Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Closing Argument: Part 1

No, that's not a fabrication. That's what we're seeing here in Nevada. Harry Reid has been out and about, talking with Nevadans about what we want to see done. And Sharron Angle?

I guess when one constantly insults our very state, she has to stay in hiding.

And that's essentially the closing argument the GOP is making here... They're not expecting us to think. They're not expecting us to realize what kind of damage she'd cause our state. They're not expecting us to realize why we're in the mess we're in.

They're wrong.

We haven't forgotten. They're just betting on amnesia.

Tom Breitling, the famous local entrepreneur who made history with his online hotel reservation system (that was later merged into Expedia) and who later joined with Tim Poster to bring life back into The Golden Nugget, just dropped something pretty major...

I am not the kind of guy who walks into the voting booth and checks all the boxes on the Democratic side of the ballot. It’s important for you to understand that because it brings more meaning to what I’m about to say. I am pro-business. I am conservative. My track record demonstrates that.

I believe in creating a culture where innovative ideas power businesses that give every level of society a better future. In short, I generally line up on the Republican side although, like many Nevadans, I tend to vote for whom I feel is the best candidate.

Which is why I feel it important to come out and tell you that on Election Day I will enter the voting booth and check the box next to our Democratic U.S. senator, Harry Reid.

Why? It’s very simple. I don’t need to cite a long list of statistics to tell you how hard our state has been pounded by the recession. I only need to ask one question: Which candidate for Senate stands the best chance of lifting our state out of its current problems?

Do we put our faith in Sen. Reid, a man who has been an economic and political force in Nevada for 40 years, who wields great influence as the Senate majority leader and who has the ability to protect Nevada with his knowledge of the Senate and its inner workings? Or do we put our faith in Sharron Angle, who would have no status as a freshman senator?

Think about it. Tom Breitling did.

This is no time to lose his experience and influence. Nor is it time to endure a learning curve for a freshman senator who would be scrambling to gain on-the-job training. Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. We need results now.

Sen. Reid has protected Nevada in the past and this will be his legacy term. We need him to enhance a business climate that will create well-paying jobs. We need him to help Las Vegas recharge itself. He knows how to do this because he understands the qualities that have made Las Vegas great in the past. He recognizes that those same qualities, along with real innovation and dedication, will ensure the city’s vibrancy in the future.

We need someone like Sen. Reid, who has been, and will continue to be, responsive to the needs of the gaming industry that is so vital to the economic well-being of Las Vegas. To my knowledge, Mrs. Angle hasn’t even taken the time to reach out to its key players. I have no idea what solutions she plans to bring to the table. All we seem to hear from her are attacks on Sen. Reid.

For Mrs. Angle to remain aloof and avoid communication with this state’s largest industry is not only a huge disappointment, but it also suggests an ominous future. Mrs. Angle seems to pride herself on her independence and the inflexibility of her positions. But we know that during her tenure in the Nevada Legislature, these traits left her isolated and ineffective. These are hardly the characteristics we need to help get things done for Nevada. A vote for Mrs. Angle is a vote to replace a savvy train engineer with someone who doesn’t understand how the engine runs.

Nope, we don't need this kind of crazy. We need someone who can deliver good results. Harry Reid can. Sharron Angle can't.

Now I know he isn't perfect. Trust me, I know.

But right now, we don't have "perfection" on the ballot. (And frankly, I wonder if "perfection" can win in a volatile climate like this.)

We have Harry Reid. And he's not just our best choice... He's really our only choice to get this state and this country back on track.

He may not be the most glamorous politician around...

But he's done plenty to help Nevada in our time of need.

We can't afford to lose the Majority Leader. We can't afford to lose someone who's listening to us. We can't afford to lose the kind of expertise that Reid has on all things Nevada.

We need Harry Reid... It's really as simple as that.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sharrontology Wants to Drain Our Economic Lifeblood?

Another day, another Angle scandal...

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. has endorsed Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, saying it would be a mistake for Nevadans to elect Republican Sharron Angle and lose Reid's clout to protect the state's lifeblood gambling industry.

Fahrenkopf, president of the American Gaming Association, suggested Angle should distance herself from the anti-gambling Campaign for Working Families, which has endorsed her and begun running television advertisements attacking Reid.

The political action committee's founder and chairman is Gary Bauer, a former Republican presidential candidate affiliated with several Christian right groups over the years.

"It's disturbing that she (Angle) is taking money from people who oppose gambling," Fahrenkopf told The Associated Press. "She may not even know it, but Gary Bauer has been a longtime, outspoken opponent of legalized gambling. I did a double-take when I read she was receiving assistance from someone who has opposed Nevada's chief industry for so long."

So let's recap this. Sharron Angle is being supported by Gary Bauer's PAC, which OPPOSES legalized casino gaming. So she's happily being supported by an extreme religious right group that wants to shut down the lifeblood of our economy? WTF??!!

No wonder why even sane Republicans, especially those in the gaming industry, are rejecting her dangerous extremism.

Fahrenkopf said Nevadans need Reid's power to protect an industry that has been hard bit by the recession and likely will be tapped as a revenue source to deal with the budget deficit. Reid is the most knowledgeable member of Congress about gambling issues, Fahrenkopf said, and has the ability to control what bills reach the floor for votes as Senate majority leader.

The leisure and hospitality industry, which includes hotel-casinos, is Nevada's largest employer, accounting for 304,300 jobs statewide.

"We just can't take any more assaults on us tax-wise or otherwise," Fahrenkopf said. "We need someone strong to protect the state and the industry. No freshman senator would have clout. To trade the most powerful position in the Senate for a freshman senator doesn't make sense."

MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, a Republican, agreed.

"For a small state like Nevada to have the most powerful person in the Senate is not something we should be willing to let go," he said in a statement. "Simply put: Harry Reid is a better choice for Nevada's future. He has far more experience and can wield far more authority and influence on our behalf than any freshman senator."

