The Nevada Appeal’s Silver Dollars & Wooden Nickels feature recognizes positive achievements from the capital region and, when warranted, points out others that missed the mark.WOODEN NICKEL: The platform was there, the audience was there, the opportunity was there and both candidates flushed the opportunity down the toilet.During Thursday night’s heated Senate debate between Republican Sen. Dean Heller and his Democratic challenger, Rep. Shelley Berkley, the two used the platform to continue their negativity toward one another.Instead of providing answers to how they would fix our country’s ailments, the two jabbed and finger-pointed. The term “my opponent” was used more times than should be counted. Several times, when a new question was asked, both candidates opted to revert to the previous question to get one more shot at one another. That cut into the short time frame for answering the new questions.Their tight race has been called one of the most important races nationally in determining which party controls the U.S. Senate. With that importance comes the involvement of political action committees spending millions of dollars bashing the other party’s candidate in advertisements. That elementary school-style bashing is already over the top, and is not what we expected during the debate.With 21 days until early voting begins, we encourage both candidates to re-evaluate their campaigns and use the next two debates to focus on substantive issues — not the other person.