vampires are definitely not good role models, and she blames Hollywood.

"We can let our voices be heard, and anytime you do that you have an effect one way or another," Combs says. "These Twilight books are very disturbing books for family values. Teen marriage is not the standard, but the part that is more troubling is the vampire. It's just not normal for young people to idolize a vampire."

If Combs' mission is to ensure that the Christian Coalition remains a laughingstock ... well, mission accomplished.

Reed's "Christian Coalition 2.0" Launches Annual Convention

It was just one year ago that Ralph Reed announced the formation of his Faith and Freedom Coalition, a more hip, more strident "21st Century version of the Christian Coalition on steroids, married with, with a sprinkling of the NRA."

And slowly Reed has been working to build it into a brand new right-wing powerhouse, teaming up with leaders like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee and Michele Bachmann and Richard Land and Rick Santorum while setting up affiliates in several states in order to train "Tea Partiers, home schoolers and other conservatives to give them the tools they need to identify, educate and turn out conservative voters in their area."

When Reed decided not to run for Congress earlier this year, he explained that it was because he believes that "electing 50 to 100 men and women of character and conservative beliefs to Congress and statewide office over the next two election cycles is a more efficacious way to advance the conservative agenda than seeking public office myself in 2010."

It is becoming increasingly clear that Reed is intent on recovering whatever influence and prestige he may have lost due to this close ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff [PDF] by turning his Faith and Freedom Coalition into a right-wing powerhouse and recapturing his glory days with the Christian Coalition ...and that is why the FFC will be hosting its very own right-wing conference in Washington DC this fall: 

Your Faith & Freedom Coalition is growing by leaps and bounds. We now have more than 300,000 members within 50 states. We have state affiliates up and running in 20 states despite the fact that we have been in operation for only six months. And, just this last week we helped elect conservatives in New Jersey and California who are going to stand up to the liberal agenda. Conservatives across the country recognize that only a grassroots organization like FFC can harness the anti-Obama sentiment boiling in our country and channel it to stop this dangerous administration.

I’d like to invite you today to our first ever Citizen Action Leadership Summit being held in Washington, DC September 9-11 at the famed Mayflower Hotel. We’ll be bringing together activists, donors and famous conservative speakers for three days of training, networking and strategy sessions. We’ve invited a who’s who of special guest speakers, which includes:

Sarah Palin

Newt Gingrich

Karl Rove

Jeb Bush

And many others.

Please visit our website today to make reservations for this historic conservative gathering.

Interestingly, this Citizen Action Leadership Summit is being just one week before the Values Voter Summit, the annual gathering of social conservatives hosted by FRC, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, American Values and others. 

New Sons Of Liberty Ad Buy Canceled

Yesterday, we wrote a post about a shadowy group called The New Sons of Liberty which was poised to spend a $1 million on anti-gambling ads tied to Alabama's primary election.  The group exempted Roy Moore from its attacks on the grounds that he is the only candidate opposed to all forms of gambling, but nobody has been able to figure out who was behind the group or where the money was coming from.

And now the planned ad buy has been canceled:

A mysterious new political group canceled $1 million of TV advertising time for the last week of Alabama's primary elec­tion, leaving stations to scramble for new advertisers to replace what would have been a blockbuster buy.

Station sales managers said they re­ceived an e-mail shortly after 1 p.m. Thurs­day saying the ad buy for the New Sons of Liberty was being called off.

"We ask that you please cancel all buys related to this client. A spot will not be able to be made, nor will the checks be sent out," the e-mail said.

Nobody seems to be sure if this ad buy was real or a hoax or what, though Randy Brinson, president of the Christian Coalition of Alabama, said that he knows the out-of-state interests who were behind the group but cannot reveal that information because it will compromise the identity of the person who revealed it to him.

Who Are The New Sons of Liberty?

A mysterious group is poised to spend a $1 million on anti-gambling ads in Alabama's primary election and nobody seems to have any idea who is behind the group, where the money is coming from, or what they want: 

Something subversive is afoot in Alabama's Republican primary.

