Shelley Berkley’s Crooked Political Path

Democratic Congressman Shelley Berkley is challenging Republican U.S. Senator Dean Heller for his senate seat. To that end, she’s airing a TV ad claiming Heller, is part of a $64 million diamond scam.

“It’s a reach and a diversion,” University of Nevada, Reno political science professor Eric Herzik told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Given the volume of incorporations in Nevada, you’re going to have some fly-by-night operations and some fraudulent activities. To pin that on the secretary of state is a reach. ”

The ad goes on to suggest Heller took campaign contributions from a “co-conspirator” named Urban Casavant.  However, the campaign contribution in question came in June 2005 to Heller’s 2006 campaign for Congress by Rendal Williams, then CEO of U.S. Canadian Minerals.

In 2004 U.S. Canadian Minerals, with Williams at the head, acquired a 5 percent interest in CMKM Diamonds. But Williams was not among the people indicted by the feds in the fraud case.

Briefly, the ad shows a sworn affidavit taken by the Security Exchange Commission deposing Donald J. Stoecklein, dated January 24th, 2006. Stoecklein is an attorney in San Diego, California

On page 128, lines 20 through 23 Stoecklein says he met with then Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller.  But what you don’t see is page 130, lines 1 through 6, where Stoecklein says Heller and Casavant may have been in the same room, but never interacted with one another.

As for Berkley, she’s under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for possibly using her position to help her family financially. Included are efforts to keep a kidney transplant facility connected to her husband’s medical practice, and pushing for the Ways and Means Committee to not cut reimbursement rates for doctors who give dialysis to Medicare patients.

Obviously worried her ethics problems will cost her the race, Berkley is doing her best to make Heller look crooked, too.

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