FACT CHECK: Catherine Cortez Masto on Crime v. Joe Heck

While Cortez Masto Prosecuted Criminals, Congressman Heck Threatened Nevadans’ Safety By Voting Against More Funding For Cops

Las Vegas, NV – Another day, another out-of-state special interest group propping up Congressman Heck’s campaign with lies about Catherine Cortez Masto. Last night, it was reported that Washington Republicans are running yet another ad that lies about Catherine Cortez Masto’s record while ignoring Congressman Heck’s own record of putting partisan politics ahead of Nevadans’ safety

The truth is: crime went down during the eight years Cortez Masto was Attorney General. Nevada law enforcement is supporting Cortez Masto because she has a proven record of solving problems and working with law enforcement to keep Nevada communities safe

“Nevada cops support Catherine Cortez Masto because unlike Congressman Heck, she has consistently put the safety of Nevadans ahead of partisan politics,” said Zach Hudson, spokesperson for Catherine Cortez Masto for Senate. “The facts are clear: while Catherine Cortez Masto was prosecuting criminals, Congressman Heck was voting against more funding for Nevada cops. Washington Republicans are lying about Catherine’s record to distract from Congressman Heck threatening the safety of Nevadans by voting against more funding for Nevada law enforcement.

In March, Cortez Masto was endorsed by the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers (NAPSO), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the Peace Officers Research of Nevada (PORAN), the Washoe County Sheriff Deputies Association, and the Southern Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs (SNCOPS) in her campaign for Senate. SNCOPS consists of: the Henderson Police Supervisors Association (HPSA), the Las Vegas Peace Officers Association (LVPOA), the Las Vegas Police Protective Association (LVPPA), and the Las Vegas Police Managers and Supervisors Association (LVPMSA). This was the first time in Nevada history the organizations came together with one unanimous endorsement.

View the facts about this blatantly false ad below:

NRSC AD “WHO” – PUSHBACK 8/2/16

Voiceover: Who do you trust to keep your family safe?

 

FACT: LAW ENFORCEMENT UNIONS THAT ENCOMPASS ALMOST EVERY PEACE OFFICER IN NEVADA UNANIMOUSLY ENDORSED CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO FOR SENATE…

Headline: Associated Press: “Nevada Police Unions Back Democrat Cortez Masto For Senate.” [Associated Press, 3/2/16]

Coalition Of Nevada Law Enforcement Unions Endorsed Cortez Masto For U.S. Senate. “A coalition of Nevada law enforcement unions is announcing support for Democratic Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto. Cortez Masto’s campaign announced endorsements Wednesday from the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, Peace Officers Research of Nevada, the Fraternal Order of Police and the Southern Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs. The latter group includes the Las Vegas Police Protective Association and organizations representing Henderson and Las Vegas police supervisors.” [Associated Press,3/2/16]

The Law Enforcement Unions Cited Cortez Masto’s Work To Fight Human Trafficking And Support For Funding More Police Officers As Reasons For The Endorsement. “Cortez Masto’s previous job as Nevada’s attorney general involved frequent work with law enforcement. Representatives from the unions cited her initiatives to fight human trafficking and her support of funding more police hires as reasons for the endorsement.” [Associated Press, 3/2/16]

Cortez Masto Picked Up Support From Nevada Police Unions.“Former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D) picked up endorsements from the Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers, the Fraternal Order of Police, the Peace Officers Reserve of Nevada, and the Southern Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs Wednesday.” [National Journal, 3/3/16]

…BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO FOUGHT TO KEEP NEVADANS SAFE AND BRING CRIMINALS TO JUSTICE

Fox News: Cortez Masto “Dedicated Herself To Fighting Sex Trafficking In Our State.” In February 2015, Fox News In The Morning reported, “Catherine Cortez Masto. Former Nevada Attorney General. Dedicated herself to fighting sex trafficking in our state. ‘The numbers that we’ve seen in our state, when these kids come through, 60 percent of them are our own. They’re homegrown.’ she decided it’s time to do more to hold the perpetrators accountable.” [KVVU, 2/19/15]

AG Cortez Masto Sponsored And Pushed For Legislation To Combat Child Sex Trafficking In Nevada. According to an article by Alex Pompliano of the Nevada Media Alliance, “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and other supports of the bill will join Sandoval as he signs AB67 into law. The bill establishes the crime of sex trafficking of children and adults, and makes victims eligible for state assistance and allows them to sue their traffickers. By doing so, the bill holds pimps accountable and protects the victims of sex trafficking. Cortez Masto, a primary proponent of the bill, says bills passed this year by the Legislature will serve as a springboard for more anti-trafficking measures in future years.” [Carson Now, 6/6/13]

Cortez Masto’s Bill Created New Tools For Law Enforcement To Stop Sex Trafficking And Gave More Recourse For Victims Of Sex Trafficking. According to a press release posted on the Mesquite Citizen website, “The bill was approved by unanimous votes of both houses of the legislature. The bill will now be sent to Governor Brian Sandoval’s for final approval. A public signing with Gov. Sandoval will take place. Background on AB 67: Changes the current pandering statute to the sex trafficking statute. The federal definition of sex trafficking will be used to increase penalties by one sentencing level. Creates law enforcement tools for racketeering, conspiracy, and wiretapping. Those convicted would have to register as a sex offender, and their assets will be seized, liquidated and provided as relief to the victims. Restitution will be mandatory with the ability to bring a civil cause of action. The prosecution will be allowed to preserve the victim’s testimony for trial.” [Mesquite Citizen, 6/3/13]

Cortez Masto Strengthened Laws To Protect Kids From Predators: “In My Office, We Actually Are The Investigators And Prosecutors. We Are The Ones Who Lure The Predators So They Are Not Preying On Our Kids.” “Masto’s work has resulted in new laws strengthening the registration and notification requirements of convicted sex offenders and preventing a person from luring someone believed to be a child. During her presentation the attorney general told the students how her office works to get the ‘bad guys’ each day. ‘It’s happening here and every community in our state. In my office, we actually are the investigators and prosecutors. We are the ones who lure the predators so they are not preying on our kids. We have laws that allow us to pretend we are the 12-year-old so that we can lure those predators. We have seen horrific cases here in Nevada and we want to make sure our kids are protected and they don’t become that next statistic,’ she said.” [Pahrump Valley Times, 3/21/14]

Cortez Masto Often Visited Schools To Discuss Internet Dangers With Children. “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said she often visits schools to discuss the dangers of technology, especially on the Internet, where children might trust strangers and sometimes hide activity from parents. When Cortez Masto walks into a sixth-grade classroom, she said almost all students raise their hands when asked whether they own a cell phone, belong to a social network, play video games with strangers and share photographs online. ‘This is at the sixth grade,’ she said. ‘The technology these kids use have become an extension of their being.’” [Las Vegas Sun, 8/2/10]

Headline: Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Cortez Masto’s Senate Hopes Mirror Her AG Track Record.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal,4/30/15]

As Attorney General, Cortez Masto Visited All 17 Counties To Help Nevadans Address Domestic Violence, Sex Trafficking, Home Foreclosures, And Prescription Drug Use. “As attorney general, Cortez Masto visited all 17 counties to help Nevadans with their problems, from domestic violence and sex trafficking to home foreclosures and prescription drug abuse, which is just as prevalent in the rurals as it is in urban Las Vegas and Reno.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 4/30/15]

Cortez Masto Spent Eight Years As Attorney General Working In A Bipartisan Manner To Fight Sex Trafficking, Sex Offenders, And Protect Seniors. “After five terms in the U.S. Senate, Harry Reid is leaving behind some pretty big shoes to fill. And so far there are three candidates hoping to do that. Of course the Democratic Party wants to see that seat stay blue. The Reid Machine is fully behind Catherine Cortez Masto, who spent 8 years as our Attorney General. There she fought sex trafficking, sex offenders and to protect senior citizens. She says bipartisanship politics is the key. ‘These are all areas I have a proven record of working on in a bipartisan manner. It is about building partnerships and coalitions. That’s what we need in Washington and I have a proven record to show I can do it,’ Cortez Masto said during a recent interview.” [KTVN, 2/1/16]