A shadowy outfit called the New Sons of Liberty Inc. is poised to launch a major, statewide advertising campaign in connection with the race. The group has committed more than $1 million toward the purchase television air time on networks in the state's five largest media markets, beginning May 21.

The Mobile Press-Register's George Talbot says "the group apparently is related to a grass roots organization called New Sons of Liberty Society," which is a Birther group formed recently in Illinois, but the organization's website provides no information at all, consisting solely of the ad, links to email various candidates running for Governor (except Roy Moore because, as the site says, he "opposes all forms of gambling,") and this message: 

Only when the true corrupting effects of gambling, alcohol, and drug use are widely known will the children of our nation be free to turn away from their lure. Our elected officials hear from those who promote and profit from these so-called industries. Our courts are full of lawyers who are hired to do their bidding.

But when do the people get heard?

Before you support a candidate for governor, make sure you know where he stands. Take just a minute to send an e-mail asking for a clear statement from each candidate. Make them know you are paying attention. Put them on the record.

If you don’t, we all must live with the consequences.

Randy Brinson of the Christian Coalition of Alabama says their research shows that the money is coming from out of state interests though Connecticut, but wouldn't say more, while press investigations have turned up only bits and pieces:

The Associated Press has reported that the New Sons of Liberty was organized April 29 in Washington as a charitable group that can engage in political activity. Listed as directors were Jenny Ann Hunter of Arlington, Va.; Emily Kay Stephenson of Bentonville, Ark.; and Robert Price of Tallahassee, Fla.

Hunter and Stephenson told the Press-Register that the group is a "health care organization." They declined further comment.

Strangely, the address used on the website registration is the same as the headquarters of Concerned Women for America:

The website is registered to a Robert Adams of Washington, D.C., and lists the same address as the Conservative Women of America, which supported Moore's efforts to display a 10 Commandments monument in the lobby of the Alabama Judicial Building.

Ralph Reed Back in the Right's Good Graces

I think it is safe to assume that Ralph Reed's underhanded work exploiting his Religious Right allies for the benefit of Jack Abramoff's clients' gambling interests has been completely forgiven by various leaders of the very movement he sought to exploit.  

In recent weeks, Reed has used his Faith and Freedom Coalition to host meetings that included the likes of Richard Land and Rep. Marsha Blackburn and rub shoulders with Rep. Michele Bachmann, as he travels the country presenting his plans to gain control of House, Senate, and state legislatures though his new, more strident "Christian Coalition on steroids".

And this effort appears to be chugging along, as he was just in Texas, Pennsylvania, and Missouri where he picked up the support of Phyllis Schlafly, Rick Santorum, and Sen. Jim Talent: 

"Average Local Doctor" Concerned Over Health Care Reform

WSFA 12 News in Alabama reports that local doctor Randy Brinson is concerend about what health care reform will do to his practice:

Montgomery Doctor 'Troubled' By New Health Care Law

Brinson says he literally read every page, every word of the monster bill over 3 days.

"That is totally different with the way medical care is delivered today," said Dr. Brinson.

A conclusion critics and supporters of the new law agree on. It's the middle part of the 2,700 page bill that troubles Dr. Brinson ...Troubling because Dr. Brinson says medical professionals in the state have a far better idea how to serve the underserved than someone sitting in Washington.

Of course, Brinson is a bit more than just a concerened Montgomery doctor:

Dr. Brinson is the head of the Christian Coalition of Alabama. He's a Republican but insists his concerns over the health care law have nothing to do with party politics.

Now why would anyone think that Brinson's opposition to health care reform legislation might have anything to do with partisan politics?

This weekend's health care showdown in Congress will test the political clout of evangelical Protestant activists, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who are rushing to muster mass opposition to the Democratic bill endorsed by President Obama.

