Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Yep, the company formerly chaired by Dick Cheney, the company getting probably the most bang for the buck out of the Iraq war, the company so infamous that there's an entire website devoted to its shameful practices, that company, Halliburton Energy Services, has contributed $1,000 to Heller for Congress on August 1. And Heller gladly excepted it.
Why? I refer you to the first sentence of this diary. Honestly, though, without the loans he gave to his campaign (his current debts are $365k) and without the big business PAC money his campaign finances wouldn't look so good. In fact, out of the $1.2 million Heller has received this cycle, more than $500k came from PACs or other committees. That's more than 40%. You can view the whole list of PAC money here.
And don't kid yourself about the individual contributions. Doesn't mean they're all ordinary folk. A lot of those are business executives, real estate, development, financial services giving in four figure sums. From casino executives alone Dean Heller received at least $75,500 thus far. That's more than 10% of all his individual contributions.
So, in case you're wondering why we're still in Iraq, why we have a big budget deficit, Heller getting contributions from companies like Halliburton is one of the reasons.
Jill Derby may not have Halliburton. But Jill Derby has ordinary supporters like you. How about giving her ten bucks?
Monday, July 21, 2008
Dean Heller and Jon Porter were almost beaten in 2006 in what were the closest races the 2nd and 3rd Nevada Congressional Districts have seen to date. Considering that Democratic voter registration has significantly increased since 2006 and that Nevada will be a battleground state in the presidential contest both Jill Derby and Dina Titus have a big chance of beating the Republican incumbents this fall.
However, both have one disadvantage: they have significantly less cash-on-hand than the incumbents. While they both reported good fundraising numbers in the last quarter it will be hard to make up the time and incumbency advantages of Heller and Porter. Therefore, Jill Derby and Dina Titus need all the help they can get. Whether you can give $5,$20 or $100 - anything helps!
The following blogs have been and will continue to cover one or both of these contests and today we are announcing that we stand together to help elect Jill Derby and Dina Titus: Blue Sage Views, Desert Beacon, Helluva Heller, My Silver State, Nevada Mojo Rising, Nor'Town, Nye - Gateway to Nevada's Rurals, Reno and Its Discontent, and Vote Gibbons Out.
We support Jill Derby and Dina Titus for Congress! Help us in our effort!
Friday, June 27, 2008
Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) was the only member of the
The Los Angeles Times reported that public transit systems recorded their highest ridership levels in the last 50 years, and during the first quarter of 2008 ridership on light rail increased 10% while vehicle miles traveled decreased 2.3%. The American Public Transport Association reports that Last year 10.3 billion trips were taken on
“Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.) complained that his constituents not only must pay higher gas prices, "but now they have to subsidize people in big cities with the luxury of access to public transportation." [LAT] Evidently, it hasn’t occurred to Rep. Lucas that if more people in urban areas use less gasoline, the demand drops and by the free market standards he claims to uphold – if demand drops so do the prices.
Increasing the use of “the luxury” of public transportation (Perhaps Rep. Lucas hasn’t been on the Metro, MARTA, BART, or the T during rush hour?) also has the salutary effect of diminishing green house gas emissions. But, then, Rep. Lucas is from
Friday, June 20, 2008
The Republican befuddlement over energy policies to address the current spike in gasoline prices and the need to devise a rational nationwide energy policy were never more evident than in Congressman Dean Heller’s (R-NV2) in a conference call with reporters. [EDFP]
Attempts to solve the overall problem included in the recently passed Energy and Job Creation Act met with Heller’s disdain: “It goes to show who controls this place now. The environmentalists that Congress has sold out to ... trial lawyers and big labor,” Heller said. “That is why you are seeing tax credits for trial lawyers in energy bills.” [EDFP] One should give Heller credit for cramming all three of the Grand Oil Party’s traditional boogey-men into the same sentence; however, the Representative provides no substantiation for their involvement in the current price spikes at the pump.
The 2nd District Representative calls for an investigation into whether there has been market manipulation with oil futures and brags that he is asking for a hearing on this topic. How this hearing would add more information to the discussion than that already gleaned from the Senate Commerce Committee’s session on the subject early this month isn’t clear; or, for that matter, from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s investigation into the self-same subject. [CNN] Nor is it clear how Representative Heller missed the fact that there is already a bill (H.R. 6238) sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Rep. John Dingell on the subject, co-sponsored by the ranking member of the Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX). [ECcom]
Heller also boasts of writing to House leadership asking about an energy plan calling for more drilling and the construction or expansion of more refineries to depress prices in the long run; and, then inexplicably adds “I’m concerned if we don’t do something quickly we will see $5 or $6 gasoline.”
