Thursday, May 29, 2008 | 6:25 p.m.
State Sen. Dina Titus, who's challenging Rep. Jon Porter in Nevada's Third Congressional District, appeared at a gas station to tell the world gas prices are too high. She blamed Porter for voting for tax subsidies for oil and gas giants. That money should be devoted to renewable energy research, which, theoretically, could reduce energy costs by giving us cheaper energy supplies than we're currently getting from dwindling and unstable Middle East reserves.
As always, Titus was quite quotable: "While he just plays in the band, the rest of us fall farther and farther behind," she said, referring to Porter's hobby as a keyboardist in the Capitol Hill cover band, The Second Amendments.
She appeared with Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who heads up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They were on their way to a fundraiser.
The Titus-Porter race has already drawn plenty of national attention and money. Democrats think it's a pick-up opportunity given the registration numbers in the district: Democrats lead by more than 20,000 voters.
(Van Hollen is a real up-and-comer in Congress and had some interesting things to say about the state of U.S. politics, which we'll be sharing at a later date.)
Matt Leffingwell, a spokesman for Porter, responded to Titus: "The Democrat's key campaign pledge in 2006 was to lower the cost of gasoline. When the Democrats took control of Congress the price of gasoline in Nevada was $2.58 a gallon, today Nevadans are paying $3.94. Dina Titus is continuing the Democrat's habit of not offering solutions on how we can best bring relief to Nevadans at the pump."
To bring some perspective on the whole issue of gasoline prices, check out this Thomas Friedman column in Wednesday's Times.
Friedman argues that higher gas prices are a good thing. Many economists and environmentalists agree: High prices create incentives for investment in alternative energy, and incentives for more efficiency and conservation. High prices get people out of their cars and in public transit. High prices reduce profits of the tyrannical countries that rely on petro-dollars, and high prices reduce our balance of payments deficit to the rest of the world.