Dr. Randy Brinson, founder of Redeem the Vote, said evangelical leaders will target first-time voters, including Catholics, particularly in the Midwest, and voters not normally involved in religious or social activism, with an appeal highlighted by an e-mail from Mr. Huckabee.

Over the next few days, Mr. Huckabee's name, picture and words will appear on what organizers say will be "millions of electronic messages" urging voters to tell lawmakers to stand firm against the health care bill, set for a climactic vote Sunday in the House.

Mr. Huckabee, who ran for the 2008 Republican presidential nod, has teamed up with the Rev. Rick Scarborough of Vision America and Dr. Brinson, a Montgomery, Ala., founder of Optimum Impact LLC, which he describes as the "largest purveyor of e-mail data regarding political messaging."

"President Obama, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid are doing everything in their power to push through a health care bill that would mandate federally funded abortions, along with a host of other issues that the American people have clearly said they don't want," Mr. Huckabee claims in his e-mail pitch ... The Huckabee e-mails will go to constituents of eight pro-life House Democrats who are considered on the fence or were heavily lobbied by Mr. Obama and Democratic leaders.

March 21, 2010: A Day That Will Live In Infamy

Nobody really pays much attention to the Christian Coalition any more because, frankly, they don't seem to do very much ... which is too bad because it would be really great for my blogging if they'd send out more absurdly over-the-top statements like this one:

In addition to the three previous days of infamy in American history, Sunday, March 21, 2010 will go down in history as a very infamous day full of betrayal and deceit. Japan conducted a sneak attack on America at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The United States Supreme Court in its Roe v. Wade decision on January 22, 1973 legalized abortion resulting in the brutal deaths of 50 million unborn children up to the present time. Islamic terrorists attacked America in September 11, 2001 resulting in the deaths of over 3,000 innocent souls.

This past Sunday, a day which will live in infamy -- the Lord's Day of all days -- the Democrat Party attacked the foundations of the United States of America and established the beginning of European-style socialism (and worse) in America by its vote in the United States House of Representatives ... The only good thing about Sunday's day of infamy is that unlike the attacks on America on December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001, what the Democrat Party did to attack America -- by defying the will of the great majority of the American people and imposing ObamaCare upon them -- can be, and will be, undone by the American people. They will begin to do so on Election Day, November 2nd.

You know, it really is amazing that comparing Democrats to terrorists and traitors and Nazis has become so common among the Right that nobody even bats an eye any more. 

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Rep. Steve King and Glenn Beck agree: Voting for health reform on Sunday is ‘an affront to God.’
  • Samantha Thompson: Christian Coalition backs Sen. Graham on climate legislation.
  • Sarah Posner: Actor Stephen Baldwin Takes Christian Indoctrination to the Xtreme.
  • Joe.My.God: NOM Goes After DC Marriage Architect.
  • Finally, two posts from Good As You: the first on a resolution in the Kentucky legislature commending those who have signed The Manhattan Declaration; the second on the utterly bizarre development involving Concerned Women for America hawking nutritional supplements.

The Resurrection of Ralph Reed

Religion Dispatches' Sarah Posner has a really good article on Ralph Reed and his miraculous resurrection through his Faith and Freedom Coalition which contains a lot of useful information, a lot of which I was totally unaware of, like the fact that Tim Phillips, which whom Reed c0-founded Century Strategies after leaving the Christian Coalition, is now the president of Tea Party activist firm Americans for Prosperity and that Reed's new organization is apparently cannibalizing his previous organization to create his new organization:

Reed’s FFC is essentially a retread of the Christian Coalition which, under Reed’s leadership, was investigated by Congress, the Federal Election Commission, and ultimately (after Reed’s departure) had its tax-exempt status denied over its engagement in electoral politicking. But Reed, who has managed to survive the Christian Coalition meltdown, his two-timing of evangelicals through his business association with Abramoff, and his 2006 loss in the Republican primary for lieutenant governor of Georgia, is sifting the remnants of the Christian Coalition infrastructure to build FFC.

