Category Archives: Jon Porter

>Porter on Endangered Species List, gets Phone Bank Support from NRCC

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Some intrepid soul at US News & World Report laid hands on an internal Republican memo showing that the GOP could lose a net 34 seats in the upcoming election. A “rating 1” lists 10 Republicans in the “likely gone” category – one of whom is Nevada’s ultimate backbencher Rep. Jon Porter (R-NV3). The other nine are in Congressional Districts New York 13 and 25, Alaska, Arizona 1, Virginia 11, Illinois 11, Florida 24, Michigan 7, and North Carolina 8. The NRCC is also reported to be pulling funding for Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) [Pol] and Rep. Michele “Foot in Mouth” Bachmann (R-MN) [Pol]

The GOP has put out a call for volunteers to man phone banks for 10 “endangered” candidates, a list on which Rep. Porter’s name also appears, but toward the bottom of the 10 with 935 calls. [Pol]

Lisa Mascaro reports that the House GOP campaign committee, which pulled financing in Porter’s district earlier this month, will be back with an attack ad for the “final stretch.” Another ad from Sheldon Adelson’s Freedom’s Watch will go up Thursday. The Las Vegas Sun links to the ads and a fact check. An LVRJ poll released last week showed Porter with 43%, challenger Dina Titus with 40%, and a 6% MOE. [LV Sun] Gov. Howard Dean, DNC chair will campaign for Titus and the Obama-Biden ticket in Las Vegas at a meet and greet, 3711 East Sunset Road, C4-8; Las Vegas, NV 89120, October 23rd, 11:00 AM.

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>Coffee and the Papers: Post Debate Edition

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  • Nevada’s lonely, or perhaps looney, Governor may have yet more explaining to do before a Federal jury about his conduct after the McCormick & Schmick’s Fiasco with Ms. Mazzeo. Ms. Mazzeo’s comment to the LVRJ appears more cogent and comprehensible than the Governor’s, to wit: She – “You see how many ways you get screwed,” she said of the case. “My whole thing was, as long as you tell the truth, it will always come out. But it doesn’t seem like it worked out that way.” He – “It looks like this is another flagrant attempt to utilize the legal system for purposes that it shouldn’t be legalized for,” he said in Washington, D.C.”

  • There was another debate, last evening in Las Vegas 3rd Congressional District candidates Jon Porter (R-NV3) and State Senator Dina Titus squared off. Porter claimed that his support for the bailout bill is a signal vote in a generational economic policy shift; Titus countered that initial versions were too slapdash and lacked accountability. Interesting that backbencher Porter, who has done little, if indeed anything, to distinguish himself during his tenure in Congress would choose to make “leadership” and “decision making” key elements of his sales pitch?

  • Representative Porter has another problem – the Republicans have canceled advertising in the 3rd Congressional District race. [AP]

  • If they think they can’t win on the merits of their arguments, they’ll try to suppress the vote. Republican vote suppression tactics got a boost from a federal appeals court that requires the Ohio Secretary of State to disclose lists of voters whose names don’t match government databases. The OH Secretary of State responded that the GOP had two years to raise complaints and chose not to do so until immediately before the general election, purposefully disrupting the process. [NYT] Vote suppression experts Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Greg Palast also respond with “How to Steal Back Your Vote – six ways Republicans try to steal your votes and seven ways to fight back. In Indiana, a coalition of community groups were successful in getting Indiana Superior Court judge Calvin Hawkins struck from the GOP’s vote suppression case, and a new state court judge will now preside over the Republican efforts to halt early voting in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago. {SEIU pr}

  • Debate III punditry: “McCain fails, Obama is not rattled” Roger Simon, Politico; “Edgy McCain sheds no new light” Politico; “McCain strikes out with swings” WaPo; “McCain attacks, but Obama stays steady” NYT; “In bizarre debate, McCain loses again” Salon.

  • It’s the Stupid Economy. The October (15th) Beige Book is out from the San Francisco Federal Reserve: “Economic activity in the Twelfth District weakened further during the survey period of September through early October. Retail sales were very sluggish on net, and demand fell for most categories of services. Manufacturing activity slowed, but sales continued to grow for agricultural products and natural resources. Activity in District housing markets generally remained anemic, and demand for commercial real estate weakened further. Contacts from financial institutions reported a decline in loan demand and credit quality, along with a drop in credit availability. Upward pressures on prices remained significant overall, due to the delayed influence of past increases in the prices of energy and selected commodities.” Nevada’s in the 12th district. Can we say “recession?”

