Inside Harry Reid and Sharron Angle's Internet War

It's been a strange week in the Nevada campaign

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It's been a strange week in the Nevada campaign between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sharron Angle, Reid's Republican challenger in the coming November election. It all began when Angle, after winning the GOP primary, changed her campaign website. Reid's campaign argues that Angle's site was rewritten to scrub her more conservative views and replace them with moderate-friendly policy positions. So Reid's campaign posted the old site at the URL Angle's campaign responded with a cease-and-desist letter and the threat of a lawsuit if the site wasn't removed. Reid's campaign complied, made a few changes to protect against legal challenges, and reposted it. What could possibly happen next in this bizarre battle? Quite a bit, it turns out.

  • What Angle Removed From Her Site  Politics Daily's Chris Weber reports, "Its language is from Angle's Web site as it existed before the primary, including positions that are missing now, such as her calls to eliminate the Education Department and see Social Security 'transitioned out.' ... Reid campaign spokesman Jon Summers said in a statement. 'Sharron has long believed in killing Social Security, eliminating the Departments of Education and Energy and shipping nuclear waste to Nevada. We've always heard that Sharron Angle is an unapologetic conservative. It has to be embarrassing for her to have her handlers trying to hide who she really is.'"
  • Legal Challenge Was Right About 'Phishing'  Conservative blogger William Jacobson points out that Angle's initial complaint also referenced the fact that contained some subscriber forms, that real Angle supporters might have filled out without realizing the site was fake. "Contrary to the spin put out by the Reid campaign and its sympathizers, the threatened legal action was not just because the Reid campaign merely quoted Angle’s positions, but the fact that the fake website misled viewers and obtained names and email addresses of Angle supporters under false pretenses. But now the website is back up, without the spoofing and phishing."
  • Angle Still Promising Legal Action  The Washington Post's Greg Sargent reports, "Now that the Harry Reid campaign has reposted Sharron Angle's previous campaign Web site advertising her Tea Partying positions, Angle may be heading to court to stop him. That's what Angle said on a Nevada radio station this morning. Asked by her host whether she intends to pursue Reid in court, Angle said: 'We are going to pursue it. I don't think that Harry is above the law.'"
  • Angle's Threats Are Gift to Reid  The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen writes, "It's unclear if Angle's team intends to pursue legal action, but either way, Reid and his aides have to be pleased. By throwing a fit, Angle has created more negative publicity for herself, and brought more attention to her extremist beliefs. If she files suit, Reid benefits with more coverage of Angle trying to hide her own published positions. If she doesn't, Reid benefits by having these positions in public view."
  • Reid Sees Scant Merit in Angle's Legal Claims  The Huffington Post's Sam Stein writes, "The Tea Party favorite was able to win temporary relief, with Reid agreeing to pull down the old site over the July 4th weekend. But the Senate Majority Leader's legal team clearly feels there is no standing for Angle's objections. At the very least, the advantages of highlighting Angle's now- former positions and statements outweighs the potential cost in legal fees from the back-and-forth sparring over copyright law."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.