Gay News

Ralph Reed Profited from ENRON
Thanks to Top Bush Advisor

White House Tried to Hide its Connections to the Religious Right

Ex-Christian Coalition Head Made Up to $20 Thousand a Month

By Jack Nichols

Washington, D.C.-The homophobic Ralph Reed, formerly Executive Director of the Christian Coalition has, inconveniently for him, become the first Poster Boy for under-the-table connections between the Bush administration and a company that is now the nation's foremost symbol of bankruptcy, greed and vicious corruption.

Karl Rove, George W. Bush's top political advisor, called on Enron executives in 1997 to give Reed a consultant's contract for which the slick, baby-faced political manipulator was paid between $10 and $20 thousand per month.

Ralph Reed: Baby-faced poster boy of the Christian Coalition getting mixed up in the dirty politics of the Enron scandal

Rove associates told the New York Times that the Bush advisor wanted to reward Mr. Reed for his political support without appearing to do so. Mr. Rove, who was then helping the appointed President plan his campaign of so-called "compassionate conservatism", knew that Bush connections to such a conservative Christian right-wing zealot must not become public knowledge. Enron therefore opened for the Bush campaign a back door method to provide Ralph Reed with suitable financial rewards.

On Friday January 25, Reed was effectively cross-examined by CNN news anchor Judy Woodruff. He looked wan, worried, and he was, strangely, unshaven. Small patches of five-o'clock shadow spotted his otherwise smooth complexion. His usual slick demeanor appeared to be missing as he denied knowing about any calls to Enron made by Karl Rove on his behalf.

Reed reportedly remained on the Enron payroll until the company went bankrupt.

Karl Rove told a Times reporter he couldn't recall whether it was "before" or "after" Reed had been hired by Enron that he'd "put in a good word" for him. "I'm a big fan of Ralph's," he admitted, "so I'm constantly saying positive things."

Related Stories from the GayToday Archive:
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Rove's spin on the timing was disputed by a Bush friend, however, who recalled a July, 1997 conversation with Rove in which the White House political advisor had boasted of having arranged Reed's Enron contract. Reed was hired by the lawless company's executives in September, 1997.

The same friend noted that Rove had told him "explicitly of his concerns to take care of Ralph…It was important for Karl's power position to be the guy who put this together for Ralph. And Bush wanted Ralph available to him during the presidential campaign." (New York Times, Business Day, January 25)

Trevor Potter, a Republican and a former chair of the Federal Election Commission, told the Times:

"If Karl Rove was partly responsible for (Ralph Reed) getting the job at Enron, it illustrates the close relations between the Bush political world and Enron."