- - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NEVADA

Reid ad bashes Angle on jobless

LAS VEGAS | Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled another TV ad on Tuesday using the words of Republican rival Sharron Angle against her.

The ad released in Nevada features an unemployed Las Vegas woman denouncing Mrs. Angle’s comment that entitlement programs like unemployment benefits have “spoiled” citizens and made them dependent on government.

“I’m not spoiled, and I don’t want to be dependent on anybody,” the woman, identified as Debra Harding, says in the ad. “If Sharron Angle doesn’t get that, she should be out of work, not people like me.”

The ad is the latest from Mr. Reid calling Mrs. Angle too “extreme” on economic and social policies.

Mr. Reid, a powerful but unpopular incumbent seeking his fifth term, is in a tight race with Mrs. Angle, an unpolished “tea party” favorite.

A statewide poll last week put the two candidates in a statistical tie with 5 percent of voters undecided and the election nine weeks away.

Both are focusing on Nevada’s forlorn economy, where unemployment reached a record 14.3 percent in July, the highest in the country.

Mrs. Angle said in a May television interview that entitlements “spoiled our citizenry.”

She later said she meant government-assistance programs discourage some unemployed workers from seeking paid jobs.

Angle spokesman Jarrod Agen on Tuesday blamed Nevada’s economic troubles on Mr. Reid.

OHIO

Traficant has enough signatures to run

YOUNGSTOWN | An elections board in Ohio says a former congressman who served time in federal prison has enough valid signatures to run again for a U.S. House seat.

Director Tom McCabe says the Mahoning County board on Monday approved more than 30 disputed signatures to allow former Rep. Jim Traficant to make the November ballot in northeast Ohio’s 17th district.

Mr. Traficant represented the Youngstown area as a Democrat for nearly two decades before his 2002 conviction for corruption. He’s running as an independent.

Hundreds of signatures from four counties were disqualified in July. The secretary of state ordered a review by the board in Youngstown last week.

Elections officials in neighboring Trumbull County are expected to certify the total Wednesday.

Campaign coordinator Linda Kovachik says Traficant supporters overcame many hurdles and that she’s elated.

IOWA

Palin to raise money for Iowa GOP

DES MOINES | Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will headline the Iowa Republican Party’s biggest annual fundraiser, party officials announced Tuesday.

The appearance will give Mrs. Palin, often talked about as a possible 2012 presidential contender, a prominent political role in the state that launches the presidential nominating process.

The Sept. 17 speech at the annual Reagan Dinner in Des Moines will be the 2008 vice-presidential candidate’s first visit to Iowa since a brief stop in December during a book-signing tour.

“I know Iowa Republicans will be energized and motivated by Governor Palin to stand up and fight for these principles all the way to Election Day and beyond,” said Matt Strawn, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party.

Ed Failor Jr., head of Iowans for Tax Relief, said Mrs. Palin was doing the task most important to the party: raising money. Tickets for the dinner cost $100 each.

“She will make a lot of money,” Mr. Failor said. “That’s the biggest thing she can do is raise a lot of money.”

FED

Officials discussed further stimulus steps

Federal Reserve officials signaled at their August meeting that they would consider going beyond a modest program to purchase government debt if necessary to boost the economy.

Minutes of the Fed’s discussions at their Aug. 10 meeting show the central bank recognized that the economy could need further stimulus beyond the debt purchases. Those are intended to lower interest rates on a range of consumer loans.

The minutes did not spell out what new steps might be taken. But they do indicate that the officials focused attention on the modest move the Fed did take at its August meeting to invest the proceeds from its huge mortgage bond portfolio in Treasury securities.

TEXAS

House halts plans to shred records

AUSTIN | At the request of prosecutors, Texas House officials are halting plans to shred travel vouchers and receipts submitted by state legislators in 2005.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is reviewing taxpayer reimbursements collected by a north Texas lawmaker. She asked House officials to preserve records that were headed for the shredders on Wednesday as a new fiscal year begins.

The House only keeps five years’ worth of travel records, but officials are keeping them all now that a criminal probe is under way.

State Rep. Joe Driver, a Republican, admitted in a recent interview with the Associated Press that for years he has been collecting reimbursements from taxpayers for travel that he had already paid for using campaign money.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports