- The Washington Times - Monday, August 24, 2009

NEVADA

Reid trails rivals, according to poll

LAS VEGAS | A newspaper poll finds Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid faces formidable opposition next year when he seeks a fifth term.

A survey of 400 registered voters for the Las Vegas Review-Journal released Sunday paints the Democratic incumbent as an underdog when matched against either of two possible Republicans rivals in the election.

The poll, taken last week by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research Inc., shows Mr. Reid lagging by 11 percentage points against Danny Tarkanian. He had 49 percent to Mr. Reid’s 38 percent.

Mr. Tarkanian is a real estate professional and former University of Nevada at Las Vegas basketball player. He is the son of legendary college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.

A separate matchup gave Nevada Republican Chairman Sue Lowden 45 percent to Mr. Reid’s 40 percent. She has yet to commit herself to the race.

The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus five percentage points.

TERRORISM

2 senators urge probe of Scotland

The jubilant reception given the Lockerbie airplane bomber has set back U.S.-Libya relations and deserves to be followed with diplomatic consequences, two U.S. senators said Sunday.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said the hero’s welcome that greeted Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi in Libya last week was “a real setback for the anti-terrorist cause and takes our relations with Libya back to where they were for too long - a bad place.”

Mr. Lieberman also called for an investigation into Scotland’s decision to release the terminally ill al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds, amid reports that the action was part of a quid pro quo that would give British oil interests exploration rights in Libya.

“The suggestions that have followed … that there was an intermixing here of [al-Megrahi’s] fate with British interests and oil exploration in Libya are shocking,” Mr. Lieberman told CNN.

“I don’t want to believe they are true, but they are hanging so heavily in the air that I hope that our friends in Britain will convene an independent investigation of this action by the Scottish justice minister to release a mass murderer,” Mr. Lieberman said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, Maryland Democrat, speaking on the same CNN broadcast, said “consequences” should result from Libya’s handling of al-Megrahi’s return.

“I think it’s very serious, and I think there should be consequences,” said Mr. Cardin, also urging a probe of the Scottish government’s move.

HEALTH CARE

Ads aim to get Obama’s attention

A group opposed to President Obama’s health care proposals is planning an ad campaign to run locally while the first family vacations for the week in Martha’s Vineyard.

Conservatives for Patients’ Rights said more than $150,000 was spent on the television ads, which urge the president to abandon his proposal to include a government-run health insurance option. The ads will run in the Boston and Martha’s Vineyard markets, including spots that will air during the series between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox, Mr. Obama’s favorite baseball team.

Rick Scott, chairman of Conservatives for Patients’ Rights said: “While President Obama is vacationing in the surf at Martha’s Vineyard, Americans are growing increasingly anxious that the public option will raise costs, not lower them.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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