Posts Tagged ‘nevada senate race’

Another casino mogul endorses Harry Reid.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. / The Palms hotel and casino mogul George Maloof announced he will endorse Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Nov. 2 election, the Associated Press reports.

Maloof’s endorsement comes as the latest in a string of gaming backers for the incumbent senator, who faces a neck-and-neck challenge from Republican rival Sharron Angle. Maloof joined Reid today at a business owner press conference. The media event dissatisfied Harry Reid protestors, who blame the Democratic leader for Nevada’s rapid declining tourism industry and overall workforce.

One protestor, a Las Vegas entrepreneur and father of two, told Your Politics News he’s been out of work since last December.

“I’m behind Sharron Angle, if only for a fresh face in Washington,” said Skip Chilton, who owned and operated an auto detail shop near McCarran International Airport. “Harry Reid hasn’t been for the little guy since the late Eighties.”

A Your Politics News Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed paperwork connecting Harry Reid to casino developer Steve Wynn, who built resorts including the Mirage, Treasure Island, and Bellagio. Documents show Wynn has contributed to Reid’s election campaigns since 1984, when the Democrat served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Wynn gave $20,000 to Harry Reid in Sept. 2009.  

Sharron Angle supporters point out that Reid’s loyalty to the gaming industry stems from his position as chair of Nevada’s gaming commission from 1977 to 1981. Harry Reid has since accepted contributions from MGM Mirage and Harrah’s Entertainment, among other casinos.


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Harry Reid attacks Sharron Angle in latest ad


RENO, Nev. / Tea Party supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle say they’re disgusted with incumbent Sen. Harry Reid’s latest campaign ad, which attacks Angle for saying “we really have spoiled our citizenry” through extended unemployment benefits.  

Reid’s 30-second advertisement features a jobless Nevada resident who resents the term “spoiled.” Angle apologized for her word choice during an interview last month. Since then her opponent has characterized Angle as a heartless, out-of-touch politician, says one supporter. 

“How does Harry Reid have any room to talk about the unemployed? He’s part of the reason my son hasn’t worked in over a year,” said Wanda Riggins, a mother of a laid-off emergency responder in Searchlight, Reid’s birthplace. 

The latest unemployment numbers put Nevada at the nation’s worst in job losses. The state’s jobless rate through the second quarter stands at 21.5 percent, which has left about 200,000 residents without work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, Harry Reid pushed through a $26 billion bill to help retain 300,000 teachers and police officers, but comes as little consolation to some of those collecting unemployment benefits. 

Dallas Gowdy, a small business owner forced to close his family restaurant in Reno earlier this year, said Reid’s bill “came way too late for the little guy. And here I thought Nevada had the most thriving economy in the country.” 

Gowdy has since thrown his support behind Angle, and believes Reid’s Republican challenger will bring some fresh leadership to the Senate. The general election will take place November 2.

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Steve Wynn's $20,000 contribution to Harry Reid in 2009


LAS VEGAS, Nev. / As part of its public requests for information that ties Sen. Harry Reid to questionable political players, Your Politics News submitted Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) paperwork for records to discover why the majority leader shows unbridled allegiance to his state’s gaming industry.   

Casino mogul Steve Wynn, who developed and built resorts including the Mirage, Treasure Island, and Bellagio, has contributed to Reid’s election campaigns for the last 25 years.  Wynn first gave to Reid in 1984 when the Democrat served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, campaign records show.   

In 2000 Wynn sold Mirage Resorts to MGM Grand Inc.  The sale created MGM Mirage, Reid’s biggest political donor with $153,900 in contributions since the beginning of the 2010 election cycle.  Last year Bloomberg News reported that Wynn expressed an interest in buying back some troubled MGM Mirage casinos.  And in Sept. 2009, Wynn made his largest single contribution to Harry Reid — $20,000.   

Harry Reid wants to win, and that means he needs Wynn,” said Graham Coyne, a media and political consultant based in Carson City. “His history with the gaming commission proves his dedication to bankrolling campaigns with casino cash.  And much of Nevada remains jobless all the while.”   

