I've been wondering how Ralph Reed's implication in the whole Abramoff mess would mess up the Christian Coalition. During his tenure as head of that organization, its ranks swelled and its influence over the Republican party grew enormously. Like any moralist organization, the power lies in the image of its leadership and in the early 1990s Ralph Reed had the squeaky clean reputation to match his choirboy face.
Today, Reed is the loser in a hard fought and nasty primary that surely hinged on that now tarnished reputation and the Christian Coalition is splintering. Three state chapters have just split from the national organization, which is over $1 million in debt.
What with the paid advertising from "Christian Travel Services" where good folks can "can not only save money on a vacation of a lifetime, but you also help to support the Christian Coalition of America," and the impressive array of CCA gear you can buy—including a "Confirm the Judges" bumper sticker that I'm sure was a hot seller during Clinton's tenure—one has to wonder how they got in this sticky situation? Turns out it is about politics.
Seems some of the state chapters have a problem with the CCA national president, Roberta Combs.
"Her abilities in leading a national organization are not good," said Steve Scheffler who led Iowa in their leaving the CCA.
Not only did Combs once lobby for the very un-Christian act of raising taxes, but she teamed with liberals—LIBERALS!!!—in opposing Net Neutrality laws that would have certainly affected small, issue-based websites and blogs.
"We were surprised that the national office took such a lead role on such an obscure issue, at time when marriage protection and stem cell research were being debated," Ohio chapter head, Chris Long said.
In a May press release, Combs is quoted as saying, "The Coalition is committed to working on behalf of our supporters to ensure that the Internet remains the free marketplace of ideas, products and services that it is today." I couldn't agree more, now let's download some porn!
Oddly, Combs bio has been removed from the website. Could more drama be afoot???
But the recent news involving Ralph Reed, Action Jack Abramoff and a certain Indian casino may have just been too much. Reed was implicated in emails as having taken money to lobby against a rival tribe to the one Abramoff represented. It was pure political maneuvering and all in the name of casino gambling, which certainly doesn't sit well with his Christian minions. Despite Reed's leaving the CCA nearly a decade ago, his influence during that time means their names are forever linked.
"The sooner the organization goes completely away, the better," added Scheffler. "They're a total disgrace."
Again, I couldn't agree more, now can we please go download some porn?!?!?