(Jim Clark) – In the last edition of the Bonanza liberal political commentator Ed Gurowitz inked a column headlined “Nevada cannot afford Sharron Angle”. To illustrate his point he cited accomplishments by incumbent Senator Harry Reid and implied that if elected Angle would be a very junior senator with no juice to “pork up” bills for Nevada.
Maintaining that “Reid has done a lot for Nevada” Ed wrote: “pick your issue – jobs (22,000 jobs at City Center in Las Vegas), Yucca Mountain, veterans’ issues, energy policy . . . “. Hmmm, let’s take a closer look.
In June, 2008 the Las Vegas Review Journal published a story about construction of the $8 billion Las Vegas CityCenter, a joint venture of the MGM Mirage and Dubai World, consisting of a 61 story, 4000 room hotel/casino, half a million square feet of commercial and 2,650 luxury residences priced from $500,000 to $21 million. The project employed 4,500 construction workers.
The article quoted the builder, Bob Hamrick, as saying: “Typically a project is 50 percent sold before building starts but we were out of the ground before we even started selling anything. That’s why we’re building all 18 million square feet at once.” Readers will recall that two months later the entire world’s economy came unhinged and banks stopped lending.
Now consider the propriety of the Senate Majority Leader, the guy who appoints the head of the Senate Banking Committee, calling CityCenter’s banks that fall urging them to throw good money after bad by making additional loans on a vacant megabuilding in the midst of an international financial panic.
Somehow the Reid machine has turned these facts into an allegation that the senator saved 22,000 jobs and Ed repeats the claim. The project is now a $13 billion (with a “b”) bankruptcy employing some 22,000 lawyers, most from out of state. A notable exception is Incline’s Dennis Haney whose law firm is in Las Vegas. He will be happy to tell you about it.
Yucca Mountain is not something I would cite as evidence of Reid “benefitting the state”.
Reid was first elected to the Senate in 1986 and was serving as Senate Majority Whip in 2002 when Yucca Mountain was approved by Congress. Reid did nothing to prevent the law’s passage but became very vocal in his condemnation of Yucca Mountain (a public relations sop to Las Vegas casino interests who fear it may affect tourism).
Regrettably, at a time when Nevadans desperately need jobs, Reid uses his influence to stymie the project which could be a profitable nuclear reprocessing plant. Instead it is right in there with the CityCenter project . . . billions invested and nothing happening.
Veterans? What can I say? I’m a veteran who belongs to a number of local and national veterans’ organizations and I don’t know any others who are supporting Harry Reid. Many in the military place Reid’s “This war is lost” comment in the same category as Tokyo Rose who was imprisoned for sedition.
Finally, energy policy. Readers will recall the proposed clean coal fired electrical plant recently proposed for northeast Nevada that Harry Reid killed with his influence on the legislature and his billboards saying “there is no clean coal”.
Sharron Angle is mounting a strong advertising campaign to refute all the propaganda the Reid machine flooded Nevada’s television markets with right after the Primary Election. As we approach the 2010 campaign season the public will learn the truth about her and her platform.
Reid has been around so long that no one has any questions about him except: “can we afford 6 more years of Harry?”
(Jim Clark is President of Republican Advocates, a vice chair of the Washoe County GOP and a member of the Nevada GOP Central Committee. He can be reached at email@example.com)