Sharron Angle’s Pork Amnesia

Nevada senate candidate Sharron Angle.

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Over the weekend, Sharron Angle, Nevada’s conservative and divisive candidate for US Senate, illustrated once more her tenuous grip on reality and the truth. Angle held forth at a Las Vegas rally on Saturday, the Las Vegas Sun reported, bashing her opponent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, as a pork-peddling Beltway insider. Referring to Reid’s deal brokering and arm-twisting that helped to pass the health insurance reform bill earlier this year, she said, “We don’t need some kind of favor-buying pork…Harry Reid isn’t just another vote. He pushed it, he promoted it, he made the deals.”

Now, accusing Reid of carrying the water for big industry isn’t the kicker here; after all, Mother Jones‘ Josh Harkinson exposed Reid’s cozy ties with the gold mining industry, writing, “Reid’s loyalty to mining has increasingly put him at odds with other Democrats, who have sought to end more than a century of giveaways to the nation’s dirtiest industry.” The real issue is Angle’s cariacature of Reid as wedded to special interests and as the architect of inside dealing, when in fact Angle herself was recently exposed trying to broker a back room deal offering a rival access to Capitol Hill politicos.

A couple weeks ago, Angle was caught on tape quietly attempting to third-party Senate candidate Jon Scott Ashjian to endorse her campaign and drop out of the race. Angle’s campaign fears Ashjian could peel off votes that she would otherwise win. In exchange for Ashjian’s support, Angle offered Ashjian access to the biggest conservatives on Capitol Hill, the recording revealed. “Whatever juice I have, you have as well. You want to see (US Sen. Jim) DeMint (R-SC), I have juice with DeMint. I go to DC and say “I want to see Jim DeMint,’ he’s right there for me.”

And this from a woman who’s denounced backroom deals and the insider culture here in Washington. Angle’s own supporters ripped her for the offer: Nevada tea party activist Debbie Landis told the Sun, “I don’t know what she hoped to accomplish. I’m very distressed at the credibility that lying, duplicitous fraud has right now.”

Not that the Ashjian gaffe has dented Angle’s public backing. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Angle leads Reid by 4 percentage points. We’ll have to wait to see if her latest flip-flop hurts her in the race’s home stretch.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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