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A few days ago, the Jewish Daily Forward wrote a terrific article about Jewish Congresswoman Shelley Berkley's (D) race to unseat incumbent Senator, Dean Heller (R).  The article highlights her great work for her constituents and her strong support of Israel.  Here's the article if you want to read it:

http://forward.com/...

So we all know that casino mogul and Newt Gingrich's ex-sugar daddy, Sheldon Adelson, is pouring in a lot of money to help defeat President Obama this year.  I'm sure a lot of you also know, especially you kossacks from Nevada, that Adelson is pouring in a lot of money into the Nevada Senate race.  Now what you may not know is Adelson has a personal grudge against Berkley.  Here's what the Jewish Daily Forward has to say:

Adelson and Berkley share a troubled history. She used to work for the casino magnate as vice president of legal and government affairs, until the two had a public falling-out over Adelson’s views on unions.

Adelson fired Berkley and has since supported her rivals in all her congressional races. With Adelson’s millions and his willingness to dig in deep this election cycle, he could still donate millions of dollars to Super PACs trying to defeat Berkley. - The Jewish Daily Forward, 9/13/12

So this race is very personal to Adelson.  Berkley's past and current support from the unions cost her her job working for Adelson and now he fears that a Berkley win would be a big win for the unions.  And he should be:
Berkley, experts say, enjoys Nevada’s strong Democratic organization, which is already leading in registering voters, as well as union support that can help her secure votes. Her southern Nevada orientation is also seen as an advantage compared with Heller, who is less known in the state’s most populated region. - The Jewish Daily Forward, 9/13/12
Berkley's strong pro-Israel record will also be key in helping with a large Jewish voter turn out as well as her strong support for women's reproductive rights and her stance on medicare and Social Security:
As of the end of June, Berkley has raised more than $7 million. Pro-Israel groups and individuals are among Berkley’s top donors, as are groups focused on women’s issues, health care and retirees. Berkley and her opponent both received significant donations from the gaming industry, which is based in Las Vegas.

“She is one of the most ardent supporters of Israel, everyone would agree,” said David Harris, president and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council.  He added that Berkley is “widely loved” by Nevada Jewish voters.  The Jewish population in Nevada has grown following the state’s population boom, and currently there are an estimated 75,000 Jewish residents in Nevada, making up nearly 3% of the population. - The Jewish Daily Forward, 9/13/12

Now the article states that Israel won't be the biggest issue in this race because Nevada has the worst unemployment numbers out of any state in the U.S. and was hit hard by the housing bubble.  But with a combination of Berkley's support for Israel, Social Security, Medicare, a woman's right choose along with her name recognition in Southern Nevada and her backing from the unions, Berkley will have a large voter turnout that could carry her to victory.  Now before you start freaking out about the ethics investigation, here's what David Damore, associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has to say:
“Heller hoped that the ethics investigation against Berkley will consume all the oxygen out of her race, but she is still standing,” said David Damore, associate professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. - The Jewish Daily Forward, 9/13/12
PPP also shows that Berkley has been weathering the storm pretty well:

http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/...

More voters- 43%- consider her to be ethical than the 39% who think she's unethical. Overall 42% of voters think Heller's the more ethical candidate in the race to 37% for Berkley, a much more narrow gap than you might expect given what's been in the news lately. Berkley may be benefiting from voters setting the bar pretty low when it comes to politicians and ethics- just 21% of voters think the average one is ethical to 63% who do not.
Now Adelson may be purring in a lot of money but that doesn't mean he can easily buy this race:
But local experts doubt that will happen. “Sheldon Adelson is not a kingmaker in Nevada politics,” said Eric Herzik, chair of the department of political science at the University of Nevada, Reno. “He has a lot of money, and he is interested in politics — but not in grassroots, in state of Nevada politics.” - The Jewish Daily Forward, 9/13/12
Out of any candidate running for Senate who gets the most money from Adelson, Heller takes the cake:


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Heller, with a war chest of $6.5 million, lists as his top donor the Las Vegas Sands company, owned by Adelson. Other donors include Jewish casino owner Steve Wynn and the Koch brothers. - The Jewish Daily Forward, 9/13/12
The reoccurring theme of this election is voter turnout.  Berkley has Souther Nevada tied up and with the help of both Nevada's growing Jewish population and Obama being ahead in the polls, high voter turn out will be key to her victory in November.  Now Darmore offers this cautionary message about a possible split ticket:
Damore added that all bets might be off given Nevadan’s past tendency to split the ticket — voting for a presidential candidate from one party and congressional candidates from another.

“It’s a wildcard,” he said, “but it happened in the past.” - Jewish Daily Forward, 9/13/12


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I don't know about you but I am such and tired of billionaires and millionaires like Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn and the Koch Brothers and their efforts to buy elections.  A week ago, I was worried about split tickets happening in Massachusetts and Wisconsin but the latest polls show that Democrats are coming home.  Lets not only help Obama win Nevada but also give him and the middle-class another ally in the Senate:

https://secure.actblue.com/...

5:46 PM PT: According to atdnext and the Nevada Progressive Blog, the NV GOP are in worst shape than PPP suggests and Sheldon Adelson is their last hope:

http://nvprogressive.blogspot.com/...


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