Reid, Angle disagree on terms; debate called off

Nevada voters won’t likely get a chance to see U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and his GOP rival Sharron Angle publicly debate in one of the most closely watched, high-stakes Senate races in the nation.

After two months of talks, the Nevada Broadcasters Association on Friday called off its proposed debate in October when the campaigns couldn’t agree on a date. Each side accused the other of causing the impasse and trying to avoid debates.

Angle insisted that the debate happen before early voting begins Oct. 16 in Nevada, but Reid’s campaign said the Senate still might be in session through mid-October and wanted a later date, according to Bob Fisher, president and CEO of the broadcasters association.

The association decided to propose an Oct. 21 debate to accommodate Reid, the majority leader who controls the Senate schedule, but Angle’s campaign refused to accept, Fisher said.

“It doesn’t look like it’s going to happen,” Fisher said. “We are very disappointed because we felt that this was something the voters really should have. They deserve it.”

Fisher said the decision to call off the debate “isn’t irreversible,” but the association is running out of time to arrange the live Las Vegas event for more than 50 TV and radio stations in Nevada.

The Angle campaign said the former Reno assemblywoman wanted to debate before voters start going to the ballot box. More than half of Nevada’s electorate takes advantage of early voting.

The proposed Oct. 21 debate would have come nearly half-way through the Oct. 16-29 early voting period. Election Day is Nov. 2. 

“Every voter deserves to see a fair and open debate prior to the start of voting,” Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy said. “Senator Reid’s own D.C. office sets the date for recess, and Senator Reid’s own D.C. office has scheduled the session to end before early voting begins. If the majority leader wanted to come back to his home state to debate, then he has the power to do so.”

Republicans also complained that Reid has on occasion traveled or shifted the Senate schedule so that he could attend fundraisers for his own campaign and for other Democrats.

But Reid campaign manager Brandon Hall said the majority leader expected the Senate to meet in overtime beyond a scheduled Oct. 8 adjournment date that he had announced “because Republicans in D.C. have engaged in unprecedented obstructionism this year,”

“Angle’s new D.C. handlers started using the arbitrary early vote deadline after it became clear Senator Reid might not be available, again indicating they’d prefer to keep their candidate muzzled, but don’t want Nevada voters to see their scheme,” Hall said in a statement.

The Reid campaign also noted that Angle debated during early voting in 2006 when she lost the Republican primary to Rep. Dean Heller.

From the night Angle won the June 8 primary, she has repeatedly challenged Reid to debate. But he outmaneuvered her by unilaterally accepting two, including the broadcasters’ nonpartisan forum that would have been moderated by Mitch Fox, the PBS host of “Nevada Week in Review.”

The other debate Reid agreed to was to be Oct. 19 in Reno, sponsored by Sunbelt Communications and the Las Vegas Sun with at least two of its journalists questioning the candidates along with a Northern Nevada reporter. The newspaper is published by Brian Greenspun, a vocal Reid supporter who has contributed to the senator’s campaign and the Democratic Party.

Angle refused the Sun-sponsored debate, saying it wasn’t a nonpartisan forum. And she suggested instead that a conservative talk show host such as Rusty Humphries moderate a debate instead — a forum the Reid campaign quickly rejected as biased.

The broadcasters association debate was widely viewed as the most neutral forum.

Fisher, the president, said he had negotiated separately with each side for a couple months.

Initially, Reid proposed holding the debate on a Saturday night, Fisher said, when TV viewership is low. Reid also proposed including all the Senate candidates, which would have precluded a face-off with Angle. Broadcasters rejected the idea, saying the other contenders didn’t meet qualifications as serious candidates. They include four nonpartisan candidates, one for the Independent American Party and Scott Ashjian of the Nevada Tea Party, which he helped form to get himself on the ballot.

After the Reid campaign agreed to a non-Saturday, one-on-one debate with Angle, his representatives said the senator’s participation couldn’t be guaranteed until the week of Oct. 18 because Congress could go into overtime before the last campaign break.

The broadcasters settled on Oct. 21 with Reid, and Fisher proposed the date to Angle’s campaign manager Terry Campbell, who responded with a letter making suggestions about format and proposing four alternate dates, all before early voting: Oct. 11, 13, 14 and 15.

Fisher said the date wasn’t negotiable. He didn’t reveal any format details included in the letter, but Angle talked in an AOL interview about how her campaign wanted the debate to go down.

“He said he would like to have his talking points available to him. We said no, we would like a microphone, no podium, let’s just talk,” Angle told AOL, referring to Reid.

“And if you’ll notice, Senator Reid always has written notes,” she added. “He doesn’t take anything that’s not choreographed or at least filtered before he takes questions. So that’s what we’re trying to do is negotiate some legitimate terms for the debate, and not have Harry Reid set the terms for the debate and play by his rules.”

Reid campaign manager Hall accused Angle of spreading “lies about disputes over micro-level details” and said no such format issues had been discussed with the Reid campaign.

Six years ago, Reid refused to participate in a debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with his GOP opponent Richard Ziser, whom Reid handily defeated by winning two-thirds of the vote.

In 1998, when Reid barely beat John Ensign –who now holds Nevada’s second Senate seat — the two traded charges of ducking debates after an American Association of Retired Persons forum fell apart when then-Rep. Ensign said he had to remain in Washington for an important House vote. The two men did debate several times in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Contact Laura Myers at or 702-387-2919.

