Bending Like a Reed in the Wind

Former Christian Coalition leader Ralph Reed's public affairs firm Century Strategies "has raked in millions of dollars by mounting grassroots lobbying drives" for corporations, Republicans and "controversial lobbyists." Reed is also the Bush campaign's southeast regional chair; campaign manager Ken Mehlman called Reed "fabulous" for "outreach to the Jewish community, to the African-American community, and to the evangelical community." Reed organized a "pastors' reception" following the Southern Baptist Convention, where ministers "were asked to sign pledges to endorse Bush publicly, to organize a party for the president ... close to Election Day," and other activities. Some conservatives criticize Reed's lobbying for the school-focused media company Channel One, and coordinating with (and perhaps accepting money from) casino lobbyists to block new, competing casinos.