3rd Congressional turns nasty

With less than six weeks ’til general election ballots hit Clark County mailboxes, the 3rd Congressional District race is heating up big time.

Among the charges and countercharges that flew last week:

Democrat Denny Heck‘s campaign accused Republican Jaime Herrera‘s campaign of benefiting from tainted special interest money.

“Jaime Herrera continues to allow far right corporate interests to set her political and policy agenda,” Heck’s campaign spokesman, Grant Lahmann, said in a statement released Friday. He noted that the American Future Fund, Americans for Tax Reform and Americans for Prosperity have all made independent expenditures on behalf of Herrera’s campaign, mostly for media buys.

“These shadowy, corporate-backed groups are working overtime to elect Jaime Herrera because they have an agenda they know Herrera backs — shipping American jobs overseas, privatizing Social Security and protecting their friends on Wall Street,” Lahmann said.

Really? If that’s Herrera’s agenda, we missed the memo.

Meanwhile, the Herrera campaign is accusing Heck of speaking out of both sides of his mouth on whether he supports his party’s legislative agenda. Herrera spokesman Casey Bowman cited a Heck profile broadcast by MSNBC on Thursday in which Heck criticized the federal stimulus as inadequate and said neither party had effectively addressed the economic crisis.

Heck also declined to commit to supporting another term for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in January if Democrats retain control of the House this November.

“How is Denny Heck running against D.C.?” Bowman asked in a press release. “In an effort to run from his party’s failed economic policies, Denny Heck has consistently offered criticism of Democrats’ pricey policies this year. Yet when pressed, (Heck) admits to supporting or hides his position on every major piece of his party’s agenda.”

Bowman noted that Heck is on record saying he would have voted for last year’s health care reform bill as well as the $787 billion stimulus, yet has since criticized both efforts as flawed.

There’s no inconsistency there, Lahmann said.

“Denny has consistently supported policies and offered solutions that move the ball forward to actually address serious issues affecting our economy, while Jaime Herrera consistently refuses to offer any specific solution to get our economy moving again.”

Kathie Durbin

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