  • The other Beige Books aren’t pretty either: Philadelphia – “Retailers generally posted month-to-month and year-to-year declines in sales, as did motor vehicle dealers. Bank loan volume has been nearly flat in recent weeks. Residential real estate sales and construction activity continued to fall. Commercial real estate leasing and construction activity have slowed.” Boston – “Retail, manufacturing, and business services revenues decelerated or declined relative to year-earlier and quarter-earlier. Commercial real estate leasing was similar to the prior quarter but starting to weaken. Residential real estate markets continue to slump.Cleveland – “Factory output and steel shipments softened. Residential construction remains very slow, with no improvement expected through 2009. Most commercial builders told us that business has been stable. Sales by District retailers were characterized as flat to declining, while reports from auto dealers indicate that purchases of new cars have declined sharply. The commercial credit market tightened, and consumer lending was flat. Energy production was steady to increasing. And the market for freight transport services declined.” And so it goes.

  • The GAO reports “Multiple Agencies provide assistance to service disabled veterans or entrepreneurs, but specific needs are difficult to identify and coordination is weak.” It recommends that the VA and the Small Business Administration bolster their efforts. Meanwhile the Bush Administration has cut 50% of the SBA budget over the last 8 years. [USAT] The VA has suspended prostate cancer treatment programs at four facilities while investigating if patients received lower than prescribed radiation doses. [GovExec]

  • Nevada events: “Change We Need Rally” with Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) Friday, October 17th, Morrell Park, Henderson, NV 4:30 PM; “National Security Conversation” with Secretary Madeline Albright, UNLV Student Union Room 207, Friday October 17, 10:45 AM.

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Filed under Economy, Gibbons, Jon Porter, Titus, Veterans, Vote Suppression

>Titus responds to Porter’s Patter

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State Senator Dina Titus takes exception with Rep. Jon Porter’s performance on “Face to Face” in this press release today:

HENDERSON, NV – Yesterday, Congressman Jon Porter appeared on “Face to Face with Jon Ralston” in an attempt to defend his record of supporting oil companies, supporting a failed war in Iraq, and supporting President Bush’s failed policies.

“As usual, Jon Porter misquoted, misled, and misrepresented both his record and Senator Titus’ record,” said campaign spokesman Andrew Stoddard. “Jon Porter is showing how desperate he is, saying anything to get elected. Voters in the Third Congressional District deserve better. They are looking for an independent voice in Washington, and that is Senator Dina Titus.”

On Energy Prices: “The problem with my opponent is she thinks we can tax our way out of everything.” – Jon Porter

Dina Titus, who has received a more conservative tax rating than the Nevada Senate majority leader, has made it clear she supports tax incentives and tax breaks for renewable energy that will help create jobs in southern Nevada. She will pay for these investments by repealing billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies that Jon Porter has supported for oil and gas companies that are making record profits.

“I have voted time and time again to give incentives to alternative energy companies, from solar to biofuels, to find additional resources.” – Jon Porter

Jon Porter has flip flopped on his support for incentives for renewable energy, voting repeatedly against legislation to provide critical incentives:

  • Voted against a bill to authorize $16.1 billion in energy-related tax provisions, including tax credit bonds to encourage energy efficiency in residential property and more production of clean energy and $3.6 billion to fund energy conservation efforts. (HR 2776, Vote 835, 8/4/07)

  • Voted against a measure during a Ways and Means Committee hearing to provide $16 billion in tax incentives for energy conservation and renewable energy sources. (House Ways and Means Committee Markup – CQ committee coverage, 6/20/07)

  • Voted against comprehensive energy legislation that would raise automobile fuel efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years and require increased use of renewable energy sources to generate electricity. (HR 6, Vote 1140, 12/06/07)

“I am glad you mentioned, ‘suddenly everyone is for it,’ (drilling) because as you know, Dina Titus was against it a year ago.” – Jon Porter

Dina Titus has been consistent in her stance on drilling. She supports drilling with states’ consent and will ensure that American oil remains on the domestic market. She voted against a non-binding Senate resolution that failed to include either provision. She offered an amendment that would “foster our own, homegrown renewable-energy resources,” taking advantage of Nevada’s abundant solar, wind, and geothermal potential. (Journal of the Senate, 4/10/2007)

“Has George Bush been a great President?” – Jon Ralston
“Well there are a lot of things I agree with and a lot of things I don’t.” – Jon Porter

There is not much Jon Porter doesn’t agree with President George Bush on, consistently serving as a rubber stamp for his failed policies, especially in 2003 and 2006 when he supported Bush 93% and 98% of the time.

