Legal Daily News Feature
Reid v Angle, Part I By Joshua Nave As the midterm elections draw closer one of the closest and most hotly contested races is going on right here in my home state of Nevada. I’m talking of course about Sharron Angle’s bid to oust Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This week PBS broadcast a series of debates including one between Reid and Angle. For a full un-annotated transcript, see here.
then proceed into the meat of the debate. The candidates words will be in italics with commentary to follow.
I first met Senator Reid when I was a delegate to the county convention for the Democrats here in Clark County in 2008. In 2010 I was a delegate to the state convention in Carson City where I met him again and heard him speak. In person he is shy, awkward and inarticulate. As a public speaker he is almost painful to watch. These qualities were on full display in this week’s debate. Sharron Angle is as animated as Reid is reserved and brims with energy, but her smile appears to have been surgically implanted and for those of you familiar with the Harry Potter books and movies, I couldn’t help but think of Dolores Umbridges while watching her speak. For several weeks these two campaigns have gone after each other with sledgehammers. It has been one of the nastiest campaigns I’ve witnessed, topped possibly only by the current battle between Congresswoman Dina Titus and Dr Joe Heck for the congressional seat in the Nevada 3rd CD. My discomfort with this campaign was only increased by the debate. Although this is a state wide election, Senator Reid’s position as Majority Leader has drawn national attention and the impact will be felt far outside of the Silver State. Despite being an awkward public speaker, Senator Reid is widely credited with being extremely effective behind the scenes. Despite right wing attempts to portray him as a fire breathing liberal, Senator Reid is also a conservative Democrat, which has a lot to do with his ability to win so often in one of the most purple states in the country. If Sharron Angle manages to unseat him and the Democrats retain the majority, the next Majority Leader will likely be well to the left of Reid. With that in mind, over the next several days I’m going to post portions of the transcript from this week’s debate along with commentary, analysis and fact checking. We will start today with the opening statements of the two candidates and
Reid: Mitch, thank you and thanks to the Nevada broadcasters for arranging this. Growing up in Searchlight, I had some interesting times. My dad was a big man, much bigger than I am. Broad shoulders, weightlifter arms, even though he never lifted any weights. Times were tough, the mines weren’t doing well at all. When he worked, sometimes he didn’t get paid, checks bounced. My mom took in wash from the brothels in Searchlight. So I have some idea of what it’s like to struggle. We were the top of the economic food chain in Nevada for 20 years. When Wall Street collapsed, we fell really hard. There’s a big hole there. We found it there about 20 months ago. We could hardly see out of that hole. But we’ve struggled. I believe my number one job is to create jobs as a United States Senator. That’s why I’ve worked very very hard to do just that. Taxes. We reduced taxes for 95 percent of Nevadans, and all Americans. We did tax reform for small business - that’s the driving engine of business in America, 75 percent of all jobs are small business. We reduced taxes for small business eight times. Wall Street reform - they will never ever be able to do to us again what they did to us before ‘cause we’ve changed the law. Mortgages, I understand, homes are underwater. I have three boys that have homes here in Nevada. Actually four - one’s in the northern part of the state. I have a home in Nevada, I understand where house values have gone. That’s why I’ve worked hard to get $200 million into the state of Nevada to help homeowners.
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Renewable energy. We got a lot of jobs here for renewable energy and that’s important, I’m glad we did.
class neighborhood in Reno Nevada. Senator Reid lives in the Ritz Carlton in Washington D.C.
The economy - everything we talk about tonight is related to the economy. Everything. That’s social security, energy, the whole works.
I have a legislative record of voting over 100 times against tax and fee increases, poor public policy, and unconstitutional laws. Senator Reid has voted over 300 times to raise our taxes. He’s voted for poor public policy like stimulus and bailout, and he’s voted for unconstitutional bills, like Obamacare.
I want you to look at my Facebook, Twitter, to make sure to check all the facts here, ‘cause we will fact check them. It’s no surprise that most of the debate focused on the economy. For 20 years Las Vegas was one of the fastest growing cities in the country which led to overbuilding in the housing market here. This is where the bubble burst and Clark County has suffered tremendously. For the first time in a generation, the population of Las Vegas is shrinking, leaving thousands of vacant properties behind. While other parts of the country have started to see minor rebounds in the market, the foreclosure rate here remains high. Prior to the recession, the #2 industry in this part of the state was construction and those jobs have disappeared, explaining part of the exodus. Unemployment remains at 14.7% in Las Vegas. Reid’s opening statement begins with an issue that has been and will be central to the campaign - job creation and the role of the federal government. Sharron Angle: Good evening. Thank you Nevada broadcasters and PBS for sponsoring this event. Tonight, we’re going to see a contrast between me, Sharron Angle, and Senator Harry Reid. The contrast will be what you will make your choice on when you’re voting. The contrast begins. I’m not a career politician, I’m a mother, and a grandmother - I was a teacher for 25 years. Senator Reid has been a politician for over 30 years. I live in a middle
These aren’t just policies, these are policies that have hurt Nevada. We have the highest rate of unemployment in the nation, the highest rate of foreclosure in the nation, highest rate of bankruptcies in the nation - and these aren’t just numbers. These are real people. When I call my grown children and I say, how are you doing, what I’m really asking is, are you still able to make that mortgage payment? And do you still have your job? Our founding fathers knew that the best government was a limited government of the people by the people and for the people. Tonight you will see the difference between Harry Reid and big government, and Sharron Angle and limited, constitutional government. Angle comes right out of the box with tried and true right wing talking points. Her first salvo paints Reid as an out of touch Washington elitist with her crack about the Ritz Carlton and career politicians, but after saying the she’s not a career politician her very next sentence touts her own voting record in the state assembly. She also lays the ground work for a recurring theme in her answers to questions - the insistence that Harry Reid doesn’t respect the Constitution. Stay tuned tomorrow when we look at the first batch of questions from the debate.
As the midterm elections draw closer one of the closest and most hotly contested races is going on right here in my home state of Nevada. I'...