Cortez Masto Said She Isn’t Concerned With Polls Or Pundits, She Wants To Talk With Nevadans About The Issues, Find Out What’s Important To Them, And Fight On Behalf Of Nevada. “Cortez Masto is not concerned about polls or pundits that call the race a toss-up. ‘Right now my focus is just on this race, it’s on getting out and talking to people about the issues,’ she said after the forum. ‘I came out early and rolled out my campaign on April 8 just for that reason. I wanted to make sure I was getting around the state, similar to what I did when I was attorney general, and continue to talk about the issues, to learn what’s important to them and the things that I want to fight for on their behalf.’” [Record-Courier, 8/14/15]

Cortez Masto: Nevada Needs A U.S. Senator Who Is Going To Work For The Best Interests Of The State. “Cortez Masto reached her term limit as attorney general last year and set her sights on another goal. ‘I have worked very hard on behalf of the state — on behalf of people, women, children, seniors — fighting on their behalf for businesses so that they can continue to grow. And that’s what we need in this state, somebody who is going to work on behalf of the best interests of this state as a United States senator.’” [Record-Courier, 8/14/15]

Voiceover: In Catherine Cortez Masto’s last term as Attorney General, Nevada murder went up 11 percent. Robbery went up 28 percent. Rape 51 percent.

 

THE TRUTH: WASHINGTON REPUBLICANS ARE CHERRY-PICKING CRIME STATISTICS – WHEN CORTEZ MASTO WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL, MOST VIOLENT CRIME DECLINED

From 2007 To 2014, The Total Index Offenses Index Declined From 116,814 To 92,376[2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed 8/1/16]

From 2007 To 2014, The Murder Index Declined From 194 To 168[2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed 8/1/16]

From 2007 To 2014, The Robbery Index Declined From 6,932 To 5,951[2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed 8/1/16]

From 2007 To 2014, The Aggregated Assault Index Declined From 11,039 To 10,466[2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed 8/1/16]

From 2007 To 2014, The Burglary Index Declined From 24,839 To 21,787[2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed 8/1/16]

From 2007 To 2014, The Larceny Index Declined From 49,744 To 42,122. [2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed 8/1/16]

From 2007 To 2014, The Motor Vehicle Theft Index Declined From 22,333 To 10,128[2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed8/1/16]

From 2007 To 2014, The Arson Index Declined From 639 To 403[2014 Crime in Nevada, Total Index Crimes In Nevada for Past Decade (2005 to 2014), p.55 Accessed 8/1/16]

Crime Rates Are Volatile From Year To Year, When Considering Crime Rates Look At Averages To Filter Out Noise. “Trump is right that 2015 saw a crime increase. But not only was it tiny, it hasn’t come close to reversing the spectacular decline of the past two decades. Murders rose in many cities, but individual cities’ crime rates are like the performance of individual stocks — they’re more volatile, year to year, than the overall average. Violent crime in general was up only 1.7 percent in 2015. As in investing, we diversify to reduce risk — similarly, when considering crime rates, we should look at averages to filter out the noise.” [Bloomberg, 8/1/16]

REALITY: IT’S RICH THAT HECK’S WASHINGTON ALLIES WOULD ATTACK CORTEZ MASTO ON CRIME, WHEN HECK HAS VOTED MULTIPLE TIMES AGAINST MORE FUNDING FOR COPS AND RESOURCES TO PROSECUTE CRIMES

Heck Voted Against AB 461 That Ensured Clark County Used The MORE COPS Tax To Hire More Police And Allowed Nye County To Impose A Half-Percent Sales Tax In Order To Hire More Police And Firefighters. According to the Legislative Counsel’s Digest of AB 461, “The Clark County Sales and Use Tax Act of 2005 authorized the Board of County Commissioners of Clark County to impose up to one-half of 1 percent sales and use tax to employ and equip additional police officers for various police departments in Clark County. Section 1 of this bill adds a requirement that any governmental entity that authorizes expenditures from the tax revenues for a police department must submit periodic reports to the Legislature concerning the use of that money, and authorizes the Legislative Commission to review and investigate those expenditures.  Sections 3-22 of this bill are modeled on the provisions of the Clark County Sales and Use Tax Act of 2005, and authorize the Board of County Commissioners of Nye County to impose an additional sales tax of up to one-half of 1 percent for the purposes of recruiting, employing and equipping additional firefighters, deputy sheriffs and other public safety personnel and constructing, improving and equipping public safety facilities in Nye County. Any proposed change in the use of the proceeds of the tax must be submitted to the voters and be approved by the Legislature. Section 17.5 of this bill contains requirements identical to those in section 1 of this bill concerning reporting of expenditures of the tax revenues and the review and investigation of those expenditures.” Heck Voted Against The Bill. [AB 461, LCB Digest; Senate Floor Vote, 5/25/07]

Heck Voted Against $3 Million For COPS Program, $1 Million For Violence Against Women Prevention And Prosecution Programs, And Grants To Address Backlogs Of Sexual Assault Kits. In May 2014, Heck voted against a: “Moore, D-WI, motion to recommit the bill to the House Appropriations Committee and report it back immediately with an amendment which would increase by $1 million each, funds provided in the bill for Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution programs, grants to combat violence against women, State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance and grants to address backlogs of sexual assault kits. It would increase by $3 million each, funds provided in the bill for Community Oriented Policing Services and for hiring under this program.” The motion was rejected by a 185-220 vote. [CQ, 5/30/14; motion to recommit H.R. 4660, Vote 268, 5/30/14]

Heck Voted Against Increasing Funds By $20.5 Million For Programs That Aid In The Prevention And Prosecution Of Acts Of Violence Against Women. In May 2012, Heck voted against a: “Nadler, D-N.Y., motion to recommit the bill to the House Appropriations Committee and report it back immediately with an amendment that would increase by $20.5 million the amount provided in the bill for programs that aid in the prevention and prosecution of acts of violence against women. It would reduce by the same amount general administrative funding for the Commerce and Justice departments and the Office of Science and Technology.” The motion was rejected by a 181-233 vote. [CQ, 5/10/12; motion to recommit H.R. 5326, Vote 248,5/10/12]

Heck Voted Against Providing An Additional $3 Million For The Violence Against Women Prevention And Prosecution Programs And $3 Million For The Juvenile Justice Programs. In June 2015, Heck voted against the: “Brownley, D-CA, motion to recommit the bill to the House Appropriations Committee with instructions to report back immediately with an amendment that would provide an additional $3 million for sexual assault victims assistance within the Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs account and an additional $3 million for missing and exploited children programs in the Juvenile Justice Programs account. It would decrease funding for the Justice Information Technology Account by $6 million.” The motion was rejected by a vote of 184-240. [CQ, 6/3/15; H.R. 2578, Vote 296,6/3/15]

Voiceover: When Cortez Masto left office, Nevada ranked as America’s 3rd most dangerous state. FACT: CORTEZ MASTO LED THE CHARGE TO ADDRESS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN NEVADA

Elko Daily Free Press Editorial: Cortez Masto Led The Fight To Combat Domestic Violence And Left Behind A Legacy We Hope Others Follow. In January 2015, the Elko Daily Free Press editorial board wrote, “Before she left office, Catherine Cortez Masto released information to combat domestic violence in the state, which is something she battled throughout her time as attorney general. While she is no longer the state’s chief law enforcement officer, she has left behind a legacy we hope others follow. She led the way against domestic violence through the Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. The NCPDV’s mission is to combat domestic violence through awareness, legislation and the support of agencies involved in the fight against domestic violence, according to the AG’s office.” [Elko Daily Free Press, Editorial, 1/13/15]

Elko Daily Free Press: “Cortez Masto Has Been A Leading State Figure In The Fight Against Domestic Violence.”“Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has been a leading state figure in the fight against domestic violence and is a member of Nevada’s domestic violence fatality review team, which releases its latest findings today. ‘Unfortunately for Nevada, we have been the leader, number one in the nation for the number of women who are murdered per capita by men with handguns. A majority of them are intimate relationships,’ Masto said. Washoe and Clark counties each have a domestic violence fatality review team, but domestic violence homicides aren’t limited to the state’s urban areas. ‘In the State of Nevada, domestic violence issues unfortunately exist in every community,’ Masto added.” [Elko Daily Free Press, 4/25/13]

