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Candidate foils alleged beer snatching

It’s tough to recall a more action-packed political news release than the one Rob Lauer dashed off last week.

Lauer, a candidate running against former state Sen. Joe Heck in the Republican primary that will determine who will challenge Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., described how he chased down and subdued a shoplifter at a grocery store Tuesday evening.

According to Lauer, he was heading home from work about 10 p.m. Tuesday when he stopped at a grocery store near Windmill Lane and Bermuda Road.

There, he says, he saw two store employees chasing a man alleged to have stolen a case of beer.

Then comes the action scene: "Rob, acting quickly, drove around, cut the robber off, got out of his car and captured the robber. Rob held him until Las Vegas Metro Police arrived minutes later taking the suspect into custody," the news release states.

Lauer is an Army veteran and military police reservist running on a conservative platform.

LOWDEN CAMP CRITICIZES REID’S RESEARCH

The campaign staff for Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., is digging deep into the past of potential opponents, if a recent search of health department records dating back to 1987 is any indication.

The Reid campaign has sought records of food safety violations at Santa Fe Station from 1990 to 2000, the Sahara from 1987 to 1995, the Hacienda from 1987 to 1995 and the Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall in Laughlin from 1993 to 2009, according to a source familiar with the requests.

The requests cover ownership of those properties by Republican Sue Lowden and her husband, Paul. Lowden is one of many Republicans vying for the chance to challenge Reid, an incumbent seeking his fifth consecutive six-year term.

Reid campaign manager Brandon Hall says the campaign, which expects to raise as much as $25 million to defend the seat, is just doing its homework.

"Our campaign conducts research on all our potential opponents," Hall said.

The characterization of the research by Robert Uithoven, campaign consultant to Lowden, was less benign.

"Out of political desperation, Harry Reid seeks to intimidate businesses and job providers, looking for any piece of dirt to use against his political opponents. It shows he’s tired, desperate, out-of-touch and obsessed with power," Uithoven said by e-mail.

REID, LOWDEN SPAR ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY

The above wasn’t the week’s only Reid-Lowden skirmish.

Reid’s campaign also called on Lowden to, "do her homework," before talking about alternative energy subsidies.

They quoted statements by Lowden during a television appearance on KVBC-TV, Channel 3.

"When you have an opportunity to go, say solar, in China, which, you know, they’re developing huge solar areas in China, and other places as well," Lowden is quoted. "And you’re getting terrific tax incentives, terrific tax breaks. You know, why aren’t we doing that? Why aren’t we doing that in our state?"

Reid’s folks followed with a reminder of tax credits and incentives Reid has supported for alternative energy development.

"Sue Lowden’s recognition that solar energy tax incentives will create thousands of jobs in Nevada is a great compliment to Senator Reid’s leadership on this issue," Hall said. "However, the fact that she doesn’t know Senator Reid has already passed these tax incentives is not a great compliment to her candidacy. Senator Reid has long felt that Nevada should be the nation’s clean energy leader and has made great strides to turn that vision into reality."

Uithoven shot back: "Sue Lowden believes we can do more to compete globally when it comes to energy production. She never suggested that we’ve done nothing and that our taxpayers haven’t already subsidized billions of dollars in renewable energy production. However, what good are tax credits for some when you plan to take more from everybody?"

BILL AIMS TO BOOST V.A. BURIAL ALLOWANCES

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., introduced a bill to increase burial and burial plot allowances paid through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

According to Berkley, the bill: increases the Department of Veterans Affairs plot allowance from $300 to $745 for veterans who are buried in a state veterans cemetery or a private cemetery; increases the burial allowance from $2,000 to $4,100 for veterans who die as a result of service-connected injuries; and increases the burial allowance from $300 to $1,270 for a veteran whose cause of death is not related to military service.

In addition to updating burial assistance benefit payments, Berkley introduced separate legislation to restore an allowance to purchase a gravestone or other funeral marker.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

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