It appears that a straight-up election between a lone Democrat and lone Republican, a 31,000-voter advantage and the influence of the debt ceiling debate and the tea party’s influence aren’t enough to make national Republicans sanguine about their chances in Congressional District 2. Hence, this attack on Kate Marshall by the National Republican Congressional Committee on behalf of Mark Amodei:
There’s a lot to pick apart here. First, the notion that Marshall was “gambling” taxpayer dollars is interesting, coming from Republicans. Marshall was doing what all state treasurers before her had done, which is “invest” the money on Wall Street. But Republicans — who apparently keep all their money in coffee cans buried in the back yard — think that investing is gambling. No wonder they’re not worried about defaulting on U.S. government obligations!
Second, Marshall had no idea that Wall Street, emboldened by the deregulation signed into law by her fellow Democrat Bill Clinton, were going to make billions in junk loans and crash the entire financial system, sparking the worst recession since the Great Depression. In fact, hardly anybody foresaw that happening, including Capitol Hill or then-President George W. Bush, who had to scramble to prevent global catastrophe with the much-derided Trouble Asset Relief Program.
Oh, and a technical point: Marshall’s campaign says in a statement the total value of money lost in the Lehman Bros. default is more like $25 million, not $50 million, as the ad indicates. That’s still not a good thing, but it’s also not something for which Marshall can really be blamed.
Third, the ad says Marshall increased her office budget by 33 percent, although she says she’s never spent the full amount allocated to her office and has returned more than $2 million in office expenses to the state’s general fund. That’s a lot of unpurchased paper clips.
Fourth, blaming Marshall for the dismal state of the state’s economy is disingenuous. Arguably, as a policy maker, former state senator Amodei had far more influence over things that might effect the state’s economy (spending, taxes, etc.) that Marshall ever had. Yes, that undercuts Marshall’s equally inflated claim of steering the state’s economy through tough times. But neither Marshall nor the NRCC can have it both ways.
Fifth, and perhaps worst, the video captures Marshall’s unfortunate tendency to scream her stump speech rather than simply deliver it. I’ve heard it live on many occasions, and it’s advisable to wear hearing protection when she’s introduced. That, and the photo of Marshall with President Barack Obama, may hurt her in the 2nd Congressional District far more than phantom claims of Marshall breaking the entire U.S. financial system.