Newspaper column: Who is that Republican already running against Harry Reid?

Bob Beers (R-J file photo)

Speculation has been bubbling in the press about who from the Republican Party might run against long-time Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid in 2016. Reid insists he will seek re-election despite his recent injury that may leave him with impaired vision in one eye and the fact he was demoted from Senate majority leader to minority leader when Republicans won a majority in the Senate.

Nevada’s Republican junior Sen. Dean Heller recently was quoted as saying Gov. Brian Sandoval would be an “A-plus” candidate to oppose Reid. The names of other potential Republican opponents have been bandied about by liberal columnists, mostly moderates for some reason.

Few press accounts have noted there already is a declared Republican candidate with statewide name recognition, Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers, who in 2006 finished second in a five-person GOP gubernatorial primary behind Jim Gibbons.

Beers, a 55-year-old CPA, also served in the Assembly from 1998 to 2004 and then served a term in the state Senate. In 2012 he was elected to fill a vacant seat on the Las Vegas City Council and was elected to a four-year term on the council in 2013.

Beers said he was approached by a group of people in 2009 and asked to run for Harry Reid’s seat in 2010, but declined. He said the same people approached him a year ago and he agreed.

Asked what he would do if Sandoval does get in the race, Beers replied, “He’s not going to, but, if he does, we’ll have a primary.”

With the agenda Sandoval brought to Carson City this session, he is not intending on running in a Republican primary, Beers surmised, referring to Sandoval proposing a $1.3 billion increase in general fund spending.

As for his tax hike credentials, Beers was one of the so-called “Mean 15” who blocked Gov. Kenny Guinn’s billion-dollar tax hike in 2003 for the entire regular session and through multiple special sessions until one Assembly member caved in to avoid a constitutional crisis after the Nevada Supreme Court suspended the constitutional requirement that tax hikes must be approved by a two-thirds majority. The court later unanimously repudiated that decision.

In 2006, Beers led a group that gathered more than 150,000 signatures to qualify a Tax and Spending Control (TASC) initiative on the ballot. It would have limited tax increases to inflation and population growth unless approved by the voters. The state Supreme Court kicked it off the ballot on a technicality.

In a far ranging interview prior to a meeting with potential backers in Las Vegas recently, Beers was asked what would make him a better senator than Harry Reid. He quickly replied, “I have economic common sense.”

He amplified by saying, “Spending more than we’ve been taking in for what, 80 years now? Has been done in the name of (John) Maynard Keynes, a World War I-era economist who had some interesting ideas. One of them was that when the economy slows down, it’s OK to borrow, spending that money on public works to get the economy going. That’s the part Senator Reid has relied on in these decades of displaying poor economic common sense.

“That’s also page 1. If you turn to page 2, Mr. Keynes writes, and then when you are out of your economic slowdown, you pay it back. Maynard Keynes in no way would endorse what they’ve done, because it has no basis in economic common sense.”

Asked about efforts by the state to take control of some portion of the 85 percent of land in Nevada currently under the jurisdiction of the federal government, Beers replied, “Bad things happen when you have people from far, far away administering vast tracts of land.”

As an example, he noted that ravens are a protected species under the migratory bird treaty. “Now that they are protected their population has exploded, in no small part because of the availability of tortoise eggs and sage hen eggs, which they like to eat,” he said. Both tortoises and sage grouse are thought to be endangered.

On Reid’s proposal to bar development on nearly a million acres of federal land in Coal and Garden valleys in Lincoln and Nye counties and Gold Butte in Clark County, Beers commented, “I don’t understand why Harry would do that. I agree with (Rep.) Cresent Hardy that it doesn’t make sense to increase Washington’s administrative scope on Nevada public lands.”

A version of this column appears this week in the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

39 comments on “Newspaper column: Who is that Republican already running against Harry Reid?

  1. nyp says:

    Yet another blockbuster jobs report. Almost 300,000 jobs created in February. Unemployment down to 5.5%. The last time the private sector had such a five-year period of job growth was 1996 — under President Clinton. And 2014 is now the best single year for job growth since the late 1990s.

    I blame that job-killing Obamacare program.

  2. Barbara says:

    Unfortunately, all job growth since 2000 has gone to immigrants according to the Center for Immigration Studies..

  3. Barbara says:

    Bob Beers would certainly have my support. It would be refreshing to actually have a conservative representing Nevada.

  4. nyp says:

    The report you cite is wrong. Polifact reviewed it in detail and rated it “mostly false.”

    And, in the event you nevertheless choose to believe the “study” (by an anti-immigration group with an express bias) is correct, I see that it indicates that since President Obama took office less than half of job growth went to immigrants.

    PS: a Brookings Insitutition study found :
    “The most recent academic research suggests that, on average, immigrants raise the overall standard of living of American workers by boosting wages and lowering prices. One reason is that immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs; instead many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity. For example, low-skill immigrant laborers allow U.S.-born farmers, contractors, or craftsmen to expand agricultural production or to build more homes — thereby expanding employment possibilities and incomes for U.S. workers.”

