Posts Tagged ‘Tray Abney’

Sen. Heller Gets National, Local Chamber Endorsement As Rep. Berkley Touts Her Own Business Support

By Sean Whaley | 2:57 pm August 9th, 2012

SPARKS – U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., showed up at a Sparks floral shop today to receive the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in his reelection bid against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

The national endorsement was made by former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, who said the choice was clear for the organization.

“This is a time, as you all know, of great contrast in politics,” said Spellings, president of the U.S. Chamber’s Forum for Policy Innovation. “These are not close calls; these are not tough calls, these endorsements. People who support business do so proudly and we are proud and honored to support them. While a lot of people talk a good game, it’s pretty easy to decide who is pro-business around here.”

Sen. Dean Heller speaks in Sparks after being endorsed by the U.S. and Reno-area Chambers of Commerce with Tray Abney and Margaret Spellings looking on. / Photo: Nevada News Bureau.

Spellings, who served as U.S. Secretary of Education from 2005 to 2009, said Heller’s leadership on pro-growth policies, including American energy production, removing regulatory barriers for small business growth and reining in government spending, is what will get the nation’s economy back on track.

The Berkley campaign at the same time announced support from business leaders for her Senate campaign, including Republican businesswoman Maggie Arias Petrel of Las Vegas.

“Shelley has consistently supported small businesses in our community by voting for legislation like the Small Business Jobs Act, which provided incentives to get small businesses to start hiring again,” Petrel said in a release from the campaign. “We need Shelley to keep fighting for Nevada businesses in the years to come as a U.S. Senator.”

The Chamber of Reno, Sparks and Northern Nevada announced its endorsement of Heller at the same time at the Sparks Florist, despite not having interviewed Berkley first.

Tray Abney, director of government affairs for the regional chamber, representing 2,500 member businesses, said the group decided to endorse Heller because of his past support for pro-business policies. The chamber had expected Berkley to speak to the group during the August recess, but had not heard from her through today, he said.

Abney criticized Berkley, saying she is a “reliable vote for higher taxes, she’s a reliable vote for big government, she’s a reliable vote for making your energy costs more expensive.”

Berkley’s vote for the Affordable Care Act, for example, will lead to increased health insurance costs for small business, he said.

Tony Fiannaca, owner of Sparks Florist, also spoke in support of Heller, noting his family-run business that employs 40 people was built without government support.

Heller took the opportunity to criticize Berkley for voting for “cap and trade,” which he said would cost 50,000 jobs in Nevada.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act would allow the government to set a cap on the total amount of greenhouse gases that could be emitted nationally. Companies would then buy or sell permits to emit the gases, primarily carbon dioxide.

“In this Congressional District here, I knew we would lose 15,000 jobs and for that reason I voted against it,” Heller said. “Who in their right mind in Washington, DC, believes, that when presented an option of actually voting against your own constituents; losing jobs in this economy; would actually vote for it.”

He also criticized Berkley for her support of President Obama’s proposal to end the Bush tax cuts for individuals making $200,000 or more and couples making $250,000 or more.

Pam duPré, executive director of the Washoe County Democratic Party, offered a different perspective, saying Berkley has been a friend to business throughout her political career.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev.

“One good example is the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010,” she said. “It created $30 billion in capital for community banks to lend to small businesses to help them grow and create jobs. Republican Governor Brian Sandoval applauded the bill saying it would help create jobs in Nevada.”

Four Nevada banks used the funds in 32 locations, duPré said.

Heller voted against the measure, calling it “another bank bailout.”

But so did then-Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., who lost to Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., in the 2010 general election. Titus told the Nevada NewsMakers television show in April 2012 that she too was concerned it was a bank bailout. Titus is now running for the 1st Congressional seat in Las Vegas.

The Wall Street Journal reported in March 2011 that critics of the fund said some banks were applying for money to refinance outstanding government debt rather than to boost their small-business lending.