Congressman Heller has probably long since sold his Economics 101 text, but might be well advised to review the basics, like “equilibrium pricing,” and “economic incentives.” If the Congressman adheres to the basic free market tenet that an economic entity will act in ways to best secure its profitability, then the present lack of drilling development and refinery capacity should make perfect sense. When prices are high there is no economic incentive to increase supply.
The solutions Congressman Heller is setting forth actually aren’t in the best economic interests of the oil corporations he seeks to support. As noted in a previous post the oil giants could have increased their refinery and drilling operations at any time, but chose not to do so, thus increasing the price of their products and thereby the profitability of their companies.
This is partially evident when it is considered that the Bush Administration’s leasing of oil and gas fields has out-stripped the industry’s ability or interest in terms of drilling. Oil and gas industry corporations have leases on about 44 million acres of public land in the Rocky Mountain region, but have developed only about 10 million to date. Prices for gasoline have not dropped in spite of the fact that according to the Baker Hughes Rig Count the
There also appears to be some confusion about what might be done and what can be done. Some of the oil shale operations mentioned by the President haven’t begun because the technology isn’t in place: “Government regulations do not prohibit development of this potential resource, technological feasibility does. Current federal policy supports a robust oil shale research and development program on federal lands managed by the BLM. However, despite a significant investment, industry admits they are a decade or more away from establishing the economic viability, technical efficiency, and environmental performance of the technologies. Even Shell admits its new technology remains many years away from viability.” [WS Press Release
The hard fact is that the
Friday, June 6, 2008
Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) would have us believe that he “can do little more than make noise about gas prices.” [RGJ] He’s managed the noise part, first writing provocative epistles to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (hardly a format designed to enhance his reputation for working across the aisle to find solutions), authoring a going-nowhere ‘demand’ for an energy “plan,” and finally asking the Financial Services Committee to hold hearings on price manipulation and speculation.
Perhaps Representative Heller didn’t get the memo: There have already been hearings concerning price manipulation and speculation, in both houses of Congress.
On the House side - Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) said that his U.S. House Energy Oversight Committee’s investigation [CNN] hasn’t uncovered illegal practices in oil and gas trading, but that loopholes in current statutes were allowing the biggest traders to ‘game the system.’ Stupak’s committee will hold a second hearing to announce the results of the entire investigation on June 23rd. [CNN]
On the Senate side - Senator Maria Cantwell chaired a Senate Commerce Committee hearing [McClatchy] (D-WA) on the subject, and is pressing both the FTC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to more closely regulate oil and commodity markets, and wants the FTC to issue an interim rule under the provisions of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act while the agency completes its ‘formal regulatory rule making process.’ Cantwell is also calling for the CFTC to revoke its ‘no action’ letters issued by its staff that allow electronic exchanges outside U.S. borders to continue trading West Texas Intermediate crude and related commodities. The Washington Senator and 20 other colleagues wrote to the CFTC on May 23rd demanding the revocation of those “no-action” letters. [OGJ] This exchange prompted the CFTC to admit that it had been ‘investigating’ the trading policies and practices in London (ICE) and
Representative Heller also voted against legislation seeking to ameliorate the current situation.
Concerning the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, (H.R. 6) cited by Senator Cantwell as offering a means to allow the FTC to address the issues immediately under its interim rule making provisions, Representative Heller voted as follows: [GovTrack]
(1) On consideration of H.R. 6, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: NO (vote 37)
(2) On a motion to recommit the bill (to kill it) YES (vote 38)
(3) On an appeal of the ruling of the chair (‘yes would sustain the measure) NO (vote 39)
(4) On final passage of the bill NO (vote 40)
(5) On agreeing to Senate Amendments NO (vote 1140)
(6) On agreeing to Senate Amendments NO (vote 1177)
Thus do we see the difference between making noise and being a ‘grown up’ member of Congress?
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) appears in the process of transforming himself into yet another PAC-man in the U.S. House of Representatives. About 38% of the funds he has raised during the 2008 campaign season thus far comes from political action committee contributions. [OS] Leadership PAC funds constituted $113,000 of those PAC contributions. [OS]
To whom is Congressman Heller beholden? Or, at least 38% beholden…
The Committee for the Preservation of Capitalism has donated $15,000 to Heller’s coffers. [OS] The CPC’s list of donors reads like a K-Street directory: The Duberstein Group; Ernst & Young; Strategic Health Solutions; Capitol Tax Partners; Securities Industry Association; Aetna Inc.; The Alpine Group; Akin Gump; Capitol Hill Consulting; Arent Fox; and the Business Roundtable among others. [CM] Akin Gump is most often associated with former RNC official Kenneth Mehlman, and the company has represented the “U.S. Embassy of the Government of Colombia” contacting congressional and executive branch officials to discuss
Every Republican Is Crucial donated $10,000. [OS] The questionable nature of this committee has been raised here in previous posts. Again, this is a PAC operated by the Cantor Joint Fundraising Committee, as in Eric Cantor (R-VA). Few members of Congress who were so closely tied to uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff still managed to retain their seats in 2006.