So we have someone who's worked hard to promote and protect the best interests of our state... And we have someone who's nothing but a tool of outside forces that essentially want to shut down our state. The choice can't be clearer.

Why on earth would we want to lose our biggest advocate? And instead get someone "representing us" who actually wants to destroy our economy? Sharron Angle just doesn't get it...
Yet again...

"Dewey Defeats Truman" => "Angle Defeats Reid"

If we're to believe all the Beltway chatter, Sharron Angle has surged into the lead, Harry Reid is pathetic, and Nevada is doomed.

Guess what? They're wrong! Let me explain...

Need I say more?

She is an embarrassment. She is ridiculous. She offers nothing but batsh*t crazy...

And she's winning? Not exactly. Jon Ralston, Nevada's top pundit, explained this morning what may actually be happening...

So what do we know so far? Not a lot. I have three days worth of data to peruse, just under a fourth of the 14-day total. Despite reports elsewhere, the Republicans have yet to show any unusual surge in voting, and The Reid Machine is holding its own.

So far, in the state’s two urban counties, the Republicans have less than a percentage point edge in turnout. If the Republican turnout edge by the end of early voting is 5 percent or so — standard for a midterm — the Democrats will be pretty happy, albeit edgy.

Reid needs a small GOP margin to survive. It comes down to something either candidate might say in an unguarded moment if asked by an innocent voter what the election is really all about:

It’s the turnout, stupid.

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That's why we had a bunch of students at the north lawn at UNLV yesterday. And guess who joined us!

Yet again, many of the DC pundits are getting it wrong. Contrary to what they've been suggesting, there's hardly any "enthusiasm gap". And I have a feeling that we'll see even less of one come this weekend.

I didn't even really see an "enthusiasm gap" last weekend.

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I walked my neighborhood last weekend, and here's what I found. ALL of the Democrats I talked to are voting for Harry Reid and Dina Titus, and all but two either already voted or will definitely be voting early this week. (The other two I may have to check on later this week.) All but one Nonpartisan (Independent) I talked with in my neighborhood last weekend are also supporting Reid and Titus. (The one who wouldn't just doesn't want to vote... Sad.) Oh, and I even found another Republican for Reid in my neighborhood!

Now I know my precinct doesn't tell the whole story, but let me explain this. It's typically one of the more pro-Republican areas of Henderson. It's no "liberal nirvana". And on a couple streets in the subdivision across the main street from my community, a few of the Republicans put up Angle signs. They may be revved up... But so are we.

And in fact, the other side may not be forming as strong of a "wave" as the Beltway pundits have been bloviating over for months now...

The Tea Party movement has gained the image of an unstoppable wave of anger sweeping everything before it as it seeks to overthrow the Washington establishment. Well in Elko, Nevada, last night it looked a little less than that.

About 150 people turned up in an open field on a very chilly night to welcome the Tea Party Express, the bus tour that is crossing America in the run-up to next month's midterm elections. Most of the participants were in their sixties or above, and the event had more in common with a sedate charity gala than a political revolution.

The low turnout and lack of energy was puzzling as it came just four hours' drive after a rousing start to the bus tour in Reno, addressed by Sarah Palin. I was lost for an explanation. This was after all the same state, the same battle to boot out Harry Reid, the local senator closely associated in Nevada with the big government spending habits of the Obama administration.

And that's what I've been finding on the ground here in Southern Nevada. Sure, teabaggers pop up here and there occasionally with their protests of everything "government" (except when they want it, go figure). But with the exception of all those thousands of people who drove in or bussed in from out of state for that "Showdown in Searchlight", I still haven't seen any massive "grassroots" outpouring of "tea party" support.

Instead, what I see and hear is concern about when more Nevadans will get back to work, concern about access to good education, concern about the family member(s) dangerously close to foreclosure... Basically, what I'm hearing from real Nevadans is real concern about how to get our state back on track.

And I'm hearing many points of view on what to do to get Nevada moving forward again. Some agree with Guy Farmer of Nevada Appeal...

I'm one of those disillusioned independent voters who supported President Obama two years ago. But, like Time magazine's Mark Halperin, I think “the White House is in over its head, insulated, insular (and) arrogant.” I also think Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) miscalculated by joining with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) to champion Obama's free-spending, Big Government agenda, which is why Reid is struggling to defeat his slightly kooky Tea Party opponent, Sharron Angle.

That said, I simply can't vote for Angle, who has espoused a series of extreme right-wing measures such as the privatization of Medicare, Social Security and the Veterans Administration, and she went way over the line by accusing Reid of voting to provide Viagra to child molesters. Please! So I'll be casting a reluctant vote for Reid, who delivers the pork (good pork, of course), and continues to block the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump, which most Nevadans oppose.

While others agree with Brian Greenspun of The Las Vegas Sun...

In a state that has been devastated during this economic meltdown, the things we need more than anything else are jobs and the promise of more jobs. We don’t need people to talk about them, we need people to do something about them. This week, thousands of new jobs from renewable energy firms were announced. Some will come almost immediately, some will come in a few months. All of them are the direct result of the efforts of the majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid.

We have learned a valuable lesson in this state in the past two years and that is we can no longer rely on gaming and construction industries to secure our futures. They both depend on the discretionary income of others who are willing to come to Nevada. When those incomes disappeared and discretionary dollars became necessary dollars for mortgages and car payments, those people stayed home. Nevada will suffer until people feel secure enough to come back and enjoy all that Nevada has to offer. We have learned that we cannot allow ourselves to be dependent upon the good will and good cheer of others ever again. We need a better plan!

That is why we must have good, high-paying jobs in other industries, and there is no better 21st-century industry than renewable energy. The world needs what we can produce in Nevada, which has been dubbed the Saudi Arabia of solar energy. That means we have plenty of sun — an unlimited supply — and we can become the energy producer for the rest of the country if we do this right.

