A new ad from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rory Reid (below) seeks to tie his Republican opponent Brian Sandoval, although Reid has plenty of his own lobbying ties.
The ad opens with the camera moving along a barren streetscape, a plaintive tune and Reid voiceover saying: "Nevada for years we’ve been ripped off and dragged down."
It continues with images of forlorn-looking people and Reid saying, "Many of you can’t find a job, afford your mortgage and pay your electric bills."
It cuts to Reid saying, "And I’m angry because the big banks and other powerful interests have always gotten their way. They crushed our economy and now they’ve recruited Brian Sandoval to run for governor."
He goes on, "They’ll just keep holding Brian Sandoval’s hand, but I’ll hold them accountable. This is our state, not the special interests. And I’ll be your governor, not theirs."
Reid is seeking to sow doubts about Sandoval in order to gain momentum in a race that has favored Sandoval from the beginning, according to statewide polling data.
It suggests Sandoval, whose campaign advisers include lobbyists Pete Ernaut and Greg Ferraro, is more interested in returning favors than helping citizens. Sandoval also works for a powerful legal and lobbying firm, Jones Vargas, in Reno.
But the ad also opens the door to criticism of Reid, who as a lawyer and shareholder at Lionel, Sawyer and Collins, is part of a powerful legal and lobbying firm that represents many of the most entrenched interests in the state.
Shortly after Reid launched the ad, Sandoval’s campaign sent an e-mail detailing Reid’s lobbying connections. On the list they included Reid’s ties to Democratic lobbyist Dan Hart as well as a quote from Reid in 2001 saying, "I don’t think (being a lobbyist) presents a problem." The Reid quote continued: "I believe in the clients I represent. I will do what I can to help the party, and I believe in the issues I am lobbying on. Lobbyists are part of the process."
The ad is part of Reid’s effort to turn up the heat on Sandoval who, as the front-runner, has been reluctant to engage in the race in order to avoid giving Reid any openings.