Sunday, November 18, 2007

Heller Votes to Sustain Bush Veto of H.R. 3043

Cross posted at Desert Beacon

Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV1) and Congressman Jon Porter (R-NV3) were among the 277 members of the House to vote in favor of over-riding the President’s veto of H.R. 3043, the Labor, HHS, and Education funding bill. Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) voted to sustain the veto. [roll call 1122] The over-ride failed 277 to 141, with 15 members not voting.

The Gavel has a listing of the appropriations in the bill and compares those to the cost of the Iraq occupation, which is evidently of greater importance to Congressman Heller than:

$30 billion for National Institutes of Health medical research;

$14.8 billion for Title I education funds for disadvantaged youngsters;

$11.3 billion for Special Education state grants;

$7 billion for Head Start and Early Childhood Education;

$3.4 billion for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services for Veterans;

$2.4 billion for Heating Assistance for Low Income Families;

$2.2 billion for Community Health Centers;

$1.5 billion for Job Training and Career Placement for Dislocated Workers;

$1.2 billion for Career and Vocational Education;

$1.1 billion for 21st Century Learning Centers: After School Programs;

$228 million for Veterans’ Employment Programs;

$23.6 million for Homeless Veterans’ Services; and

$9.5 million for programs for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries.

The total expenditures listed above would equal approximately what it’s costing to occupy Iraq for 222 days, 16 hours, and 30 seconds.

So, when Representative Heller says “We Should Support the Troops” one might ask him if he means that we should support them only while they are occupying Iraq and not necessarily after they come home?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Heller to Nevada middle class families: "I Got Mine..."

Cross posted at Desert Beacon:

Should Nevada District 2 Congressional Representative Dean Heller ever have anything to say about the 110th Congress not accomplishing anything, or some comment to make about parliamentary stunts – merely saying “October 25, 2007” should quiet him immediately. The House Republicans pulled out all the parliamentary stops to prevent the passage of H.R. 3963 (Childrens Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act). The fun began on roll call 1001 and lasted through roll call vote 1009.

The first gimmick from the GOP camp was a motion to adjourn. [roll call 1001] Remember from Civics class that a motion to adjourn is always in order, so as we’ll see, the Republicans tried it twice. The second motion to adjourn failed on roll call 1002, 170-222, with Nevada Representatives Heller and Porter both voting in favor of adjourning the House without discussing the SCHIP bill.

Fresh from that failure the Republicans lost their attempt to prevent the resolution calling for consideration of the SCHIP bill from coming to a vote. [roll call 1003] Again, Representatives Heller and Porter marched along with the Republican leadership.

However, the GOP’s bag of parliamentary tricks was far from empty, so CSPAN views got to watch a vote on whether to table a motion to reconsider H.R. 3963. The motion to reconsider failed as well, 218-183 on roll call 1004. Representatives Heller and Porter continued their “March of the Republicans.” But wait, there was more.

At this point the Republicans pulled out another motion to adjourn, the second attempt to do this on one bill. This second attempt failed on a 165-224 vote. [roll call 1005] Representatives Heller and Porter continued following the party line. The Republicans tried defeating a motion ordering the “previous question,” [roll call 1006] and lost 221-188. Representatives Heller and Porter faithfully followed leadership instructions.

The resolution providing for consideration of H.R. 3963 passed 215-187 on roll call 1007. Once more Representatives Heller and Porter had an opportunity to support the reauthorization of SCHIP and once more they passed on it.

Success for the SCHIP bill was now within sight, but faced the Republican’s New Favorite Toy, the “Motion to Recommit with Instructions.” This attempt to scuttle the bill failed 164 to 242 on roll call 1008. Representatives Porter and Heller were, again, on the losing end.

On the final vote on H.R. 3963, Representative Porter did exactly as he had done during previous SCHIP legislation; voting against it during the parliamentary votes and for it on final passage. [roll call 1009] Once more Representative Heller did exactly as he had done before; voting against the reauthorization of the SCHIP program. Of the three members of the House of Representatives from Nevada only Representative Shelley Berkley (D-NV1) voted for the SCHIP reauthorization consistently.

Representative Heller was worried that illegal immigrants might “scam” the SCHIP program; language was added to H.R. 3963 to prevent that. He was disturbed that people earning $83,000 would be eligible, even though none were; language was added to address that issue. He was perturbed that the emphasis wasn’t on “poor children” although the purpose of SCHIP has never been to cover those in poverty; Medicare programs handle services for people with that level of need. In short, Representative Heller (R-NV2) has no interest in supporting state health care services for struggling middle class Nevadans who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid/Medicare programs but too little to afford family health care. He has hi federally subsidized health care program, but evidently sees no value in extending coverage to those less fortunate than himself. If I remember correctly, this attitude was once described as: “I got mine, now you try to get yours, sucker.”

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New TV Ad Targeting Heller on Children's Health Care Vote

Americans United for Change are targeting Dean Heller and several other Republican House members to change their mind and override Bush's veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The powerful ad has a simple message: does Heller stand with Bush or the children of Nevada.


Cross posted from My Silver State.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Heller refuses to override Bush's SCHIP veto

Dean Heller, Nevada's 3rd Congressional District representative in Congress, is being asked to help override the veto of SCHIP by George Bush. SCHIP is the children's health insurance legislation. [Lahontan Valley News and Fallon Eagle Standard]

The program was created to provide health insurance to the children of the country's working poor. Bush objected to the bill's expansion of that program to provide health coverage to 10 million children from the 6 million it now serves.

"In only his fourth veto ever, (Bush) blocked health-care coverage for millions of uninsured - and mostly poor - kids," organization officials said in announcing the rally. "We need just 15 more Republicans in Congress to break with Bush to override the veto."

"There are a few crumbs on the table for children and families that are struggling and I'd like to see them get the help," said Brad Merrill, of Carson City.

Lana Galyean, of Carson City, said Bush's veto was "irresponsible."

"It's extremely important we look after our children and this administration has been unwilling to do that," she said.

According to the, Nevada has one of the nation's worst rates of uninsured children in the nation, with more than 100,000 not covered by any policy. About 34,000 children in Nevada are covered by SCHIP.

Heller refuses to override the Bush veto. Nevadans should refuse to return Heller to Congress in 2008. Heller has three children of his own; Harris, 17; Drew, 15; and Emmy, 10. Their daughter, Hilary, attends Arizona State University according to his website. Fortunately he isn't poor and doesn't have to face the plight of poor families when their children need medical help.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Heller: The Anti-Family Values Congressman

Dean Heller has reiterated his stance against the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). In August he said: "This Congress is seeking to create a massive and unnecessary federally funded health program."

