Political Ad Fact Checker
An advertisement on YouTube that was paid for by New America PAC NV attacks Republican congressional candidate Cresent Hardy with an announcer who says: “Cresent Hardy calls himself a conservative. Yet he voted for Obamacare three times. Now he says he wants to go to Washington to fix it? He couldn’t even fix his own business, running it into the ground, claiming bankruptcy and leaving his vendors $8.1 million short, crippling small businesses and costing hard-working Nevadans their jobs. Cresent Hardy a conservative? There’s nothing conservative about this guy.”
What’s true -- Hardy, an assemblyman from Mesquite, is competing in his party’s June primary for the right to face incumbent Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. The political action committee has received donations from Las Vegas businessman Victor Chaltiel, a supporter of Hardy’s Republican opponent Niger Innis.
After Congress approved the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare, the Nevada Legislature in 2011 created the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange through Senate Bill 440 to enact the federal law. Hardy voted for SB 440 and also voted in 2013 for Assembly Bill 425, which established certification provisions for individuals helping with enrollment in the exchange.
Hardy’s construction company, Legacy Construction & Development, voluntarily filed in 2012 for reorganization of its business affairs under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. The case was closed last year.
What’s a stretch -- The ad omits the fact that all of Hardy’s Republican legislative colleagues voted as he did on SB 440 -- save for three Assembly Republicans excused for the vote -- and all but one Assembly Republican voted for AB 425. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed both bills into law. Hardy, therefore, consistently voted with nearly all fellow Nevada Republican lawmakers in matters related to Obamacare.
The ad implies that individuals who file business bankruptcies lose their conservative credentials. Yet no industry in Southern Nevada was hit harder by the severe recession than construction, where the workforce fell from 112,000 in June 2006 to 34,800 in January 2012. It is unlikely that Hardy was the only self-described conservative in the construction industry hurt by the recession.
Also missing from the ad is that Hardy opponent Innis has had his own financial troubles, including unpaid federal taxes and court judgments for failure to pay debts related to a student loan and a motor vehicle lease.