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September 07, 2011

Lawmaker Wields Influence for Husband's Gain

The New York Times reports that Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV) used her political influence to enact measures that help her the business interests of her husband.

"At the University Medical Center here, alarms were set off three years ago -- kidney transplants were failing at unusually high rates, and some patients were even dying. Federal regulators moved to shut down the kidney transplant program, but the proposed penalty brought a rebuke from Representative Shelley Berkley, Democrat of Nevada, who helped lead a successful effort to get the officials from Washington to back down... But the congresswoman's efforts also benefited her husband, a physician whose nephrology practice directs medical services at the hospital's kidney care department -- an arrangement that expanded after her intervention and is now reflected in a $738,000-a-year contract with the hospital."

Pattern of abuse: "Ms. Berkley's actions were among a series over the last five years in which she pushed legislation or twisted the arms of federal regulators to pursue an agenda that is aligned with the business interests of her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner."

Berkley recently launched a Senate campaign against Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV).


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