The Peach

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Friday, August 22, 2008

One Degree of Separation

Senator John McCain












OK, so The Peach has been relatively dormant, ripening its pulpy flesh in the summer sun. Now that the presidential battle is in full swing, The Peach feels it is prime time to get back into the fray. And what better way to start then to bring up the seemingly sleazy relationship between John McCain and Ralph Reed.

First, some background. Ralph Reed was the political insider for now jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Following the 9/11 attacks, Abramoff pinged Ralph seeking assistance in pushing through a proposal to rent cruise ships to FEMA off the coast of NYC to house rescue workers and then, four months later, another proposal to get the DOJ to release $16 million to the Choctaw Indians to help build a jail. The cruise ship venture died, but the prison proposal went through, even though other tribes were requesting funds and the Choctaws had abundant funding already.

Along with this bit of double doing, Abramoff requested assistance from Reed in assuring Angela Williams would not be appointed head of the Interior Department's Office of Insular Affairs. Through e-mails Reed acknowledged weighing in heavily on blocking Williams' appointment (the e-mails can be read here). Ironically, Angela Williams was the wife of Orson Swindle, a Vietnam prisoner of war with John McCain, the same John McCain in charge of investigating the Abramoff scandal. Let it be said that even though Abramoff was found to be guilty, Reed was never brought in for questioning.

Let us now leap to 2008 and the current presidential race. It seems Reed sent out an e-mail soliciting associates to attend an August 18th fund-raiser in Georgia for John McCain. In the e-mail Reed claims to have "agreed to serve as a member of the McCain Victory 2008 team." This is the same Ralph Reed involved in the Abramoff scandal that John McCain has been using as proof that he is willing to take on business-as-usual politics in Washington. So, even though McCain is against "business-as-usual" he is behaving as if it is "business-as-usual."

What was that old saying: fool me once shame of you, fool me twice . . . ?