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January 25, 2015

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Senate candidate forum ends with scuffle in crowd


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Attendees listen to remarks from Sharron Angle during a Senate candidate forum with Sen. Harry Reid on Thursday at Faith Lutheran High School.

Candidate Forum Scuffle

Kelly Tanaka, center top, tries to get by an unidentified man at the end of a Senate candidate forum for Sharon Angle and Sen. Harry Reid on Thursday at Faith Lutheran High School. The man allegedly tried to push Tanaka over the seat in front of him sparking a scuffle in which the man punched Kay Mehta. Launch slideshow »

Reid-Angle Candidate Forum

A supporter of Senator Harry Reid applauds after Reid's taped remarks during a Senate candidate forum for Reid and Sharron Angle at Faith Lutheran High School Thursday, September 23, 2010. Launch slideshow »

Sun Coverage

If Sharron Angle thought a forum hosted by Christian groups would provide her with a friendly audience, she was wrong.

The Republican U.S. Senate candidate got booed, heckled, mocked and interrupted during an hour-long question-and-answer session at Faith Lutheran Jr./Sr. High School in Las Vegas.

So did Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. But he wasn’t there to hear it.

Reid was in Washington, D.C., because Congress is in session. He taped answers to questions asked by moderator Mitch Fox weeks ago and appeared in video on two jumbo screens hanging above the stage.

A fight among audience members broke out toward the end of the forum as Reid supporters tried to leave while Angle was still speaking.

Kelly Tanaka said an unidentified man pushed her over and punched her friend Thursday after the forum. The man was detained by school officials.

The 27-year-old Tanaka said the fight occurred because she walked past the man, not because she supports Reid and he backs Angle.

On the issues, neither Reid nor Angle’s answers to the six questions about the economy and small business were surprising.

Reid touted his record of saving jobs and promised to create more. He highlighted his efforts to make Nevada a renewable energy leader and stressed the importance of tourism. Angle vowed to cut taxes, blasted what she called a government blinded by “the fog of taxation and regulation” and promised to “reclaim education for Nevada.”

Both candidates easily controlled their individual conversations with Fox in what was not a true debate format. Each relied heavily on campaign talking points and told personal stories of the hardships they’ve witnessed and the people they’ve helped.

What was far more surprising was the passion Reid and Angle stirred in the crowd of about 800 gathered to listen.

The audience, seemingly split in their loyalties, drowned out both candidates with competing jeers and applause. Pleas for decorum by organizers were ignored.

The video-version of Reid remained unfazed as audience members hissed at him and mocked his claim that “in three years, everyone will have health insurance like I do.”

But Angle looked nervous and flustered by the rowdy crowd. She stumbled on her words and looked down at the stage. Still, she smiled through the awkwardness.

Among the comments that garnered Angle the biggest response — mostly negative — were advocating building two coal-fired plants in Ely, encouraging more lithium mining in Nevada and promoting the state’s potential for nuclear energy.

Angle earned the biggest cheers when she said there’s nothing wrong with the health care system.

“We have the finest health care system in the world,” Angle said, noting that the problem is the cost, which “Obamacare” doesn’t address.

Security at the school was high. Guards checked women’s purses and turned people with campaign signs away.

Posters on nearly every door stated that cameras and video equipment were not permitted. Giant screens warned, “NO questions from the audience or the media allowed.”

“Wow, it’s a debate. That’s a lot of security,” said former Republican Gov. Robert List, who attended the event.

As the forum ended and Angle turned to leave the stage, a woman approached her to ask why she wants to limit help for people with autism. The Reid campaign this week released video of Angle in which she appears to criticize a Nevada mandate that requires insurance companies to cover treatment for autism.

Angle ignored the question. Her handlers had warned that she would not be speaking with anyone after the event. They had to whisk her away to catch a flight to Reno for a morning fundraiser.

Angle looked past the woman, waved to the crowd one last time and walked away.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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  1. The threat of violence and lack of respect for personal opinion are exactly why I no longer post comments to any newspaper in my real name. I am a retired professional, a small business owner, an atheist, a fiscal conservative, a straight supporter of gay marriage and service in our military, a taxpayer and a believer in our Consitution as a living, breathing concept. There is no place for me in either of the two major political parties. This is not the all-encompassing America I grew up in. This is not the country I love with all my heart. What has happened to us?

  2. In God's own House...
    With His hand-picked candidate, awaiting her coronation; The stage was set, the curtain rose, and...then she had to SPEAK! Oh, the horror!!!

    Between the Autism remarks, the "let's get rid of Maternity Leave, because I ain't havin' no more kids" rhetoric, and this UNMITIGATED DISASTER up at the church tonight, it has been another WILD & WACKY DAY in the campaign of Audacious Angle!

