- 1 Bio
- 2 Affiliations
- 3 Record and Controversies - Harry Reid
- 4 More Background Data
- 5 External links
- 6 References
Reid was born December 2, 1939, in Searchlight, Nevada. He married his high school sweetheart, Landra Gould in 1959. They have one daughter, Lana Reid, and four sons: Rory, Leif, Josh and Key. Landra and Harry now have 16 grandchildren.
Businessmen in Henderson, Nevada helped Reid go on to college at Utah State University on a partial athletic scholarship and he received his Associate's degree in 1958. In 1961 he earned his bachelor's degree. Reid and his wife converted to Mormonism while attending Utah State. He moved to Washington, D.C. and worked as an officer for the U.S. Capitol Police while attending George Washington University for his law degree. Reid graduated in 1964 from George Washington University.
In 1968, at age 28, Reid returned to Henderson and served as the City Attorney and in the Nevada State Assembly. In Carson City, as an assemblyman, Reid introduced the first air pollution legislation in Nevada’s history. At the age of 30 in 1970, Reid became the youngest Lieutenant Governor in Nevada history.
In 1977 he was appointed Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, where for five years he made headlines with his legendary and unrelenting fight to clean up Nevada's gaming industry.
Reid later won his first of two terms in the United States House of Representatives in 1982.
He was first elected to the Senate in 1986, and re-elected in 1992, 1998 and 2004. He has served as the Chairman or senior Democratic member on several important committees and subcommittees.
Harry Reid was elected to the Senate in 1986, succeeding Paul Laxalt. In 1998, he narrowly defeated his Republican opponent, future Senator John Ensign (Ensign won Nevada's other Senate seat in 2000). In 1999, Reid became Senate Minority Whip and the acolyte of Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota.
Reid has been the Senate Majority Leader since January 2007, having previously served as Senate Minority Leader from 2005 until the Democrats won control of the Senate in the 2006 midterm elections. He earlier served as Senate Minority Whip (1999–2001, 2001, 2003–2005) and Senate Majority Whip (2001, 2001–2003).
Issues and Positions
Harry Reid's voting record has been primarily moderate. A method that some political scientists use for gauging ideology is to compare the annual ratings by the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) with the ratings by the American Conservative Union (ACU). Reid has scored a lifetime conservative rating of 19% from the American Conservative Union, and a 2008 liberal rating of 70% from Americans for Democratic Action. Other independent ratings include a 27% rating from NARAL in 2003 and a 57% rating from Planned Parenthood in 2006.
He has opposed most gun control legislation and therefore has the support of the NRA in the state of Nevada. He has a mixed record on gun control, voting against the ban on assault weapons and in favor of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. He is in favor of the Brady Bill and background checks at gun shows.
Reid has spearheaded several initiatives while in Congress. In 2006 Reid co-sponsored the Prevention First Amendment with Hillary Clinton, which would fund abortion prevention efforts, such as giving women broader access to contraception; however the bill faced Republican opposition and failed. Reid believes that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned and in 1999, he voted against an amendment that explicitly expressed support for Roe v. Wade. He has stated that he believes in a restricted right to abortion, stating that "abortions should be legal only when the pregnancy resulted from incest, rape or when the life of the woman is endangered." Reid voted several times for the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. Reid has voted against the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment in the Senate which proposed to ban federal funding of health care plans that cover abortion and has supported Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
He voted for both the Gulf War Resolution of 1991 and the Iraq War Resolution of 2002. Reid has also protected mining companies and their interests from environmental regulation. In regard to local issues, Reid has firmly opposed the proposed Yucca Mountain federal nuclear waste repository in Nevada.
Reid is an opponent of tort reform and is a leading opponent of a national asbestos liability trust fund. On fiscal matters, Reid voted against the Balanced-Budget Amendment and opposes the Bush Tax Cuts.
Harry Reid does not approve of same-sex marriage, but is against a Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage. He believes "...marriage should be between a man and a woman." He voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, but against the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Reid is a strong supporter of the death penalty, having voted in favor of limiting death penalty appeals and executing criminals who were minors when they committed heinous crimes.
