- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 24, 2016

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Outside groups are launching two new ads in an increasingly bitter Nevada Senate race to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Harry Reid. Here’s a look at two commercials launched Wednesday:

ELDER ABUSE

Freedom Partners Action Fund, which is backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, unveiled a new ad accusing Democratic Nevada Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto of failing to intervene in an elder abuse case while she was attorney general.

The commercial features the story of World War II veteran Guadalupe Olvera, who was involved in a government-run guardianship program that’s been the subject of public criticism. Olvera’s guardian drained the 90-something of much of his money, and put up a legal fight against the man’s family to avoid relinquishing control, according to reports from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Olvera’s daughter wrote to Cortez Masto in December 2011, asking for help terminating the guardianship relationship. The attorney general’s office responded in March 2012 by saying it didn’t have jurisdiction over the complaint and suggesting the daughter contact veterans groups or the Commission on Judicial Discipline for help, according to backup documentation.

“When the family pleaded directly with Catherine Cortez Masto for help, she turned them away,” the female narrator says, before concluding that the candidate “let Nevada seniors down.”

Cortez Masto’s campaign called the ad misleading and pointed out that fact checkers have called some of the group’s other ads false.

“As Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto was a leading figure in the fight against domestic violence and she created a Senior Protection Unit to ensure investigators and prosecutors had the tools to pursue those who abuse, neglect or exploit seniors,” said Zach Hudson, her campaign spokesman.

Freedom Partners is putting $1.2 million behind the TV and online ads.

TERROR WATCH LIST VOTES

Senate Majority PAC, a group with ties to Reid, rolled out an ad highlighting 23 votes that Republican Rep. Joe Heck made against banning gun sales to people on the FBI’s Terror Watch List.

The spot opens by talking about an ISIS-inspired shooting in San Bernardino, California last December that killed 14 people.

“In the aftermath, Congressman Joe Heck had the chance to ban suspected terrorists from buying guns,” the narrator says. “Heck voted ‘no.’ 23 times.”

Heck’s campaign doesn’t deny that he made the votes, but describes them as partisan procedural motions used by the Democratic minority to score political points and potentially use in future attack ads.

Republicans say they oppose such bans because they strip the constitutional right to bear arms from people on a watch list without giving them due process.

“This ad wants to play on the fears of those viewers by leading them to believe that the ‘no-fly, no-buy’ policy would make a meaningful impact on reducing gun violence,” the campaign said. “There simply isn’t any proof that it’s true.”

Senate Majority PAC is putting about $870,000 behind the ad.

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