Politics & Policy

Overshadowed by Scripted Senate Tussle, Heck and Titus Square Off in NV-3

Congresswoman Dina Titus broke last night’s debate rules. The embattled Democratic incumbent from Nevada read from notes during her closing remarks even though the rules stated that participants were not allowed to do so. 

Debate organizers confirmed for a reporter covering the debate live that Titus broke the rule.

“She said she doesn’t tolerate cheating in the classroom, but last night she clearly cheated,” Heck campaign manager Grant Hewitt told Battle ‘10 this afternoon.

Hewitt was referring to a point in the debate when Heck used one of his questions to ask Titus about dishonest ads run against him, inquiring whether Titus, a university professor, would tolerate the kind of deception occurring in political ads.

“I certainly do not tolerate cheating in my classes, so that won’t be a problem, Titus responded.

Titus has referred to notes during her debates with Heck all week, putting on her reading glasses and pulling out a big binder at least once during each event.

The two candidates are in a knock-down drag-out fight to represent the largest congressional district in the country. Last night’s forum, aired live from the PBS Vegas studios and broadcast by other stations, was their fourth debate in six days. 

Titus repeatedly stated, as she has in every debate this week, that Heck wants to “pursue the failed policies of the Bush administration” and undo the progress made by Congress over the past two years. She also re-accused the former state senator of changing his positions on Social Security and health care, which Heck re-denied.

Heck predictably went after Titus on jobs and the economy. ”My opponent has said it is her job to create jobs,” Heck said after citing Nevada’s 15 percent unemployment rate. “If that is her job, then she has failed.”

Titus seemed to surprise Heck with her own question when the candidates were allowed to query one other.

She asked Heck why as a state senator he voted against a bill amendment in the 2005 session of the state legislature that would have increased a property tax rebate for seniors from $500 to $1,000. Heck said he did not remember the vote.

Battle ‘10 has obtained a copy of the amendment through Titus’ office. The bill was AB 554, and then state senator Titus offered an amendment, #1227, on June 6, 2005, to increase a rebate for seniors from $500 to $1000.  

Many observers said the debate was much better than the lackluster and often inarticulate preceding debate between Reid and Angle.

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