Reid called immigration reform one of his top priorities for the 110th Congress and supports the DREAM Act which would make it easier for young people who are not citizens of the United States, but are permanent residents, to attend college or university in the United States. He also opposed a Constitutional amendment to make English the national language of the United States. In June 2009, Reid announced his intention to enact a new guest worker program as part of a comprehensive immigration reform bill.
Reid has supported an armed conflict in the Middle East, but he has called for a drastic change in strategy. In January 1991, he voted to authorize military force in Iraq to liberate Kuwait. He gave a speech quoting John F. Kennedy's 1963 State of the Union speech on the Senate floor, saying: "the mere absence of war is not Peace." He also voted in support of the 2003 invasion of Iraq and in March 2007, he voted in favor of "redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008." Later that year, however, he said, "As long as we follow President Bush's path in Iraq, this war is lost."
Despite what some view as a moderate voting record, Reid has taken a public stance against certain aspects of the war in Iraq. On July 31, 2006 he joined with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in leading top congressional Democrats in signing a letter urging President Bush to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2006. The letter was signed by the twelve leading Democrats on the House and Senate committees handling armed services, foreign relations, intelligence and military spending.
In 2001, Reid was instrumental in convincing Senator James Jeffords (R-VT) to become an Independent and caucus with Democrats. Jeffords' party switch briefly gave the Democrats control of the Senate. The deciding factor for Jeffords occurred when Reid offered Jeffords his chairmanship of the Environmental and Public Works Committee. In 2002 Reid became the Senate Majority Whip. In 2002 Reid became the Minority Whip, the second highest leadership position in his party. When Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) was considering a 2004 bid for President, Reid quickly began securing votes for his own election to the Minority Leader post.
On November 2nd, 2004, Daschle was defeated by John Thune. Reid immediately became the favorite to succeed him. After Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) announced that he would not seek the leader's post, Reid was left to run unopposed. On November 16, 2004, Reid was elected Senate Democratic Leader and Minority Leader for the 109th Congress.
In 2005, when Senate Republicans threatened to invoke the Nuclear Option, Reid became one of the option's most fervent opponents. He threatened to virtually shut down Senate business if it were successfully invoked. However, when a group of moderate senators known as the Gang of Fourteen reached a compromise, he embraced the agreement.
On November 1, 2005, Reid moved that the Senate go into closed session, a very unusual and rare action. The public was removed from the Senate chambers. The move was intended to draw attention to the continuing controversy concerning the inaccuracy of the intelligence that claimed Iraq had been in possession of weapons of mass destruction. When he called for the closed session, Reid expressed anger that a letter signed by Democratic senators to the White House demanding such an investigation had been answered by a form letter. The move was an attempt to get around the perceived stalling by Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS). Roberts had promised in July of 2004 to investigate the Bush administration's misuse of intelligence before the Iraq War, but to date has not released any findings of such an investigation. During this closed session, Democrats demanded that the Republican majority finish its report on pre-war intelligence. Republicans decried this move as a political stunt as the investigation was already well under way. Reid contended that this investigation had been constantly delayed and this move was necessary to force an end to the delays.
Reid was the first Senator to express support of Bush's second nominee to the Supreme Court, Harriet Miers. President Bush had discussed the selection with Reid in advance of the announcement. After Miers withdrew her nomination, Reid asked Bush not to reward the Religious Right's "bad behavior" by appointing a right-wing idealogue.
In 2006, Reid Press Secretary Tessa Hafen resigned her office in order to run against Republican Representative Jon Porter in the 3rd Congressional district with a strong show of support from Reid and others. She lost her bid even with Reid's support and Jon Porter was elected.
After the Democrats took control of the Senate in the 2006 midterm elections, Reid was elected Senate Majority Leader for the 110th Congress.
Coalitions and Caucuses
- Congressional Friends of Animals
- Co-Chair, Democratic Policy Committee
- Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Senate Rural Health Caucus
- Congressional Competitiveness Caucus
- Senate Tourism Caucus
Boards and Other Affiliations
ACORN in Nevada is directly connected to the Democratic Party and has been used by them to fabricate voters, rig elections and register illegal aliens in order to stack the vote in favor of the Democratic Party. ACORN has benefited and worked with Harry Reid, especially in regards to his campaigns.