Reid chaired Nevada’s gaming commission from 1977 to 1981. He has served on the U.S. Senate since 1987, and will face GOP opponent Sharron Angle in November.   

Your Politics News filed the FOIA request to determine whether Reid violated campaign laws or promised political favors when he accepted contributions from MGM Mirage, as well as other gaming donors, including Harrah’s Entertainment and Boyd Gaming.

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LAS VEGAS, Nev. / YourPoliticsNews.com Tuesday filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all documents related to Sen. Harry Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund, a political action committee the majority leader founded in 1998 to help bankroll federal Democratic candidate campaigns.

The PAC’s 2010 expenditures reveal $441,750 contributed to Democrats as of August 20, public records show. Recipients include Sen. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA).

Public records also reveal Searchlight’s top donors this year include MGM Mirage, Jim Beam, and Microsoft. The securities and investment industry has given the PAC $52,000 this year, while gaming and casino contributions account for $35,000, according to OpenSecrets.org, a campaign contribution tracking website.

Your Politics News wants to know whether Sen. Reid or his family members received any gifts or favors from MGM Mirage, Jim Beam, and Microsoft and other contributors to his Searchlight Leadership Fund and whether he broke ethics rules by accepting them or circumvented or even broke election laws.

“PACs are certainly part of the lifeblood of politics, and that goes for both parties. But here you have a committee formed personally by Harry Reid. We want to know why he’s chosen certain candidates to back and, in turn, what their motivations are in the Senate and what favors he may have received in return,” Sid Bradley, executive editor of Your Politics News, said. “More often than not, committees like Searchlight are set up to simply buy votes.”

Your Politics News also wants to know if any of the candidates promised their votes on bills or any other political favors to receive a contribution from the Reid PAC.  While dealmaking is commonplace in politics, a quid pro quo is illegal.

Reid, who faces Republican challenger Sharron Angle in November, last year influenced Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) to support health care reform in exchange for Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, opponents argued.

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Harry Reid Don Williams polygraph

Former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) campaign manager Don Williams takes and passes polygraph.


LAS VEGAS, Nev. / In what was clearly a calculated political move intended to preempt what he expected would be a torrent of attacks on his own credibility, a former long-time campaign manager for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) conceded that he took a polygraph and planned to go public “sometime soon” with claims that his former boss took illegal cash from a brothel owner to fund his political campaign, YourPoliticsNews.com has learned.   

Your Politics News legally obtained the polygraph results, which show Donald Williams was truthful when he answered all questions regarding Reid’s campaign earnings and spending habits.   

In an exclusive interview with Your Politics News, Reid’s former campaign manager said that until the political website obtained the polygraph, the plan was to wait but that “I did not know exactly when to disclose to the world the results of the polygraph.”     

The test was administered by James Hannah of the Nevada-based Eye Agency Investigations LLC.  According to the company website, Hannah is a Backster School of Lie Detection graduate and an associate member of the American Polygraph Association. Hannah confirmed that Williams provided truthful answers to all questions.      

The explosive statements from the senator’s former right-hand man come during Reid’s statistical dead heat with Republican challenger Sharron Angle in Nevada’s U.S. Senate race.   

(Download the Don Williams-Harry Reid Polygraph)   

“If true, this is the smoking gun that Republicans have been praying to find and they will fire as often as possible,” says Sam Wood, a Republican strategist from Washington, D.C.  “This could prove to be devastating for Reid.”   

Williams claimed that on two occasions he delivered to Reid at least $10,000 in cash from Mustang Ranch owner Joe Conforte as early as 1970, during Reid’s lieutenant governor campaign. The lie detection test, dated May 30, confirms the veracity of Williams’ statements that Reid built part of his campaign war chest with his ties to Conforte.    

The Reid-Conforte relationship began when Reid asked his campaign manager to meet the brothel owner, Williams said. The Mustang Ranch operator was known in political circles as a tracker of Nevada’s races and generous donor.   

“Reid implored me to take this meeting because he did not want to be spotted huddling with Conforte. I agreed,” Williams said.   

