Ralph Reed profits handsomely from relationship with Microsoft
The former head of the Christian Coalition rakes in $20K/month from MS. He’s also entered the lieutenant governor’s race in Georgia.
AMERICABlog has the scoop on the latest Microsoft bullsh*t. The $30+ billion company feels the need to keep conservative lobbyist and former head of the Christian Coalition Ralph Reed on a $20K retainer. John has invoices here and here.
The question, of course is why would MS need to pay Ralph Reed’s consulting firm, Century Strategies, this kind of money unless they needed the kind of influence with the American Taliban that Reed specializes in.
…Interestingly, Microsoft had Reed on retainer during the presidential election of 2000 to apparently help lobby then-candidate Bush on their anti-trust suit (he was actually first hired in the fall of 1998). The contract was terminated after Reed was criticized for a conflict of interest – Reed was working on Bush’s campaign. The question arises when Microsoft and Reed revived their work relationship (most observers I’ve spoken to thought the contract ended five years ago), and what exactly Reed is working on now that the anti-trust issue is over.
John also asks some pertinent questions that go directly to the motives of Microsoft. Go read.
There is absolutely no reason Microsoft needs to hire someone like Reed, unless they are courting the Religious Right on social issues, like the Washington State anti-discrimination bill that failed by one vote last week. Tell me CEO Steve Ballmer, what kind of internal memo spin will you weave over this one?
It should also be noted that last week on the Blend I posted about Reed’s connection to corrupt bastard Tom Delay’s good buddy, Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Reed’s consulting firm pocketing a cool $4 million on an Indian casino lobbying effort, and is so close to the slimy Abramoff that Ralphie wrote in his book Active Faith that the two became so close that Reed sometimes slept on Mr. Abramoff’s couch — and later introduced Mr. Abramoff to his future wife.