I Still Don't Know For Sure Who Beat Harry Reid Within An Inch Of His Life And Got Him To Retire But...
This probably isn't directly connected to Reid's beating but I got an e-mail yesterday from Derek Washington, who identified himself as the press secretary for Jesse Sbaih, the Nevada congressional candidate Reid, a notoriously corrupt sleazebag, tried driving out of the race.
A Muslim Democrat running for a U.S. House seat in Nevada says that-- in a private meeting last year-- Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) had encouraged him to end his campaign by saying, “a Muslim cannot win this race.”Now, back to the e-mail I got from Sbaih's campaign. They asked me to call if I was interested in interviewing him. I did-- and left a message. I haven't heard back yet. They appear to be going public because Reid is pulling all the crap on Sbaih that the Establishment DC types always pull on progressive candidates-- what Steve Israel does, what Zoe Lofgren does, what Chuck Schumer does, what Wasserman Schultz and Steny Hoyer do. Reid, Washington wrote, has "made repeated attempts to obstruct Jesse's campaign by calling staffers, prospective vendors, donors, unions, and national organizations telling them they were not to support Jesse in his congressional bid." Doesn't that sound familiar? Its exactly what Steny Hoyer did to try to drive Matt Cartwright out of his congressional run. It's exactly what Chuck Schumer is doing to Joe Sestak and Alan Grayson today.
“He said, ‘You should not run for this office,’” said Jesse Sbaih, an immigrant from Jordan who is now a trial lawyer. This race for the House, in a district that includes a swath of suburban Las Vegas, is his first run for political office.
A spokeswoman for Reid, however, denied that Reid had said those words... [S]he categorically denied that Reid had cited Sbaih’s religion as a reason he would not succeed.
“Senator Reid did not say that,” said Kristen Orthman, a spokeswoman in Reid’s Senate office. “Jesse Sbaih is a liar and that’s why he is going to lose.”
Sbaih’s assertion could shake up one of the most competitive House races in the country-- a race made possible, in a way, by Reid himself.
Reid is retiring from the Senate, after 30 years. Rep. Joe Heck (R), who holds the suburban Las Vegas seat now, is running to replace him. That has left the seat open: the Cook Political Report rates it as a “Republican toss-up,” a swing seat vital to both parties.
On the Republican side, several plausible candidates have already filed to run. On the Democratic side, however, the race was slow to start: late in the summer, Sbaih was the best-funded and best-known candidate who had declared.
Sbaih is an ally of Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), who is running, in part, on his own remarkable life story. Sbaih’s parents immigrated from Jordan to Virginia when he was 11, and he helped support the family by washing dishes in an Italian restaurant as a teen.
Now, Sbaih said, his run for office is a way to repay the country for the way it welcomed his family.
“I’ve always felt: The more America gave me, the more I wanted to give back,” Sbaih said in an interview with the Washington Post.
But, Sbaih said, he was rebuffed when he sought to gain Reid’s support.
First, he said, he met with a political consultant connected to Reid, Rebecca Lambe. At a coffee shop, Sbaih said, Lambe brought up his religion and his Arab heritage: “She said, basically, you’re gonna have a problem winning, as a Muslim, as an Arab.”
Lambe disputed that account in an email message to The Post on Monday.
“It’s not what I said,” Lambe said. “As we would with any candidate, we explored his background, profession, religion, the fact he’d never run before, stance on issues and limited support ...to more fully understand the path and potential attacks from the other side.”
Sbaih said he did not record that meeting with Lambe, or the one he had with Reid a few weeks later.
To bolster his account, Sbaih supplied both emails and text messages from the time, in which he tells another Reid ally that he is “profoundly disheartened and saddened that the Democratic Party is refusing to accept a candidate like me because of my religion and ethnicity.”
Sbaih is still in the House race, but now is facing competition from another Democrat: Jacky Rosen. Rosen, the president of a Las Vegas-area synagogue, is also making her first run for office.
She was recruited by Reid himself, according to Jon Ralston, Nevada’s best-known political reporter.
“She’s been a community leader for years here,” Orthman said, explaining why Reid had recruited a political novice, after criticizing Sbaih for his own lack of experience. “Jesse’s new to the scene.”
"Furthermore," they wrote to me, "after his August meeting with Senator Reid, the Senator's staff offered Jesse a presidential appointment with an obscure committee at a high rate of pay to try to force Jesse out of the state. Jesse would not accept that offer and has chosen to continue running in hopes of giving back to the people of his district."
Would Obama ever do anything like that? Umm... always. That's a common tactic they use. I just happened to mention it yesterday in a look back at the 2010 Pennsylvania primary when Obama offered Joe Sestak a job if he'd get out of the race against Arlen Specter. Voters are catching on to this Mafia-oriented approach to politics though. Cartwright kicked Hoyer's Blue Dog candidate's ass. Sestak beat Specter handily. And I had to laugh last week when I saw a poll of Florida voters that set up an interesting question: "The national Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has endorsed Congressman Patrick Murphy in the U.S. Senate primary. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has publicly called on Alan Grayson to drop out of the race. Does this make you more likely to support Patrick Murphy, more likely to support Alan Grayson, or does it not affect your preference in the race?
15% of those polled said it made them more likely to support Murphy but 24% said it made them more likely to support Grayson. And when respondents were asked at the end who they would vote for in the late August primary, 39% said Grayson and 23% said Murphy.
|Reid and Sbaih|