Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013 | 8:50 p.m.
Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., is “un-American” for sending a political fundraising mailer, said Democratic congressional candidate Erin Bilbray.
Bilbray, who is running in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District against Heck, decried a Heck campaign email calling her a “liberal activist, fundraiser and Democrat spin-doctor” on the day she announced her candidacy in July during a television interview Wednesday evening with Nevada journalist Jon Ralston.
“I announced on July 1 with a very positive message about my family, my values and I was just actually surprised by the negative tone that he immediately took this far out,” she said. “I think he was wrong, and I think it discourages people from participating in the process, and that is wrong, and that is un-American.”
The Heck campaign email (see in full below) called for people to donate to his campaign. Bilbray, who established a group called Emerge Nevada that helps women get elected to office, has made women’s issues a prominent part of her campaign.
In the July 1 email, Heck said “my new opponent has made her living playing politics to get candidates elected that will be a rubber-stamp for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party’s liberal agenda.”
Bilbray called the email an attack on women.
Although the email does not mention Heck’s or Bilbray’s record on controversial issues relating directly to women, she said the tone the second-term Republican congressman used in his email discourages women from participating in the political process.
“The reason they don’t want to get involved is because of that kind of negativity that Joe Heck expressed the first day I announced,” she said. “You know what the classy thing to do, the gentlemanly thing to do that early would be like, ‘Oh, I welcome somebody to participate in politics,’ but he didn’t do it. That turns women off.”
In the interview on "Ralston Reports" on KSNV News Channel 3, Bilbray also defended President Barack Obama’s health care law and called for background checks for private party gun sales, although she said she does not support an assault weapons ban.
Bilbray also said she supports reforms to the country’s immigration system that would provide a way for people in the United States illegally to eventually gain citizenship.
“I support a pathway to citizenship,” she said. “Joe Heck does not.”
Ralston then played a video clip of Heck at a Las Vegas town hall meeting in which he said he does support a way for people in the country illegal to become citizens.
“I believe that a pathway that the Senate bill laid out is a reasonable pathway,” Heck said. “When you look at having to go through background checks, having to pay a fine, having to make sure your tax liabilities are paid, making sure that you’re in a provisional status for a period of time where you have to learn English, you have to show that you have a job, there’s a lot of safeguards here.”
Bilbray said Heck hasn’t yet had a chance to prove his support by voting for a bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship.
“This is a perfect example of Joe Heck playing both sides and flipping and flopping and not standing for anything,” she said.
Text of Heck campaign email
Today, liberal activist, fundraiser and Democrat spin-doctor Erin Bilbray-Kohn announced her candidacy for Congress in Nevada's 3rd district. Voters will have a clear choice between an Army veteran and physician who has fought for the men, women and families of District 3 and a partisan political consultant who lives outside the district. As Harry Reid's hand-picked candidate, she will be a well-funded opponent fully-backed by the Obama-Reid political machine. That's why your help has never been more important than now. Please take a moment to contribute $100, $50, $25 or whatever you can to help me continue my fight for a stronger America and better quality of life for southern Nevadans.
During the past three-and-a-half years I have consistently stood up for Nevada's middle class and working families and have focused on finding solutions to the challenges we face as Americans. Meanwhile, my new opponent has made her living playing politics to get candidates elected that will be a rubber-stamp for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party's liberal agenda.
Let's face it: this is an important time for our country. Will we move forward and enact policies that will improve our economy, put people back to work, and restore the greatness of America? Or will we go back to a time when Democrats had one-party control of Washington, when Nancy Pelosi was speaker, and when we had to "pass the bill so you can find out what's in it"? We simply cannot afford to go backwards.
My new opponent has spent her entire career crafting messages to manipulate voter behavior. The people of Nevada deserve an honest conversation free from professional partisan political spin. Click here to make your contribution and join the fight today!
We will continue to work together to restore America.