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November 27, 2014

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Anti-Reid campaign in Ely had passion, but no traction

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Steve Marcus / FILE

Jack Norcross put up signs disapproving of Senate Majority Harry Reid outside a vacant building he owned in Ely in 2009.

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Jack Norcross started with a sign outside a building in Ely he couldn’t sell or rent: “Elect Anyone But Reid.”

In 2009, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid killed a couple of coal-fired power plants in White Pine County. And Norcross, 66, a retired insurance broker, was angered by the loss of thousands of jobs those plants could have created.

A friend suggested adding an extra T — presumably for comic effect — and a wave of yard signs and bumper stickers was born.

The “Anyone Butt Reid” campaign came to symbolize the hatred for Reid felt by a certain segment of the state’s voters. But it also reflected a strain of Republican strategy in the U.S. Senate race — that anyone with a heartbeat could beat the wily Reid, whose unfavorable ratings hovered above 50 percent.

Oops.

In a phone interview Wednesday from his home in Ely, Norcross lamented Reid’s victory over Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

“The Republicans didn’t field the best candidate, or a candidate who could beat Harry Reid,” Norcross said. One of the other, more moderate Republican candidates in the primary could have won, he said. “The Tea Party coming out in the primary had a big influence on the election. Danny Tarkanian or Sue Lowden could’ve done better.”

Democrats exploited Angle’s conservative stands and statements about Social Security and Second Amendment remedies. They made this election a choice between candidates, not simply a referendum on Reid as Norcross and Republicans wanted.

Reid’s campaign reached into the primary, stoked the generous embers Lowden provided with comments about bartering chickens for health care, and influenced who Reid would face.

Still, no one will ever know if Lowden or Tarkanian or some other candidate, such as Rep. Dean Heller, would have fared any better than Angle.

“Those ‘Anybody Butt Reid’ people are probably the same ones who voted for Sharron,” said Robert Uithoven, who managed Lowden’s primary campaign. “But you have to earn your way into the general election, and Sharron Angle did.”

Like other Republicans, Uithoven was reluctant to play what-if on whether another Republican could have defeated Reid.

“There may be buyer’s remorse, but it doesn’t do any good to ... discuss it. Sharron Angle won the primary fair and square, won it convincingly,” he said. “She gave Harry Reid a bigger challenge than they anticipated.”

Norcross had no regrets about his one-man movement, fueled by donations from people who wanted yard signs and bumper stickers.

“Obviously, the majority of the voters in Nevada are satisfied with the status quo,” he said. “That’s the way the election goes. It’s a situation where the majority wins, and we go with the majority.”

As for whom Norcross supported in the Republican primary, he admitted that he played no role in picking Reid’s opponent. As it turns out, he’s a Democrat.

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  1. Why doesn't he ask Heck and Hell to help him out?

    The Republicans now control the House, so why hasn't he rented or sold his dumpy building?

    Retired? 66? Probably on Social Security and Medicare. Another person feeding at the government trough (like the Angles) complaining about Government.

  2. dipstick, get out of the cave you dwell in and look at a modern coal plant....... the drive isn't too far. If you can make it sixty miles outside of Vegas you to can see what lights the neon in Vegas.

    You are too filled with partisan rhetoric to see the forest for the trees.

    Unless the Liberals get out of the daylight energy business(solar) we are doomed. We need to continue with coal, nuclear and petro based energy generation until the network of solar, wind, steam and Liberal hot air can prove viable and plentiful enough to take over.

    Your buddy Harry has sold out Nevada in favor of his special interests. Union shills, big banks and wall street. Don't believe me...... wait for his financial disclosures.......unless you are so addled by your partisanship you can't digest Corporate names.

  3. @getalife

    How can you say that he sold out to union shills ?
    The power houses in Ely would have been 100% union.

  4. Fossil fueled power stations are major emitters of greenhouse gases (GHG) which according to the consensus of scientific organisations are a major contributor to the global warming observed over the last 100 years. Brown coal emits 3 times as much GHG as natural gas, black coal emits twice as much per unit of electric energy. Carbon capture and storage of emissions are not expected to be available on a commercial economically viable basis until 2025.

    Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel...

  5. Getalife - the plant in Moapa is the most polluting site in the State of Nevada. Why would anyone advocate for more of the same?

    Do your homework and look into other forms of energy and then come back and we can have a discussion where you won't look like a duffus.

  6. The money-grubbing right is worried sick that their grandkids won't be rich; but they could care less whether or not they can breathe.
    Go figure.

  7. mred - Norcross's complaint was that Ried shut down proposed plants that would have created jobs which in turn would have let him rent/sell his vacant property, which is probably draining his Social Security checks

  8. getalife was just passing some gas.

  9. That is the problem today, they run on "Anyone but Someone" then don't give reasons to elect the "Someone" these days.

    The American public buys into it because they are to lazy to learn the facts and deal with the issues.

    This needs to stop but it only will once the American public gets off their but, researches facts and VOTES!