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Heller, Rosen ramp up efforts showing support of veterans

Nevada veterans are in the cross hairs of an increasingly dirty fight between GOP Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is vying to replace him in the U.S. Senate.

Both candidates are hustling to prove each is the biggest champion for veterans, touting laws they’ve passed and ramping up outreach efforts. Not long after Heller and his supporters unveiled TV ads praising his work with veterans, Rosen toured a private VA clinic in Henderson and Veterans Village 3 in Las Vegas and hosted a roundtable discussion with veterans Tuesday.

Heller attended the Nevada State Veterans Home’s anniversary bash in Boulder City and unveiled a Veterans for Dean coalition.

The heightened efforts come on the heels of blistering attacks over veterans issues. A new TV ad from the Rosen campaign highlights Heller’s D grade from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, or IAVA. Heller’s camp rebuked the report by calling IAVA a “left-leaning partisan group” with a shady history. But Team Rosen pointed out that Heller in 2014 called the group nonpartisan.

Then there was the fight over missed votes.

Heller’s camp slammed Rosen for missing a June 25 vote on a bill to expand coverage to Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange for a “photo opportunity.” Rosen was in Texas touring a children’s detention facility amid the border separation crisis.

But last week, American Bridge, a progressive opposition research firm, revealed that Heller skipped a 2010 vote to help veterans exposed to Agent Orange. He missed the vote to attend former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn’s funeral.

Chamber opposes Question 3

The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce has joined the growing list of small-business groups in opposing the Energy Choice Initiative, commonly called Question 3, as backers of the ballot measure seek to win voter approval for the second time around.

The chamber said it’s opposing the measure — which would break up NV Energy’s monopoly on energy in Nevada and replace it with a competitive open market where consumers could choose their providers — because it has concerns over the language being enshrined into the state constitution.

The Energy Choice Initiative is a proposed constitutional amendment that passed with over 70 percent of the vote in 2016. But to become law, it must pass again this fall.

“Because Question 3 would change the Nevada Constitution, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to make any modifications to it in the event there are unintended consequences that would hurt consumers or create confusion in the marketplace,” Hugh Anderson, chairman of the chamber’s governmental affairs committee, said in a statement.

And if passed, any changes or attempts to reverse the measure would have to be approved by voters in two separate elections.

“Because Question 3 would change the Nevada Constitution, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to make any modifications to it in the event there are unintended consequences that would hurt consumers or create confusion in the marketplace,” Hugh Anderson, chairman of the chamber’s governmental affairs committee, said in a statement.

Other states that have moved to an energy choice model have done so through their state Legislatures or regulation changes made by utility regulators. Nevada would become the only state to do so via constitutional amendment if Question 3 passes again this November.

Anderson added the chamber would be open to exploring an open energy market “during the normal legislative process.”

The Latin, Asian and Urban chambers of commerce have announced opposition to the measure.

News and notes

■ Laborers Local 872 endorsed Sen. Dean Heller in his re-election campaign, saying the veteran GOP senator has “fought for jobs” and authored legislation to cut taxes.

— The Southern Hills Republican Women is hosting a lunch with GOP gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt, Attorney General candidate Wes Duncan and Lt. Gov. nominee Michael Roberson from 10:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 28 at Buckman’s Grille, 2600 Hampton Road.

■ White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and Republican California Congressman Devin Nunes will headline the fourth annual Basque Fry next week in Gardnerville hosted by Attorney General and Republican nominee for governor Adam Laxalt. The event, which is put on by the Morning in Nevada PAC, will be held at the Corley Ranch at 10 a.m. Aug. 25.

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