The Las Vegas Review Journal reported that the Las Vegas office of ACORN has been engaged in massive fraud. It is estimated that at least 48% of the registrations turned in by ACORN are fraudulent. ACORN's fraud was so blatantly obvious, they were raided by local authorities. Law enforcement found that 59 inmates from a work-release program at a nearby prison were employed by ACORN and found numerous irregularities as well. ACORN's field director, Christopher Edwards, pled guilty to two gross misdemeanor counts of conspiracy.
Despite these findings, when the US Senate voted 83-7 to block ACORN from bidding for additional federal grant money, Reid refused to hold a hearing on ACORN’s activities. Even after the scandal broke revealing that ACORN was assisting an underage prostitution operation, Reid claimed such an investigation of ACORN by Congress might distract attention from more important issues.
Another publication reported that Reid wrote Senator Vitter to inform him that his call for an ACORN investigation was driven by his political bias. In his letter to Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), the majority leader said he would rather not “ask our committees or this Congress to do anything that would detract from efforts” to address more pressing priorities, including healthcare reform and economic recovery. He also expressed his concern that Vitter’s “interest in this matter is driven, at least in part, by partisan political views.”
Perhaps Reid’s attitude here is due to the fact that the group which seems to be running ACORN, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), contributed thousands of dollars to Reid’s campaign committee and leadership PAC.
Council for a Livable World
The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security," primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Harry Reid in his successful Senate run as a candidate in Nevada.
The Council also supported Reid in his 2010 election campaign.
The Council wrote of Reid;
- Reid supports the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and voted for its ratification in 1999. He has said that it is “imperative that we develop technologies to help halt the spread of nuclear weapons to countries that do not already have them, and to counter nuclear threats from terrorist groups or rogue nations.”
- We are counting on Majority Leader Reid to schedule a Senate vote on the New START nuclear reductions treaty in September before Congress recesses for the election.
- Council for a Livable World urges the strongest support for Harry Reid in this difficult race. We need this progressive voice in the U.S. Senate for his strength and leadership rather than Sharron Angle.
George Soros is an Hungarian born billionaire who is the largest contributor to many Anti-American groups: MoveOn.org, Democracy Alliance, Media Matters, Health Care for America Now, Center for American Progress and Campaign for America's Future, just to name a few. Soros' stated goal is that he wants to destroy the principles America was founded upon and turn it into a “socialist paradise.”
Soros is a convicted inside trader who supports open borders, gay rights, abortion rights, increased union power and is hostile to the free enterprise system, even though he made billions off of it. He made his money in a very unethical and, many believe, illegal way – international currency speculation and manipulation. Some believe his fortune was made from drug smuggling since his empire is based offshore in the Netherlands Antilles; the CIA describes this location as “a transshipment point for South American drugs bound for the US and Europe; a money–laundering center.”
But Soros’s shady background did not dissuade Reid from taking money from him. Since becoming the Senate Minority leader in 2005 and then the Majority leader in 2007, Reid has had operational control of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. While fundraising for the DSCC, Reid took over $220,000 from Soros, the Soros Fund Management and various Soros family members.
The National Council of La Raza is a private, non-profit and non-partisan organization "focused on reducing poverty and discrimination, and improving opportunities, for Hispanic Americans." It was established in 1968 and is headquartered in Washington, DC, but it has operations in Atlanta, Chicago, Long Beach, Los Angeles, New York, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. La Raza is very active in Nevada. La Raza literally translates into "the race." They have organized many of the pro-illegal immigration marches around the nation and this radical Chicano movement says that California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Texas belong to Aztlan.
The takeover plan is referred to as the "reconquista" of the Western U.S. and it features ethnic cleansing of Americans, Europeans, Africans and Asians once the area is taken back and converted to Aztlan. This organization is quite powerful and its leaders regularly attend congressional hearings regarding immigration.
The group uses its U.S. tax dollars to fund projects such as a Southern California elementary school with a curriculum that specializes in bashing America and promoting the Chicano movement. The school's founder and principal, a Calexico-educated activist named Marcos Aguilar, opposes racial integration and says Mexicans in the U.S. don't wish to attend white schools or drink from white water fountains. They also advocate open borders and amnesty.