Cortez Masto Focused On Domestic Violence Prevention In Nevada For Years And Fought For More State & Federal Funding For Victims. “‘People should understand that domestic violence crosses socioeconomic backgrounds, it could happen in any family and it could happen to anyone,’ explains Catherine Cortez Masto, former Nevada Attorney General. Cortez Masto focused on domestic violence prevention in Nevada for years and she says it comes down to educating the community in order to gain more support, ‘It is a lack of resources, not only do we have a lack of state funding we have a lack of federal funding. There is only so much that goes around to help individuals who are dealing with a domestic violence situation.’” [KRNV, 10/29/15]

Headline: Sparks Tribune: “Domestic Violence Gets A Closer Look.” [Sparks Tribune, 1/12/12]

Sparks Tribune: Cortez Masto Led The Charge To Address And Combat Rising Violence Against Women. “The Nevada Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT) held its inaugural meeting on Thursday to address and combat rising violence against women, with Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto leading the charge. The Silver State leads the nation in the per capita number of women murdered as a result of domestic violence, a trend that for years has plagued urban areas such as Reno and Las Vegas, as well as rural areas such as Elko County and, particularly, in Native American communities. ‘It exists in every community in our state,’ Masto said. ‘Nobody escapes it.’ The state Legislature, at Masto’s behest, created the DVFRT last year and authorized a multi-disciplinary team comprised of prosecutors, police, domestic violence service providers, treatment providers and community and faith leaders to review the deaths of domestic violence victims.” [Daily Sparks Tribune, 1/12/12]

Cortez Masto Addressed Domestic Violence With Boy & Girl Scouts, And Her AG’s Office Help Create A Merit Badge Called “Peace Begins At Home.” “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto will address domestic violence when nearly 300 Boy Scouts gather Saturday for a Merit Badge Fair at Clayton Middle School in northwest Reno. Cortez-Masto’s office has worked with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to create a merit badge called ‘Peace Begins at Home,’ which teaches Scouts what to do if they see signs of abuse. ‘When I was running for attorney general, I named domestic violence and sexual assault as two of the top priorities for my office,’ Cortez-Masto said in a recent speech. ‘They still are, and we are actively working to raise awareness of the issues, ensure victim safety and improve offender accountability.’ She said more than 36,000 victims, including 16,000 children, in Nevada contacted agencies for assistance in 2010.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 3/25/11]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO CHAIRED THE STATE COMMITTEE TO ADDRESS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Cortez Masto Was The Chair Of The Nevada Council For The Prevention Of Domestic Violence. According to an article by Dave Maxwell of the Lincoln County Recorder, “State Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto chaired the quarterly meeting of the Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (NCPDV) Aug. 1 at the Rapport Executive Leadership Retreat facility in Alamo. The public was invited to attend. Cortez Masto said, ‘Domestic violence exists in every community in the state, and Nevada leads the nation, per capita, in the number of women who are murdered each year as a result of domestic violence.’” [Lincoln County Recorder, 8/12/13]

Headline: Lake Tahoe News: “Meth, Domestic Violence Top List Of Concerns For Nev. AG.” [Lake Tahoe News, 3/28/11]

Cortez Masto Ran For Attorney General To Address Issues, Including Domestic Violence, And Chaired Nevada’s Domestic Violence Prevention Council. “Masto, a native Nevadan, said she ran for Nevada attorney general because she saw so many issues that needed to be addressed at the state level. She took the oath of office in January 2007 for her first term and was sworn in Jan. 3, 2011, for her second term. Another issue facing the state is domestic violence, which impacts women and children as well as animals. Masto chairs the Domestic Violence Prevention Council. ‘Nevada leads the nation in the number of women murdered through domestic violence. My office has put together a Fatality Review Team and we have a prosecutor on staff. There is a need to understand what is means to be a domestic violence victim. It includes a cycle of violence and is a control issue,’ she said.” [Lake Tahoe News, 3/28/11]

Cortez Masto: Survivors Provide An Important Voice On State Committee For Domestic Violence. “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto is inviting former victims of domestic violence to apply for a vacant position on the state Committee on Domestic Violence. Masto says survivors provide an important voice for the nine-member committee. It oversees treatment programs for people who commit domestic violence. Members include a mental health professional, law enforcer, prosecutor, advocate, judge and domestic violence victims and survivors.” [Associated Press, 5/7/14]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO’S OFFICE FOUGHT FOR AND SECURED FUNDING TO COMBAT SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Headline: Las Vegas Sun: “Marriage License Fee Hike Would Fund Domestic Violence Programs.” [Las Vegas Sun, 3/9/09]

AG Cortez Masto Testified In Support Of SB 14 That Would Increase Marriage License Fee From $20 To $25 To Fund Programs That Combat Domestic Violence. “Half of all Clark County homicides are related to domestic violence, Attorney General Catherine Masto told a legislative committee Monday. Masto was testifying before the Senate Finance Committee in support of a bill to raise the marriage license fee to fund programs to combat domestic violence. Senate Bill 14 would boost the marriage license fee from $20 to $25. The cost of a license now is $55, of which $20 of that goes to domestic violence programs that provide shelter, hot lines and support groups.” [Las Vegas Sun,3/9/09]

  • Cortez Masto: Safety Is Enhanced When Individuals Have Access To Hotlines, Shelters, Support Groups And The Variety Of Services Available Through Local Programs. “As the State’s leading law enforcement agency, we have been instrumental in development of law enforcement protocols and training curriculum and have worked with prosecutors and courts to identify barriers. There are many barriers to be addressed. They include safety for domestic violence victims and accountability for their offenders. Safety is enhanced when individuals have access to hotlines, shelters, support groups and the variety of services available through local programs.” [Senate Finance Committee Minutes, 3/9/09]
  • Nevada Legislature Passed SB 14 And Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons Signed The Bill Into Law In May 2009.  [SB 14, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau, Legislative History]

Nevada Received About $1.25 Million For STOP Officer Training And Nearly $250,000 For Sexual Assault Victim Service Providers.In February 2014, Cortez Masto press release stated, “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announces the awarding of $1,265,124 in Services Training Officers Prosecution (STOP) Violence Against Women Formula Grant funding and $247,954 in Sexual Assault Service Provider Formula Grant funding (SASP) for Calendar Year 2014. ‘We are excited to financially back the agencies that do so much for our community and provide services to victims of sexual and domestic violence,’ said Masto. Forty-seven agencies received grant awards to fund services provided to victims of sexual and domestic violence, as well as law enforcement and prosecution efforts to combat domestic violence and court compliance projects throughout Nev. A list of the STOP and SASP grantees is available on our website, ag.nv.gov.” [Nevada Attorney General press release, 2/14/14]

AG Cortez Masto’s Office Received $167,000 Grant From Sexual Assault Service Providers Program. “The Department of Justice has awarded the Nevada Attorney general’s Office a $167,371 grant from the Sexual Assault Service Providers grant Program (SASP.) This is the second grant the Nevada Attorney general’s Office has received for SASP. SASP directs grant dollars to States and Territories to assist in supporting rape crisis centers and other nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations that provide core services, direct intervention and related assistance to victims of sexual assault. ‘These grant dollars are directed to those organizations and agencies dealing with victims of sexual assault,’ said Attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto. ‘These vital services are often underfunded and the Federal dollars will help these organizations in their important work.’ SASP is the first Federal funding stream solely dedicated to the provision of direct intervention and related assistance for victims of sexual assault. Five funding streams are directed toward States and Territories; tribes; state sexual assault coalitions; tribal sexual assault coalitions; and culturally specific organizations.” [Comstock Chronicle, 11/5/10]