  5. Steve says:

    “While U.S. employers added a solid 295,000 jobs in February, and the jobless rate fell from 5.7 percent, it went down mostly because many people gave up looking for work and were no longer officially counted as unemployed, the government reported Friday. What’s more, wage gains remained sluggish.”

    “Those trends suggest that the job market, while improving rapidly, isn’t quite as healthy as it looks.”

    Nyp stopped reading at the headline. I read further into the AP article and was unsurprised to find those lines rather close to the top of the piece.

    I will believe the job growth is real when the FED raises interest rates.

    Nyp would prefer we all stop reading at the headline.

  6. agent provocateur says:

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

  7. nyp says:

    No, it is true that we have not yet reached the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment, and that the Fed should not yet begin to ease up interest rates. However, month after month of extremely healthy job creation is …. well … extremely healthy job creation. Every non-deranged observer who has looked at today’s jobs report agrees that this is another sign of a healthy, growing economy — especially compared to austerity-ravaged Europe.

  8. Steve says:

    Nice,,,now Nyp calls the AP “deranged”

    I will believe it when the FED raises interest rates.

  9. Steve says:

    Turns out that AP article came from

    Hmmm…another “deranged” information source….I am beginning to think Nyp is deluded.

  10. Winston Smith says:


  11. Steve says:


    Lies, damned lies..and statistics.

  12. Barbara says:

    Job gains were in the 16 to 19 age group indicating that only low wage jobs are being added. Also shows that the real unemployment rate is 11%

  13. Nyp says:

    No. It is not

  14. Rincon says:

    Thanks to nyp for showing again how ideological sources of information cannot be trusted. Why are we arguing this? The economy is and has been recovering more slowly than we would like, but far better than most other OECD countries, so is the glass half empty or half full?

    Of course low wage jobs are the ones being added. It’s the nature of capitalism. In the gilded age, industry paid workers the least they could get away with until unions, Teddy Roosevelt, and Henry Ford, among others came along. Today, the antitrust laws have been weakened, unions are on their way out, and there is no Henry Ford to come along and double his employees’ salaries overnight. Why would we expect higher pay?

  15. Steve says:

    “No. It is not”

    And, once again, Nyp takes the level of discussion back to the playground.

  16. Steve says:

    Rincon, that graph is from an op piece by krugman disclaiming supposed “employment truthers”

    It fails to take into account the vast numbers of people who have dropped out of the workforce or the lack of wage increases. Though Krugman does offer some historical evidence that inflation from”full employment” may not begin until the unemployment reaches 4% but even that is countered with today’s lack of wage and earning growth.

    Be sure to read past the headline before trusting Nyp’s carefully picked cherries.

  17. Rincon says:

    Sorry Steve. I should have been more specific. I was referring to nyp’s reference to Politifact, not the graph. As an aside, has anyone shown that these people who dropped out of the work force weren’t doing something similar in previous recessions?

  18. nyp says:

    I appreciate your desire to discount the economic opinions of a winner of the John Bates Cark and Nobel Memorial prizes in economics. After all, those opinions challenge your preconceptions, and are therefore better off disregarded. The data represented in the graph in question, together with the graph itself, comes from FRED — the database maintained by the research department of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

  19. Steve says:

    Still a carefully picked cherry, Nyp.

    Neither it nor the Krugman op piece in the NYT take into account those who have left the workforce. In fact, in other articles, those who have left the workforce are discounted and not factored in at all.

    I say (in my opinion) wage stagnation is a direct result of the loss of those participating in the workforce as they have shown a propensity to re enter it when it appears there are jobs for the taking. Employers know this and are standing firm on wages.

  20. Barbara says:

    NYP – The Bureau of Labor Statistics own figures show the U-6 unemployment rate is 11%. These are the governments own figures.

    What is U6 unemployment rate ?

    The U6 unemployment rate counts not only people without work seeking full-time employment (the more familiar U-3 rate), but also counts “marginally attached workers and those working part-time for economic reasons.” Note that some of these part-time workers counted as employed by U-3 could be working as little as an hour a week. And the “marginally attached workers” include those who have gotten discouraged and stopped looking, but still want to work. The age considered for this calculation is 16 years and over

  21. Rincon says:

    Can anyone cite the U6 unemployment rate in 1982? Without that kind of information, we have no basis for comparison. The other question is whether repeating the excesses of the past in order to recover faster is wise. The 1973-75 recession occurred only 3 years after the ’69-70 one. The 1980 recession was less than 5 years later. It’s been about 6 years since 2009. I’ll take a slow, long lived recovery over a faster, short lived recovery any time. That being said, who here thinks us humans have magical control over the machinations of the economy? We can improve it over the long haul, but short term swings are hard to avoid.

