Tag Archives: Bob Ney

But I can never forgive him for ‘Freedom Fries’

A few years ago, I found myself in a dialogue here with disgraced former Congressman Bob Ney, who had been part of the DeLay-Abramoff axis. He went to jail. Abramoff went to jail. DeLay went on Dancing with the Stars.

But so it goes. That conversation was a few years back and now I can’t find it  . . . brief as it was, I found the man the very definition of repentant and reformed. He didn’t only change his ethical standards  – acknowledging his alcoholism, he also undertook to reform his eating and exercise habits. The result:

Back in the day

Back in the day

A new man

A new man

Ney is out and about again with a new book,  Sideswiped: Lessons Learned
Courtesy of the HIt Men of Capitol Hill (here). Since he’s my old BFF, I’ll read it.

The particular round of  corruption he got entangled in has always fascinated me. It was so blatant and so very very venal. It was almost out in the open and went on for years. (Christian pin-up Ralph Reed was involved; just the epic of he and Abramoff team-tagging some Indian tribes is screenplay worthy all on its own.)

Since Ney is doing the teevee book tour, I am reminded of all this. I wish the man well.

Jack Abramoff and Ralph Reed together again. Not.

A golf outing in Scotland - that's Abramoff on the left, Reed front middle and on the right former Rep. Bob Ney* who got scooped up in the mess.

Remember when they fought the law and the law won? Sadly, it broke up their little family and there were some squabbles. Such good times.

They were quite a pair back in the day . . . these two darlings of the Christian Right and AIPAC ran a brilliant coordinated con  (with a little help from Tom DeLay). Dueling, dancing lobbyists playing each others’ casino clients one against the other, working from a script they developed in advance. All the while, Reed was wearing a flag and carrying a cross. It was highly profitable – bags of that money got funnelled into Mr. DeLay’s favorite ’causes’. (Plus Jack and Tom had some good times in the Marianas Islands making sure near slave labor conditions went uninterrupted because there was money to be made there too. ) 

Abramoff went to jail – I can hardly remember what for – but angel-faced Ralph got off still squeaky clean with his shoes shined. As for Tom, who cares any more.

Because Abramoff’s story sucked up all the oxygen, Ralph managed to lay low till everyone forgot what a little worm he was, so he’s now been allowed back into the club. He recently organized a Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference (these conferences always have the flag/cross thing in the name) and got all the kewl kids to come.  Richard Land,  head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Church, was one of them.

Land spoke kindly of his friend. And he undertook to deflect any attempts to stain the good name of his friend and fellow Christian by saying:

“Most evangelicals who know about it view Ralph as a victim and that he was victimized by Abramoff like so many others,” Land said adding, “Conservatives don’t have any problem with people making money.”

That’s what the man said. And Reed stood there beaming.

*Ney resigned Congress in disgrace and went to jail. When I started this blog, for some reason he commented here and we had a brief correspondence. He’d sobered up in jail, expressed genuine remorse and put his life in order. He seems to be an okay guy. So good for him.