Las Vegas Sun

March 2, 2015

Currently: 61° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Heck, Oceguera engage in tense debate

Rep. Joe Heck and Assembly Speaker John Oceguera defended attack ads and traded barbs over women’s health issues, pensions and taxes in a tense debate that aired Thursday evening.

Oceguera stood by an attack ad against Heck that accused the incumbent Republican of being soft on victims of rape and domestic violence.

“I’m saying his record is horrible on women’s health issues,” Oceguera said during the debate on “Ralston Reports.”

Heck defended each of his votes, saying the ad misrepresents his record. He voted against a large state appropriations bill in 2007, which included funding for a number of projects, including a rape crisis center and a domestic violence prevention program.

“It was a vote against the process,” Heck said. “They should’ve been weighed on their individual merits.”

Heck said his record in Congress confirms his stance as being opposed to abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother.

When journalist Jon Ralston played a National Republican Congressional Committee ad calling Oceguera a “world class hypocrite” for taking a government pension at age 43 and pushing for tax increases at the Legislature, Heck hesitated on the pension issue.

“I’ve never hit the speaker on the pension issue,” Heck said.

“Retiring at age 42 or 43 with a six figure pension is rather lavish,” Heck said after more prodding from Ralston. “But that’s the system in which he operates. I can’t fault the speaker for that.”

He said the public employee retirement system probably needs to be looked at.

Oceguera defended his career as a firefighter.

“I don’t know what the right age of retirement is for public safety workers... I served the community for 20 years,” he said, noting that Heck served as a United States Army Reserve colonel before retiring. “I was exposed to contagious diseases, burning buildings. I’ve had friends die. I probably will have more friends die.”

On the economy, Heck said he’s focused on “stimulating the economy so the private sector can put people back to work.”

He said “businesses are struggling with their regulatory burden and access to capital.”

Oceguera said his focus is the housing crisis. He wants to nationalize the state of Nevada’s Foreclosure Mediation Program and obligate banks to write down principals on homes. He also said he wanted to work on infrastructure projects, like the energy grid in Nevada.

Heck pointed to his record as one of the few Republicans to vote to extend some of the federal housing programs meant to help struggling homeowners.

Heck criticized Oceguera’s record in the Legislature, particularly his support for tax increases.

He claimed “at every turn” Oceguera raised taxes.

Oceguera said he supported taxes to preserve the education system and social services, and took a “balanced approach” to deficits by also looking at efficiencies.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 2 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. There are two things Heck did when he was elected as Congressman.

    The first thing he said was that, because of the high cost of living in Washington DC, he was going to live in his office, sleeping on his couch. In order to save money.

    The second thing he did was dismantle all of the home/business foreclosure hotline telephone lines that the Congresswoman Titus set up. The message? Las Vegas, you're on your own. I'm not lifting a finger to help you.

    Look at Heck's record as a Congressman. He has voted in lockstep with every single Tea/Republican Party issue, even if it is detrimental to southern Nevada's desires. And this is not to mention he is an integral reason why this 112th Congress, with it's majority of useless Tea/Republicans in the House, enjoys the distinction of being the worst Congress in American history; fluctuating anywhere between nine to 17 percent approval rating.

    He may not be a Tea Partier, but he sure voted in unison with them EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    Thank God I am away from that predator and have had the luxury of being re-districted. I will have the opportunity to vote for Titus again and put her back into office. Where she belongs.

    But you people in CD3 need someone better than Heck. Maybe Ocaguera is not the greatest candidate, but I say he's got to be a hell of a lot better than Heck. Especially after Heck talks about Social Security like it's "a Ponzi scheme," clearly not understanding anything about that institution at all, and clearly not offering anything better nor any improvements to Social Security. His whole purpose for saying it was "a pyramid scheme" was because he goes along with the Tea/Republican Party mantra of destroying Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Time to hold him accountable for his despicable words regarding an institution (Social Security) that is basically carved in stone and enjoyed by an overwhelming amount of Nevadans.

    Wake up, CD3. Get rid of that guy. Because if you don't, he'll just do whatever he wants whenever he wants to whomever he wants. And you won't be able to stop him. Because it's a proven fact he simply don't listen to his constituents.

  2. There is no public service group that has screwed us over more than the fire fighters, and I haven't heard that John fought against the awful abuses by that group.