That will take everybody working together, especially the right person in the majority leader’s chair — someone who both gives a darn about Nevada and believes his job is to help bring jobs to his home state. One thing we did learn from the debate is that Angle will not lift a finger to help and that Reid will do and has done everything possible to secure our futures in this state. Of course, most of us knew that before the debate. Now everyone knows that if it is jobs for Nevada that we want, only one candidate believes it is his job to make them happen.

But without a doubt, most of the people I've spoken with here agree that our only chance of moving forward is with Harry Reid as our Senate Majority Leader. And I know I'm not alone. That's what the Beltway pundits are missing. This isn't a game to us. We're dealing with our very lives here, and we can't afford the insane and dangerous extremism of Sharron Angle.

I want to be able to finish school at UNLV and get a good job. My unemployed friends depended on unemployment insurance, and need good jobs soon. My friend who came close to foreclosure needed someone to help him negotiate with the bank to keep his home. My parents depend on Social Security to survive. And guess who's been helping us?

Again, this isn't a game to us. And I think this is what's closing "the enthusiasm gap". And at the end of the day, I think a whole lot of folks will be surprised by the final election results.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sharrontology Follies: Lies, Race Baiting, & Her Hometown Paper Telling It Like It Is

Is this for real?

"I think that you’re misinterpreting those commercials. I’m not sure that those are Latinos in that commercial."

Really? She's not sure if "those are Latinos" in this commercial?

Really? She's not sure if "those are Latinos in that commercial", even though her campaign paid Getty Images for an image of "Mexican men in Mexico"?

Angle's campaign has released more than five TV spots that accuse Reid, the Senate majority leader, of offering special breaks to illegal immigrants. The ads have drawn criticism from some immigration advocates worried that such messages encourage discrimination against Hispanics.

"Basically she is using the politics of fear and trying to tell Americans that, 'we are being invaded by Mexicans, so vote for me,'" said Lynn Tramonte, director deputy of America's Voice.

Angle campaign spokesman Jarrod Agen, who said Reid was "pro-amnesty," would not say why the images were chosen for the ads. [...]

Agen said one of the most criticized images, a still of three stony-faced Hispanic men, was bought from Getty Images Inc. The Getty caption notes that the image is of Mexican men in Mexico. [emphasis mine]

Sharron Angle lied yet again, this time to high school students who happened to be more than smart enough to see through her lies and call her out on it.

And they're not the only ones. Angle's hometown newspaper, The Reno Gazette Journal, dropped a bomb yesterday in their endorsements.

Nevadans already are burdened with a U.S. senator whose personal indiscretions have made him largely ineffective.

Now they're being told that they should jettison a four-term senator who has risen to the most powerful post in the Congress in favor of a woman who consistently was voted least effective member of the Assembly during her four terms in the Nevada Legislature.

Even members of Republican Sharron Angle's own party recognize the absurdity of the proposition. Such prominent Republicans as Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini, State Senator Bill Raggio and former Nevada first lady Dema Guinn have announced their support for incumbent Sen. Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader -- and they've been unfairly vilified for their temerity.

Other Republicans offer a particularly dubious rationale for supporting Angle: Get rid of Reid now; we can deal with Angle in six years.

Reid, seeking his fifth term in the Senate, is far from perfect, but he remains an effective advocate for Nevada's interests in the nation's capital, a skillful politician who has used his position to make a difference in his home state and help the nation work its way out of some very difficult times. He should be re-elected.

And look at the contrast! The RGJ couldn't have summed it up better.

And [Reid] points to a long list of accomplishments that have been important to Northern Nevadans, including funding for the railroad "trench" in Reno (as well as twisting arms at the Union Pacific Railroad to get its cooperation) and the Truckee River Operating Agreement that ensures that communities in the Truckee Meadows will be able to store critical water supplies for the future.

As Reid's work on the Truckee River agreement demonstrates, the effective use of clout in Washington isn't just about money. Just as often, it's about the ability to bring decision-makers, including Cabinet secretaries, to the table to solve a problem and the power to shepherd the necessary legislation through Congress. Without Reid in the Senate, it's likely that the contentious fight over Truckee River would continue for many years to come.

Angle has few accomplishments to claim for her eight years in the Nevada Legislature. And her much touted commitment to principle is questionable.

The Republican candidate says that the federal government can't create jobs, but a federal-government-created job provided her family with a comfortable life, the same health insurance plan as the one available to members of Congress and a nice retirement. She says that she wants to get government out of our lives, but she was willing, as a legislator, to use the power of the state to install the scientifically dubious warning that abortion causes breast cancer in every Nevada woman's shower. And, despite her state opposition to "pork," she boasted in a previous campaign of winning a federal schools grant for the state "» a boast she continued even after state education officials said that she had nothing to do with the grant.

It seems Angle can't go a day without more lies and more hypocrisy. Now she's "the first Asian state legislator in the Nevada Assembly"?

"So that’s what we want is a secure and sovereign nation and, you know, I don’t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you look a little more Asian to me. I don’t know that. [Note: it's the Hispanic Student Union. The whole room is Hispanic teenagers.] What we know, what we know about ourselves is that we are a melting pot in this country. My grandchildren are evidence of that. I’m evidence of that. I’ve been called the first Asian legislator in our Nevada State Assembly."

Does she really think she can fool all of us? Did she think she could pull one over the eyes of those students who are now having to deal with the increased racial tension caused by her thinly veiled race-baiting? Did she think her hometown paper wouldn't notice her long trail of empty rhetoric and poorly hid hypocrisy? Did she think we would believe she was ever considered a leader in Asian-American civil rights? (HUH??!!) Does she really think Nevadans are that stupid?

Let's hope we ultimately prove her wrong.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Final Word on Debate: Titus Defeats Angle

At last night's debate, we heard plenty of crazy talk... But not too many answers, especially not from Sharron Angle.

Even many Republicans have denounced Angle and her dangerously extreme "ideas". And yet, she just acted in total denial last night.

