First GOP Presidential Debate Hosted By Republican Lobbying Firm

In the late 90s, Christian Coalition director Ralph Reed and astroturf lobbyist Tim Phillips came together to create “Century Strategies,” a lobbying firm that specializes in generating religious support or opposition to legislation on behalf of corporate interests. For example, the firm worked for Enron organizing Christian support for energy deregulation policies. Later, it was revealed that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff worked with Century Strategies to develop evangelical support for his forced abortion sweatshop clients in the Mariana Islands. The firm faded from public scrutiny as Phillips left to become president of David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, and Reed made an unsuccessful run at statewide office in Georgia.

However, Century Strategies is again making headlines. This time, through a Christian front group Reed created called the “Faith and Freedom Alliance.” According to tax disclosures, Faith and Freedom is chaired by Reed and hosted at his lobbying office in Georgia.

Faith and Freedom scored a coup last night when it hosted the very first GOP primary debate for candidates running for president in 2012. In the announcement for the debate, the group does not disclose that it is run by a lobbying firm. But the contact information uses the same P.O. Box for Reed’s lobbying firm Century Strategies: