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Ralph Reed: Give me $500,000 and we’ll take back Iowa
Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition and a veteran Republican strategist, told a Des Moines crowd Tuesday night that he was helping establish an Iowa-based Christian political organization, and if he could raise $500,000, Hawkeye State politics would be changed for the better.
With that money, Reed said his organization — the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition — can promise results like the nation saw in the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as the U.S. Senate campaign in Massachusetts. Reed said the national version of his organization was highly involved in those campaigns, each of which saw Republican victories on Election Night.
“We need to raise about a half a million dollars to execute that program,” he said. “The program that I just described to you that made history in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, if you want to see it happen in Iowa we need to raise a half a million dollars.”
Reed, who was speaking at an Iowa Christian Alliance event, then instructed staff to pass buckets around for people to donate money, promising that any funds raised Tuesday night will be matched by his national organization.
“Tonight, when you give, we’re not a PAC and we’re not a candidate,” he said. “Therefore, there is no limit to what you give here tonight. Isn’t that exciting?”
After years in the spotlight, Reed’s political career collapsed in 2006 after his work with and close ties to Jack Abramoff — the disgraced Republican lobbyist who is still in prison for his illegal activity — were revealed. He began his political comeback last summer when he started the national group Faith & Freedom Foundation. He is also widely considered to be mulling a run in Georgia’s open 7th congressional district.
But Tuesday, his focus was on Iowa and the new organization he was hoping to fund, an organization that will have some relationship with the influential Iowa Christian Alliance.
“We’re not going to leave the express advocacy during an election to the radical left, MoveOn.org and labor unions anymore,” he said. “We’re going to do it, and we’re going to get people who share our values elected to office, from governor all the way down to the statehouse and school boards all across the state of Iowa.”