Tags: Tea Party | Election 2010 | sharron | angle | harry | reid

Sharron Angle Slams Harry Reid's 'Ritzy' Lifestyle

By    |   Tuesday, 19 October 2010 01:52 PM

With just two weeks remaining in the most closely watched race in the country, GOP challenger Sharron Angle is blasting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his luxurious quarters in Washington, D.C.: The Ritz-Carlton hotel.

On Monday, Angle released a TV spot charging Reid has been "living large in the D.C. Ritz-Carlton."

Reid lives in an apartment at the luxury hotel when Congress is in session, which may not go over well with voters in a state wracked by the nation's worst unemployment rate of 14.4 percent.

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Democratic pollster and Fox News commentator Douglas Schoen tells Newsmax that it appears the momentum is shifting to Angle.

"The election is a referendum on Reid," Schoen tells Newsmax, "and he is clearly losing. The momentum is clearly shifting to Angle. She won the debate, and the intensity is with Angle's voters."

The ads are part of Angle's ongoing effort in the closing days of the campaign to portray Reid as an out-of-touch Beltway fat cat without sympathy for voters' economic misery in Nevada.

On Tuesday, the National Republican Senatorial Committee began airing a separate ad that also brings up Reid's tony address.

The poll states that Reid has voted 300 times to increase taxes, and runs a brief clip of Reid protesting, "You know that I had nothing to do with these unemployment figures."

The narrator in the ad then states: "To him, it's a figure . . . maybe because Harry lives at the Ritz-Carlton, while thousands are losing their homes."

Expedia.com lists the D.C. Ritz-Carlton as one of eight five-star hotels in the Nation's Capital. According to the hotel's website, club-level rooms at the Ritz start at $500 a night. Guests in its deluxe guest rooms receive terry-cloth bathrobes and slippers, a fully stocked mini-bar, and a down comforter with duvet.

As The New York Times' The Caucus blog remarked Tuesday: "When he is in Washington, Mr. Reid lives in an apartment at the posh hotel. The optics of that would be bad for a politician at almost any time. But it’s especially unfortunate at a moment when Mr. Reid’s home state is ground zero for the housing and foreclosure crisis."

Reid's campaign released a statement on Tuesday countering that: “Harry Reid was born, raised, and still lives in Searchlight today. Period. Everyone in Nevada knows that, and no matter how hard Angle may try, she can’t take that away from him.”

Angle first made Reid's personal finances an issue in their debate last week, when she suggested he had turned a handsome profit while serving as a senator. "You came from Searchlight to the Senate with very little," she said. "Now you're one of the richest men in the U.S. Senate. On behalf of Nevada taxpayers, I'd like to know, we'd like to know, why did you become so wealthy on a government payroll?"

Reid called that a "low blow" and said he'd been a successful lawyer before  going to Washington. Reid's first House disclosure form filed nearly three decades ago shows his net worth as $1.1 million, according to journalist Dennis Myers of the Reno News-Review. In 2009, his net worth was estimated at between $3.1 and $6.7 million, primarily because of investments in real estate, according to Politico.com.

Polls suggest Angle's ads may be making inroads. A Rasmussen Reports survey on Monday showed Angle with a 50 percent to 47 percent lead over the No. 1 Democrat in the Senate. That compared with a 49-48 percent Angle lead just before the debate.

That poll, however, cast doubt on how many voters remain persuadable in the race. It showed only 3 percent of voters were either undecided (1 percent), or favored another candidate (2 percent).

When Newsmax asked veteran Las Vegas political journalist Jon Ralston whether Angle's latest ad campaign can make much of a difference, he replied: "Who knows? It plays into Reid as out of touch. But it's hard to see anyone being affected by much now."

That such a small fraction of likely voters haven't opted for either Reid or Angle yet suggests the electorate has hardened in its choices, baring a major stumble by one of the candidates.

Reid's camp was hoping Angle's faux pas at a recent event involving Hispanic high school students, in which she stated some of them look "a little more Asian" to her, could be just such an unforced error. Her spokesman later clarified that Angle was simply trying to make the point that the country is a melting pot with a diverse population.

The remark could be significant because Reid's fate may hinge on whether Hispanics, which represent Nevada's largest minority, turn out in large numbers.

In a political cycle that already has seen more than a few eyebrow-raising ads, a group called Latinos for Reform is running an ad in Nevada urging Hispanics to stay home on Election Day. The ad, which the Nevada Latino Chamber of Commerce has denounced, refers to Democrats' broken promises and betrayals.

"Don't vote this November," the ad urges in English and Spanish. "This is the only way to send them a clear message: You can no longer take us for granted. Don't vote."

That ad, by a group called Latinos for Reform, is being roundly criticized as an effort to suppress the Latino vote that is expected to favor Reid strongly.
Democrats countered with their own attack ad against Angle on Tuesday. It warns that a vote for her might lead to the phasing out of Social Security and Medicare.

No let-up is in sight when it comes to negative advertising in the key contest, as money continues to pour in.

Angle's campaign stunned political pros by raising $14.4 million in the third quarter. But she burned through the money rapidly, and the New York Times reports that through Sept. 30 Angle had $4.1 million left in her campaign account, compared with Reid's $4 million.

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With just two weeks remaining in the most closely watched race in the country, GOP challenger Sharron Angle is blasting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for his luxurious quarters in Washington, D.C.: The Ritz-Carlton hotel. On Monday, Angle released a TV spot charging...
Tuesday, 19 October 2010 01:52 PM
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