(Las Vegas, NV) – A new ad from Shelley Berkley consists of nothing but insinuations and false claims that show just how desperate the Congresswoman is to talk about anything but her ethics problems, not to mention her fourteen-year legislative record.
“This ad is a pathetic, transparent attempt from a fourteen-year Congresswoman desperate to hold onto power. Shelley Berkley, the same Congresswoman who is being investigated by her own Democratic colleagues on the House Ethics Committee, is throwing ethics arrows at Dean Heller? Unfortunately for Shelley Berkley, Dean Heller did nothing wrong. Period. Thousands of dollars in paid advertising cannot erase that fact, no matter how desperately Shelley Berkley wishes it would. Shelley Berkley is nothing but a sad, desperate politician who will do anything to get elected,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
Take a closer look at the article used as the source for this ad, from the left-leaning Huffington Post.
Please note: This article appeared after the Berkley campaign spent months unsuccessfully pushing the story on reporters nationwide, and then decided to run the ad anyway:
The Huffington Post article states that Dean Heller did not know the CEO of CMKM Diamonds: “Stoecklein also said Heller did not know Casavant.” (Michael McAuliff, “Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley Spar Over Diamond Scam,” Huffington Post, August 16, 2012)
The Huffington Post article verifies this statement: “According to Stoecklein’s sworn deposition, Heller declined to offer any advice to Casavant, saying ‘the problem may be far greater than the state wanted to get involved in at that point. (Michael McAuliff, “Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley Spar Over Diamond Scam,” Huffington Post, August 16, 2012)
Jon Ralston noted that “newspapers” are not claiming any deception on the part of the Heller campaign: “‘Newspapers say the Heller campaign is openly trying to deceive the press on this issue.’ Love the chutzpah there. Newspapers say? No, they don’t. One columnist at a ‘newspaper’ says. No one else has.” (Jon Ralston, Morning Flash – August 24, 2012, August 24, 2012)
Regarding the meeting mentioned in the ad, here is what the Heller campaign actually said: “While Dean Heller does not remember this meeting, court transcripts show that Dean Heller did not have a relationship with the individual in question…Senator Heller was never contacted or questioned during the SEC investigation because he had no involvement or relationship with the company.” (Michael McAuliff, “Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley Spar Over Diamond Scam,” Huffington Post, August 16, 2012)
There is ample evidence showing that Dean Heller would not have known about CMKM Diamonds. Again, even the left-leaning blog Huffing Post reports: “Though the CMKM probe was big enough that Heller might have known about it, no one pointed to evidence that he actually did.” (Michael McAuliff, “Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley Spar Over Diamond Scam,” Huffington Post, August 16, 2012)
Mark Faulk, the author of a book dedicated to CMKM Diamonds, himself said: “I would agree that it’s probably overreaching to say there’s evidence that Heller knew about the fraud at CMKM Diamonds.” (Michael McAuliff, “Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley Spar Over Diamond Scam,” Huffington Post, August 16, 2012)
The Huffington Post also reports that Dean Heller did no wrongdoing: “There is no indication that Heller was aware of the furor around the company. Though Heller had long sought to beef up his office’s role in policing securities, such investigations are generally handled by the state attorney general. Corporate registrations in Nevada also number in the tens of thousands every year, and are handled almost automatically.” (Michael McAuliff, “Dean Heller, Shelley Berkley Spar Over Diamond Scam,” Huffington Post, August 16, 2012)
The “newspapers” referenced in the ad – the single column written by columnist John L. Smith — admitted that the ad was “an attempt to divert attention from her ethics imbroglio…” (John L. Smith, Berkley’s campaign ad raises a $64 million question, August 14, 2012)
Here’s what others are saying about this issue:
Jon Ralston called the attempt to connect Dean Heller with scandal on this issue “ridiculous,” saying: “As usual, a ‘newspaper’ columnist puts himself above the ‘political media’ to do the bidding of the Berkley campaign by drawing a still-tenuous connection between Sen. Dean Heller and a fraudster. Really?…How clever. How droll. How…ridiculous. I am shocked that the Berkley campaign sent the column out to its email list this morning. (Jon Ralston, “Morning Flash – August 14, 2012,” August 14, 2012)
Las Vegas Sun labeled the ad “laughable” (David McGrath Schwartz, Line of Attack: Did Dean Heller let a diamond scam happen under his watch? Las Vegas Sun, August 12, 2012)
Las-Vegas Review-Journal reports the ad is a “reach and a diversion” (Laura Myers, Berkley ad hits Heller on stock scandal, Las Vegas Review-Journal, August 10, 2012)
Channel 8 stated the ad ranges from “misleading to false” (Steve Kanigher, Fact Check: Berkley Ad Ties Heller to Alleged Scam, Channel 8 News Now, August 10, 2012)