Category Archives: Heck
If you strain just a little you can read the fine print at the end of the ads being run by the Heck Campaign against Catherine Cortez Masto. The ads telling you she hates old people, etc… are from “Freedom Partners.”
A word about that outfit. First we’ll return to a September 2013 article in Politico —
“An Arlington, Va.-based conservative group, whose existence until now was unknown to almost everyone in politics, raised and spent $250 million in 2012 to shape political and policy debate nationwide.
The group, Freedom Partners, and its president, Marc Short, serve as an outlet for the ideas and funds of the mysterious Koch brothers, cutting checks as large as $63 million to groups promoting conservative causes, according to an IRS document to be filed shortly.” (emphasis added)
Now, let’s bring this back home to Nevada – as of June 2016 the Koch Brothers had some hefty plans for the Silver State:
“The group announced last week that it plans to spend $1.2 million on advertising in Nevada, where Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto is running against Republican Rep. Joe Heck to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.” [Roll Call]
And Representative Heck is no stranger to the Koch Brothers and their deep pockets:
“Between 2011 and 2014, Koch Industries gave $30,000 to the Republican. During his re-election campaign in 2014, Americans for Prosperity made a $200,000 ad buy for Heck, “praising” his opposition to the ACA. Since announcing his run for Senate, Heck has received $2,500 from the Kochs.” [RKF]
More recently, Heck received $2,500 (March 31, 2016), to add to the $2,500 he’d already received on November 30, 2015, directly from the Koch Industries PAC. (FEC reports)
What do the Koch Brothers want in return for all this largess?
Social Security and Medicare “Reform”
Freedom Partners is happy to tell us that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are “entitlements.” However, NOT as in “we are entitled to these benefits because we paid payroll taxes for them” – no, it’s as in we’re bankrupting the government with these “entitlements.”
One of the questions in a candidate survey conducted in 2015 by the Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce is:
“Question #18: Do you support Social Security and Medicare reform that would increase the age of eligibility and reduce benefits for wealthier retirees?”
Translation: Do you support raising the age at which a person is eligible for Social Security benefits, and do you supports ‘means testing’ for Social Security benefits?
Questions #19 and #20 are also instructive:
Question #19: Do you support expanding Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act? (the preferred answer is NO)
Question #20: Do you support capping federal spending on Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program by allowing states to control those funds in the form of federal grants? (the preferred answer is YES)
Tax Break for the Wealthy Tax Increases for Everyone Else
Then there was this question: “Question #13: Should tax reform eliminate all preferential treatment and credits for individuals, industries and activities in order to lower marginal tax rates?” Sounds nice, BUT there’s always a kicker.
Flat taxation schemes overwhelmingly favor the top 0.01% of income earners, and those in what are now the upper income brackets. [USNWR] [WaPo] [CNBC] We can probably conclude with some reasonable certainty that while Representative Heck will likely not come out in favor of a flat tax scheme, he’ll no doubt stay close to the “no new taxes on anyone wealthy” line the Koch Brothers find appealing.
Oh, The Irony!
There’s no small amount of irony involved in trying to argue that Catherine Cortez Masto is tied to “special interests,” when the Heck Campaign is entangled in the Koch Brothers Very Special Interest money. And, no doubt more of it is on the way, such that we can get even more extremely misleading ads like the Uber Debacle.
Those interested in preserving Medicare and Social Security, and in maintaining a healthy economy (one not predicated on the GOP Trickle Down Hoax) would be better served by having Catherine Cortez Masto in the U.S. Senate.
