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Heller to Rosen: You Didn’t Build That.  Um, Yes She Did…

From the Department of Making Mountains Out of Molehills comes the ongoing kerfuffle over whether or not Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen got a certain college degree and later owned and operated a business.

In her challenge to Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, forget the economy, illegal immigration, health care, education, national security and terrorism.  No, instead let’s focus on a new version of what “is” is as it relates to the definition of “building a business.”

In a new 30-second website ad, Heller’s campaign claims Rosen never got a degree in computer programming.  Here’s a recap of the brouhaha as reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Colton Lochhead…

“In the C-SPAN interview, Rosen was asked how she made her way from Chicago, where she grew up, to the University of Minnesota and eventually to Southern Nevada.  ‘I actually got a degree in psychology, and in computers, I actually learned how to, I’m a computer programmer, systems analyst by trade.’ she said.  The ad stops the clip after the word ‘computers,’ and shows the words ‘No computer degree. She made it up.’”

But as it turns out, Rosen does, in fact, have such a degree.  Oops.  Egg…on…face.

Confronted with proof that Heller’s accusation was false – she received an associate’s degree in computers in 1985 at the Clark County Community College – Team Heller then pulled the ol’ “Well, why didn’t she show us the proof sooner?”

Sorry, but truth doesn’t have an expiration date.  Something is either true or it isn’t.  Rosen had the degree before Heller started running the ad and she has it now.  Whether she provided proof of the degree 42 days ago or yesterday is immaterial.  Team Heller screwed up.

The Heller ad then went on to claim Rosen never built a business back in the 1990’s as she has said in interviews.  As proof, Team Heller points out that there is no record of her having an official government permission slip – a “business license” – to be self-employed.

You know, like that business license Heller himself failed to get until this year for his hay farm.

News Flash:  There are TONS of people in Nevada – right this very minute – operating businesses without a business license.

Now, by law maybe they should.  But there are Mary Kay salespeople, Uber drivers, handymen, painters, lawn mowers, hair-braiders, nail polishers, tutors, babysitters, pet-sitters, and even lemonade stand operators operating an “illegal” business without official government sanction.

Of all the issues one can criticize Rosen over – and they are legion – the fact that she didn’t get a permission slip from the government to earn money and operate a consulting business is the thinnest of reeds.

Heller supporters also maintain that being a self-employed independent contractor with no employees, no building and no assets to sell if you close the business down means you didn’t build a business.

Sorry, but that’s not the definition of building and owning a business.  If you’re an independent contractor or consultant with no employees working out of your home and have no fixed assets to sell when you want to retire or cash out, that doesn’t mean you haven’t built a business.

You still have to do marketing, sales, advertising, customer service, balance your business checking account, deal with vendors, billing, payment processing, bookkeeping, maybe set up a business website, etc., etc., etc.  That’s all called “building a business.”

It’s very difficult – made even harder by government – for a person to start a business from scratch from their kitchen table or garage.  Such individuals should be championed, not derided, for their desire for self-sufficiency rather than government dependency.

There are LOTS of reasons why Jacky Rosen would make a lousy U.S. senator.  Her college degree and operating a consulting business without a government permission slip isn’t among them.  If this is the best Team Heller’s got, they ain’t got much.


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