In 2001, Reid placed an earmark in a bill that would give $5 million to the National Council of La Raza. Reid is a staunch supporter of La Raza and has issued press releases stating as much. He publicly honors La Raza as seen on the Democrats.senate.gov site.
The 2010 NCLR Capital Award was presented to Harry Reid in March of 2010. The 2010 NCLR Capital Awards paid tribute to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R–FL) in Washington DC for their commitment to the policy priorities of the Latino Community.
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
The Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada was founded in 1994 and is comprised of more than two dozen groups that are dedicated to working for social, economic and environmental justice. The member groups include anti-poverty activists, people of color, children’s advocates, disabled persons, environmentalists, lesbians and gay men and labor unions. PLAN currently supports Harry Reid.
ProgressNow Nevada was formed in 2003. They are a non-profit advocacy network for progressive change in Nevada and they support progressive government. Recently, they set up a page entitled Progressives for Reid and a Facebook page: Progressives for Harry Reid to show their support for the beleaguered Senator. Primary issues concentrated on are Nevada's Clean Energy Future, Sustainable Water Usage and Affordable and Accessable Health Care.
Harry Reid has strong ties to SEIU in Nevada. In fact, if you do a search on the SEIU web site, you will come up with 10 pages of search results concerning Harry Reid and SEIU. SEIU is a very strong and influential force in Nevada and they partner with Reid to strengthen their agenda whenever possible.
- The Service Employee's International Union (SEIU) believes in rewarding work and has begun an aggressive television ad campaign in support of Senator Harry Reid's work on behalf of Nevada's working families.
- The statewide cable ad, titled Hard Work, highlights a few of the many issues Senator Reid has been spearheading on behalf of Nevada's families, including tax cuts, investments in alternative energy, an economic recovery package that works for every American and rebuilding our infrastructure.
There is a long history of SEIU contributing to Harry Reid. They have contributed thousands and thousands of dollars to his campaigns. Here are the most recent ones: In 2006, SEIU contributed $10,000 to Harry Reid's campaign. In 2008, SEIU contributed $15,000. And currently for 2010, $5,350 has been contributed by SEIU.
Take Back America Conferences
Harry Reid was on the list of 153 speakers at the 2006 Take Back America conference, which was organized by the Institute for Policy Studies, and Democratic Socialists of America dominated Campaign for America's Future.
"Strengthen Social Security" bill
Sens. Tom Harkin and Bernie Sanders introduced a bill. March 2013, to "strengthen Social Security by making the wealthiest Americans pay the same payroll tax that everyone else already pays". It is co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The companion bill in the House was introduced by Rep Peter DeFazio. 
Here you will find a listing of controversies Harry Reid has been involved in and an outline of his record in politics.
More Background Data
- Background information on Harry Reid from Project Vote Smart
- Interest group scorecard ratings for Harry Reid from Project Vote Smart
- Voting record for Harry Reid from the Washington Post database
- Information on Harry Reid from Congress Merge
- American Cancer Society
- American Institute for Public Service
- American for Democratic Action
- Campaign for America's Future
- Center for American Progress
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe
- Congress Merge
- Council for a Livable World
- Democracy Alliance
- Democratic Policy Committee
- Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee
- Democrats' Senate website
- Expose Harry
- Harry Reid On the Issues
- Health Care for America Now
- House of Representatives Official Website
- Las Vegas Office of ACORN
- Media Matters
- National Council of La Raza
- National Rifle Association
- Nevada Gaming Commission
- Nevada State Assembly
- Nevada State Bar Association
- On The Issues
- Planned Parenthood
- Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
- Progressives for Harry Reid
- Progressives for Reid
- ProgressNow Nevada
- Project Vote Smart
- Reid's website with the Senate
- Soros Fund Management
- The American Conservative Union
- The George Washington University
- The Washington Post
- United States House of Representatives
- Utah State University
- Yucca Mountain
- About Reid
- Reid firmly rooted in Mormon faith Las Vegas Review Journal, Sept. 8, 2002
- Kerry's Record Rings a Bell The Washington Post, Mar. 28, 2004
- 2007 U.S. Senate Votes American Conservative Union, Sept. 20, 2008
- ADA's 2008 Congressional Voting Record Americans for Democratic Action, Feb. 7, 2009
- Harry Reid on Abortion On The Issues
- Senator Harry M. Reid Project Vote Smart, Apr. 4, 2004
- "Reid, Clinton Detail Prevention First Amendment," Democratic Party, Mar. 17, 2005. http://democrats.senate.gov/~dpc/press/05/2005317532.html (URL is non-active.)