And since I can't describe it better myself, I'll let Maven do it for me.

Here’s what I was thinking through the debate: When will it end? Sharron Angle - refusing to be influenced by evidence or reason, Harry Reid wandering off onto wonkishly long-winded answers. Slogans vs. substance. Fossil fueled Sharron Angle vs the always renewable power of Harry Reid. Neither is exactly Churchillian in their presence or style.

Amid the confusing non-answers, flubbed numbers, exaggerations, missed opportunities, disconnected attempts at Reagan-era boosterism and misplaced gravitas there is one point that stood up and saluted:

Sharron Angle has been living on the largesse of her BLM retiree husband’s federal pension and medical insurance for virtually her entire adult life. She’s right up there with a lot of the politicians she so loves to hate for what they supposedly have.

She came across as a self-absorbed, self-satisfied and yet jealous bitch who knew all her bizarre talking points to a ‘t’ - whether they were appropriate to the question or not.

Angle consistently ignores available data in favor of anecdotal particulars - such as mentioning that her father pays $800 for his monthly drugs despite being a wounded war veteran. The point went to Reid as he suggested that dear old Dad should come to the Reid office so that wiser heads might help him remedy such a ridiculous and unnecessary situation.

And typically, she engages in one ad hominum argument after another - attacking Reid personally. This works for her, since she would otherwise have to have an actual command of facts and issues beyond the simplistic TeaNut demagoguery.

On the subject of health care reform, Harry Reid remarked that, obviously, insurance companies wouldn’t do squat unless the government forced them to - so much for the free market. But Angle blundered forward carrying the banner of “Obama-care” saying “What we have here is a choice between the free market and Americanism…. We don’t have to force anyone to buy anything,” agreeing that she would not force companies to cover specific disorders.

The point went to Reid when Angle whined about not getting a coal-fired power plant in Ely or nuclear power at Yucca Mountain. Reid shot back that the reason just might be that he was working really hard to make Nevada a leader in renewable power - and related that he had just brought 1,000 jobs to Nevada with an LED plant. Sharron, duh!

That Angle had the bad manners and lack of class to suggest that the Senate Majority Leader “Man up” was telling. Refer to my earlier statement about being a bitch. She’s a no-class bitch spewing the same old simple-minded TeaNut drool. She even went on to attack Reid for uh, having money. Isn’t that sort of the point of her free-market driven American dream? Point goes to Reid for explaining that as a successful attorney and investor, that can happen, even while you put five kids through “100 semesters” of college.

OK, so Harry Reid is pretty dull. So he won't be headlining any comedy show at Caesars any time soon. So what! Who cares! He's our Senator, not our entertainer. And he clearly used facts while Angle had nothing but canned lines that sounded like they were ripped directly from FreeRepublic.

And by the way, I'm still waiting to hear why someone who benefits from government-run health care and pensions should be allowed to denounce "government-run health care" and take away patients' choices so that the insurance industry can boost their profits.

Ah yes, more hypocrisy from Sharron Angle. But you know what? The most devastating attack on Angle actually happened after most of the national pundits stopped paying attention.

"This so-called 'new direction' of my opponent is just a U-turn back to the old policies" that got us here, Titus said.

Thursday evening's one-hour debate was filmed in Vegas PBS' studios just an hour after a debate between U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and his challenger, Republican Sharron Angle, wrapped up.

Public opinion polls show Heck and Titus, the candidates for Nevada's 3rd Congressional District, in a dead heat, and theirs is among the nation's most watched races for a House of Representatives seat.

The two candidates sparred on issues including Yucca Mountain, health care reform, the foreclosure crisis, jobs, Social Security and immigration and took questions submitted by readers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Titus touted the work she has done for Nevada, saying she has supported programs that help people refinance their home loans and avoid foreclosures, and supported the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"I don't know what Nevada would have done without it," she said of the act. "Just look at the jobs it has created."

Titus said the money helped save local construction and teacher jobs and that saving jobs is her job.

Even though Dina Titus was actually debating Joe Heck, she was debunking the myths propping up both his and Angle's attacks on her and Reid. Yet again, he was flipping and flopping while Dina was laying out the facts. At one point, Heck couldn't even remember his own record (!!!) on voting for big bank giveaways while also voting in the state legislature to deny property tax cuts for seniors and textbooks for kids in school. And she even went after him for flipping and flopping over Heck's own endorsement/unendorsement of Angle! Oh yes, she quickly revealed whose side Heck is really on.

Funny enough, later in their debate he whined and screamed about some independent expenditures against him. He tried to make it a personal attack on Dina, but she turned it right back on him. But interestingly enough, neither one mentioned what could be the most damning evidence of hypocrisy yet from Nevada Republicans. They cry and whine and scream whenever their own records are exposed, but they remain silent when outside groups like the Chamber of Commerce come in to spend millions lying about Democrats.

Oh, and guess where the money is coming from? And what the Chamber really believes about "creating jobs"?

I'm a bit surprised that Dina didn't talk about this more, but nonetheless she hit a home run when she closed by saying she isn't afraid of outside corporate interests attacking her with these lying (and foreign funded!) ads, and that she'll keep fighting for us.

You can see the whole debate here. And I think this really showed what this election is about, probably even more so than the Reid-Angle debate.

Who's on our side? Who's fighting for us? Who's working on solutions to get us back to work? Who's been working to fight foreclosures? Who's working to create a more sustainable Nevada for our future? Honestly, Dina Titus probably explained best last night the choices we really have. And she not only exposed Heck for the flip-flopping opportunist he is, but she even exposed the hollow, shallow reality of Sharron Angle's empty rhetoric (that Heck likes to piggyback off whenever it's convenient for him).

Without a doubt, Titus defeated Angle (and Heck) last night. ;-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What's at Stake: Our Jobs, Our State, Our Lives

We had a very special guest come to Las Vegas last night...

And he reminded us of what's really at stake in this election.

