48°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

Heller ad claim against Rosen prompts new disclosure of degree

Updated July 18, 2018 - 9:23 am

CARSON CITY — In response to a new ad by U.S. Sen. Dean Heller’s campaign, U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen has disclosed she earned a college degree in computing more than 30 years ago.

The 30-second digital ad released last week claims that Rosen, who hopes to unseat Heller this fall, lied in a 2017 C-SPAN interview about earning a degree in computers and that the business Rosen said she ran from the mid-1990s to early-2000s “didn’t exist.”

Rosen earned an associate’s of applied sciences in computing and information technology in 1985 from Clark County Community College — what is now the College of Southern Nevada — according to an official transcript reviewed by the Review-Journal. A CSN spokesman also confirmed the degree to the Review-Journal.

The degree is not listed on either her congressional biography or on her campaign website, and does not appear to have been made public until this week.

“I know how hard I worked waiting tables to help get my college degree and be the first in my family to graduate college, and I know how hard I worked to build my career as a computer programmer and as an independent consultant,” Rosen said. “Like many women, I’ve faced this my whole life and I’m not going to let it distract me from fighting for Nevada.”

Heller campaign spokesman Keith Schipper questioned why the Rosen campaign did not reveal the associate’s degree until more than a month after the Heller campaign questioned the degree.

“It has been 42 days since we first raised questions about Jacky Rosen’s degree, and in that time her campaign has claimed she misspoke and asked for corrections from other news outlets. Now that it has been revealed that she also lied about building a business, suddenly she remembers getting a degree in ‘computers’ at a school she has never once mentioned she attended. Why was she hiding this and what else is she hiding?” Schipper said in a statement to the Review-Journal.

Stewart Boss, Rosen’s campaign spokesman, said the Rosen camp had decided not to respond to a June 4 statement from Heller’s campaign questioning her credentials. The release of the ad prompted the campaign to disclose Rosen’s degree, he said.

“We’re correcting the record, and Senator Heller should apologize for his baseless lying and try to move on from this embarrassing episode,” Boss said.

The degree

In the C-SPAN interview, Rosen was asked how she made her way from Chicago, where she grew up, to the University of Minnesota and eventually to Southern Nevada.

“I actually got a degree in psychology, and in computers, I actually learned how to, I’m a computer programmer, systems analyst by trade.” she said.

The ad stops the clip after the word “computers,” and shows the words “No computer degree. She made it up.”

The June 4 statement questioning Rosen’s education credentials cited a since-corrected Jan. 25, 2017, article from The Atlantic that listed Rosen as having a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

The Atlantic story now lists Rosen as having a psychology degree, and a correction at the bottom reads:

“This article originally stated that Jacky Rosen has an undergraduate degree in computer science; her degree is actually in psychology, and she later built a career as a computer programmer. We regret this error.”

Boss said the Heller ad used a “deceptively edited” clip of the C-SPAN interview to misrepresent her words. Boss added that Rosen earned the degree while also working for Summa Corp. in the mid 1980s to help “advance her career as a computer programmer and software developer.”

The business

The ad also attacks Rosen for claiming in several interviews and speeches that she built a business. The ad cited a Reno Gazette-Journal story that said there is little in the way of public records showing such a business. The story said there are no records of Rosen having a state or local business license for the consulting company she claims she ran from the early 1990s to early 2000s.

The Heller ad latches onto that lack of paper trail, calling it “an imaginary business” that “didn’t exist.”

Rosen worked for Southwest Gas from 1990 until 1993, and she said she became a Henderson-based independent consultant afterwards until the mid-2000s, with clients that included Southwest Gas and Radiology Specialists Ltd. — where her husband was a partner at the time — providing work that included updating the customer service support software and and creating a new billing system. Boss said that she had no employees.

Stephanie Klapstein, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Taxation, which then handled state business licensing, said that back then if a business had no employees that they were not required to have a registered business with the state.

Finding proof of a local business license from that time for Rosen is difficult as well, as the city of Henderson destroys business license records one year after a business closes or one year after the license was not renewed, city spokesman David Cherry said.

“The City of Henderson would have no way of determining whether or not that individual had a business license during the specified period of time,” Cherry said.

Rosen’s personal finance disclosure, something all candidates are required to file that show their income and investments, lists a “Self Employment IRA” valued at $1,001 to $15,000.

A resignation letter Rosen sent dated Sept. 15, 1993, which was reviewed by the Review-Journal, said she was leaving Southwest Gas for personal reasons and that she “would be happy to contribute to technical support on an as needed consulting basis.”

Mary McCrary, former director of technical services at Southwest Gas, said she worked with Rosen in the early 1990s and remembered her transition from employee to consultant in which role Rosen helped support the company’s expanding infrastructure. McCrary donated $50 to Rosen’s 2016 campaign for Congress.

Rosen said Heller is attacking her because “he’s got nothing else to run on.”