O'Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Church in Pompano Beach, Florida, and a Christian Coalition of Florida board member, said that the board voted last year to “come under the umbrella of” the FFC. For an organization that was low on funds, said Dozier, it was “a great opportunity that we felt we couldn’t pass up.”

Now Dozier also serves on the FFC board, and says that the affiliation brings “more fundraising capabilities. With Faith and Freedom and with Ralph being known as he is, we can get more conservatives involved and coming to functions that we have in order to raise funds,” both locally and nationally. “It costs a lot of money to print voter guides,” he chuckled.

Also rather amazing is the fact that nobody in the movement is particularly concerned about Reed's Jack Abramoff-related double-dealings:

Yet Reed continues to elicit effusive praise from fellow evangelicals. The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody claims FFC “is indeed poised to be a major player in the 2010 and 2012 elections.” About Reed’s association with Abramoff, [Iowa Christian Alliance president Steve] Scheffler told RD, “if you look at the whole explanation it was a nonissue, it was the press that made something out of nothing that was there.” He added that Iowa activists were “excited” that Reed was the master of ceremonies for the Iowa Christian Alliance’s fundraiser this week, at which Rick Santorum was the keynote speaker.

Cindy Costa, the Republican National Committeewoman for South Carolina and former Christian Coalition activist, told RD that Reed is a “fine gentleman” and “helpful to the conservative movement.” After an FFC organizing event in Tennessee last week, Richard Land, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, called the FFC “one of the most important forces for sound public policy in America in the coming years.” And GOP operative Chip Saltsman, forced to pull out of the race for Republican National Committee chair last year after he distributed a “Barack the Magic Negro” CD, added that FFC “has already been effective in identifying and turning out conservative voters and we’re pleased to bring it to Tennessee.”

But rest assured that even though Reed might be seeking to tie his current activism to the Tea Party movement, he isn't abandoning his Religious Right foundation:

Reed went on to claim that not running the country on a Judeo-Christian moral code is actually contrary to democracy. “So really, when you really get right down to it, James,” he said, “democracy doesn’t really work at all unless there is a citizenry animated by a moral code that derives from their faith in God. That’s what makes the whole thing work because otherwise, the government has to tell everybody what to do.”

I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Ralph Reed: I Could Have Been a Contender

It is too bad that Ralph Reed decided not to run for Congress because, given his views, style, ego, and past, it would have made for a never-ending steam of blog posts.

As it is, we'll have to settle for writing posts about his decison not to run, which he discussed yesterday with Denny Schaffer with WGKA (920AM) and explained that his focus at the moment is on building his Faith and Freedom Coalition which he claims is adding one new state affiliate per week and one thousand new members a day and is "growing faster than the Christian Coalition was growing in the 90s." 

Reed stated that, come November, when people conservative victories rolling across this nation like a wave, they'll know he made the right decision to focus on the Faith and Freedom Coalition, pointing to the massive impact the group claims to have had in both Virginia and New Jersey, claiming to have reached more than one million voters through "largest and most ambitious conservative get-out-the-vote effort in the modern history of either state," resulting in an eight-point increase in turnout among born-again Christians and a seven-point increase among conservative voters.

But still, Reed is sure that had he run and won, he would "have been an impact player in Congress":

"I realized that I couldn’t do both. I had to decide. I was either going to help put 50 to 100 people like me in the U.S. Senate, Congress and state houses, or I was going to spend the next eight or nine months focusing solely on me. I ultimately decided the country was more important than me having a congressional seat.”


"It would be pretty exciting if I could be part of a freshman class that was back in the majority in the House. Had I done that, and had I won, I think I could have been an impact player in Congress.” 