Former President Bill Clinton, in Las Vegas Tuesday night to stump for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, knew he was “preaching to the saved,” as he called the partisan crowd.

The more than 1,000 people gathered at Valley High School couldn’t have been friendlier. They cheered when Clinton touted Reid’s accomplishments, booed when he mentioned Republican challenger Sharron Angle and drowned the auditorium with applause when the federal stimulus bill and health care reform were mentioned.

“I assume you’re all going to show up and vote,” Clinton said. “What really matters is the people who aren’t here.”

Clinton urged the crowd to spread the word about Reid — his influence as “the most powerful senator in America,” his success at creating jobs, his commitment to clean energy and his support of small business.

In any other year, Clinton said, Reid would be leading the Senate race by 25 percentage points.

“The only reason this is a tough race is because this is a tough time. When people are mad, it’s hard to think,” he said.

How very true. And Clinton reminded us what we see happening thanks to Harry Reid. We have a new LED manufacturing plant that will be bringing 1,000 new clean, green jobs to my community here in Henderson. We have another 1,000 new clean, green jobs coming online soon to North Las Vegas with the wind turbine manufacturing plant on the way. And we have plenty more progress being made on green collar jobs for a new 21st century economy here in Nevada thanks to Harry Reid and his forward-thinking energy policies.

These are real people. These are real jobs. This is a real possibility, and a real opportunity that Nevada must pursue to for a more sustainable future, both environmentally and economically!

And what's the alternative? Awfully scary, and makes absolutely no sense...

"He's been treated to this unbelievable abuse," Clinton said of Reid. But he cautioned Silver State voters not to cast their ballots in anger.

"I am old enough to tell you, if you forget about politics, any time in your life you make an important decision when you're mad, there's an 80 percent chance you're going to make a mistake," Clinton said. "I don't want people to abandon their anger. I want them to channel it so they can think clearly."

With less than three weeks to go before midterm elections, Clinton is barnstorming the country to rally the Democratic faithful as states begin early voting. Polls open in Nevada on Saturday.

Tuesday's crowd of several thousand booed and hissed as Clinton portrayed a scorched-earth Republican fiscal agenda of tax breaks for the wealthy and deep spending reductions to vital government programs, including "massive cuts for air traffic controllers. Who gets to decide which airports are unsafe? Maybe Sharron Angle will volunteer Vegas."

He ticked off food safety, college aid and teacher jobs as similarly vulnerable. "It would be unbelievably negligent to say, 'I know you're right, but I'm just too mad. I've got to vote for this woman - this woman who doesn't want women to have mammograms in their health insurance policies. Who thinks autism is sort of a flaky, made-up deal,' " Clinton said.

Angle has said she is opposed to government-imposed mandates for health coverage, whether for cancer screenings or brain disorders. "A lot of people you know are going to vote that way unless you tell them this," Clinton warned the crowd.

As President Clinton kept reminding us last night, we have a very clear choice. We can keep moving forward, or we can go back to the failed Bush policies of the past.

We can keep moving forward with true leaders, like Harry Reid and Dina Titus, making smart choices and listening to what we have to say here in Nevada...

Or we can go back to the same old failed George Bush policies that Sharron Angle and Joe Heck like so much.

We hear plenty of slogans from both of them, but no real solutions... And not even any interest in providing any! While both Titus and Reid have worked so hard on solutions on creating green jobs, stopping home foreclosures, helping more students graduate from college, and so much more, Heck and Angle offer...

Drumroll please...

OK, I guess that's stretching it. They are offering something. I think it looks something like this.

They never want to talk about how we fell into this mess in the first place, and when they talk about "taking our country back" it certainly looks like they want to "take it back" to what got us into this mess in the first place.

This is what's at stake in this election. And that's what President Bill Clinton was explaining last night. We have real choices to make. And it's up to us to move past blind anger, realize what's at stake, and do what's best for our state and our country. It seems we're coming along and may be making the right choice, but now we need to make sure all of us actually do it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Know What the Beltway Pundits Are Missing

It seems whenever I see the DC pundits on TV, I get frustrated. I keep hearing about some massive "Red Tide" coming. I keep hearing about how much "momentum" Republicans have. And I keep hearing about all this money Sharron Angle is raising from other parts of the country.

So is it time to call it quits and give into "The Red Tide"? Not really. I know something that you may not...

Public Policy Polling just released its latest Nevada Senate poll. In their official numbers, Harry Reid gets 47% while Sharron Angle gets 45%. OK, so Reid is barely ahead... What's the big deal? It's basically a tie race... Or is it?

In an earlier post on their blog, they admitted that they may be missing something quite big.

Usually the conventional wisdom is that a tie race means the incumbent will lose but in the case of Nevada there are a couple big reasons why the tie might go to Harry Reid.

The first is that the polling in Nevada was the worst of any swing state in 2008 (well actually it turned out Nevada wasn't a swing state but everyone thought it was because the polling showed a close race.) And the polling was all off in the same direction- underestimating Barack Obama's margin of victory. Obama won the state by 12 points: our final poll had him up by only 4, Mason Dixon had him up by only 4, Rasmussen had him up by only 4, and CNN had him up by only 7. Some pollsters did do a better job- Suffolk showed a 10 point lead, Zogby an 11 point one, and AP a 12 point one.

So the precedent is there for pollsters- especially the ones who have been doing most of the polling for this year's race- to underestimate Democratic performance in the state. [...]

The second is that those below the radar in 2008 voters may now be included in pollsters' samples- I can only speak for what we do but we're calling folks who voted in the 2004 general, 2006 general, or 2008 general so we should have a lot of the people we missed last time in our samples this time. Still it strikes me as much more likely that the polls are systematically underestimating Harry Reid than the other way around.