Problem is, the American people simply don't agree with him, as an overwhelming 72% support the explansion of SCHIP. Republicans alway talk about "family values" but when push comes to shove, they always chicken out. Heller's no exception here. His stance against SCHIP is a clear stance against family values.

As for the fall out, the last part of the Las Vegas Sun article by Lisa Mascaro is really interesting:

Bloggers have targeted Heller. But that might help him among supporters back home.

Conservative activist Chuck Muth in Reno said Heller's stance will earn him favor with his conservative base. Heller's district is largely Republican and the congressman would likely face greater disapproval if he were to shift suddenly and vote to override Bush's veto.

Heller's greater threat, Muth said, would be a primary challenge from the right, as he faced last year.

"It's going to be very easy" for Heller to explain to voters in his district that he supported the program at its current levels, but not expanding it, Muth said.

"Very easy?" I don't think so. When you act against the wishes of 72% of your electorate, you're in deep trouble. And as for the bloggers (which include the Desert Beacon and Myrna who have both posted extensively on this issue) - well, we just won't stop blogging about this.

Cross posted from My Silver State.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Bush Vetoes Uninsured Children’s Healthcare

Photo: George and Laura Bush join Alberto Gonzales and his wife for lunch at the Bush ranch in Texas. Notice no poor uninsured children are with them.

It is a question whether George Bush or Dick Cheney is the real Darth Vader. Perhaps both are. [Washington Post] Yesterday Bush vetoed the $35 billion expansion of a popular children's health insurance program.

Congress has scheduled October 18 for a vote to override the veto, in hopes that a grass-roots campaign by health-policy advocates and a barrage of television and radio advertisements will win over the 15 or so House Republicans they will need to overcome Bush's opposition.

A reminder that Nevada’s 2nd District Congressman, Dean Heller, voted against the children’s health insurance program. Perhaps he qualifies as Darth Vader, Jr. Heller should be adopted by George Bush since Heller seems to be a Bush offspring.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Heller's Uncompassionate Conservativism

cross posted at Desert Beacon

Nevada Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) is a fine little Bush soldier, and his voting record proves it.

Rep. Heller voted to kill (recommit) H.R. 3567 the “Small Business Investment Expansion Act” on roll call 922, and then on roll call 923 joined 71 others to vote against the measure, on September 27, 2007. The bill, if enacted by the Senate and signed by the President, would increase small business investment company limits for companies owned by women and minorities; provide increased capital investment requirements with respect to small manufacturing companies; provide for a study of the availability of equity capital in low income urban and rural areas; and provide a streamlined application process for new market venture capital.

Why Rep. Heller would oppose a bill designed to promote entrepreneurship, and at least study the availability of equity capital in rural areas is indeed puzzling since he is supposed to be representing a mostly rural district, and sounds like he supports small business expansion and development. The bill has now been sent to the Senate subcommittee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

During roll call 920 he voted to kill (recommit) H.R. 3121, the “Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007.” He joined 145 others in opposing this bill, which passed 263-146. This bill was passed to restore the financial solvency of the national flood insurance program, and to make available “multi-peril” coverage for damage resulting from windstorms and floods. It amends the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 as follows: “(1) provide phase-in actuarial rates for nonresidential properties and non-primary residences; (2) provide multiperil coverage for flood and windstorm; (3) prohibit duplicative coverage; (4) revise maximum coverage limits; and (5) provide coverage for additional living expenses, basement improvements, business interruption, and replacement cost of contents.” [LOC] Considering the damages racked up in Florida, Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast, it’s hard to imagine why Rep. Heller would oppose “multi-peril” coverage, but he did.

Actually, Rep. Heller didn’t want to vote on anything on September 27th, or at least it seems that way, because he voted to adjourn the House without taking up any business on roll call 914.

The day before, September 26th, he voted against the “Popcorn Workers Lung Disease Prevention Act” H.R. 2693 on roll call 913. The bill passed 260-154. This vote disengages “compassionate” from conservative in an instant. The bill “…Directs the Secretary of Labor to promulgate an interim final standard regulating worker exposure to diacetyl that applies to all: (1) locations in the flavoring manufacturing industry that manufacture, use, handle, or process diacetyl; and (2) microwave popcorn production and packaging establishments that use diacetyl-containing flavors in the manufacture of microwave popcorn.” [LOC] Evidently, the Bush Administration can’t make up its mind if diacetyl is dangerous, because OSHA has yet to determine standards for handling it. However, this “regulatory paralysis” is causing an increasing number of cases of “fixed obstructive lung disease, or bronchiolitis obliterans. [WaPo] Apparently, Rep. Heller is not concerned.

Further establishing his “un-compassionate conservative” credentials, on September 25th he voted against the “Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act” H.R. 976 on roll call 906.

But, Representative Heller soldiers on, joining the reactionary Republican ranks, evidently happy to announce his concern for the financial and physical well being of his constituents (and their cohorts across the country) while voting against just that.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dean Heller's Vote Could Overturn Bush's Veto

Oftentimes, a vote is just a vote. One of many, sure. There is often much at stake but it's unlikely that the vote of a freshman backbencher makes much of a difference. That's why hardly anyone beyond Nevada has ever heard of Dean Heller.

That was until SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, came up for reauthorization. Democrats seized upon the opportunity to expand coverage to more children who need it. Which is a sensible thing to do. So sensible, indeed, that it received a veto proof majority in the U.S. Senate, with 18 Republican Senators voting for the expansion of SCHIP. In the House 45 Republicans voted for SCHIP, including Jon Porter.

Overall, 265 members of the House voted for SCHIP, with 290 needed to overturn a veto. If all 12 Democrats either voting no, present, or who were not present would vote in favor, another 13 votes would be needed.

What are the chances of Heller being one of the 13? Hard to tell. There's definitely no chance if he's not pressured.

So, this is where you come in. You can contact Dean Heller directly by calling one of his offices:

Washington, DC: 202-225-6155 (Office)
Reno: 775-686-5760 (Office)
Elko: 775-777-7920 (Office)
Las Vegas: 702-255-1651 (Office)

Another thing you should do is write a letter to the editor to one or more of the following newspapers:

The Desert Valley Times (Mesquite)
Elko Daily Free Press
The Ely Times
Lahontan Valley News (Fallon)
Las Vegas Review Journal
Las Vegas Sun
Nevada Appeal (Carson City)
Pahrump Valley Times
The Record Courie (Gardnerville)
Reno Gazette Journal
The Sparks Tribune
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

Write those letters as quickly as you can. You can usually do so by submitting them online, either through an online form or an email. Bush is expected to veto early next week. So, the sooner you write the better.

Will Heller really let it come that far that it is his vote that would leave millions of children uninsured? Especially, considering how bad the situation in Nevada is:

According to the professionals, Nevada has one of the worst insurance rates in the country and this legislation is critical to ensuring the healthcare of children uninsured in Nevada.

