Newspaper column: Senate candidates are on opposite ends of political spectrum

Catherine Cortez Masto debates Joe Heck in Senate race faceoff recently. (R-J photo via AP)

Catherine Cortez Masto debates Joe Heck in Senate race faceoff recently. (R-J photo via AP)

The race to fill the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Sen. Harry Reid offers voters a marked contrast in candidates, especially rural voters.

Reid has handpicked former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to be his Democratic heir apparent, while Republicans have nominated Congressman Joe Heck, an emergency room physician by profession and a brigadier general in the Army Reserve.

The issue of what to do about federal public lands alone finds the two candidates pegged on opposite ends of the political spectrum.

Rep. Heck argues that far too much of Nevada — more than 86 percent — is controlled by federal government land agencies, which restrict productive uses.

“I believe that the best stewards of our precious lands are the people closest to it, who understand Nevada’s Western way of life, not bureaucrats in Washington,” Heck says on his website. “I opposed the president’s recent unilateral, executive land grab designating the Basin and Range Monument because it went well beyond the intention of the Antiquities Act and it did not have the support of local residents. I also cosponsored legislation called the Nevada Land Sovereignty Act of 2015, which prevents the president from taking executive action designating or expanding national monuments without Congressional approval or local support.”

In Congress, Heck boasts that he has fought to stop the listing of the greater sage grouse as an endangered species because of how it would harm the state’s economy.

“As your Senator, I will fight to transfer more of our public lands back to our state so that Nevadans can decide how to best utilize the land,” the congressman says.

In sharp contrast, Cortez Masto is cut from the same cloth as Reid, who applauded the president’s unilateral designation of Basin and Range Monument and has generally opposed handing over greater control of public lands to the state.

She has said on her website, “I will fight to ensure that future generations are able to experience the incredible natural resources Nevada has to offer, just like I did,” meaning leaving it in the hands of federal bureaucrats who have failed to manage the range to prevent wildfire and have failed to control the overpopulation of feral horses that are starving from overgrazing and jeopardizing other wildlife as well.

She also embraces Reid’s blind allegiance to the not-ready-for-free-market green energy acolytes.

“As U.S. senator, I will work to ensure we are fully utilizing Nevada’s abundance of wind, solar, and geothermal energy resources and increase investments in renewable energy technology to create green jobs here in Nevada,” she says. “I will also work to preserve and protect Nevada’s incredible public lands — a unique, valuable resource in Nevada that creates thousands of jobs and brings in millions of dollars into our state’s economy every year. We must safeguard our natural resources and stop big oil from receiving unnecessary tax subsidies” — unlike subsidies for green energy?

When it comes to ObamaCare and its skyrocketing premiums and deductibles and disappearing providers, Heck has already worked to pass legislation that would exempt residents of counties that have only one ObamaCare provider from the requirement to pay a tax penalty if they fail to maintain minimum health coverage under the so-called Affordable Care Act. Ten rural Nevada counties this next year will have only one provider.

“As an emergency department physician, one of the reasons I ran for Congress was the passage of the disastrous Affordable Care Act,” Heck says “The law has failed to meet its stated goals of increasing access to healthcare and reducing costs. Recent events suggest the law is having the opposite effect. Major insurers are leaving the exchanges and others are predicting significant premium hikes for their customers, making it anything but affordable.”

For her part, as attorney general, Cortez Masto refused then-Gov. Jim Gibbons’ directive to file suit to challenge the ObamaCare law, even though she was required to do so by state law — a dereliction of duty.

Heck recently voted to delay an Obama administration Labor Department rule that would vastly increase the number of workers who would have to be paid overtime and thus cripple many small businesses and result in job losses.

Meanwhile, Cortez Masto is advocating that Congress should raise the minimum wage, another job crushing move.

When it comes to the Second Amendment, Heck has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, while the NRA has spent $1 million on ads opposing Cortez Masto.

A version of this column appeared this week in many of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel and the Lincoln County Record — and the Elko Daily Free Press.

22 comments on “Newspaper column: Senate candidates are on opposite ends of political spectrum

  1. nyp says:

    Mr. Mitchell hits the nail right on the head: if you are against more overtime pay, vote for Heck!

  2. Vernon Clayson says:

    If Cortez-Masto is to carry Harry Reid’s bag it will be a long haul for her as she won’t automatically have the political power and influence he gained over his long, and to most of us, tiresome tenure. She will pull no strings as no one will be impressed if she says this is what Harry Reid wants. For those who haven’t been watching the Senate has become a debating society with little power, that they surrendered to Obama. Clinton would continue his domination of the now obsequious legislative branch, however, if Trump wins the Senate will rise from its knees to take back its place in the scheme of things.

  3. Barbara says:

    How I wish they were truly on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Heck always runs as a conservative, but then more often than not, votes to advance the liberal agenda.


    Conservative Review scores him as 40 percent conservative and 60 percent liberal with his weakest point being votes on immigration. He fully supports amnesty. Too bad we don’t have a real conservative running in the race. As for his opposition to Obamacare, he only casted show votes against it. When it came down to funding it, he dutifully fell in line and voted to fund it. In fact, he voted to fund everyone of Obama’s priorities.

    As with the Presidential election, it comes down to who can you stomach the least. Just don’t try to convince me that Heck is anything but a liberal republican. Too bad he doesn’t take his oath of office to defend and protect the constitution more seriously. His is not a patriot to me.

  4. Barbara says:

    And Vern why do you think the Senate needs Trump to fulfil it’s constitutional role? As you stated, they surrendered the power to Obama, and even worse, worked to undermine the conservatives in the House. I don’t expect they would change their stripes no matter who becomes President. McConnell is no better than Reid. He needs to go as majority leader. In fact, most of the Senate needs to be replaced. If ever there was a perfect example of why we need term limits the US Senate is no better example.

