Ralph Reed came out over the weekend with his defense of Tom DeLay. It comes to this: He was only trying to elect Republicans. Is that a crime? Evidently a jury thought so.
Mr. Morally Superior "Christians-for-Hire" Reed says DeLay is a victim of political vendettas and inconsistent laws. He forgets that whether or not they "did it all the time", it was illegal in Texas to accept corporate contributions for state campaigns. That's all. But here's his defense. You be the jury:
I was chairman of the Georgia Republican party in 2002, so I know first-hand that the practice of exchanging soft and hard dollars was both commonplace and legal at the time; it was practiced openly by both parties. Indeed, a commodity-like national market of corporate and personal funds operated among state and national party committees, with soft money traded for hard money (which was harder to raise and therefore more valuable) at between 50 and 75 cents on the dollar. If DeLay’s operatives made any mistake at all, it was being too good at negotiating: They exchanged the funds dollar-for-dollar.This even exchange enabled prosecutors to later claim the funds were “laundered.” But money laundering requires an underlying crime. There was nothing illegal about supporting state House candidates with the funds so exchanged, and the transaction was reported publicly by both DeLay’s state committee and the RNC.
It takes some real balls to write something like this about a time where Reed was actively selling out the Christian Coalition to Jack Abramoff for kickbacks which were laundered through non-profits. If there were even a little bit of fairness in the world, Ralph Reed would be serving a tougher sentence than Abramoff instead of painting himself as the hero of moral conservatives and champion of the likes of Tom DeLay.