The other reason the tie might go to Reid is that the polling in Nevada is assuming a much larger gap between Democratic and Republican turnout compared to 2008 than we're seeing most places. In our poll tomorrow the sample reports having voted for Barack Obama by only 2 points, compared to his actual 12 point victory in the state. Even with that big dropoff in turnout from Democrats the race is still very close- but if even half of that enthusiasm gap was chopped between now and November Reid would be in a very strong position. And we have seen indication already this cycle that Democratic interest perks up as election day gets closer.

I certainly think Angle can win by a small amount but if you asked me who has the better chance of winning this by 5 or 6 points I definitely think it's Reid.

Again, this is Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling, a very respectable polling outfit, admitting that his own poll may be missing quite a few Democratic voters here in Nevada. And I can attest, he may very well be right.

Don't believe me? Believe all the support I'm finding around "my 'hood" in Henderson!

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And take a look at these supposedly "unenthusiastic" Nevada Democrats getting out the vote!

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#NVDems working HARD yesterday to #GOTV for @DinaTitus & ... on Twitpic

This is the secret to our success, the secret that you don't hear about from the national media hyping Angle's out-of-state fundraising and generic ballot numbers all over the place.

And there's something else you don't see. You don't see the (lack of) quality of the Republicans' top candidates.

I mean, come on, Angle runs AWAY from the local press! She won't answer any voters' questions on anything, especially if one's not a hand-picked tea-nut.

That's why even prominent Nevada REPUBLICANS are supporting Harry Reid.

And again, I can tell you that this is no myth. I talk to them often, long time Republicans and Indpendents who often vote for Republicans have come to me and told me they're voting for Harry Reid and Dina Titus because they know these people are working hard to do what's best for Nevada.

Heck, even Joe Heck himself was caught flip-flopping yesterday on whether he will be voting for Reid or Angle!

Republican Congressional candidate Joe Heck appears to be having second thoughts about his support for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle.

When asked by a Nevada resident whether he plans to vote for Angle or Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Heck was quoted by Slate as saying: "I'm waiting to see all of the evidence before I make my choice."

That's very different from what Heck said before. He previously endorsed Angle.

In a speech at the Nevada Republican Convention, Heck urged Republicans to rally around Angle to “bring a new direction to Washington, D.C.” He called her work in the state Assembly "exemplary."

Heck also noted in a campaign email that "Team Heck is taking a leadership role in uniting the party."

Just like Sharron Angle, Joe Heck has been all over the place on all the issues while hiding from Nevada voters with real questions about what he intends to do on job creation, health care reform, housing, and so much more. Yesterday, we had a Congressional debate at the local synagogue here in Henderson. Watch for yourself how Heck flipped and flopped on so many issues.

Or if you can't sit through this much video, look at my handy, dandy condensed Twitter debate notes. ;-)

Basically, Joe Heck likes to tell teabaggers he's one of them and he's just as extreme right radical as Sharron Angle while he tells us he doesn't know if he'll even vote for Angle himself! Which one is it, Joe?

Heck told us last night he supports "infrastructure projects" to put people back to work, but he also said he opposed the very Recovery Act that included all those billions of dollars in infrastructure projects that are putting Nevada back to work. Which one is it, Joe?

Heck told us last night he supports some aspects of health care reform, but he's said many times before he wants to repeal the entire bill. Which one is it, Joe?

And Heck told us last night how important jobs are to him, but he's also said he doesn't think it's his job to create jobs. Which one is it, Joe?

Heck keeps saying all sorts of things out of different sides of his mouth. And while the tea-nuts may not care, a whole lot of voters do. They're looking for someone who provides real solutions, not another pretty face with nothing to offer but hot air.

And look who is providing real solutions.

Dina explained quite well last night how she's worked to bring jobs back to Southern Nevada, as well prepare us for the new clean, green economy of the future by investing in green collar jobs and good education. And it's not just at these debates. I see Dina Titus just about everywhere. She's meeting with constituents every time she's back here in the district. Even when Congress is in session, she's back here every weekend to meet with Nevadans.

And her office is always open to constituents who have questions about their health care. And constituents who need help negotiating with the banks to avoid foreclosure on their homes. And constituents who have all sorts of other issues.

Dina is the kind of representative that many Nevadans aren't used to, and that's a good thing. She listens to us the local voters. And she provides real answers, not hot air or prepared, scripted remarks directly from national party offices. The Beltway pundits may not care so much about that, but we the Nevada voters do.

So this is what the Beltway pundits are missing. They're missing me. They're missing my Republican neighbors who are fed up with typical politicians like Joe Heck and Sharron Angle, who say one thing but do something else entirely different. They're missing all my Democratic friends who they don't expect to vote, but are actually not just voting, but also volunteering to get out the vote! They're missing a whole lot, so don't be surprised if a whole lot of what they say about the elections here are proven wrong next month.

Take it from this local. ;-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sharron Angle and Joe Heck Can Run, But Can't Make Their Lies Go Away

Once again, Sharron Angle wants us to forget everything she said that she doesn't want to acknowledge any more. Once again, she's running away from her own words.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle on Saturday bashed “favor-buying pork” politicians, seemingly oblivious to the hypocrisy of her remarks given that she offered her own political “juice” as leverage in trying to persuade a third-party candidate to drop out of the race.

While talking about the health care reform bill that Congress passed this year, Angle said: “We don’t need some kind of favor-buying pork ... Harry Reid isn’t just another vote. He pushed it, he promoted it, he made the deals.”

Angle made the comment during a Las Vegas rally, billed as a free speech event intended to “clear up misconceptions,” but to which the press and supporters of other candidates were unwelcome.

I was spotted midway through the rally and was told it was a “closed event” but was allowed to remain.

Hundreds of Angle supporters crammed into the Blue Martini in Town Square — an ironic venue given Angle’s disapproval of alcohol — to hear their candidate answer questions from conservative radio host Heidi Harris, a supporter who called herself the “official defender of Sharron Angle.”

