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 the Santa Fe casino from 1990 to 2000, the Sahara from 1987 to 1995, the Hacienda from 1987 to 1995 and the Pioneer in Laughlin from 1993 to 2009, according to a source familiar with the requests.
The requests cover the 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.
"Senator Reid is using our taxpayers-funded, local Health Department to conduct opposition research on behalf of his campaign. 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.