The men discussed politics at a restaurant, until Conforte cut the meeting short and asked Williams to step outside. Conforte opened his car’s trunk to reveal a pile of absentee ballots. Each was marked for Reid, he told Williams. The brothel owner then directed the campaign manager to deliver a thick envelope to the politician.   

“I gave it to Reid the next day,” Williams said this week. “He opened it in front of me. It was full of hundred-dollar bills.”   

Reid won the election.   

No law prohibited Conforte from contributing to Reid, as long as he pledged the money toward his statewide office campaign and reported the amount. But Reid did neither, Williams said, when the young Democrat from Searchlight abandoned his gubernatorial race to run for U.S. Senate four years later. Reid spent the money on his federal office run in 1974, according to his former manager.   

“Reid pledged none of the funds would be co-mingled,” Williams said. “Reid lied.”   

Williams recalled when a panicked Reid phoned him and requested he meet with the brothel owner again. The evening ended with Williams helping Conforte count $10,000 in his double-wide trailer at the Mustang Ranch. Conforte had earmarked every dollar for Reid.   

Reid lost the election.   

Today, some 40 years later, Reid fights his toughest challenger for the Senate seat he’s held since 1987. Rasmussen Reports surveys from July showed 45 percent of Nevada voters favored Reid over Angle, who had 43 percent of voters’ early support. Forty-eight percent of voters shared a “Very Unfavorable” view of Reid, while 41 percent held the same view of Angle.   

Williams’ polygraph exam was administered using The Polyscore, an instrument developed by Johns Hopkins University of Applied Physics Laboratory.    

(Download the Don Williams-Harry Reid Polygraph)   

“Inevitably, my words will be questioned by political double talk [and] media opportunists whom are in Reid’s back pocket,” Williams stated.   

What remains unknown is how this revelation about the long-serving senator will resonate with voters.   

“To me this race is about credibility and honesty,” says Mary Stephenson from Carson City, Nev. “I don’t love everything about Angle but she is a woman and certainly not one of the good ole boys. That is more than enough to get my vote.”

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harry reid

YourPoliticsNews.com files FOIA to determine how much money Majority Leader Harry Reid received from banks while reforming Wall Street.

Washington, D.C. / The political website YourPoliticsNews.com today filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to determine the amount of campaign money Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) received from investment banks as he was debating and voting to reform Wall Street.

Even as President Obama singled out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) for meeting with Wall Street leaders in April, months earlier Sen. Reid held a fundraiser on Wall Street. 

The event took place in mid January at a New York City restaurant and was attended by executives from Goldman Sachs, the powerful investment bank accused of fraud. 

Reid raised approximately $37,000 at that event. 

But were there more fundraisers and additional money sent in?

“We know what Majority Leader Harry Reid acknowledges but we want to know what he’s not telling us,” says Sid Bradley, executive editor of YourPoliticsNews.com.  “It’s difficult to believe that someone can be tough on the very people he is accepting money from and we believe the public has a right to know this information.”

In May, Harry Reid publicly criticized Republicans for their alleged relationship with Wall Street.

“The Republicans are having difficulty determining how they’re going to continue making love to Wall Street,” Reid, the Senate majority leader, said in a press briefing.  His spokesman Jim Manley added: “What can I say — it’s true… Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed.”

That apparent double-talk does not sit well with voters.

“I believe this speaks to his character and makes me wonder whether Sen. Reid will do or say anything he needs to in order to get re-elected,” says Marilyn Jenkins, a married mother of two from Henderson, Nev.  “I find it even more troubling that he would criticize others of doing exactly what he is doing.  That’s really disgusting.”

The battle between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Republican challenger Sharron Angle is a dead heat, according to the latest poll.

 A Mason-Dixon survey conducted for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and KLAS-TV shows 43 percent of Nevada voters supporting Reid with 42 percent behind Sharron Angle.

Reid, the most powerful Democrat in the U.S. Senate who is running for his fifth term, has lost 7 points  since the previous Mason-Dixon poll conducted just two weeks ago.

Bradley says YourPoliticsNews.com filed the FOIA today with both Reid’s campaign and his Congressional office.

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