Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Two Timin' Ralph and Grubby Grover

The Moose wonders whether part of the conservative movement is just a cover for a gambling money laundering operation.

Just when you think that you've seen it all in the Abramoff/DeLay/Reed Indian Gambling scandal, another eye-popping story breaks. Today's is from the Atlanta Journal Constitution and here is a juicy excerpt,

"Ralph Reed delivered what was expected as a consultant to two Alabama anti-gambling campaigns: victories over proposals for a state lottery and video poker, and donations totaling $1.15 million.

But Reed didn't tell the campaign organizations - and, he insists, he didn't know - that the money came from a Mississippi Indian tribe trying to protect its casinos from competition.

The money's path to the Christian Coalition of Alabama and another anti-lottery group echoes Reed's entanglement in a scandal surrounding Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Indian casino money in Texas.

In that case, Abramoff hired Reed in 1999 to build public support for closing the Tigua tribe's casino in El Paso. The casino closed in 2002. Immediately afterward, Abramoff, who had kept his role secret, offered to help the Tiguas reopen the casino - for $4 million, according to Senate testimony.

Reed has said he was unaware that he was being paid with money from rival tribes.

In Alabama, leaders of the anti-gambling groups said Reed was the conduit for contributions from a group headed by anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, who has said the money originated with the Mississippi tribe. The Alabama organizations said Reed had repeatedly told them the money was not tainted by ties to gambling interests."

The would be Georgia Lieutenant Governor once again invokes the "I was only the piano player at the bordello" defense. But what is interesting about this scam is the involvement of the maximum leader of the "leave us alone coalition", Grover Norquist. Apparently, Grover's Americans for Tax Reform was also a pass-through operation for that great conservative cause of Indian Gaming. Now, we understand why Grover is such a big fan of rolling the dice in the stock market for social security privatization!

Oh, what has become of the once vibrant and principled conservatives? First Casino Jack, then Righteous Ralph and now Grubby Grover - the Moose is so disillusioned!
-- Posted at 11:40 AM | Link to this post | Email this post