Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a "divisive" politician who has skirted into ethical gray areas during his rise to power, says Adam O'Neal, a reporter for RealClearPolitics.com.
"What a lot of people in Nevada have told me is that Reid is an extremely divisive figure in the state," O'Neal told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV.
"Half of the state, the Democratic Party, absolutely loves him . . . and the other half feel very, very strongly in the opposite way,'' he said Monday.
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O'Neal pointed to last month's news report that Reid's campaign had spent $31,000 dollars on jewelry from his granddaughter's company.
"That's seven times as much as he spent in the same category of gifts for donors . . . He spent seven times as much on his granddaughter alone than he did for all other vendors combined," O'Neal said.
"We're going to be keeping an eye out to see what the SEC eventually says about that, but what a lot of people in Nevada [said is] there is kind of a pattern here.
"He'll do something bold, something almost illegal or something where he's in an ethical gray area, there'll be some media fuss, he'll step back, and then a few months later or a couple years later another situation will arise."
For instance, O'Neal said, in 2001 Reid was criticized for lobbying on behalf of his son to become a city attorney, a full-time job that pays $200,000 dollars annually.
"His son hadn't met the qualifications . . . and there was some accusation of cronyism. He kind of stepped back from that, and now he's back in the news again, this time with him helping his granddaughter."
O'Neal said Reid has always identified himself as a boxer, which he once was.
"He's known to take a tough approach to politics and he's likened it to boxing himself many times," he said.
"So, the harsher rhetoric is something that's always been part of his political identity.''
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