The Reverse Midas Touch moveth on, and having writ,
Proves all that’s touched by Abramoff turns to shit.
(Okay, so it doesn’t quite scan. Cut me some slack, it’s late.)
Ralph Reed has said he didn’t know it until last year, but emails suggest he was informed that eLot — a firm then in the online lottery business — was behind his effort to fend off a ban against internet gambling in 2000.
The e-mails passed between Reed and Jack Abramoff, the now disgraced Washington lobbyist. Abramoff was lobbying for eLot Inc. of Connecticut, parent company of eLottery Inc., against a bill in Congress that would have banned most online betting. ELottery opposed the bill because it wanted to help states sell tickets online.
Reed, a lifelong opponent of gambling, said last year that he did not know in 2000 he was actually working on behalf of eLottery.
But e-mails obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution show Reed was offered the name of the company at the beginning of his involvement in the campaign, in May 2000. The e-mails emerged as dozens of federal investigators have increased their focus on events surrounding the defeat of the Internet gaming ban.
Abramoff included the company’s name — referring to “the elot project” — in an e-mail he forwarded to Reed, as the two worked out details of Reed’s contract for the campaign.
A spokesman for Reed, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, said the e-mail does not contradict Reed’s earlier statements that he did not know eLot, or eLottery, was financing the gambling fight. Campaign manager Jared Thomas declined to discuss the apparent inconsistency of Reed’s earlier statements and the date of the “elot” e-mail.
Another e-mail exchange written only months after the gambling ban was defeated suggests that, much earlier than Reed implied last year, he knew of Abramoff’s ties to elottery.
In the Jan. 30, 2001, e-mail, Reed teased Abramoff when the lobbyist asked about the White House’s choice for a new “technology czar.”
“Tell your elottery friends that the next czar will be an anti-gambling [Pentecostal] Christian whose main interest in life is banning smut from the Internet,” Reed wrote.
I’m tellin’ ya, Clem, it’s the choirboy-lookin’ ones you gotta watch out for.
Next up: Ralph Reed linked to Internet porn.