Berkley: “It Did Not Occur to Me”
Berkley: “Did Contact the Ethics Committee”
Berkley: “I Didn’t Say That”
So, Congresswoman, Which One Is It?
(Las Vegas, NV) – Whoops. Seven-term Congresswoman Shelley Berkley can’t seem to keep her story straight. This past Saturday, Shelley Berkley completely denied ever telling Steve Sebelius during an on-camera interview that her office “did contact the House Ethics Committee” about a potential conflict of interest.
The denial came during an interview with Anjeanette Damon after Damon asked Shelley Berkley to clarify two conflicting statements, one made to Jon Ralston on June 25th where she said a conflict of interest “did not occur to her” and another to Steve Sebelius on September 1st suggesting it did, or at least to someone in her office.
“This is an election that will determine a seat in the United States Senate. Nevadans deserve to know if Shelley Berkley is lying to them over and over and over again. Shelley Berkley has worked overtime to rewrite history but she did in fact say that her office made contact with the House Ethics Committee. In fact, she said it on-camera. One way or the other, Shelley Berkley is misrepresenting the truth again, just as she has done repeatedly throughout this campaign,” said Chandler Smith, Heller for Senate spokeswoman.
On Saturday, September 8, on “To the Point” with Anjeanette Damon, Shelley Berkley completely denied her statement to Steve Sebelius:
- Anjeanette Damon: “This is to figure out a discrepancy in your comments over the last couple of weeks. You told my colleague Jon Ralston that when you advocated to save the kidney transplant center at UMC that you weren’t thinking about politics or whether financially it benefited your family. Last week you told my colleague Steve Sebelius that your office actually sought input from the House Ethics Committee.”
- Shelley Berkley: “NO I DIDN’T SAY THAT. I don’t know whether I have to clarify this but I think, first of all, and let me set a parameter here, I have been asked specifically by the Ethics Committee not to say anything about what is transpiring…”
- But then she talked about it anyway without explaining her prior comment to Steve Sebelius: “When the investigation is over there is no doubt in my mind that everyone will know that my only concern was for the welfare of patients. Specifically, in the case of UMC, keeping that kidney transplant program open so that the 200 people that were waiting for a kidney transplant in Southern Nevada would be able to have that kidney transplant right in the state. And there is no doubt in my mind that there is going to be, the evidence will be overwhelming, that that was my main concern. What I said to Jon is that when I received the call from the administrator at UMC I had no other thought in my mind than joining with my two other colleagues from Nevada Dean Heller and Jon Porter at the time to make sure we save that program. There was no politics, no consideration and believe me, my life would be much easier right now if I had done the political thing and said, ‘oh no I can’t possibly do it.’”
On Saturday, September 1, Shelley Berkley told Steve Sebelius that someone from her office contacted the House Ethics Committee about a potential conflict of interest:
- Steve Sebelius: “Before you advocated on that…did you contact the House Ethics office and ask them is it appropriate, is it ok if I do this…?”
- Shelley Berkley: “Let me say this, it’s my understanding that MY OFFICE DID CONTACT THE ETHICS COMMITTEE but I didn’t personally do that. And all of the other issues that are involved with the ethics complaint and the ethics investigation, we’ve been asked to keep them confidential…”
- Steve Sebelius: “Did you hear back from them?”
- Shelley Berkley: “I don’t know. I don’t know and I can’t give you an answer…”
But yet Shelley Berkley told Jon Ralston on “Face to Face” in June that a conflict of interest “did not occur” to her:
- Jon Ralston: “You wrote two letters to regulators…you don’t think it could be seen by some people…that you were pursuing a narrow financial interest?”
- Shelley Berkley: “NO. Number one there are millions of kidney patients throughout the United States…would I have really stood back and do nothing when I knew that there was a possibility that the only kidney transplant program in the entire state of Nevada was going to be closed?”
- Jon Ralston: “Have you thought about it enough…?”
- Shelley Berkley: “I wasn’t thinking about the politics of it and I wasn’t worried about the politics.”
- Jon Ralston: “This isn’t politics. This is the financial benefit side of it.”
- Shelley Berkley: “IT DID NOT OCCUR TO ME. My only concern was to provide good health care in the state of Nevada for the people that live here. That’s it.”