Cortez Masto Awarded Funds To Domestic Violence And Abuse Crisis Centers Across The State. “In September the Office of the Attorney general awarded funds from the initial 2009 SASP grant of $239,352 to Nye County’s no to Abuse; Washoe County’s HAWC Community Health Center; Clark County’s Community Counseling Center of Southern Nevada and The Shade Tree; Humboldt County’s Winnemucca Domestic Violence Shelter; and the Family Support Council of Douglas County. Other agencies that will also receive funds from this initial grant beginning January 2011 are the Crisis Call Center, the Rape Crisis Center, the Domestic Violence Intervention of Churchill County and AlIVE of Lyon County. Solicitation for next year’s cycle of SASP subgrant applications which will reflect the $167,371 funding will be advertised in late 2011 with awards to be granted for 2012. Nevada’s SASP grant awards will be administered and overseen by the Office of the Attorney general.” [Comstock Chronicle, 11/5/10]

Headline: Associated Press: “NV Gets Nearly $1.5M Violence Against Women Grant.” [Associated Press, 10/27/10]

AG Cortez Masto’s Office Received $1.5 Million STOP Violence Against Women Grant For Law Enforcement, Prosecution, Victim Services And Courts. “The Nevada state attorney general’s office says it has received a nearly $1.5 million federal Justice Department grant for STOP Violence Against Women programs. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement that sub-grants will be awarded by the end of the year in categories including law enforcement, prosecution, victim services and courts. Federal pass-through grants to the states were authorized by Congress in the Violence Against Women Act of 2005. Masto says the program aims to identify and support programs to reduce violent crimes against women and to bolster services for victims. Recipients are required to submit financial, administrative and program reports to the government to maintain grant funding.” [Associated Press, 10/27/10]

Headline: Associated Press: “Nev. Agencies Get $1.2M For Anti-Violence Programs.” [Associated Press, 6/30/09]

AG Cortez Masto Allotted $1.2 Million In Recovery Act Funds To STOP Violence Against Women Programs. “More than two dozen agencies across Nevada will receive more than $1.2 million for programs to reduce violence against women. Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Tuesday the money under the Recovery Act STOP violence Against Women grant program will create or retain the equivalent of 17.5 full-time positions in 28 agencies in the state. Nevada has been allotted economic stimulus funds for programs that meet federal and state objectives of the grant program. The attorney general’s office will administer the grant money to Nevada programs. The STOP Violence Against Women Program encourages the development of ways to combat violent crimes against women.” [Associated Press, 6/30/09]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO STOP GRANT FUNDED SPARKS PROSECUTION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND DUIs

AG Cortez Masto Announced $12,000 STOP Grant For Sparks City Attorney Office Victim Advocate Program To Support Prosecution Of Domestic Violence And DUIs. “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto will formally announce the award of $12,000 to the Victim Advocate’s program for the Sparks City Attorney’s Office at 3 p.m. Friday in Sparks City Council chambers at 745 4th St. The award is part of the Attorney General’s S.T.O.P. (Service, Training, Officers, Prosecution) Grant Program, intended to provide support and recognition to Nevada’s victims of domestic violence, as well as assisting in the prosecution of those who commit crimes of domestic violence. The S.T.O.P. Grant is part of the Sparks city attorney’s efforts to combat recent budget cuts by securing alternate funding sources to support the city’s prosecution of domestic violence crimes and DUIs. ‘Our successful prosecution of domestic violence crimes is three times higher than the national average. I refuse to allow this extremely effective program from being lost because of budget cuts,’ Sparks City Attorney Chet Adams said.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 8/7/08]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO VAWA GRANT FUNDED PROSECUTOR FOR NYE COUNTY

Headline: Pahrump Valley Times: “New County Prosecutor On Loan From AG’s Office.” [Pahrump Valley Times, 9/7/11]

Cortez Masto Loaned Prosecutor To Nye County To Combat Domestic And Sexual Assault Cases With VAWA Grant. “The Nye County District Attorney’s Office welcomed a new prosecutor into the fold. The addition helps ease the caseload of the office’s already stretched staff. Deputy Attorney General Ross Armstrong will serve as a tri-county prosecutor in Nye, Mineral and Esmeralda counties. Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi said Armstrong’s tenure is being funded by a grant. ‘The attorney general actually has a grant called the ‘Violence Against Women Act,’’ he said, referring to the program that was used to bring in Armstrong. […] In a press release, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said prosecuting domestic and sexual assault cases is a huge priority in Nevada. ‘The goal of this project is to deliver the message to potential perpetrators in Esmeralda, Mineral and Nye counties that domestic violence and sexual assault will not be tolerated,’ she said.” [Pahrump Valley Times, 9/7/11]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO SOUGHT TO HELP FIND ELKO LAWYERS TO FIGHT DOMESTIC ABUSE

Headline: Associated Press: “AG Hears Of Elko Pro Bono Divorce Lawyer Shortage.” [Associated Press, 7/16/10]

AG Cortez Masto Said She Would Help Find Family Practice Lawyers To Help Elko Victims Of Abusive Husbands. “Nevada state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto says she’ll help try to find family practice lawyers in northeast Nevada willing to donate time to help domestic violence victims divorce abusive husbands. Masto said Thursday during a Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence meeting in Elko that the need for lawyers to help victims should be brought up at a family law conference. Elko-based Committee Against Domestic Violence staff member Pam Lansford told the panel there aren’t any pro bono divorce attorneys in Elko County willing to work free or on sliding fee scale. Lansford says stay-at-home mothers are often at a disadvantage in divorces because they don’t have money, while abusive husbands who work can hire lawyers.” [Associated Press, 7/16/10]

Headline: Elko Daily Free Press: “Victims Need Affordable Lawyers: AG Will Look Into Attorney Issue In Elko.” [Elko Daily Free Press, 7/15/10]

AG Cortez Masto Planned To Find Solution To Need For Elko Lawyers To Fight Domestic Abuse. “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Thursday she plans to look for a solution to Elko’s lack of family practice lawyers willing to help domestic violence victims divorce their abusers. ‘This was the first time I had heard about the lack of family law attorneys. I will reach out to the family section of the state bar,’ she said after chairing a meeting in Elko on domestic violence. She said the Nevada Council for the Prevention of Domestic Violence comes to rural communities once a year to hear about their issues, which usually center on lack of funding and lack of professionals. ‘Once we know about issues, we can find solutions,’ Cortez Masto said.” [Elko Daily Free Press, 7/15/10]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO’S OFFICE FUNDED WEST WENDOVER VICTIM ADVOCATE

Cortez Masto’s AG Office Provided $46,000 Per Year Grant To West Wendover Victim Advocate. “The council also held a town meeting Wednesday in West Wendover, and Cortez Masto said there was a good turnout. Kareen Prentice, domestic violence ombudsman for the attorney general’s office, said West Wendover is receiving a grant for a victim advocate. The grant is $46,900 a year for two years. Along other lines, the council agreed Thursday to seek legislation to change the law creating the council to state that its focus covers sexual assault, as well as domestic violence. ‘We’re just adding what we already do,’ Cortez Masto said.” [Elko Daily Free Press, 7/15/10]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO’S OFFICE DEVELOPED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TRAINING PROGRAM FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT

AG Cortez Masto’s Office Developed Training Program To Help Police Officers Investigate Domestic Violence Offenses. “Nevada has developed a training program to help officers investigate domestic violence offenses. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said the training program, which will be distributed to law enforcement agencies across the state, is one of two new programs Nevada has begun to provide more assistance to victims of domestic violence. One program will assist law enforcement with training, and the other will help Nevada prosecutors in handling domestic violence cases. The key is coordination among law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates and treatment providers to help the victims and stop the cycle of violence, said the attorney general. The Attorney General’s Office will distribute 300 training disks to law enforcement agencies in Nevada The attorney general and the Nevada Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards and Training developed the CD, entitled ‘Domestic Violence & Elder Abuse Investigations.’” [Crime Control Digest, 10/26/07]

Headline: Associated Press: “Nevada Official Unveils Programs To Fight Domestic Abuse.” [Associated Press, 10/5/07]

Cortez Masto’s AG Office Produced Training Programs For Law Enforcement And Prosecutors Handling Domestic Violence Cases.“Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced two new programs aimed at helping domestic violence victims in Nevada, which leads the nation in the number of domestic violence deaths per capita in 2005. Cortez Masto said Thursday that one program will assist law enforcement with training and that the other will help Nevada prosecutors in handling domestic violence cases. ‘We should be doing so much more and so much better for Nevada’s families,’ Cortez Masto said, adding that the key is coordination among law enforcement, prosecutors, victim advocates and treatment providers. Law enforcement will be helped with an interactive training CD called ‘Domestic Violence & Elder Abuse Investigations.’ The CD was put together by the attorney general’s office, the Nevada Commission on Peace Officers’ Standards Training, or POST, and various agencies and groups within the city of Henderson. The 300 training discs will be used by more than 16,000 law enforcement officials across the state.” [Associated Press, 10/5/07]

Voiceover: Catherine Cortez Masto couldn’t keep us safe in Nevada, why would we trust her to do it in Washington?

