Shelley Berkley

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
Shelley Berkley currently serves the First Congressional district of Nevada

Rochelle "Shelley" Berkley has been a Democratic member of the House of Representatives since 1999, representing the First Congressional District of Nevada which includes most of the city of Las Vegas, including the Las Vegas Strip.

Record and controversies

Iraq War

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

Berkley voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[1]

Shelly Berkley has voted against leglislation favoring the war in Iraq many times. In June of 2008, she voted YES for investigating Bush impeachment for lying about Iraq. She has voted no on redeploying troops to Iraq whom had already served in Iraq for 90 under Bush's executive order. She has voted YES on ousting Saddam Hussein in 2004. [2]

One may deduce that Shelley Berkley adheres to a liberal agenda. Interest groups such as Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America have given her a high grade. In 2008, her grade went from an A- to an A.

Shelley Berkley has been criticizing the Bush Administration, and has been against the war in Iraq. Representative Berkley has also called for an exit strategy in Iraq, claiming that the current plans are not adequate. [3]


In December of 2003, NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) rated Representative Berkley 100%. This indicates that she favors the pro-choice option in an abortion. This opinion manifests itself ubiquitously throughout her voting record; In april of 2000, she voted NO on banning partial-birth abortions, and voted no making it a fedral crime to harm a fetus while comitting other crimes. The NRLC (National Right to Life Committee) rated Representative Berkley at 0%, due to their contrasting opinions about the legality of abortion. [4]

Environmental record

Representative Berkley is endeavoring to increase efficiency of fuel consumption and decrease our carbon footprint by voting in favor of legislation that promotes mass-transit and optimal living conditions.

In June of 2008, she voted yes on a bill that would funnel $9.7B towards Amtrak to improve their operations through 2013. In June of 2006, she voted yes on increasing the funding for AMTRAK from $214M to $900M.

She voted YES on speeding up approval of forest thinning projects in 2003. The idea behind a forest thinning project is to optimize benifits for the wildlife in the area. In this kind of project, the underbrush is cleared, leaving an open fertile ground for the trees to benefit from; they would not have to compete with the virally spreading underbrush.

In 2001, Representative Berkley stated she supported the platform of the American Coalition for Ethanol completely. [2]

Signing on to releasing convicted spy Pollard

Shelley Berkley is a co-signatory of a letter initiated by Rep. Barney Frank seeking a presidential pardon for Jonathan Pollard on the grounds that he has served enough time.[3] A release of Pollard seems to be Netanyahu's latest demand of the Obama administration.[citation needed]

Stance on Israeli Occupation of Palestine

According to the Israeli publication Haaretz, in its online edition of 3/5/09; "Berkley, a Jewish politician well-known for her support of Israel, backed the Israeli operation in Gaza during December and January, and even told Haaretz that Israel may have been too tolerant."

She is among U.S. congressmen who are seeking to condition $900 million in aid for the Palestinians on ending Gazan rocket fire on Israel and the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.[4] Of course since Israel does not allow concrete or other materials needed in any rebuilding program to enter the Gaza Strip this may all be simply an effort by the pro-Israeli lobby to warn the incoming administration of President Obama not to diverge from the positions being taken by the incoming far-right government in Israel.


Born Rochelle Levine January 20, 1951 in New York City, she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and the University of San Diego, graduating with a degree in Law. She served in the Nevada State Assembly from 1982 to 1984 and was involved in civic affairs locally. Elected to the House in 1998.

Sheldon's Consiglieri

For eight years Berkley was Sheldon Adelson's "vice-president of legal and governmental affairs". Connie Bruck writes:[5]

Testifying before the Nevada state ethics commission in 1998, Shelley Berkley, who is now a Democratic congresswoman for Nevada, and who had worked for Sheldon Adelson in the nineties as his vice-president of legal and governmental affairs, said that Adelson had told her that "old Democrats were with the union and he wanted to break the back of the union, consequently he had to break the back of the Democrats." Adelson fired Berkley in 1997, just months before she planned to begin a run for her first term in Congress. In a September, 1998, letter to the Review-Journal, Adelson wrote, "She violated attorney/client privilege and after two warnings, I decided to fire her. . . . Shelley Berkley attacks me in order to draw attention away from her own ethical lapses." Berkley published a letter in the paper a week later, in response, and she explained her firing differently. "My relationship with him began to sour the moment I urged him to hold jobs open at the Venetian for former Sands workers. The more I encouraged cooperation with the workers, the more I incurred Mr. Adelson's wrath," Berkley wrote. "Over time, I observed Mr. Adelson plot vendettas against anyone whom he believed stood in his way. However minuscule the perceived affront, he was certain to go ballistic, using his money and position to bully any 'opponent' - great or small - into submission. . . . He has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Republican Party to support his handpicked candidate by attacking me on TV."
She went on, "I have unique personal knowledge of how Mr. Adelson seeks to dominate politics and public policy through the raw power of money. Shortly before I was fired from the Sands by Mr. Adelson in 1997, he made me an offer. It was a bizarre proposition, but it was simple and it was direct. He told me if I would switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party he would provide all the campaign funding I would need to run for Congress." Berkley won her first race by only three percentage points. In 2006, she won a fifth term with sixty-five per cent of the vote, and today is a popular representative with a seemingly safe district; but Adelson has continued to try to defeat her.

Congressional career

2006 elections

In 2006, the Republicans nominated Ken Wegner to face Berkley in her November 2006 bid for reelection. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [5] Berkley retained her seat.

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00009818&cycle=2006</crpcontribdata>

Links to more campaign contribution information for Shelley Berkley
from the Center for Responsive Politics' site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Committees and Affiliations


Committee assignments in the 109th Congress (2005-2006)

Boards and other Affiliations

  • The Israel Project – Board of Advisors[6]


DC Office:
439 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-4708
Phone: 202-225-5965
TollFree: 877-409-2488
Fax: 202-225-3119
Web Email

District Office:
2340 Paseo Del Prado, Suite D-106
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone: 702-220-9823
Fax: 702-220-9841

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Shelley Berkley. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.

Articles and Resources



  1. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  2. [1]
  3. Philip Giraldi, Thirty-Nine Congressmen Can't Be Wrong,, 1 December 2010.
  4. Natasha Mozgovaya, "Proposal in Congress: No Gilad Shalit, no Gaza aid", Haaretz, March 5, 2009.
  5. Connie Bruck, The Brass Ring: A multibillionaire's relentless quest for global influence, New Yorker, 30 June 2008
  6. The Israel Project:Board of Advisors (Accessed: 8 June 2010)

Local blogs and discussion sites


Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office: U.S. House of Representatives
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs/Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, House Committee on Veterans' Affairs/Subcommittee on Health, House Committee on Ways and Means, House Committee on Ways and Means/Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, House Committee on Ways and Means/Subcommittee on Trade,
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 3, 1998
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 1999
Next Election:
November 2, 2010
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
Nevada State Assembly,
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 2340 Paseo Del Prado, Suite D-106, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone: 702-220-9823 / Fax: 702-220-9841

Campaign Contact:

Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: January 20, 1951