ATLANTA, March 4 (UPI) -- A self-avowed Christian Republican in Georgia who opposes Internet gambling has been linked to lobbying efforts that helped defeat a U.S. ban on the practice.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said it has found e-mails between Ralph Reed -- a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor and earlier the first executive director of the Christian Coalition -- and now disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The e-mails show Reed's support for Abramoff's representation of a Connecticut gambling company, the newspaper said.
Abramoff was lobbying for eLot Inc., the parent company of eLottery Inc., and Reed, a lifelong opponent of gambling, has said he didn't know in 2000 he was actually working on behalf of eLottery.
But e-mails obtained by the newspaper show Reed was offered the name of the company at the beginning of his involvement in the campaign, in May 2000, the Journal-Constitution said.
In a Jan. 30, 2001, e-mail, Reed teased Abramoff when the lobbyist asked about the White House's choice for a new "technology czar."
"Tell your elottery friends that the next czar will be an anti-gambling (Pentecostal) Christian whose main interest in life is banning smut from the Internet," Reed wrote.
Abramoff's lobbying firm hired Reed's firm for $20,000 a month to rally grass-roots voters against the ban in targeted congressional districts.