If President Bush vetoes the bill, it might not just be these children who lose out.

They say the healthcare of the estimated 30,000 children enrolled in the Nevada Checkup program would also be jeopardized.

Martin Gallacher, a registered nurse, says "if it doesn't pass, it will affect the neediest of us in the state of Nevada. Again, parents who are forced to choose the emergency room as a primary source of care".

Act now!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heller votes against SCHIP

There was one, and only one, member of the Nevada congressional delegation to vote against the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (H.R. 976) today in the U.S. House of Representatives: Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2). [roll call 906] Representatives Berkley (D-NV1) and Porter (R-NV3) voted in favor of the bill.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dean Heller in Pahrump, NV

Photo: by Mark Waite, Pahrump Valley Times. Congressman Dean Heller, left, talks to Nye County Commission Chairman Gary Hollis at the fundraising dinner for the Nye County Republican Party Central Committee at the Pahrump Nugget Saturday night. Bob Swadell, a Pahrump lobbyist, can be seen walking by in the background.

U.S. Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., concedes he hasn't acquired much clout since taking office as the representative for Nevada's 2nd District in January. [Mark Waite, Pahrump Valley Times]

Even at the fundraising dinner for the Nye County Republican Party Central Committee at the Pahrump Nugget Events Center Saturday night, Heller arrived late and sat in the audience while his predecessor, Jim Gibbons, now governor of Nevada, was front and center as the keynote speaker.

"They're pushing me around because I'm a freshman in the minority (party), but I'll keep pushing back," Heller said of his fellow congressmen.

Heller hasn't been totally a stealth candidate in the media in the eight months since his inauguration. He has emerged as a staunch supporter of the president's Iraq policy, but the freshman lawmaker has also sponsored a few bills.

Heller said he introduced two bills that concern Northern Nevada. One would allow the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to deed property to Reno for economic development. Another involves a settlement with an Indian tribe in northern Humboldt and Elko counties.

But the bill on which Heller said he's been working the hardest involves Southern Nevada.

It deals with the Colorado River endangered species program. The bill would set up a 50-year program allocating 7,500 acre feet of water per year to protect 24 different species along the river, Heller said.

"The key is it is a 50-year program that would allocate water to Arizona, Nevada and California so that Las Vegas knows how much water they're going to have over the next 50 years," Heller said. "If you have stability in Clark County, there will be less need for water out of the eastern part of the state."

The former Nevada secretary of state also inserted amendments into a bill introduced to regulate voting machines. Heller said Nevada was the only state that established a paper trail on its electronic voting machines, avoiding the lawsuits filed against other states. But those steps could be erased by this new law, he said.

"It would make it nearly impossible to have early voting based on the way they want to do it," Heller said. The bill would audit electronic voting results by precinct instead of by the machine itself, he said. Currently people vote at precinct locations only on election day.

One of his amendments would exempt Nevada from the requirements of the bill, the other would mandate that instructions on the electronic voting machines be printed in English only, Heller said.

President Bush's speech on Iraq last week has aroused controversy, calling for a much slower withdrawal of troops than many Democrats would like. Heller continues to support Gen. David Petraeus' view of what the commander believes is needed to fight the war in Iraq. But Heller conceded the reality of Washington politics has colored the debate.

"Unfortunately, what I have found out in eight months in Congress, it's all a game of oneupmanship, and unfortunately this war in Iraq is part of that game ... Just about a month ago, (Republican Virginia Sen. John) Warner said we have to pull 1,000 troops out by the end of the year to send a message to the Iraqi people that it's time to get out. Democrats were praising that.

"Now the president gives a speech and says we want 30,000 out, and that's not good enough. A month ago 1,000 is great, but now 30,000 is not enough."

Heller added, "That's unfortunate because both sides need to come together. Now I'm thrilled we're going to have troops home. Would I love to have more? Absolutely I'd love to have more. But right now Petraeus believes this is the number he wants."

However, Heller said optimistically, Petraeus' speech to Congress and President Bush's speech to the nation following that "is the beginning of the end game" on Iraq.

Now that you've read all that, read all this about Heller:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Some Days Heller Should Just Stay in Bed

Congressman Dean Heller had an embarrassing week last week. He was on a tour of the state, was in a hurry, and asked for a lunch "to go" at a local restaurant. As he was paying for the lunch, he was hungry and started picking at the plate ... only to discover the food belonged to the people behind him. They just laughed and took it anyway. And it didn't stop there. He then went to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center with his daughter, Emmy, to see his niece, Maggie. He and Emmy went into the room and were peering down into her face, only to have the patient ask, "Who are you?" Turns out they were in the wrong room. Maggie was in the next one, and, as they left, the lady said, "Isn't that Dean Heller?" He was extremely tempted to say, "No, I don't think so." So much for the life of a congressman. [Nevada Appeal]

Makes one wonder if he can find his office in Washington.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

AWOL Heller Talks to the Media - About Larry Craig

Congressman Dean Heller, chiefly known for his disinterest in giving the media any statements on importants issues or events, was his usual hypocritically moralistic Republican self when asked to comment on Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID):

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said, "Individuals who are elected to a public office should hold themselves to a higher standard. Any United States senator found guilty of public lewdness should step down."

Heller thus far hasn't uttered a word about Craig's collegue Sen. Vitter (R-LA) who used the service of prostitutes. As I said, hypocritically moralistic. And, no, we don't expect Heller to pick up the phone when a reporter calls about, say health care, infrastructure problems, or the Iraq occupation. Those things are way too trivial for him.

Cross posted at My Silver State.

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Failure of Dean Heller

The Reno Gazette Journal has, more or less, summarized the accomplishments, or lack thereof, of Nevada Congressman Dean Heller since his election to Congress.

Noting that Heller has joined hips with President George W. Bush, the RGJ writes:

President Bush came through for Dean Heller on the campaign trail. So far, the freshman lawmaker hasn't given Bush much reason to regret it.

Heller, a Carson City Republican, has proven a reliable vote in the House for Bush's Iraq policies while developing a strong conservative voting record. He opposed an increase to the federal minimum wage and tax increases for oil companies.

“The president also helped Heller's cash-drained campaign raise $325,000 in one night” during the 2006 election. Well, that demonstrates Heller’s concern for Nevada’s minimum wage workers. Zilch. It figures Heller would vote against increasing taxes on oil companies, who are achieving record profits. He is smart enough to recognize that you don’t bite the hand that feeds your re-election campaigns. Certainly we “little people” aren’t capable of filling his re-election campaign coffers when we earn at the minimum wage level.

Critics say Heller's votes in his first seven months in office, typically in lockstep with GOP leaders, are a far cry from his campaign pledge to be independent from party leadership in Washington.

