In the run-up to the national election on Nov. 6, the Mike vs Mike debate will focus on a specific race each week and review the candidates running for various offices. Mike and Mike will ultimately debate the Presidential choices on Nov. 1.
For this week's Mike versus Mike debate, we asked this question:
As we near the finish line for the November general elections, make your best case for voting for one of these two candidates in the Nevada Senate race: Shelley Berkley or Dean Heller.
As always, we welcome your input into the debate. Leave a comment at the end of this article for others to read and ponder.
Also, take a few moments and answer the poll question in the left menu column.
Mike McGreer's turn
I support Democrat Shelley Berkley because of the positions she takes on issues important to me and my family.
Karl Rove's American Crossroads is paying for ads that distorts Berkley's congressional work in 2008, to safeguard the kidney transplant program at the Las Vegas University Medical Center. The ads are designed to present Berkley as benefiting monetarily from her work in behalf of the kidney program because her husband is a kidney doctor.
It was the Republicans that presented the issue to the House Committee on Ethics in order to use it against her during the 2012 campaign. The Committee has agreed to hear only one issue, i.e. should she have recused herself from supporting the program. The entire Nevada delegation, including Dean Heller, supported the issue. Berkley argues that it was a health issue pure and simple.
Dean Heller, (R) is being attacked for his positions on health care and taxes. Heller voted against the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012, popularly known as the Buffett Rule, and he voted against the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, calling it "another bank bailout." He opposed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act. The Auto Act saved GM and Chrysler. Nevada banks, credit unions and housing authorities received $161.0 million from TARP. They have returned $140.0M plus another $20.6M in dividends, interest and other fees, leaving a net to date of $367.4K In contrast, Berkley voted in favor of both these bills.
Heller opposed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, and twice (once in the House and once in the Senate) supported Republican Congressman (now Vice Presidential candidate) Paul Ryan's budget plan. He also opposed expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program.
Berkley supports the Patient Protection and Affordable Care, the Children's Health Insurance Program and opposes Ryan's budget plan. She also co-sponsored bills improving services for people with autism & their families; co-sponsored establishing a national childhood cancer database; co-sponsored Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act and supported funding women's health needs.
Heller voted against increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 while Berkley voted in its favor.
Berkley voted for restricting employer interference in union organizing, and opposes discriminatory compensation and she signed Paycheck Fairness Act for stronger enforcement against gender-based pay discrimination.
Heller voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, but proposed an alternative called "End Pay Discrimination" which would prevent the government from collecting salary information and disbursing grants to help women better negotiate higher salaries.
Berkley supports the elimination of oil and gas subsidies. Heller supports oil and gas subsidies but is against subsidies for development of renewable energy, economic incentives to purchase fuel efficient vehicles, and Amtrak improvements.
Heller voted against making additional grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, early learning facilities and charter schools. He opposed an additional $10.2 billion for federal education & HHS projects.
Berkley voted in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. She also voted in favor of reauthorizing the America COMPETES Act in 2010 but voted against College Cost Reduction and Access Act. She voted in favor of $40B for green public schools; additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects; and $84 million in grants for Black and Hispanic colleges. Berkley adopted the manifesto to offer every parent a choice between charter schools and public. She co-sponsored an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to reduce class size to 18 children in grades 1 to 3. She
supported funding for teacher training and other initiatives.
Heller vote against a bill to set federal standards for how schools may restrain students believed at risk of hurting themselves or others.
Heller is against abortion but voted in favor of embryonic stem cell research. Berkley is "pro-choice" and also voted in favor of embryonic stem cell research.
Heller opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, supports a border fence (at $25 million for each mile along the 2,000 mile border) and opposes the DREAM Act which would grant citizenship for young illegal immigrants if they attend college or serve in the military. He supports ending birthright citizenship. Berkley co-sponsored the More Visas for Families of Lawful Immigrants bill, supports building a border fence along the Mexican border, and supports the DREAM Act.
Heller is opposed to gay marriage and against the Employment Non-discrimination Act that called for prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Berkley supports the right of gay and lesbian individuals to get married. Berkley voted in favor of repealing Don't ask, don't tell.
There is an issue they both agree on and that is the right to bear arms.
In the final analysis, Heller is opposed to virtually everything that improves Nevada's economy and the health of the middle-class, the poor and the disenfranchised yet he wants to spend $50 billion dollars on a border fence that people can tunnel under and pole vault over.
Mike Young's turn
Dean Heller was appointed to U.S. Senate in 2011. Since then he has been fighting for fiscal responsibility in Washington. He has opposed tax increases, government expansion and out-of-control spending. He was also the only member of the Nevada delegation to vote against the Wall Street bailout. Senator Heller supported both Republican and Democrat proposals to balance the budget.
He has the wholehearted endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for his policies that advance free enterprise principles that drive economic growth and job creation across the state. With the highest un-employment rate in the country Nevada needs to support someone with a pro-business attitude.
On abortion, Heller told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2006 "I teach Sunday school every week, but I do support a woman's right to choose.” Since being elected to federal office, he has consistently been pro-life but without interfering with a women’s right to choose.
Heller has voted in support of the development of domestic oil, gas and coal. He has voted against the tax policies subsidizing the development of renewable energy (Solyndra type projects).
He also opposed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 also known as TARP which bailed out the financial industry. Heller stated the reason he opposed this bill was, "The core of this legislation is still flawed and puts Nevada's taxpayers on the hook to pay for a massive bailout of Wall Street. There are solutions to this problem that do not place current taxpayers and future generations at risk or push our country further in debt."
And isn’t that the position we’re in now? Spending money so fast the printing presses have to run all night and weekend too. So the choice really is continue this incredible spending until our country collapses or get a handle on spending and roll back some of these anti-business government regulations.
Heller voted against Obamacare saying: "Today Congress did a great disservice to the American people. Congress has empowered the federal government to take control of individual health care choices. Those who voted for this measure stood up for political buyoffs and special deals that benefit a small few while sticking the majority of Americans with higher taxes and higher health care costs. For our children and grandchildren, we will be passing on record debt and lower quality of life. At a time when Americans are asking for jobs, Congress has decided to deliver bigger government and less opportunity."
His opponent Shelley Berkley has spent fourteen years in Washington doing nothing but raising taxes and making it harder for businesses to succeed. Berkley voted for bailouts and a failed stimulus (but against a balanced budget). She worked to expand government and to control health care. She is also currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for using her elected office for personal gain.
Our choice as Americans is Socialism or free markets. It is all on the line and it is your choice. Dean Heller is the choice for free markets.