New Reid ads divert attention from bad economy

It's not the economy, stupid.

Or at least that's the message U.S. Sen. Harry Reid is sending with his two newest campaign ads that focus on Yucca Mountain and domestic violence.

Reid is in a dead-heat race with Republican Sharron Angle, who has been blaming the Democratic incumbent for the sorry state of Nevada's economy.

The economy is the No. 1 issue for Nevada voters as the state suffers record-high unemployment, home foreclosure and bankruptcy rates.

And Angle has hit Reid hard, directly slamming him in a recent ad that suggests Reid and Democratic policies have hurt and not helped the economy.

Reid countered with his own ad last week, blaming the Bush administration, Wall Street and high oil prices for the economic hard times.

But with polls showing that voters blame Reid and the Obama administration more than Bush and Republicans, Reid seems to be trying to change the subject.

In a new TV ad out Monday, the Reid campaign criticizes Angle for voting against a bill in 2001 that would have allowed police to enforce domestic violence restraining orders across state lines.

The bill passed 31-9 with Angle, then a Reno assemblywoman, joining her fellow Republicans in rejecting the measure.

The Republicans in the Assembly voted no because they worried it would put police in a position of having to determine whether a restraining order from another state was valid or not, according to hearing records.

"We thought it would be very difficult for law enforcement to do its job," said Bob Beers, a former Las Vegas assemblyman who also voted no.

Still, police agencies fought for the bill which became law. (The Senate unanimously approved it.)

Kyle Lopez, a Las Vegas Metro police officer in Reid's new ad, said the law prevented Nevada from becoming a safe haven for domestic abusers.

"Sharron Angle sided with the abusers and not the abused," says Lopez, a member of the police unions that support Reid.

In a separate TV spot, the Reid campaign on Friday released an ad criticizing Angle for suggesting Yucca Mountain be developed into a nuclear fuel reprocessing site. Reid, citing safety concerns, has for years blocked the federal government from shipping the nation's nuclear waste to the Yucca site, about 100 miles from Las Vegas. But Angle and some other Republicans argue that it's time to look into developing the site and creating thousands of jobs by reprocessing waste from the nation's nuclear power facilities.