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New ad attacks Heck over campaign spending

A Democratic PAC this week launched its second ad in Nevada contending that U.S. Rep. Joe Heck has benefited from millions of dollars in dark money during his political career, and has opposed efforts to expose the sources of anonymous campaign spending.

The Nevada Republican and his Democratic opponent, former Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto, are vying to replace retiring U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid in the Nov. 8 general election.

End Citizens United is behind the new ad, which launched Thursday and is running statewide through Sept. 2.

The ad contends Heck has benefited from $5.3 million in anonymous campaign spending during his political career and has voted against efforts to require disclosures and curtail anonymous campaign contributions.

“In a campaign where Catherine Cortez Masto, Harry Reid and their allies have spent millions lying about and distorting Dr. Heck’s record, this particular attack reaches all new levels of absurdity,” Heck campaign communications director Brian Baluta said in an email. “To date, outside groups have spent nearly $8 million to pass the baton from Reid to Cortez Masto and have pledged more than $16 million through the balance of the race. The hypocrisy is off the charts.”

This ad is part of a $1.5 million television and $225,000 digital ad push by End Citizens United. Another ad that began running earlier this month accused Heck of being in the pocket of “Big Oil.”

End Citizens United executive director Tiffany Muller contended in a statement that the campaign finance system is “broken,” in part due to the role of wealthy and special interests. She called Heck part of the problem.

“Instead of standing up for everyday Nevadans who want to reduce the influence of special interest money in politics, Joe Heck has voted to keep these donations secret,” Muller said in a statement. “He’s making it easier for his corporate allies like the Koch brothers to spend unlimited amounts of money to prop up his campaign.”

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Find @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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