The Faith and Freedom Coalition (FFC), a group helmed by former Christian coalition leader and disgraced Jack Abramoff cohort Ralph Reed, has sent out a mail-in questionnaire asking recipients whether President Barack Obama is a bigger threat to America than the Nazis, the Communists or the “American Civil War.” The FFC, says Mother Jones magazine, is a non-profit organization tasked with mobilizing evangelical christian voters to the polls this fall in hopes of electing former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) president.
The questionnaire asked, “How much danger do you think liberty is in right now as a result of President Obama’s policies, actions and agenda for America’s failure?” The options, which respondents are urged to choose by marking in a bubble like a standardized test, include, “More serious than the threats we faced in World War II from Nazi Germany and the Japanese because the attack on liberty is from our own government,” as well as “More serious than the threat we faced from the Soviet Union during the Cold War,” and “More serious than the American Civil War.”
Reed, was once hailed by Time magazine as “the right hand of God” because of his power to command a wide swath of evangelical voters as head of the Christian Coalition of America, the huge, multi-church conservative christian group founded by Pat Robertson in 1989. Reed fell from grace when it was revealed that he was deeply enmeshed in the web of corruption spun by lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Abramoff directed Reed to run religiously-based anti-gambling campaigns in states where casinos were set to open. “Casino Jack” Abramoff’s Native American clients were hoping to head off the opening of casinos by rival tribal groups. The competing gambling houses never opened and Reed and Abramoff each netted millions from the deal.
It was during the investigation of Abramoff’s extensive corrupt dealings that a 1998 email from Reed came to light regarding Reed’s transition from Christian Coalition head to full-time lobbying. It read, “Hey, now that I’m done with the electoral politics, I need to start humping in corporate accounts! I’m counting on you to help me with some contacts.”
When a colleague of Abramoff’s once asked him if Reed wasn’t too much of a Christian ideologue to make an effective lobbyist, Abramoff said Reed’s idealism only extended “as far as the cash goes.”
Reed’s new enterprise, the FFC will spend between $10 million and $12 million during the 2012 election cycle, hoping to reach an estimated 17 million evangelical voters. Reed is building a team of 5,000 volunteers to knock on doors and urge conservative voters to vote for Romney in November.
Reed is hoping to rehabilitate his image and move once again among Washington’s power players, an outcome that Bill Moyers has disparaged, saying that Reed represents one of DC’s worst in his determination to mix “politics, religion, and money for party and profit” and to “cover his tracks in a fogbank of secrecy, complexity, and sleight-of-hand.”
The FFC mailer, which asked Christians to make a “solemn pledge” to vote in November, also included questions that alleged an alliance between President Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, questions about health care and more. You can read the full questionnaire, embedded via Document Cloud, below:
[image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr Commons]