"Dean Heller ran as an independent voice," said Kirsten Searer, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Democratic Party. "But he has become a cookie-cutter member of the Republican House caucus."

A “cookie-cutter member of the Republican House caucus” eh? Sounds like an apt description of Congressman Heller.

Heller, 47, defends his voting record, saying the GOP has been right to fight against what he called bad Democratic proposals that could lead to higher taxes.

The former Nevada secretary of state said the Democratic Congress has achieved little beyond passing a law to raise the minimum wage, which he contends could hurt small businesses.

"There isn't a lot for the majority party to talk about," he said. "What the minority party is talking about is the ability to avoid a lot of spending."

“Avoid a lot of spending?” Heller spews the Republican Party line that Democrats “tax and spend” but ignores the “borrow and spend” record of the Republican Party. Just look at the national debt since the Bush-Cheney regime has been in office. The United States is in record level debt because of the borrowing and increased spending accomplished by the Republican Party while they were in control of Congress. What’s the difference between “taxing” and “borrowing?” The end result is the same; taxpayers have to pay the debt plus interest on it. “Pay as you go” is the way to keep taxing and spending within manageable limits. No one seems interested in “pay as you go” however.

While the vast majority of his constituents want the war on Iraq ended, Heller ignores them. Sort of gives them the middle finger:

Much of the criticism against Heller centers on his support for U.S. military involvement in Iraq. Heller said he plans to wait for an assessment of the war by Army Gen. David Petraeus on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks before he decides how to proceed.

His constituents have already “assessed” the war on Iraq. Yet Heller stalls, continuing to blindly follow Bush’s line, “stay the course.” Heller needs to realize he represents his constituents in Nevada, not George Bush in Washington, D.C. That’s the “cookie-cutter” aspect of Heller to which Ms. Searer refers. Where is the “independence” Mr. Heller? You know represent both Democrats and Republicans and Independents—you don’t represent Bush or the Republican Party. Wake up man!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Reno Protesters demand change in war policy

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Nevada Congressman Dean Heller

George Bush has been addressing the American Legion in Reno. As he hailed his strategy in Iraq as a necessity for the security of the United States, protesters lined the street corners outside the Reno-Sparks Convention Center Tuesday morning, calling for the end of the war and for Bush's impeachment. [Michael]

"Support the Troops, End the War" was the dominant message from the group. Other signs read: "Get out of Iraq," "Impeach," "Support Troops -- Fund the VA," and "How many soldiers does it take to fill your tank?"

Dean Heller has steadfastly supported Bush in remaining in Iraq. “The anti-war group has focused its attention nationwide on members of Congress who have opposed ending the war, including Heller, R-Carson City, he said. Later in the day, the organization planned a "take a stand" town hall meeting to call for [Dean] Heller's support.”

One member of the VFW displayed his disdain for the protestors.

While generally peaceful, one protester was pushed to the ground by a Veterans of Foreign Wars member on his way to hear Bush speak, said Georgia Hedrick, 67, of Reno.

"He had on an American Legion hat and was in a suit and was pushing his way through the people," Hedrick said. "He pushed one woman into the gutter, and he just kept walking. He didn't stop. He just went on into the parking lot."

Hedrick said the man spoke briefly with several officers standing nearby, but soon went into the center.

"If one of us had pushed him down, we'd be in jail," she said.

The woman who fell, Gail Pratt, 72, left the protest to seek medical attention, Hedrick said.

That action by the VFW member demonstrates his immaturity.

[Cross post with Nye-Gateway to Nevada's Rurals]

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Heller Supports Bush" Featured on BBC World Last Night

Cross posted from My Silver State:

Bush was in Reno, I was in Hamburg visiting a friend. Late last night before going to bed I watched the news on BBC World. They had a report on Bush's visit to Reno, his Iran threats and his Iraq policy (or lack thereof). Towards the end of the report, they also showed the anti-Bush protest. And while there were not all that many (25 according to the LVRJ, 50 according to the LV Sun - what's the true number?), your message came across. Prominently featured was a poster held up by a young man with the slogan:

Bush supports endless war, Heller supports Bush

That's one helluva way for Heller to make worldwide news, don't you think? Kudos to the protesters!

The report is on the BBC's website, there (below a photo of Bush) you can click to watch the video.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Heller's School Daze

Cross posted by request from Desert Beacon:

Congressman Dean Heller's (R-NV) sending post cards again. Franked of course, one wouldn't want the Congressman to actually have to pay postage on a relatively obvious 'campaign piece' complete with a smiling (and lily white) young girl on the front, to illustrate Heller's "Back to School Message." There is, however, one little catch. There's this line: "I have also supported legislation to reduce the cost of college by lowering interest rates on student loans."

Not. So. Fast. Rep. Heller refers to the "College Cost Reduction Act." This would be H.R. 2669, to provide for reconciliation pursuant to section 601 of the concurrent resolution on the FY 2008 budget. This bill reduced lender subsidies by $19 billion, and calls for investing those funds in programs to increase student grants, improve access to student loans, and cutting interest rates. [GovTrack] What Representative Heller omits to say on his postcard is that during roll call 612 he voted to have H.R. 2669 sent back to committee, adding his "yes" to 199 others who tried to kill the bill with a motion to recommit. Heller reversed his position and voted in favor of the bill's passage in the House during roll call 613. One might suppose that Rep. Heller's general statement is better than saying, "I was against it before I was for it." However, this wasn't the first occasion on which Representative Heller could have displayed his support for decreasing student loan interest rates.

Heller does not refer directly to H.R. 5 a bill to amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to reduce interest rates for student borrowers. His record on that piece of legislation isn't what one might classify as enthusiastic support. For example, on January 17th roll call 29 on ordering the previous question to bring H.R. 5 to a vote Congressman Heller's name is noticeably absent from the 225 "yeas." It does appear among the 191 "nays." Perhaps Rep. Heller means he supported the resolution to bring H.R. 5 up for consideration?

Well, no. During roll call 30 on agreeing to H.Res. 65 providing for the consideration of the College Student Relief Act, Rep. Heller was among the 190 "nay" votes. 223 other Representatives voted "aye." Maybe Representative Heller means that he didn't support stuffing the bill back in committee on a motion to recommit?

Not exactly. Roll call 31 finds Rep. Heller standing shoulder to shoulder with 186 other Republicans voting in favor of the motion to recommit. 241 other Representatives voted to keep the bill alive.

It is only on the very last vote, roll call 32, that Rep. Heller votes in favor of H.R. 5, along with 356 other Representatives, 71 other members of the GOP held out and voted "no." In short, out of the four opportunities Representative Heller had to support "legislation to reduce the cost of college by lowering interest rates on student loans," he voted "no" during three of them.

