Ralphie Run Out

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We asked last week why Sen. John McCain, a guy who prides himself on a reputation as a "reformer" would attend a fundraiser that Ralph Reed -- buddy of Abramoff who profitted handsomely off the corrupt lobbyist's tribal casino scam -- helped pull together. Perhaps it had to due more with the $1.75 million he raised than with any ethical itching McCain may have experienced taking money that a man he investigated helped to raise.

McCain scrambled in recent days to distance Reed from the event and himself from Reed but a collective skeptical eyebrow had already been raised. The Atlanta event pulled in serious cash for McCain, though it appears Reed himself didn't attend. I like to think he was forced to sit outside in his car, and that when the event wrapped someone brought him a cup of punch and a napkin filled with leftover finger sandwiches.

McCain investigated Reed while Chair of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee in connection with Abramoff's scheme to bilk Indian tribes out of millions under the guise of lobbying for their casino projects. He paid Reed to mobilize Christian conservatives against gambling interests that would have rivaled the tribal casinos, but passed the money through a third-party so Reed wouldn't have to explain why he was getting paid by gambling interests to lobby against gambling.