Published Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010 | 12:12 p.m.
Updated Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010 | 5:06 p.m.
EMILY's List, a national group that helps pro-choice Democratic women get elected, launched a campaign today in Nevada's 3rd Congressional District against Republican House candidate Joe Heck.
The WOMEN VOTE! campaign, which will run for at least two weeks, is designed to encourage women to vote for Democratic incumbent Rep. Dina Titus. With television commercials and online media, it highlights Heck's record on women's issues -- particularly health.
"The simple fact is: Joe Heck voted against requiring insurance companies to cover a life-saving vaccine for cervical cancer," campaign director Denise Feriozzi said. "Joe Heck played politics with women's health instead of ensuring that they have preventative care that can save lives."
EMILY's List is rehashing a two-year-old claim that cost Heck his 2008 re-election for state Senate.
In April 2007, Heck voted against a bill that would have required insurance companies to cover a vaccine for the human papillomavirus (HPV), a precursor to cervical cancer. Heck said he opposed the legislation because he didn't want to force insurance companies to take on more mandates that could drive up the cost of insurance.
"This from a man who graduated from medical school," a voice in a WOMEN VOTE! commercial says. "If we can't trust Heck with our health, can we trust him with our future?"
A television ad released last month by the AFSCME union used a similar attack, calling Heck "dangerous to women."
The WOMEN VOTE! campaign specifically targets women ages 18 to 49. Commercials will run on cable TV channels such as the Food Network and Bravo. The campaign launched a website, www.nevadawomenvote.org, and will use social media outlets such as Facebook and Google. Ads also will run on Hulu during shows including Glee, 30 Rock and Grey's Anatomy.
"Women voters are critical in this election, and we are confident that this campaign will motivate women to get to the polls," Feriozzi said.
Communications Director Mari Nakashima defended Heck's vote and record.
"As a doctor and patient provider, Joe used his experience to honestly analyze the full scope of a mandate that ultimately effected and raised insurance premiums for every woman, man and child across southern Nevada," Nakashima said. "Titus’ allies can try and save her by ruthlessly and falsely attacking Joe, but Nevadans know that as their healthcare premiums begin to rise this fall due to Obamacare, it was Dina Titus who sided against Nevadans and on the side of her leader, Nancy Pelosi."