Democrat complaint forces Heller ad fix


How closely are Shelley Berkley and Dean Heller watching each other as they compete for a Nevada seat in the U.S. Senate?

Close enough for Democrats to complain formally that Republican Heller failed to include the proper boilerplate in a television commercial.

The Nevada State Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday saying a Heller ad that began airing last week fell short on a legally required disclaimer.

"He either is going to have to take down the ad or change it because it is against the law right now," Democratic Party spokesman Zach Hudson said.

The Heller campaign responded by changing the ad and sending it out to stations in Las Vegas, Reno and Elko to swap in for the version that has been airing,  campaign spokeswoman Chandler Smith said.

"This was a technical issue with the disclaimer," Smith said.

In the commercial,  Senate incumbent Heller touts his support for "no budget, no pay" legislation that would withhold lawmaker salaries if they fail to pass a budget and spending bills on time each year.

Heller says in the commercial that he approves of its message,  but Democrats said that statement also needed to appear in text on the screen, in accordance with "stand by your ad" requirements of a 2002 campaign law.

The complaint comes a month after the Republican Party in Washoe County filed an election law complaint of its own in the Senate race.

That complaint charged the Berkley campaign and the state Democrats illegally were coordinating campaign activities before the Las Vegas congresswoman  was declared the party's official candidate in the June 12 primary election.

Democrats said they were doing nothing improper, dismissing the filing as a "nuisance complaint" aimed at discrediting Berkley.