 

FACT: AS ATTORNEY GENERAL, CORTEZ MASTO WAS THE LEADING FORCE THAT PASSED TOUGH LAWS THAT INCREASED PRISON TIME FOR PIMPS AND PREDATORS

AG Cortez Masto Sponsored And Pushed For Legislation To Combat Child Sex Trafficking In Nevada. According to an article by Alex Pompliano of the Nevada Media Alliance, “Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and other supports of the bill will join Sandoval as he signs AB67 into law. The bill establishes the crime of sex trafficking of children and adults, and makes victims eligible for state assistance and allows them to sue their traffickers. By doing so, the bill holds pimps accountable and protects the victims of sex trafficking. Cortez Masto, a primary proponent of the bill, says bills passed this year by the Legislature will serve as a springboard for more anti-trafficking measures in future years.” [Carson Now, 6/6/13]

Las Vegas Sun: Cortez Masto Championed Law That Increased Penalties For Sex Trafficking Law As It Was Working Its Way Through The Legislature. “The new law ups the penalty for sex trafficking to put it on the same level as the state’s sexual assault laws, disallows probation for people convicted of sex trafficking, allows courts to order those convicted to pay restitution to victims and requires a person convicted of sex trafficking register as a Tier 1 sex offender, among other provisions. […] Masto championed the bill while it was working its way through the Legislature. The law went into effect in July. In the news release about the indictment, Masto said her office will use every law enforcement tool available to prosecute sex trafficking cases to the fullest extent of the law.” [Las Vegas Sun, 11/22/13]

AG Cortez Masto’s Involvement With The Sex Trafficking Legislation “Marked A Turning Point” As A Cortez Masto Aide Pulled Together AB 67 Toughening Penalties On Pimps As An Omnibus Bill. “This event marked a turning point. The huge turnout, which included people from various backgrounds and both political parties, indicated that a serious effort to combat child sex trafficking was not only the right thing to do; it might also be politically feasible. Attorney General Masto assigned her top aide, Michon Martin, to scour other states for model legislation, then pulled together a task force that drafted a groundbreaking omnibus bill—Assembly Bill 67, which defined sex trafficking in Nevada as a crime, sharply ramped up penalties for pimps, gave law enforcement new resources for tracking and prosecuting offenders, and redefined children working in the sex trade as victims rather than as criminals.” [Commonweal Magazine,9/9/15]

After A Full-Scale Lobbying Effort, Anti-Sex Trafficking Bill Passed Unanimously On The Last Day Of The Legislation Session In 2013. “NCG leaders took their case to anyone who would listen. They met with their legislators, key committee heads, prominent gaming-industry executives, local public officials, and key social service agencies like the Salvation Army. They spoke to reporters, sent thousands of emails and postcards, and worked the phones. Finally, they dispatched busloads of committed activists to the state capital, Carson City, to press for passage of AB 67. On the last day of the legislative session, the bill passed unanimously. For once, the voices of ordinary Nevada citizens had prevailed.” [Commonweal Magazine, 9/9/15]

Exploitation Of Children Became Class A Felony With Maximum Life Sentence, Trafficking An Adult Became Class B Felony With Three-To-10-Year Sentence. “The passage of Assembly Bill 67 will help law enforcement, Chalmers said. ‘I am extremely proud of the collaborative work of supporters, stakeholders and elected officials that went into this law,’ Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, sponsor of the bill, said in an email. ‘I remain committed to the fight against this rapidly growing crime that deprives children and young adults of their human rights.’ The new law, which went into effect on July 1, made trafficking an adult a category B felony that carries a three-to-10-year sentence. Exploitation of a child is now a category A felony that carries a maximum life sentence. Parole eligibility for those cases depends on how young the victim is.” [Reno Gazette-Journal, 7/21/13]

Nevada Bureau Of Criminal Justice Head: Before AB 67 Traffickers Were Fined And Released. With The New Law, Offenders Will Face Life In Prison. “Sex trafficking is a real problem throughout Nevada, said Russell Smith, chief deputy attorney for the Nevada Bureau of Criminal Justice. ‘As long as there is a demand, there will be a supply,’ Smith told the Nevada Community Prevention Coalition (NCPC) this week while discussing human and sex trafficking. […] Assembly Bill 67, passed last year, defines sex trafficking as when a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud or coercion, in which the person performing the sex act is younger than 18. The bill also increased the penalties for such crimes. Smith said before that bill became law, offenders were usually sentenced to take a sex trafficking class, maybe charged a fine and then released. With the new law in place, offenders will face life in prison with a chance of parole after various lengths of time.” [The Spectrum, 1/22/14]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO SPONSORED AND PASSED BILL TO INCREASE PENALITIES ON STRANGULATION

Headline: Las Vegas Sun: “18 Arrested Under New Domestic Violence Law.” [Las Vegas Sun, 7/23/09]

Cortez Masto Fought For AB 164 To Increase Domestic Violence Penalties On Strangulation. “Metro Police have wasted no time enforcing a new law that went into effect July 1 that increases certain domestic violence penalties. Assembly Bill 164, approved by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jim Gibbons on May 6, revised a battery charge involving strangulation. […] The bill was introduced in the Assembly on Feb. 12 and passed both houses of the Legislature on May 1. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto supported the bill. Assemblyman William Horne, D-LV, chief sponsor of the bill, said he was approached by the attorney general to introduce the enhanced punishment under domestic violence statutes.” [Las Vegas Sun, 7/23/09]

  • Nevada Legislature Passed AB 164 And Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons Signed The Bill Into Law In May 2009.  [AB 164, Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau, Legislative History]
  • Since The Law Went Into Effect, 18 People Have Been Arrested Based On The New Charge. “Since the law went into effect, Metro Police Lt. Chris Carroll, of the Metro Police Domestic Violence Detail, said 18 people have been arrested based on the new charge. The bill amended Nevada revised statutes to increase penalties for domestic violence and battery involving strangulation, making it a category C felony, Carroll said. The maximum fine for each charge is $15,000.” [Las Vegas Sun, 7/23/09]

FACT: CORTEZ MASTO EXPANDED THE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY AND SUCCESSFUL DEFENDED THE LAW FROM LEGAL CHALLENGES

Pahrump Valley Times: Cortez Masto’s Work Has Resulted In New Laws Strengthening The Registration And Notification Requirements Of Convicted Sex Offenders.” “Masto’s work has resulted in new laws strengthening the registration and notification requirements of convicted sex offenders and preventing a person from luring someone believed to be a child. During her presentation the attorney general told the students how her office works to get the ‘bad guys’ each day.” [Pahrump Valley Times, 3/21/14]

Cortez Masto’s Bill Changed Risk Classification And Tiered Sex Offenders Based On Their Risk To Re-Offend. “Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, whose office introduced the Walsh Act to Nevada’s Legislature in 2007and has been defending it in court ever since, said it’s up to the agencies that would be affected to figure out the costs. […] The risk of each to re-offend has to be reconsidered and reclassified. Nevada sex offenders are classified by tiers — the higher the tier, the higher the risk to re-offend. The higher the risk, the closer a sex offender is supposed to be monitored by parole and probation officials.” [Las Vegas Sun, 2/15/09]

Las Vegas Sun: AG Cortez Masto Introduced The Walsh Act And Defended It From Legal Challenges. “Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, whose office introduced the Walsh Act to Nevada’s Legislature in 2007 and has been defending it in court ever since, said it’s up to the agencies that would be affected to figure out the costs. But representatives of these agencies said nobody is running numbers while the law is stalled in court.” [Las Vegas Sun, 2/15/09]

