|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 10, 2011
|Contact: Zach Hudson, Comm. Dir., NSDP
The last two weeks have demonstrated that unelected Senator Dean Heller has abandoned any pretense of being a moderate and that he is outside of the political mainstream. Heller’s political positions are so far on the fringe that moderates, and even conservatives in his own Party, disagree with him on the major issues facing Nevadans.
Two weeks ago, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval announced Nevada had received $13.8 million in federal funding from the Small Business Jobs Act Congress passed last year. These funds are estimated to create over a thousand jobs in Nevada. Considering Nevada has the highest unemployment in the country, one would think our representatives in Congress would be doing everything they can to create jobs.
Enter Dean Heller.
Heller voted against the Small Business Jobs Act; Congresswoman Shelley Berkley voted for it, demonstrating once again which candidate in this Senate race is committed to getting Nevadans back to work. To be clear, Heller’s opposition to the Small Business Jobs Act puts him at odds not just with his opponent in next year’s Senate race, but with the conservative Republican Governor that appointed him to replace disgraced Senator John Ensign in the Senate.
In light of their common cause in support for the Small Business Jobs Act, Berkley invited Sandoval to participate in a conference call with small business owners to highlight the job-creating legislation. While Sandoval said he could not join Berkley because of a prior commitment, the Governor again praised the legislation his fellow Republican Dean Heller tried to kill. Heller, clearly nervous about the amount of attention his vote against the Berkley-Sandoval Small Business Jobs Act was receiving, actually put out a press release last Friday attacking the legislation that will create over 1,000 jobs in Nevada.
Last week, Heller voted to protect the Chinese government’s unfair trade policy that is cheating Nevada workers out of their jobs. This was bipartisan legislation that cracks down on Chinese currency manipulation, which has cost the United States 3 million jobs over the last decade — including 15,000 Nevada jobs. Heller’s position puts him at odds not just with Independents and Democrats but with all factions of his own Party. Republican Senator Jeff Sessions said that China’s currency manipulation “puts American workers and U.S.-based businesses at a huge disadvantage” and “has to be confronted.” Republican Senator Orrin Hatch summarized Dean Heller’s policy of protecting Chinese currency manipulation bluntly, “American jobs are at stake.” Republican Senator Olympia Snowe said “this day has been far too long in coming for the millions of American workers who are out of work and whose wages have been decimated as a result of our inability to compete with unfairly subsidized Chinese imports,” and that China was “playing with a proverbial stacked deck.” Overall, twelve Republican Senators voted to stand up to the Chinese government’s cheating workers out of their jobs.
If that isn’t enough to demonstrate just how far out of the mainstream Heller is, let’s look at where the public stands. As the attached polling memo from the Mellman Group highlights, 85% of Nevadans are at least very concerned that too many Nevada workers are losing their jobs, while 75% are very concerned that too many jobs are being sent overseas. 86% of Nevada voters are in favor of “penalizing nations like China that manipulate exchange rates and implement trade barriers to gain an unfair trade advantage.” Only 9% of voters express some form of opposition. 60% of Nevadans agree “we need to get tough with China and use every possible legal means to stop their unfair trade practices, which will keep undermining our economy and taking away our jobs.” Only 34% agreed with Heller’s “trade war” argument.
To summarize, the last two weeks have proven Dean Heller is far outside of the mainstream, both within his own Party and Nevadans as a whole. His opposition to common sense job legislation, like the Small Business Jobs Act, and cracking down on unfair trade practices that are cheating Nevada workers out of their jobs demonstrates that job creation is not his priority in a campaign whose top 1, 2, and 3 issues are jobs, jobs, jobs. Heller’s choosing the Chinese government over unemployed Nevadans, combined with his repeated votes to reward the Big Oil companies bankrolling his campaign with taxpayer giveaways, and saying he was proud to be the only member of Congress to vote twice for a Republican budget plan that kills Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies, are in stark contrast to Shelley Berkley’s message of making job creation our top priority. Nevadans will have a clear choice between Berkley’s commitment to getting Nevadans back to work and Heller’s attempt to pull the rug out from under Nevada seniors and middle class to protect the Chinese government and his Big Oil campaign donors.