There are a number of reasons a senator might want to avoid the title of Majority Leader, and Harry Reid (D-NV) just found out about one of them.
In general, many avoid such leadership roles because it means you no longer get to worry about just your own vote – you have to worry about the votes of everyone in your own caucus, and manage conflicting intramural agendas – and that’s before you even begin to deal with your primary concern, the legislators across the aisle.
The position raises your profile, but it often comes with goat horns when being in the majority isn’t enough to get your agenda through.
And yet another problem – ask former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) – is that the title tends to paint a target on one’s back, and a new PAC is taking aim at it. The goal of the “Dump Reid PAC” is to raise enough money to buy radio and television time in Nevada to attack Reid, regardless of who his next Republican opponent turns out to be.
It is essentially a partnership between Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis and Nevada Republican Party Executive Director Chuck Muth. Anuzis will bring national fund-raising prowess developed in a run for RNC Chair to the table, and Muth will bring knowledge of grassroots politics in Nevada.
“Only Nevadans can defeat Harry Reid next year,” said Muth, “but so many of Nevada’s citizens are so afraid of retribution by Reid should they contribute to a challenger candidate that the only way to raise enough money to counter his expected $25 million re-election war-chest is to ask for financial help from outside the state to fund an independent effort. That’s where Saul comes in.”
RBR/TVBR observation: This is yet another situation in which the adage “no such thing as bad publicity” doesn’t really hold water. Reid is of course well aware of his prey status and has been accumulating a massive defensive warchest. But he figured to be a target of the general political PACs anyway, and certainly doesn’t need any PACs dedicated strictly to his political extinction.
But more money is good for broadcasters. And if this PAC is successful, every dollar it spends may well be doubled by a national Democratic organization in response.