“Las Vegas, NV – Today, at a campaign event in Henderson – at which a participant reiterated debunked conspiracy theories Congressman Heck has espoused – Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, officially endorsed Congressman Heck’s campaign. In response, Catherine Cortez Masto for Senate spokesperson Zach Hudson released the following statement:
“After he criticized Republicans who are not supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy last week, the Trump campaign returned the favor and officially gave Congressman Heck its seal of approval today. But this should come as no surprise. Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Congressman Heck all share the same extreme agenda that would tear immigrant families apart, eliminate a woman’s right to choose, and ship more American jobs overseas.” [CCM]
This raises the question: Why would anyone WANT an endorsement from the Trump-Pence Campaign? Especially when it’s associated with statements like:
An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fraud”
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bring crime. They’re rapists… And some, I assume, are good people.” [MCUK]
Then there’s the infamous disparagement of John McCain’s service: “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said at the Family Leadership Summit, during a discussion. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” […] Trump almost immediately denied saying McCain was not a war hero, and then criticized the senator for not doing enough for veterans.” [Politico] This from a man who got several deferments from service during the Viet Nam war – and who was comfortably at home while McCain was imprisoned.
Followed by the Major Whopper:
“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” [Newsday] This has been thoroughly debunked!
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn’t lose voters,” Trump said at a rally in Iowa, pointing his finger at the crowd like he was shooting a handgun, as he expressed confidence that he would remain atop the Republican field.” [Newsday] The statement reads like it came from a cult leader, not a mainstream politician? And, then there’s this:
“In the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before — as a group, we have never seen before, what’s happening right now. The medieval times — I mean, we studied medieval times — not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” [Newsday]
I’m not sure anyone will ever be able to explain to Mr. Trump that the reason the United States and other nations signed the Geneva Accords was to PROTECT THEIR OWN TROOPS from inhumane treatment. But, wait, we can’t leave out Trump picking a fight with a Gold Star family.
“I saw him. He was, you know, very emotional. And probably looked like — a nice guy to me. His wife, if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say.” [Newsday] Oh, please, that’s been explained, and Mr. Khan is the furthest thing from a misogynistic caveman of the Trump variety one can think of.
“I’m afraid the election is going to be rigged, I have to be honest.” [Newsday] We ought to take a closer look at this one. He continued: “She can’t beat what’s happening here,” the Republican presidential nominee told the crowd in Altoona on Friday night. “The only way they can beat it, in my opinion, and I mean this 100 percent, if in certain sections of the state they cheat, OK?” [NBC] (emphasis added) Now just where might those “certain sections” be located? We’ve moved from dog whistle into bull horn territory here – he’s obviously speaking of urban, predominantly African American or minority, neighborhoods. The premise here is that if a candidate gets votes from “others,” like Hispanic, African American, or other ethnic minority voters then the election is “rigged.” Alternately, only white voters cast legitimate ballots – ergo, only elections with all white voters are legitimate. White Nationalism/Supremacist thinking on parade for all to see.
But wait, there’s more! With the addition of Stephen Bannon to the Trump-Pence campaign we can expect more of this.
“Andrew Breitbart despised racism. Truly despised it. He used to brag regularly about helping to integrate his fraternity at Tulane University. He insisted that racial stories be treated with special care to avoid even the whiff of racism. With Bannon embracing Trump, all that changed. Now Breitbart has become the alt-right go-to website, with Yiannopoulos pushing white ethno-nationalism as a legitimate response to political correctness, and the comment section turning into a cesspool for white supremacist mememakers.” [Wire]
So, let’s review. Candidate Heck has been endorsed by a campaign which has insulted __ Women __ LGBT__Native Americans__African Americans __Hispanic Americans __ Veterans __Muslims__ The US Military __ The US Intelligence Services (check all boxes). Further, the campaign refuses to release Trump’s Tax Returns. Remember the fuss Trump raised about Obama’s birth certificate and records from Columbia University? Evidently, the rules that apply to other candidates and incumbents do not apply to the Mighty Trump.
“The Republican vision for American banking calls for establishing transparent, efficient markets where consumers can obtain loans they need at reasonable rates based on market conditions. Unfortunately, in response to the financial institutions crisis of 2008-2009, the Democratic-controlled Congress enacted the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, otherwise known as Dodd-Frank.”
“The worst of Dodd-Frank is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, deliberately designed to be a rogue agency. It answers to neither Congress nor the executive, has its own guaranteed funding outside the appropriations process… If the Bureau is not abolished, it should be subjected to congressional appropriation.”
You read this correctly – all the protections in place to correct the banker’s reckless actions leading up to the last Recession will be wiped away along with any protection from predatory lenders.
