Published Friday, May 6, 2016 | 10:16 a.m.
Updated Friday, May 6, 2016 | 4:42 p.m.
The pro-Democratic Senate Majority PAC is launching a $450,000 television ad buy in Nevada today targeting Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Heck’s state legislative record.
The ad highlights legislation Heck sponsored as a state senator to repeal excise taxes on Nevada banks, criticizes him for accepting more than $300,000 in campaign contributions from the securities and investment industry, and portrays him as in “lockstep with Washington Republicans.”
It also notes that Heck, who now represents Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, once called the mortgage crisis in the state “a blip on the radar” on a 2008 questionnaire.
“After Joe Heck sponsored a bill giving tax breaks to big banks, he took over $300,000 from Wall Street, including many of the same banks who caused Joe Heck’s ‘blip,’” the ad says. “So that’s where Congressman Heck’s coming from.”
Heck is running against Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto, former Nevada attorney general, to replace Sen. Harry Reid when he retires at the end of his term.
Heck’s campaign fired back, highlighting ways in which the congressman helped Nevadans impacted by the housing crisis, including hiring a real estate agent for his district office to assist with housing cases, bringing a field hearing of the House Financial Services Committee to Las Vegas and introducing legislation to tackle mortgage debt forgiveness.
“Joe Heck knows what it’s like to suffer the stress of losing a home because when his father was shot in a robbery and unable to work, his family almost lost theirs,” Heck spokesman Brian Baluta said. "That’s why Joe Heck has helped countless Nevada families threatened by foreclosure.”
Heck's campaign called Cortez Masto a “flawed candidate who has no real accomplishments” and said the ad was an effort to “distract from (her) embellishment of her shoddy record on the mortgage crisis."
The super PAC behind the ad has ties to Reid and supports Democratic senators and challengers through television ads.
“Just like his fellow Republicans in Congress, Joe Heck’s true priorities lie with his campaign contributors, including the people responsible for wrecking Nevada’s economy, not the people he’s supposed to represent,” said Shripal Shah, spokesman for the Senate Majority PAC. “That kind of agenda works perfectly for his fellow Republicans in Congress, but it’s wrong for Nevada.”
The ad contributes to the war on the airwaves between Heck and Cortez Masto. Earlier this week, a Koch brothers-backed group announced a $1 million ad buy targeting Cortez Masto’s record as attorney general.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the ad targets Heck's record in the state Senate. | (May 6, 2016)