Nevada is Democrats’ second-best hope of picking up a Republican seat. But they may have trouble they didn’t bargain for:
Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., faces an ethics investigation in the midst of her bid for U.S. Senate this year, as she hopes to knock off incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.
The existence of an investigation was first revealed on Friday by the House Ethics Committee, which announced that it had received the case on Feb. 9 from the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent office that acts as a grand jury of sorts for the formal ethics panel.
The Old York Times (!!) exposed this scandal last year:
At the University Medical Center here, alarms were set off three years ago — kidney transplants were failing at unusually high rates, and some patients were even dying.
Federal regulators moved to shut down the kidney transplant program, but the proposed penalty brought a rebuke from Representative Shelley Berkley, Democrat of Nevada, who helped lead a successful effort to get the officials from Washington to back down.
In pleading for a reprieve, Ms. Berkley and other members of Nevada’s Congressional delegation said they were acting on behalf of the state’s families, citing dire health consequences if the program was halted. But the congresswoman’s efforts also benefited her husband, a physician whose nephrology practice directs medical services at the hospital’s kidney care department — an arrangement that expanded after her intervention and is now reflected in a $738,000-a-year contract with the hospital.
Ms. Berkley’s actions were among a series over the last five years in which she pushed legislation or twisted the arms of federal regulators to pursue an agenda that is aligned with the business interests of her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner.