The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ralph Reed loses Georgia primary

(Blogger is being temperamental today, but I'll try to keep up with the posting.)

Scuzzmeister Ralph Reed, who has racked up quite a history of appealing to the fundamentalist right and then bilking them out of vast sums of cash, has lost his bid to become the next lieutenant governor of Georgia. He'll undoubtedly be back, since he clearly has aspirations for high office. And although this is a setback, it was also a setback when John Ashcroft lost his Missouri senate race to a dead man. And he got a big boost for it.

Mr. Reed conceded defeat before 10 p.m., with his opponent leading by more than 10 percentage points.

Early Wednesday, with more than 92 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Reed’s opponent, State Senator Casey Cagle, led with 56 percent of the vote.

Mr. Reed’s candidacy was viewed as a test of the effects of the Washington lobbying scandal on core Republican voters.

Mr. Reed, the former leader of the Georgia Republican Party, was a close associate of Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist who pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, tax evasion and bribery and who arranged for Mr. Reed to be paid by Indian tribes that ran casinos to coordinate anti-gambling campaigns against competing casinos.

Is this a good sign for the role of fundamentalists this fall? I hate to say it, but it's doubtful. Reed never caught on in Georgia to begin with, so it isn't a reliable gauge of shifting opinions on the far right. And as far as the scandal goes, it doesn't seem to be turning into a major issue for primaries and off-season elections around the country.

But hey, Ralph Reed is a bona fide Bush-era Republican, complete with the pro-corporatist, fake piety agenda. And he lost.