  22. nyp says:

    Oh god, unemployment trutherism.
    Barbara: tell you what: the U-1 rate for February is a low, low, low 2.6%. The U-2 rate is a mere 2.7%. Why shouldn’t we use the U-1 rate instead of the U-6 rate?
    The reason is that, although unemployment can be measured in different ways, economists generally agree that the U-3 rate is the most most useful (although not the only) indicator of the relationship between labor force participation and activity in the macroeconomy. It measures the ability of people who are actively seeking to find full-time employment to actually find such employment. For example, the U-6 rate, which you prefer because you hate President Obama and wish to downplay the economic recovery during his Presidency, includes people who worked in the recent past but are not now seeking full time employment. That sweeps in a lot of people who have recently retired and are now either not seeking employment or are seeking only part-time employment. As America ages, that number naturally grows.

    None of this is to say that U-6 isn’t a useful economic indicator. So are U-1, U-2, U-4, etc. But they measure different things. But when we talk about the unemployment rate we generally, and for good reasons, stick to U-3, which has been used for decades under all Presidential Administrations. When people like you, who I am sure never thought of the U-6 rate under President Bush (it was between 8 and 10%) start talking about U-6 under President Obama, it is clear that you are trying to compare apples to oranges for partisan political reasons.

  23. Steve says:

    Comparing “apples to oranges for partisan political reasons” is the MOST non partisan activity of any in the political spectrum.

    Nyp, you are a great example of this.

  24. Barbara says:

    I was not a fan of President Bush (either of them) NYP. I prefer the U6 rate because it gives a more accurate picture of employment in the US. What I object to is the idea that we are in the throes of an economic recovery when all the signs I see indicate bubbles which at some point will pop. What little recovery we have had is due to artificial factors that are unstainable and have benefited Wall Street, big business, and the rich to the detriment of the middle class, minorities, and poor – the very people you think you champion.

  25. nyp says:

    That is nuts. We have had 60 straight months of job growth during which 12 million jobs have been added.Private employment has increased by 3.2 million in the past 12 months — the largest such increase since the Clinton Administration. That is not a bubble. That is a long-lasting, sustained economic recovery.

    However, I fully agree that we have still not fully recovered from the catastrophe of the Great Recession, that wage gains remain weak, and that much work remains to be done.

  26. Rincon says:

    Tell me Barbara, what government policies have benefited the rich? Bailing out the banks while leaving the mortgage holders high and dry tops my list.

  27. Barbara says:

    I agree with you on the bank bailouts. Warren Buffet benefited greatly from that policy as well as the veto of the Keystone Pipeline. The Fed holding the federal funds rate at 0.00 to 0.25 since 2008 has benefited those who have 1st access to credit (Wall Street, banks, big business) at the expense of small businesses and retired folks. The Green Energy movement essentially has become a slush fund for political donors and the well connected, s

    The Justice Department shake down of banks resulting in millions of “fines” going to politically favored groups such as ACORN and LA Raza.

    Immigration reform is essentially a capitulation to big business that wants cheap labor regardless of what NYP thinks. Why else would the Chamber of Commerce fund only those candidates that agreed to support amnesty? I have friends in ICE and the border patrol in Texas that are extremely disappointed that Congress funded the DHS bill without defunding the amnesty provisions. They want to do their job, but are being prevented by the President’s policies. Most are looking to get out.

    This is a good start. I’m sure you can think of more.

  28. Nyp says:

    Low interest rates were for the benefit of the lending class of Wall Street and the banks? And they they hurt small businesses looking to borrow to finance investments??

    Boy, that is whack.

  29. Barbara says:

    NYP – I don’t know what you do, but you are certainly proving that you are not a small business owner.

    Low interest rates have not helped small business. They have inflated stock prices and netted the banks a tidy profit on reserves. The low velocity of money is one reason we have not had high inflation.

  30. Nyp says:

    Hon, you are the only person I know who thinks that businesses are begging to have the interest rates they pay to banks jacked up.

  31. Farmers says:

    Low interest rates does not mean that loans are readily available. To access those loans require a minimum 20 to 25 percent cash down. Most small business do not have this type of cash sitting around.

    Sent from my iPhone


  32. Steve says:

    Farmers nails it.
    This is true for regular borrowers as well. Anything less than 750 makes results in instant denials.

    Only the best of the best get loans today.

  33. Steve says:

    “makes results”? I am firing my proof reader.

    Drop the word “makes” thank-you.

  34. nyp says:

    I have no reason to doubt any of that.

  35. […] only announced Republican candidate for Reid’s seat is Las Vegas City Councilman Bob […]

  36. […] Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers is the only announced Republican candidate for the […]

  37. […] of 9 a.m., the online posting never mentions the one Republican who has been running since January 2014 — Las Vegas Councilman Bob […]

  38. […] may be the best coverage Bob Beers’ senatorial campaign has gotten in the local paper in a year and half. Often stories about the race to replace Harry […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s