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Senator Heller’s Town Hall: What to Expect

After months of pressure from his constituents, Washington’s laziest Republican Senator is finally holding an in-person town hall today in Reno. Here’s a few things to remember before Senator Dean Heller and his high school buddy, Congressman Mark Amodei, take the stage.

 

Dean Heller thinks meeting with his constituents is a chore.

The Nevada Independent: Heller: Trump administration “is pretty incredible,” and he’s doing a town hall because “it’s one of the boxes you gotta check”

  • “During a meeting of the conservative and usually staid Keystone Corporation in Las Vegas, interrupted several times by protesters who had paid to be at the luncheon, Heller also talked about having to do a town hall next week because it is “one of those boxes you gotta check.” […] And then this: “Two hours of town hall meeting, two hours of people yelling at you, it’s going to be quite the experience.” He loves the people!” [4/12/17] 

Reno Gazette-Journal: Dean Heller thinks he’s going to get yelled at during town hall

  • “U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., said Wednesday during a speech with a conservative group he was pretty sure he is going to get yelled at for two hours during his upcoming town hall, describing it as something of a chore.” [4/13/17] 

CNN: Republicans decide: To town hall or not to town hall?

  • “Nevada Sen. Dean Heller is set to attend a town hall Monday in Reno — but he’s not thrilled about it.” [4/14/17]

 

This is a joint town hall because Dean Heller wants Mark Amodei to take all the tough questions.

  • AP: “Nevada’s Dean Heller, one of the more vulnerable GOP senators in 2018, will also hold his first town hall of 2017 on Monday, in the morning. And he, too, is apparently seeking safety in numbers by including Republican Rep. Mark Amodei.” [4/12/17]
  • CNN: “On Monday, Heller, at least, will have backup: His town hall is a joint event with Republican Rep. Mark Amodei. Heller said at the Wednesday lunch that “I chose to do it with Amodei ‘cause he’ll do all the talking.”” [4/14/17]

 

Dean Heller loves flip-flopping to placate his audience.

Ralston Reports: Heller changes positions to suit his audience

  • “Consistency is the hobgoblin of lesser senators. That appears to be the motto of Nevada’s own Dean Heller… In pandering to this group, Heller not only rewrote history and distorted reality but distanced himself from measures, especially immigration reform, that he had previously supported. It was nothing short of a masterful con job that Trump couldn’t have matched.” [4/10/16]

Here are the latest examples of Heller flip-flopping on health care –

  • Feb. 6: “We must repeal Obamacare.”
  • Feb. 22: When asked what his plan for a change to Obamacare would be, Heller said, “If you like your health care, you can keep it.”
  • March 11: “I think we ought to embrace what’s good in the Affordable Care Act.”
  • April 12: “I will do everything I can to get to a yes” on repealing Obamacare.

 

Dean Heller didn’t endorse Trump in 2016 – but he is now Trump’s MVP in the Senate, voting with him 100% of the time.

FiveThirtyEight: Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump

  • Nate Silver: “Cory Gardner & Dean Heller are Trump MVPs so far. Voted with him 100% of the time despite being from Clinton states.” [2/3/17]
  • Reno Gazette-Journal: “Chief among the criticisms of Heller is his support for Trump so far. Heller did not endorse Trump during the election, but has since voted with him almost in lockstep.” [4/13/17]
  • The Nevada Independent: “Of the 17 Cabinet and other executive nominees confirmed by the full Senate, Heller has voted to confirm all of them while Cortez Masto voted against nine of the nominees.” [3/2/17]
  • POLITICO: ““Due to her commitment to improve our nation’s school system for all students and her focus on increasing parental engagement, I am supporting Betsy DeVos as our nation’s next secretary of education,” Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), who was seen as the final potential swing vote, said late Wednesday afternoon.” [2/1/17]
  • Las Vegas Sun: “But then Heller went from watchdog to turtle. And in doing so, he added fuel to an aggressive campaign by Democrats to portray him as a Trump puppet. On Jan. 27, he announced he’d met with Mnuchin and had received the info he’d requested. But he has declined to share the answers, and he fell in line with his party colleagues in voting in favor of Mnuchin.” [2/16/17]
  • BuzzFeed: “Vice President Mike Pence stepped into the Senate on Thursday to break a tie on a vote that would allow states to defund Planned Parenthood and other health clinics that provide abortions… The bill also had the support of Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, the only Republican up for reelection in 2018 in a state that Hillary Clinton won in the 2016 presidential election.” [3/30/17]