  •  Cortez Masto Applauded Court Ruling That Upheld Rigorous Sex Offender Reporting Requirements. “In 2008, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan issued an injunction preventing the law from being applied retroactively. At the time, he expressed concerns that if Nevada posted its list of nearly 5,000 people convicted of sex crimes since 1956, there would be no way to restore their privacy if the law was later found to be flawed. The attorney general’s office appealed, and on Friday, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto applauded the 9th Circuit’s ruling. ‘It has been a long and necessary fight,’ Mast said in a statement. ‘It creates a system that requires sex offenders to be subject to rigorous reporting requirements. We owe it to our community to do our best to protect our citizens, particularly those most vulnerable, from adult sex offenders.’” [Associated Press, 2/11/12]
  • Cortez Masto Spokesman: Previous Court Rulings Have Upheld Nevada Law Requiring Sex Offenders To Be Retroactively Classified. “A spokeswoman for Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto’s office pointed to previous court rulings, including one from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that upheld Nevada’s law requiring sex offenders to be retroactively classified according to their crimes, not by their risk of reoffending. ‘The Nevada Supreme Court entered a stay of enforcement so they have an opportunity to review this law and determine whether it should be implemented,’ spokeswoman Jennifer Lopez said.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 2/4/14]
Voiceover: NRSC is responsible for the content of this advertising.

 

REALITY: WASHINGTON REPUBLICANS ARE SPENDING MILLIONS TO DISTRACT FROM CONGRESSMAN HECK’S SUPPORT OF DONALD TRUMP…

Outside Groups Linked To The Koch Brothers And Mitch McConnell Have Already Spent Nearly $10 Million On Heck. “In the race to replace retiring Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), groups supporting Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) spent $9.8 million compared to $2.5 million for those in support of former Lt. Gov. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). […]The top spenders in all of these races are the same. On the Republican side, support comes from groups connected to the billionaire Koch brothers ― including Freedom Partners Action Fund, Americans for Prosperity and Concerned Veterans for America ― as well as from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and One Nation, a nonprofit group connected to both Karl Rove and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).” [Huffington Post, 7/13/16]

Headline: Las Vegas Review-Journal: “Burst Of ‘Dark Money’ To Boost Heck On TV, Radio.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/22/15]

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Heck Received A “Big Boost” With Ads From A Dark Money Groups. “U.S. Senate candidate and Rep. Joe Heck is getting a big boost from One Nation, a nonprofit group with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY. One Nation has launched a $792,000 ad buy that will run on Las Vegas TV and radio stations. The 30-second clip will run for 20 days, the group said in a press release Thursday.” [Las Vegas Review-Journal, 10/22/15]

Heck: “I Have High Hopes That We Will See Donald Trump Become The Next President.” “‘I have high hopes that we will see Donald Trump become the next president,’ he said. ‘Though I don’t necessarily agree with how he talks about women and minorities and all of his policy positions, but if he wants to make America great again by bringing jobs back to America, then I am willing to help him achieve those goals and hold him accountable. And as the next U.S. senator from Nevada, I will make sure I stand as a check against anything that is not in our best interest.’” [Pahrump Valley Times, 6/1/16]

KTNV: Heck “Swatted Away Suggestions” That Trump’s Rhetoric And Immigration Policies Would Hurt His Chances.“Heck also swatted away suggestions that Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric and plans to deport 11 million undocumented migrants would hurt his chances, saying that he won his demographically diverse congressional district by increasingly larger margins over the last three elections.” [KTNV,3/14/16]

Heck On Donald Trump: “He’s Out There Talking About What He Needs To Talk About To Run For President.” “So, what does Congressman Joe Heck, Nevada’s Republican candidate for US Senate, think of the guy at the top of the GOP presidential polls? ‘I don’t talk about Donald,’ Heck told News 3 after a morning event put on by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce. ‘He’s out there talking about what he needs to talk about to run for President,’ Heck added after ‘Eggs and Issues,’ the Chamber’s breakfast debrief with local newsmakers. The Thursday event was held at Vdara in CityCenter.” [KSNV,8/27/15]

… AND HIS RECORD OF VOTING NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN WITH HIS PARTY BOSSES

Heck Has Voted With His Party 90 Percent Of The Time. According to CQ, Heck voted with his party 87% of the time in 2014, 93% of the time in 2013, 89% of the time in 2012, and 90% of the time in 2011. [CQ Vote Studies, Accessed 5/18/16]

Roll Call: Heck Was On The “Good Side” Of The More Conservative Wing Of The Republican Party. “Heck has managed to stay on the good side of the more conservative wing of the Republican Party, which could help him fend off a serious primary challenge from the right. Republicans hope to avoid the situation they faced in 2010, when a crowded, messy primary resulted in the nomination of Sharron Angle, a flawed and gaffe-prone candidate who lost what was seen as a winnable race against Reid.” [Roll Call, 5/11/15]

MSNBC: Heck Voted For A “Far Right” Budget Scraping Medicare, Opposed Minimum Wage Increases, Was A Staunch Opponent Of Reproductive Rights, And Called Social Security A Pyramid Scheme. “Republican Rep. Joe Heck is a prominent U.S. Senate candidate in Nevada, and at first blush, the conservative congressman, running for an open seat, appears to be well positioned. Nevada is a fast-growing swing state with a diverse population, and Heck has previously won with fairly broad support. But it won’t be easy. Heck voted for a far-right budget plan that tried to scrap Medicare; he’s opposed minimum-wage increases; the GOP candidate is a staunch opponent of reproductive rights; and he’s even condemned Social Security as a pyramid scheme.” [MSNBC, 9/2/15]

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What the GOP’s Supreme Obstruction Means for Women

Senate Republicans are leaving women in limbo on several crucial issues.

— by Martha Burk, OtherWords.org author
Martha BurkSenators, constitutional scholars may tell you, must “advise and consent” on the president’s Supreme Court nominees. But apparently the official GOP policy is to “refuse and obstruct.” They’ve vowed not even to give President Obama’s nominees a vote.

These Republicans claim that leaving the Supreme Court understaffed is no big deal. Well, it’s certainly a big deal for women. Pending cases on abortion, birth control, education, and public employee unions are all sitting before a divided court.

The scariest case is Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole.

It’s a challenge to a Texas law that would close all but about 10 abortion clinics in the state — down from more than 40 — by requiring them to essentially become mini-hospitals. They’d have to employ only doctors with admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, a regulation almost unheard of for safe and common procedures like abortion.

LaDawna Howard / Flickr
LaDawna Howard / Flickr

Since an appeals court upheld the requirements, a 4-4 deadlock on the Supreme Court would give Texas the green light to enforce them. And it would almost certainly encourage other states to enact similar laws.

On the birth control front, the court will consider Zubik v. Burwell. A successor to the Hobby Lobby case, it’s an argument over whether religiously affiliated institutions have to observe the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employer-provided health plans cover birth control.

These groups are allowed to avoid the requirement by filling out a form, in which case the government will arrange with their insurer to cover their employees. A few of these groups are claiming that still makes them complicit in sinful conduct.

A 4-4 tie at the Supreme Court would be a mixed bag, since most — but not all — appeals court decisions have upheld the accommodation as not burdensome to religious practice.

Meanwhile, established labor law is on the line in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, where the court will consider whether public employees who choose not to join unions can still be required to pay fees for collective bargaining activities. A decision against the unions could mortally wound them.

According to the National Women’s Law Center, women are the majority of the public sector workforce, and the wage gap with their male counterparts is smaller for public union women than non-union women. The lower court favored the unions, so a tie would stave off a major blow to their viability. But that’s still a lot to risk.

Women are now also the majority of college students, and women of color could be greatly affected by a decision in Fisher v. University of Texas. In that case, the court will decide whether the school’s race‑conscious admissions program violates the Constitution’s equal protection principles.

Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself. So if the Senate leaves Scalia’s seat unfilled, the case will be decided by seven justices — which means there can be no tie. Three judges — John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito — oppose affirmative action, and a fourth, Anthony Kennedy, has previously expressed doubts about the University of Texas policy.

