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October 4, 2015

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Damon Political Report


Political rivals agree: Cities shouldn’t be blacklisted from hosting federal conferences

Shelley Berkley

Shelley Berkley

Dean Heller

Dean Heller

Is it possible that two foes locked in what promises to be one of this year’s most bitter campaign battles agree on something?

In a rare display of comity toward his Democrat rival in the Senate race, U.S. Sen Dean Heller, R-Nev., announced his support of U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley’s legislation that would ban so-called blacklisting of U.S. cities from holding federal conferences.

Berkley was first out of the gate Wednesday, announcing she would introduce legislation that would protect Reno and Las Vegas from being denied federal conventions in the wake of the scandal surrounding the GSA’s lavish spending at a Las Vegas conference in 2010. Rather than trying to one-up her on the issue, Heller announced he’d join her.

“I am pleased to join Congresswoman Berkley in the effort to end the blacklist process by the federal government,” Heller said in a written release. “Nevada offers the best hospitality and convention services in the world, and Las Vegas, Henderson, Lake Tahoe, and Reno have long been favorite destinations for millions of visitors.”

But, lest the strains of Kumbaya become too deafening, Heller threw in a few jabs first, qualifying his support of Berkley’s measure with the fact he continues to disagree with her on “the bailouts for Wall Street and Detroit, Obamacare, and stimulus spending that has left many Nevadans out of work.”

Of course, since this is an election year, Berkley failed to let Heller’s gesture go unmet. After thanking Heller for his support, Berkley challenged him to join her in voting for the Paycheck Fairness Act — a measure aimed at shrinking the gender gap on salaries.

Berkley’s press release detailed Heller’s past votes against the legislation.

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