(Mark Noonan) – Harry Reid was first elected to theUnited States Senate from Nevada in 1986. In 2010, he will be seeking his 5th term. Having spent most of his adult life in Politics, Reid is very much an “inside” man. He knows politics. He lives and breaths politics. In fact, so entirely political is Reid that he said not too long ago that everything he has done since his re-election in 2004 has been geared towards his re-election effort in 2010.
But what is politics to our Harry Reid? Is it about working for Nevada? Helping our State become as great as we can be?
It doesn’t seem so, at least from Reid’s actions. Politics, for Reid, seems to be about power and prestige.
Before politics, Reid was just another guy from Searchlight; after entering politics Harry Reid became a man of importance. Someone you’d better respect and pay attention to (and if you don’t, Reid will make sure you feel the heat). Take away the politics, and you take away Harry Reid’s reason for being. He’s nothing, in his own estimation (as far as may be determined), without his Senate seat.
Given what Reid has been doing to get elected and re-elected, it seems that nothing strikes fear in Reid other than the prospect of losing an election. And so, Reid seeks to make his seat as safe as possible. And how does he do this? With money.
Lots and lots of money.
In 2004, Reid ran against a weak challenger and still spent nearly $7.6 million on his campaign. In the 2010 campaign, Reid’s expenditures are already nearly $9.7 million, and the election is more than a year away. Reid has pledged to raise as much as $25 million for his campaign. That is a stunning sum.
How does one go about raising that kind of money? Well, Reid has found a way.
Between June 1st and 2nd of this year, the employees of Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman & Robb donated $16,400. What is so special about that? The fact that the company is a California law firm, one of a vast number of such enterprises which have decided that getting Reid re-elected is of vital importance.
Other examples: the employees of Qualcomm who donated $12,500 on June 2nd, as did the Gallo wine family which ponied up $7,600 on that same date – a total of $36,500 from three California entities in two days. Not bad, Senator.
In fact, California has become a happy hunting ground for Reid donations – far outpacing the level of donations Reid receives from Nevadans. One statistic is eye-opening: According to Open Secrets (where all this financial data is available), 73% of Reid’s campaign money comes from outside of Nevada. Nearly three out of four dollars! California leads the way, but people in Texas, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts have also taken a strong interest in Reid’s effort.
This begs the following questions: Who is paying for Reid? Why are they paying? Why are Californians shelling out big bucks for a man who will allegedly back Nevada interests? But, will he? How many Nevadans will have secured Harry Reid $36,500 in two days?
In the stinking sewer which is Washington, DC politics, Harry Reid serves as the exemplar of all that is wrong. Desperate to hold on to power, Reid is mortgaging himself to outside influences in order to retain his seat. Nevada has become a mere convenience for Reid – a place to be from, not a place to work for.
We need a Senator for Nevada, not one from Nevada.