Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 17, 2014

Nevada: Harry Reid Ridicules Danny Tarkanian’s Financial Woes

Nevada: Harry Reid Ridicules Danny Tarkanians Financial Woes

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid criticized the finances of GOP nominee Danny Tarkanian (above), who is running in Nevada's 4th district. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 7:12 p.m. | Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) continued in his chosen role of Democratic attack dog today, this time entering the fray in a House campaign in Nevada and criticizing GOP nominee Danny Tarkanian’s finances.

Following a failed real estate deal, Tarkanian and his family are facing a $17 million judgement from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Tarkanian has said his family is the victim of fraud in the California project. Reid, however, has other ideas. He called the real estate deal a “ridiculous loan.”

“His judgment was so bad that he gambled and lost his family’s entire nest egg because he failed to do his homework,” Reid said on a conference call today.

“He’s trying to do everything he can to make sure that he doesn’t have to belly up to the bar before Nov. 6,” Reid said. “There may have been a case that has been won against the FDIC, I just don’t know what it is. … These are pretty good cases.”

Lawyers for Tarkanian missed a deadline set in federal court in California to file an objection to the judgement. The FDIC issued a blistering response Monday to an attempt by Tarkanian’s camp to register their objections late. 

“Defendants failed to timely oppose the motion, and the Opposition should be disregarded. If the Court is inclined to entertain the Opposition, it utterly fails to engage with the merits of the motion, and argues tangential, irrelevant issues,” the FDIC said in a filing Monday. “The Opposition also improperly argues the merits of the case, which have already been adjudicated.”

Tarkanian told the Las Vegas Sun that the matter could eventually make family members file for bankruptcy protection.

“There’s nothing that’s going to happen before the election. … There’s no chance of filing bankruptcy before this election and until we get this matter resolved,” he said.

Reid said he was not intending to make a personal attack on the Tarkanian family. Jerry Tarkanian, the father of the Republican candidate for the 4th district House seat, won the 1990 NCAA Division I men’s basketball championship as head coach of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Runnin Rebels. Despite his success on the court, the elder Tarkanian faced repeated investigations from the governing body of intercollegiate athletics.

“You have to all understand, I’ve had a long-standing relationship with the Tarkanians. I’ve helped Jerry when he was having his troubles with the NCAA because he was treated so unfairly,” Reid said.

Asked about why Tarkanian is running well in the polls against state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford (D) despite a Democratic registration advantage in the new district, Reid turned back to basketball.

“Elections are determined by the voters,” Reid said. “The Tarkanian name is well-known, and the Horsford name, frankly, isn’t.”

“Horsford has had to make up a lot of ground on name identification,” Reid said. “All of our polling is just fine. Horsford’s ahead, he’s not going to lose this race, but I want to make sure.”

Tarkanian sought the Republican nomination for Senate two years ago to run against Reid, but fell far short in that endeavor — losing to Sharron Angle.

Roll Call rates the House race as Leans Democratic.

Lawyers for Tarkanian missed a deadline set in federal court in California to file an objection to the judgement. The FDIC issued a blistering response Monday to an attempt by Tarkanian’s camp to register their objections late. 

“Defendants failed to timely oppose the motion, and the Opposition should be disregarded. If the Court is inclined to entertain the Opposition, it utterly fails to engage with the merits of the motion, and argues tangential, irrelevant issues,” the FDIC said in a filing Monday. “The Opposition also improperly argues the merits of the case, which have already been adjudicated.”

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