“She took money from Enron.”

Dina Titus received a campaign contribution from Enron before their illegal activities were known, and she gave away the money once the scandal broke. Jon Porter however, has accepted $230,000 from Big Oil while voting to protect their billions in tax breaks.

“She has said, and she’s quoted by the Associated Press as saying, ‘money buys a vote….’She has been quoted as saying ‘donations buy votes.’”– Jon Porter

Clearly Jon Porter needs to do his homework. After referring to an Associated Press quote the night before that “donations are a way to get access,” he incorrectly refers to the Associated Press quote repeatedly during the interview.

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>NV 3rd Congressional District: Porter still dancing to same old GOP tune

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Reports on the first debate in the 3rd Congressional District seem to describe a GOP playbook (or cookbook?) pattern for campaign that’s unfolding both nationally and at the state level. [LV Sun] The Grand Oil Party language will be loaded, and very little has changed since the 2004 race. A ‘measured revision in light of the facts’ by Republicans becomes a ‘flip flop’ by Democrats. Democrats are “ambitious politicians,” Republicans are ‘fervent public servants.’ What does seem apparent is that nothing pleases Republicans more than the vision of the old Soviet Union looming over the horizon – allowing the party faithful to return to those days of yesteryear when bashing Commies was a staple in the GOP litany. [Gleaner]

Incumbent Jon Porter’s (R-NV3) position on energy leaves him standing on thin ground. As much as he would like to paint challenger Dina Titus into the “anti-drill” corner, he’s stuck with a voting record that clearly indicates a preference for supporting the oil corporations.

Congressman Porter voted against H.R. 6251, the Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act, [vote 469] that would have required the Oil Giants to develop the leases they already hold before acquiring others. He also voted against H.R. 3221, the “New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act [vote 832] that would have allowed U.S. taxpayers to recoup royalties oil companies owe for drilling on public lands. Porter also voted against H.R. 6 [vote 1140] that established the first new vehicle efficiency standards in 32 years. [Gavel]

Congressman Porter may not want to bring up Titus’s acceptance of an Enron donation from the pre-scandal era (and subsequently given to charity) again, lest challenger Titus retort with figures concerning Porter’s own campaign chest. During his career in Congress Porter has collected $233,061 from the Oil and Gas Industry, and another $170,421 from Automotive interests. [OS]

In terms of energy, foreign relations, and immigration policy, the GOP seems thoroughly stuck in the 20th century. Porter’s response on the current situation in Georgia appears typical: “Pushed by Sun columnist Jon Ralston, who moderated the debate, on whether U.S. troops should be sent to Georgia, Porter said, “We need to do whatever we can to provide civilian aid and to show strength. If they need help, then we need to be there to help them, but then get home as soon as possible.” [LV Sun] First, the response contains little more than the usual GOP militaristic knee-jerk reply that “we need to show strength.” There are two ways to do this. A nation can adopt the 20th century propensity to pull the gloves off and prepare for battle, or it can secure international cooperation to press for change diplomatically from a position of moral, economic, and political strength. Secondly, even if saber rattling is the preferred option, Titus’s reply, which can be summarized as “you and what army?” is straight to the point. Taking a 20th century militaristic position limits options, minimizes the possibilities for diplomatic success, and places further strain on our Armed Forces.

Porter also sounds like he has adopted the Dobbsian definition of “amnesty.” In Dobbs-World any proposal that would allow an undocumented worker to secure a path to citizenship is “amnesty.” In the real world there are companies large and small that depend on immigrant labor to conduct business. In the real 21st century world there are families who have paid taxes, have demonstrably not ‘overwhelmed’ our social and health services,’ and have raised children who are U.S. citizens.

