In college, Jack Abramoff, Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed were young Republican leaders who became known as the Three Amigos. Following graduation, they continued their relationship. Abramoff, of course, became the notorious lobbyist for several Native American tribes and was later imprisoned for bribery. Norquist founded the American Taxpayers League which famously asks Republican congressmen and senators to sign a No New Taxes pledge. And Ralph Reed was largely responsible for the Republican Partys embrace of evangelical Christians and all of their values issues.
According to a recent episode of Moyers & Company, Abramoff illegally channeled funds from the Choctaw tribe to help fund both of Norquists and Reeds efforts. The Choctaw were not told how the funds were to be used. It appears they simply thought the money was needed to influence legislation which would benefit their casinos.
Instead, it would seem that it merely lined the pockets of the other Amigos.
Fast forward to today. Abramoff has been released from prison and is attempting to rebuild his life. Norquist is still holding sway over Republican congressmen and senators, having paid no penalty at all. And the disgraced Reed has formed a new evangelical organization called the Faith and Freedom Coalition, a SuperPac whose funders are cloaked in secrecy.
One wonders if Reed has reformed, or if the new organization is just another cash cow which allows him to reap great financial benefits. After all, its easy to pull the wool over the eyes of the faithful. Theyre predsiposed to accept those who ask for forgiveness. That gives the unscrupulous a license to do practically anything, no matter how despicable.
Obviously, people like Ralph Reed understand this.