- Meet the Press: Transcript for December 5 MSNBC, Dec. 5, 2004
- Senator Harry M. Reid Issue Positions Project Vote Smart, Mar. 17, 2008
- XML U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress - 1st Session United States Senate
- George Bush Vetos Stem Cell Research HarryReid.com, July 19, 2006
- George Bush Vetos Stem Yucca Mountain Harry Reid
- Marriage Amendment will not address America's pressing needs HarryReid.com, June 5, 2006
- Advocates hope new Congress will act on immigration reform USA Today, Dec. 30, 2006
- America needs comprehensive immigration reform Harry Reid
- Harry Reid On The Issues
- Senate Democratic Leader Wants New Guest Worker Program Despite Recession and High Unemployment Rate CNS News, June 22, 2009
- CONFRONTATION IN THE GULF: BAKER WARNS OF FAST STRIKE IF KUWAIT DEADLINE PASSES: SUPPORT IN CONGRESS IS SEEN; Slim Senate Majority Is Expected But House Backing Appears Solid The New York Times, Jan. 12, 1991
- State of the Union - John F. Kennedy infoplease, Jan. 14, 1963
- Bush gains more support for Iraq war resolution USA Today, 2005
- Harry Reid on War & Peace On The lssues
- Government Access Website
- Hill Democrats Unite to Urge Bush to Begin Iraq Pullout The Washington Post, Aug. 1, 2006
- Land of Hard Knocks The Washington Post, July 17, 2005
- GOP Angered by Closed Senate Session The Washington Post, Nov. 2, 2005
- Roberts blasts closed session 'stunt' CNN, Nov. 2, 2005
- Tessa Hafen SourceWatch
- US Senate Majority Leader Our Campaigns
- Flash: ACORN offices in Las Vegas raided Michelle Malkin, Oct. 7, 2008
- Alleging fraud, authorities raid voter group Las Vegas Review Journal, Oct. 8, 2008
- EDITORIAL: Reid blocks ACORN probe Las Vegas Review Journal, Sept. 25, 2009
- Harry Reid OpenSecrets.org
- CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
- CLW website. Meet the Candidates, accessed Dec. 31, 2010
- CLW 2010 bio, accessed July 2013
- The Hidden Soros Agenda: Drugs, Money, the Media, and Political Power Accuracy In Media, Oct. 27, 2004
- Harry Reid/George Soros OpenSecrets.org
- About NCLR
- Congress: $4 million for National Council of The Race 24ahead, Dec. 5, 2005
- Reid Commemorates National Council of La Raza's 40th Anniversary Democrats.senate.gov, Jul. 15, 2008
- 2010 NCLR CAPITAL AWARDS PRESENTED TO SENATOR HARRY REID, CONGRESSWOMAN ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, AND BEVERLY ROBERTSON NCLR, Mar. 3, 2010
- PLAN website: Reid taking punches from the left, too PLAN, Oct. 11, 2009
- Progressives for Reid
- SEIU Ad Praising Sen. Reid's Work on Behalf of Nevada's Working Families SEIU, Jan. 30, 2009
- Top 100 Contributors Senator Harry Reid 2001 - 2006 OpenSecrets.org
- Top 100 Contributors Senator Harry Reid 2003 - 2008 OpenSecrets.org
- Service Employees International Union: All Recipients OpenSecrets.org
- MEDIA ADVISORY for Feb. 24th: Majority Leader Reid and Other Key Members of Congress to Welcome Melanie's Marchers and Hundreds of Supporters to Capitol SEIU, Feb. 23, 2010
- Take Back America 2006 - Agenda & Speakers (accessed on May 14, 2010)
- CPUSA website, Avenues of Fightback: Political Report to the NC, by: Joelle Fishman, March 12 2013