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Christian Coalition Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 07/14/2011, 4:52pm
Alice Patterson is in charge of "Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma Church Mobilization" for Gov. Rick Perry's "The Response" prayer rally and is, not surprisingly, deeply involved in the New Apostolic Reformation movement where she focuses on "racial healing." Last year she released a book entitled "Bridging the Racial and Political Divide: How Godly Politics Can Transform a Nation" in which she explained how she had served as Field Director of the Texas Christian Coalition for years until she discovered the works of "apostles" and... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 03/07/2011, 11:22am
Tonight, the Iowa affiliate of Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition is hosting it's "Spring Kick-off Event" featuring Five potential presidential candidates - Herman Cain, Buddy Roemer, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and Newt Gingrich. And Reed wants it known that social conservatives have no intention of riding in the "back of the bus": The Iowa political season is set to kick off with Monday’s Faith and Freedom Coalition forum featuring a slew of potential 2012 hopefuls — an event that group’s national chairman says will show that social issues... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/17/2011, 2:33pm
During last week's CPAC, Grover Norquist spoke on a panel entitled "It's the Spending, Stupid!" during which he made the claim that what really unites the conservative movement is the desire to just be left alone.  Even social conservatives, he claimed, really just want to be left alone to pray, raise their families, and practice their religion as they see fit ... which made me laugh, because we all know that is not the case at all.  As evidence, all me to point to Georgia, which is only one of three states in the nation to prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 02/17/2011, 2:33pm
During last week's CPAC, Grover Norquist spoke on a panel entitled "It's the Spending, Stupid!" during which he made the claim that what really unites the conservative movement is the desire to just be left alone.  Even social conservatives, he claimed, really just want to be left alone to pray, raise their families, and practice their religion as they see fit ... which made me laugh, because we all know that is not the case at all.  As evidence, all me to point to Georgia, which is only one of three states in the nation to prohibits the sale of alcohol on Sunday.... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 01/31/2011, 11:17am
We have reported on the close ties between the Religious Right and the Tea Party as well as the tensions between social conservatives and libertarians in the Tea Party movement. An article in the February 2011 issue of the AFA Journal, published by the American Family Association, is the latest salvo in the ongoing effort to define the Tea Party agenda.    “Rise of the Teavangelicals” decries efforts by the “homosexual Republican” group GOProud to define the Tea Party as part of a  “leave-me-alone-coalition” that is uninterested in... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Monday 01/31/2011, 11:17am
We have reported on the close ties between the Religious Right and the Tea Party as well as the tensions between social conservatives and libertarians in the Tea Party movement. An article in the February 2011 issue of the AFA Journal, published by the American Family Association, is the latest salvo in the ongoing effort to define the Tea Party agenda.    “Rise of the Teavangelicals” decries efforts by the “homosexual Republican” group GOProud to define the Tea Party as part of a  “leave-me-alone-coalition” that is uninterested in... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/22/2010, 6:49pm
PFAW: GOP Senators Target Judicial Nominees of Color. Brian @ PFAW Blog: Arlen Specter Denounces Roberts Court, Republican Obstructionism. Terry Krepel @ Equality Matters: Gotcha Fail: Rep. Frank Turns Tables on CNS. Rachel Slajda @ TPM: FRC Claims McCain Will Keep Leading Pro-DADT Fight, McCain Says Not So Much. Andrea Nill @ Wonk Room: Vitter Blames Undocumented Immigrants For Loss Of Louisiana Congressional Seat. Media Matters: Sarah Palin: Winner Of The 2010 Glenn Beck Misinformer Of The Year Award. Stephen C. Webster @ Raw Story:... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 12/08/2010, 6:53pm
Pat Garofalo @ Think Progress: DeMint Opposes Tax Deal Because Of Jobless Benefits: ‘We Can’t Just Keep Paying People To Stay At Home’. Alan Colmes: American Family Association Has Color Chart To Battle The War On Christmas. Patrick Caldwell @ Minnesota Independent: Bachmann in running for ‘Lie of the Year’ in PolitiFact contest. Jocelyn Fong @ County Fair: Christian Coalition and Cato Institute rebut Glenn Beck on net neutrality. Good As You: Laugh all you want, kids. If you weren't concerned about the SPLC list, you'd ignore it.... MORE >