LOS ANGELES — Dick Morris, the former political adviser to President Bill Clinton who turned his back on Democrats and embraced conservatives, is raising money to help Republican Sharron Angle's Senate bid.
"The campaign in Nevada to replace Harry Reid is in a desperate situation and needs your help," Morris writes in an e-mail solicitation for the Las Vegas-based Americans for New Leadership, which was formed last week and began airing television ads critical of the Senate Democratic leader.
Morris, now a commentator and author, warns that Reid is using TV commercials to distort Angle's record on Social Security and Medicare and "we have to answer immediately or we are toast!" Angle favors privatizing Social Security and Medicare over time.
The e-mail is linked to a Web page where donors are asked to give as much as $5,000 to the committee, whose treasurer is Brent Husson, a former executive director of the Nevada Republican Party, according to federal records.
The committee, which by law must operate independently of Angle's campaign, is one of a growing number of outside groups that have become active in the Nevada race while Angle has been pleading with supporters for cash.
"Send money," she said bluntly last week at a Nevada Republican Party convention.
Reid is on track to raise $25 million, an unprecedented amount in the state, and Angle banked about $1.2 million through May 19, according to federal records.
Asked to comment on Morris' involvement in the race, Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy said in an e-mail that "to my knowledge Mrs. Angle has never met Dick Morris, nor will she be meeting him if he is doing any independent expenditure" in the Nevada race, given legal restrictions.
Angle referred to Morris in remarks at the Nevada GOP convention Saturday, telling the crowd that he had told her "the fate of the nation rides on you," according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Morris and the committee did not respond to e-mails seeking comment.
Shortly after she captured the GOP nomination in a come-from-behind victory June 8, Reid and his supporters began battering Angle with ads that depict her as a political extremist. Conservative groups are raising money for commercials to counter Reid since Angle has not raised enough money to match him.
The New Leadership committee's first ad, which began airing last week, calls Reid's advertising "dirty" and "a lie." The 30-second spot accuses Reid of distorting Angle's proposal to privatize Social Security for younger workers. "She wants to phase out the way Harry Reid and Congress raid Social Security for their reckless spending," a narrator says.
In a June 9 video linked to his website, Morris tells viewers that Reid has "plenty of money to lay out fierce negatives that nobody can survive. Give Sharron Angle money and give her a lot."