Congresswoman’s Ethics Troubles Not a Free Pass to Lie to Nevadans
(Las Vegas, NV) – As Congresswoman Shelley Berkley’s ethics investigation looms over her campaign, the seven-term Congresswoman has launched ads that knowingly mislead Nevadans.
“How about the truth, Congresswoman? For the first time since 2009, a bipartisan committee of five Democrats and five Republicans unanimously decided Congresswoman Berkley’s actions required a formal investigation on the basis of a non-partisan report. In the very same ad she asks for the ‘truth,’ Shelley Berkley desperately tries to shift blame and repeats Politifact’s Lie of the Year over and over again. No matter how much she may want to distract from her own problems, Congresswoman Berkley’s ethics troubles do not give her a free pass to lie to Nevadans,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
- “The complaint about Shelley Berkley was filed by the Republican Party:” The House Ethics Committee is comprised of 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans. The Committee voted unanimously to create a subcommittee to further their investigation:
“The bipartisan House Ethics Committee has voted unanimously to proceed with a full-scale investigation into whether Rep. Shelley Berkley used her position in Congress to benefit her husband’s medical practice.” (Erin Kelly, “House Ethics Committee appoints panel in Shelley Berkley case,” Reno Gazette Journal, July 9, 2012)
“The committee’s leaders said the panel voted unanimously to establish a four-member subcommittee armed with subpoena powers to conduct the probe, a process expected to stretch through the summer and fall and cloud the Las Vegas Democrat as she campaigns for the U.S. Senate House panel to investigate allegations against Berkley.” (Steve Tetreault, Laura Myers, “House panel to investigate allegations against Berkley,” Las Vegas Review Journal, July 7, 2012)
“In a fairly unusual move after reviewing a subsequent report from the Office of Congressional Ethics, the House Ethics Committee has formed a subcommittee to launch a formal investigation…” (Anjeanette Damon, “For State GOP, a Rare Coup,” Las Vegas Sun, July 12, 2012)
“This is the first time the ethics panel has empaneled a formal investigative subcommittee based on an OCE report since October 2009, when it agreed to probe allegations against Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Laura Richardson (D-Calif). In recent years, the committee also has launched formal investigations against Rep. Charles E. Rangel (D-N.Y.). (Washington Post, Shelley Berkley faces formal ethics investigation, Ed O’Keefe, July 9, 2012)
· “Dean Heller is attacking Berkley for trying to stop cuts to Medicare”: Wrong again. The fact is Congresswoman Shelley Berkley singlehandedly wrote a letter to Rep. Pete Stark, the chairman of the Subcommittee with jurisdiction over Medicare “warning him to move carefully in considering changes in compensating doctors who provided dialysis treatments.” The letter was sent the same day she received “a series of campaign contributions.”
“In early February 2008, for example, Ms. Berkley received a series of campaign contributions, first $1,000 from Amgen, then $2,000 from Kidney Care Partners, a trade group backed by Amgen and DaVita, then $3,000 from DaVita, and then $1,000 from Dr. Lehrner’s group, the Renal Physicians.
“The day that two of those checks were delivered, Ms. Berkley sent a letter to Representative Pete Stark, Democrat of California, then chairman of the House Ways and Means subcommittee with jurisdiction over Medicare, warning him to move carefully in considering changes in compensating doctors who provided dialysis treatments.” (Eric Lipton,“A Congresswoman’s Cause Is Often Her Husband’s Gain,” New York Times, September 5, 2011)
- “Dean Heller voted twice to end Medicare”: False. This statement was labeled Politifact’s 2011 Lie of the Year. But even knowing this statement is false, Berkley’s campaign decided not to split those hairs.” (Anjeanette Damon, “Berkley launches new ad campaign to defend against ethics charge,” Las Vegas Sun, July 12, 2012)
- The ads repeat the same claims from previous ads that Factcheck.org found to “twist the truth:” (“Outside Groups Twist Truth in Nevada Senate Race, Factcheck.org, June 21, 2012); (“No End to ‘End Medicare’ Claim, Factcheck.org, July 6, 2012)
Shelley Berkley supported the President’s health care law that cut $500 billion out of the Medicare program. It also created a panel of 15 unelected bureaucrats that have the power to deny health care for seniors. (House Vote 165 – HR 3590, HR3590, March 21, 2010)
In fact, the government takeover of healthcare’s cuts to Medicare could put Medicare Advantage benefits at risk, including for 110,000 Nevadans: “Seniors in a number of states risk losing their Medicare Advantage benefits because of cuts in President Obama’s healthcare reform law, according to a new report from Avalere. The law contains about $200 billion in direct and indirect cuts to private Medicare plans through 2017.” (Julian Pecquet, “Report: Healthcare law cuts put Medicare Advantage benefits at risk in some states,” The Hill’s Healthwatch Blog, 3/12/12)
Shelley Berkley voted for a 2% cut from the Medicare program which would restrict seniors’ access to care.
· Sequestration as a result of the Budget Control Act would require Medicare cuts of up to $11 billion a year (about $140 billion over ten years) if deficit reduction targets are not reached (RC #123, 112th Congress, 1st Session).
In fact, Dean Heller has repeatedly voted to preserve the Medicare programs, voting against $1.6 trillion in proposed Medicare cuts:
· Opposed legislation that proposed expanding the SCHIP program by cutting Medicare by nearly $200 billion (RC #787, 110th 1st Session).
· Voted against ObamaCare, which cut half a trillion dollars from the Medicare program (RC #165, 111th Congress, 2nd Session).
· Opposed the Budget Control Act, which provides for possible Medicare cuts of up to $11 billion a year (about $140 billion over ten years) if deficit reduction targets are not reached (RC #123, 112th Congress, 1st Session).
Dean Heller has consistently voted to ensure physicians are properly reimbursed so they will continue participating in the Medicare program and provide necessary services for seniors.
· (RC #1184, 110th Congress, 1st Session; RC # 443 and 491, 110th Congress, 2nd Session; RC #985 , 111th Congress, 1st Session; RC #211, #393, and #626, 111th Congress, 2nd Session; RC #232, 112th Congress, 1st Session).