Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:13 PM EDT2013-06-19 00:13:36 GMT
PAHRUMP, Nev. -- A fight between senators in Washington, D.C., could resurrect the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in Nye County. Nye County leaders met Tuesday to support the openingMore>>
A fight between senators in Washington, D.C., could resurrect the controversial Yucca Mountain nuclear storage project in Nye County.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 10:49 PM EDT2013-06-19 02:49:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County Fire Department is battling a fire at a house near Russell Road and Spencer Street. According to the fire department's website, the fire started at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.More>>
A grass fire ignited a house in the 5400 block of Escondido Street, near Russell Road and Spencer Street, Tuesday afternoon.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:50 PM EDT2013-06-19 01:50:28 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer has been relieved of duty after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance. Officer Ramin Amely was charged with two felonyMore>>
A Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officer has been relieved of duty after pleading guilty to charges of possession of a controlled substance.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:14 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:14:30 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Three major resort projects in Las Vegas could be the boost the local economy needs. The construction and hospitality industries have struggled since the recession, but signs of a reboundMore>>
Three major resort projects in Las Vegas could be the boost the local economy needs. The construction and hospitality industries have struggled since the recession, but signs of a rebound are emerging.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 7:08 PM EDT2013-06-18 23:08:21 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Clark County residents could soon be paying nearly 3 cents more a gallon for fuel, depending on a decision by county commissioners. The Nevada Legislature recently approved a bill that allowsMore>>
Clark County residents could soon be paying nearly 3 cents more a gallon for fuel, depending on a decision by county commissioners.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:18 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:18:45 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- A domestic violence nonprofit organization that helps rescue women from violent relationships, is now itself in need of saving. Safe Faith United might have to shut its doors July 1 becauseMore>>
A domestic violence nonprofit organization that helps rescue women from violent relationships, is now itself in need of saving.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:26 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:26:50 GMT
HENDERSON -- Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson." The swimmingMore>>
Imagine tens of thousands of children around the world learning to swim all at the same time. That's what happened Tuesday as part of "The World's Largest Swimming Lesson."More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:33 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:33:34 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Motorcyclists and local authorities are using "Ride to Work" day to remind everyone to share the road. This year, there has been 16 motorcycle deaths in Nevada. John Cahill is an experiencedMore>>
Motorcyclists and local authorities are using "Ride to Work" day to remind everyone to share the road.More>>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:10 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:10:04 GMT
LAS VEGAS -- Nearly 100 people will remain without a permanent place to live following Sunday's three-alarm fire at the Encantada Apartments. Officials with the Red Cross of Southern Nevada estimate theMore>>
Nearly 100 people will remain without a permanent place to live following Sunday's three-alarm fire at the Encantada Apartments.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- Despite the ethics allegations, Senator John Ensign is vowing to run for re-election next year. Political polls show he is in deep trouble but Ensign thinks the current debate about the national deficit and need for spending cuts works to his advantage since those are issues he has long championed.
The I-Team has aired some pretty tough stories on Ensign over the past year and he hasn't always wanted to talk to the I-Team, but no matter what happens ethics-wise, for the next two years -- at least -- he will serve as Nevada's junior senator. He will vote on issues of paramount importance to Nevada and the country, so the I-Team agreed the interview would focus on the issues and his re-election hopes and a wily colleague of his who could have a say in both.
"Senator Reid and I talk several times a week. We talked this morning. We talked last night. We talk about issues. We talk about personal relationships. We talked about his recent vacation. We talked about it before he went on it," said Senator John Ensign, (R) Nevada.
I-Team Reporter George Knapp: "So you guys are okay?"
"There is absolutely no problem with Sen. Reid. We have a good friendship. We disagree on major issues. We always have. We have the most opposite voting record of two senators from the same state," Ensign answered.
Embattled Senator John Ensign still regards fellow Nevadan Harry Reid as his good friend, but in the back of his mind must be wondering if Reid did anything behind the scenes to influence the ethics committee to continue its Ensign investigation. Ensign seemingly violated the non-aggression pact he had with Reid during the brutal election of last year when he encouraged and supported Sharron Angle. Reid, the so called meddler in chief of Nevada politics, has kept his distance from the scandal swirling around Ensign but might not be neutral in the 2012 campaign.
The I-Team interview in Ensign's capitol office did not focus on the ethics issues but Ensign acknowledged he has dug a deep hole for himself.
"I know it's going to be a tough fight, there is no question. This will be one of the toughest political fights I've ever had, but the issues are so big. They are much bigger than I am. Much bigger. We are talking about such serious problems for the United States. We could end up in a much more severe case than we were in the great Depression if we don't make the right choices now. And we literally don't have four or five years to make these. I think the next four to six months are going to determine if we are going to turn this country around. Because once you are in a presidential election year, you can't," Ensign said.
Ensign will hang his re-election hat on issues he has long preached, if not always practiced --deficit reduction, spending cuts, elimination of earmarks -- issues which were front and center in the president's State of the Union Address and are now on the lips of every member of Congress.
Ensign strategists think the emergence of financial issues is a plus for his re-election hopes and that by keeping his nose to the grindstone, reminding voters that he has been beating the budget-cut drum for years; he might survive, even if challenged in the primary by Congressman Dean Heller, even in a General Election dogfight against Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.
"It is easier to get re-elected by giving money away than it is by making the tough votes. I think the American people and the people in Nevada are waking up to it that this debt is a problem and that it's unsustainable. I think that's the message that people want to hear today. Literally there isn't anything that can be off the table. Republicans don't want to cut defense. We're going to have to cut defense. I'm a Republican that says we are going to have to cut defense."
And like other members of Congress, Ensign is hoping for less sniping on Capitol Hill, not merely for Kumbaya appearances, but for very practical reasons.
"One party can't do it. You have to have both parties so neither party gets blamed or both parties get blamed. The bottom line is we have to do what's right for the American people."
Like nearly every other member of Congress, Senator Ensign has won approval for earmarks for his state worth tens of millions of dollars each year, though his totals show he is one of the 10 most frugal senators in terms of earmarks.
Be sure to watch George Knapp's interview with Senator Harry Reid Wednesday at 5.