Nevada Senate candidates debate who’s softer on child molesters
An already ugly neck-and-neck battle for Nevada’s US Senate seat has devolved into one of the most gruesome high-profile races in the November midterm elections.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and arch-conservative Sharron Angle have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at each other, and now they’re accusing each other of being soft on child molesters.
Angle fired the opening salvo last week in a televised ad attacking Reid for voting against a health reform amendment that would have banned sex offenders from purchasing Viagra. The GOP-sponsored amendment was timed in a way that, if approved, would have dramatically set back the bill’s passage.
“Reid actually voted to use taxpayer dollars to pay for Viagra for convicted child molesters and sex offenders,” charges the ad, which concludes: “What else could you ever need to know about Harry Reid?”
PolitiFact found Angle’s accusation to be “barely true.”
In response, Reid put out an ad of his own slamming Angle for voting against background checks for church and youth group volunteers, in 1999 while in the Nevada legislature.
“Sharron Angle voted to protect the privacy of sex offenders,” says a voice in the ad, who’s ostensibly a Las Vegas therapist for kids who suffer abuse.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the bill set aside funding to screen volunteers. The paper reported Angle was worried about “the possible invasion of privacy and liability issues included in the bill.”
Several recent polls have found Reid and Angle locked in a heated battle, neither leading outside the margin of error. Reid, the unpopular incumbent who has seen an early lead over his controversial opponent, has highlighted Angle’s outside-the-mainstream views and at times zealous rhetoric.
“It’s about 95%, if not 100%, negative,” said David Damore, a political scientist at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, of the race, speaking to the Los Angeles Times..