Reid Nemesis Questions Personal Expenses

Friday, 22 Oct 2010 03:29 PM

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Well, maybe Searchlight, Nev., just won’t leave the light on for its favorite son. Perhaps that’s why Harry Reid stays in Las Vegas so often. At any rate, the U.S. Senate majority leader’s sleepovers in Sin City are just another check on the list of grounds to vote against re-electing him, according to the independent committee calling itself 1001 Reasons to Vote Against Harry Reid.

Harry Reid, Sharron Angle, Nevada, SenateReid, who is trying to fend off a tough challenge from GOP candidate Sharron Angle, runs up per-diem expenses above $124,000, spent mostly in Las Vegas, the 1001 group says in a report issued Thursday.

“The Committee wishes to make clear that these expenditures, most notably his ‘per diem’ expenses are a concern because they are reimbursed by us, the American taxpayers,” the report notes. “The expenses we find troubling are those associated with his trips backs to Nevada, not official foreign travel.”

Committee spokeswoman Audrey Mullen wonders, "Senator Reid has residences in Nevada, why does he need to spend the night in Vegas? Sure, Searchlight is an hour away from Vegas, but why can't Senator Reid drive home or have a staffer drive him home?”

Maybe he’s puttin’ on the Ritz, like he does in D.C., where his Ritz-Carlton digs drew brickbats in an Angle ad this week.

Mullen persists with the home-state question: “If he isn't spending that money on hotel rooms, what is he spending it on?”

Although her question may be rhetorical, Politico noted a couple of interesting donations to Reid’s re-election effort: The MGM Mirage gave $50,000 to a new political committee attacking Angle. Not to be outdone, Harrah’s casino kicked in 75 grand.

Mullen also challenges Reid’s spending $184 for a clock radio, as well as saying, “At a time when many Nevadans are having a tough time making ends meet, how can Sen. Reid justify asking them to pay for a video display wall unit that costs $16,548? These taxpayer-reimbursed expenses are outrageous, but other items like the Dataline equipment, teleprompter equipment and voter registration tape expenses make you wonder whether Senator Reid is billing taxpayers for campaign-related expenses.”

The Vegas oddsmakers seem to be playing it close to the vest with the Reid-Angle race, but voter opinion polls give the GOP candidate a slight lead.

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