DuPré said the chamber “perhaps” could have done more research before making the endorsement.

“Shelley Berkley has always been a strong supporter of small businesses,” she said. “The choice really is very clear. Shelley supports giving small businesses the tools they need to grow and prosper and create jobs here in the United States. Dean Heller continues to support tax breaks for corporations so they can ship their jobs over seas and he continues to support tax breaks for big oil companies.”

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Audio clips:

U.S. Chamber spokeswoman Margaret Spellings says the choice is clear in the Nevada Senate race:

080912Spellings1 :24 pro-business around here.”

Spellings says Heller favors policies that will get the nation’s economy back on track:

080912Spellings2 :15 back on track.”

Tray Abney of the Reno area chamber says Berkley is not a friend to small business:

080912Abney :10 costs more expensive.”

Sen. Dean Heller says Berkley voted for cap and trade, which would cost 50,000 jobs in Nevada:

080912Heller :17 vote for it.”

Washoe County Democratic Party Executive Director Pam duPré says Berkley voted for the Small Business Jobs Act, which Heller opposed:

080912Drum1 :27 against that bill.”

DuPré says Heller supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas:

080912Drum2 :24 big oil companies.”

 

 

Assemblyman Asks Lawmakers To Put “Cards On The Table” In Forum Today

By Andrew Doughman | 12:47 pm April 18th, 2011

CARSON CITY — Assemblyman Pat Hickey, R-Sparks, is asking other legislators to “lay your cards on the table.”

As the budget debate in Carson City roils to no discernible conclusion, Hickey is bringing 21 lawmakers, business leadersa and academics to the Legislature to talk taxes and government reform.

“This forum will help get out into the open things that have only been talked about behind closed doors,” Hickey said. “As moderator, I plan to press participants to speak openly about the ‘end game’ here this session.”

That end game has traditionally involved closed door meetings between legislative leadership.

Hickey will moderate the “Recession, Revenues and Nevada’s Recovery” panel today between 3 – 5 p.m. at the Legislature. Viewers online can watch here.

Hickey said he would like to have a serious discussion in public that could evolve into legislative negotiations about the budget.

At the very least, the diversity of voices at the forum should provide an interesting sideshow to the day-in, day-out legislative hearings and committees.

Speaking at the forum span nearly every position on the tax debate. Politically, Hickey’s guests span the spectrum from left to right and include representatives from unions and contractors, free-market libertarians and progressive groups, chambers of commerce and school districts.

Hickey’s forum is not the only change in the legislative end game.

This year, Democratic leaders in the Assembly and Senate have said they will conduct budget hearings in the Assembly and Senate chambers. They say the move will lead to more transparency and include more legislators in budget discussions.

As first reported in the Las Vegas Sun, the change could prompt legislators toward a budget battle over education.

The Legislature has 49 days remaining to conclude its session, pass a budget and finish the drawing of political districts as required every 10 years by the U.S. Census.

 

Panelists for the “Recession, Revenues and Nevada’s Recovery” include:

Heidi Gansert, the governor’s chief of staff

Speaker Pro Tempore Debbie Smith, D-Sparks

Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas

Tray Abney, Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce

Carole Vilardo – Nevada Taxpayers Association

Dr. Elliott Parker – UNR economist

Clara Andriola – Associated Builders and Contractors

Geoffrey Lawrence – Nevada Policy Research Institute economist

Dr. Heath Morrison – Washoe County School District superintendent

Mary Lau – Retail Association of Nevada

Dr. Tyrus Cobb – former assistant to President Ronald Reagan

Neil Medina – Northern Nevada Contractor

Jim Pfrommer – Education Alliance of Washoe County

Former Sen. Randolph Townsend

Assemblyman Crescent Hardy, R-Mesquite

Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks

Bob Fulkerson, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada

Chuck Muth – Citizen Outreach

Dave Humke – Washoe County Commissioner

Danny Thompson – AFL-CIO union representative

Norm Dianda – Q&D Construction