  5. Barbara says:

    Wow. Just read that the FBI has reopened its investigation into HIllary’s emails.

  6. nyp says:

    No, it has not.

  7. Steve says:

    Yes, Nyp, the FBI has re opened their investigation. (Maybe Comey found a way to keep from becoming a mysterious dead body!)

    FBI Director James Comey released a statement today saying that the FBI is going to continue the previously closed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails from her time as secretary of state.

    “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation,” Comey wrote in a letter released today.

    Comey wrote in the letter that after being briefed on the unrelated case, he agreed, “the FBI should take appropriated investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

  8. Nyp says:

    No, it has not

  9. Steve says:

    Tell it to ABC news, nyp.
    Unless you are coming clean, here and now, that you are blind to anything with which you do not agree.

    The FBI has reopened the investigation.
    Maybe you could set the BBC straight on it as long as you are correcting ABC news.

    Even Clinton acknowledges it. Maybe you should have a little face to snear with your candidate.

    “Hillary Clinton says she is “confident” a new FBI probe linked to her emails will not change its original finding that she should not be prosecuted.”

  10. Steve says:

    Now Scott Pelley is saying the same thing, the FBI has re opened their investigation….

    Ready to admit you are wrong, nyp?

  11. Steve says:

    That is the problem with jumping to conclusions Nyp.
    It always turns out poorly for the jumper.
    Every time you post one of your instant “Second Amendment Moments” I like to wait for the details that follow….every time they show you jumped to conclusions.

    Enjoy the long cold swim back from the island, nyp!
    Hat tip, Norman Juster.

  12. nyp says:

    No, the FBI has not reopened its investigation.

  13. Steve says:

    You don’t even believe your own candidate!
    Figures, I guess, after all she is a lying sack of bull puck. About time you agreed to that!
    Too bad it takes the FBI re opening thier investigation!

    That water is cold, nyp.

  14. Barbara says:

    This could be a game changer. I don’t see the Comey doing this unless he was facing a mutiny from the rank and file. They must have found something pretty significant to have reopened an investigation this close to the election.

  15. Steve says:

    Nyp insists it wasn’t re opened.

    I posted totally trustworthy sources in the form of BBC, ABC and referred to Scott Pelley from tonight’s CBS evening news broadcast…..all of them are telling us the FBI re opened their investigation…..

    Must be that lying main stream media we all keep hearing about!

  16. Barbara says:

    Don’t confuse him with the facts when his mind is made up.

  17. Steve says:

    No no!

    The lying main stream media lies about liberals too!

    We can’t trust ANYTHING they say!

    Just ask our totally trustworthy local poster, Nyp…he is saying so in this thread and who are we to call him wrong?

    After all, he’s Nyp the New York Post of liberal supporters!

    I love my Massachusetts upbringing….I learned sarcasm from the very best, huh?

  18. Vernon Clayson says:

    Barbara, I’m not so sure that Director Comey has seen the light, more than likely this issue was raised to deflect attention from the Clinton’s recuring and occuring scandals, near scandals, and lies, and, her physical and mental problems. The FBI this, the FBI that, no longer means what it did, the Bureau lost credence when Comey passed judgment that Clinton was only “careless”. They are no longer the last word in law enforcement, most of the agents believe in their work but there are political hacks at the top. No one mentions his second in command’s wife getting $600,000.00 donation running for a state office from the Clintons, she lost but her husband got the aforementioned spot as second in command, all is well with them. The Clintons taint every person they deal with.

  19. Barbara says:

    Fox News is reporting that the Justice Department has not approved a warrant for the FBI to look at the emails recovered during the investigation of Anthony Weiner. If this is true,Comey may have written the letter revealing the existence of these new-found emails because he needs public pressure to get the warrant.

    Comey did not have the authority to convene a grand jury or appoint a special prosecutor or even get a subpoena. He also was not the person who gave everyone involved immunity. All these things take a US Attorney who works for the Justice Dept. Now with Justice refusing to issue the warrant, Comey did the only thing he could which was write the letter to Congress.

    Comey has come under considerable pressure from the House, current agents, retired agents, and former US attorneys. With this conflict with the Justice Dept., things will get very interesting over the next 10 days. Obama cannot afford the FBI looking at emails that may implicate him as well as Hillary. Let’s see if the FBI gets their warrant or what excuse Lynch or Obama give for not issuing it. They wanted the discovery of these emails swept under the rug, and for whatever reason, Comey refused.

  20. Steve says:

    Well, they got the warrant. CBS evening news reported tonight that the FBI re opened its case against Clinton. So we have 3 days of main stream media telling us the FBI reopened the case.
    Maybe they are doing it to spite nyp!

    Meanwhile, Hairy Weed is claiming Comey may have violated the Hatch Act, which is a laughably empty threat as anyone who has been watching this unbelievably ugly campaign knows.
    Most early voting is in and it’s looking good for Democrats, so Comey is probably doing the next president a favor by making this public now instead of waiting until after the election when it would turn into a huge scandal no matter who wins the election.

  21. Rincon says:

    That’s it kids. Grab onto every snippet of information that throws suspicion on Clinton and continue to ignore The Donald’s tsunami of scandals. As in Disney, maybe if you wish hard enough, it will all turn true.

  22. Steve says:

    From CNN and also on the, aforementioned, CBS news.
    “An ABC News/Washington Post tracking poll released Sunday showed Clinton ahead 46% to 45% — narrower than Saturday’s 2-point Clinton edge. ”

    Seems the polls are tightening due to the (MSM reported) re opened investigation.

    And, I don’t support Trump.

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