Gambling Industry Bets on Harry Reid

Ties to casinos bring in the campaign cash for Senate majority leader
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2010 8:51 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Harry Reid's poll numbers make him look like an easy mark, but casino owners who have a history of disregarding party and going with the winner in Nevada politics are putting their money on the majority leader's reelection. Reid is counting on decades of close ties with the gambling industry and the nearly one in every three jobs it supports in the state to win over disapproving voters. And they are some of his top donors.

Tomorrow, he'll be joined in Las Vegas by President Obama at the largest privately financed construction project in US history, the $8.5 billion CityCenter casino-resort co-owned by gambling giant MGM Mirage. Eleven thousand people work in the complex, which developers say wouldn't be there if Reid hadn't gotten on the horn with bankers to prod them to finance it. CityCenter "makes it more difficult for Republicans to make the argument that you are better off with us than with Harry Reid," says a political scientist.

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