Rep. Shelley Berkley, Under Ethics Investigation, Doubles Down on Deceit with New Ad Campaign
Nevada Democrat Rep. Shelley Berkley is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for using her position in Congress to directly favor legislation that would benefit her -- and her husband -- financially.
Berkley is running to unseat Nevada’s Republican Senator, Dean Heller, and, according to The Las Vegas Sun, will double down on deceit, barraging the state’s airwaves with television advertisements that spin her crony capitalism and conflicts of interest in an attempt to deflect the avalanche of negative press concerning her shady dealings and associations.
According to the Sun, the announcer in the new Berkley ad says, “The complaint against Shelley Berkley was filed by the Republican Party. ” Then, the announcer spins Berkley’s record, saying she fought to “stop cuts to Medicare coverage for hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide” while distorting Heller’s record, claiming Heller voted twice to “end Medicare.”
Despite the claims of partisanship, what the ad fails to mention is that the the House Ethics Committee voted unanimously to investigate Berkely. Five Democrats -- Linda Sanchez, of California, John Yarmuth, of Kentucky, Donna Edwards, of Maryland, Pedro Pierluisi, of Puerto Rico, and Joe Courtney, of Connecticut -- voted with Republicans on the committee to investigate Berkley.
Second, the ad frames Berkely as someone who fought with courage and conviction to stop Medicare cuts when in fact Berkley is being investigated for gaming the system so that federal monies would directly enrich her husband.
As Breitbart News wrote when it put pressure on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Berkley, Berkley’s husband is a managing partner of a company that received a $600,000 federal contract from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Within a year of signing the contract, the contract was revoked when Berkley’s husband’s company kidney transplant program had double the death rates of the expected level, according to a New York Times report.
Berkley then worked with Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to get CMS to reverse its decision to defund her husband’s company. CMS eventually gave the company a bigger contract and employees from her husband’s company, in turn, funneled some of that money back to Berkley’s election campaigns.
In its writeup, the Sun, which is published by liberal Greenspun family who has donated considerable amounts of money to Berkley’s campaigns, treats the transplant center under investigation favorably. The paper describes it as “the only one in the Las Vegas Valley” that could not be closed because it would “ have forced patients to travel out of state for surgery.”
As for Berkley’s claims that Heller voted to end Medicare?
It’s simply not true. The ad refers to Heller’s votes for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that would replace the Medicare program with vouchers, but the new program would not apply to anyone over 55 years of age.
Nevada is one of the Senate seats Republicans must pick up in order to have gain a majority in the Senate.
Democrats know this with Berkley’s political career on the ropes, they are working to distort her record and deceive Nevada’s voters as quickly as possible before even more facts about Berkley’s conflicts of interests are uncovered.