Politics & Policy

Team Angle Makes Huge Ad Buy, Launches Two New Ads

The Sharron Angle campaign reportedly made a $1.5 million ad buy Wednesday (H/T: @RalstonFlash). The two new television ads are about to saturate the Nevada airwaves and focus on Harry Reid’s wealth contrasted with that of his struggling constituents.

“Public Servant”

 

“Harry vs. You”

 

 

Reid’s wealth has been estimated at somewhere between $3 and $6 million, and the ads will likely score political points.

 

But unlike many members of Congress, Harry Reid has actually lost wealth during many of his years in public office. A project done in 2007 by the Sunlight Foundation, a nonpartisan public interest group focusing on government transparency, calculated lawmakers’ net worth compared to when they first arrived in Washington.

The foundation calculated Reid’s personal wealth, based mainly in land and mining interests, at a net average of $5.4 million as of 1995. That amount had dropped to $3.3 million by 2006, the most recent year that numbers were available at the time the report was published.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers said at the time that the numbers were generally accurate. ”He sold most of the land he had to put each of his five kids through college — 100 semesters,” Summers said to the Las Vegas Review-Journal in explaining the decrease.

Sen. John Ensign’s wealth grew from $2.4 million when he was elected to the Senate in 2000 to $3.8 million in 2006.

The Sunlight Foundation calculated that, out of 535 congressional members, 333 showed wealth increases over the course of their careers and 232 were millionaires.

As for the lucrative land deal for which Reid did “nothing,” in 1998, Reid bought two parcels of land in the suburbs of Las Vegas. In 2001, Reid sold the land for an equivalent share of a limited liability company created by his friend and partner in the transaction Jay Brown. Reid did not disclose the sale in Congressional reports, and continued to list the land as a personal asset and pay property taxes on it.

When the parcels sold in 2004, Reid made $1.1 million on the deal and listed the transaction as a personal land sale. Reid’s name was not formally attached to Brown’s company in any way, so the transaction was questioned by some. In 2006, Reid announced that he would file a correction to his ethics form and also amend the reports to include two other small holdings that had been previously unreported.

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