  3. "Among the comments that garnered Angle the biggest response -- mostly negative -- were advocating building two coal-fired plants in Ely, encouraging more lithium mining in Nevada and promoting the state's potential for nuclear energy."

    Will someone please give me a rational argument why we should not promote those activities?!?

    Even if I grant that coal fired power plants will contribute to climate change in a negative way, how can anyone possibly be opposed the mining of lithium when that is the key component in almost every "green" car battery? (Not to mention the meds that some other commenters might be on. Okay, I kid because I love, as Bill Maher would say.)

    By thw Way, LVLady1, I think you have an extremely rational view. I wish I had an answer to your question.

  4. Sharron Angle craves bringing nuclear waste to an area 90 miles out of Las Vegas. Another example of a Northerner tried to "dump" on the south. She won't have to live near it, and her insular N. Nevada economy won't be affected by the drop of tourism because of it. Overall, its part of Sharron's plan to get rid of gambling in Nevada because its against her religion. Then the whole state can go down the tubes, but she will feel better that she stood by her so-called principals. She's anti-gaming, anti-drinking, anti-everything that makes Nevada special and will allows us to come back around. Getting jobs isn't her job, she says. No, her job is doing her perception of her Lord's work which is making Nevada her church and then ascending to Heaven! This woman is a menace to the hard working, true Nevadans who realize we have something to be proud of in our State... and that is true Freedom. How in the world can any Freedom lover support a candidate who wants to make us accede to her lifestyle. Down with Angle.

  5. Gunslinger & lericgoodman...
    Well said!

  6. It is great that people care to attend a forum and care enough to get worked up about the candidates and the issues. Nothing wrong with a little spirited discussion and debates, but fights are not the what we ought to be about. We have to work on maintaining civility.

    As for Harry good to see he take time to video in. He is in DC working hard for his masters: the banks, the lobbyists and other special interests.

    Here is a list of the 4 largest categories of donors to Harry's campaign.

    Harry is the Party of Yes! (Independent as Nevada)

    Sector/Total Contribution

    Communications/Electronics $1,050,001
    Finance, Insurance & Real Estate $2,949,438
    Health $1,561,075
    Lawyers & Lobbyists $3,670,080
    Misc Business $2,185,012
    Labor $417,950
    Ideological/Single-Issue $1,017,064
    Other $855,860

  7. Well said LVLady1.

  8. It is sad that we can't have honest disagreement and discuss the issues without name calling and violence - on both sides.

  9. mandated free coverage for autistic children is one of the reasons why health insurance in Nevada is so expensive.

    If you want to help autistic children, give them your own money. Don't force other Nevadans who have their own problems to pay more for health insurance when it is already too high.

    Other than that, there are a lot of rude and inconsiderate people. I think that as we march toward larger and larger government the fist fights will only get bigger.

  10. There are strong feelings on both sides about our choice for US Senator. But for me, the choice is quite clear. I can vote for someone who wants to rescue my beloved country from those who are destroying it, or I can be an ACCOMPLICE to the destruction and vote for the candidate who is at the throttle of the destruction train. If Reid gets re-elected, those who voted for him will be complicit in his malfeasance of his office and his destruction of our Constitution.

  11. Let me remind the memory-challenged MarketYou on how the economy cratered:

    * Bush takes oath of office Jan 20 2001, the S&P500 closed at 1343.

    * Bush's last day in office (Jan 20 2009), the S&P500 closed at 805. That represents a 40 PERCENT LOSS in the market that Sharron Angle would use as the basis for a privatized Social Security.

    * Q1 2008 GDP: NEGATIVE 0.7% (i.e., the US economy SHRANK 0.7% in the first quarter of 2008).

    * Q2 2008 GDP: up 0.6% (that would mark the last miniscule quarter of GDP growth of Bush's tenure).

    * Q3 2008 GDP: NEGATIVE 4%.

    * Q4 2008 GDP: NEGATIVE 6.8%

    * Q1 2009 GDP: NEGATIVE 4.9%

    Here's a chart that graphically illustrates the Bush Administration driving the economy off a cliff and subsequent improvement with Obama's leadership:

    But, hey, go ahead, ignore the FACTS, listen to bogus Tea Party SHILLS like MarketYou, and vote for Sharron Angle. When the fragile economy collapses again with more inept Republican "leadership", I wish us all lots of luck, because we're going to need it!!

  12. I wish we could hear liberals contribute something constructive and relevant to the debate. Unfortunately, being absent of solutions to the mess they have created and, being unable to stand on the results of their own agenda, they can only engage in lies, distortions, personal attacks, name-calling, mud-slinging, and stupid, sub-intellectual, moronic blabber.

  13. Can we create a third party for the majority of Americans who sit in the middle of all this nonsense? This whole right and left debacle will not change. People listen to what validates what they already think, not to what will actually stimulate critical thinking.