Congressman Porter may also be on the 20th century end of the registration statistics. As of July 2008 there were 170,717 active Democratic voters in Congressional District 3, and 145,306 active voting Republicans. There are 58,030 registered independents. When the registration numbers were tighter, in November 2006, with 152,567 Democrats and 149,775 Republicans in the District, Porter narrowly edged out a political newcomer (Tessa Hafen) 102,232 to 98,261. [NVsos]

Polling in June showed Porter with support from 45 percent of likely voters, Titus with 42 percent, and a significant 13 percent undecided. [KOLO] A race including an incumbent doesn’t often have an undecided group in double digits at the outset. This round Porter faces a veteran campaigner for whom name recognition and experience are not issues, and who is on the Red To Blue list with significant financial support from the DCCC. [DCCC]

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>Heller, Porter, vote against FY 09 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Bill

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Should either Congressman Dean Heller (R-NV2) or Jon Porter (R-NV3) have something to say about members of the ‘other’ party not supporting the troops, one might politely remind them of their votes on July 31, 2008 when they both voted against H.R. 6599, the Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs FY 09 appropriations bill. [vote 550] Representative Shelley Berkley (D-NV1) voted in favor of the bill. The measure passed 230-186.

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>GOP Talks A Good Game on Energy Policy, then Votes Against Energy Bills: Heller a Poster Boy for Big Oil

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A person could give Congressman Dean Heller’s (R-NV2) observations on energy policy much more credence were it not for the fact that he and the House Republican leadership are talking one game and playing another.

The office of the Speaker points out that, “Republicans may talk a good game, but their actions speak louder than words. Republicans have voted against the critical solutions that must be part of a comprehensive New Direction for Energy Independence. They voted against renewable energy and conservation, responsible domestic oil production, short-term measures to bring down prices now and punish those who are manipulating the oil market, and new requirements that oil companies pay their fair share.” [Gavel]

Any energy policy with any chance of ameliorating the present situation and setting the stage for long term solutions must include not only oil production, but manipulation mitigation, renewable energy alternatives, and public transportation elements.

First, the Republicans are taking it on faith that the more lands and oil fields made available to the Oil Giants, the more crude oil will be produced. This may not necessarily be the case. Oil corporation profits depend on strong demand underpinning the prices. We’ve seen already what happens in the oil futures market when demand drops. [ABS-CBN]

We’re also aware that the oil from fields the Republicans would like to open for development would not necessarily be placed exclusively on the American market.

Congress has considered the following legislation intended to increase petroleum supplies and mitigate the effects of the rising gasoline and energy prices on the American economy. The fate of these bills demonstrates very clearly what Speaker Pelosi is talking about – the Republicans are talking one way and voting another.

H.R. 6578: This bill would have offered light grade petroleum for sale from the SPR and called for its replacement with heavy grade petroleum. The Consumer Energy Supply Act failed to secure the 2/3rds vote required, on a 268-157 tally. Nevada Representatives Berkley (D-NV1) and Porter (R-NV3) voted in favor of this measure, Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV3) voted against it. [vote 527] Of all the bills currently under consideration, this one offered the best chance of lowering gasoline prices at the pump in the immediate future.

H.R. 6515: The “Drill Responsibly in Leased Lands Act of 2008” would have amended the Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act to allow the Secretary of the Interior to expeditiously launch competitive leasing of oil and natural gas production in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. The vote on this bill was 244 to 173, insufficient for the 2/3rds required. Once again, Nevada Representatives Berkley and Porter voted in favor of the bill, Rep. Heller voted “no.” [vote 511] While not as immediate as the SPR bill in its effect, the expediting of the leasing process could have brought the supplies on line faster.

H.R. 6251: Also known as the “Use It or Lose It” bill, this legislation would have prohibited the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new oil and natural gas leases to holders of existing leases who do not diligently develop the lands subject to existing leases. With 68 million acres already leased, the Oil Giants opposed having to develop their existing resources before grabbing up new ones. Developing oil fields already leased would get petrol to the pumps more quickly than having to go through the leasing process before development could begin. This measure also failed to get the 2/3rds required in the House vote, going down 223-195. Rep. Shelley Berkley voted in favor of his bill, Rep. Porter and Rep. Heller voted against it. [vote 469]

H.R. 6346: The Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act addressed the possibility of price gouging practices for gasoline and other fuels. While not strictly an “energy policy” bill, the legislation would have prevented unfair business practices in the event of a critical shortage. It failed to get the 2/3rds required on June 24, 2008, 276-146. Representatives Berkley and Heller voted in favor of the bill; Representative Porter voted against it. [vote 448]