Perhaps it would have taken too much space on the post card to write, "I had at least two definitive opportunities to vote in favor of lowering interest rates on student loans, and I voted against both of them until it was obvious they were going to pass, so then I voted in favor of them on the last possible roll call."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bush Republicans Swiftboating Heller and Porter

If you think there's any sanity left in the Bush White House, well... Honestly, the ship is sinking, the rats (Rove, Snow, et al) are leaving, and now Bush Republicans (led by former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and others) are going batshit crazy and are swiftboating, blackmailing, and essentially taking down with them, Republican members of Congress with a new ad campaign.

Two of the targets - Dean Heller and Jon Porter. And they're spending big:

Porter* Las Vegas, NV $63,900

Heller* Reno, NV $138,210

Yup, they're actually spending more on Heller then on Porter. Here's the ad:

Yeah, they're insinuating Iraq had something to do with 9/11 which it did not. And, yeah, they're so desperate now that they're using veterans to support a war that is killing and injuring more American soldiers every single day.

And they're almost solely targeting Republican members of Congress. They're so afraid that Heller and Porter may jump ship in September.

And, of course they're working with dirty tricks again. From Taylor Marsh:

Ari Fleischer is the front man for "Freedom's Watch," just another swiftboating type group meant to do the president's bidding. Many of you know me through my anti swiftboating work in 2006, so when I talk about these types of organizations you can bet I know what I'm talking about.

Check out the number at the end of the ad: 1-877-222-8001. Go on, call it.

As I told my radio listeners earlier today, once you get through something amazing happens. The operator asks you a question. Yes, you're expected to take part in a survey before she puts you through to Congress. But there's a catch. The question asked goes something like this: Do you believe the Iraq war is important to the war on terror? They may have changed the question by now, because we're on to them, but that's what I was asked. If you say no, the operator immediately thanks you but doesn't connect you to Congress. Instead, she asks if you have anything else to say and then basically gets rid of you. They're only allowing people who agree with them through.




I hope this backfires on Bush. It's long past time to take a stand and stop the escalation in Iraq.

And just in case you wondered, here are the real numbers if you want to call your Congressman:

(202) 224-3121 for the Senate, and (202) 225-3121 for the House

cross posted at My Silver State

Monday, August 6, 2007

Dean Heller Declares Public Lack of Confidence in Himself

I'm not quite sure whether or not Dean Heller understands that he actually won his election last year and that that building he's been sitting in since January is called the Congress of the United State of America. It seems like he needs a reminder. From the Las Vegas Sun:

The House looked like the British House of Commons, observers said, verging on a hockey game brawl. Nevada Rep. Dean Heller was among those who walked out, but Rep. Jon Porter stayed behind, even though he believes his colleagues' protest was justified, his spokesman said.

The result is that it becomes very difficult to get anything done.

"I now fully understand the public's complete lack of confidence in Congress," Heller said.

So, there you have it. Heller finally understood that the public has no confidence in him. Welcome to the club, Congressman!

Cross posted at My Silver State.

Friday, August 3, 2007

68% of Nevada Appeal Readers Don't Agree with Dean Heller on Iraq

Earlier this week, the Nevada Appeal (Carson City) did an online poll on its website asking the following question:

Do you agree with Dean Heller that the U.S. is now on the right course in Iraq?

The poll has since been taken off the frontpage of the Nevada Appeal and with 646 votes, a mere 31.89% agree with Heller while an overwhelming 68.11% say Heller is wrong.

Any chance Heller will change his stance on Iraq this September?

Cross posted at My Silver State.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nevada Appeal Poll: Is Dean Heller Right on Iraq

The Nevada Appeal website currently has a poll up asking the following question:

Do you agree with Dean Heller that the U.S. is now on the right course in Iraq?

At this point 520 votes have been cast with only 31.92% answering "yes" and a whopping 68.08& saying "no".

Make your voice heard and vote here.

I'll update the results once the Nevada Appeal has taken the poll of the frontpage.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Heller On Drugs?

Dean Heller recently voted against H.R. 3093. It was an appropriations bill for the Departments of Commerce and Justice. The bill, with slightly increased funding over the previous year, would have allowed for more money to be granted to local law enforcement to combat the methamphetamine drug problem. Now, if Heller was a Representative from Utah, where there is virtually no problem with the drug, I would be perfectly fine with him being against the extra spending.
However, he is the United States Representative from Northern Nevada. And as we all know, there is a huge meth problem in Reno, Elko and surrounding areas. Thanks, Dean, for watching out for your district. This is yet another example of our Representative playing as the lapdog of the Bush Administration.

"Highly addictive drugs aren't a problem in this country," -Dean Heller (not actually a quote.)

You know, if he is so against funding these laws, maybe he has something to hide. Someone want to check his basement?

Cross posted at My Silver State

Monday, July 23, 2007

Anti-Iraq Protest at Heller's Office Tomorrow

Email from Americans Against Escalation in Iraq:

“ Iraq Summer” Campaign to Dean Heller: “We will not be ignored.”

Heller Continues to Ignore Invitation to ‘Iraq Summer’ Campaign’s ‘Take a Stand’ Town Hall on August 28th, Which Provides the Congressman a Golden Opportunity to Explain to Nevadans Why He Continues to Vote in Support of President’s Failed Iraq Policies

Reno, NV – Americans Against Escalation in Iraq will be joined by the Molly Ivins Pots and Pans Brigade on July 24th, 2007 at 11AM outside of Rep. Dean Heller’s constituent office to send a very, very loud message to the Congressman that they will not be ignored. On July 12th, the “Iraq Summer” Campaign delivered a formal letter to Rep. Heller’s office inviting him to attend a town hall with hundreds of fellow Nevadans to explain his position on the war in Iraq – an invitation which the Congressman has to date ignored. That same day, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a binding timeline to safely and responsibly redeploy troops out of Iraq -- but Dean Heller rejected the wishes of the people of Nevada and voted to continue enabling Bush’s failed policy of endless war. The Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act [HR 2956] passed with bipartisan support without Heller’s support and requires a responsible redeployment of U.S. troops beginning within 120 days of enactment and ending by April 1, 2008.

“Congressman Heller’s vote for endless war was a slap in the face to the people of Nevada who overwhelmingly oppose President Bush’s costly, irresponsible and failed policy of endless war in Iraq,” said Jacki Ramirez, spokesperson for the Nevada chapter of the "Iraq Summer" campaign. “But, what’s worse is that the Congressman doesn’t even have the courage to meet with his own constituents to explain himself. He thinks that by ignoring the concerns of Nevadans, they’ll simply go away. But, he’s sorely mistaken. We’re going to continue to hold rallies; we’re going to keep calling, emailing and writing the Congressman over and over again until he does the right thing and votes to bring the war in Iraq to a safe and responsible end.”