    Richard Hopkins aka Sagehopper, the same can be said about both parties.

  14. FYI, that guy who punched the woman, along with the woman (Kay Metha) should both be in trouble. The moment she laid a hand on him, and tried to restrain him in his seat, she was guilty of assault as well.

  15. People ask me why I haven't gone to some of these "political events" lately. This is wgy. They seem to draw out the disrespectful idiots (on both sides) who ruin it for the rest of us. It's one thing to have a "friendly" heated discussion with someone on the other side, but "fighting" isn't the answer.

  16. @Sun:

    There is a comment on the article page saying "Well said LVLady1". Yet there is no comment on that same page from LVLady1.


    LVLady's comment was posted about 11:24pm on Sept. 23.

  17. sevenhills...
    That was a "joke", right???
    If not, dude, you better get some help.
    No joke.

  18. At least they both like the same shirt. (Just trying to find a "little" common ground here . . . .)

  19. Thanks to people like Anglo, the world is laughing at Vegas right now. We're now a real-life version of "The Jerry Springer Show".

  20. Want to see how the national debt grows since 1945? Seems the biggest raises come when the president has an "R" next to his name.

    Just the facts please. Everyone has opinions. ;-)

  21. Looks like a 5th grade classroom.

  22. For Angle to say that the US has "the best healthcare system in the world" shows how far off she is in her facts. It is actually the 37th best healthcare system in the world. Apparently, 59 to Angle has not been a patient anytime recently. I am kinda surprised she hasn't sought mental health care, at least.

  23. When Clinton left office 34% of Americans owned 95% of the wealth in the country. When Bush left office 23% owned that 95%. I call that "redistribution of wealth"--away from middle class, obviously.

  24. Wow, something I agree with Sharron Angle on - Lithium mining is Nevada's growth segment in the mining industry.

    We have enough Lithium in Nevada for over one BILLION Chevy Volts. A 2005 PNNL study shows the current grid can handle 73% of current light-duty vehicles converting to something like the Chevy Volt (or equivalent PHEVs in all car/SUV classes), and, in my opinion, its likely we can get to 100% with a "smart" grid. We could nearly eliminate oil imports if we got to this level by 2030.

    Obama's goal is to have the US to manufacture 40% of the world's advanced automotive and grid-storage batteries. We need the raw supplies like Lithium to make it happen.

  25. I hope children were not witnessing this "Adult Romper Room". They would have probably been better behaved.

  26. I hope that the people who wanted exposure from this are happy, its now on CNN's Situation Room.

  27. Why would we put in coal fired plants in Nevada where it is windy and sunny almost every day? We need to keep developing wind and solar. Mining is, next to gaming Nevada's backbone. Unfortunately, mining has historically left behind devastating ecological consequences, most notably to our valuable water resources. Now that we know better we need to ensure that mining does not leave behind toxic refuse to endanger future generations.

  28. To Sagehopper:

    "Pledge to America drafted by lobbyist in bed with AIG, Exxon Mobil, drug makers":
    "The GOP's Pledge to America is yet another disguise for throwing out everything America is supposed to stand for and replacing it with an undisguised scheme to sellout the public to corporate lobbyists. The GOP favor the big business agenda is exactly what got America into the mess it is in now and selling this plan as anything but a lobbyists dream is nothing but pure rhetoric.
    "The Pledge to America should have been called the Scam on America because it does nothing to help Americans -- unless of course they are CEO's of big oil companies, drug companies, or Wall Street bankers."
    Maryann Tobin, Political Spin Examiner September 23rd, 2010 4:11 pm ET
    Read the full aritcle at:

    "With 'Pledge to America,' Republicans are new Foundering Fathers"
    "It took the Republicans just three minutes to violate their 'Pledge to America.'"
    By Dana Milbank
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Thursday, September 23, 2010; 11:08 PM
    read full article at:

  29. An article on Mike Huckabee's speech at the Values Voters Summit last week regarding health insurance:

    "Sick Bastards"
    Wednesday 22 September 2010
    by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

  30. Sharron Angle and the so-called "Pro-Life" Republicans don't care if people die for lack of money to buy their right-to-life from the medical establishment and insurance companies. The true "elite" in this country are the ones who can afford the best medical care whether it's covered by insurance or not.

  31. Bluejeans,

    This is going to be off topic, but I want you to defend your statement: "Sharron Angle and the so-called "Pro-Life" Republicans don't care if people die for lack of money to buy their right-to-life from the medical establishment and insurance companies."

    Let's put this in the simplest of terms.

    Suppose that you are dying and the only thing that could save you would be for me to donate a kidney. If I do donate a kidney, you will live for another 20 years, minimum, barring an accident.

    Do you have a right to one of my kidneys? Does the government have the right to force me to give you a kidney if I do not volunteer it?

