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Heller High Water: How Dean Poses a Threat to Nevadans (OPINION)


U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev.

By Adam Barrington

The political climate in the United States is shifting, drastically and excitingly in some ways, tediously and sluggishly in others. There are promising new movements and leaders emerging that have the potential to challenge the terrifying rightward shift we have all experienced over the past year or so, but the boring opportunists remain in both major political parties. One such boring opportunist, Nevada’s own Dean Heller, stands out among his peers as a coward, parasite, and out-of-touch buffoon.

Heller, who bragged on Twitter about helping write the recent tax bill that was a massive gift to the elite and a slap in the face to the rest of the country, got some heat from his fellow right-wingers when he voted against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This was a prime example of his political opportunism. He attempts to appear moderate while continuing to be a loyal stooge for reactionary political forces and the wealthy donors who prop them up.

In response to a message I sent Heller regarding his shameful support of the economically illiterate tax bill, Dean sent me a letter, and was quick to acknowledge that “Nevadans are bringing home less money than they were 10 years ago,” and that “child care expenses continue to rise” in Nevada. How does he plan to fix these problems, among others? Why, give more money to those who need it the least, of course.

In the letter, Dean told me that the bill “does not shift the tax burden from higher-income households to lower-income households,” but this is precisely what it does. The money’s got to come from somewhere, and if the extremely wealthy aren’t paying, guess who has to foot the bill? Each time right-wing tax legislation is implemented, the working and middle classes suffer while the wealthy get a nice chunk of change from the government they bought long ago.

It’s also worth noting that Heller voted against net neutrality, and in favor of the corporate takeover of the internet. He received heaps of cash for his devotion. Heller’s horrendous voting record should be a clear indication to Nevadans that he hasn’t got the interests of working people in mind.

It should be common knowledge by now that Dean Heller is no novice when it comes to taking money from corporations and the elite, and he’s been their faithful lapdog for his entire career, serving their interests without much wavering. Called “the best senator Sheldon Adelson’s money can buy” by a 2012 Truthout article, Heller’s policies hurt the most marginalized and vulnerable people in Nevada while making sure his wealthy donors have got fat pockets and smiles on their faces.

The next financial crash is around the corner, and Nevada, Reno in particular, is in the midst of a housing crisis that cannot be fixed by right-wing legislation and lazy political opportunism like Heller’s. If we want to lessen the scope of the economic injury that is sure to result from the implementation of right-wing political policies, we must excise Dean Heller, like a malignant tumor, from any position of influence.

adambarrington-150x150-4098114-7024317Adam Barrington is a labor organizer from Cleveland, Ohio.  He has worked with organizations such as Community Outreach Group and was an organizer for MoveOn.org’s United Against Hate campaign. During the RNC in Cleveland, Adam helped craft the public education platform for the People’s Justice and Peace Convention. He has a background in adolescent and young adult education and currently resides in Reno.

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