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Berkley or Heller
Posting Date: 10/04/2012

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.

 

Commentary
  • Posted Date: 10/04/2012
    I have a pre-existing condition. If Obamacare gets cancelled, I will die. I have tried for years to get health insurance and I can't. You can spin Heller all you want but he is for the wrong things. Free markets will kill people make no mistake about it. Being a socialist is following the holy word of the bible.
    By: Ursula
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  • Posted Date: 10/04/2012
    I hate to tell you Ursula, but you need to do some reading on your own. If you look at Obamacare in detail you will find out that this law will not treat you if you are too old and then you will die because you will not get any treatment. In addition doctors and hospitals will not want to see you because they will not be able to provided the services you need. If you have a pre-existing condition, no one is taking the ability for you to get insurance away from you. All Obamacare does is restricts you from getting the best insurance for your needs at the lowest price. Since Obamacare became law mine and your insurance premiums have increased and will do so for years to come. The full impct will not be known until after 2014. Also, Free markets don't kill people but provide better services at a lower cost. Everytime the government regulates the costs go up and we loose. If you are a socialist, so indicated by your words, then you need to do some reading about socialism and it does not follow the holy word of the Bible. The Bible says for each of us with free will to care and take care of our neighbors, while socialism has government taking the money from all of us and giving it only to individuals who support them. Ursula, stop listening to talking points and learn the facts on your own.
    By: Logical Voice
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  • Posted Date: 10/04/2012
    Let’s clarify the facts in the ethics issue, Mike M since you seem ever-eager to blame Republicans. FACT - the non-partisan Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) transmitted the Berkley ethics matter to the bi-partisan House Committee on Ethics on Feb 9, 2012. FACT – since its inception in 2008, the OCE has conducted 92 preliminary reviews of allegations against lawmakers and of those, 32 cases (35%) were referred to the House Committee on Ethics for further review. Apparently this one is serious. FACT – on July 9, 2012 the bi-partisan House Committee on Ethics voted UNANIMOUSLY to launch a formal investigation against Berkley. This is a broad investigation, unlike your mischaracterization that it’s simply a vote recusal. FACT – the NYT broke a story on Sept 5, 2011 stating “Ms. Berkley’s actions were among a series over the last five years in which she pushed legislation or twisted the arms of federal regulators to pursue an agenda that is aligned with the business interests of her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner”. FACT – she is one of the richest members of Congress, which I’m surprised the NYT disclosed and I’m sure you would broadcast if this were a Republican. While I appreciate fair arguments in support of your position, you are materially misleading your readers.
    By: Reality
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  • Posted Date: 10/04/2012
    I too have a preexisting condition and I pay $1,700 for health insurance just for me. And I was lucky to get that, about 20 insurance companies told me to go away. Free markets will allow insurance companies, wall street, banks and similar to charge as much as the market will bear. That's free market. As for that bible thing about taking care of each other, is like OPD gouging us while the big shots run wild with our money? Free markets stink.
    By: Carol
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  • Posted Date: 10/04/2012
    I asked Mr. Donnelly this question in his previous column but he didn't answer. I'm hoping you will. Please tell me how Obama made his millions? He is now a millionaire - you know, those people you and Donnelly hate. How did he do that? Did he start a company that employed people? Did he create a new product that put people to work manufacturing it? Did he start at the bottom of a thriving business and work his way to the top? Just how did he make his millions? Please explain that.
    By: renae
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  • Posted Date: 10/04/2012
    Carol, as documented on mittromney.com under “Health Care”, his claim is to "Prevent discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage". With all due respect, and I’m sorry you have a pre-ex, if you believe he’s misleading or you simply need add’l clarification as to what that means, further research or vote President Obama. Factcheck.org is a useful resource with a search feature. Renae, responses are few and far between as I am frustrated with the lack of responses as well. However, I believe it’s from book royalties, although I have not done much research in that area.
    By: Reality
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  • Posted Date: 10/05/2012
    Why should senior citizens be concerned? Obamacare is set to erode patient care and doctor availability for seniors. Further, the law will defund and cap spending growth on Medicare. Finally, Obamacare will RATION health care to seniors; setting up “death panels” that will decide who gets care and who doesn’t. Liberals claim that Obamacare will broaden healthcare options for every American in the country. That is a bold faced lie! Seniors in this country WILL be the one of the parties sacrificing their health care for President Obama’s socialized medicine train wreck. Doctor availability and eroding patient care are already a concern the seniors in this country. Obamacare will only exacerbate the problem. Based on the current language in the legislation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate that nearly 15% of Medicare Part A providers will become unprofitable and drop out of Medicare. This will limit access to health care providers for many senior citizens in this country especially in rural areas. Obama wants to make healthcare access to be easier for the non-working recipient class requiring senior citizens to flip the bill by sacrificing patient care and doctor availability so that Obama might buy a few more votes during an election year. Do you think Obama should be playing politics with YOUR healthcare
    By: Bob
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