Posts Tagged ‘reid searchlight’

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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