So what’s the score?

In four cases affecting women the most, two could go in women’s favor with tie votes. A third tie vote would go against women, and a 4-3 conservative majority would hurt them in the final case as well.

However you score it, Senate Republicans are leaving women in limbo until a new justice is chosen and new cases can be brought. That could take years. Women — and the country — deserve better.


Martha Burk is the director of the Corporate Accountability Project for the National Council of Women’s Organizations (NCWO) and the author of the book Your Voice, Your Vote: The Savvy Woman’s Guide to Power, Politics, and the Change We Need. Follow Martha on Twitter @MarthaBurk.

Tagged: 

Demanding Strict Constitutional Abidance Until It’s Inconvenient

Justice01Within minutes of the news breaking that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia had died, Republicans said (more specifically Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said) they would refuse to consider ANY Obama nominee to replace him, no matter what. Such a lengthy vacancy on the court would likely preserve the status quo in a number of high-profile cases this term, including those affecting the issues of affirmative action, immigration, abortion access and possibly even the president’s climate regulations. It would also leave in legal limbo countless other cases Scalia and his clerks have worked on this term.

Several critical cases are already pending before the Supreme Court, including:

  • The latest attack on abortion rights in Texas
  • President Obama’s Clean Power Plan to fight climate change
  • The president’s action to allow the “Dreamer” undocumented immigrants to stay in our country
  • The right-wing attack on the right of teachers and other workers to form strong unions
  • An extremist proposal to roll back voting rights by ending the “one person, one vote” rule
  • A Texas case that would limit affirmative action in higher education

It’s time to say resoundingly, “ENOUGH!” Republican obstruction has its limits. We, as Democrats, need to commit to doing everything it takes to retake the U.S. Senate this fall. If the Senate leaves town on recess (which they shouldn’t, the President should hold them in session), President Obama could make an appointment during that recess. And, if the GOP-controlled Senate does successfully manage to block all consideration of President Obama’s nominee, we need to make sure that we elect those who, once seated and sworn in the first week of January, will confirm President Obama’s nominee before our next President is inaugurated.

Along with other matters, such as overturning Citizens United, these cases remind us just how important it is that the next Supreme Court justice share America’s progressive values and rules the right way on these issues. We have an historic opportunity to have a progressive majority on the Supreme Court for the first time in more than 25 years.

Catherine Cortez Masto is running for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Harry Reid. To assure that our concerns and issues are effectively considered and dealt with by the U.S. Senate, you need to make sure you get out this fall, either during early voting, or on election day, and cast your vote for Catherine. The last person we need claiming to represent Nevada’s interests is a Senator Joe Heck. It’s time to send him packing. We’ve seen what he did in the House and we don’t need even more of that in the Senate.

Catherine Cortez Masto Announces Run for Senate

MastoLogo

CatherineCortezMastoMy name is Catherine Cortez Masto. I’ve spent my life and career fighting to protect the families of Nevada. And today, I’m proud to announce that I am running to become the next U.S. Senator from Nevada.

As Attorney General, I stood up to special interests and fought for consumers in Nevada. I worked with local law enforcement to crack down on meth labs to help combat our state’s growing drug problem, protected domestic abuse victims and children preyed upon by sex traffickers and looked out for seniors who have been cheated by scam artists.

As a native Nevadan, former prosecutor and Attorney General I care about the people of our state and that’s who I’ll be standing up for in the Senate. I was proud to be the first Latina elected to serve as Attorney General. To be the first Latina elected to the United States Senate would be an honor, and an incredible opportunity for me to fight for all Nevadans.

I’m running for the Senate to continue my work standing up for Nevada seniors, consumers, homeowners, women and children. But these days, campaigns aren’t as simple as which side has better ideas. Outside groups and special interests will try to tear me down. Outside money and attacks will flow into the state. It’s not a battle I can fight on my own.

We need to show the special interests that we mean business not just with words, but with action. Sign here to stand with me today.

“Trillion Dollar Fraudsters”: We’re Looking At An Enormous, Destructive Republican Con Job, And You Should Be Very, Very Angry

Reblogged from
mykeystrokes.com:

republican_party_money_1600_clr_9476-227x182By now it’s a Republican Party tradition: Every year the party produces a budget that allegedly slashes deficits, but which turns out to contain a trillion-dollar “magic asterisk” — a line that promises huge spending cuts and/or revenue increases, but without explaining where the money is supposed to come from.

But the just-released budgets from the House and Senate majorities break new ground. Each contains not one but two trillion-dollar magic asterisks: one on the spending side, one on the revenue side. And that’s actually an understatement. If either budget were to become law, it would leave the federal government several trillion dollars deeper in debt than claimed, and that’s just in the first decade.

You might be tempted to shrug this off, since these budgets will not, in fact, become law. Or you might say that this is what all politicians do. But it isn’t. The modern G.O.P.’s raw fiscal dishonesty …

View original 665 more words


Are these YOUR priorities?

GOP2015FederalBudgetChart

55.2 (Military) + 5.6 (Vets) = 60.8% of ALL discretionary spending

Thus, only ~39% remains for things like Education, Infrastructure (roads/bridges), Energy, Environment, etc.

We’re Waiting … Will Sen. Heller Vote NAY on Yet Another High Profile Female?

Senate Republicans Must Stop Delaying Attorney General Confirmation

— by CAP Action War Room

It has been 124 days since Loretta Lynch was nominated to replace Eric Holder as Attorney General. In that time, the 50th anniversary of Selma reminded us that we have a long way to go to achieve equal voting rights; Ferguson re-entered the news with a report detailing egregious racism in the police department and its repercussions; a new coalition of groups working on criminal justice demonstrated a bipartisan commitment to reform; and a moving tribute at the Grammy awards proved that these issues go far beyond politics.

In all of these issues, the Department of Justice plays a vital role. And its head, as the top law enforcement officer in the United States, leads the way. Ms. Lynch, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, is a highly qualified nominee for the position. While some Republicans used her confirmation hearing as a chance to voice their out-of-touch views on President Obama’s recent immigration action or the departing Attorney General, she excelled in answering questions and impressing a bipartisan group of Senators.

So what is the hold up? Here are 5 reasons to quit delaying and confirm Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.

  1. She has been more than fully vetted. On top of her confirmation hearings, Lynch submitted detailed responses to 900 written questions and met individually with at least 59 senators.
  2. She is a proven, well-qualified leader. Lynch has a proven record of prosecuting hate crimes and corruption, and a reputation of being committed to protecting human rights and ensuring equal opportunity.
  3. She has a wide array of support. Senators from both sides of the aisle support Lynch, along with 25 former U.S. Attorneys from Republican and Democratic administrations. Rudy Giuliani said, “if I were in the Senate, I would confirm her.” Rudy Giuliani!
  4. She has waited longer than any other Attorney General nominee. Loretta Lynch’s nomination has been pending for 124 days, more than a month longer than any other in history
  5. She would make history. Loretta Lynch would make history by being the first African-American woman to become Attorney General. What better way for the Senate to celebrate Women’s History Month and the legacy of Selma than to confirm Lynch.

Bonus: The movie Goodfellas was based on one of Loretta Lynch’s cases. She’s got what it takes.

BOTTOM LINE: When issues of racial inequality, voting rights, criminal justice, and more are front and center in our nation’s dialogue, it is no time to be playing games with our nation’s top law enforcement officer. Loretta Lynch has proven herself, and the Senate has had ample time to deliberate. Now its time to bring the nomination to the floor, and vote to confirm.

 


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.  Like CAP Action on Facebookand follow us on Twitter.

Sen Heller Betrays NV’s Women; Votes to Filibuster Hobby Lobby Fix

Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) Betrays NV's Women
Sen. Dean Heller
Betrays NV’s Women

When the Supreme Court made the terrible decision to allow corporations like Hobby Lobby to discriminate against women, members of Congress were ready to fight back to defend women’s access to birth control.

Senators Murray, Udall and Boxer quickly introduced a bill to make sure that corporations can’t interfere with employees’ access to health care, including birth control, as provided for by the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) under federal law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid fast-tracked the bill, bringing it for a full vote in the Senate today.

