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Pathetic attacks

The Nevada Democratic Party wants to re-take control of the Nevada state Senate for the first time in 18 years.

Democrats chose to target two seats — those of GOP state Sens. Bob Beers of Las Vegas and Joe Heck of Henderson.

First step: Recruit two Democrats to run against them.

Introducing, in this corner for today’s tag team match, former water district employee Allison Copening in Mr. Beers’ Senate District 6, and — challenging Joe Heck of Henderson — former 30-year school district secretary-turned-administrator Shirley Breeden, who unsuccessfully sued the district in 1997 after she said a colleague made a coarse remark to her and her supervisor refused to do anything about it.

Now summer 2008 arrives and Ms. Copening and Ms. Breeden show up for the first debates and candidate forums of the season, at which point something becomes instantly obvious to all — including pundits who generally lean to the left:

“All sugar and spice but can’t tell you the first thing about state government,” said former Review-Journal political columnist Jon Ralston. “If vacuousness were an Olympic sport, we’d have had a couple of gold medal performances from Copening and Breeden during the Congregation Ner Tamid-sponsored debates.”

Echoed Steve Sebelius, editor of Las Vegas CityLife: “The worst performances we’ve ever seen in covering politics.” A Democratic disaster. What to do?

Ms. Copening, particularly, started turning down invitations to candidate forums. Instead, it soon became clear the new official Democratic strategy was to keep Ms. Copening largely out of sight, instead spending hundreds of thousands of dollars smearing Mr. Beers with signs and a planned series of large-scale, all-color mailers, hoping they could run up his “negatives” till voters would cast a vote for a Democrat they’ve never heard of.

And what mailers they are.

The Democratic smears now hitting mailboxes in the 6th District declare “Bob Beers Ran on Family Values and then took $10,000 in cash …. from the Nevada Porn Industry … Bob Beers is in bed with the sex industry,” etc.

You see, in 2006, when state Sen. Beers ran in the Republican primary for governor, a local businessman who owns an adult book store gave Mr. Beers a perfectly legal $10,000 campaign contribution. When Mr. Beers lost that primary, he returned $5,000 of that money.

Say what you want about Sen. Beers’ politics, he’s a perfectly normal middle-class Las Vegan, living in a perfectly normal middle-class house with the woman to whom he’s been married for 26 years (his Scoutmaster’s daughter, actually), putting two kids through the public schools.

“My idea of nightlife is watching ‘CSI,’ ” said Mr. Beers, perhaps the best friend taxpayers have in Carson City. “The real dirt on me is I play the banjo.”

In an era when Democrats shriek hysterically about largely imagined threats of Republican smears, whimpering about GOP ads about Barack Obama, this Democratic direct-mail campaign is embarrassing and pathetic.

Though it does, at least, distract attention from the fact that their candidates apparently can’t walk and chew gum at the same time — and certainly aren’t saying what they’d actually do if sent to Carson City, which is to raise taxes.

That is what they want to do, right? That’s why they want to get rid of Mr. Heck and Mr. Beers.

So why won’t they just say so?

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