“Iraq Summer” has dispatched nearly 100 organizers to 15 states and 40 congressional districts to turn up the heat this summer on Republican members of Congress who have opposed setting a timeline to bring a responsible end to the war in Iraq . The intense10-week program is modeled on the “Freedom Summer” civil rights project.

What: “ Iraq Summer” to send loud message to Dean Heller: “We will not be ignored”

Who: Americans Against Escalation in Iraq; Molly Ivins Pots and Pans Brigade

Where: Rep. Dean Heller’s constituent office
Bruce R. Thompson Federal Building
400 South Virginia Street
Reno , NV 89501

When: TUESDAY, JULY 24TH at 11AM

Heller: All for it until he voted against it?

Cross posted at Blue Sage Views:
Nevada Representative Dean Heller (R-NV2) is pleased as punch to announce he got funding for water and energy projects in Nevada; [Heller] but perhaps not so ready to announce he voted against H.R. 2641, the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations for FY 2008. [roll call 641] l Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV3) also voted against the bill, which passed 312-112. So, how does that work? The Congressman crows about securing funding for water and energy projects in a bill he voted against?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

AWOL Heller Makes it to Utah

We've been reporting frequently on Dean Heller being AWOL at Helluva Heller. It seems his unavailability for the press is not limited to Nevada. Utah's Deseret Morning News took a look at how Mormon members reacted to Mitt Romney's candidacy for President. A few have endorsed him, most have not done so yet. But all the members' offices managed to comment or call back.

All but one:

Calls to the office of freshman Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., were not returned.

So Heller disses Utah reporters as well. Wow.

Cross posted at My Silver State.

It All Depends on Whose Calls You Take

The pressure is building on Rep. Dean Heller to change his stance on Iraq. But, what do you know, Heller continues to stand by President Bush:

Heller was unswayed. Despite the anti-war sentiment being sent his way, he said his constituents stand by his decision to continue supporting the troop surge at least until September, when the top commander in Iraq delivers a progress report to Congress.

"The phone calls I'm getting are, 'You're doing a good job, do what you think is right, don't try to be influenced by some left - wing organizations,' " Heller said.

I suppose it all depends on whose calls you take.

Cross posted at My Silver State.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Heller Wants Every Child To Be Like Him


As we all know, Dean Heller would do anything to limit government spending. He has constantly voted to pour billions of dollars into an unnecessary war, but stands against funding our schools. Heller recently voted against FY 2008 (H.R. 3403). This bill included state grants for improving teacher quality, invested in recruiting good science and math teachers, and set aside money for extra-curricular activities. What was wrong with this bill? Nothing.

Representative Dean Heller gets an 'F' for failing America's children.
-Jennifer Crider, Communications Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

Appartently 10 Billion a month in a pointless war is way more important than 5.7 Billion, one time, to improve our nation's education system.

Cross posted on My Silver State

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Heller Now Employing Porter's Daughter?

Essentially, there is nothing more interesting than candidates' campaign reports filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). You think you've seen it all, you think nothing will surprise you anymore and then you'll take a look at another FEC report and, whoop, there it is.

Today, I took a look at Dean Heller's 2nd quarter report. Before I get to the main point of this post, I'd like to point you to the fact that the address for the "Heller for Congress" committee is 7840 Red Leaf Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89131. That would be in Nevada's 1st congressional district, Shelley Berkley's district, and clearly outside of Heller's 2nd CD. This leads to the curious statement on the FEC website that Heller runs for office in Nevada's 1st district. Now, when you search for candidate's in Nevada's 2nd district on the FEC's searchable database, you won't even find Heller.

Interestingly enough, "Porter for Congress" uses the same address.

Now, to the fun part. In Heller's 2nd quarter report, his disbursements show that his campaign has paid $11,809.74 in expenses to a Nicole Porter of Henderson, Nevada - $10,625 for consulting, $600 for catering, $256.74 for travel, and $328 for postage.

Here's what we know: Jon Porter has a daughter named Nicole. And that Nicole Porter was reimbursed by a congressional campaign in 2006 - by her father ($747 for office supplies, postage, and travel).

Now, are these two Nicole Porters one and the same? Is Porter's daughter Nicole now making a big career in consulting? Does Dean Heller really employ Jon Porter's daughter?

cross posted at My Silver State

Monday, July 16, 2007

Heller: For the Record

Perhaps someone ought to ask for a receipt? U.S. Representative Dean Heller (R-NV02) has raised a total of $501,000 for his re-election bid in 2008, gathering $233,000 during the second quarter. [RGJ]

Thus far, here's what Heller's accomplished during his tenure in Congress:

Bills introduced:

H.R. 2246 introduced on May 14, 2007, to validate conveyances from the Union Pacific RR Company to facilitate construction of transcontinental railroads. No co-sponsors. Last major action: Referred to House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands on May 14, 2007. No further action.

H.R. 2299 introduced May 14, 2007, to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey Federal land located in the city to Henderson, NV. Last major action: Referred to House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands on May 18, 2007. No further action.

H.R. 2326 introduced May 15, 2007, to approve the settlement of water rights claims by the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley. Last major action: Referred to House Subcommittee on Water and Power, May 18, 2007. No further action.

H.R. 2515, introduced on May 24, 2007, to authorize appropriations for the Bureau of Reclamation to carry out Lower Colorado River multi-species conservation program. Last major action: Referred to House Subcommittee on Water and Power May 31, 2007. Hearing scheduled for July 24, 2007.

H.Amdt 229 to H.R. 1100 to delete language in the bill which authorized the use of federal funds to acquire land for the expansion of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Introduced May 23, 2007; Not agreed to by a vote of 183-243, May 23, 2007.

Five legislative measures introduced, one defeated, one scheduled for a hearing, and no action on the remaining three -- a record perhaps predictable for a Congressman with a power ranking of 435th in the Congress, and 199th in the Congressional GOP. []

Friday, July 13, 2007

Heller and Porter Vote Against Troop Withdrawal

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Dean Heller

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Jon Porter

The House voted Thursday on a bill that calls for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq to start 120 days after enactment of the law. Representative Dean Heller (R-NV) voted against the bill preferring to leave the troops where they are. Jon Porter voted against the bill as well. Shelley Berkeley didn’t vote. [Reno Gazette-Journal]

The bill that passed 223-201. Americans Against Escalation in Iraq are running a campaign in Nevada to get Heller to give up his support for the war. The group marched into Heller’s office to deliver a letter urging him to oppose the war. He refuses irrespective of the fact a large majority of his constituents want the withdrawal and the voters last fall wanted the withdrawal. But Heller ignores the wishes of his constituents.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Introducing My Silver State - A Community Blog for Nevada

Nevada's blogosphere is diverse and bigger than one might assume. However, thus far there has not been a community blog for Democrats and progressives. This is about to change.

