In the race for the Senate seat in Nevada, Republican incumbent Dean Heller is facing off against seven-term congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-Las Vegas). Berkley may be from Nevada, but she doesn’t act like it; she’s putting the interests of national environmental groups over creating jobs for the economy-ravaged state.
And she’s duplicitous about it.
A bundle of 14 proposals that included a portion called the Yerington Land Transfer was passed by the House and sent on to the Senate, where it appears it will die without being passed. Berkley voted against it, even though it would create 400 to 500 jobs with an average yearly salary of $80,000.
The land transfer would occur in Lyon County, which leads Nevada in unemployment at 16.3 percent. Nevada leads the nation in unemployment.
Why would she vote down a bill that created hundreds of jobs for Nevadans?
1. She’s out of touch with what’s going on in her state.
2. Being from Las Vegas, she doesn’t give a damn about rural Nevada
3. She’s out to please the environmental lobby, which is a huge supporter of the Democratic Party
If you guessed all three, you’d be right. Let’s take them one at a time.
1. Berkley is out of touch. She mistook the Topaz Ranch estates fire as the “Reno area” even though it was more than 60 miles away, separated by Carson City, Gardnerville, and Minden. In February, she tweeted that she visited the Click Bond factory in Reno, when it was actually located in Carson City.
2. She doesn’t give a damn about rural Nevada: In 2001 she said she didn’t want to represent rural areas: “Speaking so bluntly she insulted at least one rural lawmaker, Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., told legislators Monday she doesn’t want her district redrawn to include rural areas….Berkley wants to represent only urban Las Vegas, also opposing any thought of her district encompassing the suburbs,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
And she didn’t want to go looking at “your mines” in rural Nevada: “I have my hands full down here…I don’t think I have to be traipsing up to Carlin to look at your mines when I have so many needs (in Clark County).”
3. She’s out to please the environmental lobby: the proposal that passed the House was to facilitate the transfer of roughly 19 square miles of federal land by selling it at fair-market value to the city of Yerington and Lyon County, which has within it the Nevada Copper mine. The land would be used for businesses serving the mine but also include a BMX track, outdoor amphitheater, solar farm and light-manufacturing district.
But attached to the proposal were also provisions that environmentalists, under the aegis of the League of Conservation Voters, were screaming about: allowing the Border Patrol to roam on all federally managed lands within 100 miles of the borders with Mexico and Canada, which the Obama Administration opposes, transferring control of more than 65,000 acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to a private corporation in order to log trees (tree-huggers, unite!), and easing restriction on states and Indian tribes who hunt California sea lions that are eating endangered salmon (wouldn’t you think the environmentalists care about endangered salmon?).
Heller’s campaign spokeswoman Chandler Smith lambasted Berkley:
“Shelley Berkley needs to explain why she sided with environmental groups over Northern Nevada. Instead of supporting legislation that would have created jobs in Yerington, she chose to side with the League of Conservation Voters. This is typical Shelley Berkley, saying one thing and then doing another. Today she cast another vote in a long string of votes where she stubbornly refused to acknowledge that people in Nevada are actually hurting.”
Berkley’s spokesman Richard Urey stated that Berkley would vote for a stand-alone passage of the Yerington Land Transfer bill, which originally was drafted by U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City as well as Heller’s matching stand-alone bill in the Senate. But the question remains: why didn’t Berkley vote yes on the bill in the House, especially because she was a co-sponsor of it to begin with?
Because she was beholden to the environmentalists who pressured her, because she doesn’t care very deeply about rural Nevada, and because she doesn’t even know one city from another in her home state. With businesses dying in Nevada right and left, why would the citizens send a job-killing oblivious-to-the-state candidate to the Senate?