By Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers
Nevada’s 2nd U.S. House District Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, said on Nevada Newsmakers that President Trump’s campaign should be given time to check on alleged voter fraud in the recent election, adding he didn’t see any “widespread fraud” in his district.
“I’m most familiar with Nevada and guess what? In the 11 counties that we’ve been paying the closest attention to, I don’t think you have any serious problems,” he told host Sam Shad. “You have had some glitches here and there, but in terms of widespread fraud, I’m not seeing any of that.”
Amodei won re-election in the congressional district that includes Reno and Carson City with more than 56 percent of the vote. His Democratic challenger, Patricia Akerman, received 40 percent.
Nevada has been the focal point of national voter-fraud allegations, led by former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt. Yet Laxalt’s focus has been on Clark County, where more than 70 percent of Nevadans voted and Republicans have uncovered a case of possible fraud.
Democratic candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, led Trump by more then 36,000 votes in Nevada on the day of the Amodei interview, although the vote count is ongoing.
“I don’t think it is improper to give the existing administration a chance to take a look and see what they can develop, if there were irregularities,” Amodei said in defense of Trump. “Its a high bar … and quite frankly, Jan. 20 (Inauguration Day) … is still a long ways away. So we are just a week down the road (from Election Day) and there are still some things the administration is working on, so let’s give them a little bit of time to see what is going on.”
Amodei also hopes any voter-fraud campaign does not turn ugly.
“Part of the challenge for the 70-plus million people who voted for the President is not to be like those folks that the President campaigned against, who were breaking things, spitting on law enforcement and that sort of stuff, “Amodei said. “Acting like the people we don’t agree with is not the answer.”
Nevada had close elections up and down the 2020 ticket, Amodei said. In future elections, the party that focuses on voters who don’t belong to a major political party will hold the key to victory, Amodei said.
Nevada had more than 758,000 Democrats and about 647,000 Republicans registered in the month before the election, according to the Secretary of State.
Yet non-partisan, Independent American Party, Libertarian Party and others accounted for 627,000 voters.
“There is this huge chunk in the middle, that is called the Independent American (Party), non-partisan and all of those other things,” Amodei said. “Their numbers are getting big enough that you better have a plan for those folks whether you’re a Democrat or Republican because quite frankly, those are the ones who are deciding the races in terms of where they break.”
To bolster his claim, Amodei recalled a campaign poster of former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, that read, “Independent, like Nevada.”
“It’s an old-fashioned thing,” Amodei said. “You better figure out how to connect with voters.”
Future campaigns should not focus on attempting “to burn the other side down,” Amodei said.
“When push comes to shove, unless the other side is dumb enough to get sucked into that, that connection (with voters) will win over negativity,” he said.
Amodei lamented that in Congress, “everything that gets uber-politicized, in a policy sense, gets ruined.” He pointed to the COVID-19 relief effort as an example.
The complicated Congressional immigration issue could also be solved if the Republican vs. Democrat competition was not so important, he said.
“Immigration is not that hard to solve,” Amodei said. “You just have got to get the demagogues on both sides out of it.
“Like on one side, they say, ‘Borders should be open.’ Well, no, they shouldn’t,” he said. “Then on the other side you’ve got, ‘Anything you do is amnesty.” No, it is not. There is plenty of room in the middle to do something that is responsible, going forward.”
A solution to the immigration debate could help the GOP, Amodei said.
“Guess what Republicans, I just read something that said, ‘Hispanics across the border broke for Trump.’ So can we just stop this mindless stereotyping that if you are for any kind of reform you are for amnesty?”
Election results showed Hispanics living close to the border with Mexico helped secure Texas for Trump and that Cuban-Americans in Florida also helped Trump win that state.
Fact check: Amodei also said something about Sen. Reid and the “nuclear option” that can’t stand up to fact-checking.
“When Sen. Reid was the Senate Majority Leader, he got rid of the (60-person threshold) voting requirement for Supreme Court justices,” Amodei said. “I think that was a mistake. I’m not being critical of Sen. Reid. He’s a Nevadan. I’m saying guess what? That was a mistake.”
He suggested the current conservative Supreme Court roster was built upon Reid’s mistake.
“You’ve got three people sitting on the Supreme Court that only needed 51 votes and quite frankly, that is not how it was designed,” Amodei said.
This is the real story, according to the Washington Post, the
New York Times, USA Today and Roll Call fact checkers:In 2013, Democrats held a majority in the Senate and Reid was the Senate Majority Leader while President Barack Obama was in the White House.
Republicans were using a filibuster to block Obama’s judicial nominees and executive-branch appointees. In response, Reid orchestrated a move to lower the Senate vote threshold to 51 to confirm most presidential appointments — but not nominees to the Supreme Court. It was called the “nuclear option.”
In 2017, roles were reversed and the Republicans held the majority.
The Democrats were filibustering Trump’s first Supreme Court nominee. So the Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-48 to reduce the vote threshold for confirming nominees to the Supreme Court from 60 to 51.