Officer-involved shooting in Nye County
The Nye County Sheriff's Office gives information about a shooting in Pahrump on Thursday night after a man began firing shots outside of his home. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Law Enforcement Active Shooter Training Exercise
Multiple Las Vegas Valley law enforcement agencies held an active shooter drill at the Department of Public Safety’s Parole and Probation office on December 6, 2018. Officials set up the training exercise to include multiple active shooters, a barricaded suspect and multiple casualties. (Katelyn Newberg/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Public memorial service for Jerry Herbst
Archiving effort hits milestone at Clark County Museum
The Clark County Museum catalogs the final item from the bulk of Route 91 Harvest festival artifacts. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pearl Harbor survivor Edward Hall talks about his memories of Dec. 7, 1941
U.S. Army Corps Edward Hall, a 95-year-old survivor of Pearl Harbor talks about his memories of that horrific day. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Final Route 91 Harvest festival remembrance objects catalogued at Clark County Museum
The last of the more than 17,000 items left at the makeshift memorial near the Las Vegas sign after the Oct. 1 shootings have been catalogued at the Clark County Museum in Las Vegas. The final item was a black-and-white bumper sticker bearing "#VEGASSTRONG. An additional 200 items currently on display at the museum will be catalogued when the exhibit comes down. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dozier execution timeline
Scott Dozier was set to be executed July 11, 2018, at the Ely State Prison. Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez delayed the execution.
Grand Jury Indicts Constable for theft
A Clark County grand jury indicted Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell. A Las Vegas Review-Journal investigation prompted the criminal probe. The newspaper found Mitchell wrote himself thousands in checks, took out cash at ATMs and traveled on county funds. He faces four felony counts of theft and a county of public misconduct. Mitchell and his attorney could not be reached for comment.
93-year-old WWII veteran arrested during visit to VA hospital
Dr. S. Jay Hazan, 93, a World War II veteran, talks about his arrest during his visit to VA hospital on Friday, Nov. 30. (Erik Verduzco Las Vegas Review-Journal @Erik_Verduzco_
Pearl Harbor survivor struggles in her senior years
Winifred Kamen, 77, survived the attack on Pearl Harbor as an infant, works a 100 percent commission telemarketing job to make ends meet. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Metropolitan Briefing 18th street gang
Las Vegas Metropolitan briefs the media on the recent arrests made regarding the 18th street gang.
Man shot in Las Vegas traffic stop had knife, police say
Police said the man fatally shot by an officer during a traffic stop in downtown Las Vegas had a “homemade knife.” Demontry Floytra Boyd, 43, died Saturday at University Medical Center from multiple gunshot wounds after officer Paul Bruning, 48, shot him during a traffic stop. Bruning pulled Boyd over on suspicion of driving recklessly at 7:41 a.m. near Sunrise Avenue and 18th Street.
Catahoula dogs rescued from home in Moapa Valley
Catahoula dogs were brought to The Animal Foundation after being rescued from home in Moapa Valley.
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses in California wildfire
Intuitive Forager Kerry Clasby talks about losses she suffered in California's Woolsey Fire in Malibu in November. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benefit dinner for Kerry Clasby, the Intuitive Forager
Sonia El-Nawal of Rooster Boy Cafe in Las Vegas talks about having a benefit for Kerry Clasby, known as the Intuitive Forager, who suffered losses on her farm in California’s Woolsey Fire in Malibu. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former President George H.W. Bush dies at 94
Former President George H.W. Bush has died at the age of 94. He died Friday night in Houston, about eight months after the death of his wife, Barbara.
Las Vegans Celebrate Big Snowfall
Las Vegans celebrate big snowfall at Lee Canyon.
Exploring old mines for denim jeans and other vintage items
Caden Gould of Genoa, Nev. talks about his experiences looking for vintage denim jeans and other items in old mines and other places areas across Nevada and the west.
Officers share photo of dead gunman after Las Vegas shooting
A little over an hour after SWAT officers entered Stephen Paddock's suite at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas police officers far from the scene were already sharing cell phone photos of the dead Oct. 1 gunman.
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece
Frontier jet safely returns to Las Vegas after losing engine piece. (@FlightAlerts_)
Park Service plans ahead for lower lake levels
National Park Service releases new plans to maintain access to the water as Lake Mead continues to shrink.
Women claim abuse at Florence McClure Women's Correctional Facility
Current and ex-inmates, including Merry West, are suing Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Facility, claiming abuse and inadequate medical care. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Butte County Sheriff's Office Body Cam Footage
Bodycam video from Butte County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office Deputy Aaron Parmley, who was in Paradise November 8 helping with evacuations. (Butte County Sheriff's Office)
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 106
NDOT construction blasting along State Route 160, near Mt. Potosi Road, in Clark County as part of a $59 million, 6-mile-long highway widening project that began this summer. (Nevada Department of Transportation)
Car crashes into Papa Murphy's Pizza shop
A driver crashed a car into a western Las Vegas Valley pizza shop on Tuesday morning, police said. (Joe Stanhibel/Special to Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Low-lake-level pumping station nears completion
Barnard Construction and the Southern Nevada Water Authority give one last tour before the new low-lake-level pumping station is activated.
Trailer: Valley of Fires
Sultan’s Playroom from Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada
Make-A-Wish Southern Nevada’s Scott Rosenzweig talks about granting Sultan Bouras Souissi’s wish, and what went into building it. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jim Marsh brings historic replica of rural church to Amargosa Valley
Jim Marsh talks during the opening of the Chapel at Longstreet, a replica of an 1874 Catholic church built in the mining town of Belmont, Nev., at Marsh's Longstreet Casino in Amargosa Valley, Nev. Chase Stevens/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Livestock recycling Strip food waste
Las Vegas Livestock collects and recycles food from many Las Vegas Strip companies. (Nicole Raz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like