Former Nevada state Rep. Sharron Angle, who has become the Tea Party favorite in the Republican primary for Senate, is now working to distance herself from a possible weakness in the race — accusations that she has ties to the Church of Scientology.
As the Las Vegas Sun reports, the Angle campaign has scrubbed its website of a claim that she approached Sen. John Ensign, along with actresses Kelly Preston and Jenna Elfman, to sponsor legislation that would prohibit schools from requiring students to take psychotropic drugs. Preston and Elfman are prominent Scientologists, and the church opposes the use of psychiatric drugs. Now, Angle’s website only says that Ensign sponsored a bill “at Angle’s request.”
This comes after Sue Lowden, the establishment-backed candidate in the race, ran an ad that attacked Angle for having “pushed a bill favored by the Church of Scientology, using tax dollars to give massages to prisoners.”
In fact, Angle never formally presented a bill, but she did try to gain support for a prison drug rehabilitation program that would involve prisoners quitting drugs cold turkey, with saunas and massages as part of treatment — an idea promoted by the Church of Scientology. Angle also tried to organize a legislative trip to a jail in Mexico that uses this program, and the trip would have been paid for by an individual who is a Scientologist, according to the Sun.
Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy told the Sun that the attacks against Angle are “desperate,” and that Angle is a Southern Baptist who has never advocated Scientology: “This is all about blowing this thing out of proportion — making it sound like she’s a Scientologist.”