Monday, Oct. 25, 2010 | 3:07 p.m.
Democratic Rep. Dina Titus has a new partner in criticizing Republican congressional candidate Joe Heck's campaign ads - the wind lobby.
The American Wind Energy Association on Friday sent a letter to Republican leaders, urging them to stop airing ads that "falsely attack policies critical to keeping Americans working in wind power."
Heck recently released a campaign commercial claiming that federal stimulus money, which Titus voted for, created green-energy jobs in China, not Nevada. It's one of at least seven similar ads running nationwide that criticize Democrats on energy policy and stimulus funding.
"Dina Titus, she forgot us," Heck's ad says. "Titus voted for Pelosi’s stimulus bill that created jobs in China, not Nevada. Titus supported the job killing energy tax....Titus loves to spend our money, but where are all the jobs? There are no jobs. No jobs, and no more Dina Titus."
"It was democratic leadership who originally called out the fact that the stimulus dollars were creating jobs in China," Heck spokeswoman Mari Nakashima said. "President Obama promised that unemployment would not exceed 8 percent if this expensive bill were passed. President Obama and Dina Titus lied. Congresswoman Titus and her liberal leadership were so excited to spend our money they didn't take the time to ensure that their trillion dollar bill included the proper oversight that would have ensured funding went to American jobs."
Earlier this year, four Democratic senators called on the Obama administration to stop spending stimulus money on renewable energy projects until rules were passed to assure that projects use predominantly American labor and materials. But in subsequent months, several independent groups found claims about stimulus money going to China to be false.
Some stimulus money did go overseas because the United States didn't have the infrastructure needed to manufacture turbines for planned projects. But the vast majority of that funding went to Europe, not China.
In general, no stimulus money went to Chinese-owned companies, and all the stimulus-funded projects are slated for the United States.
As far as creating jobs, a University of California, Berkeley study found the energy bill has the potential to create 17,000 jobs in Nevada and increase the state’s gross domestic product by $500 million.
The wind energy industry reports keeping 85,000 Americans working during the recession because of turbine projects.