Reid distances himself from group attacking Lowden

U.S. Sen. Harry Reid on Wednesday distanced himself from a Democratic Party front group running ads against Republican Sue Lowden, who accused the incumbent of letting his allies attack her to ensure she loses the GOP primary to Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle.

"I, of course, have no relationship with any PAC that's running ads, period," Reid said of the Patriotic Majority Political Action Committee commercials. "So I don't know about that spot at all."

Reid's comments came in response to a question as he cast his ballot at the Clark County Government Building during the early voting period that ends Friday, four days before Tuesday's primary.

The Senate majority leader faces little real opposition in the Democratic primary, but the GOP contest is too close to call with Lowden and Angle in a dead heat, followed by Danny Tarkanian.

In the new TV ad by the Patriotic Majority, which is run by former Reid staffer Craig Varoga, Lowden is slammed for voting as a state senator in the early 1990s for taxes and fees, including a $100 charge for non-combat veterans to be buried in veterans cemeteries.

"Sue's record on taxes is out of touch and outrageous," says the 30-second spot.

The Patriotic Majority's first anti-Lowden ad in May was devastating, making fun of her for saying people could barter for health care and for noting people gave doctors chickens in the old days.

Lowden's gaffe partly cost the former state Republican Party chief the GOP front-runner position.

This time, Lowden fired back immediately after the ad went up. She accused Reid of trying to take her out of the Republican running because he's afraid she'll be a stronger general election opponent than Angle, a staunch conservative who fought taxes and excess spending as a Reno assemblywoman.

"I find it desperate and pathetic that Harry Reid and his liberal allies have attacked me," Lowden said in a conference call with reporters.

She said she backed the proposed $100 fee for non-combat veterans, which failed to pass, because she thought the money was needed to give the burial places "the care they deserved."

Going on the offensive, Lowden smacked Reid for once saying the Iraq war "was lost," remarks the GOP has vilified in the past and that his opponents bring up to bruise his pro-military record.

"Harry Reid has become a homegrown enemy of our troops and our families," Lowden said. 'Harry Reid has turned his back on U.S. soldiers just as he turned his back on Nevada."

Reid dismissed Lowden's latest line of attack and said he wasn't worried about attempts by his Republican foes to criticize him in a concerted effort to block his re-election to a fifth term.

"They have been running ads against me in the state of Nevada for more than a year," Reid said when asked if he was worried about being in the GOP cross hairs.

As for his record on veterans issues, Reid noted several of his accomplishments, bringing home $100 million in funding for various facilities in Nevada this year alone.

"So my record with the military is one that I'm very proud of," Reid said.

Contact Laura Myers at or 702-387-2919.