Today, My Silver State has been launched. My Silver State is a community blog for progressive Nevadans. Think Daily Kos, only in small and silver/blue.

Anyone who wishes to help elect Democrats in Nevada and anyone who would like to advance progressive causes in Nevada is welcome to register, comment and write diaries.

In the end it's up to you to make both My Silver State and Nevada your Silver State.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Dean Heller on the Iraq Troop Surge

The House of Representatives debated a non-binding resolution expressing disapproval of President Bush's buildup of U.S. forces in Iraq - February 2007.

[ Footage attributed to C-SPAN, encoded and posted by ] (more)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

"Nevada Congress members react to Libby decision" - Except for Heller

We reported on Heller getting spanked by Jane Ann Morrison, recently. She was asking Nevada's congressional Republicans what they thought about a possible Libby pardon. Naturally, Dean Heller was once again AWOL.

Today, the LVRJ had another story up with the reaction of the entire congressional delegation on Bush's decision to commute Libby's 30 months in jail. Everyone could be reached for comment, even if Sen. Ensign declined to do just that. The only one who could once again not be reached was Heller:

Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., could not be reached, and his office was unable to supply his view.

Yup, that's your Congressman at work.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

LTE - "Nation was never a threat to the U.S."

A letter to the editor published in today's Reno Gazette-Journal:

I recently wrote to Congressman Heller urging him to support legislation calling for a withdrawal of our troops from Iraq. In his response, he wrote:

"I want to begin by stating that most Americans, regardless of their opinion of the situation in Iraq, recognize the need to defeat threats to the United States."

Now there's a statement demonstrating true verbal sleight of hand. Yes, most Americans are against threats to their country. But what does that have to do with Iraq?

Iraq never was a threat to the United States. Unlike Afghanistan, it did not harbor terrorists. It had nothing to do with 9/11.

People are finally seeing this un-American war of aggression for the disaster it was destined to be. A poll last month found that 52 percent of Nevadans opposed plans to send more troops to Iraq.

I'm not saying it's time for Congressman Heller to listen to the majority, because it was the majority that cheered on the invasion. I'm saying history will judge how long it took people to come to their senses. The congressman is way too late to be in the first wave. I hope he isn't in the last.

Ed Cohen, Reno

Heller's Response to DW Email

If you take action on the Defenders of Wildlife's Heads in the Sand web site, Representative Heller will send you a letter in response. The meat of the letter is as follows:

"I share your desire to reduce harmful emissions. Obviously, steps should be taken to ensure that human progress does not have an unnecessary negative impact on the environment. For this reason, I support the investments of federal dollars in alternative energy research and the development and creation of tax credits for hybrid vehicles, solar panels, and other forms of alternative energy. The scientific community continues to debate the extent and causes of changes in climate. I am proud to say that Nevada is one of the leading states with regard to using renewable energy.

Please be assured that I will work with my colleagues to develop an energy policy that properly balances human development and progress with sound environmental protections in a scientific, evidence based manner."

Aside from the fact that the scientific community isn't really debating the existence and cause of global warming anymore, Heller seems to want us to believe he is working hard to figure out a solution to the global climate crisis. But, don't expect to see him at Live Earth this weekend. He is much more likely to be working to vote against the next Clean Energy Act that comes before him. Although he claims to support pro-environmental legislation, he lists no such legislation as either sponsored or co-sponsored.

Keep the excuses coming Congressman but until you pull your head out of the sand, you continue to endanger Nevada.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Will Presidential Caucus Aide in Defeating Heller?

Republicans are afraid that a Democratic candidate could defeat their freshman Dean Heller in 2008 as we reported here. Five days after Helluva Heller reported Heller's inclusion in the Republicans' "Regaining Our Majority Program", the Las Vegas Review-Journal picked up the story today:
Heller represents the usually reliable Republican 2nd Congressional District of rural and Northern Nevada. But he beat Democrat Jill Derby last November by only a 50 percent-45 percent tally and Republicans are bracing for more tight races in 2008.

"The Democrats have put a target on Heller, and we will do whatever we can to help him," said Amos Snead, press secretary for House minority whip Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who put the Nevadan in the help category.

An aide said Heller was traveling on Friday and could not be reached.

While Porter clearly is in their sights, Nevada Democrats do not appear to have focused on Heller. But state party spokeswoman Kirsten Searer said Democrats hope their new early presidential contest will help them in the 2nd Congressional

"We have been using the presidential caucus as a way to organize areas where we haven't been strong in the past in CD2," she said.

Not surprisingly, Dean Heller is once again
AWOL. Quite interesting though, is the believe among the Nevada State Democratic Party that the caucus might help a Democratic candidate in NV-02. The series of mock caucuses organized around the district, the latest in Elko, might be a sign for this. Now, if they would just work on recruiting a candidate.

Want a capable representative in Congress? Join the Helluva Heller - Defeating Dean Heller in 2008 group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Appreciation on Paper?

On Friday the 13th -- April, 2007 Nevada congressional representative Dean Heller (R-NV02) paid a visit to the Nevada Department of Public Safety's Records and Technology Division to present a certificate to the office for "tireless dedication in supporting law enforcement in service and protection of Nevada's citizens and visitors." [DPS] Apparently, this paper is to make up for the potential loss of funding from federal sources as the Bureau of Justice Statistics takes a $10 million cut in the Administration's FY 2008 budget, noted a month earlier by AFSCME?

State Justice Statistics Program for Statistical Analysis Centers and other elements of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, didn't fare very well in the Bush budget for FY 2008: "The Bureau of Justice Statistics is also slated for a funding shortfall of $10 million. The important national Crime Victimization Survey, which is the only accurate census of crime victims, and is the nation's primary source of information on criminal victimization, is not funded at a level sufficient to carry on this important work. This information provided by the survey is invaluable to the national Crime Prevention Council, community groups and law enforcement agencies." [AFSCME] [House Dem Budget Analysis pdf]

Since we've not heard anything, or seen anything in print, from Rep. Heller about the budget cuts to the Bureau of Justice Statistics -- could we assume the "certificate of appreciation" is all the paper Nevada's Records and Technology division can expect from the Administration which worked so hard to get Rep. Heller elected?

To Conservatives Dean Heller Simply Doesn't Exist

Have you ever heard of "Conservapedia?" Me neither. That is until this week, when Lewis Black made fun of it on The Daily Show. See, Conservapedia is supposed to be the alternative to the "liberal" bastion known as Wikipedia (btw, here's the Wikipedia entry on Dean Heller).

