Porter, Titus square off on energy policy at candidates forum

A matchup brewing for months between two congressional candidates supplied the opening salvos for a series of debates that pitted political rivals against each other Monday.

Republicans and Democrats vying for seats in Congress, the state Senate and the Clark County Commission squared off against each other at an event hosted by Congregation Ner Tamid. The debates took place in the theater of the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road.

Supporters of every camp packed the 400-seat auditorium and gathered in the lobby.

State Sen. Dina Titus, a Democrat, and Rep. Jon Porter, R-Nev., wasted little time airing their political differences, especially on energy.

Titus accused Porter of being a "rubber stamp for President Bush’s failed policies" and being in the oil companies’ pocket because of the donations he has taken.

"There’s no reason the oil companies should be making record profits — $40 billion — at a time when people are hurting," Titus said.

Energy problems call for more than giving massive tax breaks and incentives to oil companies, Titus said.

Porter suggested Titus was being hypocritical. He said she took thousands of dollars from Enron while the company was pushing up power prices.

Titus, he said, switched her stance on offshore drilling and now supports it.

"I’m glad my opponent decided to follow my suggestion to explore for energy," Porter said.

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