Although Angle answered more than two dozen questions about education, immigration, health care and Social Security, she was not asked about, nor did she make any reference to, a secretly-taped conversation she had with Tea Party of Nevada candidate Jon Scott Ashjian, in which she said that if he dropped out of the race and she were elected, she would use her influence for his benefit.

So according to Sharron, this never happened...

And this never happened...

And this never happened...

According to Sharron Angle, everything in my blog's archives doesn't actually exist. Hey, don't even click here! Sharron says she never said it. It's "personal responsibility for thee, NOT me!"

And "pastor problem"?

“Liberals have their own religion, but it contradicts the religious community and the people of faith,” he said.

“Isn’t that kind of convenient?” I asked. “If you say that liberal Christians are not real Christians …”

“No, I didn’t say liberal Christians, liberal politicians. Liberal politicians,” he said.

But despite his denial, he was disdainful in our conversations of some other Christian faiths, and his church lends out copies of DVDs that attack other Christian churches. In his talk with me, Pastor Reed had praise for only three denominations—Calvary Chapel, the Baptists and, with some caution, Catholicism.

One of the DVDs is titled Exposing the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Watchtower, Awake Organizations. Another title virtually reads the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) out of Christianity: Christianity or Mormonism?

The LDS church, in fact, pushes one of Pastor Reed’s buttons, and the fact that Harry Reid is a member seems to be only a part of the reason.

“His religion’s a cult,” Pastor Reed said. “The Christian community—all the Christians, theologians and scholars, all recognize that, that Mormonism is a cult. I have books in my library on cults, and it lists Mormonism right there with all these bizarre cults. Well, there must be a reason. I mean, here a member of a cult is one of the most powerful people in the United States. Doesn’t that alarm you? And his allegiance is to Salt Lake City. Something is up with that. Something’s weird. But nobody touches that. … Harry Reid’s allegiance is to Salt Lake City. The Mormon church is rich, powerful, they do illegal things. They do secretive things. They’ve got all this money. They own American businesses. There’s weirdness going on there. Churches are not multi-millionaire organizations like the Mormon church. You know, there’s some weirdness with that, but nobody questions it, nobody asks one question to Harry Reid and says, ‘Tell us about your faith. What does a Mormon believe?’ Ask him about the holy garments that he wears that protect him from evil. Isn’t that kooky? Ask him about getting his body parts anointed by oil. Isn’t that kooky? Ask him about when he goes to the temple and he gets baptized for dead people. Isn’t that kooky? Ask him about the hit squad of the Mormon church and why they need people to kill Mormons that go against them. Isn’t that controlling? Ask him how they shun people, then they get their family members to disown them and divorce them if they dare leave the Mormon church. Isn’t that cultish? I mean, I could go on and on. The Mormon church is a cult, and Harry Reid is a powerful person in a cult, and nobody even questions it.”

He suggested Reid has made “secret promises” to the LDS church

What pastor problem!

But in July 2008, as a candidate for state Senate, Angle included "music ministry, Sonrise Church" on a candidate questionnaire published by the Reno Gazette-Journal, listing it as one of three ways in which she was involved in the community. In the same survey, she also listed herself as a member of the Fellowship Community Church, also in Reno.

In an interview with the Sun, Reed said that Angle, a Southern Baptist, had been a member of his church for "over a dozen years" and for the past year has had "dual membership" in the two congregations. She attended his church as recently as a couple of months ago, he said. He attributed her recent absence to the busy campaign.

Can we believe anything she says these days? It's so hard to keep up with Sharron Angle and her many lies. I mean, it's almost as bad... As bad as Joe Heck's many lies about his own words!

He told us at Saturday's debate that he's a "big proponent of education", and he denied saying he ever wanted to abolish the Department of Education. Too bad for him that he's on record saying just that. The Department of Education is responsible for the block grants that help fund Nevada schools, and they distribute financial aid, like Pell Grants, to college students so people like me can go to college. So when Joe Heck comes to a community college to address us, he says he's a "big proponent of education", but when he talks to teabaggers he says he wants to slash schools to death.

Oh, wait. I guess he got his lines a little mixed up on Saturday. He did let it slip that he objected to Pell Grants being reformed to make financial aid more accessible to college students. So he's a "big proponent of education", but doesn't want people like me finishing school since we rely on those Pell Grants.


And if that isn't bad enough, he can't keep his story straight on health care. He made all these claims about health care reform "hurting small businesses", even though the legislation that passed excluded 96% of small businesses from employer mandates and provided $40 billion in tax credits to help small businesses cover their workers! He's previously pledged to "do everything possible to repeal this horrible bill", but now he says he doesn't want to "repeal the whole bill". What are we to believe?

And are you catching the resemblance yet?

Whoops, again. But then again, what can we expect from someone who shops around for the next higher office to run for, and tells all of us how "moderate" he is while he tells the teabaggers he's 100% with them?

Yet while Joe Heck flips and flops at every turn, Dina Titus is always consistent in what she tells us. She's out in public and providing answers on creating jobs, improving health care and public education, and working hard for all of Nevada's working families.

At the debate on Saturday, Dina provided real answers to education, health care, job creation, and much more. And even when I don't see eye to eye with her, I always know she's thinking through the process and working for the best policy solutions. And since I always have a soft spots for good policy wonks, I'll take her any time over some no good flip-flopper who tells me one thing and tells some "Tea Party" loons something completely different.

I guess that's why the highly respected paper in this town, The Las Vegas Sun, has endorsed Dina Titus. She can think for herself...

Heck has tried to paint Titus as a tax-and-spend liberal, but that isn’t the case. A National Journal review of lawmakers’ votes determined Titus to be a centrist. Titus has split with her party on several key issues, including additional funding for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. She initially opposed the health care bill, objecting to provisions that she said would hurt families and small business. She voted for it after getting those provisions changed.

Titus has been an outspoken advocate for her constituents, particularly homeowners hit hard by the economic crisis. She has worked diligently to marshal federal support.

