Byron Georgiou, the “other” Democratic candidate in the race for U.S. Senate next year, fired back after being slammed by an aide to U.S. Sen. Harry Reid in a story in the Las Vegas Sun this morning.
The piece raises ethical questions about Georgiou based on tax liens and court judgments he’s faced in his career as a lawyer, businessman and investor. The story was a sign that Reid — displeased that Rep. Shelley Berkley will have competition in her fight to win the seat from appointed U.S. Sen. Dean Heller next year — is ramping up the pressure to get Georgiou to bow out.
But if that was the intent, it’s having the opposite effect. Here’s what Georgiou had to say in his statement:
It is a reflection of how debased our politics have become that every day we see another series of falsehoods manufactured by my opponents, disseminated by a compliant media, simply because I have chosen not to capitulate to the dictates of Washington insiders who are desperate to deprive Nevada’s voters of a choice in next year’s Senate elections, the choice of an outsider, not beholden to Washington’s special interests, who will lend voice to people’s concerns as they attempt to shield their families from the consequences of Nevada’s worst in the nation record on unemployment, home foreclosures, personal bankruptcy filings, housing price declines, and underwater mortgages.
My experience on the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was invaluable, fortifying lessons I learned in a decade of private law practice protecting people’s pensions from fraud on Wall Street. We need to reform our financial system. The federal government seems to be more concerned with making financial firms more profitable than making sure the U.S. financial system works well for all Americans, with most of the federal bail-out money going right to the people who created the economic crisis.
Far from being intimidated, the false attacks aimed at my candidacy have only served to fortify my resolve to stand against the unholy alliance between Washington and Wall Street that wrecked our economy and far too many lives, and strengthened my commitment to run for the U.S. Senate and win.
Berkley already faces an uphill battle against Heller, who was appointed to the seat after former Sen. John Ensign resigned in the disgrace after an affair with a campaign aide. Having to spend money in a primary is something neither Berkley nor Reid wants.
The thing is, today’s story was undoubtedly a shot across the bow for Georgiou, which means the more pleasant inducements to get Georgiou out of the race were either unsuccessful or bypassed entirely. This little flap doesn’t look like it’s going to get nicer as we go forward.