The Nevada State Democratic Party filed an ethics complaint today against Republican Senator Dean Heller with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics for soliciting and accepting campaign contributions because of specific official actions on tax reform as a member of the Senate Committee on Finance.
Last month, Senator Heller personally signed a fundraising email for his campaign highlighting his position as a “member of the Senate Finance Committee (the tax writing committee in the Senate)” and making three separate requests for contributions to Heller for Senate “to support our tax plan.” The email links directly to a campaign page soliciting contributions of up to $5,400 to Heller for Senate.
By using his position on the Senate Committee on Finance to garner financial support for his political campaign, and by implying that a contribution to Heller for Senate is a direct contribution to support a piece of official legislation, Senator Heller clearly relied on official resources to help achieve his campaign fundraising goals. By asking email recipients to “pitch in” to “support our tax plan,” Senator Heller also clearly solicited campaign contributions in return for his official actions on tax legislation.
“Senator Heller is violating federal law and ethics rules by using his official position as a Senator on the Finance Committee and his official actions on tax legislation to inappropriately solicit campaign cash for his struggling re-election,” said William McCurdy II, Chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party. “After spending more than a decade in Washington, Dean Heller continues to prove that he’s just a self-serving career politician who will gladly use his public office for his own personal gain. We’re asking the Select Committee on Ethics to immediately investigate Senator Heller’s troubling political fundraising activity.”