And while Heck blindly follows the Washington, DC, GOP party line, Dina sticks up for us here in Nevada.

One of the most notable differences between Titus and Heck is their stances on Yucca Mountain, the proposed high-level nuclear waste dump 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Nevada’s opposition to Yucca Mountain over the years has been bipartisan and nearly unanimous among the state’s leaders. However, this year many GOP candidates in Nevada have softened their opposition as Republican leaders in Congress have disregarded safety and scientific problems with the plans. They have made clear their desire to dump at least 77,000 tons of deadly radioactive material in the state.

In an interview with the Sun’s editorial board, Heck refused to rule out Yucca Mountain as a waste dump, saying the process to approve it should “go to completion,” a view that puts him at odds with the rest of Nevada’s congressional delegation.

Meanwhile, Titus has taken a stand for Nevadans’ safety, steadfastly opposing Yucca Mountain.

The bottom line: Titus has worked hard for her constituents and been a great advocate for her district and Nevada. She is experienced, knowledgeable and has a track record of success. The Sun endorses Dina Titus.

And that's why I strongly support Dina. Even though I may occasionally disagree with this or that vote from her, I know she always tries to do what's best for Nevada. And she listens to us here in the district, and doesn't blindly follow any Congressional leader. That's the kind of representative Nevada needs in Washington... Not any more folks who tell us one thing and tell party leadership and right-wing extremists something else.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Former GOP First Lady Dema Guinn Endorses Harry Reid

The Former First Lady, the widow of Governor Kenny Guinn, has broken her silence on the US Senate race, reminded us all what's at stake here in Nevada, and defended the legacy of her late husband.

I want to thank so many people from across this state for the outpouring of support they have shown me and my family since Kenny’s passing. While it has been very difficult to adjust to a new life without him, my family and our many friendships have been a constant source of strength for me.

As many people know, with the loss of someone so close comes an almost daily reminder of things you wish you had said, but didn’t, or things you wish you had done, but for one reason or another never took the time to do. These new perspectives give you great resolve to stand up for things you may have once ignored or speak out on issues on which you may have remained silent in the past.

I love this state, and my husband loved this state. We dedicated our lives to public service in one way or another through our support of education, many charitable and community causes, and eventually in his holding public office. All of these efforts were our way of trying to make Nevada a better place to live and raise a family.

Kenny believed very strongly in education. He believed it was the single most important element to a successful life, vibrant state and strong economy. With better education came better jobs, and the ability for people of all economic circumstances, race, or handicap to take control of their lives and their future.

Given the challenges Nevada now faces in education and unemployment, our collective efforts in these areas and the choices we make on who will lead our state through these difficult times are more important than ever.

That is why I am supporting Senator Harry Reid for reelection.

Senator Reid’s unwavering support for vital education programs such as the Millennium Scholarship, together with his tireless efforts to create new jobs and protect Nevada businesses from the unprecedented challenges we have faced during these trying economic times earned my respect, and my vote.

Dema just threw down the gauntlet. And let's face it, she's right.

Education is the key to our future success. Better schools lead to the kind of well-educated workforce that Nevada needs to recruit more employers. We've had to learn the hard way that casinos and construction couldn't keep us on "Easy Street" forever. Better schools mean better jobs. Better schools mean a better economy.

And Harry Reid has fought hard for Nevada's schools and Nevada's kids!

But guess who hasn't? Remember who said that "the problem is only in Harry Reid's mind"?

And yet another Republican, another Nevada First Lady, has already been reminding us of Sharron Angle's destructive anti-education, anti-jobs agenda.

And here's Sharron Angle BOASTING about fighting Kenny Guinn on the famous 2003 budget. Guinn wanted to keep Nevada's schools open. Angle wanted to prove her wingnut "purity".

And that's why Bill Raggio, the State Senate REPUBLICAN leader, is also endorsing Reid.

“What is difficult to overlook is her record of being totally ineffective as a four-term assemblywomen, her inability or unwillingness to work with others, even within her own party, and her extreme positions on issues such as Medicare, social security, education, veterans affairs and many others.

“Some supporters tell me we need to support her because we need her vote in the U.S. Senate as a Republican and she ‘can't do much harm as a junior back bencher’! Since when should this be the criteria on how we select and vote for a U.S. Senator to represent our State?, I ask.

“I am a lifelong Republican and unlike Ms. Angle, I have never changed parties. I have always supported Jeffersonian principles of free enterprise, low taxes, limited government and fiscal responsibility. These were the same principles endorsed by every one of our Republican presidents, since the days of Lincoln, and including President Reagan, whom I knew personally, and who laid down the Republican 11th Commandment: Don't speak ill of other Republicans. In other words, quit calling dedicated people like former Governor Guinn and many other good Republicans RINO’s and other derogatory terms.

“Other than my inability to accept her extreme and often even radical ideas and positions, if there was any concern about my natural preference to endorse a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, it was removed altogether when Angle, in a secretly taped conversation, expressed her true feelings by slamming and disavowing the Republican Party saying it had ‘lost its standards and principles.’

“For all these reasons, I am unable to support Sharron Angle. We need someone in the U.S. Senate who can be effective, work with others, and best represent the interests of our State.

And this is something that Harry Reid is always striving for. That's why so many Republicans throughout Nevada have been endorsing Reid.

They know he's been working to bring more jobs here to Nevada. They know he's fought hard for Nevada schools. They know he's fought hard for Nevada's open spaces. They know he's the right fit for Nevada... And Sharron Angle is simply the wrong angle.

Is Reid perfect? Nope. Raggio thinks he's "too liberal" and too supportive of "Obama's socialist agenda". I think he's too conservative and should push President Obama and the Senate ConservaDems closer to what Democrats want and what Americans want. But you know what? It's not about either of us. It's about what's best for Nevada, and what's best for America. We need someone who will keep working for working Nevadans. We don't need another extremist ideologue who cares more about her personal agenda and her California lobbyist patrons than what's best for our state.