H.R. 6049: The Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 passed the House of Representatives on May 21, 2008, on a 263 to 160 vote. Representatives Berkley and Porter voted in favor of the bill, Rep. Dean Heller voted against it. [vote 344] The bill has been stalled by a Republican filibuster in the Senate. Senate Republicans sustained their filibuster voting down a cloture motion on June 10, 2008 with Senator John Ensign (R-NV) voting no on the cloture motion, [vote 147], and again on June 17, 2008, with Senator Ensign voting to sustain the filibuster once more. [vote 150] The third time wasn’t a charm, the GOP maintained its filibuster on July 29, 2008 and yet again Senator John Ensign voted to sustain the filibuster.[vote 190] The Senate Republicans appear unwilling to incorporate substantial elements of alternative energy development into their version of an energy policy. Nothing may better illustrate the “Oil or Nothing” attitude of the Grand Oil Party more than this continual filibuster against alternative energy promotion.

H.R. 6074: This is the so-called NOPEC bill which would have applied the Sherman Act to make oil producing and exporting cartels illegal. The intent of the legislation is obviously to address price manipulation issues. It passed the House on May 20, 2008 on a 324 to 84 vote. All three members of the Nevada congressional delegation supported the bill. [vote 332] No action has been taken by the Senate.

H.R. 6052: Rep. Oberstar’s bill addresses the need to decrease overall demand by promoting increased use of public transportation and the use of alternative fuels to do so. This bill passed the House on June 26, 2008 on a 322 to 98 vote. Representatives Berkley and Porter voted in favor of the bill, Rep. Heller voted against it. [vote 467]

H.R. 6: One of the first bills to pass in the 110th Congress was the “Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.” The House approved it on January 18th, 264-163. Rep. Berkley voted “yes,” both Rep. Porter and Rep. Heller voted “no.” [vote 40]

It passed the Senate on June 21, 2007 on a 65-27 vote [vote 226] Both Nevada Senators voted in favor of the bill. It was signed by the President on December 19, 2007.

Of all three members of the Nevada delegation, only Rep. Berkley has consistently voted in favor of comprehensive measures to address our energy issues. Representative Porter’s support, as listed above, has been spasmodic and somewhat inconsistent. However, it’s truly remarkable that the Nevada Congressman most vociferously calling for more drilling, Rep. Dean Heller, is precisely the one who has demonstrated the least inclination to vote in favor of bills to (1) increase the supply of petroleum to our domestic market, (2) control speculation and manipulation, (3) require production from leases already in hand, and (4) promote alternative energy sources and public transportation.

Update – For a look at the Senate side of the ledger see:

“12 Times and Counting: Bush Republicans Turn Their Backs on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency” Democratic Policy Committee outlines 12 occasions on which members of the Senate have had an opportunity to vote on energy policy bills and have blocked them from June 21, 2007 to July 30, 2008.

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Filed under Berkley, energy policy, Ensign, Heller, Jon Porter

>Ensign votes to sustain filibuster of LEAP funding, Heller votes against Medicare Bill

>Nevadans who need assistance with home energy costs this winter might take ‘cold comfort’ in Senator John Ensign’s (R-NV) vote on S. 3186, the bill to provide funding for the low income home energy assistance program. Senator Ensign and 48 other members of the U.S. Senate voted to sustain the GOP filibuster of the bill. [vote 187] Senator Harry Reid, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, cast a “no” vote to allow for a motion to reconsider at a future date. The cloture motion was rejected 50-35 with 15 not voting. The bill has 52 co-sponsors including Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Republican Senators Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Elizabeth Dole, Judd Gregg, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Gordon Smith, Arlen Specter, Ted Stevens, and John Sununu were also listed as co-sponsors.

Nevada 2nd District Congressman Dean Heller was the only member of the Nevada congressional delegation to vote against H.Res.1368 relating to section 803 of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-NV1) and Jon Porter (R-NV3) voted in favor of the legislation which passed 231-184, with 19 not voting. [roll call 532]

H.Res. 1368 nullifies the Bush Administration’s attempt to force Congress to consider legislation drafted by the President to reduce Medicare spending, increase costs to beneficiaries, and expand income related Medicare premiums. The Senate is expected to follow the House lead on this issue. [HANYS]

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