Nevada conservative activist Chuck Muth has started a partnership with Michigan activist Saul Anuzis to form a political action committee called Dump Reid PAC.
As the name suggests, the group's sole focus will be the defeat of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., when he is up for re-election in November 2010.
Dump Reid will solicit money from anti-Reid contributors outside Nevada with the hope of raising at least $5 million.
Reid supporters expect the incumbent to raise as much as $25 million, a prospect that didn't seem to sway Muth.
"Having $25 million doesn't worry me as long as the candidate running against him has at least ($5 million)," Muth said.
The Washington Times reported that because Dump Reid is aimed at a specific candidate, it will be limited to soliciting donations no greater than $2,500 per individual. The limit comes with the freedom to openly call for Reid's defeat, as opposed to an issue-oriented PAC that could take bigger donations but would be restricted from explicitly telling voters to support or defeat a specific candidate.
Reid spokesman Jon Summers also responded to the formation of the new PAC in an interview with the Washington Times: "It's not surprising that they are raising money from out-of-state interests because Nevadans know how important Sen. Reid has been for the state. Sen. Reid has protected the state from becoming the nation's nuclear dumping ground, secured hundreds of millions of dollars for the state's veterans hospital and is working to create good-paying jobs by making Nevada the national leader in clean energy," Summers told the newspaper.
Muth says the Dump Reid PAC, which will raise money independent of the official opposition campaign, is betting the race will be similar to the 2004 ouster of former Democratic Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, who was majority leader before Reid and lost a re-election battle to then-Rep. John Thune.
Dick Wadham, a Thune campaign consultant, told the Washington Times that Thune raised $16 million in total but just $1 million in South Dakota.
And Muth said Thune didn't emerge as a challenger to Daschle until January 2004, 11 months before the election.
But Thune was an established political figure who had waged a credible challenge to Daschle previously.
If the candidate who emerges to challenge Reid doesn't have strong credentials, contributions to Dump Reid PAC probably will be in vain, said Bob Stern of the Los Angeles-based Center for Governmental Studies.
That said, Stern thinks a credible candidate will emerge to challenge Reid.
"I'm sure there will be a significant opponent," Stern said.
Stern didn't say who might emerge, but Muth and other Reid detractors have said they would like Rep. Dean Heller to accept the challenge.
Heller hasn't committed to the cause.
"I think this is a tough year for Reid," Stern said. "But he has raised an awful lot of money and apparently so far scared away a lot of people."
On Friday, Danny Tarkanian, a former candidate for the state Senate and secretary of state, announced he would enter the Republican primary.
He joins former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, attorney and former Marine Chuck Kozak and investment banker John Chachas among the candidates who have indicated some form of interest.
FORECLOSURE SITE LAUNCHED
Losing your house but still have a computer? Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., wants to hear from you.
On Tuesday Titus launched a Web site seeking feedback from constituents who are facing foreclosure.
The Web site, https://forms.house.gov/titus/foreclos ureStopper-form.shtml, seeks information from people willing to share their experiences in staving off foreclosure.
Titus says the Web site coincides with the first monthly Service Performance Report from the Department of the Treasury, an effort to document how banks are working with homeowners to prevent foreclosures.
"It is important that we know which (loan) servicers are doing their part to help Nevada and which servicers are lagging," Titus said in a statement announcing the Web site's launch.
NAZI REFERENCE SPARKS REBUKE
The national debate over health care is generating some dark rhetoric, including analogies that conjure imagery of former dictator and mass murderer Adolf Hitler and his German Nazi party.
On Friday, the Anti-Defamation League pointed out instances in which opponents of proposed health care reform compared the reform drive to tactics practiced by Hitler.
The group specifically referenced a remark by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who said a health care logo created by President Barack Obama was "right out of Adolf Hitler's playbook."
Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement, "Americans should be able to disagree on the issues without coloring it with Nazi imagery and comparisons to Hitler. This is not where the debate should be at all."
Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-477-3861.