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May 4, 2015

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election 2012:

Line of Attack: Does Shelley Berkley have a history of public corruption?

Editor’s note: Line of Attack is a weekly feature in which we parse a political attack, looking at the strategy behind it, how the campaign is delivering it and what facts support or refute it. We’ll assign it a rating on the fairness meter: Legit, Eye Roll, Guffaw, Laughable or Outrageous.

Attack:Democrat Shelley Berkley has a history of public corruption. In short, it’s not just the latest investigation by the House ethics committee that mars Berkley’s record.

Method of Delivery: Berkley’s Republican opponent Dean Heller unleashed his harshest indictment yet of Berkley’s ethics problems in a television spot last week. Conveniently, the ad coincides with a similar one released last week by the independent conservative group Crossroads GPS, meaning the airwaves are now saturated with the attack.

Strategy: The ad reads almost like a closing argument for the campaign, connecting the still unresolved ethics investigation with a previous ethics scandal from the late 1990s in an attempt to convince voters that Berkley is at her core unethical.

Fairness Meter: Heller’s ad delivers each attack with the confidence-inducing label: Fact. And, indeed, each facts he uses is incontrovertible. Berkley did pen a memo to her then boss Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson advising him to contribute to judges and bestow favors on county commissioners for favorable treatment. She apologized for the behavior in 1998 amid a very public and ugly fight with Adelson during her first run for Congress. She won that election.

And, as Heller’s ad mentions, Adelson did fire Berkley, though it wasn’t necessarily in connection with the memo. The two had an ugly falling out as their political philosophies collided and Adelson became more involved in campaigns.

Leading viewers to believe she was fired for the memos isn’t exactly fair.

It’s also true, and well publicized, that Berkley is the subject of an ethics investigation into whether she advocated for health policies that might benefit her husband, a well-known kidney doctor in Las Vegas.

But the ultimate conclusion of the ad, that Berkley has a “history of public corruption” is, at this point, unfounded. An investigation doesn’t equal a conviction. And neither of these cases has resulted in one yet.

So, while it’s legit to raise the facts, the ultimate conclusion that Berkley is guilty of public corruption gets a Guffaw.

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  1. The fact that Adelson fired Berkley makes her even more electable !

  2. There's no doubt Berkley has no honor, no ethics and no moral compass. So the question becomes: Do we really need someone so scuzzy representing us in the U.S. Senate? I think not.

  3. Comment removed by moderator. Off Topic

  4. Mr. Fink.

    If as you say she "no honor, no ethics and no moral compass." There is something more for you to consider.

    What does that say about a community that continues to elect her?

    As the article states, these "charges" are nothing new. Been going on since her first time in office.

    I consider it more political posturing since over all these years she has been convicted of nothing.

    Neither side wants to deal with the problems, they just keep feeding the general public the Drama they so much love. That is how they get elected today. Entertain the masses with anything but facts.

  5. The only thing we've learned here is that people like TEA (Mark Traeger) are the ones crying wolf as they spew their BS.

    Shelly Berkley is a winner and always has been. No convictions for any trumped up Tbillies bogus claims.

    I'm another one of those in a long line whom support her.

  6. No.

  7. "Anyone that brings up a news organization as a scapegoat for justifying their beliefs is plain and simply...a crybaby. Does the other side EVER bring up MSNBC."

    Yes, in fact. The Mitt Romney campaign pledged to boycott any debate with participation from MSNBC.

    Mark Traeger agrees: Mitt Romney is a crybaby.

    Berkley has little to fear from Heller and Karl Rove's unlimited cash (a large amount from Adelson, naturally). Nevada voters know Shelley and trust her.

  8. Thanks, TEA (Mark Traeger) for quoting the survey questions, especially, "Do you personally agree or disagree with the following statement. Government controls too much of our daily lives."

    With so many pollsters calling these days, it's important that the public be able to recognize blatant bias, and you're provided an excellent example. Thank you.

  9. Shelly is an amateur compared to Reid, just look at how he switched his support from MagLev to the Train to Nowhere when his re-election was possibly on the line.

    Shelly still doesn't get it, you don't bribe a politician with money, you bribe them with the ability to deliver votes.

  10. Always a complaint, but NEVER a conviction.

    Congresswoman Shelley Berkley HAS DELIVERED much needed services for the Citizens she serves. Her heart to meet the needs of the People outshines the stupid mistakes she made in the process in doing so. We are all human, make mistakes, and learn from our mistakes.

    I will elect the political candidate who will make my and my fellow citizens' lives better. Substance talks, and bullsh@# walks, folks. There are many good things that stand as a testament to the goodwill and promise keeping of Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, here in Nevada and throughout the USA. What do the other candidate(s) in this election cycle have to offer? What good things have they done for the wellbeing of Citizens? Talk, promises without results, don't count for much here.

    Blessings and Peace,

  11. boftx,

    "Train to Nowhere when his re-election was possibly on the line."

    It is no longer the "Train to Nowhere". CA killed meglv and approved their side which will make this a southwest network.

    Eventually, it will be a wonderful and much needed system. Thinking ahead to when gasoline dependence will have to be reduced dramatically, this is important to keeping LV alive for coming generations.

    There are many forward thinking issues that should be actively planned for in a positive way.

    I won't be able to enjoy this advancement, one I've been waiting 25+ years for, but I am happy others will.

    Someday, the development of the corridor between LV and Jean will also help our area.

    I'm glad Harry Reid prevailed, in spite of all the criticism. I see this as a positive for the future.