Friday, June 15, 2007

Heller Has His "Head in the Sand" - Q&A About New Ad Campaign

Dean Heller has his "head in the sand" on global warming. So says a new ad campaign about Heller and four other Republican Congressmen from western states. Heller's only been in Congress for five months but he's already managed to have a very negative record on this issue. He's the only freshman representative on this list.

Surprisingly, Dean "AWOL" Heller has given a statement on the campaign by the Defenders of Wildlife action fund. It's as ridiculous as his voting record on environmental issues:

Heller said Defenders was "polluting the air waves" with their ads. "If we're going to talk about pollution let's talk about who's polluting here," he said.

Judge for yourself. Listen to the ad here.

The CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, Dr. Rodger Schlickeisen, was kind enough to answer a couple of questions for Helluva Heller. Here are his answers:

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund launched an ad campaign against five western Congressmen. What's your motivation behind this campaign?

Defenders Action Fund has a responsibility to its members and the public to hold accountable elected officials with extreme anti-conservation records – and that’s what we’re doing. With the “Heads in the Sand” campaign, we’re exposing the records of five anti-conservation House members who have their heads in the sand on global warming and have voted against our national interest and a sensible energy policy to deal with global warming. A growing majority of Americans see what national security experts, scientists, and economists have seen: global warming is a crisis that needs to be addressed now. If so many Americans understand this, why do our elected officials like these continue to bury their heads in the sand on the issue? That’s what we want to talk about.

Why did you include Dean Heller in your campaign?

Heller – like the four other members, Reps. Calvert, Doolittle, Pearce, and Renzi – has demonstrated a clearly anti-conservation record. Instead of reducing our country’s dependence on oil and dealing with the global warming crisis, he’s expressed support for extracting global warming-producing oil reserves from shale. In January, he voted against repealing billions in subsidies and tax breaks to energy companies, including billions that even industry acknowledges was granted in error, and investing that money in alternative energy sources, with his vote on HR6 , The Clean Energy Act of 2007. And just this week, Rep. Heller voted against another forward looking bill, HR 2337, The Energy Policy Reform and Revitalization Act of 2007. He's new to the House Resources Committee this year but is already following a too well-established pattern of others who've joined the committee, accepted large contributions from the extractive industries, and then voted for their special interest over the public interest.

How do the contributions to his re-election campaign influence Heller's voting behavior in Congress? Who are these contributors?

In the five short months he’s been in Congress, Rep. Heller has taken more than $40,000 from industries that contribute to global warming, as well as an additional $58,757 from corporate lobbyists. It seems like he’s already siding with lobbyists and corporate polluters instead of doing what the committee is supposed to do which is protect our natural resources for the public and future generations, which right now should mean making real progress on global warming.

How often and for how long do you plan to run the ad in Nevada?

We’re launching this campaign by running the ad on Nevada radio for the next week. We'll make the decision of next steps later. Visit our website ( to learn how you can help us keep these ads on the air longer to reach more people.

What can voters in Nevada do to help influence Heller's stance on global warming?

Defenders Action Fund is working to hold Rep. Heller accountable on global warming. Nevada residents should visit our website, www.headsinthesand/, to learn more about Rep. Heller’s position on global warming. We encourage them to contact us with their feedback and stories. They can tell Mr. Heller to get his head out of the sand and do the right thing to protect the southwest which is expected to suffer tremendously from global warming.

We'll be following the ad campaign and the reactions by the media in the coming week and follow up with more posts on Heller's stance on environmental issues.

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

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