Not surprisingly, Republicans, including Nevada’s own Senator Dean Heller,  used the filibuster to block an up-or-down vote on the bill, meaning it will now take 60 votes to pass this bill. Only two Republicans broke from their caucus’s en bloc action — Senators Kirk and Murkowski.

Republicans continue to use the filibuster to shut down sensible legislation, and provide cover for their members who don’t want to go on the record in opposition to things like birth control access for women, common sense gun law reform, or relief for crushing student loan debt.

This week, they used the filibuster to block a legislative remedy for the disastrous Hobby Lobby v. Burwell decision. Outrageously, the five male justices on the Supreme Court ruled that the contraception mandate violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts suggested that Congress could exempt the Affordable Care Act from the RFRA as a way of protecting the inclusion of contraception as preventative care in the ACA. The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act does exactly that, and would have protected not only women’s access to contraception from employer discrimination, but any employees’ access to any health care provided through the Affordable Care Act.

Tell Senate Republicans to end their filibuster and allow a vote on women’s access to birth control. Click the link below to automatically sign the petition:

Take-Action

Vote #228 held on July 16, 2014, 02:09 PM EDT  on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S.2578 )

YEAs —56
Baldwin (D-WI)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Coons (D-DE)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Walsh (D-MT)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs —43
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Lee (R-UT)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

 

Not Voting – 1
Schatz (D-HI)

#ItsNotUpToThem Week

— Roberta Lange, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair

A few weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court issued a backwards ruling that allows for-profit corporate CEOs to make medical decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor.  That’s right – in the year 2014, the Supreme Court thinks female employees’ healthcare decisions should be made in a corporate boardroom, not a doctor’s office.

This week, the United States Senate will vote on legislation to address the Supreme Court’s ruling and ensure women who work at for-profit corporations have access to reproductive healthcare.  While Democrats like Senator Reid, Reps. Dina Titus and Steven Horsford, and Erin Bilbray support ensuring women have access to reproductive healthcare, Republicans like Dean Heller and Joe Heck have consistently voted to restrict women’s access to contraception.

In support of the Senate bill, Nevada Democrats are launching #ItsNotUpToThem week.  All week we will be highlighting how dangerous the Republican agenda is for the health of Nevada women.  Because whether it’s Mark Hutchison leading the charge to go back to a time where private insurance companies could treat being a woman as a pre-existing condition, or Joe Heck voting to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, it’s time we send a message to Nevada Republicans that women’s healthcare decisions aren’t up to them or corporate bosses.

Sign your name here to tell Republicans it’s 2014, not 1914.    


Please note that Roberta mentioned Candidate Erin Bilbray who is running agains Rep. Joe Heck, but failed to mention Kristen Spees who is running against Rep. Mark Amodei to represent those of us who are unfortunate enough to live in NV-Congressional District 2!

Party Of The 1% Filibustered Debate on Minimum Wage Increase

—by CAP Action War Room

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GOP Senators Vote Against Working Americans And Block Minimum Wage Increase

A minority of 41 Senators, all Republicans (and YES, that includes Sen. Dean Heller), voted today to block debate and a vote on a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10. Once again, the GOP followed the orders of the Koch brothers to keep our economy working for only the wealthiest.

Earnings for the top 1 percent have gone up 177% (PDF) since 1980. Meanwhile, minimum wage workers are actually making 16% less. But Republican Senators are still refusing to give them a raise:

GOP-MinWage

What’s more, instead of voting to give 28 million people as much as a $4,000 raise each, these GOP Senators instead took checks from leading lobbyists from big corporations opposed to raising it. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, for instance, has taken $118,000 since 2008:

MinWage02

Let’s go over just a few of the groups that these 41 Senate Republicans — whose average net worth is $6.26 million — were voting against in deciding to not even allow debate on the minimum wage bill:

Whether or not this issue personally affects you, chances are you know someone for whom this would make a difference.  The average worker who would benefit is 35 years old, and more than half are women.  It’s a single mother trying to make sure her kids have enough to eat. It’s a college student working to pay her way through school. And they deserve a raise.

Despite today’s vote, this issue will not go away, no matter how hard Republicans wish it would. The 42nd ‘no’ vote came from Majority Leader Harry Reid, a procedural move in order to preserve the option of bringing the bill up again. And just before the vote took place, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) issued a clear indication on the Senate floor that this fight is long from over: “If we don’t succeed this time … we will bring this bill to the floor again and again and again. Sooner or later we will get it done.”  (Editor’s remark:  Frankly … if the House can vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act 53 time, it’s perfectly acceptable with me for the Senate to have to vote, and re-vote on this at least once a week until they incur some serious wrath from the constituents and finally cast a YES vote.)

BOTTOM LINE: Instead of raising the minimum wage and giving Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead, Senate Republicans have shown once again that they’re against the 99%. But this fight is far from over. Those who vote against everyday Americans — many of whom have voted for similar minimum wage increases in the past — are on the wrong side of history.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

11 Things The Senate Should Remember While Voting On The Minimum Wage

— by CAP Action War Room

After returning from a two-week recess, the Senate is planning to vote on raising the minimum wage to $10.10 this Wednesday. The bill, called the “Minimum Wage Fairness Act,” needs 60 votes to advance thanks to the de facto GOP filibuster threat. And while in the past we have used this space to outline many of the different benefits of raising the minimum wage to $10.10, in anticipation of this important vote we wanted to go over some of the most important reasons one more time. Here they are:

  1. Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 and indexing it to inflation would raise the wages of 28 million workers by $35 billion. Raising the minimum wage would provide Americans who work hard a better opportunity to get ahead while giving the economy a needed shot in the arm.
  2. In 2013, CEOs made 774 times the pay of minimum wage workers.While the top CEOs made an average of $11.7 million in 2013, full-time workers making the minimum wage took home only $15,080 a year.
  3. Nearly two-thirds of all minimum wage workers are women. Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 would benefit 15 million women.
  4. One million veterans would benefit from a minimum wage increase.After risking their lives to protect our country, 1 in 10 veterans working in America today are paid wages low enough that they would receive a raise if the minimum wage is raised to $10.10.
  5. Raising the minimum wage will cut government spending on food stamps. Millions of workers earning the minimum wage make so little that they qualify for food stamps (SNAP benefits). This, in effect, amounts to taxpayers subsidizing corporations paying low-wages. Raising wages for low-income workers would actually cut government spending on SNAP by $4.6 billion a year, or $46 billion over the next 10 years, as workers earn enough on their own to no longer rely on the program.
  6. Minimum wage workers are older than you think. Nearly 90 percent of minimum wage workers are 20 years or older. The average minimum wage worker is 35 years old. A higher minimum wage doesn’t just mean more spending money for a teenager, it means greater economic security for the millions of Americans who rely on it as their primary income.
  7. Businesses see the value in increasing the minimum wage. Nearly 60 percent of small business owners recognize that raising the minimum wage would benefit businesses and support raising it. In fact, 82 percent of those surveyed don’t pay any of their workers the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
  8. It won’t hurt job creation. States have raised the minimum wage 91 times since 1987 during periods of high unemployment, and in more than half of those instances the unemployment rate actually fell. Over 600 economists signed a letter agreeing that a minimum wage increase doesn’t hurt job creation.
  9. In polls, nearly three-quarters of Americans support a minimum wage increase to $10.10. Pew Research found that 73 percent of Americans back a minimum wage increase.
  10. Millions of children will be more secure. If we raise the minimum wage to $10.10, 21 million children will have at least one parent whose pay will go up.
  11. A $10.10 minimum wage means a $16.1 billion boost for people of colorRaising the minimum wage is a matter of racial justice: people of color are far more likely to work minimum wage jobs and those who do are far more likely to be in poverty. A $10.10 minimum wage would lift three and a half million people of color out of poverty and add $16.1 billion to their incomes.

BOTTOM LINE: Over the next few days, as Senators take to the chamber floor to debate and then vote on this legislation that would help the economy and millions of American workers, they should make sure they keep in mind these vital facts on why the minimum wage should be raised to $10.10. A vote against increasing the minimum wage is quite simply a vote against working Americans.


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.