“It’s nothing new for women running for office to have their experience baselessly dismissed or their qualifications questioned,” Rosen said.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Elizabeth Warren barnstorm Nevada ahead of caucuses - VIDEO
Warren is trying to drum up enthusiasm about her campaign after finishing fourth in the New Hampshire primary. Her rally drew about 400 people to the student union of the College of Southern Nevada’s Henderson campus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sen. Jacky Rosen encourages early voting at Culinary Workers 226 - VIDEO
Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., spoke to those casting early caucus votes at the Culinary Workers hall on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020. Early voting in the Nevada Democratic caucuses continues Tuesday. The Nevada Caucuses are Saturday, Feb. 22. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
2020 candidates rally in Southern Nevada ahead of caucus - VIDEO
2020 candidates Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders held rallies all over Southern Nevada on Saturday ahead of the Democratic caucus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
First day of early voting - VIDEO
Nevada Democrats turned out in force on Saturday for the first day of early voting in the Democratic presidential caucuses.
Biden and Sully Sullenberger speak in Henderson - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden and famed pilot Sully Sullenberger spoke at Sun City MacDonald Ranch to get out the vote for early voting for the Nevada caucus. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Poll: Bernie Sanders leads Democratic presidential candidates - VIDEO
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders leads the presidential field by a solid margin among likely Democratic caucus-goers heading into Nevada’s four-day early voting period, with with 25 percent of respondents expressing support. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Poll: caucus vs. primary - VIDEO
A new Nevada Poll finds two-thirds of likely Democratic caucus-goers surveyed in a Review-Journal poll say they’d like to see Nevada replace its caucuses with a secret-ballot primary election to determine support for a presidential nominee. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caucus events Leading up to Caucus Day 2020 - VIDEOl
As presidential candidates make their way to Las Vegas, here's a look at events, dates and times for the days leading up to Nevada's Caucus Day 2020 on Feb. 22. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus and Early Voting - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus discussion with Steve Sebelius about the Nevada Caucus and early voting.
Caucus 101: Early voting in the Nevada Democratic caucus - VIDEO
The who, what, when, where and hows of early voting before and on caucus day in Nevada. (Renee Summerour and Bizuayehu Tesfaye /Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Election 2020: Nevada Caucus - Video
AARP's Nevada Caucus Discussion with Steve Sebelius. Join us as we discuss the Nevada Caucus process.
Dina Titus speaks on Biden and Nevada's importance - VIDEO
Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus sat down with political reporter Rory Appleton to discuss Joe Biden and Nevada's place in the 2020 election.
Las Vegas ready to enforce homeless camping ban - VIDEO
Las Vegas police will begin enforcing a controversial camping ban on city streets on Saturday, but officials say they expect to impose the penalties available under the new ordinance only in rare instances. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Caucus 101: How to caucus - VIDEO
How does the caucus work in Nevada? Shelby Wiltz, the caucus director for the Nevada State Democratic party takes us through the process. (Renee Summerour and James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump administration OKs new water rule - VIDEO
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a new rule Thursday replacing a 2015 definition of “navigable waters” created in the Obama administration that farmers, developers and others found overly restrictive. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Yvanna Cancela Speaks on Supporting Biden - Video
The RJ Politics podcast crew sits down with Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela to discuss why she is supporting former Vice President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential race.
RJ Politics Podcast with Deval Patrick - VIDEO
2020 Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick joins hosts Rory Appleton and Steve Sebelius on the RJ Politics Podcast.
Tom Steyer on Donald Trump and the economy - Video
Tom Steyer joins the RJ Politics podcast to talk about his campaign presence in Nevada and how he plans to take Trump on when talking about the economy. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas City Council Votes On Homeless Ordinance - Video
The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday will discuss expanding on a controversial camping and sleeping ban aimed at deterring the homeless from bivouacking on city streets to include hours when public sidewalks are being cleaned.
Biden meets with Vegas Latino community - VIDEO
Presidential candidate Joe Biden met with members of the Latino community at Rancho High School. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson, other Nevada cities consent to refugee resettlement - VIDEO
Henderson will continue to welcome refugees for resettlement, according to a December letter from Mayor Debra March. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg Speaks At Black Empowerment Event - Video
Pete Buttigieg speaks at a black empowerment event to talk about his Douglass plan.
Joe Biden at the national hospitality workers union.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the national hospitality workers union during UNITE HERE's town hall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019 at Culinary Union Hall in Las Vegas. @bizutesfaye
Elizabeth Warren at Culinary Union
Elizabeth Warren speaks at a Culinary Union town hall in Las Vegas on Dec. 9, 2019.
Secretary of Education visits Henderson school
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited students at Pinecrest Academy in Henderson to talk about college planning on Dec. 4, 2019. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump dropped from Terry Fator’s show on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Fator has edited out one prominent figure: President Donald Trump, a focal point of Fator’s regular stage show and also Christmas show over the past 3½ years. The Trump puppet, with his pop-up hairpiece, has been sidelined from both shows until further notice. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
 
Democratic candidates barnstorm Nevada ahead of caucuses

Some of the top contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination campaigned at both ends of Nevada on Monday, preparing for Saturday’s caucus.

Nevada caucuses test candidates with Latino voters

The Nevada caucuses pose an important test for former Vice President Joe Biden, Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders and other presidential hopefuls with Latinos, who make up a third of the state’s population.

 
Democratic presidential candidates speak at Las Vegas gala

Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, businessman Tom Steyer and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke during the Clark County Democrats gala at the Tropicana in Las Vegas on Saturday night.