Monday, March 8, 2010

NV-Sen: It's Official. He's In. And Guess Who Has Reid's Back?

Harry Reid's in.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid officially filed today to keep his Senate seat.

“While we have made significant progress through the Recovery Act and other measures to prevent this recession from becoming a depression, there is much work to be done. We must never forget our fellow Nevadans who are suffering during this economic downturn," Reid said. "That is why I filed for re-election today."

Reid is being challenged by Republican front-runners Danny Tarkanian, a lawyer and former UNLV basketball star, and Sue Lowden, a former state senator and one-time chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party.

Reid said his goals during another term in office would be diversifying the state's economy and making health care more affordable.

“I will spend the next seven months sharing that vision with the people of Nevada," he said. "I hope they will support my re-election so that I can continue fighting to get Nevada moving again."

Now as usual, we're hearing all the typical premature obituaries. Yeah, yeah, yeah, "Reid is dead". Uh huh. That's why the unions are getting ready for a BIG campaign to help Harry Reid and reveal the real Suzy Lowdown.

"The Lowdens campaigned viciously against the unions," said D. Taylor, secretary-treasurer of Culinary Local 226, who was involved in the effort to unionize the Santa Fe that started in 1993 and ultimately failed. "There were lots of twists and turns on this, and health care was one of the issues." [...]

"We have already said a while back that we're going to work hard to make sure that Harry Reid is successful in the election," Taylor said, speaking for one of the Senate majority leader's core support groups in his uphill campaign to win a fifth term.

The AFL-CIO also is gearing up to help Reid and hit Lowden. Nationally, the labor group has identified Nevada as one of six states it will focus on. These states -- including California, New York, Illinois, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- feature both strong unions and must-win elections for Democrats.

Danny Thompson, executive secretary-treasurer of the Nevada AFL-CIO, said the state organization is in talks now to see how to coordinate the national effort to help Reid.

Thompson walked the picket lines against the Lowdens in the Santa Fe labor dispute, one that was especially intense because it involved an effort to unionize a neighborhood casino.

"It was among the most anti-union campaigns we've seen in this town," Thompson said. "Organizers were singled out and treated differently. It was a very ugly fight." [...]

Lowden has "always touted her record against collective bargaining and her record against public employee unions," Thompson added. "There's a clear message from her past that she is not a friend of anyone who works for a living. If Sue Lowden does win the primary we will be exposing her record."

Whoops. It's always a mistake to attack working Nevadans. Suzy Lowdown should have learned this in the 1990s, but apparently she still doesn't even realize this today. Her campaign is already attacking the unions and bashing the workers they represent.

She obviously doesn't know yet what's coming.

And honestly, none of us really does. This campaign will certainly have its twists and turns. That much is guaranteed, even if little else is.

Meanwhile, the former boxer from Searchlight is smiling.

I asked U.S. Sen. Harry Reid today if he had anything to say to those critics who predicted he may not even file for re-election. With a characteristic, wan smile, he held up a folder of election documents containing the receipt for his official filing papers and said simply, “Copies of everything are right here.”

Translation: Reid is most definitely not going to call it a day and look for a soft landing elsewhere. [...]

“My No. 1 job is to keep working to create jobs,” Reid said. He cited a couple of upcoming bills that he said will do just that, including a bill to re-authorize funding for the Federal Aviation Administration. “So, there are a lot of good things going on,” he said, adding, “We just have to look at the glass being half full rather than half empty.”

As for his chances, Reid cited a recent poll that shows him winning in a general election matchup that includes third party candidates and a “Tea Party” representative. And, asked if he could win the race, Reid had yet another, simple reply: “I wouldn’t be running if I didn’t.”

Heh. I guess the guy from Searchlight knows something that the big media pundits and GOP operatives can’t see. This race is only just beginning.

Let the games begin.

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