The Freedom Project (John Boeher R-OH) donated $10,000. [OS] Once more the “K-Street” connections emerge from their donor list. Among the top 100 donations to the organization are checks from: The Dutko Group; Boich Companies; The Duberstein Group; Ernst & Young; Cassidy & Associates; Hecht Spencer & Associates; Podesta Mattoon; Navigators (Christopher Cox); The Hobbs Group; The Baptista Group; Holt Strategies; The Washington Group; News Corporation; the Securities Industry Association; Akin Gump; the Miller Brewing Company and, the Federal Strategies Group. [CM] Those unfamiliar with the Boich Companies should know that Boich = Coal. The Baptista Group works on behalf of Goldman Sachs, Fannie Mae, and the Optimal Group. [The Hill]
Rely On Your Beliefs donated $10,000. [OS] This PAC is operated by Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Altria). The donor list for this Heller funding source may raise at least one eyebrow – it includes the Ogilvy Group’s Wayne Berman, co-finance chair of the McCain campaign. [CM] John Green is the co-founder and managing director of Ogilvy Government Relations (formerly called the Federalist Group), and between 2005 and 2006 Green and his firm were paid $640,000 by Ameriquest “the nation’s largest subprime lender.” In 2006, as Green lobbied for the company, Ameriquest settled a 49 state investigation in a $325 million agreement “that ranked as the second largest predatory lending settlement in history.” [MS]
Battle Born PAC, run by Senator John Ensign (R-NV), gave Heller contributions totaling $10,000. [OS] Among the top contributors to this fund were Mehlman Vogel Castagenetti, Kimbell & Assoc; Cassidy & Assoc; and Barbour Griffith & Rogers. [CM] Barbour Griffith & Rogers has a contract to represent
Midnight Sun PAC gave Heller $6,000. [OS] Randy DeLay,
The 21st Century PAC under the direction of Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) kicked in $6,000 for Heller’s 2008 run. [OS] Donations from the Apollo Group figure prominently in supporting McKeon this season. [OS] While the “Apollo Group” name may not be a household term, one of its enterprises certainly is – the
Congressman Heller has received contributions of $5,000 each from other leadership PACs including: the Congressional Majority Committee PAC; People for Enterprise Trade Economic Growth (Peter Sessions, R-TX); New PAC (David Nunes, R-CA); and, RED PAC (Adam Putnam, R-FL)
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Because of this man:
Travis Childers yesterday won a race that he never was supposed to win. He beat a Republican in a district that voted for President Bush with 62%, that his predecessor (who was appointed to Trent Lott's Senate seat) last won with 71% in 2006.
Yet, Childers not only beat his Republican opponent, he beat him by a significant margin: 54% to 46%. This after the Republicans tried to attack Childers by associating him with Barack Obama and Reverend Wright and the bad, bad liberals. The almost bankrupt NRCC spent more than a million dollars here and Nevada's own Sheldon Adelson's dollars didn't help the Republicans either. Neither did Dick Cheney's last minute appearance.
Why is this so important? Because it is the third special election in a heavily Republican district in a row that the Republicans lost. The first was fmr. Speaker Hastert's seat in Illinois, won by Democrat Bill Foster. The second was just a week ago in Louisiana (the only state John Ensign seriously thinks he can beat a Democratic incumbent Senator), where Don Cazayoux won. House Republicans are in pure panic mode now. From The Hill:
The sky is falling on House Republicans and there is no sign of it letting up.
The GOP loss in Mississippi’s special election Tuesday is the strongest sign yet that the Republican Party is in shambles. And while some Republicans see a light at the end of the tunnel, that light more likely represents the Democratic train that is primed to mow down more Republicans in November.
The third straight House special election loss in three conservative districts this year is a clear indication that the GOP brand is turning off voters and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is in disarray.
All this is good news for Jill Derby of course. Like Foster, Cazayoux and Childers she faces the challenge of winning in a Republican district. She narrowly lost against Dean Heller in 2006. So, what is different this time around? Due to the caucus voter registration is up. In the primary, Barack Obama faired much better in this CD than Hillary Clinton, especially amongst independents. This could mean that Obama's likely to have coattails in November. Dean Heller now has a record that he has to defend. And Republicans are even more unpopular than two years ago.
You can of course help Jill Derby get elected by contributing through the My Silver State ActBlue page.
