AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 | 12:21 p.m.
- Harry Reid raises ethics concerns over economic report (6-20-2011)
- Financial woes trail Senate candidate who probed economic crash (6-16-11)
- Who is Byron Georgiou and why should he scare the Democratic establishment? (3-28-11)
- Financial crisis was avoidable, Las Vegan on inquiry panel says (1-28-11)
Sen. Harry Reid confirmed to reporters today that he regrets appointing Byron Georgiou to the Federal Crisis Inquiry Commission -- and he’s not backing away from Georgiou’s accusations that the criticism has arisen only because Georgiou is challenging Reid's favored candidate for the Democratic nomination to the Senate in Nevada.
“I think it has something to do with him running for the Senate because it so dramatizes how he misled me,” Reid told a group of reporters in the Capitol Tuesday afternoon when asked about reports printed in the Sun that he thought his appointment of Georgiou to the FCIC was a mistake.
“Here’s a guy; I didn’t know he lost a number of house races in California,” Reid began, itemizing a near list of complaints about Georgiou. “He boasted about all of these jobs he was creating; all the jobs are in China. He didn’t bother to tell me about all the lawsuits that have been filed against him. He didn’t bother to tell me about all the liens on properties that he had.
“So yeah,” Reid finished, “I wish I hadn’t done it.”
Georgiou told the Sun, and then reiterated in a press release last night, that he thought Reid’s regrets, and the basis for them, were “another series of falsehoods manufactured by my opponents...who are desperate to deprive Nevada’s voters of a choice in next year’s Senate elections.”
Georgiou is challenging Rep. Shelley Berkley for the party's nomination. Reid, who is working to hang onto his majority in the U.S. Senate, is supporting Berkley's campaign.
While he didn’t refer to Reid by name, it appears Georgiou's frustration, at this point, is directed at Reid as much as his opponent, Berkley.
While the Democratic primary is still a year off, the Democratic powers that be, both nationally and in Nevada, have already anointed Berkley as their presumptive candidate. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Commission and Reid -- seen by many as Nevada’s Democratic kingmaker -- have been working on Berkley’s behalf since she announced her bid in April, by campaigning, fundraising, and media-blasting Berkley’s positions almost non-stop since then. Berkley’s presumed primary and general election opponents, by comparison, have been maintain a much calmer pace of operations.
Georgiou's seat on the commission, tasked with analyzing what caused the economic collapse, raised his profile nationally.
Despite the recent criticism, Georgiou has promised to continue his campaign through for the next 17 months until Election Day 2012, pulling together an impressive national list of deep-pocketed donors, and getting seasoned national and state-side political experts -- including Joe Trippi, former political strategist for presidential candidate Howard Dean in 2004, and Jerry Brown's gubernatorial campaign in California; and Dan Hart, who served for a period as Rory Reid’s campaign director in his bid to be Nevada’s governor.