Ralph Reed Is a Proven Conservative

The following is a response to Marvin Olasky’s syndicated column from July 13, titled "Honesty in Politics."

Ralph Reed, who is running for lieutenant governor in Georgia, is a proven conservative leader who has spent decades strengthening pro-family values.

As head of the Christian Coalition, Reed built one of the nation’s leading pro-family organizations and helped elect the first Republican Congress in 40 years. He helped formulate the “Contract with the American Family” that put a ban on partial birth abortion, a tax cut for families with children, and the Mothers and Homemakers Rights Act, which allowed women who work at home to save tax-free for their retirement.

As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, he helped elect Sonny Perdue as the first Republican governor since Reconstruction, and the GOP also gained control of the state Senate and elected two new GOP congressmen and U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Ralph led the fight against Democrat redistricting maps that paved the way for the Republicans winning control of the Georgia General Assembly.

It was Ralph’s leadership that helped elect a pro-life majority in the Georgia Legislature and allowed us to pass a Woman’s Right to Know law that had been bottled up in committee for decades. When we fought for the right to post the Ten Commandments in public buildings, Ralph spoke at our rallies and helped us pass legislation to reaffirm our nation’s heritage and acknowledge our reliance on God.

Ralph is a long-time opponent of gambling who helped create the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. He was hired as a grassroots subcontractor by one of the nation’s most respected law firms to oppose casino gambling, and he did having been assured by the law firm that he would not be paid with revenues derived from gambling. A U.S. Senate committee looked into his work and accused him of no wrongdoing. Ralph has said he would turn that business down today. But Marvin Olasky’s overwrought attempt at guilt by association is unfair and mean-spirited. He seems to argue that because Reed had a friend who did something wrong, he is disqualified from serving. That may sell magazines, but it does not reflect the redemptive love of Christ.

I can only speculate about Mr. Olasky’s motives. The fact that he cites far-left commentator Garrison Keillor says enough for me. Keillor called Republicans “the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, freelance racists, [and] brownshirts in pin stripes,” so I don’t put much stock in his views on any subject. I have been fighting for pro-family values for over 15 years in Georgia, and I do not appreciate outsiders telling us who we should choose to lead our state.

Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus on the Family, said he found World magazine’s attempts to malign Reed disappointing, and when its reporter tried to goad him into criticizing Reed, said simply: “Get your headline elsewhere.” Christian author Chuck Colson said of the unfair attacks on Reed: “I am not sure that I have ever seen anything quite this vicious since the McCarthy era.”

We don’t need outsiders or the media telling us who we should support. Try as you might to influence the outcome, the grassroots of Georgia will choose their own leaders. Ralph Reed has been a leader for conservative change and stronger values for decades, and it is no wonder that he enjoys such strong support.