Jill Derby for Congress website
Cross posted from My Silver State.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Ah, the joys of living in
Under the heading “Congressman Dean Heller supports Tax Relief for Hardworking Families,” we discover that:
(1) Heller “co-authored” H.R. 2734 (the bill to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent). The bill was actually “authored” by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), introduced on June 14, 2007, and has 118 co-sponsors among whom is Congressman Heller. What Congressman Heller doesn’t say in the glossy mailer is that by
(2) Heller “co-authored” H.R. 411, to make “tax relief for married couples permanent.” Here again Rep. Heller appears to confuse “co-author” with “co-sponsor.” The bill was introduced on
(3) Heller “co-authored H.R. 5105, simplifying the tax code.” H.R. 5105, was actually introduced by Rep. David Drier (R-CA) on
For all intents and purposes, H.R. 5105 is former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s tax proposal from his aborted 2008 presidential campaign. [ATR-PRD]
In addition to these aborted, abortive, and otherwise legislatively moribund bills, Rep. Heller wants us all to know that, “I firmly support making the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent. In addition to helping end the death tax on small businesses, which would keep $181 billion over 5 years in the hands of job-creating businesses, these important tax cuts will help spur our economy by encouraging investment.” The first problem with this statement is that tax cuts are not, and in practical terms never have been, a short-term vehicle for economic stimulus. [EPI] Secondly, its been known since 2001 that capital gains tax cuts have little, if any, impact. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the 2001 Bush Tax Cuts could produce an increase of approximately “a couple hundredths of one percent after ten years” in the Gross Domestic Product. [CBPP] Further reducing government revenues, while running up massive indebtedness to achieve “a couple hundredths of one percent after ten years,” isn’t a formula for fiscal responsibility.
Representative Heller is also pleased to tell us that he voted against H.C.R. 312, the House version of the budget, because it included “the largest tax increase in American history,” including a tax increase for “116 million taxpayers,” and “an average of nearly $3,000 for families in Nevada.” There’s nothing all that original about these claims; they come directly from a Heritage Foundation “study” that quite predictably found “evidence” to support the contentions. The points were quickly debunked:
“This claim is inaccurate, just as the same claim was inaccurate with regard to the budget resolution the Congress adopted last year. Neither of the plans recommended this week by the budget committees include a tax increase. The House plan simply assumes the same level of revenues over the 2008-2013 period as projected by the Congressional Budget Office under its current policy baseline, which essentially assumes no change in current laws governing taxes. The Senate plan actually calls for a small reduction in revenues, reflecting its assumption that Alternative Minimum Tax relief will be extended for one year without any offset of the revenues that will be lost as a result of that extension and that a second stimulus bill this year may include a small tax cut.” [CBPP]
Taking the point a step further, there was a very good reason the proponents of the original tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 inserted a sunset provision: “It should be recalled that the President’s tax cuts expire in 2010 because their supporters deliberately designed them that way, in order to fit the tax cuts within the cost constraints imposed by the Congressional budget resolutions adopted in 2001 and 2003. While acknowledging that their real goal was to make the tax cuts permanent, supporters of those measures opted to “sunset” the tax cuts before the end of the ten-year budget window, partly in order to avoid recognizing the cost of permanent tax cuts.” [CBPP] (emphasis added)
A person could wonder how much the taxpayers might have saved on postal expenses had Rep. Heller opted not to mail out a slick vanity publication boasting of his co-sponsorship of inactive legislation, his adherence to a thoroughly debunked Heritage Foundation propaganda piece, and his adoption of the Rudy Giuliani tax proposals?
Monday, April 21, 2008
What does a former Iraq War combat medic have to say about Nevada Congressman Dean Heller (R-NV2) and his lack of support for the New G.I. Bill?
Patrick Campbell: “Heller? The phone line goes silent as he consults the spreadsheet. “I sent him e-mail this very morning.” The note to Nevada Republican Rep. Dean Heller suggests that “his chance to sign on to the GI Bill was running out,”
Some days it’s difficult to figure out just who Congressman Heller’s constituents might be. They certainly aren’t working and middle income families who could have been assisted by the passage of the SCHIP legislation. The Congressman refused to support that bill even when the specific issues he raised were addressed in the final version of the legislation. He continued to assert (without any evidence whatsoever) that the bill would benefit “illegal aliens.”
Those constituents definitely aren’t veterans of the operations in
Additional information and comment at Desert Beacon
Additional information and comment at Desert Beacon
Monday, March 3, 2008
Dean Heller, Republican Congressman for Nevada's Congressional District #2 (which includes Nye County) has the lowest rating of the League of Conservation Voters of Nevada's five members of Congress. [Las Vegas Sun]
Heller voted against ending the $18 billion tax incentive for big oil companies. The reason, as I understand it, is that removal of the incentives is essentially a tax hike on the oil companies that will discourage them from exploring for more oil reserves, which in turn, he thinks will lead to higher gas prices. Besides, his constituents, he surmises, drive pick-up trucks.
No Dean, the current thinking is to "end the addiction" to oil, go solar, wind, geothermal, and for alternative fuels to run vehicles. Get with it man