“Minimum wage is an issue that should be handled at the state and local level.”
Translation: No increase in the federal minimum wage.
“We endorse the First Amendment Defense Act, Republican legislation in the House and Senate which will bar government discrimination against individuals and businesses for acting on the belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Translation: Freedom to discriminate.
“We support firearm reciprocity legislation to recognize the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms to protect themselves and their families in all 50 states. We support constitutional carry statutes and salute the states that have passed them. We oppose ill-conceived laws that would restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of the most popular and common modern rifle.”
Open carry, of anything, anywhere in a nation coping with mass shootings and tragic loss of life.
“We assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to children before birth.”
This is about as anti-choice as it gets.
“Impose no changes for persons 55 or older. Give others the option of traditional Medicare or transition to a premium-support model designed to strengthen patient choice, promote cost-saving competition among providers.”
Translation: “Premium Support” = Coupons. My, my, I seem to remember an advertisement from the Heck camp recently telling me that he supports Medicare? Maybe not quite??
Representative Heck is now associated with not only an unpalatable platform from a reactionary party, but also with a white-nationalist, misogynistic, bigoted, abrasive, bullying campaign. It will be interesting to see how candidate Heck responds to his recent endorsement.
The Republican leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives did try to do some business in the midst of the Democratic representatives’ sit in, and a miserable bit of business it was.
“House Republicans on Wednesday failed to muster the two-thirds majority needed to block the Obama administration’s controversial standards for financial advisers. The House voted 239-180 to block the fiduciary rule, well more than 40 votes short of the total needed.
Wednesday night’s vote came as Democrats staged a sit-in on the House floor, starting around nearly 12 hours earlier, to push for a vote on legislation to prevent terror suspects from buying guns.” [TheHill]
There’s a little story about priorities herein. While the Democrats were trying to get the leadership to schedule votes on gun safety legislation, the Republicans were trying to make it easier for financial advisers to rip people off. [TP]
Let’s try to make this as simple as humanly possible. “Fiduciary” /fəˈdooSHēˌerē,-SHərē/, “ involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary.” Think of that pile of money in the graphic above as your savings. You have trusted a financial adviser to tell you the best investments you can make to get a good return on your savings, especially for your retirement account. You are trusting that what your investment and/or financial adviser is telling you is in your best interest.
The Department of Labor has drafted a rule to require your financial adviser to act in your best interest regarding your investments – and not to give you advice on financial products that will do more for the investment advisers than they will do for you. In short, it’s a matter of trust — you should be able to trust what your financial adviser is telling you. You should be able to trust that the advice isn’t intended to feather the nests of the investment advisers instead of yours.
So, what have the Republicans been doing? Return with us now to the Senate side of the Capitol building. On May 24, 2016 the Republican controlled Senate voted to kill the Labor Department rule. [vote 84] The vote was 56-41, obviously not sufficient to over-ride the promised veto. And, who voted along with other Republicans to kill the rule? None other than our own Bankers’ Boy, Senator Dean Heller (R-NV).
Now, let’s return to the House side of the Capitol Building. HJ Res 88, “ On disapproving the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to the definition of the term “Fiduciary,” on passage, the objections of the President to the contrary notwithstanding… [vote 338] And who from the great state of Nevada voted to kill the rule? Representatives Mark Amodei (R-NV2), Cresent Hardy (R-NV4), and Joe Heck (R-NV3). Who as a member of Nevada’s congressional delegation did NOT vote to allow financial advisers to act in their own best interests rather than yours – Representative Dina Titus (D-NV1). The attempt to overturn the Labor Department rule failed 239-180. The Republicans needed a 2/3rds majority to get rid of the rule, and thanks to Representative Titus and 179 other members of the House they didn’t get it.
In spite of the Republicans’ best efforts – your financial adviser will now have to offer investment advice based on what is in YOUR best interests – and not peddle financial products that will garner fees, kickbacks, and other “revenue enhancement” for the advisers.
And, THIS is what the Republicans thought was more important than scheduling votes on gun safety in America.