Fact Check: Berkley Ad Defends Her Actions

By Steve Kanigher

Published 07/12 2012 12:23PM

Updated 07/12 2012 08:46PM

Claim: The campaign to elect Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley to the U.S. Senate is airing a television advertisement that states in part: "The complaint against Shelley Berkley was filed by the Republican Party. Dean Heller's actually attacking Berkley for trying to stop cuts to Medicare coverage for hundreds of thousands of patients nationwide. The Las Vegas Sun says Berkley's advocacy wasn't driven for personal gain, it was aimed at helping Nevadans."

Verdict: Partially true and partially misleading. The ad is in reference to the complaint the Nevada Republican Party filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Berkley in September. The ad glazes over the fact that the complaint came two weeks after The New York Times published a story reporting that over a five-year period Berkley "pushed legislation or twisted the arms of federal regulators" to advance an agenda aligned with the business interests of her husband, kidney care specialist Dr. Larry Lehrner. Berkley said her actions involved advocacy of Medicare spending to benefit kidney patients, not an attempt to line the pockets of her husband, who holds a kidney treatment contract with University Medical Center and operates dialysis centers in Nevada. But the 10-member House Ethics Committee, which includes five congressional Democrats as well as five Republicans, announced Monday that it unanimously decided to pursue an ethics investigation against her.

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