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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ralph Reed: Pat Swindall Part Deux

This post may be a little too local for some, but Ralph Reed is certainly a national figure. Ralph Reed is the former director of the Christian Coalition, former chairman of the Georgia Republican party and is running for Lt. Governor in Georgia in 2006. (for more information about this heated race, check out my friends over at Peach Pundit)

For obvious reasons, Ralph has been vilified by many in the mainstream media, by those on the left, and even quite a few on the right. Ralph is also finding himself embroiled in the developing Jack Abramoff scandal, particularly as it relates to his lobbying on behalf of gambling interests. Unfortunately, Ralph has not learned the great lesson that my friend, former Congressman Pat Swindall, learned.

Pat Swindall was an up-and-coming leader in the Republican party in the late 80s. He was quite conservative and I was priviledged to have not only worked on Pat's campaigns but to have become friends with him. During his second term, Pat became caught in a Federal sting operation involving drug money that appeared to be laudered through a house purchase of his. Pat was prosecuted by another former Congressman Bob Barr and ended up being found guilty of perjury and served a year in prison. I actually sat through most of the trial and to this day do not feel that Pat was guilty of perjury. However, Pat was guilty of some very poor decisionmaking and that in-and-of-itself was enough in my mind to disqualify him as a Congressman.

The parallels between Pat and Ralph are uncanny. Both are baby-faced conservative evangelical polilticians from Georgia. I can't help thinking of Pat as Ralph Reed continues to be attacked because of his relationship with Jack Abramoff. I have no idea if Ralph is guilty of breaking any laws. But it certainly appears that Ralph is guilty of making some poor decisions.

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