  32. tim g:
    The insurance companies are already rationing health care by denying claims, limiting and capping coverage, and refusing pre-existing conditions. If people have no health insurance or money to pay doctors, they neglect their health problems, and then when it gets life-threatening, their treatment costs much more.
    The solution is not allowing profit-greedy insurance companies to be in charge, making the rules. I'd rather have my money (whether insurance premiums or taxes) in the system for good, affordable medical care for every American, than buying more yachts, mansions, caviar and luxury goods for insurance company executives.

  33. Bluejeans,

    If hospitals didn't charge over $100 for an Advil then maybe insurance premiums wouldn't be so high. We have to address the real cause of the problem.

    Regulating the insurance companies won't do a damn thing to lower the price of going to the doctor.

  34. boftx:

    My comments were about health insurance and medical care, not forcing people to donate kidneys.
    Nobody but you has a right to your kidneys. The government does not have the right to force you to give you a kidney if you do not volunteer it. And, if I were such a patient, no, I would not want or accept a kidney from a forced donor.
    What an odd question. I think you've been watching too many sci-fi movies.

  35. Bluejeans,

    The forced subsidization of medical care for any person who says they have a right to it is based on the exact same scenario that I just described. I just boiled it down to the basics.

  36. boftx:

    Sorry, I don't get how the kidney scenario relates to the health insurance issue. I don't know why you would propose that the government has such a right or is seeking such a right.

  37. Bluejeans,

    By mandating that everyone have insurance, and by subsidizing those who can not buy their own, the government is effectively saying that anyone who needs treatment has a right to demand it at the expense of everyone else. That is also saying that those who have the means to buy insurance are also obligated to provide it for those who do not through taxation.

    That is congruent to the scenario I outlined earlier. I have the means to not only keep myself alive, but also one other person since in theory I only need one of my kidneys. Under the philosophy stated in the preceding paragraph, I would be obligated to donate my kidney to someone who needed it, whether I wanted to or not.

  38. teamster,

    I have what many would call an average health care plan. I've had much better in the past, and have also had worse or none at all. I'll say this much, I pay $4/month each for three of the four prescriptions I need to control my blood pressure and heart disease, I pay $207/month for the fourth, Plavix.

    I'm sure my employer pays a LOT for my coverage since I have had three major heart attack since 2004. I don't know know what they pay since I negotiated a contract based upon net pay, not gross (but I suspect they pay about $2000/month for mine.) I did this because at a prior job I had to pay about $1000/month for myself and my family, before my heart attacks.

    Why do you ask?

  39. boftx:

    I don't think so. Your logic is convoluted, not "congruent".

  40. Lara,

    Now you know why I negotiated "net" pay and not gross.

  41. Obamacare (HCR if you prefer) is a joke. It will do nothing except raise premiums overall. It was a gift to the insurance companies.

    If you want REAL reform find out why hospitals can charge $100 for an Advil pill. Don't say they have to make up for the uninsured, the math doesn't work.

    Every doctor I have gone to will give a discount, usually about 50%, to those who are self-pay. That says everything. Bottom line is that doctors and hospitals jack up the prices simply because it is the deep-pocket insurance companies paying for it, NOT the individual patient.

    Insurance companies don't provide health care, doctors and hospitals do. THEY are the real crooks.

  42. I was the guy in the blue shirt sitting behind the elderly heavy set guy who ended up trying to calm him down after he instigated the confrontation by not letting the women past him when they got up to leave. He shoved the first woman when she forced her way past him and the situation escalated from there. The Angle supporters exercised their right to be rude during Senator Reid's time and many Democrat's reciprocated in kind during this canned questions and canned answer session.

    Overall this forum was tailor made for a candidate, Ms. Angle, who can't think on her feet or actually debate if she is forced off her talking points. But this is exactly what she needs to demonstrate as THIS WOULD BE HER JOB on a daily basis in the senate. She was completely ineffective in the state legislature in persuading even those on her side of the aisle to support her positions which should have, if she were a reflective person which she obviously is not, caused her to wonder if those positions were fundamentally wrong, as I think they were.

  43. jw456,

    It pays to look around at other people's analysis of the bill. For example, look at the Christian Science Monitor (say what you want, they have good news):

    The telling sentence is this: "President Obama and congressional Democrats planned their package to be 'deficit neutral,' with additional federal spending on health care offset by either tax hikes or the Medicare curbs."

  44. Lara,

    Employer provided health insurance is possibly the major problem with the system. Auto insurance is not an employee benefit, why should health insurance be one?

    That said, I would also say that several other issues would need to be addressed to make it possible to divorce health insurance from having a job.

  45. The way to stop paying for autism is to stop putting poisons inside the vaccines. Also, Congress no longer makes vaccine makers pay for injuries to children-taxpayers get the bill, now.