Conservapedia's motto: "A conservative encyclopedia you can trust. The truth shall set you free."

The truth being that to Conservapedia our very own Congressman Dean Heller doesn't exist:

click to enlarge

"Conservapedia, the trustworthy encyclopedia"

Saturday, June 30, 2007

ABBA Explaining Iraq

Gotta love Abba:

And don't forget: Heller owns this Waterloo, too. Since he's arrived in Congress, he continously voted for the Iraq war.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Heller's Head in the Sand - Watch it!

We've reported in the past week on the Defenders of Wildlife "Head in the Sand" campaign (including a radio ad in the district) against Rep. Dean Heller here and here. We also did a Q&A with Defenders of Wildlife CEO Dr. Rodger Schlickeisen.

Now, Defenders of Wildlife are continuing their campaign with this animated ad on the internet:

Want a capable representative in Congress? Join the Helluva Heller - Defeating Dean Heller in 2008 group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site!

Republicans Afraid Heller Might Lose

It's official: Republicans are afraid Heller might lose his re-election next year. The Las Vegas Gleaner alerted us to the news first published by the Hotline - which is behind a subscription firewall but the National Republican Congressional Committee was nice enough to republish the report from Roll Call (also behind a firewall) including the fact that they consider Dean Heller "vulnerable":

House Republicans have added 10 Members to the Regain Our Majority Program.

House leaders select Members they think might be vulnerable and raise and steer additional funds to their re-election campaigns.

Now, parse that rather neutral reporting with the Gleaner's choice words for Heller:

Apparently not red enough, though. Hotline reported Thursday that the War Party's "Regain Our Majority Program" has tagged Heller as one of the party's most vulnerable members of Congress. The ROMP distinction means that Minority Leader John Boehner and the rest of the House War Party leadership will do their level best to a) notify corporations who want to rip you off of the existence of Dean Heller, and b) urge them to give Heller lots of money that they stole from you in the first place so he can afford the televised assassination of his opponent's character and conduct in 2008, even if the opponent is Jesus H. Christ his own self.

Heller's appearance on the ROMP list must come as a bit of a disappointment to the campaign contribution brokerage profession. As aforementioned, in Heller's district (CD1 CD2), the needle on the bumpkin meter has been absolutely and immovably lodged in the extreme red for decades, and having an "R" after your name is usually all it takes. The ass-clown shouldn't need any more than perfunctory help from the rich and corporate to maintain the district's hallowed tradition of electing an impotent and obscure go-along get-along Republican for as long as Heller needs the seat before moving along to the next step in his exciting journey as a career politician. Imagine, if you will, being the guy paid to allocate corporate campaign contributions, and having to explain to your bosses that they need to give extra money to some guy in a district where Democrats are outnumbered by cows. Thank goodness we don't have that job.

Just trying to summarize it for you: Heller's weak. It took the help of President George W. Bush and a major fundraiser in Reno to help Heller across the finish line in 2006. With Bush being ever more unpopular, I doubt Heller would bring him in next year, so, yeah, he's heavily dependent on the corporate cash cows.

Now, that the legislative session has come to an end and some of the possible candidates (like Sheila Leslie and Debbie Smith) should have more time on their hands, how about one of them coming forward as a candidate in the near future? Whoever will run will have some serious fundraising to do.

Want a capable representative in Congress? Join the Helluva Heller - Defeating Dean Heller in 2008 group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Heller Gets Spanked by Jane Ann Morrison

We've been reporting, rather infrequently, on Heller's problem of simply returning a reporter's phone call since he was sworn into office - here and here. In the latter AWOL post we wrote the following:

The Las Vegas Review Journal seems to be tired about the "Heller did not return calls" line and seems to be trying to shame him into answering by singling out his spokesman:

Heller has been singled out as a target by Americans United, which aired television ads slamming his war stance in Reno earlier this year. His spokesman, Stewart Bybee, did not return phone calls or e-mail Thursday.

What good is it to employ a spokesman (who's paid by the taxpayer) who is not speaking to the media?

One day later Jane Ann Morrison of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote a nice little opinion piece about Nevada's Republican delegation in Congress and their stance on a pardon for Scooter Libby. But when you read the whole piece you get a feeling that this was a set-up by Ms. Morrison to deliver a much needed spanking to Rep. Heller. After laying out how Sen. Ensign and Rep. Porter responded, she turns on Dean "Helluva" Heller:

But that was better than the silent treatment from Heller's office. My e-mail Monday morning to press aide Stewart Bybee explaining my questions was ignored. So were four calls to Bybee's voice mail and cell phone. An e-mail to Heller's chief of staff, Mac Abrams, also was not worthy of a reply.

Was this personal? After a few enquiries, I learned Heller's office just doesn't get back to the Review-Journal often. That seems foolish because Heller said in May that he will run for governor in the future. And part of his district is in Clark County.

Perhaps ignoring Southern Nevada voters is Heller's preference. Perhaps Heller doesn't know how often Bybee ignores news media questions. Perhaps Bybee is really busy. There are 16 press releases on Heller's Web site this year. That would take time.

But Congressman Heller, Nevadans would still like to know how you feel about pardoning Libby. Unless that's too tough a question.

Ouch! It'll be interesting to see how Heller's attitude towards the media will develop in the future. But one thing is for certain: if you ignore the paper many of your southern constituents in Clark County and beyond (Pahrump for example) read regularly, they may just be inclined to not only let you feel it when you run for governor (good luck with that, btw) but might also be willing to take a closer and more sympathetic look at your challenger in 2008.

One more free piece of advice: ignoring the biggest conservative paper in the state? That's just stupid.

Want a capable representative in Congress? Join the Helluva Heller - Defeating Dean Heller in 2008 group at the Democratic Party's PartyBuilder social networking site!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Heller vs. Life

Dean Heller voted today to ensure that more abortions occur overseas and that more mothers will die from wire-hanger abortions. On the surface and in his view he was working to stop abortions but it must be made clear he indeed did the opposite.

I think people on all ends of the political spectrum would like to see number of abortions decrease over time. However, the two parties have very different ways to go about achieving the goal.

Democrats: Educate individuals about sex and ensure access to birth control in order to limit unwanted pregnancies. If abortions have to happen (rape, incest, etc) then they should be clean, safe, and legal.

Republicans: Make abortions illegal, don't talk about sex and restrict access to birth control. This way no abortions happen and Jesus is happy.

The only thing that the Republican plan does is increase ignorance of sexual health and responsibility and ensure that wire-hanger abortions become the norm. That is what Heller did; he voted against giving organizations the tools to fight abortions abroad.

Representative Heller, with his vote today, worked to ensure more mothers will die overseas and more abortions will occur. Don't let him tell you the vote is pro-life, it's not.